Personal journey to becoming a wedding officiant – about Chanelle

Chanelle Carlin, owner of Chanelle Carlin Weddings shares her personal journey to becoming a wedding officiant and your Celebrant for Life

“Chanelle was absolutely fabulous ! She went above and beyond our expectations, highly recommend !” – Darryl and Kaitlyn Wood
Wedding Officiant, Chanelle Carlin (headshot) at Green Lake, Okanogan, Washington with Chanelle Carlin Weddings Logo in top left corner of image
Photo credit: Roxanne Best, Roxtography

Hi! I’m Chanelle, and I am simply a lover of life and love. I am honored that you’ve taken my invitation to prolong your visit to my website so that I can better introduce myself to you and share my personal journey to becoming a wedding officiant and your Celebrant for Life. As a quick, little snapshot, I have traveled the world, lived in Ireland for 8 years and now live in gorgeous Okanogan County, Washington, USA with my family. Our beautiful home is nestled in a little valley surrounded by the Omak and Tiffany Mountains and during the Spring, our yard is filled with lovely shade trees, lilacs, wisteria, lilies, orchids and daffodils. Some of my favorite things are: Christmas, orange kitties, dachshunds, traveling, hiking, watching old musicals, spending time with my family and enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning while the sun rises or a glass of wine in the evening watching the sun set. As your Washington State Wedding Officiant (and Oregon Wedding Officiant and Idaho Officiant), I also LOVE helping couples celebrate their love in their own, unique style and believe that life and love should be celebrated every minute! 

How Chanelle Began Officiating Weddings – Is that even a “thing?”

I’m often asked how I began this personal journey to become a Wedding Officiant. It’s a simple story, really, but not necessarily one most folks expect:  When my mom passed away a few years ago, we struggled to find the right officiant for her funeral service, even though we knew a number of ordained ministers. I realized then, how important it is to have someone who takes the time to get to know you on an intimate level; someone who takes great care to make any celebration of life- a wedding, or a funeral- a deeply personalized and special one. Thereafter, I was committed to making sure that no one else would have such a hard time finding someone to celebrate a loved one, and I became an ordained minister…just in case. Once ordained, weddings literally started coming to me. 

Initially, they were couples struggling to find a wedding officiant. One of my first couples told me their first officiant passed away and the second one sort of disappeared on them! They found me six weeks before their wedding. Another couple, desperate for an officiant, found me from across the state two days before their ceremony! I realized how much joy it brought me to facilitate the celebration of one-of-a-kind love. 

Over the past few years on this personal journey of mine, I have officiated more than 150 weddings in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, each one beautiful, each one special, and each just as the couple desired it to be. I can honestly say I have never been happier in my work or felt more fulfilled. I have the great honor of uplifting couples, sharing their unique love stories, and helping them relive the intimate moments that lead up to their special day! I’ve been honored to receive the Best of Weddings Award from The Knot for four years in a row and have been able to share my experiences AND my passion with other industry professionals on several wedding industry podcasts, including Best Made Weddings and Get to Know Your Wedding Pro hosted by Reid Johnson and the Grow My Officiant Business Podcast with Chad Muncy. I have even written an article for print in Okanogan Living Magazine. Talk about fun!

Wedding Officiant Chanelle Carlin Awarded Best of Weddings!

There are so many things that have taken me by surprise since I began this personal journey of celebrating the love of couples in the Pacific Northwest as their wedding officiant. Travelling all over the country for weddings, meeting other wedding professionals who love this work as much as I do and just truly truly loving my “job” (#bestjobever). Actually, how much I love it is probably the least surprising, though it was a bit of a shock because I am actually quite shy. No, really. When I was younger, I was afraid to speak in public. Though thanks to a variety of experiences like soloing in high school jazz choir, working as a camp counselor at Camp Killoqua, being a Civil Air Patrol cadet squadron commander, taking a public speaking class at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington and having to present on mental health research projects annually while I worked at ISPCC (Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) in Ireland, I have overcome that fear. It has taken a while, and more than a few careers, but I now entertain folks and speak in public for a living. I am honored to share the love stories of the most amazing couples with their friends and families and help them make their commitments to each other official. It’s AWESOME! And, in 2020, 2021, 2022, AND 2023 I was honored with a Best of Weddings award by TheKnot.com (yes, four years in a row – can you even believe it?!) based upon the love and gracious testimonials shared by my couples. That was another surprise (receiving accolades for doing what I love)! My husband likes to ask, “Is that even a thing?” Yep…it is!

