Ask A Celebrant - CCN Blog

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Oct
16

Why use a translator or an interpreter in Australia?

Are you getting married in Australia?  Do you or your partner have limited English language skills?  Are you or your partner hearing impaired?  What about the two people you've chosen to be your official witnesses?  Perhaps you have guests coming to your ceremony who don't understand English or are hearing impaired?  There are a number of reasons why you might need to engage an interpreter or a translator when you are getting married....

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Sep
28

Outdoor Wedding ideas

When you're planning a lovely outdoor ceremony, you would generally think of how beautiful the scenery is, how the area matches your theme or perhaps there is a sentimental reason you've picked this spot, but rarely do you think about whether or not your guests will be eaten alive by mosquitos.  

Here are 7 fabulous outdoor ceremony ideas to make sure that your ceremony it's too hot, too cold or overrun by mozzies.....

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Sep
28

The Importance of timing at a ceremony

Timing is vital on a day as important as your wedding day.  It's a juggling act with numerous balls in the air, so having a well timed out schedule and sticking to it will help the day run smoothly. If you've planned correctly and timed it all out in advance then you be free of stress knowing that you've done everything you can and the rest is in the hands of 'whatever happens now is what happens'.

Here is why timing is vital to your wedding day...

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Sep
10

Where to find ceremony inspiration

You're planning your wedding... a naming ceremony... an anniversary ceremony, but where do you start? Where do you find your ceremony inspiration? Here are a few good places to start...

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Sep
03

10 Reasons why you should join CCN

CCN is a not-for-profit association for professional civil celebrants with a focus on promoting our celebrant members and a range of ceremonies and celebrations to the public.   CCN Members are marriage celebrants, religious celebrants, memorial and funeral celebrants, family and naming celebrants, student celebrants and celebrants for all occsions.

Here are just 10 of the reasons why you should join us...

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Aug
19

Ceremony Locations - 8 things to consider

If you are having a marriage ceremony where it's just you, your witnesses and your celebrant, then you can pretty much choose where ever you like, but when you've asked family and friends to witness your special day, you need to take a few things into consideration when choosing the location of your ceremony...

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Aug
13

Old Wedding Ceremony Traditions – How they have transitioned into the 21st century

Traditions at a wedding are very important to couples and their families because if you don't follow the traditions.... did you really just get married? The answer is yes, but to some people it can feel like you didn't do it properly if you don't include them.  Here we look at some of the more popular wedding traditions and how they've morphed into a 21st century friendly version.  As these are very old traditions - please forgive the lack of equality in them.  Hopefully the way in which these traditions have transitioned will help to encompass all couples who wish to marry...

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Jul
24

Celebrating family members

Celebrating family

We have birthdays, mother's day and father's day... but what about everybody else in our family?  When do we celebrate them?

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Jul
18

Let's have a winter wedding

winter bride

There are lots of reasons to consider avoiding the "wedding season" in the middle of summer.  Venues and suppliers may be easier to find (and possibly cheaper). Your wedding date won't clash with all your friends who are getting married this year.  Initially you may find that you get some negative feedback as people think about standing in the cold wind for your ceremony or driving to your reception on a dark rainy night. So here are a few tips to make a winter wedding a great success...

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Jul
04

The Kiss - What's appropriate?

Keep on kissing

We kiss people every day, and we generally know what's appropriate for each situation... but you know, the first kiss after the celebrant declares you married? The one with everyone watching as you lip lock in public with the cameras and videos working overtime. Yes, that kiss. That's not an everyday kiss that you will automatically know what to do. Today we're looking at what type of kiss is appropriate...

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Jun
12

Loss of loved ones

"People do not die for us immediately but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad." Marcel Proust

The death of those closest to us presents challenges not imagined, even though death is a natural part of life the sadness, grief, shock and confusion that may present itself at the time may feel like it will never go away...

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Jun
04

The Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants

Couples who are being married by a civil marriage celebrant can be confident because their celebrant operates under the Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants. 
The Code is compulsory. It is in legislation and celebrants who do not uphold the code can be disciplined. Let us take you through what you can expect from your celebrant...
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May
28

A shop for every celebrant's stationery needs

CCN have an online stationery shop for all your celebrant needs.  Hardback register folders; certificate presentation folders; stickers for embellishing your certificates; certificate envelopes, embossed certificate card in A5 & A4, badges and much more.....
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May
22

How much does a marriage celebrant cost??

Civil Celebrants charge their own fee depending on the services they provide.  There is a myth that goes around from time to time that Civil Marriage Celebrants charge from $500 for 20 minutes work.  Let’s explore this myth a bit further and see where it takes us...
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May
03

Mothers

Mothers

Mother is the term given to a female parent who may or may not be the biological parent. 

Mothers come in all shapes and sizes and are the subject of many poems words of love and thanks.


Mother’s Day honours motherhood and the role of mothers. It is celebrated in over 40 countries around the world, many in March or May some aligning with Christian days of celebration. Other countries celebrate International Women’s Day to honour women rather than mothers and some such as Australia celebrate both days.

We must acknowledge that not all children have the experience of loving mothers and not all mothers find ‘mothering’ a positive experience, however, in general mothering is a revered role and expressed as primordial force of motherhood throughout our language: Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Mother Goose, the mother lode, the mother land.



In Australia, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

The tradition of giving gifts to mothers on Mother's Day in Australia was started by Janet Heyden, a resident of Leichhardt, Sydney, in 1924. She began the tradition during a visit to a patient at the Newington State Home for Women, where she met many lonely and forgotten mothers. To cheer them up, she rounded up support from local school children and businesses to donate and bring gifts to the women. Every year thereafter, Mrs Heyden raised increasing support for the project from local businesses and even the local Mayor.



Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, mums, step mums, grandmas, grandmothers or however you say mum have a lovely day.

Talk to a CCN Celebrant today about arranging a ceremony to honour and celebrate the mother in your life.

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Apr
29

Renewing Your Vows – What’s the Point?

Throughout people’s lives, there are many good times as well as challenges and hardships, and it is how we react, how and what we feel and think, and the choices we make that can impact our journey.
 
 
People marry and mostly, their lives together are full of love and dreams.

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Some couples at some point in their marriage, choose to renew their vows. Why? There are many reasons for this. An example is gratitude for their marriage and wanting to revisit their vows to once again declare their love for each other.

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Some couples have many ups and downs and it is the strength of their love and relationship, and rising above adversity that prompts them to celebrate by renewing their vows.

Marriage is hard work and sometimes couples feel worn down and at breaking point. It feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders.

Life can become a test of balance with juggling and compromise.

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Sometimes you just don’t want to know about it

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You’re tired……You’re depressed …………and you just want to close your eyes.

And time is speeding on by.

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With hard work, quality time, reflection, kindness, caring, listening and hearing, gratitude for yourselves and your family, you again find balance, perspective and appreciation.

Getting through the tough times and being stronger for it is another example and a great reason to celebrate your relationship by Renewing your Vows.

Renew your Vows with your children.  Celebrate your achievements in creating a family

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A great way to involve children, especially blended families is by including a Sand or Candle Lighting Ceremony

candle ceremony

Look for  CCN Celebrants in your area to help you create a beautiful ceremony during which you renew your commitment to each other

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Apr
24

ANZAC DAY - honouring bravery, heroism and sacrifice

I recently heard someone ask “what does ANZAC stand for and why is it such a big deal in Australia?”
 

anzac 1368717 1920


ANZAC stands for Australians and New Zealand Army Corps and was originally to honour the members of these Corps who fought at Gallipoli in the First World War against the Ottoman Empire.  In 1915 the Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that was tasked with capturing the Gallipoli Peninsula, which would then open up the route to capture Constantinople, which was a German ally.
The ANZACs landed at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915 and met with fierce resistance from the Ottoman army, lead by Ataturk.
The landing was disastrous, with over 56,000 Allied deaths which included almost 9,000 Australians and almost 3,000 New Zealand men.
 
 
remembrance 1057685 1920
 
This event has become part of the stories of both Australia and New Zealand as we honour the “Anzac Legend” of bravery and heroism, as well as sacrifice.
Alec William Campbell is officially recognised as the last Anzac, and his name was added to the honour roll after his death in 2002.
Australia and New Zealand have been holding annual ceremonies on 25th April since 1916, and in both countries it is a gazetted Public Holiday.
 
 
For many years the attendance at ANZAC Day celebrations dwindled, due in part to our involvement in the unpopular Vietnam War, but in recent years public interest has been rekindled and now many Australians make the trek to Gallipoli or attend the myriad of Dawn Services that are held across our nations to honour these brave men.
 
 
ANZAC Day now is open to all members of the Armed Forces, past and present, and often family members will march in their place, with their loved ones medals on their right side, whereas serving members wear their medals on the left.
Dawn Services always follow the tradition of hymns and prayers, the playing of the Last Post, a minute’s silence and Reveille as well as both Australia and New Zealand’s anthems. Poppies and rosemary sprigs are also commonly placed beside relative’s names on the Rolls of Honour.

 

turkey 578743
 
And then there is the larrikin element. Two up is played all across Australia in pubs and backyards, whilst participants tell tales of daring and mateship and perhaps watching one of the two Anzac Day matches held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and in Sydney, both games featuring traditional rivals.
ANZAC Day holds different meanings for each Australian, and we all celebrate it in our own ways. Some of us march for our own service or in honour of a family member, some of us attend a Dawn Service, some of us play two up, or watch our favourite footy code, perhaps travel to Turkey or Ypres where other fierce battles were fought, or host a BBQ.
 
 
cenotaph 1004125 1920
 
How will you celebrate ANZAC Day?

Have your family or community thought about hosting your own Anzac Day ceremony? 

If you would like to find a CCN Celebrant to help you with an inclusive ceremony - CLICK HERE!



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Apr
17

Baby Naming

As a celebrant, it is a great honour and pleasure to be asked to conduct a baby naming ceremony for a couple I have married. 
 
It gives me a chance to see the couple again and hear of their activities and achievements since their wedding day. In addition, it means that I enter into a new relationship with them as their “family celebrant”.

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Once you have a “family celebrant” you can call on them for every family occasion, happy and sad.  From cradle to grave there are many life events that your "family celebrant" can help you to celebrate in a sincere and meaningful way.  Your “family celebrant” gets to know your family so whatever the occasion they will be able to help you make the very best of the celebration.

One of the happiest events is of course the welcoming of a new baby into the family.  Where the parents choose not to have a christening or other church ceremony they will often ask a civil celebrant to conduct this welcoming ceremony. 

It does not matter if the baby is a tiny newborn, one year old, a lively toddler or perhaps an older child who has been adopted into the family. The timing is something for the parents to consider.   A naming ceremony is a ceremonial way for extended family and friends to officially welcome the newcomer.

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While the format can be discussed between the celebrant and the parents, it often includes an explanation of the name,  promises of love and support for the future from family – such as parents, grandparents and older siblings as well as the traditional godparents -often called sponsors or guides in a civil ceremony. 

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Siblings and cousins might offer love and gifts together with promises to teach and share with the newcomer.  Candles, bubbles, rose petals, balloons and similar symbols can contribute to the ceremonial messages as well as providing entertainment for a guest list that will often contain many other children.  Music of course is essential – often including the latest from the “tiny tots hit parade”.  

Party food is invariably an key component of the event.

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Sadly, civil celebrants often perform naming ceremonies in hospitals for very sick newborns and even incorporate a naming ceremony into a funeral service for stillborn babies or those that only have very short lives.   While many celebrants are very experienced in such ceremonies your “family celebrant” will be a special source of support and caring at such a difficult time.

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Why not consider finding a “family celebrant” from the Civil Celebrations Network and building a relationship that will grow through many family occasions in the future.

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Apr
11

Supportive Relationships

  
How many times have you have you heard the words “If only my spouse was more supportive? “

help 3049553

 

Or, “I try my hardest to be supportive, but my spouse doesn’t seem to notice my efforts?”

supportive couple

Sometimes both of these statements are true, as we often don’t connect with what the other person is doing.

There is a wonderful book called “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman in which Chapman outlines his suggested Five Love Languages, and how they best need to be supported, as well as how they support others.  These are :

Receiving gifts
Quality time
Words of affirmation
Acts of Service (devotion)
Physical touch
 
In my home, my husband is motivated by Acts of Service, so his way of supporting me is to cook dinner, or go shopping, or do some household chores, whereas I am motivated by quality time……..I love spending time over a beautiful meal just chatting, or heading to the beach for a day out with a picnic lunch. And getting these two differing needs and styles of support to gel is often a tricky balancing act.

The book goes into detail on how to support your partner, and there is a quiz so you can determine what your love language is

Love Scrabble letters blog

 
What are some other tips on how to be a supportive partner?

Listen to what your partner is asking for. Really listen and if you aren’t clear on their needs, ask more questions.

reaching out

Once you have listened, then pay attention to your spouses clues…………..and believe me, they will have been dropping plenty!

Put your partner first………when you are making a decision, put your partner’s needs  foremost in your mind, and involve them.

Say sorry………when necessary. Stubborn partners who will never apologise are boorish. Saying “yes, you are right” goes a long way in a relationship.

sorry 

Help……….around the house, in the garden, with the kids, with the shopping………help is always very welcome.

Be there for them………you are a team, so declare it, and act on it.

Spend time together regularly…………without the kids, without friends and relatives……..some quality couple time.

Ask………those magic words “What is it you need from me right now”.

And finally…………find some time each day to say something nice to each other, and to laugh together.

loving couple

There are many ways you can be supportive, and if you aren’t feeling supported, then ask loudly and concisely for the support you need as a first step, then perhaps start reading some of the resources that are available online and through your local library.

 

You and your partner could celebrate your love and support for each other with a ceremony - perhaps on an anniversary or birthday please check out the list of CCN Celebrants to find one near you.

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Mar
31

The Importance of Ceremony

 The Oxford Dictionary states the meaning of Ceremony as, "A formal religious or public occasion, especially one celebrating a particular event, achievement, or anniversary". 

 Wikipedia describes a Ceremony as, "A ceremony is an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion". The word may be of Etruscan origin, via the Latin caerimonia.

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A Ceremony is usually performed to mark a rite of passage such as Birth, Baptism or Naming, Coming of Age, Graduation, Marriage, Retirement, Death and Funeral.

Ceremonies are performed at different times in our lives to celebrate an important occasion such as a special birthday, anniversary and receiving a special award

They are also incorporated into special events such as the opening and closing of sports events such Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, the Inauguration of a Monarch, President or renowned leader and Remembrance Days such as November 11th,

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Ceremonies form part of many religious events such as the Holy Communion, the Sabbath day, Holy Week,  Bar Mitzvah, Chinese New Year and Pilgrimages.

Ceremonies therefore hold an extremely important place in our lives. Ceremonies mark life’s essential moments. They may reflect our beliefs, hopes, traditions, culture and spirituality but they must express who we are. A ceremony can help to show people they are united and that they belong. They can motivate us, stimulate our emotions and prompt memories.

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The positive effects of a Ceremony are universal across civilisations and are not specific to age or gender. 

It can have many different elements but a ceremony will usually integrate into the desired theme, a procession, poetry, music, choreography and symbolism with the aim to emotionally embed and imprint the event into the memory of each individual.

A well-thought out and lovingly conducted ceremony, through its words and symbolism can provide a gateway for the person involved to move from one phase of their life to another. For instance in a Funeral the aim of the ceremony is to allow the grieving family to celebrate the life of their loved one and move onto the new phase of their lives without that person. A Graduation Ceremony honours and recognises the achievement of the graduate and is the gateway for them to move from a student to a working life.

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If you have a special occasion that you would like to celebrate with a ceremony please check out the list of CCN Celebrants to find one near you.

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Mar
21

Harmony Day

🎶 I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company 🎶
🎶 I'd like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace through out the land 🎶

Thank you to songwriters: William Backer, Roger Cook, Roquel Davis & Roger Greenaway and thank you to The New Seekers for this 1972 gem.

Check our their smashing video clip here:  https://youtu.be/ZWKznrEjJK4

This next section has been taken from the webpage of the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs 
⬇️
Celebrating Australian multiculturalism on harmony day

On Harmony Day today, we celebrate Australian multiculturalism.

Australia is the most successful multicultural country on earth. We have welcomed people from around the world to help build our nation, and in the process, we have all been enriched.

Australians get to share the diversity of cultures from around the world, while maintaining our commitment to Australian values as the glue which binds us together.

Australia's success as a multicultural nation is due to our unique model which is one of integration; not assimilation and not separatism.

We need to work at preserving this successful model, and I hope that Harmony Day is also a day where we recommit to it.
Many thousands of Australians will take part in almost 3,500 events around the nation in recognition of Harmony Day – in schools, in workplaces and public venues.

 
Australia would be poorer without our multicultural diversity. On Harmony Day, we rightly celebrate our multicultural achievements.


If you would like to find a CCN Celebrant to help you with an inclusive ceremony - CLICK HERE!

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Mar
15

Funerals

FUNERALS

Civil funeral celebrants are a popular alternative today and contrary to some beliefs are often happy to include religious components to the ceremony. 

The role of the Celebrant is to work with individuals and families to create and conduct a ceremony appropriate to the person; it is important to spend time with them to makes sure you are clear about what they want and that you can provide it for them. 

Often people are not sure what they or their family member would have liked as they never had the conversation, particularly with sudden deaths this is when your role as Celebrant is really important.

The type of ceremony may be in keeping with any cultural traditions, religious, or spiritual beliefs. The ceremony should attempt to address all the relevant aspects of the individual. It can be important for close people to have input and to be involved, to create the best possible and most beneficial experience.

Some of the inclusions for the ceremony may be a dress code, colourful or stylised, a eulogy, spoken tributes or memories (serious and humorous), poetry, readings and music. 
Choosing the music can be a great starting point.

Families may also want to connect to people who can’t be there in person by live-streaming the funeral, recording the ceremony or taking photos.

Increasingly, family members and friends of the person who has died, adults and children, actively participate in the funeral services. For example, they may wish to light a candle, share memories, read a eulogy, lay flowers on a coffin, play music, blow bubbles.


This requires flexibility, not only in terms of physical space, but also when it comes to the duration of a funeral service.   It’s hard to predict how much time people will need to celebrate a life, say goodbye and let go. Time slots at crematoria are generally 20 – 40 minutes so it may be appropriate to hold a ceremony outside of the crematorium or to continue the celebration at a wake.

Funerals assist people in their acceptance of their loss and in saying goodbye to and letting go of the physical body as it is buried or cremated. A good ceremony can contribute to the feelings of healing for the bereaved. A bad or unsatisfying one can compound sadness or grief and make the situation for the bereaved even more distressing.

People do not die for us immediately but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive.

It is as though they were traveling abroad. ~Marcel Proust

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Feb
23

LGBTQQIAAP ???

Have you ever stopped to think about what these letters mean? 

LGBTQQIAAP
 
Ever wondered what they stand for and why we can't simply label anybody who doesn't idenfity as 'straight' as 'gay'?

This is called the decahedron of Q

So what do all of those letters and names actually mean?  

(The following information has been taken directly from this website: https://decahedronofq.wordpress.com/what-is-lgbtqqiaap/)

LGBTQQIAAP stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Allies and Pansexual, with all other nine laying under the umbrella of Queer.

Queer is a little complicated one, the term was initially being used to label gay people in a negative way, but then the activists chose to use this word as an empowerment instead of a bad label and hence the word is now more neutral. It now basically refers to a non-straight person, and is hence an umbrella term for the non-straights. Under Queer Theory, it is also an idea on debunking of stables sexes, genders and sexualities, i.e. not to categorize the non-straights, as it is believed that gender identities are fluid instead of fixed, and should not be categorized and labelled, as it is not a matter of one belongs to X and hence is not Y, one can be having the characteristics of the different types, just as straight people are not all straight in the same way.

As for the other nine.....

Lesbian means women that are attracted to women.

Gay means men that are attracted to men.

Bisexual means men or women that are attracted to both men and women.

Transgender means anyone whose gender identity, expression or behaviour differs from the sexual identity they were assigned at birth.

Questioning means anyone who is in question towards their gender identity.

Intersex means a person that is born with both male and female biological features.

Asexual means a person that is not sexually attracted to others, but it doesn’t mean they do not fall in love with others, they can be attracted by someone, just that they do not have to need to act it out sexually. Some asexual people are happier on their own, others are happiest with a group of close friends. Other asexual people have a desire to form more intimate romantic relationships, and will date and seek long-term partnerships. Asexual people are just as likely to date sexual people as we are to date each other. Also, there are different kinds of asexuality such as grey-asexual, someone who has sexual attractions very rarely, and demi-sexual, which is someone who only feels sexual attractions for someone after already developing a strong bond with them. For some sexual arousal is a fairly regular occurrence, though it is not associated with a desire to find a sexual partner or partners. Some will occasionally masturbate, but feel no desire for partnered sexuality. Other asexual people experience little or no arousal. It is because they do not care about sex, asexual people generally do not see a lack of sexual arousal as a problem to be corrected, and focus their energy on enjoying other types of arousal and pleasure.

Allies (or Allied) means straight people that are supportive to the LGBT(QQIAAP) community.

Pansexual means people that are attracted to others with gender not a factor being considered. Pansexual people are often mixed up with bisexual people as they both may date both men or women. Gender of another person is not important to pansexual people as they are attracted solely to the person himself/herself and the gender does not contribute to the attraction.
If you're still a little confused - here are a couple of links to glossaries of words often used in conjunction with the LGBT community:

Click HERE to find a CCN Celeberant in your area

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Feb
14

Love Ceremonies

What is Love?
The ancient Greeks called love “the madness of the gods.”  Modern psychologists define it as it the strong desire for emotional union with another person.  But what, actually, is love.  It means so many different things to different people. Songwriters have described it, “Whenever you’re near, I hear a symphony.” Shakespeare said, “Love is blind and lovers cannot see.”  Aristotle said, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” www.theanatomyoflove.com


The importance of ritual
Rituals are important to spirituality because the repetition of enacting each ritual provides a focal point from distraction; a level of comfort and familiarity; and an opportunity to demonstrate reverence for being in the moment, moment to moment. www.sharecare.com

So when we put love and ritual and ceremony together, we come up with what is traditionally known as a "Love Ceremony"
On this Valentine's Day, let's look at all the different "Love Ceremonies" that are on offer.
 
Engagement
An engagement is one of the steps towards becoming married.  You meet, you fall in love, you make plans and you become engaged.  This is a very important day, because it is now that you really start to think about how your lives will be in the future.  



Marriage
Possibly the most common love ceremony and certainly the most traditional is the Marriage Ceremony.  You have planned for months and months to create a wonderful day that you will hopefully always remember - but while you're making all those plans, never lose sight of the real reason you're having this special day... because you love each other and you want to be married.  This is the only legal love ceremony in Australia.



Committment
Perhaps you are after a way to publicly declare your love for each other, but prefer not to make it legal...



Vow Renewal
If you've had your marriage ceremony, you can renew your vows at any time.  Some people like to do this at milestone anniversaries or every 10 years or every year - it's up to you... and what a wonderful way to let your partner know that your love for them is still going strong.



Wedding Anniversary
Choosing to celebrate on the same date every year shows your partner that you still believe in the vows that you made on your wedding day.



Celebration of Marriage
If you have decided to get married overseas (or in a small legal ceremony), you might choose to have a second ceremony back at home for family and friends who couldn't join you in Fiji.  This ceremony is all about celebrating your love for each other and your decision to get married.  This is not a legal ceremony, as once you're married, you can't have a second legal ceremony, however the ceremony itself is just as beautiful and you get to say your special vows to each other again.



So how can you celebrate all these love ceremonies?

* Engage your celebrant to create the perfect ceremony for each occasion - adding some meaning to the party

* Throw that party
* Have photos taken to remember the day
* Exchange tokens of your love
* Write lovely words to say to each other
* Surround yourself with your favourite people
* Dress up to make it a special day
* Don't lose sight of the reason you're having this love ceremony.... to show your love that you love them.

For more information on Love Ceremonies, click HERE

Happy Valentine's Day

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Jan
30

Leaving things to the last minute!

Leaving things to the last minute!

I think we're all probably guilty of a bit of procrastination every now and then.  Perhaps when you have a list of tasks ahead of you - like when you're planning a big event - like say, your wedding and you think that if you leave it for a bit, the list will get shorter or some angel will come along and take all the planning off your hands... and there is no harm in a little procrastination.  


However there is a problem if you leave it so long that you miss out.

Booking wedding creators, like marriage celebrants, photographers, videographers, stylists and florists  is something that you can't afford to put off.  Popular venodrs & venues can book out their entire availability of Saturdays a year or even two in advance.

If you've met a wedding vendor that you've clicked with, then lock them in.  



If you've seen the lovely park or bay where you'd like to hold your ceremony, call the council immediately and see if you need to book the space and purchase a permit.  



If you've tasted some amazing food and then found out that cafe does catering - pay the deposit then and there!




What might cause unnecessary disapointment is leaving things to the last minute and then missing out.  That's not to say that the next vendor isn't just as great, and your day probably won't be ruined and let's face it - you'll still be married at the end of it all..... but when you've got your heart set on something or someone.... it's hard not to be disappointed when your long drawn out plan doesn't come to fruition, especially when you could have booked them if you'd not fallen foul of the procrastination bug!

I'm going to make things super simple for you - CLICK HERE and you can easily search for a CCN Celebrant in your area...

Call them... Book them in... Job done √

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Jan
13

Death Doula

Today we are proud to present one of our CCN Members, Elaine Dinnigan as our guest blogger.

Death Doula
 
"While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die."
~Leonardo Da Vinci
               
Death is a natural and important part of life.
Death Doula

Death Companion

Death Midwife

End of Life Guide

These are all names to describe people who choose to provide information and or services to the dying and their family.  I choose to call myself an End of Life Doula.

The name “doula” originates in Greece and means "a woman who serves” and was given to those who served women through the lifecycles, hence the term 'birth doula' for those who support the beginning of life.

End of Life Doulas work alongside other professionals, family and friends, utilising non-medical skills. They accompany, guide and assist the dying person and their family providing information and support.  Doula services can be provided in the home, aged care, palliative care facilities and hospitals. It is a heart centred practice that empowers individuals and the family and allows the grieving process to follow a gentle path.


The Chapel of Bones - Portugal - Photo Credit: Dominique Fouet

 I personally provide end of life planning, support visits, family relief, vigils, home funerals and on call services.

As an End of Life Doula, I view myself as part of a renewed death positive movement moving away from the medicalisation of death allowing people choices about dying at home and refusing life extending treatments.

In Australia this happens through advanced care planning and includes advance health directives, Enduring Power of Guardianship and Enduring Power of Attorney in Western Australia.



If you would like to contact Elaine for further information you can find her here: 
www.facebook.com/deathdoulaperth
Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up.
I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something.

Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery.
People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap.
Who wants flowers when you're dead?
Nobody.

~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye,1945

For further information on ceremonies relating to death and grief, please click HERE

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Jan
09

Getting Married Legally in Australia

On the 9th December 2017 the Australian Government changed the marriage laws to allow same sex couples to legally marry.

This has been a long time coming for the LGBTQI community, their families, friends and supporters.

But it's finally here and after waiting the required month after lodging the Notice of Intended Marriage form, those couples can, as of the 9th of January 2018, marry the person they love, regardless of their gender.

So what are the legalities to getting married in Australia?

You must:

1. be a partnership of two people [regardless of gender] aged 18+
(If one of you is 16+ and the other 18+ you can apply for special permission through the court)

2. both consent to entering into the marriage

3. lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage with a celebrant (or registry office) at least one month, but no longer than 18 months prior to your ceremony date.

4. be able to provide ID showing where and when you were born, as well as prove you are who you say you are - a passport does both of these things, otherwise a birth certificate and driver's licence works (other forms of ID are also accepted)

5. not already be legally married to each other or to anybody else - this includes marriages that have taken place overseas (any same sex marriages that were legally performed in another country were automatically legally recognised in Australia on the 9th December 2017)

6. provide proof of the end of any previous legal marriages by way of divorce, death or nullity certificates.

7. sign a declaration of no legal impediment to marry stating that there is no legal reason that the two of you can't be married.



On the day of your ceremony:

* you will provide two witnesses who are aged 18+

* your celebrant will:

1. Introduce themselves and state that they are legally authorised to solemnise marriages according to the law.

2. Recite the Monitum

"Before you are married in my presense and in the presense of these witnesses,
I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship of which you are now about to enter."

3. Explain how marriage in Australia is defined:

"Marriage in Australia is the union of two people, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."

The two of you will say the legal vows

"I ask the people here present to witness, that I, AB, take you, CD, to be my lawful wedded wife/husband/spouse."



Then...

you two, your celebrant and your two witnesses will sign 3 documents:

1. you keep
2. your celebrant keeps
3. is sent to BDM for registration

Once BDM have registered your marriage, you are able to change your surname if you so choose.

The certificate you receive on the day is commemorative and not accepted at government offices as proof of marriage, so you must apply for a copy of the official marriage certificate from the BDM in the state your marriage took place (fees vary from state to state)


If you'd like more information, click here to FIND a CCN celebrant in your area.

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Jan
02

New Year's Resolutions

Why do we make New Year's Resolutions?
 
We make them every year and a couple of weeks into the new year, we're inevitably disappointed because we didn't stick to them.  In fact apparently only 8% of people stick to their resolutions - mainly because we set goals that are either unobtainable or could be achieved, but when we don't see results straight away, we quit.

So why do we make them in the first place?

The following is from: www.wonderopolis.org
The tradition of New Year's resolutions dates all the way back to 153 B.C. January is named after Janus, a mythical god of early Rome.

Janus had two faces — one looking forward, one looking backward. This allowed him to look back on the past and forward toward the future.

On December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking backward into the old year and forward into the new year. This became a symbolic time for Romans to make resolutions for the new year and forgive enemies for troubles in the past.

The Romans also believed Janus could forgive them for their wrongdoings in the previous year. The Romans would give gifts and make promises, believing Janus would see this and bless them in the year ahead.

And thus the New Year's resolution was born!



Looking backwards over the year that was is a great way to evaluate and reflect on your life and your business and then choose some things that you want to improve on.  

In the celebrancy world, goals might look like this:


* I want to perfect the way I meet and greet my clients
* I'm going to work on making my ceremonies feel more natural
* This year I'm going to learn what 'SEO' is and put it into action



These sorts of goals can run side by side with your goal to:

* get/stay fit
* lose weight
* give up smoking
* spend more time with you family/friends



The 1st of January signifies a new beginning, but each new day is also a new beginning and therefore you can reset your goals day by day.

Maybe your goal this year is to join a fabulous celebrant association..... well you can tick that goal off your list when you click on this link HERE



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Dec
19

Special Holidays - The dark side of celebrating

As Australians gear up to summer with public holidays and end of the year/new year celebrations, it is time for focus on families and friends.

Whether you are of a Christian faith or another faith - we have a wonderful mix in Australia - or have your own ethical value system based on respect for your fellow human beings and our world, the coming holidays are a special time.

Whilst these days we tend to think of holidays are being times where we are exempted from work or normal business, the origin of the word "holiday in English was hāligdæg, meaning a holy day.
 
cross 2598303 400
A “Holy Day” usually means a day set aside for a special purpose or remembrance and the origin of the word connected with Old English hal (see hal) meaning "health". 

Holidays are healthy - for taking time out - for being thankful for what we have in our lives - especially family and friends.

What is special about this time of year under the Southern skies?

The end of one calendar year and the beginning of a new. Time to take stock, trim the old and embrace the new.

stars 3012744 400
So why a "dark side"?

An end to the old and embracing the new is often symbolised by the birth of a child. Along with the joys of having a new bub, can come sadness with the loss of personal time, as well as the previous roles and pleasures as non-parents. 
 
babe 2972221 400
Other things some people have to deal with at this time of year are:

Dealing with death

Many people find the emphasis on loved ones - family and friends - especially difficult when a loved one has died.  

woman face 2254765 400
Dealing with loneliness

Playing 'happy families' once a year for families who are fractured, can cause more pain than pleasure. 

man 2550383 400

Dealing with stress


Big holidays come with extra stress, eating and drinking too much, and extra work, especially for those with children and other dependent family members. 

headache 1557802 400

Dealing with debt


Of course, sometimes we spend more than we planned.  

no money 2070384 400
Many famlies these days are finding ways to limit the money they cannot afford to spend. 

There are many ways to do this
One example is:
  • Make other love languages as important as gift giving. After all for many people, the other love languages are more important : quality time, touch/hugs, acts of service, words of affirmation. 

    CCN even suggests a combined group gift certificate for a Wedding Anniversary or Birthday in the new year where everyone contributes to the gift of engaging a professional celebrant to lead the occasion.

    cake 2048732 400
    Search our CCN Directory for a CCN Celebrant near you.
Read CCN's full article  on Special Holidays - The dark side of celebrating for more examples and ways to deal with some of issues mentioned above.

Remember - Holidays are meant to enrich our lives, our health and well-being. 

Let's make that the focus of this special time of year. 

family 2611748 400

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Dec
02

Surviving an Australian Summer

Surviving an Australian Summer

Australia is a pretty big place - 7.692 million km² to be exact.  We cross 25 degrees of longitude and 35 degrees of latitude as well as three timezones - so we're spread pretty wide - which means that we have a number of different climates.

In our south and mountainous areas, it can get super chilly in the winter, whereas in our north the same months see temperatures around the 30s.  In the summer months, all over the country can see dehydratingly high temperatures, whilst the far north experiences tropical monsoonal rains.

In more recent years we've noticed that the hotter months seem to be happening a bit later and typically dry times of the year are seeing lots of rain - which means that we can no longer plan our ceremonies with any certainty that we're going to get what we hoped for.

Just this week - a December weekend in Victoria - historically a dry time of the year, has seen devastating rain and flash flooding - possibly not what most people thought would happen when they planned their ceremony 12-18 months ago.



Here are some ideas to help you survive a summer ceremony in Australia
(and strangely enough, they won't all be about the sun!)

1. Provide shelter.
Most adult guests will be able to make up their own mind as to what to wear to your ceremony - however, not everyone will want to put a hat on over their new 'do' and carrying an umbrella might be a hindrance - so to make sure your guests are comfortable from the time that they arrive and are waiting for you to arrive all the way through to when they can head to your reception - offer shelter.  It might be an inside ceremony, under a marquee, umbrellas, hats, sunnies or even hiring palm leaf swishers.  Offering shelter will be much appreciated..... nobody wants to sit in the sun sweating or indeed stand in the rain, especially if they've made an effort to look fabulous for your special day.



2. Offer refreshments
Iced mint water, a lemonade stand, mimosas.... it will be very much appreciated.



3. Have a Plan B
Even if you don't to use it, it's peace of mind to have it at the ready should the meteorologists deliver unwanted news on the weekend of your ceremony.  A big percentage of couples state, "It's going to be a beautiful day.  We won't need a Plan B." To those couples, I say, "Please listen to your celebrant/wedding planner/friends/venue manager when we suggest to you that you need to have a Plan B." We promise not to say "I told you so" when the sky opens up.



4. Consider how far you are asking your guests to walk
Your dream ceremony location may not suit the guests you've invited.  Can Nana walk all that way down the sand dune?  Do you think Pop can climb up the side of that mountain?  Will the people wearing high heels appreciate having to walk across that field?  Does anybody want to walk 2kms in the heat/rain?



5. Consider the time of day
The majority of ceremonies are held in the afternoon and this is understandable - people want to use the morning to get ready or travel and they'd like their ceremony to flow straight into their evening reception, whilst taking advantage of dusk for great photo light..... but you don't have to do it this way - consider making your ceremony later in the day when it's cooler, just before the sun goes down... great light, cooler, happier guests.



5. Offer your guests sunscreen & mozzie repellent
..... and burn some citronella or spray some essential oil magic to keep the bugs away.



6. Wear appropriate outfits 
If you have had your heart set on a large, puffy, lots of material wedding dress, and 3 piece suits.... then perhaps the beach isn't the ideal setting for you.  Sand is not designed to be walked on in shoes (especially heels) and heavy, layered outfits are not designed to be worn in the blazing sun.  Always think "Comfort! Comfort! Comfort!"  This goes for your guests as well - set an appropriate dress code for your guests so they know it's ok to kick off the heels for the ceremony.



7. Check the weather
There are a number of Apps where you can easily check the weather the week before giving you plenty of time to be prepared.  Willy Weather gives you information on the temperature, rainfall, wind, sunrise/sunset, UV index and tides - all essential things to know about when planning an outdoor (beach) ceremony.



8. Know the weather in your area
Being able to check the weather is great, but having a bit of knowledge about the weather (especially the wind) in your area can be crucial to the planning process.  And if you're holding your ceremony in a different location from where you live - ask your celebrant - they'll know.



Studies have shown that the ideal temperature for people to be able to focus and take in what is being said is 22 degrees, so if you want your guests to be mentally present at your ceremony, then strive for the ideal climate, anyway you can.


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Nov
30

Celebrating Life

Celebrating Life

Throughout our lives there are many milestones that we traditionally celebrate... birthdays, coming of age, weddings, anniversaries, etc... and we celebrate them because in doing so we gain a sense of belonging and achievement, like we've reached a goal, we've finally arrived at a particular stage of our lives.

We made it!  

Celebrating these special moments in our lives can give us a special sense of meaning and happiness.....



... but what about all the other moments that don't get the same social recognition?  

What about the wonderful moments inbetween those big events?

A beautiful sunrise

That job prmotion

A perfectly still ocean



Your indoor netball granfinal win

Your favourite bottle of wine is on sale




Funny cat photos and videos




A fresh new notebook

Reading the papers on a Sunday



Making somebody laugh



A cool breeze on a hot day

Freshly cut flowers



Getting the USB plug in the right way first go

Successfully using chopsticks



Each of us will have our own list of little moments that fill in the space between the big events and each and every one of them should be celebrated.

Some moments in life are meant to be celebrated publicly, with family, friends and sometimes with a celebrant.....

.... and other moments are meant for us to simply enjoy on our own.

If you'd like to speak to a CCN Celebrant about any moment you'd like to celebrate - Click Here

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Nov
22

Sticking to a budget

Sticking to a budget

Planning a wedding, or any festive celebration can be a pricey affair, but there are ways around it so that you don't have to remortgage your house or sell an organ on Ebay.  The best way is to set a budget and to stick to it.

There have been surveys done that show people are spending an average of $30,000 on a wedding day.  Obviously there are people who spend way more than that and if that's what they want to do and they can afford it, then good on them - go crazy.  However, if you'd prefer to spend your well earned money on something else... a house, a car, a holiday, your kids, whatever.... then a budget is the way to go.

ABC Article - How much do weddings really cost

In the past we have written blog posts with ideas on how to have a gorgeous backyard wedding on a budget, so searching for ideas on ways to save is a great start.  

Here's a CCN member's blog post about budget wedding ideas



Next, make a list up of all the things you'd like or that you think you have to have at a wedding, then put them into two lists:  

1. the things you definitely can't live without and 2. the things you can.

Things like:

the designer dress.....the huge bridal party.....the trillions of guests.....the venue/location.....the open bar.....the vintage cars - [which I think are really cool... but It's not me who is paying].....the hens/bucks nights/bridal shower/kitchen tea/etc....the flowers .....the DJ/Live band.....the cake.
 
Then while you're looking at that list and trying to convince your partner that you really can't live without those designer shoes try and remember what the day is actually about.  It's about the two of you pledging your love to each other and getting married.....
and you won't be any less married if you aren't wearing those Manolo Blahniks.

 
Tips to sticking with a budget:



1.
do your homework

2.
write everything down

3.
be in agreement with each other about it and discuss any changes

4.
Ask a third party to be your voice of reason

5.
Keep a picture of your ultimate goal for after the wedding ie: holiday destination, house or car up on the fridge or near your computer to keep you motivated not to spend all your savings on this one day.


 
 
When it comes to your cermeony - marriage, commitment, vow renewal, naming or any other life event you're celebrating, speak to a CCN Celebrant

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Nov
14

The Marriage Equality Postal Survey Result

Marriage Equality – a statement from the National Committee of the Civil Celebrations Network (CCN) Inc

Today people across Australia have clearly shown their support for marriage equality and celebrant members of Civil Celebrations Network (CCN) Inc welcome the fact that we are one step closer to enabling all loving couples to marry if that’s their choice.

CCN was founded in 2008 on human rights principles.  It follows that we support the rights of all couples to marry, a right that is enjoyed already in more than 20 countries around the world.    

Parliamentarians now have the responsibility to review and debate the Bills and Amendments that will come before them in the coming weeks.   CCN will be watching the parliamentary deliberations with great interest.  We look forward to debate that is respectful and thoughtful resulting in changes to the Marriage Act 1961 and marriage equality for all.

Sonia Collins
Chairperson, Civil Celebrations Network (CCN) Inc
On behalf of the National Committee
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Nov
07

Different ways to remember

Different ways to remember....

Why do we memorialise people and events?

It is such an important part of grieving and it is just simple common sense that all of humanity has an innate desire, even emotional need to stay connected with itself through the ages.

To want to be remembered and to want to remember is a natural part of being human.  When we mark our history through memorials we not only ensure that we will not forget the person or event that we are paying tribute to, but that it is there for our future generations as well.

Here are some different ways we can memorialise a person or event:

* Have a gravestone or plaque

* Erect a statue



* Plant a tree



* Add a 'legacy person' for your Facebook page and ask them to memorialise your page after you've died

* Have an annual get together of loved ones to talk and reminisce about the person who has died

* Get a tattoo



Visit the place where the event happened

* Keep your loved one's ashes in an urn



* Play music that reminds you of the person, place or event

* Hold a memorial ceremony

Speak to a CCN Celebrant today about holding a memorial ceremony for your loved one.

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Oct
31

Questions to ask other than... "How much do you charge?"

Questions to ask other than... "How much do you charge?"

Yes, I agree - sticking to a budget is very important when planning a ceremony - of any kind, especially a wedding which can blow out very easily.  However when you're choosing your celebrant, price should be the last question that you ask about.  You are going to engage a person that you probably haven't met before to perform the ceremony at one of the most important events of your life, so wouldn't you like to know a bit about them?  Wouldn't you like to know that they are a good fit and are able to provide the service that you have dreamed about?

Asking any wedding supplier if they available on your chosen date is probably the first question you would need to ask, but there are a few other questions that are more important than price that can help you to make sure you are a good fit for each other.



When you book your caterer, you would probably first ask if they can provide the food that you want served

When you book your band or DJ, you would first ask if they can play the music that you want for your reception

When you book your reception venue, you would probably first ask if they can accommodate the amount of people that you are inviting

So, why then, when people book their celebrant do they make their first question all about price?

Do they think that all celebrants are the same?



Do they think that all celebrants do is turn up for 20 minutes on a Saturday and say some words? 
(See last week's blog for what celebrants really do)

Well, there are over 8,000 civil celebrants registered with the Attorney General's Department and with that comes over 8,000 different personalities, styles and ways of doing things.  So here are a few more questions that you might want to ask to make sure that you are hiring the perfect person for the most important part of your wedding day.  

Remember, without your celebrant, you're just throwing a really expensive party.

1. Are you available?

2. What services do you offer

3. What are your thoughts on marriage equality?

4. How many ceremonies have you performed?

5. What made you want to become a celebrant?

6. I would like to have my horse as my best man - do you like horses? (or other niche requests)



7. Do you provide a PA system?

8. Do you speak any other languages other than English?

9. Are you willing to travel?

10. Are you willing to dress up in a costume?

11. Would you like to perform our ceremony?



12. We'd like our dogs to carry the rings.... are you ok with dogs?

13. We're naturists and we'd like a nude ceremony - are you comfortable with that?

14. Do you have ideas for including our children/family in the ceremony?

Every couple and every ceremony is going to be different and not every celebrant is going to fit the wants and needs of every one.  So meet with potential celebrants and ask questions and if you find a celebrant that ticks all of your boxes, that's when you'd ask about their price.....

Remember, the most expensive isn't always the best so it's important that you find the best fit.  Celebrants will charge you what they think they and their services are worth, so if you've found somebody who is perfect for you and they're available, then my guess is that they're worth every cent!



To find a CCN Celebrant in your area - click HERE

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Oct
23

A behind the scenes look at being a civil celebrant

A behind the scenes look at being a civil celebrant



Have you ever wondered "What exactly does a celebrant do?"

Have you ever thought "Gee, that looks like an easy job - just talking for 20 minutes on a weekend!"


Well, you can be half forgiven for thinking those things because you might only see the celebrant for 20 minutes on a weekend, but the majority of a celebrant's work is done way before they turn up at the ceremony.



Before your ceremony they will have:

Attended meetings and rehearsals, researched, writen a unique ceremony that suits each individual couple or family, assisted couples and families with writing their own personal wedding vows or poems to their children or loved ones, organised paperwork, including accepting the legal Notice of Intended Marriage form, answered questions, given opinions and made suggestions.  

Then your ceremony day arrives and they will arrive at least 45 minutes before your guests to make sure everything is perfect, greet your guests, calm people's nerves and then perform your ceremony, coordinating the music and the bridal party and the flower girls and page boys and whoever is holding the rings.  They will also be kind and compassionate and have an very good understanding of what you're going through when you are saying goodbye to your loved one.

After your marriage ceremony your celebrant will lodge your marriage certificate with the BDM and securely keep all of the necessary legal documents.



And that's just for your ceremony.

They've also kept their office running with invoices, receipts, notes, creating, printing, filing, purchasing legal stationery, financials, taxation, websites, social media, advertising...



Before any of that can happen though, each celebrant must successfully complete a Certificate IV in Celebrancy and then once the certificate has been awarded, the candidate then must apply to the Attorney General to become registered.  This is a fairly costly exercise - $600 for the applicaiton alone and that must be paid whether the AG registers them or not.

Each year every registered civil celebrant is required to attend an OPD - (Professional Development) at their own cost.



So, whilst you might only see the Celebrant for 20 minutes whilst the ceremony is happening, please be assured that they have worked very hard before the ceremony even starts.

If you'd like to meet one of our hard working CCN Celebrants, click HERE for find a celebrant in your area.

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Oct
17

Why Join a Celebrant Association?

  Why join a Celebrant Association?
 
Are you studying to become a marriage celebrant? 
Have you recently been appointed as a celebrant? 
Are you an established marriage or funeral celebrant?
 
Do you want to network and continue to improve your skills and knowledge?

 

Did you answer YES to any of these questions?

Then why not consider joining a professional celebrant association? 

 wedding ring 736896 640

There are a number of celebrant associations in Australia – they are listed on the Attorney General’s website. 
Most associations belong to the peak celebrant body, the Coalition of Celebrant Associations (CoCA), where association delegates work together to advance celebrancy as a profession and provide advice to the Attorney General’s department on matters related to celebrants.
 
  You can read more about CoCA on their website www.coalitionofcelebrantassociations.org.au

business idea 680787 640

Each association offers its own approach, so you should easily be able to find one that meets your needs.
 
Let us introduce you to our association
the Civil Celebrations Network (CCN) Inc.

 

CCN member logo

CCN is a not-for-profit incorporated association that runs as an online association – no meetings to attend and everyone can participate equally.  We have a strong focus on informing the public about ceremonies, celebrations and our celebrant members.  

What can you expect as a member?

 
A Directory of members -manage your entry, add info and photos to promote yourself


A discussion forum where you can ask questions, share ideas and information

 Daily emails that tell you what topics are currently being discussed on the forum
 
Great social media presence – informing the public about ceremonies and our celebrants
 
Special projects that help you to promote your services to the public
 
Regular newsletters to keep you up to date
 
Member discounts at our online celebrant shop for stationery and other celebrant needs
 
Discounted professional indemnity and public liability insurance
 
Low cost CAL copyright licences
 
Discounted professional development – join other members in online and face-to-face OPD
 
Low membership rates for student celebrants - get a head start

 

Our website is full of information about celebrants, ceremonies and celebrations.  Many pages are available to the public and celebrants generally but many more pages are for our members’only.
 

You can join now for as little as $40 to the end of March 2018     

We’d love you to have you as a member.

handshake 2009195 640

 

For more information about CCN as a celebrant association - check out our website 
or call for information on 0434 699 415



And if you'd like to speak to a celebrant to help you with your next celebration - simply click HERE

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👏🏼 We would love it if you would let us know what you think 🤔.  
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Oct
03

Why would I want to know about relationship education?



Why would I want to know about

relationship education?



Today’s blog starts off with a legal note about the rules that are set out in the Marriage Act (and the Guidelines to the Act) for all Commonwealth Registered Civil Celebrants.



Rules
To quote “As soon as practicable after receiving the NOIM, an authorised celebrant must give the parties a document outlining the obligations and consequences of marriage (subsection 42(5A) of the Marriage Act). This document has been approved by the Attorney‑General in the form of a brochure entitled Happily Ever Before and After, and indicates the availability of marriage education and counselling and other important legal matters concerning marriage.


A notation of the giving of the document should be made by the authorised celebrant in the appropriate space on the reverse side of the NOIM. If the space is left blank it will indicate that the authorised celebrant has not fulfilled their obligations.”

Scales
And, yes there is more with the Code of Practice stating “ Item 6 requires Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants to maintain up-to-date knowledge about the range of information and services designed to enhance and sustain marrying couples throughout their relationship, not just in the period immediately preceding the marriage ceremony. Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants must also inform marrying couples about this range of services. Meeting this obligation requires ongoing action by Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants. The family relationship services available in their area should be reviewed by them annually at least to ensure the information they provide to marrying couples is up-to-date.” 
So, what do all of these legal words mean? 

Relationship blog pamphlet
Your Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrant is legally required to give a copy of “Happily Ever Before and After” to both the bride and groom as soon as practicable after receiving your Notice of Intended Marriage. 

This handy brochure outlines some points that you might need to consider:

  • Health and welfare benefits
  • Changing your name
  • Citizenship
  • Making a Will
  • Taxation after Marriage
As well as some information about strengthening your marriage with:
  • Before Marriage : Marriage Education
  • During Marriage : Family Counselling
  • Marriage Breakdown : Dispute Resolution.

This brochure has also been translated into a variety of different languages if English is not your first language. Your celebrant can obtain a copy for you very quickly as they are also available in PDF format.  The brochure also provides information about the Family Relationships Online Website and Advice Line.

Relationship blog Family Relationship

The other important part of the legal requirements for all Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrants, is that your celebrant must keep up to date with information about the local Family And Marriage Counsellors in your area, and should provide you with a list of these practitioners at the time that they give you your copies of “Happily Ever Before and After”.

Relationship Education and Counselling has gotten a bad rap over the years, with people thinking it is only for couples who are heading for the divorce court.

However, Relationship Education prior to your wedding can highlight all the good parts of your relationship where you are really compatible, and tease out the areas that you might need to work on, and let’s be truthful, every married couple has a handful of these.

Most counseling is done in a relaxed setting, with lots of talking, lots of laughter, lots of agreement, lots of ah-ha moments and lots to take home to discuss.

Relationship blog discuss


Counseling Services in your area can support you before getting married and throughout your marriage if tricky issues become sticking points, and they offer a safe space to discuss the myriad of concerns that every married couple has over the years, especially in this fast paced, high stress society.

Counseling is no guarantee, but it can provide a solid framework of understanding for your marriage to grow.

Click here if you'd like to speak to a CCN Celebrant about getting married or obtaining more information about Relationship services in your area.

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Sep
26

It's Time



It's Time!


Spring equinox 23rd September 2017


It's officially spring....
the flowers are blooming...
 new life is emerging....


Photo courtesy of The French Click

IT'S TIME to book your celebrant

If you are planning on getting married anytime in the next eighteen months (that’s how long your NOIM is valid for) then call and book your celebrant soon and get that paperwork done.

You can still get married this spring if you're quick, the Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form must be lodged with your celebrant one month before the ceremony; plenty of time still for a November wedding.


Photo courtesy of The French Click

IT'S TIME to plan your summer celebrations

Clean up the garden, pack away the winter clothes, and make your bookings for festivals, concerts, holidays, backyard BBQs and beach weddings.

elaine blog3
Photo courtesy of The French Click 

IT'S TIME to have your say on marriage equality


Interesting Fact from Wikipedia: With several countries revising their marriage laws to recognise same-sex couples in the 21st century, all major English dictionaries have revised their definition of the word marriage to either drop gender specifications or supplement them with secondary definitions to include gender-neutral language or explicit recognition of same-sex unions.  The Oxford English Dictionary has recognised same-sex marriage since 2000. 


 Haven't Voted Yet?
  
Fill in and post your Vote as soon as possible and if you would like more information visit

CCN's Marriage Equality section. 

elaine blog4


Remember not to add anything other than the response required (i.e. no comments, no glitter, etc) or your survey response could be invalid.

If you’ve lost or damaged your ballot, you can request a new one from the Australian Bureau of Statistics here any time before October 20th.

IT'S TIME to begin planning the final celebration

If you plan on living your life to the end, then you can start by talking to a celebrant about recording ‘your life story’ or filling in those important documents such as: Advance Health Directive, Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship, a valid Will (who gets what) and emotional will (words of love and wisdom)



Don’t leave it to your family to make difficult decisions at an emotional time, have the conversation now.

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Passage of Time

Sadness passes with time 
A hollow field blanketed with snow 
Soon fills with swaying blooms A darkened sky suddenly illuminates            
A weary traveller’s way 
And Spring follows a Winter’s road 
Which butterflies array 
Somewhere, somehow, shadows 
Give way to sunbeams 
Life’s fabric is painted with promised purpose 
And each day new freshness springs 
Laughter envelops an empty room 
And a broken heart sings 
With an abandonment of joy 
As it finally kisses the dawn 
Of a bright new day!


Little Pebbles and Stepping Stones, Compositions from the heart by Ruth Van Gramberg - 2005


For more information on any of the above or to contact a Celebrant near you visit
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Sep
20

It's important to continue learning about your partner

People grow and change and evolve –with kids and jobs whilst progressing through life. It’s normal – change is inevitable.
blog20We are having to continually learn about our partners and keep up with new hobbies, interests, views about life, religion, politics and society.  This makes it vital to keep the lines of communication open with your loved ones to make sure you are on the same page or at least have an understanding of the page that each other are on.

When people first get married, their vows may understandably be idealistic and optimistic, which is great. Those people who have been married for a while will know that it’s not always that easy to keep up the pretence of what was once cute is still cute.

This is why renewing or reaffirming your vows is a great way to modernise your marriage and make some promises that are a little easier to keep.

The bottom line is - “I promise to try” because life is not perfect, and it can be unrealistic to expect a perfect life and a perfect marriage. You are practically setting yourself up for failure.

Whenever there is a change in your dynamic, for example, babies, one goes part time, or stops work to raise the children, roles in your relationship change. Issues of housework, finances, and quality time may arise.
couple 1825139 640Remember when you get married, you don’t cease to be your own person.  You are two individuals who have made a mutual decision to join your lives together - so that needs a big conversation to make sure that you are both going to be happy with how it will all work. Find that balance.
burma 2593728 640It’s all about expectations. If you don’t have that important conversation before you are married - the one where you both say “what would you like this marriage to look like?”  then you are on the back foot before the honeymoon has even begun.

Relationship education guides you through questions like:

Would you like to have children? When? How many?

Who will stay home with the children or will you both work?

What style of parenting will you use? What type of schooling?
family 457235 640Will you organise your finances together or will one person be responsible?

How will that work? If one person is not working, what will happen?

What do you like to spend your money on?

One earns more than the other. How do you both feel about that?

Where will you live:

Will you buy or will you rent?

Will you be happy to move if your partner receives a job in another city?

Will it be ok if your mother comes to stay?

What are your political views?

If they don’t match, is that something that you can live with?

If you’ve asked each other these questions and more, and you still feel like you are the right match for each other, and you decide to get married, then good for you.

Years down the track, you might feel exactly the same, or, you both may have grown emotionally, intellectually and socially.

You should ask yourself these same questions and see if you’re on the same page and if you’re not - how can you work together to get back on the same page?

Having a ceremony? Contact your local CCN Celebrant now. 

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👏🏼 We would love it if you would let us know what you think 🤔.  
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