// Tell us a little about your business…

The name says it all. I am a Marriage Celebrant. I also do re-taking of vows, baby naming day ceremonies. I do not officiate funerals.

I have been a Celebrant for five years, so started in 2015 and hit the ground running!

I provide couples with a fully personalised wedding service. This includes, preparing and submitting all documents to the Attorney General’s Department. The first and most important document is the Notice of Intention to Marry. This needs to be submitted and signed by the couple and myself one month before and no more than eighteen months their wedding date.

After, having a couple of meetings with my couples, where I present my “Introduction Folder” which contains every bit of information in it the couple will need, leading up to their wedding.

After a deposit has been paid to lock in their date, I can then write the service for them. I send a draft and always insist they get back to me if there is anything at all they which to add or change. This is very important.

I have my own wireless sound system, I provide suggestions for personal vows, music (three tracks needed for the ceremony) and these are played through my amp with my husband, Ken, being my Mr. Music.

When the Marriage Register has been signed, I present to the new Mr. and Mrs. my ‘Celebration Folder’ which has a full copy, including any poems, vows, readings, on parchment paper for their keepsake. If a couple would like more than one copy, I do this also. I put a little pressie in the folder also.

Sometimes, when I marry a bride and groom where English is not their first language, I translate the complete ceremony into their language of choice for family and friends. This is done very easily with ”Google translate”.

// What do you love most about running your own business?

My business allows me to extend myself and to constantly review new and interesting opportunities.

I had many years in an International high-profile health insurance company. Working for the man” as they say. There was no room for scope, no room to put my ideas forward and certainly not much recognition for a job well done. The stress was very high and at times we were treated like test mice. (Sorry Mrs. Mouse, but it is true).

Since starting my own business, I am (obviously) my own boss. So… if I am disappointed with something, I can tell myself off, however, if I am really chuffed about something, I can have an early glass of wine that night!

Seriously though, this can be a bit of a trap, as one does have to keep up with what’s going on in my profession, have chats/meetings with other celebrants and never ever, think that you have nothing to learn.

Every couple I marry, are different with their own ideas, want’s and needs. As I pride myself, and actually say, on my website, that I like to capture my brides and grooms individuality and the essence of their love story.

Last but by no means least, if my hubby and I want to go away for a holiday, I simply block out that time frame in my diary. Yeah!

// What are you most proud of?

I guess I am most proud of the fact, that I decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and I did. I was caring for my elderly mother at the time, so had to do my Celebrancy Certificate on line.

I look back now, and realise it would have been so much easier in the environment of a class room. Anyway after 8 months, I was fully qualified and a happy little lady.

Many people assume that there is not much in being a celebrant. Wrong! The work- load comes in with all the legal knowledge one has to be familiar with and adhere to, as well as all the certificates and documents to prepare. The most time (which is my fav) is writing a unique ceremony for the Bride and Groom. “Mr. Attorney General” is my boss.

Today, if we are talking about, what I am most proud of, it would be when, I have parents, grandparents and friends of my couple come to me after the ceremony and say how much they loved it – sometimes with tears in their eyes. This is a lovely and fulfilling emotion.

// What has been your biggest hurdle?

I did not have to think about this for long. My biggest hurdle with out a doubt would be to become more I.T. savvy.

I have succeeded in learning an enormous amount, however, there is always something, I cant quite get my head around.

Keeping up with the Millennial’s is a real challenge. The young folk were born with a computer in their hands and I am ‘old school’.

Interestingly, the millennial’s often have a different slant on the way they look at things. Often good mind you and definitely very savvy.

// Share with us a quote or mantra you live by…

1.“Forget the mistake, learn the Lesson”

2. My personal one, to myself is “Listen to my body and my heart. Be true to myself.

 

CONNECT WITH JAN:

Facebook:  Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Instagram@jan_niehus_marriage_celebrant_

Websitewww.marriagecelebrantaboveandbeyond.com

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