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Millennial Weddings!

Wow! To my shame, I haven’t posted since last year. Must admit, have been busy doing ceremony-things!! Found this great article this morning – such good ideas! Must admit have seen all of these at weddings I’ve done except the Hipster Open Bar – what a fantastic idea, love it.

SOURCE: Popsugar

5 Millennial Brides Confess the Trendiest Things They Tried at Their Weddings

13 July, 2016 by JEN GLANTZ

More and more brides are planning their wedding and kicking out the old-school traditions that stand in their way. They are shaking their head at the idea of tossing the bouquet and sticking their tongue out at choosing to wear a white wedding dress. Millennial brides are designing and planning their wedding to look less like it came out of a wedding magazine from 1988 and more like it came straight off of Pinterest, with the help of Etsy.

Wondering what trends work the best with which kind of wedding? Here are five millennial brides who confessed the trendiest thing they tried at their wedding and what happened when they tried it.

1. A Hipster-Like Open Bar

“When we decided to do an open bar, we decided to make it different. We didn’t have any of the big-name alcohol brands or beers and instead did all craft beer and unique types of drinks. Moscow Mules were our biggest hit and we offered a mini-side open bar of just 15 different types of whiskeys. We did this because people find the food, the drink, and the music the most memorable part of any wedding. We’re big into all three of those things so we invested a lot of money in having a unique kind of open bar that our guests would never forget.” — Shelly K., 31

2. Skipping the Seating Chart

“I started doing a seating chart, probably two weeks before the wedding, and it gave me so much anxiety. It was super hard figuring out where everyone should sit. I mean how the heck would I know where my friend from work would be happy sitting for the night? I ripped up the chart in a million pieces and decided to create a sign that said ‘Sit where you’d like and make a new pal.’ I found it made our wedding more social. People met new people they probably never would have chatted with. Nobody felt awkward. Plus, nobody sits for very long so why does it matter where they sit anyway?” — Ali H., 28

3. A Cake Made Out of Macarons

“I’m not big cake-lover and the thought of spending a couple of thousand on a five-tiered wedding cake that so many people would forget to eat made me roll my eyes. I decided to go to a French bakery in town and ask them to make a tower of different flavoured macarons, enough to feed to 110 people. It was a giant tower but it was such a bit hit. That’s my favourite dessert and it was nice to have that personal touch on my wedding day.” — Hannah W., 27

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4. A Brunch Wedding

“I made my wedding a brunch wedding because brunch is my thing. I’m always brunching. It’s the number one thing I look forward to on the weekends. There’s no rule your wedding has to be at night so I decided to make it during the day. We saved so much money that way and served better, more popular food options. Our bar was stocked with mimosas and Bloody Marys. It was the best wedding decision we ever made.” — Theresa V., 31

5. Bridesmaid Non-Dresses

“I wanted my wedding vibe to be less formal than other people so I decided not to do bridesmaid dresses. Instead, I gave my bridesmaids the option of wearing skirts and tops or jumpsuits and rompers. They didn’t match but that was better because they looked like humans, instead of robots. Also, the outfits they wore were things they’d wear again on a Saturday night or to brunch.” — Georgia B., 26

I think anything that makes you feel that the ceremony is completely your own and takes away stress can only be wonderful!

By |July 27th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Bridesmaids!

I read an article recently by the wonderful Kathy Lette, about renting Bridesmaids.  Yes – renting Bridesmaids!  Apparently a cheeky new website has been developed offering well-behaved women for you to hire for your special day.

Evidently, it is quite common for Bridesmaids in particular, to cause stress and angst for the Bride.  What???  Is this not her very, special day?  Did she not choose her Bridesmaids to be her support?

The difficultly arises when Bridesmaids themselves don’t get along.  Or one of the Bridesmaids is a particularly controlling/dominant personality and tries to take over (read hijack!) the proceedings.

Firstly, it is an honour to be asked to be an attendant at a wedding.  All of you who have been asked need to keep that uppermost in your mind.  You may not like the colour/shoes/ceremony chosen by the Bride and Groom, but that’s not your decision.  When you sign up to be a Bridesmaid, you sign up to support your friend, not contradict her.

