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When things go wrong - Help!


As a Celebrant, what would be your biggest nightmare? The mind boggles at the thought of something going wrong, yet alone something nightmarish.... Celebrants Leslie Ridgeway from Ocean Grove, Victoria and Susie Roberts from Grafton, NSW take us through a list of potential catastrophies that you should have a plan for...

This is a Blog that poses many questions and might give you some issues to consider. There are four parts – 

  • Pre-Ceremony
  • En-Route to Ceremony
  • During Ceremony
  • Post Ceremony


  • Do you prepare the music? Have you test played it? 
  • If client/s prepare music, have you test played it?
  • When printing documents and/or Ceremony, what if printer malfunctions? You need a process.
  • Is there one last document to be sighted? It’s wedding day, but where is the document? What to do? 
  • You plan your departure time from home, but have a brain fade. You might now be late. Thorough Checklist required. You need a process.


  • You arrive nice and early, but realise you are at the wrong Funeral venue. What now? 
  • Do you allow enough travel time to cater for the unexpected?
  • Do you have a back up Celebrant tha that you call in an emergency?

During Ceremony

  • Your sound system drops out, was just working fine, batteries are fully charged? What could it be?
  • A guest faints mid ceremony. What do you do?   
  • You have just said the wrong names. Ouch. What now? 
  • Legal Vows were not said correctly. Do you do them again?


  • Losing, misplacing, being stolen, forgetting to lodge docs. What next?
  • Correcting Certificate after Marriage? Do’s and don’ts.

For Members of The Celebrants Network - All of these scenarios with real-life examples are covered in the Members Zoom session titled – ‘When Things Go Wrong’.

This session was held on the 2nd September, 2021.  It was recorded and the details of how you can access it can be found on this forum post:



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Monday, 30 January 2023

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