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About Jennifer Cram
I am a mature, calm, highly skilled, authorised and accredited Civil Marriage, Naming and General Celebrant and Civil Partnership Notary. I have the skills, life-experience, and capacity to think outside the box that will ensure that your ceremony reflects your unique style, and the calmness and sense of humour that enables me to cope with any situation. Your ceremony is about you, not about me, and I have no need to be the centre of attention, so I do nothing to disempower you or steal your thunder.

As an Authorised Marriage Celebrant I am appointed by the Australian Government to solemnise civil marriage ceremonies in compliance with the requirements of the Marriage Act, 1961. So I have official legal credentials to marry people. However, while that is an important part of my role as a celebrant, it is not my whole role. As a celebrant I am also responsible for ceremony making, for creating and conducting a ceremony that meets the needs and wishes of the couples I marry.

As a Civil Partnership Notary I am appointed by the Queensland Government to conduct civil marriage ceremonies in compliance with the requirements of the Civil Partnership Act 2011.

As an accredited Naming Celebrant and General Celebrant I also offer ceremonies to acknowledge or celebrate other events -
  • the loving commitment of partners who are not marrying,
  • the naming and welcoming of a child into the family
  • renewal of marriage vows for couples celebrating staying married
  • a divorce or end of a relationship
  • reaching puberty or maturity (wise-woman ceremonies also known as croning)
  • launching of businesses or other ventures
  • house-warming
  • other ceremonies
I classify myself as a Secular Humanist. That is, I adhere to a rational philosophy informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by compassion.  I strongly affirm the dignity of each human being, support the maximisation of individual liberty and opportunity consonant with both social and environmental responsibility, and endorse democracy, education, equality, justice, tolerance, reason and environmental responsibility.  The unique ceremonies I create for my clients reference their beliefs, not my own because I do not bring personal religious or philosophical beliefs, other than those outlined above, to the process, and therefore I do not reflect a personal agenda in your ceremony.

Most clients seeking a civil ceremony want no religious expression in their ceremony. However, in Australia there is no prohibition on inclusion of religious expression within a civil ceremony provided that it is at the express request of the client.  So my clients have complete freedom regarding expression of their beliefs through their ceremony.

Presentation

I am well-spoken with good voice projection.

I will seek information from you about the dress-code for your occasion together with your chosen colour scheme so that I can ensure that my outfit will coordinate but will not compete.  My dress style is elegant and understated, and respectful of the importance of the occasion. So, regardless of how casual your ceremony is, I won't turn up in trainers, jeans, t-shirt, or clothing that looks as if I've slept in it.

'No uncomfortable surprises' policy

My policy and commitment is that you will have no uncomfortable surprises in relation to your ceremony. Everything will be agreed and signed off beforehand.

My 'no uncomfortable surprises' policy includes no uncomfortable surprises for the participants. While I'm happy to perform ceremonies that are a surprise for your guests or others, I believe it is unfair to spring such a surprise on a participant even where the ceremony is a non-legal ceremony. NB: It is illegal in Australia for one partner to make arrangements for a legal wedding without the full knowledge and consent of the other.
For even more information about what I won't/don't do please go to I_will_not.htm

Custom-created vs Personalisation

There is a world of difference between a  "personalised" ceremony and a custom-created ceremony. A personalised ceremony is generally a standard or mix-and-match ceremony which includes a section or two that is about you, but the rest could be about anyone.

I deliver only custom-created ceremonies, so I will use a number of mechanisms to ensure that I understand your needs, values and wishes for your ceremony.
  • I will work in close conjunction with you to facilitate development of a unique ceremony. While this is more work for me I feel it works much better for you and for your guests than the more-usual "mix-and-match" methodology where you are given a number of ceremonies to pick and choose bits from. I will do as much of the work in writing your ceremony as you wish me to.
  • A full rehearsal is part of the package for Full Service Couture Weddings and Commitment Ceremonies ceremonies.  A rehearsal is a dry run of the ceremony and should include all participants. But it is also more than that - a rehearsal is part of the ongoing realisation of the commitment between the couple, which deepens through the process of preparing for the ceremony. A rehearsal will take much longer than the actual ceremony, so many celebrants do not include a rehearsal and some even actively advise against one. There are many reasons for holding a rehearsal on site (or if that's not possible, in a space that has been mapped out to replicate the site), these include:
    • It helps everyone involved know what is expected of them and allows a walk through of the mechanical details, enabling all the various logistics to be worked out and understood by everyone and allowing everyone to concentrate more fully on the special moments during the ceremony
    • It ensures that all transitions during the ceremony are smooth
    • It ensures that photgraphic opportunities are optimised
    • It allows everyone's pacing to be synchronised
    • It ensures that all the readers have a chance to practice their readings and check their pacing, interpretation and voice projection
    • It gives an opportunity to have an "emotional" dry run of the ceremony. As well as physically walking you through the ceremony, I build into the rehearsal processes that help you experience your actual ceremony to its fullest.

Privacy

  • Any information provided to me is provided in confidence.
  • Information is stored in a secure location, is accessed only by me, and is kept no longer than is needed for the purposes of your ceremony, at which time it is destroyed by shredding.
  • I do not pass on, or otherwise use, any information provided as part of arrangements for your ceremony for any purpose, and that includes sharing or re-using your ceremony.
I am Accredited, Quallified and Fully Insured