Secondly, when accepting to be a Bridesmaid, you have to decide if your dislike of any of the other Bridesmaids is stronger than your love for the Bride.  If it is, gracefully decline.  If your love is stronger than zip it!  Put aside your differences.  Bite back sarcasm.  Leave bitchiness and backstabbing at home.  If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.  Uppermost in your mind?  This should be the happiest day of the Bride’s life.  I am an attendant.  It is my job to attend.  I will make this as easy as possible for her.

And Brides?  Well, if you have a friend you love, but who tends to take over when you go out, think twice about asking her to be your Bridesmaid.  Which may mean you can’t ask any of your other friends.  It may be better to state you have made the decision to have family-only attendants, such as future sisters-in-law.

But renting a Bridesmaid?  No – have no attendants rather then wasting your money doing that!  It is not unusual for couples to decide not to have any attendants.  Especially if they have children.  Their children become the Wedding Party.  Perfect!

death_is_her_bridesmaid_by_lalita17-d4uofhl

By |August 3rd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Legals!

I am again receiving wedding requests from people who don’t realise that there are non-negotiable legal requirements before getting married. So… just to clarify, here they are:

  • A Notice of Intended Marriage must be completed, by the couple, signed and witnessed, one month before the ceremony. Under certain circumstances, it is acceptable for one of the couple to complete this only. However, the Notice must be signed by the other party to the marriage before the ceremony. Yes, that reality program where they married on TV before even meeting is fake. So-called TV surprise weddings where they go straight from the proposal to a celebrant/minister to marry them are fake. The Notice is just one document that must be signed before the ceremony! I think these stupid programs contribute to this misunderstanding that you can call a celebrant a week before you want to get married and no worries! Not true. One month.
  • In order to sign the Notice, there are certain identity documents you must have: original birth certificates/extracts or passports; divorce paperwork as proof of divorce or a death certificate if any party has been previously married; and driver’s licenses for photo identity if a passport is not used.
  • A declaration must be signed before the wedding ceremony. This declares that there is no legal impediment to the marriage and both are free to marry – not married to someone else, under 18, etc. This paper is usually signed at rehearsal but whether signed then or not, it is another paper that must be signed prior to getting married.

That’s the pre-wedding papers done and dusted! Remember… there really is no such thing in Australia as ‘let’s get married tomorrow!’.

Tim & Jodie 4 copy 2

 

 

 

 

 

By |July 27th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Don’t Stress!

I recently read that number one of the top ten regrets of couples who marry is that they wish they hadn’t stressed so much.

When couples marry, they often have a vision in their minds of their perfect day.  The ceremony will be outside in a gorgeous garden or on the beach.  The weather will be sunny and warm.  It will not be too hot, though, so they will not be in direct sun.  The guests will be perfectly happy to stand throughout the ceremony.  Or sit out in the open.  No problem!

The ceremony?  They’ll have a sand ceremony and a handfasting.  Oh, and maybe fit in a rose presentation and tea ceremony.  Will that make the ceremony too long?  No way!

They will hand make all the invitations, seating place cards and most of the decorations for the reception.  They will hang glass lamps all around the surrounding trees, filled with candles, which will be lit just before the arrival of the bridal party.

Aunty so-and-so will set next to Grandma, even though they haven’t spoken in years.  After all, it’s our day, not theirs.  They will put their differences aside.  Of course they will!  In fact, everyone will be happy for the Bride and Groom to organise the seating and seat whomever they like next to whomever they like!

The Bride and Bridesmaids will wear high heels.  Naturally!  Who cares about mud?  They will walk down to a beautiful song that magically emits from the speaker.  Oh wait, does someone have to be in charge of doing that?  No hassle – they’ll just ask so-and-so to do it.

Well, of course, things don’t always go to plan.  The weather, totally outside anyone’s control.  Elderly guests who can’t stand for long periods.  Dehydrated guests waiting up to an hour in the full sun, if they arrive early, for the Procession.  The person in charge of the music has no idea how to do it.  And hand making everything?  You may think that is the easy part, but when you suddenly find yourself spending an hour on every place card – and you have 100 to do – well that’s a lot of time spent on one thing only.

