Why Conflict Resolution Skills Are Important in Celebrancy

Oct 02, 2022

One thing we can guarantee is that your career in celebrancy will be interesting. You will meet a range of people from diverse backgrounds, spanning multiple cultures, and become an integral part of their life journey. You will speak to your customers on an intimate level, see them experience many different emotions, and be an anchor for them during extremely challenging and/or joyous times. 

Often, a celebrant gets to share an immense amount of joy, laughter and excitement with their clients. Other times, such as in the career of a funeral celebrant, these times will be fewer, and you will witness much more heartbreak, sorrow and grief. 

If you are wondering, ‘what type of celebrant should I become?’ then you would be wise to consider your skill set, interests and ability to resolve conflict as part of your decision making.  

Whatever path you take in your celebrancy career, emotions will run high and you will need a range of skills to deal with that. In particular, you’ll need conflict resolution skills. 

Not trained with us yet? Take our quiz to find out if celebrancy is for you. 


Why Are There Conflicts in Ceremonies?

Ceremonies mark something special, and anything that is special is going to be loaded with emotions, complex dynamics and opinions. A funeral, for example, is saying a final farewell to  a loved one, and therefore you will be surrounded by people who are grieving and experiencing very challenging feelings. Weddings are equally as emotive. 

Ceremonies also bring people together that may not usually meet. Often this can evoke happiness, community and mutual support. Other times, it can cause conflict, awkwardness or tension. 

Ceremonies are also hard to plan and even harder to oversee, which can cause conflicts between those trying to coordinate it. 

Your job as a celebrant is to try and navigate these waters and make sure that your customers are happy with the outcome. 


Common Conflicts

You might be asking yourself, ‘is it hard to be a celebrant?’ and the short answer is, it can be. It is not for everyone and we like to make sure you are fully prepared for what’s ahead of you. If you still aren’t sure, remember we have a quiz you can take to help direct you. 


Common conflicts you might encounter are:

  • Family dynamics. This is one of the most common conflicts a celebrant will encounter. During any ceremony, it is normal for families to come together. Families might help plan the event (for example, the father of the bride might want to have a say in the ceremonial proceedings, or the grandparents might want to share opinions about the baby naming ceremony). And if they don’t help with planning, families almost always attend the event. Families can be complex groups and if emotions are running high, there might be arguments or disagreements. As a celebrant, it is not your job to resolve these conflicts or to get involved, but to try and navigate them to ensure the ceremony runs smoothly. Good communication skills will help you to do this. 
  • Money. You will always find customers who don’t like your pricing or who agree to your pricing and then dispute it. As a professional businessperson it is your responsibility to set your pricing and deliver the service as promised. If your customer cannot afford you, a referral to another celebrant might be appropriate. 
  • Unrealistic Expectations. People often dream about ceremonies a long time in advance of them happening. They may have a certain set of expectations of how a wedding, funeral or other ceremony should be. As a celebrant it is your job to try and meet your client’s needs, but if you cannot, you must ensure their expectations are managed in advance to avoid disappointment or conflict. 

Are you still wondering, ‘should I become a celebrant?’ Or, ‘is celebrancy an easy career path?’ We can help. 

At the International College of Professional Celebrants, you get to learn all the skills required in shaping your celebrancy career. Our online and residential celebrant training courses will equip you with the right skills to conduct any type of ceremony, as we also take you through the necessary milestones in making your celebrancy career a dream come true. Reach out to us through 033 33 404 434, and book your course today.  For more information, you can also write to us via our email address, [email protected], and we will help you make an informed career choice.