Tag Archives: children

‘No ring, No bring’ rule


There has been some talk lately about the ‘no ring, no bring rule’ for guests and people bringing a plus one.  Discussions were suggesting that you only invite some guests to bring a partner to the wedding if they are engaged, or married. I found this all very interesting. I don’t really think there is a one rule for everyone approach to this. There are a lot of factors that should be considered when you are making up your guests list and inviting partners. It is a touchy and interesting subject that there will be varying opinions about, the same as having children at your wedding. There will always be someone who is offended if you don’t attach a plus one to their invite, but you would think that most people will be happy to be invited.

Consider your budget.

Can you afford to have people who may be single or not in a committed relationship bringing a partner to the wedding? If it isn’t a problem that they come, why not let people bring someone with them right? If you are on very limited numbers as it is and your friend isn’t seeing anyone exclusively maybe it doesn’t matter if they come on their own to your wedding.  If your wedding is a champagne on the beach celebration where people bring a picnic, and you didn’t let single people bring a plus one, that may be seen as a little offensive. But there is the other side of the coin where if you are having a fine dining experience for 35 guests, it wouldn’t seem strange to only invite people without a plus one.


If your venue only holds 100 people and the guest list is tight, people should understand if they can’t have a plus one on the invitation. If you were having  the wedding on a paddle steamer and could only have a certain number people should understand. It’s a tough process to work out who you leave on and off the list.


Will they know anyone else at the wedding?

I think this is a huge factor, and it’s hard if the people getting married are the only people that the guest knows, it makes sense to me to have someone there that they can bring. For some people it is really hard to strike up a conversation and will really feel uncomfortable having no one else that they know there. I guess it depends on how much you want that person at your wedding. If you really want them there and they don’t really know anyone else that well maybe its worth having them bring a plus one so that you don’t have to be worried that they are ok and feeling like you need to have someone check on them or keep spending time hoping they are having a good time.

Who the guest is.

At my wedding it was really small but my Gran was traveling a long way, it wasn’t really a plus one as such but I suggested that maybe she bring one of her sisters, or a friend with her just so that she was ok, not just with the wedding itself but to have someone staying with her while she was there. Sometimes it’s hard or scary for the elderly especially at night, sometimes other relatives would take them but if that isn’t the case maybe having them able to bring someone makes a difference if they could attend or not. Maybe someone with special needs and would feel better having someone with them.


Maybe one of your friends has just separated from a partner, and the wedding might be really tough for them, they may need some extra support and you might want to consider them bringing someone with them, again it really depends who else is going and will there be anyone there from a bigger circle of friends or relatives that they can feel supported by.

I think the whole ‘no ring, no bring’ is  silly, some people don’t want to get married or can’t, it’s silly to call it a ‘no ring, no bring’ rule. I do think though if your mate is a happy single, between partners, hopefully looking or a tinder regular (which is fine, no judgement here) he or she would understand that you probably don’t want to pay for the meal of someone that you will maybe never see again. There are always reasons that you might or might not invite people and I think it is always a case by case situation. What do you think?

A big thank you to Untamed Images for the use of their photos on the blog this week. You can see more of their work on their website or check them out on Facebook by clicking here.


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She succeeded


My Nan passed away a few weeks ago. She decided that she didn’t want to have a funeral. The last few family members that have passed away I have conducted the funeral and I have had to work out my own way of saying goodbye as I haven’t been able to attend the funeral like a normal guest. Conducting the funeral is a very different mind set. With the other funerals I’ve sat and wrote about them and looked at photos and thought a lot about what I would say. As it turns out I said a lot of the things that I sat down and wrote at our family get together, so that was a great way for me to share my memories.

I was thinking about my Nan’s life and all of the things that I remember about her and all of the things that she did. There are lots of things that I remember about Nan and always will. The first thing that came to mind was her sense of Family and her love for her own. There is never a moment I’ve doubted the love that she felt for any of her children, born of her or not, any Grandchildren, born of her children or not, or anyone she considered part of her family. The love was the same for all of us and it was endless.

I’ll always remember Nan’s love for people, always thinking about others, praying for someone, being on the phone supporting others.  I remember my stepdad, Jimbo’s, running joke with Nan. For a while when they first moved to Merbein and the phone wasn’t connected yet, Nan couldn’t walk past a payphone. She would either need to use it or break into sweats of withdrawal!

