Tag Archives: celebrant

Tamara and Daniel

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I was lucky enough to conduct the wedding of Tamara and Daniel on a windy, but lovely, day in September. They were married at the Seawinds Gardens in Arthurs Seat. If you haven’t been to the Gardens or up to Arthurs Seat, it is a beautiful and breathtaking part of the world. It is somewhere that I have driven past so many times and had only been when I was much younger. It is an amazing place. And what better place for a wedding! The views are spectacular and it is a place that has been very special to Tamara and Daniel so it was very fitting for them to have their ceremony there. They were married at the outlook in front of about 70 of their family and friends.

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Daniel and Tamara have been together for 7 years, meeting through some mutual friends. As a couple, Tamara and Daniel have spent a lot of time enjoying each others company. They love running, kayaking, hiking and cycling. If that isn’t enough hard work in itself, they spend a lot of time renovating their house too! So they obviously know that they can work together and through tough situations. When you still want to live with the other person after having lived out of one end of a house with only half a bathroom, it must be love.

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Daniel and Tamara have a beautiful proposal story. While in America, they were walking in a back section of Disneyland behind the castle when Dan asked if one of the staff would take his and Tamara’s photo.  Dan isn’t really one for having his photo taken, but they were away on holiday so Tamara thought nothing of it. The first photo was just of the two of them standing there nicely, then Dan got down on one knee in front of the disney castle and asked Tamara to marry him. Tamara didn’t say yes straight away, first she asked if he was serious, then gave him a hug. It wasn’t until about an hour later that she told him yes!! It was pretty much a given though she already had the ring on and was crying like a baby!

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One thing that made it obvious to me just how in love they are is when I asked Tamara and Daniel to describe their relationship to me in 3 words. There answer was really beautiful! They said natural, enduring and supportive. It doesn’t get much lovelier than that. Natural because they know that they can always be themselves. Enduring, as they face situations head on and always work through things together. And supportive, that no matter what life throws at them, that they always talk through things, and support the other to get over every hurdle they face. This has made for a wonderful foundation for their love, and they have always supported each other and pulled the other through any tough times.

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I especially loved that I got to see people that I have conducted weddings for in the past. I was lucky enough to conduct the wedding of Daniel’s sister Candice, and also the wedding of his friends Philip and Judy. I love seeing these people that I have spent a bit of time getting to know but rarely see again.

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It was a stunning day, everyone looked wonderful and it was a beautiful part of the world.  What a day at the office!! It doesn’t get much better than that, getting to see such amazing parts of the world, with wonderful people. I’m pretty lucky to do what I do.

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A really big thank you to Chris Cooper for the use of his photos on the blog this weekend. You can look at some of his other work by clicking here. Also if you are down the Mornington Peninsula, check out the Seawinds Gardens. Click here to check out the website.

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Wedding day selfie

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Will you be taking a wedding day selfie and uploading it to your instagram or facebook before your day is over? It is one of those things, people are either getting it done and up on social media between the ceremony and the reception, or they are waiting until the next day to share their pictures. Although I have conducted a few weddings that where not mentioned at all on social media, one in particular I remember seeing some photos a few weeks after the wedding. These photos were only there for a day or so and it looked like they were asked to remove them. It seemed as though the couple didn’t want any photos from their day shared on social media at all.

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What do you think when you are seeing a wedding being uploaded on social media? Especially when the couple share a selfie as soon as they are married, before they have finished their day? Do you wonder why they are on their phones as soon as they get a chance? Do you think great! I wanted to see something from their big day as soon as possible? Do you think it is a smart move getting in before someone else announces their own news?

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There are a lot of couples that impose a ban on uploading until they have done so, which as a celebrant I have been asked to mention at the beginning of the wedding ceremony. It seems like common sense to me, but then, all to often, common sense isn’t all that common. It makes me really cross when I see people announcing other people’s wedding news and baby news. I have previously blogged about Announcements on Social Media.

Social Media at your wedding is yet another thing that is totally up to the individual and having as little or as much of it incorporated into your day should be decided by you as a couple. What are your thoughts on social media during your day?

