According to marriage maker Dan Ford, weddings just got fun! Dan’s got a talent for talking but he’s also into listening and that’s why he’s a breath of fresh wedding air, he’s keen to hear all about your love story, so he can help you plan the nitty gritty ‘I Do’ moments.
Dan says that wedding ceremonies have changed a lot in the last few years. Traditional ceremonies that were serious in tone, with a ten-minute sermon on ‘Love is a….’ isn’t really the done thing anymore (thankfully!). The structure and elements of what makes a marriage ceremony have transformed into being a representation of the couple who they are and how they see their life together.For Dan, a great wedding is all about the celebration of love and togetherness for everyone. In the modern world of ceremonies it’s clear that no two weddings are alike, and that’s why he offers a variety of different ceremony packages to suit your individual needs. In addition to being a marriage celebrant Dan is also an experienced wedding MC and can provide additional support to the formal structure of your wedding day.
Q & A with Marriage Celebrant & MC, Dan Ford
‘I believe the ceremony is where the heartbeat of the couple can be found. I’m here to create a memorable experience that both the couple and all those who are important to them will never forget.’
Tell us your story and the reason you chose to become a marriage celebrant.
Apart from absolutely loving weddings… It all started for me 5 years ago at my nephew’s wedding (he and his wife are on the home page of my website). I was asked to MC the reception and it was an absolute blast! There were plenty of laughs, some great stories, speeches etc. I’d done my homework on all of the guest speakers so the intros were funny and personable which I feel is important. Once the band fired up, many guests, of all ages approached me and commented on how well the evening flowed. The Grooms mother, a fantastic florist and wedding stylist said to me: ‘Dan, you are great with a microphone and in front of people, you should become a Celebrant!’. It sounded like fun, so I did…. and it IS!
Tell us a little bit about your process, from enquiry to booking stages and delivery of your services on the wedding day.
Upon receiving an inquiry, I always love to catch up in-person or conduct a FaceTime or Zoom call with my couples. I love hearing how couples met, and fell in love. Meeting up in person ( I usually come to them if on the Sunshine coast) or using technology always adds another level of authenticism as we can see each other’s faces and expressions too. The meetings or calls are always a lot of fun and often there are kids or cats or pooches in the background. I understand that planning a wedding adds another level of stress to my couple’s lives. My job is to make the process as easy as possible for them! Once the couple/date is booked, I share a link to a hidden page on my website. I’m a person who needs checklists! So, my hidden page comes complete with drop-down menus and a schedule to ensure that the legal requirements are filled and that each couple’s ceremony is unique, modern, personalized and fun!
How have wedding ceremonies and how you facilitate them, changed over the last couple of years?
Wedding ceremonies have changed a lot in the last few years. Traditional ceremonies that were serious in tone, with a ten-minute sermon on ‘Love is a….’ isn’t really the done thing anymore (thankfully). The structure and elements of what makes a marriage ceremony has transformed into being a representation of who the couple are, as individuals and how they see their life together. This also includes their friends and family too. This is what brings the uniqueness, laughs, and sense of celebration to the ceremony. It’s not all about the bride and groom and everything being perfect anymore. It is their special day for sure, but it goes deeper than that. A great wedding is all about the celebration of love and togetherness for everyone. The best ones are anyway!
Do you suggest that it’s a good idea for couples to have a ceremony rehearsal?
Informal rehearsals are the best way to ensure that the wedding ceremony flows well on the day, and that nothing looks, or is awkward. They usually take about 25 mins and are actually a lot of fun. I usually meet my couples and the bridal party the evening before the wedding. I just come to where everyone is staying and we go through timings, positioning and a few little tips and tricks that ensure that you have the best time during the ceremony and that your photos look amazing on the day! It’s super low key and you can wear whatever you like. Easy Peasy.
For those couples who choose to write their own wedding vows, what advice would you give them?
I have found that the best vows always have a good helping of loving sincerity, as well as some fun personality based stuff that is unique to your partner too. My advice is to write them close to the big day and read them out loud and slowly. You will know when yours are ready. It will be a feeling and a nice one.
What is your favourite ceremony location on the Sunshine Coast?
Too many to choose from. Sun and sand swept blue ocean vistas. Green rolling hills with mountain backdrops and everywhere in-between. We are blessed on the Sunshine Coast for sure!
Tell us about a favourite wedding ceremony moment.
Marrying two of my best friends at Secret Island, Hawaii. The Sanctuary where the wedding took place is where Jurassic Park and Jumanji were filmed. Standing on a secluded beach, with palm trees swaying on the islands behind us, and huge rocky volcanic mountains with waterfalls as our backdrop. Cliff’s, 40 Australian friends and family combined with Laura’s 40 Canadians entourage, made the destination wedding even more unforgettable!
Share with us one of your funniest ceremony moments?
I accidentally handed the Bride’s vow card to the Groom. He began ‘I Kendall take you Sergio .. and continued without noticing. I had to stop him from continuing and everyone cracked up laughing A-LOT . He told me after the ceremony that at the big dinner the night before he joked that he’d need the card, as there was no way that he’d remember his vows and that he would probably read whatever was put in his hand… ‘Anchorman style’. So goooood!
Do you recommend that the bride arrives on time or is it still fashionable to be a little late?
Fashionably late is 10-15 minutes MAX. You should never leave your Nan, Pop or interstate guests wondering what’s going on. I usually check in with my brides about 20 mins before the ceremony is scheduled to start so I can let everyone know if we will be starting late so they can head to the bar or bathroom!
What is your favourite part of your job?
Strangely, it’s the drive home after saying goodbye to my couples on their wedding day. The unique moments of their wedding day are still fresh in my head and I’m inspired by them. I usually play some classical music on my drive home and imagine their awesome lives together. I usually stop off to pick up a 4 pack of craft beer, then I chill on the couch with my wife and puppies for that evening and decompress. That is unless I’m also MC at their wedding, which is twice as fun!