Monthly Archives: March 2014

Legal wording and Marriage Equality

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As I celebrant at every wedding I have to say the monitum. It is part of the marriage act and apart from the vows, it is the only thing that MUST be said. Full stop, end of story. The monitum along with the vows are the legal requirements of the marriage and the monitum must be said before the vows.

The monitum 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.

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It is a requirement by law and is clearly stated in the marriage act and if it is not said the wedding isn’t valid. Regardless of what you think or I think, it is the law. (Until they change the marriage act, whenever that day may be.)  Ministers of religion do not have to say the monitum. Ministers of religion of recognised denominations and Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants solemnising religious marriages may use any form of ceremony recognised as sufficient for the purpose by the religious body or organisation of which he or she is a minister. This means that the content of the ceremony and its form must have the formal approval and recognition of the religious body or organisation.

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I have read quite a few forums recently that speak about the way that some couples feel about the monitum and they are not always happy with it. They feel the need to say something that represents what they think along with the monitum. Some couples want to say that this is the law and they soon hope that everyone should be allowed to marry whomever they wish.  Some of the comments that I have read on these forums talk about how they are worried how some of their gay guests may feel about the wording, and some of them were saying that they feel that they need to clarify that this is the law, but not their view on marriage. There was quite a lot of debate on the forum and there were clearly two sides on this issue. There was the side of couples of the belief that their friends and family that were gay have been attending weddings for their whole lives and are more than aware of what the law is in this country and feel that drawing attention to the issue in the wedding ceremony might seem a bit odd and make some people feel more uncomfortable than anything. Then there was the other side of the argument that suggested that couples need to make a stand and have their celebrant make a statement about the way that they feel and some of the forums even suggested wording so that the couples could make it known that they do not agree with the statement of the monitum.

What do you think? Are you having a wedding and are you worried about how your gay guests may feel? Have you attended a wedding where a statement was made to speak about the couples belief or statement about the desire of the couple for marriage equality?

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Thank-you again to the wonderful Vision House Photography for the use of the photos on this weeks blog. Check out their website and like them on facebook to see more of their stunning and award winning photos.

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Pretty save the date

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I’m lucky enough to be conducting an upcoming wedding in November, and I just received the loveliest save the date in my letter box. Not only will I get to help friends of mine  exchange their vows, my whole little family is invited to go along and share in their special day.

Jim and Gemma have friends and family that stretch all across the globe, and they had the loveliest save the date packaging. They wanted to let everyone know that even though they may not be able to attend, they wanted everyone to be aware that they were invited, despite geographic obstacles! A letter was wrapped around the save the date card and sealed with a lovely little bird ribbon. I always love a great save the date, I have blogged about other save the dates previously. You can read about some of them here and here.

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I think that save the dates are a great way to set the tone of your wedding, and give guests an idea of your special day. Gemma and Jim have done a great job and you can tell just how much love and hard work have gone into making these.

I  look forward to blogging all about their wedding! I’m super excited for this one, and can’t wait to meet some of the relatives that I have crafted for, and have only spoken to on facebook, after over almost 9 years of knowing Jim. There will also be some friends attending that I haven’t seen for years. I’m also really looking forward to going to Healesville Sanctuary, the venue, before and on their special day.

I can’t wait to see what the invitations look like now!!

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Alternative venues

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Weddings don’t all need to be about function centres, and big wedding estates. Though these are lovely and great options with everything in one place, a chapel or some lovely little area for your ceremony and somewhere to have the reception, sometimes though they start to all look a little bit the same. They are usually stunning and well looked after, and probably come with a reception coordinator for the day too. If you are looking to express a bit more individuality and showcase your personality at the same time, you might want to look at having your wedding reception somewhere else.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a wedding at a beautiful function centre, but again the place where you have your ceremony and your reception for that matter is another great way to tell your story and let your personality be reflected in your big day.

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I had my wedding reception at a winery. A lot of wineries now have great areas that you can have your ceremony and seem to have a little bit more originality to each of them. I recently did a wedding out at Killara Estate, check out the blog about it here. It had such a lovely feel to it and it was really quite different. You could have a wedding at your favourite winery or have it in a certain area because it means a lot to you as a couple.

You can continue to think outside the square, more recently I have been talking to couples who are looking at having their wedding in really original places. A few couples are having their ceremony at a property. Whether it is friends or family that own the property, it can be a great way to do things the way that you want. If you have a marquee or just have it out in the open there are plenty of ways to make it look lovely.  My sister had her wedding this way, out on the property of the Grooms family, with a houseboat moored close by for toilets. The ceremony was held outdoors and the reception in a marquee.

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Friends of ours had their wedding in their back yard, with a marquee and wonderful catering. There was no fanciness, no big dress, both the couple wore jeans and it was one of the most beautiful, loving heartfelt weddings that I have attended.

Some of the most meaningful weddings I have conducted have all been in places that have meant a lot to the couple, choose something that means something special to you and it all just adds to making the day more personal and your own.

Have you been to any weddings that were not held in a traditional setting? Did it work or not work in the couples favour?

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A  very big Thank you to Kirralee for the photos on the blog this week, check out her blog about this wedding here and look at some of her other stunning photos. You can also read a bit about her, or look at her facebook page.

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Trudy and Ross

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I met Trudy a few years ago. We both share a very close friend and she was at a few Christmas parties that I have attended. The very special friend that we share went overseas to live and get married (another lovely romantic story for another time). The Christmas parties that we would both be able to attend, obviously stopped.

So when I met with Trudy to talk about her wedding just before Christmas, it was like meeting up with someone that I have known for a while but rarely seen. Our mutual friend talks about her very fondly and often, so I felt like I knew quite a lot about her already and I hoped that what she had been told about me over the years was as nice as I had heard about her.

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Ross and Trudy’s love began almost 10 years ago. They were enjoying a night out with some friends at what they refer to as the “Dodgy Swan Hotel in Richmond”. Ross thought that Trudy was friendly, with a beautiful and welcoming smile. Trudy thought that Ross was also friendly, fun to hang out with and he made her laugh. It didn’t take long until they were travelling across the city to spend time with each other. After about 12 months into their relationship they travelled to Europe and spent time living in America for Ross’ work.

Ross proposed to Trudy while they were on a weekend away, Trudy fondly told me that she remembers thinking something was up when he wouldn’t let her put trackies on. She remembers him getting down on one knee and thinking ‘is he proposing?’ Trudy wasn’t sure if they would ever get married. She was a little bit shocked and had to get Ross to retell her all the beautiful things he had said again once she’d calmed down.

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The day of the wedding didn’t start out too nicely. A very wet, January morning.  The rain cleared up and the day ended up being quite mild. It was just the wind that we had to contend with. Trudy and Ross were married at the Sandbar Beach Cafe, which was a stunning venue for a wedding. The ceremony was conducted in a lovely little area that steps directly out onto the sand. One lovely thing about it being so windy was there were no people hanging around on the beach to get into the background of photos, or just sticky nose at a wedding they happened to stumble across.

Trudy wore a lovely yellow dress, that looked just beautiful. Ross and Trudy chose a lovely reading called “All I ever really needed to know I learned in kindergarden” which was very fitting as Trudy is a primary school teacher. They also chose to have one of my favourite songs for the signing of the register, The wedding song, by Angus and Julia Stone. So lovely!! It was a beautiful day and I had a wonderful time sharing a day with new friends and old.

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