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A big thank you to Untamed Images for the beautiful images on the blog this week. Check out their website and facebook pages here.

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Leah and Mark

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Some things are just meant to be and you are certain about them from the beginning. They are your destiny, what is written in the stars, your inescapable fate.  Leah and Marks marriage was just one of those certainties. Some things just go together, and there is nothing that would suit them better. It’s fate, a done deal. Mark and Leah have been a couple forever, well almost. They met when they were just 14 and 16. They began this wonderful love, wagging school and talking on myspace.

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When they first met Leah thought that Mark was cute and shy, although she thought that with his hair to his shoulders that he needed a bit of a haircut. Mark thought that Leah was gorgeous straight away and could tell that she was a happy and caring person.Leah knew when she was 14 that Mark was the man that she was going to marry, of course she didn’t tell him that straight away, as much as she may have started planning  in her mind, there was no way that she was going to tell him that then and possibly scare him off.  Although he still gives her those same butterflies that he did then, after all these years.

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I loved that when I asked Mark and Leah when they knew they were in love the answer was just so true. They both knew that they loved each other when they started out in their relationship as 14 and 16 year olds, but they are aware that their relationship grew within that love. Growing together has just made their love for one another that much stronger. They just love being in one another’s company, it doesn’t matter if it is spending time with their family and friends, on holiday, on a much loved cruise or just spending time at home with their fur babies.

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Leah and Mark were married on the most perfect May day, the sun was out and it was the a beautiful day. You couldn’t have ordered much better weather. Their ceremony was held at BJ’s on Varney in Traralgon. Which is a beautiful private gardens that can be hired out for wedding ceremonies, it has a beautiful Balinese feel to it. It is a stunning and very well managed venue. One truly special thing for Leah and Mark is that they were married on Leah’s Oma and Opa’s 50th wedding anniversary. During the ceremony, we mentioned what a wonderful special day that it was and what a great example of marriage that they provided for Leah and Mark. The love that you can still see when they look at each other is just beautiful. They witnessed Leah and Marks official paperwork, which was a beautiful touch and a wonderful way for them to be honoured during the ceremony.

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If anyone spends anytime with Leah and Mark it is obvious how in love that they are, and they really do compliment each other perfectly, as much as some of the family joke that they wonder how Mark puts up with Leah being so bossy, they really do level each other out. Leah said that one of the things that she loves most about Mark is how chilled he is. She said “I am a complete control freak and he brings me back to being calm when I go on a rant”. Mark loves that Leah is so organised and always knows what she wants. He loves how no matter how busy her schedule is she will always find time to help others in need. These things make them laugh too. Sometimes Mark laughs at Leah about how obsessed she is with cleaning the floors and how she cracks it over one little bit of fluff. Leah’s attention to detail helps though when it comes to making Marks sandwiches as he likes to have the sandwich crusts perfectly together. They do have things that they get frustrated with each other about, Mark has the uncanny ability to fall asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow and he can be snoring moments after he goes to bed. Leah wonders if he even has thoughts! Mark thinks that Leah uses too much glad wrap on his lunch and has the music too loud in the car!

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It was just the most beautiful day, Leah is one of the most organised people that I have met and you could tell at the wedding, the attention to detail was just stunning. They had 16 people in their bridal party, (they all looked amazing, I especially loved the black bridesmaids dresses) and they were all on time and all knew exactly what to do and what was expected of them. I’m lucky enough to have conducted Leah’s sister Aimee’s wedding and Leah’s Uncle Dan’s wedding and have conducted the naming ceremony for Leah’s cousin Astrid, and have been given the title of the family celebrant, (which I love). It is really special for me to be able to keep catching up with all of the family and seeing the family grow. I’m lucky to be involved in all these wonderful ceremonies in such a beautiful and loving family, the love that these guys share is fantastic, you can see it in the sisters, all the way to the wonderful grandparents who shared their special day with Leah and Mark. I’m looking forward to the next ceremony that comes up in the lives of these wonderful people and will be there with bells on!!!

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Thanks to Bride2be photography for the use of their beautiful photos, check out their website here or their facebook page here. If you would like to see more about the venue you can look at their facebook page here.