There is really so much to think about and organise at a wedding.  The above is only some of it.  There are photographers, flowers, cake, etc. etc.  So my advice?  Deal with what you have to deal with and delegate whatever you possibly can.  It doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream.  For example, you may be brilliant at craft.  But now is the time to outsource whatever you can afford.   Enlist the help of friends and family.  Most people would be delighted and even flattered to be of assistance.  Don’t be scared to ask for help.  Don’t take too much on your own shoulders.

Have a plan, but be flexible.  And – if things don’t go as smoothly as you wished – go with it.  Laugh.  Some of the best weddings I have conducted were when something spontaneous happened.  Relax!  And delegate, delegate, delegate!!

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By |July 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Ceremonies at Night!

I’m back!  Wow, after a crazy few months of moving (three times in a month!!!) I finally feel like I can settle back to work.  On the weekend I conducted a wedding ceremony in the dark.  Yes – the dark!!  It was a more unusual ceremony, pagan in its roots.  We stood outside in the bush.  It was cold, but the sweet, fresh smell of the eucalyptus trees and clear, fresh air more than made up for that.  We were surrounded by small flames lit by the groom.  I held a little itty-bitty light so I could read the ceremony!

Asatru is a belief which is Icelandic and Germanic in its roots.  It is a tradition harmonious with nature.  It encompasses a moral code of conduct called the Nine Noble Virtues.  These are Courage, Truth, Honour, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Industriousness, Self-Reliance and Perseverance.  Asatru honours the elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire.  There was not really a more perfect place to hold such a ceremony than the Otway National Forest.  At night.  Lit by candles.

Have you ever considered an evening wedding?  I can tell you that the atmosphere is totally different to a daytime ceremony.  There is something amazing about it.  And standing there, in that candlelight, revering Mother Earth, it felt to me like it was just the three of us participating in something sacred and special.  One definitely to remember!

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By |July 13th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Colour Trends for 2015

Speaking about trends in my previous post, I have been reading some interesting articles about the top colour picks for weddings this year.  It’s all about gentle and soft!

It seems people are moving away from startling bridesmaids in black, burgundy and other dark or bright colours and are choosing very differently.  Various shades of blue, such as the divine aquamarine, or tropical ocean-coloured.  Green is cool and refreshing, yet still light in tone.  Toasted almond, giving a natural down-to-earth tone to the wedding party.  One more unusual colour that is becoming popular is Glacier Grey – almost silver.

Hot in wedding dresses are off-the-shoulder tops.  Romantic, soft – even bohemian.  Variations from draped sleeves on both sides to one-shoulder dresses.  This dress would have to be a favourite of mine:

2015 Wedding Dress

It is a vintage 70’s dress which goes to show you that everything comes back!!  I love the softness and delicacy of this dress.

The other trend which sits so well with soft beauty is the soft lighting favoured now.  Many couples are choosing fairy lights or soft romantic twinkling lights in trees for outside weddings and/or a brilliant spotlight to lighten up an important display, such as a person-sized Love sign or table with photos of loved ones.

Look at these soft fairy lights strung around the tables at the wedding reception: Lovely!

heartshabbychicfairylights4You don’t have to always do exactly what the reception venue tells you to do – although, because they have much experience with weddings, they usually have many ideas – but if you do some research, you may just come up with something unusual that they haven’t done before and which reflects the personalities of you and your partner perfectly!

Above all, enjoy the journey of organising your Wedding Day – it is only one day and goes so fast.  Try to hold on to the excitement of planning as well!

By |March 17th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Trends for 2015

I have been very interested to read of Wedding trends for 2015.  There may be some things you haven’t thought of yet!  These are the trends for ceremonies, in a nutshell!

British Influence!

Blame it on the royals!  The ever popular Princess Kate and the popularity of Downtown Abbey is apparently influencing couples to bring the best of British to their table!  Think garden parties, afternoon tea, lace tablecloths and lots of flowers!  Mmmm I can almost taste the strawberries and cream!

