Getting to know Ash Crowe
To write authentic and meaningful ceremonies for couples, celebrants often have only a small window of time to know them and their relationship as well as possible. To me, gathering this information is a privilege and not something to be taken lightly, as it asks clients for an immediate level of trust in both my personal and professional integrity. The reason for writing this is to level the playing field and offer prospective couples an insight into who I am, where I came from, and why I became a marriage celebrant.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have grown up in a small country town. My family and I lived ten minutes outside Stanthorpe, around three hours south-west of Brisbane (you likely associate it with apples or wine). My main memories surrounding this time concern the farm I grew up on and its surrounding bushland. One of my favourite after-school activities was to explore, and there are probably still remnants of this in the form of snake-filled cubby houses, and makeshift camping grounds where my teenage self would hang out with friends on the weekend. Fast forward to the adult me, and I still appreciate nature and exploring, but now with my wife, and when possible, in overseas locations. We became engaged in Banff, Canada, for example.
Another significant focus of my upbringing was music. For unknown reasons, I decided that I wanted to play the violin at eight years old. The prospects for playing string instruments were limited in Stanthorpe, however, with the help of my incredibly supportive parents, and a surprisingly excellent string program at Stanthorpe State High School, I was able to stick with it all the way through my schooling years, before ultimately studying music at the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane commencing in 2007. I will never forget life at the Con; it's like living in a bubble. All that matters on a daily basis is practising, playing in orchestras, and occasionally performing. The downside is that not everyone 'makes it' in the classical music world (at least as a performer) and I just never had the discipline of some of my classmates. At the end of a four-year degree, I decided to move on to something new. To this day I still hope that music will continue to play a role in my life, and am very thankful for the experiences it has given me.
On a sad note, my father died in 2009, which significantly affected both my life outlook and direction moving forward. After finishing Uni, I became what my brother calls a 'serial hobbyist'. As with many people who lose someone close to them, I felt that life was short and that my focus should be on experiencing as many cool things as possible, as quickly as possible. As a result, I have been a paintball referee, rock-climbing instructor, went back to University (very briefly), took up ice hockey, and started a cafe, all throughout roughly five years. I have persisted with some of these hobbies; for instance, I'm still obsessed with ice hockey and have a passion for good coffee. On the tail end of these experiences, however, I decided it was worth searching for something to dedicate myself to for the long term.
As it turns out the factor that settled me down the most, was meeting my now wife, Felicia, in July 2012. It's worth noting that while I am perfectly happy to speak at a wedding in front of 200 people, I have always been shy with the ladies. As a result, it took me a while to tell Felicia how I felt about her. For six years now, Felicia has been the most patient and caring best friend I could have ever wanted.
I believe our wedding in April 2017 happened just when it needed to for me. At the time I had recently decided that my coffee shop wasn't sustainable, and planned to close the business immediately after our honeymoon. I felt that it was time for a career change in general, and the thought of becoming a marriage celebrant entered my mind very quickly. Almost every job I've had revolves around people and providing them with a positive experience, and to me, being a celebrant takes this to an entirely new level. I think of my wedding when working with every couple, and aim to make it just as special for them as it was for me. It might be a cliche, but my wedding was the best day of my life, and I wish the same for all of my clients.
So there you have it, an abridged version of my critical life moments. If I am lucky enough to meet with you in the future to talk about your ceremony, I would love to fill you in on the above events in greater detail. After all, my goal is to get to know you, build trust, and create your perfect ceremony.