Another huge thing was her love for animals, and their love for her. I cannot remember a time, or if it was it wasn’t for long, where she didn’t own an animal. It may have been hers and my Pa’s or one that they found or that found their way to Nan. I’ll always remember Nan with animals on her lap.

No one could really rival Nan’s love for shopping in my whole life and hers, I’m sure.  Even when she was too sick to do much else, she would always find something nice in Millers.

Nan loved a good eye roll, a tut, and I got my love of the word ‘Strike’ from her. When I was chatting with other members of the family they don’t really remember her saying it. It’s funny as my sister and I say it all the time now, and remember hearing her say it a lot.

There are little things that I remember and I don’t know why. I remember when I stayed with Nan and Pa in Merbein and being introduced to the Phantom of the Opera.  I remember the time that she purchased a brand new leather jacket that I thought looked so cool. I remember the time that for no reason she brought me a little trinket that says “a friend walks beside you” something that I always think of. I remember walking into the Mildura centre Plaza and being proud to see Nan at her job in Target.

I remember her always saying “God Bless”, at the end of a conversation, end of a visit, or in your birthday card.

The past week or so I’ve thought a lot about Nan’s wonderful life and all that she had done and I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

‘To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!’

Nan you succeeded, Strike you succeeded over and over again.


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Having no children invited to your wedding


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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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Being a Mum has changed my life.


Being a Mum has totally changed my life. Not only in the most obvious ways, but in all aspects of life. The way I react to things, the way that I look at and deal with people, the way I think about and analyse things, even the manner in which I think of myself. The way I react to the news, the way I see my future and the way that I feel about some things in my past. All have changed.

In my celebrant work I meet many amazing people. People that I am better for knowing. How lucky am I, to meet and get to know these wonderful people that otherwise I might never have met. On one of these days I met a small boy who made me realise that becoming a mother had indeed changed me, in ways that people could never have told me or explained to me. I shed tears for this small boy that I met and spoke to for merely minutes. Knowing things about him that in the past I might have thought were sad, now as a mother, were heart wrenching. We sang some songs together, I just wanted to hug him and hold him close. Of course I did not do that. I smiled at him and asked him about his kindergarten.
On another day at my sons music class, I saw a mum who’s baby is being cared for by his Grandparents. This particular time she is there and their interaction saddens me. The way that he doesn’t really know her causes me to think about her for the rest of the day and long into the next. These things I would not have noticed before being a Mum, and if I did notice I probably wouldn’t have given it much more thought.
No one could ever have explained this to me, there are mushy poems out there about how you will look at and fall in love with your child, how you will never look at your partner the same way after you see his gentleness with your child, blah blah blah. Yep I understand all of that. Most people do. But no one tells you about the the deeper things that it will make you feel. They don’t tell you how you will cry about news stories that you wouldn’t have thought twice about before or the empathy you will feel towards another parents pain when something terrible happens to their child.
My sons Type 1 diabetes diagnosis took some of these things to the next level, the hospital visit and the diagnosis have changed a lot of things for me. The worry for him, the fear for him, and the gratitude that I feel knowing he is ok. I worry about this disease that he will live with for the rest of his life or until they find a cure. I worry about kids picking on him when he goes to school. Will he look after himself when he is a bit older and do all of these things for himself? (I worry a lot, lets be honest)  You only have to spend some time in the Royal Children’s Hospital to realise that this is by no means the worst that could happen to him. This is manageable and will be part of our ‘normal’ in no time, and it takes me back to the empathy I feel for those parents whose situation isn’t as manageable as ours.
I find myself telling myself on so many wonderful occasions to cherish this moment, remember this, ‘photograph this with your mind’ as I want to be able to draw on this memory in the future. It is a time that I feel full and complete and blissfully whole. I remind myself that this too shall  pass and I need to hold on to this memory in a special part of my mind. I’m really not sure how to do this effectively. How do we remember all these wonderful moments?

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Ella and Lucas


Ella and Lucas were married on a fantastic Sunday in April, at Jacobs Reserve in Brunswick West.  What a great little park with an awesome playground area to keep the kids amused. They had their reception in the Scout Hall that is at the back of Jacobs Reserve.