Flowers and Greenery

Big, stunning blooms like old-fashioned roses, peonies and hydrangeas.  Greenery can include herbs such as rosemary (for remembrance) and mint.  Maidenhair fern.  Ivy!  They can be table runners or woven around chairs, giving a soft effect.

Invitations

An invitation that has the ‘wow’ factor on delivery!  Tied with ribbons, leather twine or string for a more rustic look.  Invitations studded with interesting buttons, crystals, glitter or simple dried flowers.

Drinks

Apparently Champagne towers are big again!  Get the experts for that one!  Or a choice of fruit purees for mixing with the Champagne.  Delicious!  Drink stations are still going to be big.  Wine samplings!

Tasting Stations

Still popular!  Make-your-own taco stands.  Oyster stations.  A reflection of the couples’ favourite food!

Meal Serving

Dining like the family!  Guests passing plates to one another, enabling relaxing conversation, perhaps with someone sitting two-people away, as you pass them the potatoes!

Cakes

Creative, artistic cakes with lace patterns and pleats for those looking for the soft and romantic.  Or for a more contemporary look, apparently geometric patterns are the thing!  And flavouring the cake itself with your favourite flavours – Hot Chocolate or Salted Caramel for example!

 

Music

Reinterpretations of old songs.  For example, an acoustic version of Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender.  Or have a theme-band!  Perhaps an eighties theme, with the band dressed like they just stepped out of a Madonna video.  Guaranteed to get people on the dance floor!

Artist

I love this one!  Hiring an artist to sketch guests who can pose for a sitting.  What a wonderful reminder of a perfect day!

Cake

 

What your Wedding Day should be, is a reflection of who you both are.  Think about your likes and dislikes.  Do you like formal or casual?  Elegant or rustic?  Sparkles or green?  Make it be about you!

 

 

By |February 16th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Happy New Year!

A very Happy New Year to all!

It has been a very busy time with wedding ceremonies all over Victoria and bookings coming in at a very fast rate for 2015.

Felix & April 2Fiona & Andrew

Cassie & Shayne

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been lovely!

Many couples have become engaged over Christmas.  I am even now receiving enquiries for 2016! Not so surprising, really.  Many good reception places are booked out one to two years in advance for a Saturday night, so couples decide they may as well book everything in at once!

Speaking of Saturday weddings, it is very important to book Saturday and Friday weddings early. These are the two most popular days in the year for ceremonies and I already have many Saturday bookings for the year.

But don’t limit yourself to Fridays and Saturdays.  Sometimes, you can get wonderful deals on reception places for mid-week weddings.  Or Sundays.  I myself offer 10% off mid-week weddings, as it is definitely a quieter time.  The same goes for winter weddings.  As there is not so much demand for this time of the year, many places also offer discounts during the winter season.  Again, I offer 10% off weddings from June-August inclusive.

You may be reluctant to have your wedding mid-week, for fear of inconveniencing guests. However, as most weddings are planned well in advance, and invitations usually go out at the very latest six weeks in advance, your guests have plenty of time to organise a day or two off work.  You can also try to have the ceremony early evening, to give guests time to come straight from work.  Just remember that most people wouldn’t hesitate to go to a work function mid-week, so your wedding is no different and much more fun! :)

By |January 12th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Ceremonies Outside – Back-up Plans!

Just sitting here on this wet, Melbourne Monday and thinking about the upcoming ceremonies I have outside.

Unfortunately, it is the climate of Melbourne that we do often have four seasons in one day!  I know that many of my clients have their heart set on an outside ceremony and everything is geared up to that end.  Sometimes, it just can’t be.

I know that many of my wedding couples think that they don’t care if they have to walk down the aisle under umbrellas.  Or that we can stand under umbrellas for vows.  But they are forgetting that a wedding is not just the bridal party and celebrant.  It is also the guests.  It is too much to ask for guests to sit or stand under umbrellas throughout a whole wedding ceremony – especially if they are elderly.  Often the wind will blow the rain up and under the umbrellas.  The last thing you want is for your guests to just ‘wish the ceremony away’ because they are cold and uncomfortable.  Your guests have made the effort to dress up and want to be there to hear you exchange your vows or listen to Godparents/Mentors make their pledges.  You don’t want them hoping it was just ‘over with’!

