When you get the opportunity to appear on one of your favourite TV shows and it’s doing what you love – well you would jump at the chance, wouldn’t you! Today’s Guest Contributor is Kelly Hawes – Kelly H Celebrant and she did exactly that – read her story here…
Tuesday 13th April 2021 was a big day for me. I officiated my first ceremony of the year! Exciting, especially as the last one I did was on 22nd August 2020.
But it was far more exciting than that, because this was no ordinary ceremony. This was a ceremony filmed for E4’s “Married at First Sight!”
For a fan like me, that was a big deal. I’ve literally only just finished watching Series 6 of the Australian production – having previously watched a couple of UK seasons before that.
What’s “Married at First Sight”? (Surely only a very few of you are asking!)
It’s a series that matches singles, who have struggled to find love, and match them to their perfect partner. Or at least that’s the plan! A panel of experts look at each applicant, noting their characteristics and their wants in a partner, as well as using their psychology knowledge to gain an understanding of the type of person that would complement them in order to match a perfect couple.
Once the experts have agreed on a match, the singletons are given, I believe, 3 or 4 weeks’ notice that they are to be “Married at First Sight. Literally as the title suggests, they first meet each other at the top of the aisle as they are about to commit to live as a married couple.
How does something like that happen for a Celebrant like me?
I’m just an ordinary girl who loves a wedding! Well, it all started when my Cousin forwarded a news article to me, not long after the Austrialian series had finished. The article read that E4 were planning their next series, but not only that, the series format was to have a big shake up and would be following the Australian format more closely. (Read the article HERE)
The part that sparked my interest was that rather than being a legal marriage, the commitment ceremonies would be overseen by a Celebrant. TING! My brain started turning, as I was thinking “how awesome would this be, I could totally do that!”
After laughing it off with my Husband, it took me a couple of days to think – “do you know what, there’s only one thing to do – apply to be their Celebrant” of course, all the while thinking “there’s not a chance in hell this is going to happen to me”. My Mum always said it you don’t ask you don’t get – so I found an email address and quickly pressed send before I could talk myself out of it. Done!
I got a reply!
To my amazement I got a reply within minutes and I was actually shaking as I clicked to open the email. It was a standard reply with a link for me to apply ….. they thought I was seeking love! Hahahaha
Once I set out to do something I rarely give up at the first hurdle. I dug a bit deeper and found an email address for the production company and pressed send again. A month and a day later (yes I counted!), I received an email from the Series Producer! This is where it gets a bit weird because it seems the Producer had no knowledge of my email. I actually don’t know why they chose to contact me but the rest, as they say, is history. I have this thing that I believe in – if you let the Universe know out loud what you want, sometimes, just sometimes it comes true (disclaimer it doesn’t work for the lottery lol!). That’s my only explanation, fate did it’s magic and I’m so thankful.
What I can say…
As I’m sure you can imagine, I’m sworn to secrecy about the details until the episode is aired. But I was told I was allowed to say that I had officiated a ceremony for “Married at First Sight” – tick, I’ve definitely done that (sorry, not sorry!)
How was it?
It was brilliant! I loved every minute of it. Of course there were nerves; I was worried about the script I had written, I mean I’m usually loaded with tons of content after meeting the couple and talking about their love story – but obviously we couldn’t do this!; I was worried that I would muck up my words; and I was especially worried that my hair desperately needed a cut and highlights!
That aside, the staff, crew, production team were all amazing people. They were friendly, helpful and looked after me all day. I had my own dressing room (the bridal suite no less!), was provided with lunch and was mainly watching just how much work goes into just one tiny aspect of a 20 hour production. When I arrived I was shown around and ready for a camera rehearsal. The Directors, Producers and Camera Crew painstakingly going through their line of sight, angles etc with cameras and then drones. At this stage it was just me with the Director acting as Bride and a runner acting as Groom. This was nerve wracking for me! My legs were literally jelly and I didn’t even need to speak – what was I going to be like for the actual ceremony? Major doubt crossing my mind, I had to take a few deep breaths, all the while thinking “what have I got myself into this time?”
I really did have to shake it off, luckily I only had time to freshen up and change before I was due back at the ceremony spot for the real thing.
What do you know, as soon as the Groom walked in, there I was Kelly Hawes the Celebrant. Not a care in the world, I had a job to be done. I can honestly tell you that I forgot the cameras were there, all I could see were 2 sets of family and friends (6 each to be precise, adhering to Covid guidance) and a couple of strangers ready to commit to each other. The Director had already told me there was no way they would stop the ceremony unless there was a major technical issue, it was to be a full and complete process for the couple to experience for real. Brilliant, my first wedding of the year, done!
That’s all for now…
I’m afraid that’s all I can tell you at this stage. But the moral of the story is, just do it! If you don’t ask, you don’t get! “
Kelly will be back again to reveal more once the show has been aired.
Married at First Sight is a British television programme where couples are matched “scientifically” by a panel of experts. They meet just minutes before they marry. Upon returning, they live together for a period of time, during which they meet at commitment ceremonies and choose whether or not they will continue their relationship. Aired on E4.