Chanelle is not just your wedding officiant; she is your Celebrant for Life TM

The very VERY best part though is being your Celebrant for Life TM.  When you book me as your Wedding Officiant, you don’t just get me for the one day. You have me as your Celebrant for LifeTM. I celebrate the two of you and your family throughout your marriage (your wedding, anniversaries, etc. – neither of you will forget your anniversary). The success of your marriage is as important to me as the success of your wedding day. Let’s face it, life goes by quickly, so throughout the first year of your marriage, you’ll receive regular check-ins and coaching from me about celebrating moments that matter (big and little) of that very important first year of marriage. After the first year, I’ll still be here to help you celebrate your anniversaries and other milestones and Moments that Matter to you.

If you’ve never heard the title “Celebrant for Life” before, that’s ok. It’s a self-created title/role. You see, when I began this adventure as a Wedding Officiant, I found that I just loved all my couples so much, I didn’t want to let them go, so I sent them anniversary cards and gifts (still do). I also email at Thanksgiving and send Christmas cards. Over the past couple of years, some of my couples even asked me to help them celebrate their babies and it just felt like a natural progression. To be honest though, while it’s not that common in the US anymore, the idea didn’t just pop out of nowhere. As I mentioned before, I lived in Ireland for eight years and was part of a local parish. Many of my friends there had grown up with the same priest(s) celebrating the marriages, births, christenings, first communions and funerals for most of their family and community. I found that back home, here in the states, my couples who don’t belong to church communities didn’t have that someone. Until now…

And as your Celebrant for Life TM, I am here to celebrate the love of your family with child and baby celebrations, house blessings and the honoring lives of your loved ones no longer with us. I also love honoring the less major, but still meaningful moments (holidays, pet blessings, retirements, graduations, etc). In a nutshell, I celebrate your love with by honoring the milestones and special Moments that Matter to you.

See… I wasn’t kidding…it really is the #bestjobever!

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Wedding Officiant Chanelle Carlin cheering for couple as they celebrate their first kiss as a married couple at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club, Aloha, Oregon
Photo credit: Bill Black

“I honestly could not say enough about how wonderful Chanelle was! From the very beginning she helped us determine the vision for our ceremony, gave us advice on what might work best for our wedding, and helped completely ease the stress of all of the legal paperwork. Chanelle really took the time to get to know us and created a ceremony that was so personal, beautiful and heartfelt. We are still getting compliments from our guests about how wonderful the ceremony was! She completely captured what we envisioned for our ceremony! She even convinced my husband to write his own vows and showed him that it wouldn’t be hard to do after all. I loved every second of working with Chanelle and I know that I will have a relationship with her for years to come! If you are looking for an officiant to create a one of a kind ceremony that you will remember forever, then Chanelle is the person for you!” – Gabi and Matthew

As your Wedding or Elopement Officiant, I make you these promises:

  • To be here for you, and listen to your stories, journey, and unique experiences
  • To support you with your vision for your wedding and collaborate with you to create your ideal wedding ceremony
  • To answer your questions honestly and as quickly as possible
  • To be prepared on your wedding day
  • To be fun and help you have fun on your wedding day and through the planning process
  • To be healthy and to safeguard your well-being
  • To encourage you in your self-care
  • To follow through on all of our agreements, and, finally…
  • To celebrate your marriage before, during and after your wedding.
  • To be here as your Celebrant for LifeTM to help you celebrate other milestones and Moments that Matter to you and your family.