 

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Elliott’s naming day

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A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of conducting the Naming ceremony for a lovely little girl. Elliott’s Mum and Dad decided that her first birthday would be a good day to do her naming ceremony as well. I conducted Mum and Dad’s (Candice and Ashley’s) wedding a couple of years ago, so it was a pleasure and an honour to be able conduct Elliott’s naming day.

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Elliott was given two wonderful sets of godparents and it was lovely to be able to speak about all the reasons that both sets of godparents were chosen along with the special relationship that both couples shared with Candice and Ashley.
It was important to Candice and Ashley to choose people who have each other’s back and who accept friends just for being the people that they are. To show Elliot that it is important to have, and to be, a friend that is on their side through all that life brings. In times of great joy, Elliot will see them celebrate together and in times of sorrow see the support only true friendship can bring.  It was a beautiful and emotional little ceremony that was held at Elliott’s grandparents home. It was the perfect way to appoint her godparents and then everyone got to celebrate Elliot turning One year old.

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How lucky am I to share wonderful events in peoples lives? It really is a wonderful thing to be able to conduct ceremonies like this for people that I have been friends with for so many years like Candice and Ashley, and for people that I just meet through the process of a naming day or a wedding. No matter who the ceremony is for, I always feel honoured to be a part of it.

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Cindy and Shane

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Cindy and Shane were married on a lovely Saturday in April. It was a stunning day at the beautiful Mrs Nicks Vineyard and the reception followed at the amazing Barn and Co conveniently on the Mrs Nicks Vineyard property. They were married under the beautiful love tree near the front of the vineyard.

I have known Cindy for almost 2 decades so for me it was a very lovely and emotional day. I always love making people married. It is really an amazing moment when you can help your old friend marry the person that she has found true love with. It really is a wonderful thing to be able to help them exchange vows. It was so lovely to see a lot of Cindy’s family whom I have watched grow over the years. I remember Cindy’s sister’s wedding when I photographed one of Cindy’s nieces  running across a courtyard as a small 8 or 9 year old and now here she is, a lovely and beautiful adult.

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Shane and Cindy met through Cindy’s work. They were friends for some time until came the moments when they each realised that love had blossomed. Shane and Cindy started this wonderful love that they share by making a commitment to one another to always be honest and give the other their all…… and that is what they have done every day since.

When I asked them about their first impressions of each other were, Cindy told me that she got butterflies when Shane spoke to her and Shane immediately fell in love with Cindy’s eyes. They amazed him.

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They have adapted to the idiosyncrasies of the other and found ways to grow together and compromise. Shane’s always being right and maybe just a little bit stubborn, arguing his point while Cindy and the girls just look at each other.  Cindy is bossy, always directing what should be done and only for the best and protection of Shane and the girls, for example the time when they were watching the LUNAR eclipse and Cindy wanted them to all put on sunglasses to protect their eyes from being damaged .

Shane knew that Cindy understood from the very beginning that it was not only him but also 2 children that she would be joining and that the decision to join their family was not taken lightly. The respect and love she has shown each one of them from the beginning is something that he is grateful for, adores and respects, as there is now not only the unbreakable bond between the two of them, but the bond with Chelsea and Rachel.

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Cindy loves Shane’s strength and unwavering loyalty. She saw from the beginning the devotion Shane had to his children and that there was not one moment in their lives that he was ever going to miss, he is always there to stand strong for his family. Cindy knows as long as each day ends with the two of them together she can face anything!

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One beautiful thing that Shane and Cindy mentioned and is really obvious to anyone who spends time with them, is their commitment to being a team. To having each other’s back. That no matter what is going on in their lives, they will always be on the others side. That through tough times, they don’t battle anything alone. They huddle together to weather the storm.

Their wedding was beautiful and had so many beautiful personal touches. Cindy had her sister as her matron of honour and her 2 nieces and step daughters in her bridal party and they all looked simply stunning in their beautiful blue dresses. There were so many candles and it was such a stunning set up in the Barn and Co restaurant area. They had about 70 guests and there was still plenty of room for a dance floor.