There is also the issue of the PA system.  This cannot be in the rain.  The legal documents for signing.  Obviously, the signing table cannot be in the rain.

So, it is very important to have that back-up plan.  Wedding venues always have rooms for such occasions.  Think about marquees – they can be hired or purchased, although there is no protection from the wind.  But if you are organised, you can ask people to bring blankets so at the very least your guests are warm!

Keep your eyes on the weather forecast leading up to the ceremony.  Sure, that forecast can change overnight, but generally, if it says three days out it will be wet – it will.  Or, at the very least, it may be on/off showers.  Showers can still be a problem because the ceremony may have to be interrupted to move inside – a real shame for the flow of your story.

No need to be disappointed if your dream of the beach or garden becomes an inside room instead.  The room can be made beautiful.  You can decorate with shells and flowers.  Candles stay alight.  Guests will be warm and comfortable and so very glad to be totally present.  The ceremony will still be amazing!

And, if the ceremony is a wedding, you can still get some fun photos outside with the wedding party and pretty umbrellas!!:

umbrellas_leo

By |November 24th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Incorporating History – Something of Dad’s/Grandfather’s

It is not only the mothers and grandmothers that can be incorporated into the ceremony.  Don’t forget that the male side can also be included!  One example is cufflinks.  How lovely if the groom wears his or his bride’s father or grandfather’s cufflinks on the day.  Antique cufflinks are beautiful:

Cufflinks   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Or perhaps an old silk tie or handkerchief?  If you are very lucky, your grandfather may have one of these tucked away:

It doesn’t matter whether the groom is dressed in a very modern fashion – a fob watch can still be incorporated and will not look out of place.

Many people have old medals stored away.  How memorable for the groom to wear one (or more!) of those!  Or grandfather’s wedding ring.

Perhaps your grandfather was a coin collector.  Carry the coins in your pocket!  They may not be on display for all to see, but you will know you are carrying that little bit of family history with you.

Or the bride can incorporate any of her own father or grandfather’s historical items into her bouquet.  A silk hanky could be wrapped around the base of her bouquet.

Remember, as usual, to think outside the square – look at the items you have and think of how you can include them.  Then carry that little bit of family history into your very special day!

By |November 17th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Incorporating History – Mum’s Wedding Dress

One of the most lovely things to do at your wedding is to incorporate some of your history into the ceremony.  There are many ways you can do this!

First this week – Mum’s wedding dress!

Many mothers have saved their wedding dresses in the hope that their daughters will wear them when they get married.  But of course, styles change, mothers and daughters are not necessarily the same size and even the fabric and colour may not be what daughter likes.  It doesn’t mean the dress can’t be incorporated into the ceremony.  Put the dress on a mannequin!

It could be a fancy mannequin like this:

 

Or a plain one, like they have in the shops:

Bridal_MannequinThen stand it somewhere near the ceremony, or pride of place at the reception – it will certainly be a talking point for your guests and your mother will love that her wedding dress is being honoured in such a lovely way.  Mannequins should be easy to find on ebay or Etsy.

Imagine if you had the groom’s mother’s wedding dress and grandmothers’ as well!  What a display that would make along the aisle!  They could then be moved into the reception..
Or perhaps your mother’s wedding dress has not stood the test of time and is falling apart.  If that is the case, she may not mind you cutting some of the best pieces and using them Bridal Mannequinnlike these ideas:

*  Incorporating a piece of the fabric into a locket to wear on the day. Even better if the locket is see-through! (I’ve seen them on Etsy!)

*  Wrapping and attaching a piece around some elastic and using it as a garter.

*  Wrapping and attaching a piece around some elastic and making a choker out of it.

*  Attaching a strip tied into a bow to a hairpiece or pinning it to your own veil.

*  Wrapping a piece around the base of your flowers.

