Officiant Of A Wedding

FAQ's




THE FOUNDATION

What is Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®
Life-Cycle Celebrants® are graduates of the Celebrant Foundation & Institute.   Through our seven-month, online civil celebrant certification program students are transformed into highly-trained ceremony professionals who are richly schooled in the art of ritual and ceremony.  Our gold standard, college-level coursework ensures our graduates enter the field as master co-creators and performers of ceremonies that reflect the needs and beliefs of the people they are honoring. 

Life-Cycle Celebrants® bridge generations by creating ceremonies that are a genuine expression of the honoree celebrated.  Each ceremony is a unique reflection of personal rites of passage, transitions or celebrations.  They are empowering testimonies of life that become treasured legacies to be passed down from one generation to the next.

Is Celebrancy a Viable Career?
With the number of people seeking ceremonies outside the confines of traditional religious institutions expected to continue to increase, so will the need for the professionals to serve them.  In fact, both CNN, Money Magazine and Parade Magazine reported Celebrancy as one of the fastest growing careers for people over 50.   While the majority of celebrants have entered the profession as a second career, it’s a viable, flexible part-time and fulltime career for people of all ages, especially for those who love people and value being their own boss.   Celebrants can earn anywhere from $20,000 to $70,000 (USD) and charge anywhere from $500 - $1300 (USD) for a Ceremony.

What is the Celebrant Foundation & Institute's mission?
The Celebrant Foundation & Institute's mission is to pioneer the widespread use of relevant, customized ceremony to honor the fullness of the human experience across the lifecycle.

What is the Celebrant Foundation & Institute's vision for the present and future?
The Celebrant Foundation & Institute (CF&I) seeks to increase opportunities to affirm and celebrate milestones and transitions for all people through the education, certification, and ongoing support of professional Life-cycle Celebrants and by providing public education, outreach, and advocacy.

When was CF&I founded?
What is it dedicated to? We were founded in 2001. Our headquarters (office) is in Montclair, New Jersey. The CF&I is dedicated to teaching the principles, history, and practice of Celebrancy in a rigorous seven-month program which educates and certifies Life-Cycle Celebrants in the art of ritual, ceremony, world and faith traditions, ceremonial writing, and public speaking and presentation. Celebrants are ceremonial facilitators and ritual creators, trained to officiate and guide individuals, couples, and families through womb to tomb key life events.

Is CF&I a non-profit 501C3?
Yes, we are a non-profit educational institution.

Does CF&I have a Board of Directors?
CF&I Board is composed of 4 members as of this time, plus the organization's International Director. The Board is growing and seeking additional members.

Are the donations I make to CF&I tax deductible? Yes – to the full extent allowed by the law.



ABOUT CELEBRANCY

What is a Civil Certified Celebrant?
A highly trained, professional, modern day officiant who designs, writes, acknowledges with ceremony and ritual (and officiates at) custom made life milestones, rite of passage and transition events including weddings, funerals and baby blessings for individuals, families, and communities. What distinguishes life-cycle celebrants is that they create and perform one of a kind, personalized ceremonies that reflect the clients' beliefs, philosophy of life and personalities; not the Celebrant's.

What is the Life-Cycle Celebrant distinction?
This distinction means the individual has been certified specifically in fundamentals of ceremony and ritual along with a specialty certificate at CF&I in a 7 month rigorous, extensive on-line course of study. These professional ceremonialists understand and specialize in integrating personal story and history into ceremony and ritual. Life-Cycle Celebrants® adhere to CF&I's gold standard of practice and ethics and practice without judgment or agenda. In addition they have undergone several hours of ceremony writing as well as being tested in regard to their own ability to officiate ceremony and understand the nuances of personal ceremony.

