what I do
Sally Cleary, 52, is a celebrant and nurse. She lives in Feilding with her husband, Mike
you find someone who loves you and you love them, well, hallelujah! And if they’re the same sex or they’re older or younger, my God, that doesn’t make two hoots of a difference, eh. It can only be a better thing than not being loved.
I see couples twice before a wedding. I check their divorce certificate and ID to see that they are the people they say they are. I feel like a dick asking that but I have to.
I lend them a whole lot of resources – books of poems, vow ideas – then we start emailing back and forth. Sometimes women can take over. But men, if they’re given a chance to say what they feel, can be really good at it. One of the questions we ask is, “Why do you love this person?” And oh, it’s beautiful; it’s just beautiful what they write. They write it secretly, on a piece of paper, and I hand it back to them afterwards so that on a bad day, 30 years down the track when they’re thinking, ‘God, why did I do that?’ they can think, ’Oh, yes, that’s why.’
I’ll spend three hours minimum trying to get the ceremony right. I email it to them and they look through it and work out what they like and don’t like. Then they can just think about all the other lovely things that go with getting married. We’ll have a practise the night before, but we won’t actually say the vows because otherwise they’re married.
I can bring God to a service if the couple wants that. But God isn’t