*  Tucking a piece into your bodice.

Any of these can be a lovely, memorable way to include your mother’s own special day into yours!

Now let’s think about the history on the male side….!

By |November 10th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Food Stations or Bars

Have you heard about the growing popularity of food stations or food/drink bars for wedding receptions?   We all know that catering can be the most expensive and challenging part of your reception – especially if you are on a budget.  Even considering doing it all with the help of family and friends is in itself a logistical nightmare – who is going to transport the food;  does it need to be kept hot;  who is going to plate and serve the food; etc.  Do you really want your guests to be concentrating on the food, instead of the ceremony?  This is where a food station or bar comes in!

Many people are familiar with the lolly table.  The food station is taking it that a  little bit further.  You can have ‘build-your-own’ stations where guests get to assemble and serve themselves.  You hire one or two people to help with serving and keeping things hot.  You can have a choice of different flavour combinations.  For example, a burger bar, with easy-to-handle sliders:

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 1.01.06 pmBurger

 

 

 

 

You could have a pizza bar – even better if you can get your hands on an outdoor pizza oven!  A taco bar, where people can make their own tacos.  The ideas can be endless!  You can have a salad bar, a yoghurt bar, a popcorn bar – even an antipasto bar!  Really, just use your imagination!

A morning wedding?  No problem, have a brunch bar with a pancake and omelet bar, served with Bloody Mary’s!

Don’t forget drinks – a cocktail station, a juice bar, even a milkshake bar!  One of my favourites?  These rib sliders with Bourbon!

Sliders-Bourbon

 

 

 

 

Another idea if your wedding is outside?  A food truck!  You could choose a taco truck, a souvlaki truck or an ice-cream truck.

Have a look on Pinterest for more ideas!  Food stations or bars will ensure that your wedding will be one no-one will forget – fun, imaginative and something they will be talking about for a long time to come!

By |November 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Rings ‘n Things!

Have you discovered Etsy yet?  Some people have the impression that Etsy is ‘just a craft’ site and have visions of odd, handmade items.  Well, of course you can buy such things on Etsy – not that I think anything handmade is odd – in fact, I love anything that someone has crafted with their own two hands, especially if it is one of a kind.  But Etsy is so much more.

For example, if you are looking for an engagement or wedding ring, Etsy is the place to look.  There are some amazing one-of-a-kind rings and you have choice from all over the world!  You know that you will have a ring no-one else has, especially if it is handmade.  Or vintage.  My, if you are in the market to spend thousands, some of the vintage rings are breathtaking!

And ring pillows for carrying the rings in the ceremony.  Time capsule boxes.  Wedding gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen.  Wedding favours.  Table runners.  Invitations.  Bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses.  Look at this gift to the bride’s future mother-in-law:

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In fact, anything you need for your ceremony, you will find on Etsy.  And often at an amazingly reasonable price.

Please note, this is all my personal opinion – I have no contact with anyone at Etsy!  I just think it is a wonderful tool for anyone planning any ceremony – or looking for that perfect gift.

You just have to set aside the time to browse online and remember your budget.  You won’t be disappointed!

By |October 27th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Cultural Inclusions In Your Wedding Ceremony

When planning your Wedding, you may wish to think about including a traditional, cultural element in your ceremony.  Remember, this is your ceremony!  Just because you have made the choice not to be limited to a church wedding does not mean you can’t include religious or other elements.

For example, I recently attended a wedding where the bride was of the Jewish faith.  She included in her ceremony the tradition of walking around her groom seven times before the start.  It was lovely.  At the end of the ceremony, the groom smashed the glass with his foot, and everyone shouted: Mazel Tov!  A fun moment!

I have conducted a ceremony which included a sofreh table, a Persian tradition, featuring all the traditional elements:

Sofreh Table

There was my Malaysian bride, who organised a bunga telur, a Malay tradition.  The eggs symbolise a fertile union between the couple and guests are asked to take one at the end of the ceremony:

Bunge Telur

 

 

 

Sometimes, the simple inclusion of a cross or rosary on the signing table can be enough for couples to include that element of religion.  Or the reading of a passage from the Bible.

