The People Behind The Party: Dr. Sumant Badami

Dr. Sumant Badami, also known as Monty, is an amazing celebrant based on the south coast of Australia, who was the wonderful man who wrote, directed and set up our ceremony for the wedding to the man of my dreams! Not only did Monty welcome us into his beautiful home, he told us amazing stories about his time as an anthropologist and his marvellous travels, and had the most positive attitude that I have ever encountered that completely blew both my husband to be and I away – he was also more than happy to blow on a conch shell in our Hawaiian themed ceremony!

Finding a celebrant to conduct your wedding is a personal experience, and Monty definitely created the most personable and positive experience for our wedding that we could ever have imagined. Filled with good advice, I have asked Monty to be my next Person Behind The Party, so that you can see his amazing positivity for yourself! I am also super happy to be able to release this post on the 4th March – his own birthday! Happy Birthday Monty!

CB140214-278

 Photo by Nora Devai Photography

Tell us, who is Sumant Badami and what do you do for the event industry?

I have been a celebrant since 2007 and, as a professional anthropologist, I have travelled the world studying the rituals and ceremonies of cultural groups that range from the obscure to the mainstream, and from the traditional to the modern. When I combined this expertise with my love of performance (I am a musician), I found myself drawn to becoming a Marriage Celebrant. Apart from utilising a unique set of skills, I get the opportunity to meet some very interesting people and to share in an extremely happy period of their lives.

I have a deep respect for the institution of marriage and I bring a warmth and enthusiasm to each and every ceremony, which is sensitively tailored to suit individual needs.

I also do baby naming ceremonies, commitment ceremonies and can assist you in creating any sort of ritual that will help you to celebrate the passing of the many other of life’s important milestones.

With regards to what I provide, every ceremony I create is individually written, crafted and designed. I promise to give you my full attention at every stage, and draw from my wealth of experience. But in general, I like to provide a relaxed, honest and enjoyable ceremony that has meaning for my clients, rather than being bound purely by traditions alone.

 How did you get into your chosen profession?

Well, there are two versions of this story. The nice one is that as an anthropologist, I am fascinated by ritual and ceremony, so whilst I was doing my PhD, I looked into becoming a celebrant because I thought it would be something I would enjoy and because it was going to help me augment the income we were getting from my meager scholarship. Now, strictly speaking this is true, but the real story goes back a little further.

I actually got into marrying people whilst backpacking through America in my twenties. I used to watch this show called northern exposure, and there was this really cool character called Chris who got his minister’s license off the back of rolling stone magazine and was able to perform an “emergency wedding” in one episode. I used to always joke about doing that some day, then whilst I was in Las Vegas, I sort of ran out of money (just because it was so expensive and I was having heaps of fun) and found out that I could get ordained as a minister from this site on the internet. I got my license and was able to do weddings and made quite a bit of money whilst doing it. Now, initially it was a bit of a laugh, but to be honest, I actually really enjoyed it. it ended up being more than just a short term thing because (as mentioned) I just really enjoyed being able to share such a happy moment in two people’s lives. It was a really positive thing to be a part of. I also had the opportunity to meet many different sorts of people.

Conch Shell

 Photo by Nora Devai Photography

What is your favourite part of a wedding?

I am a big mush ball; I love love! There is just so much love at a wedding, such as the love between the bride and groom, the love between the friends/family and the couple. In every wedding I have done there is always this one moment where that love really comes to the surface. Sometimes it is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time, sometimes it is when they are doing the vows, but it always happens at least once where the joy they feel and the love they have for each other gives me goose bumps. It is really infectious and slightly addictive. My wife always comments on how loved up I am after a wedding, it makes me happy!

Do you have any advice you could give for couples looking to host a wedding?

Remember what is really important: Be honest, be yourselves, and have fun! As long as you know why you want to get married and as long as you turn up, then nothing can actually go wrong.

You have already done all the hard work of finding each other and making the decision to commit to each other. Everything else is just icing on the cake. The really important thing is your love and your relationship and the happiness you both share.

Sydney Polo Club

 Photo by Lara Hotz Photography

What has been your favourite event to be apart of and why?

I had the pleasure of performing a wedding for some dear friends of mine who are particularly creative and eccentric. One was at the Sydney Polo Club for a couple named Nicole and Natalie. 

They paid so much attention to detail and every inch of the wedding had  their personality all over it. Also I used to sing with a 50 piece acappella choir named Soulfood, so apart from being a great moment to share with friends, at the end of the ceremony, I lead a flash mob where the choir (who were posing as guests) got up and sang this awesome version of “Ain’t nobody” by Chakka Kahn – it was pretty special.

What inspires you?

This is a big question because I am inspired by so many things! I am a particularly passionate person, so I get excited about almost everything. I especially love it when I can watch someone else being passionate, but at the heart of it I love humanity in all its shapes and forms (probably why I am an anthropologist!) in that way, love music, food, creativity, beautiful spaces and social gatherings (Probably why I am so drawn to weddings!).

If you are looking for a true experience to celebrate your love (and you’re based around the South Coast), get in contact with Monty. You can email him at montybadami@gmail.com or find him on Linked In.

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