What is a celebrant ceremony?
A well written custom ceremony which reflects the personality, beliefs, values, traditions of the client(s) while weaving in the client's personal story and history. The celebrant ceremony also takes into account the ceremony guests or community making certain that they feel a part of it all in whatever way that matters to the ceremonial honorees. The client has complete approval and reviews the ceremony script and has the right to make revisions before the ceremony is officiated by the Celebrant.

Is celebrant ceremony based on the structure/framework of traditional ceremony?
What makes it unique? Yes, celebrants have studied the work of Van Gennep, A French ethnographer and folklorist, (founder of folklore studies, known for his work in rites of passage and attributed with being a major influence on Joseph Campbell), mythology, Jungian philosophy and ancient and world traditions. Celebrant ceremony is unique because the personal story, history, or reference to family ancestors is fundamental to the ceremony along with paying attention to tone, lyricism and story arc.

Why are rituals important in life?
Rituals connect us to something larger than ourselves; they are the portals we pass through in our journey through life. They create a pause outside of regular space and time that allows us to focus our intentions. Robert Fulghum wrote, “Rituals are cairns marking the path behind us and ahead of us. Without them we lose our way.” For many, rituals offer an opening and a way to connect body, mind and soul.

Is a celebrant wedding ceremony legal?
Yes. All celebrants are individually responsible for acquiring what they would need and fulfilling their regions requirements to legally solemnize weddings in their state, province in their country. Many are ordained as a non-denominational minister by an organization of their choosing. New Jersey registered certified civil celebrants are legal to officiate and sign the marriage license as NJ civil celebrants as of May 2014 when the NJ State legislature passed a law which included Civil Celebrants in their marriage act and was signed by NJ Governor Christie. NJ Civil Celebrants are required to register with the New Jersey Secretary of State and receive their official certificate and registration number.

Where are your Life-Cycle Celebrants located?
In the US in most every state, throughout Canada, Mexico, Cambodia, Japan, France, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Spain.



THE INSTITUTE

What Celebrant Certifications can I earn from the CF&I?
There are four certificates; Weddings; Funerals; Ceremonies across the Life-Cycle (Families and Children); and Healing Ceremonies.
Click here for more information

Are the courses on-line or is there an actual bricks and mortar classroom where I will be taking my classes?
The classes are on line at convenient times for students worldwide. The classes are taught live, in an engaging, interactive webinar format with a highly skilled Celebrant faculty member (faculty members bios links here). Understanding, discussion, exploration and discovery is cultivated and nourished between students and faculty. The course emphasizes business skills to become a professional Celebrant.

How many months is each certification?
3 months or 9 weeks.

Is there a course or certification I must take first before all others?
Is there any order the certifications have to be completed in? Yes – you (new student) must first take Fundamentals of Celebrancy course in order to establish and be grounded in the study and history of ceremony and ritual. After the Fundamentals of Celebrancy course you can take the other certificates in any order you wish. Some of our students even take two certificates at the same time after completing Fundamentals of Celebrancy or they can come back at any time in the future to take additional certifications and/or consider becoming a Master Celebrant through our Master's program.

Does connection and relationship develop in the on-line classroom?. Will I be able to dialogue with the other students and my teacher?
Yes, great care is taken to cultivate dialogue and relationship in the classroom setting and off line after class hours. You will be able and encouraged to participate in message boards and dialogue with the people in your classroom, as well as with the Institute and with faculty.

Can I take the certifications simultaneously?
Yes.

How much does the course cost? $2400.
This includes FUNDAMENTALS OF CELEBRANCY and ONE CERTIFICATE. The cost for certificates after that are $1100 per certificate. Monthly payment plans are available and professional discounts. Credit card and PayPal options are available.

Is there a tuition payment plan?
Yes there is. The tuition payment plan is $2400.00 paid over 7 months or students can pay in 2 payments.

What is the application process?
Complete and submit the cover application letter, a resume and an essay about why it is important to you to become a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant at this time in your life. You will also be required to sign a non-discrimination policy which is in the application. Send application information to Charlotte Eulette at charlotteeulette@celebrantinstitute.org and she will get back in touch with you.

