Honest and authentic – a unique style for creative wedding ceremonies

It’s been a wild ride for Josh Withers who received a letter confirming his application to be a marriage celebrant several years ago. “It wasn’t until my fourth year as a celebrant that I reflected on why I became one – I saw a really boring celebrant performing a meaningless ceremony that I couldn’t hear,” explains Josh.

From that moment, Josh decided to be honest and authentic with his wedding ceremony style. He bought an awesome PA system and began creating ceremonies that were fun, exciting and meaningful. As Josh points out, “I wanted to go to weddings that mattered.”

Josh Withers Marriage Celebrant’ came to fruition after Josh was offered the opportunity to exhibit at a wedding expo – at the cost of $1,500. “My wife, Britt, and I went into the three-day expo hoping and praying that we could book three couples, to at least come out on top. That weekend we booked twenty couples and three years later we’re still reaping the benefits,” tells Josh.

Josh creates something that matters – and he believes that‘s the key reason why his business works. “I’m not creating wedding ceremonies because it’s good business – it’s good business to create amazing wedding ceremonies that reflect the people getting married,” explains Josh.

“I see the celebrant’s job as the atmosphere creator, the tone setter, the head cheerleader, the chief encourager,” he emphasises.

Josh understands how important social media is to his business. “It’s the best opportunity for me to share who I am. I’d hope you could spend 30 seconds on my Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook platforms and have a fairly accurate picture of me,” says Josh.

Josh does a great job of using his website to pull in new customers. As he mentions, “it’s a minimal design and I share my story on the home page.” His blog is also helpful and complements his site and social media platforms.

Josh reveals that he has plenty of people in his life offering great advice and powerful mentoring. “And in my wife’s case, meaningful nagging. They all tell me the same thing – to take a day off.”

Josh has learnt that taking a day off can be a positive experience. “The journey towards taking a day off is an important one. Business owners learn to charge more, delegate more, build better business systems and to empower their team to make good decisions without them.”

Josh is excited about winning ANZ’s $5,000 radio advertising package competition because he believes in taking every opportunity presented. After talking to his creative team he’s recorded an advertisement that aired for a week. “I’ve booked some weddings already as a result of the ads,” he confirms. “The branding on air has impacted positively as a touch point, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity and the hand up.”

Josh has the following tips to help build a successful business:

  • Figure out a way to make money from your passion or dream – “save a few dollars and jump into the deep end and start swimming. There’s never been a better time than now for you to start,” says Josh.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth – “whether it’s on traditional or social media, or around a BBQ on a weekend. You simply need other prospective customers to know how good you are!”
  • Take advantage of the media – first, find out why other people like your business. “Media organisations are in the story business. Other people will see your business differently to you so if you can figure out why they find your business remarkable, you’ll be on a winning streak. Then, you just need a producer to find out about you,” suggests Josh.
  • Most importantly, be authentic – as Josh explains, “I only have two marketing strategies and they’re really simple. I use them right throughout my business – help, not hype and to share my story authentically.”

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