Emily and Nic

Emily and Nic married on the last day of November in the picturesque garden of Bishop’s Court, Forest St,  Bendigo. They are a lovely young couple and writing their ceremony was easy; romantic, modern but semi traditional, relaxed and light- hearted.   They are very much on the same page and look forward to building a happy life together. One of the main traits they both possess is love for their family.  Nic and Emily wanted a way that their three grandfathers could participate in their ceremony. I suggested that two could be witnesses and sign the marriage certificate . The third grandad was pleased to be asked to do a short reading just after the signing.

After rain the previous night it was wonderful to wake to a fine, if cool, day for their ceremony. Everything progressed smoothly; the guests arrived promptly and had time to mingle and chat to the groom. I met some of the grandparents and we chatted about Emily’s home town of Boort. ( My husband was born in a country town not far from there.)

The bridesmaids arrived just minutes after the ceremony was scheduled to start and their burgundy dresses were gorgeous. Then Emily arrived on her father’s arm, looking absolutely divine! I believe Nic thought so too.( I’m pretty sure I saw him wipe a tear from his eye! )

It wasn’t long before their story was told, vows read and they were declared husband and wife…to deafening cheers!

Then it was time for the signing! The two witnesses were not told prior to the wedding and were overjoyed when Nic and Emily walked over to their front row seats and asked them to join them for the signing. It was such a lovely, emotional  moment. When the third grandad completed his reading all of them gathered behind the signing table. This gave the photographer  (from AJ Taylor Images) the opportunity to capture all three with the bride and groom before they returned to their seats. It will be a wonderful memory for them all!

I received high praise during the signing when Nic told me laughingly (referring to the ceremony)  “It was nowhere near as bad as I thought!” 

That’s my job! Keeping things as stress free as possible!

 

 

Kayla and Harley

Kayla and Harley are the most lovely couple. They have already been together for twelve years and have two of the most delightful little daughters imaginable!

When we started chatting  Kayla  was very unsure about what style of wedding she wanted or where it could be held. She knew she wanted a very private, intimate ceremony with immediate family and a few of their closest friends.

Kayla described her idea as a cross between vintage and boho…so we brainstormed some ways to make that happen.We decided to incorporate a hand fasting in the boho/ traditional style and  then we decided on some ways to include their little cherubs. I suggested that the girls were each given a role to pass the rings to mummy and daddy. They could also   “sign” a Family Certificate after the official signing.

I also found out after the ceremony that Kayla wore the same wedding dress that had been made by her grandmother for Kayla’s mother 40 years ago! What a beautiful honour! Kayla looked absolutely stunning and it was the perfect blend of vintage and modern styling!

It was a magical day!

Kasie and Dean

Since I had known Kasie and her family since Primary School it came as no surprise when our first meeting included her partner, Dean, two of their children and Kasie’s mum and dad.  It wasn’t hard to see that this ceremony needed  ideas to include as many family members as possible.

To start with Kasie and Dean included many family members in their wedding party. Kasie had her two sisters, Dean’s sister and their four daughter as bridesmaids, junior maids and flower girls. The groomsmen included Dean’s brother, Kasie’s brother , friends and young son and nephew as pageboys.  Kasie’s mum and Dad both walked her down the aisle to meet Dean. Both sets of parents were then called upon to welcome their children’s marriage partner to the family.

During the ceremony Kasie and Dean made a beautiful pledge to their children which promised to nurture them and care for them as long as they need them. The family was visually represented by creating a beautiful sand bottle  into which each family member poured a layer of  coloured sand. In doing so, they made something  new and beautiful but like any sand, difficult to separate…just like their family!

The ceremony concluded with a short reading by Kasie’s sister in law.

What a memorable day for all the family! 

Angelique and Drew

I first met Angelique and Drew after they spotted me on Facebook. We talked about their ideas and came up with some lovely inclusions for their ceremony. These  included  a traditional Celtic Hand fasting with a gorgeous reading  and an elemental blessing. For those who may not have heard of Hand Fasting it in the origin of the saying “tying the knot”. In olden times it was often used to signify the couples intentions . They would then live together as husband and wife until a clergy man could be found to complete the deed. Today it adds a beautiful element of difference. It is  a moment to treasure in the words that are said and the symbolism of “binding together in marriage.” I also used the knotted cord to bind and decorate the ceremony book after the wedding!

As Drew was waiting for Angelique to arrive I asked him to turn his back. Angelique wanted him to turn and see her when she was at the arbor. I couldn’t help but smile as I witnessed Angelique’s uncle serenading her as she stood waiting for her cue to proceed down the aisle.  He sang to her all the way as he escorted her to Drew’s side! Such a delight!

Angelique and Drew had provided lots of information about their relationship which entertained some of the guests. It allowed Drew and Angelique a few moments to relax and breathe.

The ceremony went off without a hitch! (pun intended) and our couple were  overjoyed to become husband and wife! Afterwards the lovely Christine (Christine Treacy Photography ) and I conspired to ask the guests to stand and blow bubbles as our couple proceeded back down the aisle to be greeted and congratulated! What a wonderful ending to a beautiful ceremony!

Elley and Aaron

All my weddings are special but when you have known the bride since she was a chirpy two year old coming into your classroom it becomes even that little bit more exciting!

