Often when I take a squiz at celebrant forums and facebook pages (they're really a thing!) I'll see celebrants virtually busting a blood vessel in their eye, ranting about seeing other celebrants in wedding photos. "I'd never do that, if you see a celebrant in a photo don't hire them!". Yada yada yada.
The first thing I'd say to that is, who cares? If that's the way a celebrant conducts a ceremony and people like hiring them, great! The community at large is wide and varied and the celebrants that service them, equally so. As my colleague and mate Kim Oakhill often says, "A flower doesn't compare itself to another flower, it just blooms!"
When I started, I was pretty unsure and stood with the couple. Never received a complaint. Happy days. But as time marched on and I did a few more ceremonies, it seemed more natural to be present at some stages of a ceremony, and out of the way for others. Enter "The Wandering Celebrant". Drifting in and out of the picture like a cork on the tide (how poetic is that!!).
When we're doing vows I'm front and centre, giving the couple a helping hand and some amplification. But then, when the couple are kissing for the first time, I'm pretty sure the last thing they want is some big, bearded dude lurking creepily in the background, so I beat it! Dea from Little Black Bow Photography recently sent me some pics from a wedding we both worked, and apologised there weren't many - "I thought I had more of you in them but you do a really good job of standing to the side (it's a good thing from a photographers point of view!!)"
Couples are sometimes nervous and appreciate someone else up there for the crowd to look at. Sometimes a couple specifically asks me in the beginning, to stand off to the side. And a lot of the time, I wander around attempting as best I can, to be in the right place at the right time.
The bottom line? No two ceremonies are the same. No two couples, their expectations and wishes are the same. So I adapt. Ceremonies are moulded to the fit the couple's wishes. And ultimately we get to a place where everybody is happy and relaxed and really, not even giving me a second thought :)