Is there a webinar where I can learn more about the curriculum?
Yes. Go to this link for the next webinar.

Who makes up the faculty?
Seasoned and experienced Life-Cycle Celebrants practicing in their towns, communities and cities around the world. They are adept at the certification they teach; many are certified in all of our certificates and perform all life-cycle ceremonies as well as create community and original ritual and ceremonies.

When does the next course start or where do I locate the academic calendar?
Go to this link for class information.

Is there an Academic Advisor I can speak with to chart my course of study?
Please contact Charlotte Eulette at charlotteeulette@celebrantinstitute.org or call at 973-746-1792.

How do I register right now?
Contact Charlotte Eulette, our International Director, 973-746-1792 or email her at charlotteeulette@celebrantinstitute.org. They are happy to help you!



THE CF&I ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

What is the Celebrant Alumni Association?
A professional association composed of CF&I graduates - practicing Life-Cycle Celebrants - located in North America and throughout the world. The association exists to promote awareness about celebrancy, celebrant ceremony and ritual and the Life-Cycle Celebrant distinction. The Association supports its' membership by providing on-going education, 24/7 state of the art communication, local regional chapters, marketing tips, professional development and on-going opportunities to network. The Association also provides a password protected business resource and ceremony library as well as a 24/7 ceremony referral/availability inquiry link from our website direct to the email inbox of the celebrant.

After I graduate is my Life-Cycle Celebrant practice part of the association or am I responsible for setting up my business independently?
Yes, you are an independent business person responsible for setting up your own practice. CF&I is the institute (school) you graduated from that offers support and guidance to its Alumni but is not responsible for your profession. Upon graduation, CF&I requests that you sign our Ethics & Standards agreement and comply and adhere to CF&I's gold standard of practice.

Can I set my own fees as a Celebrant?
Yes, Celebrants set their own fees.

Are there annual dues charged in regard to joining the CF&I Alumni Association and being a part of my local, regional chapter?
Yes. To join CF&I's Alumni Association there is an annual fee of $175 which is tax deductible

What are the benefits of becoming a dues paying Alumni Association member?
Access to the password protected robust business resource and ceremony library. Your professional Celebrant bio and photo will be posted on our website for those looking to find a Celebrant in your town/state. Ongoing professional development, networking and educational opportunities.

When and how do I become part of my local celebrant chapter?
Once you complete your Fundamentals course you will be introduced to your regional chapter facilitator. The chapter facilitator will also put you in touch with chapter celebrant colleagues so you can observe celebrant ceremonies to observe during your course of study and be part of your area's celebrant community.

How many celebrant chapters are there?
Where are the celebrant chapters? There are more than 30 chapters throughout North America, Asia and Europe.

Who facilitates these celebrant chapters?
Seasoned and experienced CF&I Life-Cycle Celebrants are our facilitators who do this on a volunteer basis

Are there local conferences and gatherings in my area?
Each chapter has its own regional flavor. Often chapters meet once or several times a year, some through quarterly tele-conferences, others a combination of the two.

Does the Alumni Association provide on-going education opportunities, marketing and business resources, professional development and opportunities to network and advertise?
Yes. We have extensive opportunities for you to learn, teach, mentor and be mentored. We offer many mini courses that concentrate on marketing and business as well as specialty niche ceremony courses.



BOOKING A WEDDING CELEBRANT FOR YOUR CEREMONY

How do I find a local Life-Cycle Celebrant for our wedding ceremony?
Go this link to find a Celebrant in your state or country.

Are wedding celebrants legally allowed to solemnize vows and sign the marriage license?
Each Life-Cycle Celebrant is individually responsible to make certain they comply with the marriage laws of their state/province/country or region. Most Wedding Celebrants are ordained (by another organization that complies and meets all regulations) as a non-denominational minister and sign the license as such. New Jersey is the only state where certified civil celebrants are legal if they have registered with the Secretary of State.

