Ask A Celebrant - CCN Blog

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Feb
13

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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Feb
07

Interfaith and cross cultural marriages: how a civil ceremony embraces everyone

One of the great things about Australia is our ability to embrace and adopt the spirit of other cultures.  This is demonstrated every day by walking around a major city in Australia and seeing how much cultural cuisine is on offer!  From Asia to Africa, Europe and the Pacific, Aussies love to eat.  We are currently enjoying the Lunar new year festivities, celebrations which have grown from the traditions of a cultural minority to include a wide range of groups and shared and enjoyed by all.  Here is how we can include all kinds of culture and tradition in a civil marriage ceremony...
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Jan
31

Why people come to Australia to get married

Thank you to Guest Blogger, Sonia Collins from Batemans Bay in NSW... Today Sonia is talking about  Australia and what a beautiful place it is to get married! There are lots of good reasons why people from overseas choose to marry in Australia. Here are just a few...

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Jan
17

Celebrating Life

CCN’s Social Media Guru sometimes asks for volunteers to write blogs, and I put my hand up for this one... The theme - CELEBRATING LIFE.  Now, what does "Celebrating Life" mean?  And to make it worse, she had added the following rider: (choose your own interpretation).  So, this morning as I was lying on my back, churning through the water in the local pool, I had an epiphany………I will cover a range of life celebrations! 

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Jan
10

I'm Getting Married!... Now What?

You've just proposed marriage or been propsed to, you're wearing an incredible ring and you've announced your engagment to your loved ones..... now what?  Well, here begins a very exciting time of planning for you you both!
For some of you this proposal might have come as complete surprise and for others it might be the final stage to what could have been months of discussion and planning.  Now that you’ve made the biggest decision - to get married, there are just a few more smaller decisions that need to be discussed and decided upon before your wedding day can be realised.
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Dec
19

How to deal with December Stress

This time of year can be chaotic!  It's the end of the year, school is nearly finished, if it hasn't already; there are end of year work parties, Christmas parties, birthday parties for those people born in December who always have to compete for a free Saturday night.  You're buying presents - desparately trying to think of the right gift and battling with thousands of other people in the same boat.  There's more cars on the road and less parking spaces.  Some people will be having family members to stay which might mean higher levels of anxiety.

If only we could think of ways to reduce all that stress....
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Dec
11

Marriage Equality - 1 year on...

We have a guest blogger today - Robyn Foster "Celebrations by Robyn".  Robyn gave support, along with countless others, to the Australian Marriage Equality campaign and its leaders.  Here is her story...

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Nov
26

How a funeral is planned

Funerals and memorial services provide an opportunity for family members, friends and others to gather together to honour and remember the person who died while offering comfort and support to each other.

Planning a funeral or memorial service is a highly personal process, and your decisions will be shaped by your life experiences, your relationship to the deceased, what the deceased wanted or what you desire for yourself after you die, what you can afford, and a myriad of other factors.

Whether planned after a death occurs or beforehand arranging a funeral or memorial service often proves an emotional, and sometimes exhausting, process. 

Hopefully this information will help to make that process a little easier to understand.....

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Nov
20

Ways to save money on your wedding

We've all got a dream of what our ceremony is going to look like.  We've all searched through Pinterest and Etsy and magazines saving the pictures that will best fit our theme.  But, the more ideas you come up with - the more the budget is blown out!  What if I told you that there was a way to have your cake and eat it too?  Check out these thrifty ways that you can have the ceremony of your dreams and still be able to afford the Uber ride home...

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Nov
14

Ceremonies to welcome an adopted child

Adopting a child is a wonderful and often long-awaited experience.  Here are some ideas for welcoming the newest member of the family...

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Oct
21

Remembering Loved Ones

The 11th of November is Remembrance Day.  This is the day we pay our respects to those soldiers who died in the First World War.  It marks the day the war ended and at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month we observe a minute silence to remember and think about all the people who have died in wars since.  There are lots of ways to remember our loved ones after they've died - here are just a few ideas...

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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

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.
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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.
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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?” Here's the answer...
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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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Apr
11

Supportive Relationships

  
How many times have you have you heard the words “If only my spouse was more supportive?" or, “I try my hardest to be supportive, but my spouse doesn’t seem to notice my efforts?” Sometimes both of these statements are true, as we often don’t connect with what the other person is doing..... read on - we have some ideas you might like to try.
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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.... so what does that mean?
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Mar
21

Harmony Day

Harmony Day - bringing everyone together, celebrating our differences and acknowledging out similarities in humanity...
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Mar
15

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...
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Feb
23

LGBTQQIAAP ???

Have you ever stopped to think about what the letters LGBTQQIAAP actuall stand for? 
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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

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Jan
30

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....
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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.  Elaine is a Celebrant and also a Death Doula and she's here to tell us all about it....
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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 and it's finally here.  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.
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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?
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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.
 
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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.

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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. 
 
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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.  

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Dealing with loneliness

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

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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. 

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Dealing with debt


Of course, sometimes we spend more than we planned.  

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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.

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    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. 

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