We are in the heart of wedding celebrations in Majorca right now. All over the island people are gathering, combining summer holidays with weddings. The Wedding Planners of the island work amazingly hard in the heat to co-ordinate everything. My focus today is on the role of the Wedding Celebrant and what she or he does to earn their fee. I am talking from having the pleasure of being one of their number.
There are many celebrants in Majorca. The most established of us work alongside respected Wedding Planners and develop good working relationships with them. A Wedding Celebrant in Majorca is the person who conducts the ceremony and leads the couple through their vows. This is always a wedding blessing with no official status. Ceremonies led by celebrants can be conducted anywhere except in a consecrated church. Celebrants can say prayers and talk of religious beliefs but generally they conduct secular weddings.
People that want to get married officially in Majorca can do this if they are catholic, use the catholic church here and have the paperwork from their home church in their resident country.
Residency is the key for those wanting an official ceremony in the Town Halls of Majorca and the reason that most people don’t use this route. Three months consistent living here plus registration of your home in Majorca is amongst the criteria that most don’t wish to fulfil.
The wedding couples I am involved with all have registry office weddings in the UK, Sweden, USA and many other countries before coming to Majorca for their ceremony. They do this because they need civil proof of their marriage. They usually regard their wedding date as their event in Majorca and that is the date on which they celebrate their wedding anniversaries.
Weddings are a real mixture of the young first time weddings to people remarrying or renewing their vows. Everyone of them has a story to tell and that is what I do in my role in their wedding day. The ceremony evolves after talking to the couple and learning their story. Some have huge tales to tell in the introduction to their ceremony. Others, mindful of the stories that will be told later in the speeches just want a simple, less wordy route.
The wedding outline includes time for their story, inclusion of others to read poems, sing, play music and for the off piste private vows that some like to use. This is not a prescribed formula but one arrived at through time, chat and getting to know the couple and what they really want out of their ceremony. The mixture of face to face meetings and then correspondence by email or skype is how this happens.
As the day approaches I will meet the couples again to go through any last minute changes to the ceremony. Then as their beautiful day happens I will lead the ceremony and have the privilege of being be part of their happiness.
The work involved for the celebrant is developing a relationship with the couple, travelling all over the island for meetings, rehearsals and ceremonies. Writing and re writing the ceremony and coordinating all this directly with them. To do this professionally involves time, skill and a real empathy.
The locations are beautiful in Majorca and my memory box of weddings include ceremonies on yachts, piers, beaches, in isolated fincas and fine hotels. The weather sometimes gives us grief and weddings in the rain or amongst brewing tornados can never be forgotten. My advice to anyone who listens is always to have backstop arrangement for when it rains. My other personal request to all arranging weddings is to give me a mike! The ceremony is spoilt if no-one can hear the ceremony and the couple saying their vows.
To have the pleasure and privilege of doing this work on this island is a real gift. Majorca is a very important wedding destination and some of our great locations are booked up well in advance. I heard this week that the Son Marroig wedding gazebo in Deia is fully booked already for 2019. Fortunately, we have hundreds more beautiful places to marry but this gives an idea of how important the wedding market is on this island.
The Anglican Vicars, the Catholic Priests and the secular Celebrants are all doing great wedding work here. The choice is yours to decide who you want to conduct your ceremony and what form you want it to take. We all hope your wedding in Majorca is exactly what you dreamt it would be.