Pretty pumped to have had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Brisbane marriage celebrant Paul Voge! Married man, handsome father of one, record store owner and all round nice guy, Paul gives us the down low on the joys of being a wedding celebrant, Toy Story 3 and what goes on behind the scenes during today’s Hello Vendor profile.

Tell us a little about your background? Well I was born in the ACT and moved to Brisbane when I was only 4. Normal childhood, and I guess I was always a normal kid. Hated school, found punk rock then from as far back as I can remember I wanted to have my own record store. Worked Sanity’s, JB Hi-Fi’s and Independent stores and then 7 years ago opened my own store (Ed’s note: Paul’s store is called Kill The Music and you can find them here). I guess from doing the shop and meeting so many people over the years it has made my trans-cession into the marriage industry a bit easier, as bizarre as that sounds. A lot of my customers are at that age where marriage is coming into their lives or their friends lives and their help has made me realise that becoming a marriage celebrant was the right choice for me.

How did you get into the celebrant game? I just decided after a months of really thinking about it to apply for a course. It was defiantly a tough course to do and I had a HUGE sense of relief when I finally got approved. I guess I had the idea of “maybe I should become a marriage celebrant” a few months after our wedding and people said how much they enjoyed our ceremony and the day. I just thought well we created this wedding, maybe I can help other people do the same thing but for the two of them. It’s a totally different industry for me compared to the music industry, but I like it so much more.

Talk us through a typical day in the Paul Voge Marriage Celebrant  office? My office during the day is my music store which I own and run, if I ‘m not in the shop I am doing a wedding. A typical day is answering emails, wishing I had an extra day in the week and working on creating ceremonies for couples. I spend a lot of time researching song lyrics that are personal to couples to use in their ceremonies, finding unique poems that suit my couples and just going back and forth with them til we get it all perfect. My office at home is where I pretty much do everything I just mentioned but also all the paperwork that comes with getting married. I have mastered the art of writing with a black pen and uppercase.

Do you have a favourite ceremony and/or reception venue? Not really, I am always just in awe in what the couples accomplish in creating their own version of “their own wedding day”. I have done farm weddings, beach weddings, park weddings, little chapel weddings, they are all unique in there own way. It’s great seeing all these ideas that we talk about for months and months finally come to life.  But if I had to choose I would say I loved getting married in an old art gallery, can i say my own wedding?…well i just did sorry .haha.

Advice to couples looking for a celebrant? I know how hard it is to find the right celebrant, trust me! My only advice is finding someone you get along with and feel comfortable with. I know that is my main goal when I meet a couple, and I have met some awesome people that I will continue being in contact with long after their wedding day. Also find a celebrant that does what you want..NOT what they want, I can not stress that enough.

What sets you apart from other celebrants? I have no idea, I don’t know that many other celebrants, let alone how they do there thing compared to mine. I talk too much sometimes, I get a bit too excited for people’s weddings than most celebrant’s would. I am always early to weddings and meetings. I always pronounce the couple’s names correctly . I have pretty amazing handwriting. I’m good with kids and great with dog’s. I’m like the complete package hahaha

All time favourite record? Tough, tough question…probably the toughest one you could ask a marriage celebrant who also owns a record store and way too many records. I’m gonna cheat and give you three, Lifetime “Lifetime”, Propagandhi “Potemkin City Limits” The Jealous Sound “Kill Them With Kindness”….should have asked me for a Top 50, would have my life so much easier

Last time you cried? I was pretty damn close at a wedding a did just last weekend in May. The couple both lost it during their vows and it was pretty hard not to get caught up in their emotions. All this makes for a great wedding ceremony, so I say cry away. But I pretty much sobbed watching Toy Story 3 with my daughter. She is only 2 so she did not get why I was crying during that movie, but one day she will. I have now banned that movie of playing when I am home incase I lose it all over again. Moral of the story is Toy Story 3 is a sad, sad movie.

Suit of choice to rock to a wedding ceremony? Just bought two new suits, which is pretty crazy for me as until I got married I have never even worn a suit. I usually base my outfit on what the couple want, try and fit in with the theme that they have created for their wedding day. Give me time I may have a “favourite”, but I’m still new to the suit game,.. baby steps.

Any tips for calming the nervous (in a good way) groom out there… Just be prepared. I guess that is why I say find a celebrant you can talk to easy and get along with, someone you can rely on with any  questions you may have about what is happening on the day. Most grooms I have worked with have been fine, it’s usually their groomsmen giving them hell on the day which is always fun. If a groom (and the bride) are happy with their ceremony and have included things that they love and that they are comfortable doing then they will be at ease knowing that the ceremony will be exactly what they wanted.

You can see more of Paul in action here on the Hello May directory or here officiating Sonya + Brad’s wedding shot by uber lovely Queensland wedding photographer Jess Jackson.

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CREDITS Confetti photo Natalie McComas // Ceremony photos Jess Jackson // Stylist Hope & Lace // Bridal gown Jennifer Gifford Designs