When most couples meet a celebrant they have very little idea about what’s involved in creating personalised and memorable ceremony. There are many aspects to be covered when planning your ceremony and just as many in the delivery. Here are 10 helpful hints about your ceremony with me!

PACKAGE OF OPTIONS, IDEAS, HINTS AND TIPS

Celebrants will give you a package of information to help you plan your ceremony. Mine is extensive, but not exhaustive. Many couples choose suggestions from the pack, others use google, some write their own and some get me to write something. It’s up to you!

LEGAL DOCUMENTATION

Your celebrant will look after most of the legal components for you, however, you need to prove your identity. This can be done by a passport or a birth certificate and photo identification or a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration should there be no records of your birth. If you have been married before, you need to provide the divorce paper of your last marriage or a death certificate of a widower or widow. It’s NOT up to you!

CHOOSE AND CREATE WHAT YOU WANT

On one day I performed two very different ceremonies; one was 13 minutes and the other 30 minutes, all based on the same principle. This is the beauty of a civil ceremony, you can dictate the content and the length. It’s up to you!

THREE LEGAL COMPONENTS

You must have these in a ceremony to be legally married. The first is me stating the Monitum from the Marriage Act of Australia, the second is the legal component of your vows and the third is having 2 witnesses 18 years of age or over to sign. It’s NOT up to you!

VOWS

I have a simple phrase of advice for my couples…keep it real! You know who you are and how comfortable you are sharing sentiments in front of others. Choose, put together or let me help you write something that reflects you. You can repeat after me, read them or memorise them (be careful though!) Ultimately, stay authentic and true to yourself. It’s up to you!

INCLUDING OTHERS IN YOUR CEREMONY

There are so many options here! Bridal party, walking you down the aisle, giving away, readings, rituals, dedications, ring bearers, witnesses, ushers, help deliver the ceremony and memorial candles to name a few. Again, it’s up to you!

WHERE DO I STAND TO DELIVER THE CEREMONY?

You will see very few photos of me in between a couple as I choose to stand next to the groom or the bridal party. I feel it allows me to engage with both bridal party and the guests and have a real connection. It’s just as much ‘how’ you deliver the ceremony as about ‘what’ is said. Of course, we can’t really ‘place’ all of the bridal party into position until the bride’s dress is sorted out; then we can all work around her!

YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO REMEMBER A THING DURING YOUR CEREMONY!

The way I choose to run the ceremony is one where I consider that everyone might forget what they have to do; you just follow my lead and everything will be ok. No expectations to remember, just to enjoy the ceremony and let me guide you.

REHEARSE AT MY HOME

When I meet with couples for the second time we run through everything about the day. This includes a walkthrough of the ceremony in my home in Mt Evelyn with the bride and groom and a 3 page document detailing all the organisation that will occur before the ceremony (I am not just there for a 20 minute ceremony!) Also, I meet with everyone included in the ceremony to check they’re okay with their roles (at that stage at least!) and I come to the car or room to meet all the bridesmaids/parents. Once all is in order, away we go!

A FOLLOW UP EMAIL AFTER YOUR CEREMONY

Just a little email to see how your day finished up, detailing how to obtain your marriage certificate, the online confirmation number, how to change your name and to remind you I do naming ceremonies if you’re interested!

So, if you do choose to use me as your celebrant, expect a constant smile on my face, maybe some chat about footy and fashion and a relaxed process with a few laughs on the day. Stay calm, have fun and enjoy the process.