There’s never been so much discussion about having a side hustle, and there’s never been a worse time to engage in one.
According to the Australia Talks National Survey, which involved a total of 54,970 respondents, one in four Australians are worried about losing their job in the next 12 months, and an even higher proportion, 37 per cent, are concerned about job security more generally.
Every week one or two potential new celebrants email or DM me about starting a celebrancy business as a side hustle, hoping to make a few dollars on the side to provide for their family’s extra needs or to put some cash in the holiday account.
It’s understandable. In the past it was a common part time career for a mum, or a school teacher, to undertake and just do a few ceremonies a year.
But the world has changed, the wedding industry has changed, and the celebrancy profession has changed.
The problem with becoming a celebrant as a side hustle is that your side hustle is on the side, it’s not your primary focus, your day job has your attention and your resources, rightly so, they’re hopefully paying for them, and although a celebrancy career doesn’t start at full speed and every new business needs to grow from zero, I firmly believe that a good celebrancy business can’t stay a side hustle.
Why can’t I be a celebrant on the side?
The advice I give potential new celebrants who contact me about becoming a celebrant as a side gig is this:
There are enough average and “ok” celebrants. There’s enough celebrants appointed who have lost the passion and lost the drive. There are too many celebrants who don’t care enough, and don’t put all of their mind, body, and soul into their ceremonies. We’ve got loads of celebrants who don’t reply to emails for days, who are burning out, and are too tired to be the celebrants their couples need them to be.
What we’re lacking in the celebrant population are celebrants who are going above and beyond.
The people we desperately need to become a celebrant need to eventually, one day, leave their day job, and dedicate their working hours to being a celebrant.
The people I would love to stand next to in the ranks of celebrancy are those that are outdoing me in working-hard for our couples. I would kill to lose a wedding to a celebrant who cared more than me. It would make me so glad to be sitting on the front page of Google next to other celebrants who delivered better ceremonies, better vibes, and better weddings than me. I would be so proud to be in healthy and friendly competition with celebrants who charged more than me, did more than me, earned more than me, and were just plain old better than me.
That’s who we need to become a celebrant.
I just believe that our couples deserve at least that from the person with not only the authority to marry them, but also with the mantle to create that moment where they become married.
If you’re planning on becoming a celebrant, let those plans extend to a place where one day you’ll leave your full time job and celebrancy will pay your way. I understand that might take months, years, even a decade, but I would encourage you to have it in your plan. For me it took four years to go from registration to full time. I’ve seen others do it in one. For you it might be 15. It’s not about whether you’re there yet, it’s about your desire and drive to be there one day.
The world doesn’t need to you to be a half-assed celebrant, we need you to be the best celebrant you can be.