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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 email@example.com or on 0478041227 or by clicking on the contact page.
Don’t let a hot weather day ruin your plans of an outdoor wedding. With the below tips, you can keep your guests happy, even when the temperature is rising:
Provide water for your guests upon arrival to the ceremony. Some will begin arriving anywhere from an hour prior to the ceremony start time (especially if they have a distance to travel), and if your ceremony is located in a remote area without access to a shop, it can be hard for them to wait around without any refreshments.
When sending out the invitations, it’s worth highlighting to your guests anything they may need to bring for the ceremony to help them deal with the heat. For example, if the wedding is being held in an open, sunny area, you may want to suggest guests wear sun-cream, sun-hats or bring a parasol.
For those really hot days, you might want to consider providing your guests with an Order of Service in the shape of a fan to help them cool down. You can do these yourself, and a tutorial is here
Provide some sun-cream and anything else to help them, such as bug-spray. You can even personalise them and have them as wedding favours for your guests which you can purchase here.
And always remember, don’t stress if an unexpected heat-wave happens. Enjoy your ceremony and with some of the above, your guests will too.
If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, or seen my Instagram or Facebook pages you’ll see that I have had an amazing, incredible, wonderful 2017. I conducted over 80 weddings in Australia, Bali and London, chucked in my day job to be a full-time celebrant, attended sessions on social media to learn what the hell I’m meant to be doing, and basically had the best year of my life.
And I know 2018 is going to be even better…
The reason I’m so confident of this is down to the simple fact that marriage equality is now a thing. In 2017 I conducted a couple of same-sex commitment ceremonies and, well, as beautiful as they were, it saddened my soul that I couldn’t marry them legally. Now, I can. I don’t have to say those hateful words ‘Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and woman…’ anymore. Hoo-bloody-rah!
Secondly, in 2018 I want to do more creative learning. I spent time in 2017 learning how to use social media, tailoring my website, and learning all the ins and outs of celebrancy in Australia. So now is the time for me to start doing some really fun stuff; attending courses and sessions which will hopefully include paints and pencils and textiles and design and writing and all the fun stuff.
I can’t wait for this year. I’d love to hear your ambitions for 2018, whether wedding related or not. Don’t be shy – come and say hi!
It truly is something which I’m very passionate about and it beggars belief to me as to why we don’t have it. Please read my post on my thoughts about Marriage Equality, which can be found here.
As you may be aware, by law, all celebrants must include some monitum wording which includes:
‘I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.’
I really don’t like saying the bit in bold. I truly don’t. And often couples I work with don’t like me saying it either, and they ask if I can exclude it. Unfortunately I can’t, but what I can do is include a precursor sentence before the monitum wording paragraph which explains that this is not the views of all of us, and we hope one day to have marriage equality.
I recently conducted a wedding where when I said this, everyone cheered. It gave me goose bumps; I was so proud that so many like-minded people are out there. After the ceremony a guest came up to me and shook my hand. He was in his late 50s and told me that in all his life, he’d never been to a wedding where he and his (male) partner actually felt included.
This in itself is one of many reasons why I will keep supporting change for the introduction of marriage equality.
Have you been thinking; ‘what must and must not happen during a wedding ceremony?’
Have you wondered what the legalities are within the ceremony itself?
Are you worried you’ll have to say long vows or ring exchange wording?
Well, there’s actually very little which must happen during your ceremony and equally very little that must not happen. But, before you think this is a nagging, boring post, dictating to you about traditions, read on…
What Must Happen
Your celebrant must say the legal wording which is ‘I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.’ I know that some find this paragraph insensitive and, as an advocate of Marriage Equality, I am more than happy to include a precursor to this paragraph which helps guests understand that a marriage between a man and a woman is not necessarily the belief of all.
Bride and groom must say the mandatory words ‘I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, (name in full), take thee (name in full) to be my lawful wedding (wife/husband). There are some slight changes in the wording which is a permissible (such as ‘you’ instead of ‘thee’).
The following three documents must be signed by the bride and groom in presence of two witnesses, followed by the celebrant:
the big red register (which your celebrant keeps)
the fancy looking certificate of marriage (which you keep)
the other one (which your celebrant submits to births, deaths and marriages)
That’s it… that’s all the ‘musts’ for a wedding ceremony!
You must not do something just because it’s tradition. This is your wedding, and you can do it your way. You may want to follow traditions, and that’s completely fine, but if you want to arrive together, do it! If you don’t want to exchange rings, don’t! If you’d prefer to have a shot of tequila rather than ‘kiss the bride’, go ahead!
You must not sweat the small stuff. The best weddings I’ve conducted are where the bride and groom are present and enjoying the ceremony. I know this is easier said than done, but your guests are there to celebrate with you, and you’re there to marry the love of your life. Enjoy every second of it and it will be the best day of your life. No-one will ever say ‘it was a crap wedding because the flowers were a centimeter out of place’.
You must not get stressed if something doesn’t go according to plan. I’ve had ceremonies where someone who was going to do a reading couldn’t as they were so emotional. I’ve had the wrong song played on the entrance of the bride. I’ve had children come wandering up and chat to the bride and groom during the ceremony. I’ve had my heel caught in the paving and couldn’t move for a few seconds (pictured right). And do you know what… with every single ceremony I’ve always had people come up to me and say it was the best ceremony they’ve ever seen.
Of course, the most important thing is to enjoy your day – please feel free to contact me to discuss further how to make your day absolutely perfect for you.
Today I wrote to my MP, Wayne Swan, to ask him to help in the campaign for Marriage Equality in Australia. If you believe that consenting adults have the right to marry, then please check out the Equality Campaign website http://www.equalitycampaign.org.au/ and consider writing to your MP.
Dear Mr Swan MP,
As a local resident within your electorate, I wish to show my support for marriage equality in Australia.
I have many reasons why I believe in marriage equality
It’s simply unfair not to be able to offer marriage as an option to consenting adults, including the benefits both legally and personally that come from being married
I have many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender friends and acquaintances who feel discriminated in our society enough without omitting their access to a basic human right
Finally (and this is the most important reason) I am a human being who believes that discrimination based on sexuality and/or gender identification is wrong in a civilized society.
It is time for change. The Marriage Act stipulates that marriage is between a man and a woman; this is outdated. We have numerous examples around the world where marriage equality has been introduced and, to my knowledge, not one single person has been struck by lightening as a result. In fact, I can’t even think of a good reason why anyone would be against it – I mean, surely this is just plain, simple, basic common sense?
I, as one voter, have little influence on the Government. But you, as a man of political connections, have the potential to help stop what is fundamentally discrimination. Please use this influence wisely.