Are you planning a destination wedding? I completely get why you would want to marry overseas or elsewhere in Australia; I love weddings, I love travel… why would a destination wedding not be an attractive proposition?
Whether you’re having an intimate elopement on the beach in Bali, or a celebration in Marrakesh surrounded by all your family and friends, you’ll need someone to conduct your wedding. And, if you’re looking for a creative, warm, professional yet fun celebrant, then I could be the right person for you.
Travelling is one of my passions, and I will do all I can to make your destination wedding ceremony exactly as you hope. I’ve been fortunate enough to conduct ceremonies in many countries including the UK, Egypt, France and Bali and I love, love, love working with couples to make sure their dream destination ceremony becomes a reality.
How It Works
I am registered to deliver legal ceremonies in Australia. I can do non-legal ceremonies anywhere in the world. The way I usually work couples getting married overseas is:
After at least a month, or any any date agreed (but no more than 18 months from NOIM lodged) I’ll conduct a basic, legal only ceremony with at least two witnesses. From this point onwards you are legally married. This can be done before or after your destination wedding.
During the above I work with you to develop a personalised ceremony as per my Full Works package
I travel to your ceremony destination in time for the rehearsal (if you are having one) or for your ceremony
My charges are standard fees plus travel costs such as flights, accommodation for the night before the rehearsal until the day after the ceremony. I also request reimbursement for any specific wedding-related expenses (such as taxis to the venue).
If you’d like to chat further about your destination wedding, or for a more specific quote, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or on 0478 041227 or fill in my contact form.
PS If you are looking to hold your destination wedding as an elopement, read here for tips on how to do this.
Why consider eloping? There’s loads of reasons why couples I work with elope. Whether it’s to save money, to negate the ‘inviting the masses’ issue, or you just want a really intimate quick wedding with only you and your witnesses then I’m able to help you with your elopement ceremony, ensuring it meets all your needs.
Submit your completed notice-of-intended-marriage at least one calendar month prior to your elopement date with your celebrant. Unless there is a reason which falls under exceptional circumstances (please ask me for more advice on these), you will need to lodge this at least one calendar month before your chosen date to get married.
Think about what kind of elopement you want.
Do you want super-intimate with only two witnesses or something with a small, intimate group of family and/or friends?
If you do want to invite guests, do you want them to be aware that you are eloping, or do you want to invite them under a different guise?
Do you want to include personalised vows in the ceremony?
Do you want any readings included? Would you like any of your guests to say something during the ceremony?
Do you want your elopement to be captured by a professional photographer and/or videographer to then share with others at a later date?
Decide where you would like to hold your elopement ceremony.
I have conducted elopements:
at parks (depending on your type of elopement, it’s worth checking first to see if you need any kind of permit for that particular park)
on beaches, including those on both the Gold and Sunshine Coasts
in a coffee shop (with the bride and groom in shorts and thongs)
at the home of a couple, just before they were to fly off for a trip of a lifetime
at a small family 30th birthday party which turned into a surprise elopement
Breaking the news
How are you going to share the news with your family and friends after the elopement? It must seem an odd question to ask, but quite often couples elope, and then spend days, weeks, even months, before they share the news because, well… basically they’re not sure how to do so! It’s worth having a think about this beforehand; are there those whom you want to tell first face to face, or are you happy to make an announcement on social media?
Sound Easy – What’s Next?
Check out my Short, Simple Yet Sweet package which is perfect for elopements. If this is within budget and you like my style, give me a ring or send me an email.
I have a real sense of adventure and love surprises, so am more than happy to get fully on board to make your elopement totally right for you. I can give you any advice you may need, such as where to hold your elopement, and will support you through the process. And why not read what others have to say about my services by checking out these reviews.
I work with some amazing wedding photographers, and one of my absolute favourite togs is the talented Kirsty from Wildflower Weddings. We first worked together on a mutual friend’s wedding in January 2016, and since then we’ve become close, meeting up every couple of months to chat all things wedding.
Recently Kirsty came to the House of Hotten to hug Valentine McFarty and share with me insider tips from a wedding photographers perspective. Below is everything I learnt, and I hope you find this helpful too.
Timings for your ceremony
Firstly, when thinking about the timings for your ceremony, it’s a great idea to discuss with your photographer what time they suggest it should start. They have lots of experience on how long everything will take, and can advise how you should take into consideration the time of year and location you have chosen. For example, in South East Queensland and Northern NSW, sun sets around 5pm in Winter, whereas in Summer you’ll have an extra hour and a half to play with.
You may want to
consider how much time you would like between your ceremony and your reception
starting, and whether you’re going for a short, simple ceremony, or a full
Catholic Mass wedding.
Winter wedding in Brisbane with a sun set of 5pm, and a half hour ceremony
3.00 to 3.30pm: CEREMONY
3.30 to 4.00pm: CONGRATULATIONS FOLLOWED BY GROUP/FAMILY PHOTOS
4.00 to 4.30pm: BRIDAL PARTY PHOTOS
4.30 to 5.00pm: COUPLE PHOTOS
Things to consider:
If you need to travel to your photo
location, allow extra time for this.
If you have a large bridal party
(more than six members), allow extra time as well.
Summer wedding in Brisbane with a sun set of 6.45pm, and a half hour ceremony
4.30 to 5.00pm: CEREMONY
5.00 to 5.30pm: CONGRATULATIONS FOLLOWED BY GROUP/FAMILY PHOTOS
5.30 to 6.00pm: BRIDAL PARTY PHOTOS
6.00 to 6.30pm: COUPLE PHOTOS
Things to consider:
If you don’t want to wait until 4.30 to start your ceremony, you can still do it earlier. You might want to arrange an afternoon tea, nibbles or a grazing platter for your guests
You may have fallen in
love with a particular area at your venue where you would like your ceremony to
take place. However when holding your ceremony outside, it’s important to consider
what the natural light is like.
During the ceremony, if
one of you is in dappled light, or one of you is in the light, and the other in
the shade, this can result in less than ideal circumstances for a photographer
to get the best possible shots of you.
From a photographers perspective, an ideal ceremony location is one that under full shade. Direct sunlight plays havoc with facial expressions and really, who wants their wedding photos to be mainly of them squinting? Plus it can be pretty uncomfortable for those standing within the direct rays.
When a photographer is taking shots of your ceremony, a good opportunity can be missed when Auntie Beryl is in the way, recording every moment with her brand new iPad. Kirsty is the kind of photographer who loves taking shots of guests reactions during the ceremony, and if they’re looking down at their phones, this is something she can’t capture. Her preference is for your guests to be engaged and in the moment but if you have your heart set on your guests taking candid shots, then she, of course, is not going to stop you. It’s your wedding, and Kirsty is the kind of photographer who is very flexible and will do whatever works best for you.
If you’d like your
confetti to make maximum impact, ask your guests to toss the confetti nice and
high, and not all at once, as you walk past them. You can ask your Celebrant to make this
announcement, or get the person or people handing it out to ask.
And, another tip: the bigger the confetti, the better it will look in the photos. Rice is fairly indistinguishable in a photo, whereas a larger petal, such as those from roses can look the best.
Framing the Ceremony Space
If you’re wondering whether to have an arbour, plants, or décor to focus your ceremonial area; do! Giving this focus to where the action is happening always results in better photos. And, if you can remember to do so, try to stand in the middle. Don’t worry if you forget though. As your Celebrant, I’ll always be keeping on eye on things and will gently help guide you into place if you do start to wander off.
Thanks a million Kirsty for these great tips. Some very good advice from one of the top professionals in the industry.
When an important person in your life isn’t able to attend your wedding, it can be hard. Whether it’s because they have died or are unable to travel to your wedding, you may be considering ways to acknowledge them. If so, what is the best way to do so, and how?
To Acknowledge or Not?
This is something that only you can decide. In my experience, acknowledging a person who is notably absent can address the elephant in the room.
I conducted a wedding where the brother of the groom had passed only recently. The groom wanted his absence acknowledged in the ceremony. So I said ‘Dave, has asked me to acknowledge his little brother, James, who I’m sure is in many of your thoughts today. Although James is not here, it does feel like he’s looking on, and probably having a bit of a laugh seeing Dave all suited and nervous. Although his absence is felt deeply, think of him with a smile. Imagine him taking full advantage of the free bar and throwing a shape or two on the dance floor later on.’
After the ceremony, the groom’s parents came and spoke to me. They explained that they were so grateful that James had been acknowledged. They had been worried that the whole day would go by without him being mentioned.
At another ceremony, the bride’s grandmother was too poorly to travel. The relationship between the two of them was very close. She explained to me that her grandmother had had a dream where the bride had married in olive green which was her grandmother’s favourite colour. I suggested that I wore one of my frocks which was in this colour and she loved this idea. During the ceremony I explained I was wearing this specifically in honour of her Grandmother. After the ceremony the bride sent her grandmother an extract of the ceremony where this was mentioned.
However, acknowledging someone with words may feel too upsetting, and there are other, less explicit, ways of doing so.
Whether you have a photo of your loved one somewhere near the ceremonial area or chose to carry a photo in your bouquet or pinned to your jacket, having a photographic reminder can be a wonderful way of feeling as if they are close by you throughout the day.
A sensitive, yet fun inclusion could be serving your loved ones favourite drink or food, or making something from one of their recipes. Alternatively, you could have one of their favourite songs played or, if the lyrics work, read by a friend or family member during the ceremony.
Whether it’s a fragment of your loved one’s wedding dress, his favourite tie, a hand-written note, their names embroidered into your dress, or a piece of jewelry or cuff-links worn, this can be a subtle, yet memorable way of including them in your day.
You may want to leave a seat for your loved one, either within the ceremony area, or in a more discrete area. This could be under a tree with one of their favourite flowers or a bottle of their drink so people can go and have a private moment and remember them.
Sadly my husband’s brother passed away only nine months before our wedding. His absence was on all our minds in the lead up to the wedding and on the day itself. However, we had a very happy day. It was the first time many people who had been at his funeral were together again. Although there were tears, there was much celebration of him and of us.
Please feel free to chat to me about any of these ideas. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0478041227 or by clicking on the contact page.