Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Facelift Is On Its Way | The Importance Of Branding For Civil Celebrants

No, I’m not talking about a chin tuck, reducing the laugh lines around my eyes or having collagen injections in the lips for an “in your face” trout pout. I’m talking about my new logo and branding strategy which is being finalised by a wonderfully creative local graphic designer and illustrator.

Danny at work
Danny Michael from Broadstairs in East Kent has produced a beautiful logo for my daisy chain celebrants business and I’m hoping that her efforts will give me an even more polished look that will help me grow my business. After all, that’s what branding and marketing seek to achieve – giving you the edge so that clients choose you over your competitors.

A great logo and sound branding strategy will tell potential clients who I am and what sort of professional service they can expect from me. So they’re really fundamental to my business and just as important to me as they are to corporate giants.

Cutting edge design
Most celebrant businesses are like mine, owned and operated by one person. Some are run by couples with one focussing on weddings and the other on funerals. But it doesn’t matter if you’re small – and I’m not talking about stature. If you run a business, whether you’re one person or have 100 employees, you need to be competitive in order to make a living and pay the bills.

Get the look
I probably wouldn’t have searched for a designer for my business but I recently attended a wedding fair to get some ideas. I spoke to several industry professionals and they were all consistent in their advice to me. “Find a good designer and printer and the investment in your time and money will pay dividends.” They couldn’t overstate the importance of getting your branding and logo right and as someone who’s spent their career in communications, I do get it.

Invest in your celebrant business
So, I can’t wait to launch my new look on the world in due course after a little nip and tuck. In the meantime, check out Danny's website here: www.dannymichael.co.uk

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Arriba! | Multicultural & Themed Ceremonies Add The B To Bespoke

Proud bridesmaid at my sis's wedding
Tequila! That’s what we needed as one o’clock came and went and there was still no sign of the Mexican musicians who were due to play a mariachi version of The Wedding March at Jane and Salvador’s nuptials.

Guests had come from all over the country, and even overseas, for the long awaited wedding of gatita and gatito – that means little cat (girl) and little cat (boy) respectively. They’re the cute little nicknames the Australian bride and Mexican groom to-be gave each other when they met in Hong Kong several years earlier. And to top off this multicultural occasion, the couple was tying the knot in a lovely rural setting near Bryn Mawr, Wales.

Gatito and Gatita
The brave man conducting the ceremony had even brushed up on his rusty Spanish, excited at the prospect of injecting a little Latino into the proceedings to make Salvador feel more at home. But as the afternoon wore on, without a single guitaron on the horizon, maracas were the last thing on his mind. Getting my sister and future brother in law married before the next couple arrived definitely was!

Let me pause here, whilst we’re all waiting. You know that archetypal image of the Mexican enjoying his siesta, resplendent in colourful poncho propped up against a cactus with his sombrero shading his eyes? Well, there is some truth in that. Love them to bits but Mexicans can be manana and it was looking that way for the wedding too.

But just as guests were contemplating a distraction at the nearby Rose and Crown, the sound of screeching tyres on gravel and a cloud of dust rescued us from the prospect of uno; conducting the wedding without music or dos; rescheduling the big day (not an option!).

Getting this fiesta underway, the musicians jumped out of their people mover and started to change into traditional Mexican costume. Right there in the car park. In full view of everyone. Ignorant of all the stares (and a few glares). To give them their dues, there was a teeny sense of urgency to start with. But midway through the change of clothes, at the point where their top half was Mexican and their bottom half was, well, underpants and socks, they reached for their instruments and began rehearsing.

The unexpected blast of vihuela, accordion and castanets punctuating the natural sounds of the countryside – cows mooing, sheep baaaaaing and a time confused cockerel crowing – briefly took the edge off the fact that we were now running more than an hour late and any practice should be behind them not in front of them.

But the aforementioned brave man was a very determined, if not slightly frazzled soul, and he brought us back to the here and now with the finesse of a perfectly executed taco. He ushered the barely flustered ones complete with their traje de charro - trousers to you and me - indoors and the wedding began with a great flurry of excitement – not to mention mariachi music.

Mexican themed wedding cake
Feelings of angst and anxiety dissipated quickly as the colourful musicians bounced the relieved couple down the aisle to the festival sounds that only Mexican instruments can make. 

The beautiful and unique ceremony ended with a relieved “I do”, rings on fingers and smiles all round as the musicians contemplated a much needed rest – minus the aforestated cactus!