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One of my favorite moments of the night was when Cindy and her Dad had the father and daughter dance. Cindy’s dad is a lovely and quiet man. Watching him dance with Cindy and sing the beautiful song to his daughter was just breathtaking and there were a lot of people who had a little tear in there eye watching the beautiful moment. I must say although I am really not good at it I love the greek dancing and the dance floor was the fullest it could be when the Zorba was on.

It was a wonderful day spent with fantastic friends. I do know how lucky I am to be be able to play such an important role in one of the best days in people’s lives. I realise it more so when it is someone that I have known for such a long time and get to make them husband and wife. Not only did I get to catch up with family of one of my oldest friends but I also met and spent time with lovely new people on Shane’s side of the family, people that have been key people in his life for years and his beautiful daughters.

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A big thank you to Rochelle for the use of her photos on the blog. Check out her website here or find her on facebook by clicking here.

 

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Having no children invited to your wedding

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Having a ‘no children’ policy at your wedding. It’s always a hot topic and usually there is someone offended. I’m always hearing or reading about people who have very strong opinions on this topic. I have touched on it a little bit when I blogged about Keeping children entertained at your wedding, but what do you think? Don’t the bride and groom have the right to request that there be no children at the wedding?

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I have been talking about this with numerous people. Couples getting married and parents also. The opinions are varied and I can see it from different angles. I can see it from the celebrants point of view, from the couples point of view and as a parent.

From the celebrants point of view, children are lovely and can add a really beautiful element to the wedding ceremony, especially when they are the couples children or a big part in the lives of the couple. They are super cute attendants, but don’t always do what people want them or expect them to do in the wedding. I love an extra cute child in a little suit and tie or a sweet little dress and I love promises being made to children in the wedding and helping join families not just couples together.

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As a parent, things are totally different. For me there are two sides to this ‘coin’. On one side, If I’m off to a wedding, I think about my son. Can he sit still and keep quiet for the wedding? Will it be his nap time? Will he be a maniac on the day and run around like a little wild man? Will I actually be able to listen to what is going on or will I miss out on a lot of it, attending to my child? I know that there are many parents out there that are actually offended that their child isn’t invited to the wedding and if their child isn’t invited then they wont be attending. I don’t really understand that, sure I might have felt this way if I was invited to a wedding when my son was an infant, a sleeping little gorgeous grub, that really only woke to be fed and for a small window at a time. I think it is silly to think that a guest with a tiny weany baby should have to leave their child, (which is some cases is still being breastfed). Lets not cause any undue stress to baby or Mum having to leave her small little person behind for the wedding. Toddlers and small kids are totally different. They get into things, they touch things, fall off things and fall into things. You need 40 eyes and boundless energy to keep up with them. To me I don’t think it is unreasonable to have these children not invited to the wedding.

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What do the couple think? I know that couples don’t say ‘no kids’ just to be nasty or make things more difficult for the parents, but there are so many variables to take into consideration. How child safe is the venue? What time is the wedding? There are so many reasons that there may be that the couple have made this decision. I believe that 99 times out of 100, (or maybe even more) they are not doing this because they don’t like your children, so don’t take it personally. One of my friends is having a wedding at a winery and we have spoken about their no children under 10 rule. I completely understand why they are doing it, but they are still worried about how some people may react. Their reason that they don’t want children there is there is a lake there and they don’t want to worry about what could possibly happen if someone’s child decides that they want to go and explore the water. They don’t want to be worried about other people’s children and let’s be real, crazier things have happened.

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Should it be up to the parents to choose? What about those people who are coming to town from interstate? I can see it from all sides, I’m not sure how I would feel if I travelled interstate or overseas and all the people that I trusted were going to be at the wedding too? Not so bad if you are local, but for me it isn’t even that easy anymore. I can’t just leave my child with anyone now. I can’t just get a baby sitter and hope for the best. For me they have to know how to deal with a type 1 diabetic child. So I can see why some people may make this argument too.

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Another thing to consider is not all parents are equal. There are some parents who do all the right things and make sure that their children are supervised, but there are some parents who like their children to be a lot more ‘free range’ than that and I think that sometimes that is what worries brides and grooms. I think these are the parents that just don’t watch their kids and think that everyone else at the wedding should be keeping an eye out for their children.