Lucas and Ella’s love story began around a decade ago when they met at  a party through a wonderful friend to them and to me, Vix.  Ella thought that Lucas was a mega dork with his post modernism talk, but they got past that, and managed to laugh and flirt and laugh some more. Lucas’ first impression of Ella was that she was a total babe. He thought she was funny, flirty and he loved her red hair.

They have spent the last 10 years making some wonderful memories and making a beautiful family. They spent the first half of their relationship having fun with their friends and travelling around the world. To India, Thailand, and on a yacht trip in the Whitsunday’s. They have some sketchy and some wonderful memories of great festivals. More recently they have very cherished memories of the times that they welcomed their children into the world.


Ella arrived to the wedding in an amazing red charger. When she stepped out of the car, Lucas said “OH, WOW” and then told me how Ella had a dress for the wedding but had seen another outfit that she thought would be perfect. She looked at this outfit for 5 days in a row. Lucas hadn’t seen it and was blown away. She looked stunning, in a wonderful sparkly dress and little sparkly top over it.

Ella and Lucas get on each others nerves and make each other laugh. They both don’t like being told what to do, which can make life interesting.  Lucas laughs when Ella tells a great story and she has a good joke with everyone, sometimes mocking them, but mostly mocking Lucas. Lucas make Ella laugh with the fact that he is able to laugh at himself. It became obvious to me just how in love they are when I asked them about the stand qualities that the other has. Ella said that Lucas has resilience and drive, and lots of love to give. She said that Lucas has an ability to always see her potential, even when she can’t see it herself, and it really counts after all these years. Lucas said that Ella has an amazing ability to get people talking and telling stories. Lucas loves the way that she cares so much for all of those that she loves.


Lucas had proposed to Ella at least 5 times over the last 10 years, usually Ella would tell him to ask her again when he was sober. This year, while Lucas was away on a work conference, he sent Ella an engagement card with a question mark in it. When he got back from the trip, he got down on one knee in the street where they live and asked Ella to be his wife.

What a wonderful wedding!! Ella and Lucas had their kids be part of their ceremony and before the wedding Miss F introduced me to her friends saying “This is my friend Deb, and she is the boss of the wedding” super cute.  All the kids looked fantastic and had a part in the ceremony. We had a moment near the ring exchange where we asked “Who has the ring for Ella?” and Miss F yelled loudly “I do”, and before we even had a chance to ask who had Lucas’ ring, Little Mr R was yelling out his “I do’s” it was really lovely for them to be a part of the ceremony. There was an amazing atmosphere when they exchanged their vows, it is always a special moment when any couple exchange their vows, but there was just something really special about standing there while Ella and Lucas made promises to one another.  I love that everything for this wedding was done in a matter of weeks and they decided that they wanted to do it all. Everything just evolved. People all pitched in to help and it truly was a wonderful experience.  They had ‘The Burnt Sausages’ all set up and ready to play their live music.


Ella and Lucas are some of the loveliest and real people that you could ever wish to meet. They are some of those people that you think that you are lucky that you met them. Each time that I have met with them or spent time with them I’ve gone away thinking, ‘Aren’t they just the loveliest people’. Yep, again I feel lucky that I get to help these people exchange their vows, and make them married.

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Alison and Geoff


Geoff and Alison met one another about 3 years ago. When they met they instantly hit it off. They spent their first date having dinner together and they had no trouble with conversation. They could have talked all night and they were actually asked to leave when the restaurant was closing.

Their first impressions of each other proved to be quite true. Geoff remembers that Alison had lots of stories to tell and was full of life. He loved her bubbly personality and thoughtful and caring ways. Alison thought Geoff was handsome and as they talked more she realised that he was a true gentleman. It didn’t take long for them to realise that this was love and only a few months into their relationship they knew that this was the real thing. Both Geoff and Alison realised that they had found exactly what they had been looking for.

