Languages: Portuguese (Brazilian) & English
I am Raquel, a Brazilian journalist currently living and studying in Lisbon. I am working on my masters in Culture and Communication, and at this point you are probably wondering how on Earth I became a wedding celebrant. We’ll get there, I promise!
I have always loved people. Growing up, I studied in a bi-cultural, Italian-Brazilian, school. My parents originally were hoping that I would do the Technical Course in Tourism and Hospitality, but I gravitated to Humanities. In this school, I participated in the student cultural magazine. One thing led to another, and I chose Journalism when I went to university.
For over five years, I worked as a reporter for the main daily newspaper of my region in Brazil. There, I had the chance to interview people like former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and tell very personal stories, such as a cover piece on families with adopted children. I loved my job as a reporter and, with time, I realized that what I liked about it was having the chance to listen to people and then tell their story to others.
In 2016, I felt the need for a change and decided to come to Europe to study. I did an MBA in Creative Industries and Cultures, and then I continued on to a master degree in Culture and Communication.
As for weddings, when I was still in my teens, I went to weddings just because of good manners (and the party!). Ceremonies were all very formal and impersonal, and I didn’t relate to any of that. But then my friends started to marry, and I started seeing ceremonies that made sense to me. Ceremonies that spoke directly to the couple and involved the family and friends. After having attended numerous beautiful ceremonies, I now see weddings as an opportunity to celebrate love and to give and receive love.
What attracted you to becoming a wedding celebrant?
There is no one-line answer to this question, since there was a combination of factors that took me being a wedding celebrant. First of all, my love for people and their stories. Then, the pleasure it is for me to share these stories with other people. And, finally, I would say the energy of weddings, and having the chance to be in such a positive and loving atmosphere, sharing one of the most special days in people’s lives.
What is your favorite part about being a wedding celebrant?
I would say my favorite part is feeling the love high on the day of the ceremony. Not only the couple emanates love from every pore, but also every guest is there with their best thoughts and energy, wishing all the best things to the couple. It is even hard to describe, but I’m sure everyone who’s been to a very special wedding will know exactly what I am talking about.
What is the most important thing for a couple to consider when creating their wedding ceremony?
It is very important that they consider what makes sense to them. Many couples decide to go for very traditional ceremonies to please their families or to meet social expectations and, in the end, they don’t feel the wedding is about them. It’s just when they make decisions based on their own personalities and their history as a couple that things start to get really interesting.
What do you wish for the couples that you marry?
Prosperity and harmony, above all things. May they have each other’s company to go through better or worse and may they be able to laugh even when things aren’t going quite as planned.