I was overjoyed when Elley first contacted me…wondering if I still remembered her! We caught up and got the ball rolling to plan their dream wedding. They wanted to create a simple, romantic but personal ceremony so that is exactly what we did!

At the rehearsal we were worried because heavy rain was forecast! The set up was so gorgeous with a large marquee with  dance floor, gorgeous gardens with fairy lights in the trees and the ceremony area with an arch, hay bales and decorations to go in. The rehearsal went seamlessly!

That night the rain set in and it did not let up. Upon arrival the hay bales were covered with tarps, there were three more marquees set up and everyone was trying to be optimistic. 

We set up the signing table  and PA system under the marquee and waited. Messages were being relayed via phone. Guests arrived and took shelter under the marquees and started enjoying the refreshments. I caught up with some people I knew (including the amazing Matt Giri who was handling the music) and the rain came down.

After a while the message came to take the tarps off in 10 minutes! The family were obviously watching the weather radar and our moment had come. The tarps came off, the shepherds hooks and decorations went in and we were underway!

Our handsome groom Aaron and his trusty groomsmen entered, guests assembled. The bridesmaids made their way down the slope and then our beautiful bride, Elley arrived on the arm of her proud dad, Garry. Mum, Annemarie cried happy tears and the ceremony was completed just as a shower came over!

It was such a romantic and emotional wedding and it showed that even rain cannot dampen true love!

What happens when you meet a celebrant?

Arranging a meeting:

After checking out some websites, googling or just asking around you will come up with names of some celebrants you may wish to meet. If you contact them most will be able to find a convenient time to meet. I personally prefer to meet in my home office as I have all my resources but I am happy to meet at a cafe or your home . Perhaps you have young children and would prefer to be in your own environment and that i ok too!

First Meeting:

The first meeting is really about getting to know each other and finding out what I offer (in terms of experience. equipment provided, my services etc), what you are looking for in a celebrant etc. I would provide you with a welcome pack with information about getting married and explain my pricing, inclusions and payment options. You may decide to book on the spot or you may wish to meet several celebrants to see who you make a connection with.

Booking a celebrant:

Once you have decided to book a non refundable  booking fee is required to lock in your date and pricing. I also email a link to begin your Notice of Intended Marriage online and a copy of my Terms and Agreements. They may seem a bit overwhelming but never fear, I will talk you through everything.

Second Meeting:

At the second meeting you will need to begin the legal paperwork and sign your Notice of Intended Marriage. This document can be lodged with your celebrant 18 months before your wedding and MUST be lodged no later than one calendar month before. You will need to provide evidence of your place and date of birth and photo ID ( birth certificate, passport for place and date of birth, licence or Proof of Age etc for ID). If you have been married before evidence of termination of the marriage also needs to be shown. If you don’t have all the documentation needed your celebrant can advise you on how to get it. If time permits we would then move on to the ceremony but often another meeting may be needed. Alternatively, much can be achieved by email if distance or time is a factor.

The Ceremony Writing:

Once I know what you want in your ceremony ( I have lots of ideas and suggestions and ask lots of questions) I begin to write your very own PERSONALISED  ceremony! It will include all the things you want…and none of the things you don’t! There will be no surprises and nothing you are not completely happy with!  I know this because I email you drafts at various stages in the writing with choices of readings, ring vows etc .

Wedding Vows:

You may choose to write your own vows, choose from samples provided or you may need a little help and that’s where I come in! I will give you as much or as little help as you require to put your thoughts into words.  

Why my couples are happy!

There
is one very good reason why my couples are happy and I get good reviews…

I
listen carefully and do what people want!

Simple…

You
have a particular idea in mind…I help you to implement it!

You
don’t know what you want…I offer suggestions and guide you!

You
get as much or as little help as you need with things like writing your vows,
adding readings and inclusions …things that make your ceremony special!

You
can have ANY style, Any venue and I will help you make it work.

The
one thing I won’t do is pressure you to have anything you don’t want!! That’s
not me!

Congratulations! You’re Engaged

YOU’RE ENGAGED!

Now it’s time to plan your special day.

There may be a photographer and or videographer, DJ, florist, decorator, hair and makeup artist/s, ceremony location, reception venue, bridal cars/transport, cake, bridal party outfits, and the list goes on. And of course, a celebrant/priest/minister of religion.

All of these suppliers come with a price tag.

So it’s important to put it all into perspective.

If you just wanted a party, you wouldn’t be getting married.

However, getting married is a legal obligation between two people for the rest of your lives.

Therefore, the celebrant you choose is the most important part of your day – without them it’s just a big expensive party.

So please take into consideration why a celebrant charges what they do. Don’t necessarily choose the cheapest option.

You need to connect with your celebrant.

I spend around 30 hours on EVERY wedding. Each ceremony is unique.

There is a rehearsal

Legal documentation to fill out

Your marriage has to be lodged with the Births Deaths and Marriages in the state you got married.

We have travel costs

We have to complete Ongoing Professional Development every year We have to purchase the software to operate our business with We also have to purchase your Presentation Certificates (which are legal documents) and the envelopes they come in And that’s not all …….. we all have different expenses to consider depending on location, travel etc.

So after all of that, depending on the celebrant and what they are charging, 90% or more of us are still the cheapest part of your special day, yet without us you’re not legally married.

I hope this has put it into perspective for you.

Have a great day!