My family is interfaith (or secular, atheist, agnostic, spiritual but unaffiliated) – will the celebrant create the ceremony to reflect our beliefs and values without judgment? Can I be assured of this? Yes. Celebrants specialize in creating personalized wedding ceremony that reflects your philosophy of life. T You will see every word of the ceremony beforehand thus assuring that the accuracy, tone, and beliefs are represented as you wish. You are welcome to and encouraged to revise the ceremony in collaboration with the celebrant. The celebrant wants the ceremony to be exactly what you want and does not interject any personal agenda or judgment or belief into your ceremony. Your ceremony is just the way you want it and nothing less.

Where did the celebrant movement originate?
In the 1960's the movement was founded and established by the late Australian attorney general, Mr. Lionel Murphy. CF&I founder, Gaile Sarma.

Do all celebrants charge the same fee?
What is the range of fees for celebrant ceremony services? Life-Cycle Celebrants are responsible for setting up their own practices and determine their own fees. Fees vary depending on type of ceremony, logistics, and client needs. Celebrants spend anywhere from 10 to 20 hours on each individual ceremony and charge from $400 to $2000 (US Dollars), depending on the ceremony.

What are some of the services the celebrant provides?
A no-obligation initial in person meeting (or phone or Skype), extensive consultation and collaboration via phone or Skype meeting, customized research of readings, rituals, blessings for your particular ceremony, ongoing communication via email, phone, Skype or text, liaison with other ceremony vendors and/or venue, submit to you individualized questionnaires in order to learn all about your story, ceremony outlines and complete ceremony scripts authored by celebrant for review, ceremony cue sheets and supervision of rehearsal when applicable, ceremony writing, ceremonial officiant performance skills, filing your wedding license after the ceremony, keepsake final ceremony after the ceremony. Personal, one-of-a-kind unique ceremony.

What if I want to locate and speak to a celebrant for another occasion (i.e.; baby blessing, home blessing, coming of age, divorce ceremony, retirement ceremony, elder transition ceremony, animal ceremony, croning ceremony, change of life ceremony, loved one's celebration of life, memorial, funeral, ) – how do I go about that?
Look at our BOOK A CELEBRANT in your area and contact the celebrant that interests you. If you can't find a celebrant to design, write and officiate your life milestone or transition, contact us at the CF&I Office at 973-746-1792.

Can I send out an inquiry and request for availability for a celebrant right from your website?
When can I expect that they'll get back to me? Yes, you can. They will reply within 24 hours. There is no charge at all to check availability. In addition, the phone call, Skype session or first in-person meeting with your Life-Cycle Celebrantis at no obligation.

Do all your certified celebrants practice in accordance with CF&I Ethics & Standards?
Yes they do. You can see our ETHICS OF PRACTICE right here.

Will my celebrant provide me with a completely edited and final script version before my ceremony for me to approve and/or revise? Do I have final say?
Yes, your celebrant will provide you with a complete, edited ceremony script version for your review, feedback, revisions and ultimate approval.

Is my agreement/contract and payment directly with the individual Life-Cycle Celebrant or with your Foundation & Institute?
Your fee is payable to the individual Life-Cycle Celebrant you contract with. They will provide you with their own letter agreement for services and payment due dates and deposit requirements. Final payments are due before the celebrant officiates in most (if not all) cases.

What if I hire a Celebrant and then they are not able to show up at my life milestone event due to sickness, 'act of god', or for other reasons – how is that handled?
The celebrant you contracted will do their best to find a replacement from the local celebrant chapter and that celebrant will perform the ceremony script that you and the celebrant agreed upon. (If it is a wedding the officiating celebrant will sign your marriage license and file it). The celebrant will take care of all charges and cost pertaining to their colleague celebrant who ends up officiating. Coverage and replacement for celebrants rarely happens.