Alison and Geoff had there wedding at the amazing Immerse Winery in Dixon’s Creek. It was a wonderful day. The sun was shining and it was a stunning October day.  They had their ceremony in the chapel there. It is a gorgeous chapel, with beautiful exposed wooden roof and it had been beautifully decorated. There was lovely fresh rose petals down either side of the aisle. It was small enough and (obviously intentionally) set out in a way that the intimate wedding made the chapel look quite full.

Family is really important to Alison and Geoff and it is something that we spoke about often when planning the wedding. I know that family means the world to them and they would do anything to help them out.  I was lucky enough to conduct the wedding of Alison’s son Paul, about a month earlier. (read all about Kate and Paul’s great wedding here)  So I really got to know them all when getting organised for both of the weddings.

Alison had all of her 3 sons arrive at the chapel with her. She had 2 of her sons enter with her daughters in law, and then she had her eldest son and her Dad both walk her down the aisle. All of the sons, and her Dad, shook hands with Geoff at the front of the chapel to welcome him into the family. I thought that this was a beautiful way to have all of your children involved in the wedding and to also have them welcome Geoff into the family and show their support for their Mum on her special day.

One thing that I really admire about Alison and Geoff is the way that they are both honest about where they have come from. That they can celebrate all the things that life has brought them, and realise that it has made them the people that they are today. They both know that they are not perfect and that their partner isn’t perfect, but they love each other, accept each other, and really want the other to be the best person that they can be.

I had a truly lovely time getting to know Ali and Geoff, and meeting their friends and family, some of them on a few occasions. I am so lucky to get to meet wonderful people and get to spend, in some cases, quite a bit of time getting to know them.  It is great for me when I can realise what their core values are and the things that they hold in the highest regard. I endeavour to make these things obvious in their ceremony so that hopefully all of their family and friends on the day can see that their wedding was really ‘them’. It is an honour for me to be a part of the day, to really get to know these amazing people that at the end of my ‘job’ I can easily call a friend.

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Klara and Bryce


Klara and Bryce were married on a perfect Saturday in November.  The blue skies were out, and it was a stunning Melbourne day. Klara and Bryce had their wedding out on Bryce’s family property, in Officer. What a beautiful part of the world. I have driven past Officer so many times on my way to visit family in Warragul and Sale, but with all of the fantastic time saving freeways, we forget just how lovely some of these places are. The view from the veranda on their house was amazing.

Klara and Bryce have spent the last 8 years together creating memories with their family and friends. Klara and Bryce have 2 adorable children together and have embraced parenthood with open hearts and minds, lack of sleep and all as a team, and feel that all the challenges that parenthood has thrown at them, has strengthened them as a couple. 

Bryce and Klara were attracted to each other’s sense of fun, humour and easy going nature and their romance soon blossomed into what it is today.  They both have similar backgrounds, having been born overseas, moving often, having travelled to many places and found they had similar family values, with family being of the upmost importance.

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Klara and Bryce were married by the dam, on a beautiful little part of the property. (they had to make a special bridge for all the guests to get to the ceremony location)  They were joined by about 80 of their friends and family around them. They had a beautiful little alter made by some of their family.  It was a stunning spot for a ceremony. Klara arrived at the ceremony with her Dad, she looked amazing. She is one of those people who are just naturally beautiful. Her dress was stunning.  She has a smile that lights up the room, and she just looked divine.

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Master L was a little overwhelmed by all of the people and missed his Mum and Dad while they were getting ready for their big day, and by the time that we all got to the ceremony location he wasn’t keen on letting go of Dad. When Klara arrived there was no way that he wanted to be with anyone else but her. So Master L spent the ceremony in Klara’s arms. It was quite lovely, I know that it wasn’t exactly what they had planned, but they went with it.  Klara and Bryce shared some vows about ‘continuing on their journey as a family’ and ‘tie their family together as one unit’, which was really beautiful that they were not only promising things to one another but to the lovely little people that complete their family.

They had a lovely marquee set up on a different part of the property for the rest of the festivities. With a wonderful outdoor type photo booth. I never take for granted that I get to spend one of the most amazing and sacred days with people, and I am truly honoured to be able to make people husband and wife. I am so lucky that I get to share some of the best days of people’s lives with them, and meet their wonderful families.

Thank-you to Sarah Churcher for the lovely photos of Klara and Bryce’s beautiful day. Check out her other work here and read her lovely blog here.

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