Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Brown.
Amanda, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Nearly ten years ago I somehow ended up with a free six month subscription to Yoga Journal magazine. I’m not sure how it happened, as I wasn’t into Yoga – it just arrived in my mailbox one day. One afternoon while I was waiting for my son to wake up from his nap, I grabbed the magazine and started flipping through it. Towards the back there was an ad – I can still see it in my mind – that said “Be a Celebrant” and showed a woman (who is now a dear colleague) performing a wedding ceremony. When I saw that ad I thought – that’s for me. I have no idea why or how as I had never in my life considered I might write and perform weddings. I like to think it was Divine Intervention – so I signed up for the next class at the Celebrant Foundation and Institute and my life was changed forever.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wouldn’t say it’s been entirely smooth – but I’ve loved every minute of this work. The toughest part of this job is bringing awareness to how the services I offer are completely different from a Justice of the Peace or Minister. My focus is on telling the story of the couple and making their wedding ceremony feel and sound like it belongs in their wedding day – and isn’t just some random script from Google. I find a lot of couples show up at my door expecting a $200 crappy ceremony. Every single couple, almost without exception, tells me two things:
1) We want this to be SHORT
2) We don’t want any religion
They feel like the ceremony is just something they have to get through in order to get to the “party”. It’s my job to show them how their ceremony can transform into the most treasured moment of their wedding day.
Please tell us about Amanda Brown Ceremonies.
Amanda Brown Ceremonies (that’s me!) creates custom, personalized ceremonies that focus entirely on the couple and what makes their love unique and special. My goal when writing a ceremony is that there’s no way it could ever be used by another couple, because it just wouldn’t make sense. I tell my couples that the true test of a ceremony is this: if you can take out your names and substitute in the names of another couple and the ceremony still makes sense, you’ve failed. When using this philosophy combined with my years of public speaking experience, what couples get is a unique and personalized ceremony that feels and sounds like it is being delivered by a dear friend – but with the expertise and experience of a ceremony professional. It’s the very best of both worlds.
The one thing I’m most proud of is that after nearly every ceremony a guest will stop me and say “That was the BEST ceremony I’ve ever been to.” And I’d love to take all the credit – but truly, it’s the storytelling. As humans, we love to hear stories – especially love stories.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I don’t know if I’d change anything. I have loved every couple and every ceremony I have had the privilege to work with. Once my husband said to me “Do you have to work this weekend?” And I said, “Work? No. But I have a wedding on Saturday.” It turns out that old adage is true: do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
- Website: http://www.amandabrowncelebrant.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/ceremoniesbyamandabrown
- Facebook: facebook.com/amandabrowncelebrant
Zac Wolf Photo, Lindsay Rae Photo, Briana Moore Photography, ELS PhotoDesign, Freshworks Photo, Addie Roberge Photo