HEATHCOTE’S Ilse Rand decided to become a marriage celebrant when she encountered one for the first time at a friend’s wedding.
The celebrant wasn’t cutting the mustard and Ilse believed she could do a better job.
Encouraged by friends and family, she became a marriage celebrant in 1990 and performed her first wedding for her cousin in a “guinea pig” run.
Ilse said she loved the experience and enjoyed being part of a couple’s special day.
“Every wedding is different,” she said.
“As long as you cover the legalities of getting married, you can do whatever you want.
“I’ve never done two identical ceremonies. Each couple has their own take on the day.”
Ilse loved being part of ceremonies so much that in 1991, she began conducting funerals.
And while some may find it strange to go from the happiness of a wedding to the sombre atmosphere of a funeral, it was a natural choice for Ilse.
“I love doing funerals,” she said.
“Funerals don’t have to be sad. They can be a celebration of someone’s life and a chance to look back and laugh.
“I feel privileged to tell the amazing stories of people, who from the outside, look quite ordinary.
“The funeral is a chance to appreciate who a person was, not to dwell on the bad things.”
While she is not as active as she used to be, Ilse still enjoys the chance to work as celebrant.
And she said she couldn’t think of a better home base than her house just outside of Heathcote.
“The people here are fabulous,” she said.
“My husband and I bought a weekend house here when we lived in the city and after two years, decided to make it our permanent home.
“People look out for each other in Heathcote and there’s a sense of community that I never felt in Melbourne.”
To book Ilse for a wedding or funeral, contact her on 5433 2335