WHERE TO START
Weddings can bring out the best and worst in people. It can be such a stressful process; juggling finances, tastes, expectations and providers.
You want your ceremony to be memorable for all of the right reasons. You want it to be a true reflection of who you are and to be delivered in a professional, engaging and personal manner.
I always suggest you meet a couple of celebrants before making your final decision. If you want your ceremony to be formal, serious and impersonal, I may not be your cup of tea. If you want everyone to be smiling and feeling the vibe of love, I'm pretty sure I'm your girl!
I can guarantee that as your celebrant the process of organising your ceremony will be stress-free, fun and you will end up with a ceremony that everyone raves about.
FEES AND SERVICES
The fee per ceremony is $950 and is inclusive of a non-refundable $200 deposit to secure the booking.
This fee covers:
Assistance with all legal documentation and lodgement of this documentation to Births, Deaths and Marriages
A legal copy of your certificate, mailed to your home address once the marriage has been registered
An initial meeting to plan the ceremony and talk about what it is you want
Development of a ceremony which is uniquely yours (and as many drafts of this as you want!)
Your rehearsal, where we choreograph who goes where and when. We do a 'run through' to make sure there are no surprises on the day
Provision of PA and microphones (powerful enough for a wedding of 300 people). The PA can also be used to play music during the ceremony.
Travel for the rehearsal and ceremony (additional charges may apply for travel over one hour)
THE WEDDING DAY
I will arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony to ensure everything will run smoothly.
I will meet the photographer, videographer, musicians and any others involved in your ceremony and talk through the structure and timing of the ceremony.
Spending some time with the groom (or other bride!) to keep them calm and review what was discussed at the rehearsal.
I will welcome guests and ensure they are in their places for the bride's (or groom's!) arrival.
Then, I will provide you with a ceremony that you will remember as 'the happiest day' of your life!
HINTS & TIPS
1. Choose your words
Your ceremony will come to life if you use readings and vows which truly reflect your personalities.
Here are some of the readings and vows couples have asked to be used at the weddings I have solemnized.
Some you will love, some you won't, but it's great to do your research to see which style suits your vision for the day.
"Union" by Robert Fulghum
"Oh the places you'll go" by Dr Suess
"Marriage joins two people in the circle of its love" by Edmund O'Neill
"The Blessing of the Hands" by Rev Daniel Harris
"I Wanna Grow Old With You" by Adam Sandler, from the movie The Wedding Singer
"The art of marriage" by Wilfred Peterson
"From this day forward" Author Unknown
"On friendship" by Roy Croft
"To Diego and Frida" (Tina Modotti's toast) from the movie Frida
"Yes, I'll marry you" by Pam Ayres
"The hands ceremony" Author Unknown
Of course, the best vows are those that are personalised to reflect you and your partner, and the promises you want to make to each other. You just need to incorporate what you are saying into these minimal legal requirements:
I ask everyone here to witness that I, John James Smith, take you, Mary Anne Jones to be my lawfully wedded wife.
Apart from these legally required words, you can add whatever you like. Here are some more ideas:
I ask everyone here to witness that I, John James Smith, take you, Mary Anne Jones to be my lawfully wedded wife. I take you as my friend and love, beside me and apart from me, in laughter and in tears, in conflict and tranquility, asking that you be no other than yourself, loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not know yet, in all the ways life may find us.
I ask everyone here to witness that I, John James Smith, take you, Max Avery Jones to be my lawfully wedded husband. I vow to love you and care for you as long as we both shall live. I take you, with all your faults and strengths, as I offer myself to you with all my faults and strengths. I will help you when you need help, and turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.
I ask everyone here to witness that I, Louise Joy Smith, take you, Mary Anne Jones to be my lawfully wedded wife. I take you in friendship and in love, in strength and weakness, to share the good times and misfortune, in achievement and failure, to celebrate life with you forevermore
I ask everyone here to witness that I, John James Smith, take you, Mary Anne Jones to be my lawfully wedded wife. Today, tomorrow and for all the rest of my days, I promise to stand beside you To dance with you in times of joy To lift you up in times of sadness To rejoice with you in times of health To comfort you in times of illness I promise to turn to you for solace, for encouragement, and for inspiration I promise to be faithful and true to you I promise to shower you with love and affection; every joyous and blessed day, for the rest of our lives.
I ask everyone here to witness that I, John James Smith, take you, Mary Anne Jones to be my lawfully wedded wife. I take you, secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend, my faithful partner in life, and my one true love. On this special day, I give to you my promise to stay by your side as your wife in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, as well as through the good times and the bad. I further promise to love you without reservation, comfort you in times of distress, encourage you to achieve all of your goals, laugh with you and cry with you, grow with you in mind and spirit, always be open and honest with you, and cherish you for as long as we both shall live.
2. YOUR WEDDING SOUNDTRACK
Again, the music you choose for your ceremony reflects your personality and your 'theme' for the day.
Some very clever people put together this playlist of songs that people have used to walk down the aisle at their wedding. Hopefully you'll find some inspiration here: