Ask A Celebrant - CCN Blog

This blog is updated by passionate celebrants. Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss the latest from Civil Celebrations Network - CCN.

More CCN Blog posts can be found in the Blog Categories to the right.

Valentine's Day

Have you ever wondered about the legend of St Valentine's Day? February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and in particular, the 14th - St Valentine’s Day, but who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this special day?
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How to involve blended families into your ceremony

Ceremonies have been used for thousands of years to help us manage change and build stronger bonds with our families and friends.

In the modern blended family a ceremony can reinforce how much each member is valued, and the importance of their role in the family.

Some ideas to include in a ceremony:

1. Say a formal "Thank You", with a few words of love and appreciation, along with a gift of a hug,  flowers,  jewellery, or a written "Thank You" or "Love U Note".

2. Do a Tree Planting together

3. Have a Sand Ceremony with each member of the family using different colour sand
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4. Make a Promise or Vow, especially to children who are adapting to being part of a new blended family.

5. Have a Handfasting with each family member placing a ribbon

6. Create a Painting together

7. Modify a traditional practice by thinking creatively. For example, have both biological and step fathers walk the bride in to a wedding ceremony
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8. Prepare a basket of wishes to be distributed during the certificate signing, and finish the ceremony with each guest making a wish to the guest or guests of honour

9. Choose a reading (poetry, prose or even song lyrics) for one or a small group to share by reading different lines, or have a group musical presentation

10.  New family members can all sign a Family Certificate 

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There are as many ways to celebrate members of blended families as there are blended families. 

Why not create your own special ceremony?

The most important thing is that every one is made to feel included and valued.

Remember though - when involving children, do consider their level of maturity and do not ask them to make promises that are not their responsibility or are likely to stress their relationships with others.  
Why not contact our CCN Celebrants for your next ceremony.

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Celebrants do more than just weddings...

It's true that a lot of civil celebrants only conduct marriage ceremonies or funerals but there are also many Family Celebrants who offer their services for a multitude of celebrations that will continue on throughout your lifetime.  

Betrothal / Engagement Ceremonies

Making the decision to get married is just as important and exciting as it is to actually get married, so why not celebrate it?  When you get engaged one of you is asking the other to spend the rest of your lives together.  And if the answer is yes, then that is cause for celebration.  A promise to one day soon be married (legally you need to wait at least one full month after you've signed the Notice of Intended Marriage form with your celebrant).  How wonderful it will be to find a CCN Celebrant who will become your Family Celebrant for all the celebratory milestones in your lives.

Blessingway Ceremonies

This is a lovely ceremony for when you're pregnant or adopting a child.  It is a beautiful and relaxed way to honour the mother in her preparation for the arrival of her baby/child.  There are rituals that can be performed and advice offered from experienced friends and relatives.


Naming Ceremonies

This is the non relgious version of a Christening or Baptism for your baby/child or your newly adopted baby or child to welcome them into their family and their community.  Naming Ceremonies are also for people who are transitioning from one gender to another or simply wanting a new beginning in their lives where a new name is part of that transition.


Coming of Adolescence Ceremonies

In some cultures, there are specific rituals for boys who are coming into manhood and young ladies have always had biological changes welcoming them into womanhood, although this is more often a secret tha tis not spoken about let alone celebrated.  However in Australia we don't really have a custom or tradition where the young men and woman are ackknowledged or eased into this special and sometimes confusing time in their lives.  In the past we had debutant balls and coming out parties which were designed to introduce young ladies into society, but that tradition is surely fading.  The Coming of Adolescence Ceremony is ackowledging and celebrating the transitions that your teenagers are passing through.  No longer a child, but not quite yet an adult and yet they are acheiving milestones that should be recognised.

Coming Out Ceremonies

Whether you are gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender or one of the many other gender identies, that is nobody's business but your own.  However, if you want to share and celebrate this joyous occasion and you or your child have been brave enough and found the confidence to come out to your family and friends, then why not celebrate?  Coming out is all about accepting yourself the way you are and living a life that is true for you.  You are you.  You are beautiful and you should be celebrated and be celebrated!

Coming of Age Ceremonies - 18th, 21st

Since the 1960's when the legal age of 21 was reduced down to 18 in Australia [read more about this here] we typically celebrate by getting as drunk as we possibly can.  With all the alcohol related violence, it is way overdue that we look at our coming of age celebrations and rethink what it actually means to become an adult.  It means amoungst a long list of responsibilities: voting, signing legal documents and travelling.  Yes, it means that you can drink legally, but it also means that you need to be mature enough to do it responsibly.  So why not make your coming of age party more meaningful with a ceremony that honours who you are, where you've come from and where you're going in your life.

Special Birthday Celebrations

Is Nanna turning 80?  Is Granddad 75 already? What fabulously interesting lives they must have lead in their time. Why not celebrate in a style befitting family elders and leaders by giving your loved one a Party with a Purpose.  A "This is your life" tribute honours their lives, their accomplishments, their hardships, their knowledge and their experiences.

Anniversary Celebrations & Wedding Vow Renewals

Each year that a couple has worked at their marriage should be celebrated.  Check out the Wedding Anniversary symbols page for some ideas on your next anniversary party theme and how you could incorporate a meaningful ceremony with the help of your CCN Celebrant.  When you've been married for a while, you can look back on the vows you made at your marriage ceremony and decide whether they are still fitting for your relationship now or whether you'd like to add some new ones to match how your relationship has evolved.

Moving in Together

Without the legal paperwork, buying a house or moving in together is a commitment that can in some ways be just like a marriage.  You'll need to communicate effectively to feed the pets and work together to pay the bills.  This momentous occasion should be celebrated.  You could invite everyone around and combine your housewarming party with a commitment ceremony and really party with a purpose!


Why not talk to one of our CCN Celebrants to help you make your next celebration more meaningful?


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ASK A CELEBRANT Tips for Valentine surprises

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: Valentine Day Ideas

Looking for ideas for love poetry?
Lyrics of love songs can be a great way to find an appropriate verse to recite or send a link or play at a romantic spot on the beach or pop in a card.
Google "love songs" or love songs for him or love songs for him or love songs 2015 for the latest etc.
Of course, the net is a great place to find all sorts of love poetry or verse.
Google "love songs" or love songs for him or love songs for him or love songs 2015 for the latest etc.

Or do you want to "pop" the question - "will you marry me"?
Here is a unique gentle way for you to show your interest in getting an answer from your loved one.

Download the Notice of Intended Marriage form from our Everyone  Section.
Fill in your half, fold and place in your Valentines Day with this little question . . .

Would you like to fill in the other half of this Form with me?

The form lasts for eighteen months once lodged with a Marriage Celebrant.

Please use our Celebrant directory website to find a local celebrant to suit you when plans advance that far.
Whilst this tip cannot go this far for couples wanting marriage equality, it is one way to show your intent should the legislation change 

By the way, we'd love to know if you use our tips. Look forward to seeing your comments here!

Note: From 1st April Civil Celebrations Network will be running its 2016 ASKACELEBRANT GOLD ROSE DRAW.

Booking one of our Gold Rose Celebrant after 1st April will put you in the draw for a cash prize of $500, $300 or $200.

It's our fun way of promoting our CCN Celebrant members!

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