For those drawn to Buddhism, the inclusion of a Buddha statue or the hypnotic, healing sound of a Tibetan singing bowl adds meaningful and interesting elements to the ceremony.

So don’t allow yourself to be limited.  You may include in your ceremony anything that you ever dreamed of having.  It is all up to you!  Your choice.

By |October 20th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Getting Married in Gardens and Beaches

I recently had a discussion with a couple about getting married in a beautiful garden.  Many people are under the impression that you can just walk into a public garden or beach, stake out your space and get married!  I certainly wish it was that easy!

Public gardens and beaches come under the jurisdictions of the local councils and they all have their own laws…and fees.  There are some councils that will not allow any ceremonies on the local beach.    Others will allow a ceremony, but charge quite a large fee.  Of course, councils do have to be mindful of issues such as falling branches of trees, with the possibility of a hefty insurance claim. We also have to keep in mind it costs money for the upkeep of these beautiful spots, to keep them beautiful.  Not everyone is mindful about dropping rubbish, stepping on flowers, etc.

Even paying a fee does not stop the possibility of people out for a picnic or stroll wandering into the middle of your ceremony.  It is amazing how some people can be totally oblivious that there is a wedding under way and I have heard of one ceremony where a gentlemen walked right into the middle of the procession before ‘waking up’ and looking around in horror, between two bridesmaids!

So my advice firstly, is that if you are contemplating such a ceremony, firstly call the council.  If the fee is manageable, book it.  Before you pay, though, show the fee to your Celebrant because many councils will charge extra for Public Liability Insurance,  which your Celebrant will already have.

Secondly, always have a designated person to keep their eye out for ‘strays’ wandering into the ceremony!

If you can afford the fee, getting married in a garden or on a beach are truly beautiful settings for that perfect ceremony.  You won’t be sorry when you see the photos!

BG Walkway

By |October 13th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Bookings, bookings!

Celine & Ricky copy

Well, it is that time of year!  Spring seems to remind couples that winter has passed, summer is just around the corner and……woops!  So is their Wedding Day!

It is really important to book in as much as you can as early as you can!  Not just the Celebrant, but all those other incidentals.  Flowers, cars, suit hire (remember Spring Racing Carnival is a peak hire time for suits!), decorations, cake/s etc. etc!  Of course, your venue should have been the first booking!  Some places are booked out as much as two years in advance for a Saturday!

Download my Guide for Planning a Wedding on the right of my page here.  It will help give you some idea of time management.  A good time management plan will help prevent those last minute disappointments and stresses over things you left undone until it’s too late!  You may think you have plenty of time, but days run into weeks which run into months and suddenly, you realise your special day is just three months away!

Remember to check out the legal requirements of getting married!  From time to time I get couples asking if they can be married in, oh, say two weeks’ time!!  Of course, a Notice of Intended Married must be completed and properly witnessed and signed at the very latest, one month before the Wedding Day!  For further information, see my Legalities tab above.

So….the bookings are moving at a fast pace now.  If you think I may be able to help make your special day perfect – contact me quickly!  Don’t be too late!

By |October 6th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Unusual Ceremonies – Divorce – Yes Divorce! – Ceremony

A divorce ceremony?   When you speak about this ceremony to many people, their first reaction is usually to laugh.  But let me give you food for thought.

When someone goes through a divorce, it is like a death.  In fact, I read a piece by a psychiatrist who said that it typically takes one year for every five years of marriage to properly get over a broken marriage.  So, it is a form of grieving.

So, why is it acceptable to have a funeral, say your goodbyes, but strange to have a divorce ceremony?

A divorce ceremony gives the individual – or in some cases the couple – a chance to let go of their long-held dreams and maybe even their bitterness, with grace and acceptance.  It can take the form of symbolism, for example, the cutting of the handfasting cord, perhaps speaking about cutting the anger, disappointment and tears from their life.  It can take the form of removing the wedding ring, perhaps burying it or putting it in a box.  The very act of writing down their feelings and reading them out sets them on the path to healing.  And a ‘divorce cake’ such as this one certainly helps!

