Mark Your Occasion - A Celebrant for the Modern Couple
Hi! My name is Mark Gregory, and I’m super honoured to be writing this guest post for Bride Buddy, who offer some of the most amazing, picturesque and, of course, utterly romantic weddings in France and Kefalonia. So what exactly am I doing here? Well, I’m here to make your wedding day as special and unique as possible, by writing and delivering a bespoke personal ceremony tailored exactly to your wishes. Essentially, I’m a celebrant, although there are a few extra bells and whistles that you might like to take advantage of as well. Read on to find out more!
Let’s start with a little bit about me: as I mentioned already, my name is Mark Gregory, and my celebrant business is called Mark Your Occasion. Punny, right? I’m a 90s kid, having grown up in a small village in Yorkshire, which as most of you will know is (probably) the best county in Britain. Obviously.
I have an incredible wife and a brilliant yet mischievous son, both of whom I love more than anything else in the world. I speak fluent German and conversational Russian – although if you ask my wife (she’s Ukrainian), she’ll tell you my Russian should be much better than it is. I’m inclined to agree with her.
I also sing. A lot. But more on that later.
One of the questions you might be asking is whether I’m good at my job. To me, a celebrant needs to be three things: a good listener, a good writer, and a good performer. Here’s why I believe I’m good at all three.
Recently, I have been working really hard to develop my active listening skills. For three years, I worked in Germany as a TEFL teacher, which requires a very keen ear for mistakes (and endless patience!) Since mid-2019, I have also been volunteering with an American-based charity on their peer support helpline, which requires attentive listening to identify and solve problems. So rest assured that your ideas and wishes for your ceremony will be truly heard and enthusiastically implemented.
In terms of writing, perhaps you’re already able to tell for yourself whether or not I’m a good writer! I have always had a passion for writing. My grandma tells me I started writing about a cabbage family when I was 4. I’m fairly sure my work has improved since then. I self-published my first novel on Amazon in 2011, and I wrote for several student publications at university. More recently, I have been working freelance as a copywriter and editor for various online publications about travel, engineering, and sport, as well as editing and creating pages on Wikipedia. I’m a bit of nerd really. So just know that your ceremony script will be full of life, passion, and some top-notch adjectives.
The final part of being a celebrant is delivering the ceremony itself. This is the part which I feel the most confident with. I am very much used to public speaking and performance, having worked for a year on Thomson Cruises and for two years in Cyprus as an entertainer. So, not only can I offer you an assured, professional delivery of the ceremony that we have lovingly handcrafted together, but I can also bring the after-party to life with my live singing, covering a wide range of music from the 1950s to the present day.
That’s right: if you’re looking for a band or DJ to cater for the wedding reception, I can cover that as well – and if it’s a destination wedding in France or Greece, it means you can cut down on expenses by having me do both. And you haven’t lived until you’ve seen my rendition of Gangnam Style…
Don’t just take my word for it! Some testimonials: “Mark’s genuine love of life and all its human connections is clear… and when he sings, you can actually feel it!” – “Mark’s openness, honesty, and charm allow him to sensitively handle any occasion.” – “Mark speaks with the eloquence and care of a true professional” – all reviews from happy customers.
Your next question might be: why should I pick you over the numerous other celebrants out there?It’s a great question, really, and it’s true that other celebrants could probably do just as good a job as me. But a lot of what makes a celebrant special is their relationship with the couple. The best and most fruitful partnerships occur when we all have things in common, a similar sense of humour, or even just the same music taste. I’d hope that by now you know whether or not that applies here.
But let me explain one thing that does make me stand out from other celebrants: while I offer all the traditional wedding ceremony elements – handfastings, unity sand, etc. – I also, through my extensive travelling and experience living in other countries, have developed a huge interest in cultures from across the world, and, indeed, their wedding customs and traditions.
When I lived in Germany, for example, I was witness to a ‘log-sawing ceremony’, where the couple step outside the church at the end of the ceremony and, using a massive two-handed saw, cut a huge log in half, representing how they should work together to overcome obstacles in their marriage. I also married into a family from Eastern Europe, and there are plenty of fun (and bizarre!) Traditions involved there too, like the ceremony in which both partners must take a huge bite out of a loaf of bread; the person who takes the biggest bite is said to be the one who will wear the trousers in the relationship!
My language skills in German and Russian, as well as having basic skills in French, Dutch, and Greek, mean I am an excellent choice for international couples as well, as I am comfortable leading dual-language services if required.
Want to learn more? I will happily answer any questions you have whenever I’m available. Feel free to drop me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – a WhatsApp message, or give me a call – both on +447928829773. If I’m free, I’ll answer. If I’m not I won’t! But I will get back to you as soon as I can. I look forward to hearing from you, and starting this memorable journey together!
A final thank you to Bride Buddy for featuring this post. You guys are awesome, and I can’t wait to continue our collaboration together!