What do you think? Are you offended if your children are not invited to a wedding? Did you have or are you having a no child rule at your wedding?

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Thanks to Vision House Photography for the use of their beautiful images. Check out more of their work on their website or like them on Facebook.

 

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Saving money by hiring a ‘friendor’

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I have been reading a lot lately about couples that are using what is being referred to as a ‘friendor’ in the urban dictionary it tells us that a friendor is:  A friend whose skills are employed as a vendor at an event or a wedding. Results may vary, as some friendors are highly skilled (as a DJ, photographer, baker, etc), while others are not. The bride & groom hired a friendor for their videography.

I know people who have both successfully and unsuccessfully hired friendors for their wedding, and I’m sure you all have too. We have all heard the horror stories of people who had their friendor do their wedding photos and they were disappointed with the style, or they didn’t see any images for a few  months, or worse still they hired the friendor and now they are no longer even friends. Sometimes there are occassions where having the friendor work on your wedding ends up costing you a whole lot more,  friendships suffer and so does your wallet.

I have been a friendor, and hope to continue to be one. I think that there are some great ways to ensure that you have a positive friendor experience.

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1. Be clear on what is expected on both sides.

Communication is key, make sure you talk about all things expected on both sides from the beginning. No matter who’s wedding I am asked to do, I always send them my contract, and all sign it so that we all know what to expect and  know where we stand. Obviously some of the details are different, and there are things that I change when it comes to my friends that are getting married. At least if it is all in writing there are no grey areas and no one is left wondering where they stand with anything. Be clear if you are the one that is employing the services of a friendor, tell them what you want and expect. That way they will not be left guessing on things too.

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2. Don’t expect a job done for free.

You know what you are like yourself, if someone wants something done for free, it takes a different line in your priorities than if you are being paid for a job. A lot of friends that I have conducted weddings for have said that they would have to pay for the services of someone else if they didn’t know me, and they don’t want mates rates, they just want me to be a part of their ceremony. I love this, and make sure that I do still give them a deal, but at the same time, I still feel appreciated and that my work is respected that they would hire me to do the job.  Being paid makes sure that your friendor still feels like they are working for you, but majority of the time they want it to be great, so they will work really hard on your job.

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3. Give credit where credit is due.

I married a couple at mates rates, and after the wedding they did a huge facebook post saying a massive thank you to all the people involved, the hairdresser, the make up artist and every bob and their dog was included and tags made to relevant pages. Do you think that I got a shout out? Nup. Nada. Zip. To say that I felt under appreciated is an understatement. The ruddy hairdresser that she would never see again got a shout out and a link to their page. This was my friend. I don’t expect you to thank me in the wedding speech or send me a tweet or rant about my services to all that people know. (Although people have thanked me in wedding speeches and, boy howdy it warmed my heart) but if you are giving a shout out to all the people that you paid full price to that are not your friends, an add to the list would be nice. Knowing how hard I work on all weddings, it was just a little hurtful is all.

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4. Make sure the friendor has the right skill set.

Don’t choose your friendor, just because they will be cheaper. If they make do a job and do it well and you’d hire them anyway then that is great, but if they are a chef and you are asking them to be a baker and it isn’t what they like to do or they don’t usually make cakes. It is a bit unfair to expect a cut price cake. Not only does that put your friend in a position, what if they don’t deliver what you had your heart set on. On the other hand if they are keen to make cakes and you’ve seen what they do before , by all means employ their friendor services. Don’t ask your landscape photographer friend to photograph your wedding if you haven’t seen any ‘people’ or ‘wedding’ shots that they have done before. Always make sure you have the right person for the job.

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In the majority of cases friendors I think are the bomb, they know you and care about you and generally want your day to be the best it can be, I think if you trust what they do and you would pay them to do it, they are the right person for the job. If they don’t have the skills or your asking them just to save a buck, maybe don’t they will probably be relieved, and it will probably save you some heartache. What do you think? Do you have any other tips or suggestions on hiring a friendor?

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A big Thank you to Love Journal for the use of their images on the blog this week. Check out their website and their facebook page.

 

 

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