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We know that ceremonies help people celebrate happy and sad occasions.  They bring us together as human beings and, in the case of sad occasions, set us on the road to healing.  A burden is lifted from the shoulders.  It’s ok to let go. It’s ok to move on.  A divorce is not the end of the world. It’s the end of one life and the beginning of another.

By |September 29th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Unusual Ceremonies – First Haircut

Many cultures consider the first haircut of their child to be a major milestone.  If the child is, for example, the age of 2 or 3, it is symbolic of the leaving behind of babyhood or toddler and emerging as a child.  In some instances, it is done between the ages of 7 and 10, symbolising the boy or girl putting away their childhood and emerging as an adult.

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It is usual for the cut to be done by the father or a close male relative, such as an uncle.  This shows that the child is breaking away from the mother – a sort of ‘cutting the apron strings’!  However, some cultures, such as Mongolian, each guest cuts some hair!

Some Native American tribes commemorate this first haircut with a ritualistic dance.  In the 19th century in the United States, the first haircut marked the time when boys start to look different to girls.  However, is is a ritual that spans many cultures – Polish, Polynesian, Chinese, Indian and Jewish, just to name a few!  Grandparents or great-grandparents may even remember it.

If this appeals to you – especially if it is in your cultural background – there is no reason why you couldn’t have a small ceremony to mark the occasion.  A few words could be said about your son or daughter becoming ‘grown-up’.  A few locks cut off to keep, followed by your favourite hairdresser, invited to the occasion!  Then perhaps a lovely celebration party.

Many years later, when you find that lock of hair, you will be transported back to this day – a wonderful, special memory, as all ceremonies are!

By |September 22nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Unusual Ceremonies – Ashes Scattering Ceremony

Some people, for their own personal reasons, do not want a funeral ceremony.  Or, they have had a funeral and are afterwards ready to scatter their dear one’s ashes with only the closest family and/or friends.

To scatter the ashes, with no words of love or farewell ritual can leave people feeling a little flat.  This is where an Ashes Scattering Ceremony can help.

It doesn’t need to be long.  It can be as simple as the reading of a favourite poem.  The playing of a favourite song.  Someone singing.  A few words spoken about the loved one, to bring them to mind.

For many people, the grief is too much to allow for speech.  This is where your chosen celebrant steps in and says all you wish to say, on your behalf, leaving you free to let go.

This type of farewell ceremony ensures the scattering of the ashes is not an abrupt end, but rather a soft, sweet send-off.  And it helps the grieving to achieve closure.  A lovely, respectful way to say goodbye.

Ashes Scattering

By |September 15th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Unusual Ceremonies – The Living Wake – A Celebration of Life

Something that confronts many of us when we lose someone dear is the thought ‘Why didn’t I tell him/her how I really felt about them when they were alive?’.  It is a great burden to many people that the words they are writing in a eulogy are words that they wish with all their hearts they could say to their love ones face to face.

It is a tragedy when we lose people suddenly, before we have had a chance to say all we wish to say to them.  Sometimes, though, people know that their time with us is limited.  They know that soon they will die.  This is where the ‘Living Wake’ comes in.

The Living Wake is exactly the same as a funeral, but the person has not yet passed.  As people are discussing death more openly and pre-planning funerals, this type of celebration is becoming more popular.  The person who is dying gets to see all those family members they haven’t seen, perhaps for many years, who would attend their funeral.  They get to hear the love felt for them.  They get to laugh along with everyone over their funny, silly habits, lovingly expressed.  They get to speak themselves about their life and their love for everyone.  They get to hear their favourite poems and music.  They get to see a photographic tribute.  The burden of their situation is perhaps lightened.  Maybe it even allows them to let go of their worries about those they are leaving behind and face their death content and accepting.

As for the family and friends of the dying, they get to write and say all those loving words we all find so hard to say face-to-face.  Their grief is eased.

When the person does pass, immediate family can then have their own small funeral, knowing that all they wished to say to their loved one, was said and heard.

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Can you imagine how much love is in a room in a ceremony such as this?

By |September 8th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments