Ask A Celebrant - CCN Blog

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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.

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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. 

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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.


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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I just got engaged - now what do I do?

I just got engaged..... now what do I do?

This is a common question asked by many a couple getting married for the first time, and in fact, it is still asked by people on their second and third time around.  Getting married is not an everyday occurrence, so it's not a natural thing where people simply 'know' what to do.

This is where your friendly, local CCN Celebrant comes in.  We can guide you through the legalities and what you need to do and know before, during and after your marriage ceremony.  We will work with you to create a ceremony that is tailored to your style and personalities and can be completely unique to only you.

If you'd prefer a religious ceremony in a religious building like a church, then you would need to contact the minister in that church for information regarding any special requirements and a third option is to make an appointment at the Registry Office in your state.
First things first….. let's make sure that you and your partner are eligible to get married in Australia.

1. Is your relationship between one man and one woman?
2. Are you both 18+? (speak to your celebrant if one of you is 16+)
3. Are you related to each other in a direct line?
4. Have you given at least one months notice to your celebrant?
5. Do you both consent to the marriage?

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You and your partner will need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form and lodging it with your chosen celebrant at least one month (and no earlier than 18 months) before the ceremony.  Your celebrant will then make sure it's all in order and check your ID.
An ID needs to do two things:
1. show where and when you were born and
2. prove you are who you say you are

A passport does both of these things, but don't worry if you don't have a passport, you can still use your birth certificate and a driver's licence.  

If either you or your partner has been married before, you are required to show the original divorce or death certificate proving the end of the previous marriage.  Your celebrant must see these documents before they can legally perform the marriage ceremony.

Once you have the legal paperwork down, then depending on the type of wedding you are planning, there are a few other tasks that you'll need to add to your list, but as they are personal and unique to you and your partner, each couple's list will look a little different.

Here are some things your might include to your list of decisions:

The Date
The first thing to do is chose a few possible dates and then confirm with your chosen celebrant which date they are available. 

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The most popular month to get married in Australia is October closely followed by November and March. 

62% of all weddings in Australia happen on a Saturday; 15% on a Friday and 11% on a Sunday.... it's a good fact to remember that whilst there are 52 Saturdays in the year, there are only 12/13 in those three most popular months, so you're going to want to secure your celebrant as early as you can.

The Venue
You'll need to decide if you're going to use the same venue/outdoor space for your ceremony and reception, or you might have separate places in mind. 

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Popular wedding venues/public ceremony spaces will book out 12-18 months in advance (sometimes longer), so if you have your heart set on something in particular - get in early, otherwise go for something a little different that won't be overrun by brides and grooms. 
Outdoor spaces may require council approval - check the local council websites for information. 

If you are choosing an outdoor space make sure you consider seating, especially for older guests.  You'll also need to think about the weather - your dream might be of a bare foot beach wedding, but you'll have no happy guests if it's 40 degrees on the day and there is no shade.  Which brings me to the vital importance of having a solid Plan B in place.  It's great to think positively and hope that the rain holds off, but if it doesn't, then you have a logistical nightmare on your hands trying to organise your 120 soaked loved ones into a nearby gazebo designed to hold 10. 

Plan B people - Plan B!

The Guest List
This will come down to a few personal factors: budget and size of the venue being just two,
just remember, it's your day and you might want to consider if you really want to share it with a bunch of people you don't really know?

The Bridal Party
This tradition stems back to the olden days when people believed that evil spirits were afoot with a plan to steal away the bride before she had a chance to be given to the groom by her father - usually for some sort of fee.... 

Photo source:

Today, things are a little different and besides having somebody to arrange your hen's/buck's nights and hold up your dress whilst you use the bathroom, there really isn't a need for a bridal party anymore. 

If you're going full on traditional with your bridal party, it can become quite an expensive exercise for you and for your chosen ones when you consider they have to buy a dress/suit, shoes, travel, have their hair, make up and nails done - maybe things they wouldn't have forked out for as a plain old guest.  Having said that, there are less expensive ways to organise everything and it's also good fun to be able to share the day with your favourite friends, so this is a personal choice.

The Photographer/Videographer 
There are some people who don't care too much about having photos of their ceremony and they will usually have a cousin who owns a 'big' camera who said he would take the photos... 

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Then there are the people who hired a professional photographer on the way home from becoming engaged... 

and then there's the people who thought they didn't care too much about having photos of their ceremony until about a month or so after the wedding and the cousin showed them the 7 out of focus photos he took of their special day and now they wished that they'd hired a professional photographer...

This is obviously a personal decision and one that would come down to budget, but if you're going to spend money somewhere..... this would be a good choice.

The next photographic decision is whether to have your ceremony "Unplugged" 

I vote yes for this reason!

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The Flowers
Carrying a bouquet of flowers started being a thing back in the days when people didn't shower all that often and the pretty scent was meant to mask anything unpleasant on your day of days. 

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Since showering has become more popular, carrying flowers has become less vital, but people still like to carry them though because it seems to complete the bridal look.  If you feel you have to carry something, there are plenty of options other than flowers, A few examples I've seen: a bouquet of broaches, a purse, a sword, their baby and, a puppy. 

The Wedding Attire
The majority of couples getting married like to follow the tradition of wearing a suit and/or a white dress, however if you choose to wear anything else - at all, then you will be no less married than your frocked up peers when it's all said and done. 

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Some people feel that they wouldn't feel right if they didn't wear a traditional wedding dress, and to those people I say - you wear what ever you feel good in.

The Transport
Remember to think about the logistics - how are you, your partner, your parents, your grandparents, your bridal party, your cousin with the camera and the bouquet puppies going to get from the house to the ceremony.... then from the ceremony to the reception..... then home?  And who is taking all those dogs home after the photos?

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The Music
There are certain sections in the marriage ceremony where music is suggested: 

1. When the bride or couple enter
2. When they leave as husband and wife
3, During the legal signing of the register. 

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Music is such a personal thing, it's a good idea to sit down together and decide what you want to say through song.

That just about covers the most important part of the day - the actual getting married bit and the rest of your planning will be for the reception and possibly your honeymoon, so here is where your celebrant registers all your legal paperwok and wishes you all the best.

For more information about getting married - please check out our CCN website... oh, and congratulations!

Thank you for 
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?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  
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Should we get Married in Summer or Winter?

Should we get Married in Summer or Winter? 

Summer Weddings versus Winter weddings

When and where to hold your wedding are probably two of the biggest choices you will make and they go hand in hand.

Do you want a balmy summer day so that you can get married outdoors?


Do you prefer a cosy intimate celebration centred around a roaring fire?
In Australia the majority of weddings take place in Spring and Summer with only 5% of marriages taking place in June and July.
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However both have their positives and negatives so let's look at some of the factors that may influence your decision:

How do you picture your dream wedding... exchanging vows with a beautiful sunset in the background or a roaring fire? Points to consider about the weather:

*  In summer you need to plan for excessive weather changes such as rain or extreme heat.
* In winter you know it is going to be cold so you and your guests can dress accordingly. 

* In summer you may have daylight saving so longer hours to enjoy the sunshine.
* In winter the shorter days may dictate the time of your wedding. 

The Wedding Dress:
How have you pictured your wedding dress… sleeveless, backless, light and summery, long sleeved?  Although the time of year may not influence your choice of wedding dress you will need to consider some extras for a winter wedding such a shawl or jacket and it is not always easy getting it to match your dream wedding dress. And don’t forget your bridesmaids who will feel the cold a lot more than you as they don’t have the same amount of adrenalin to keep them warm, so will need extra clothes. The amount of clothing is much less for a summer wedding. 

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How Quickly do you want to get Married?:
How quickly you want to get married after your engagement may determine the season in which you marry. 

* It is far easier to book many of the wedding vendors at short notice in winter. Popular venues and photographers are booked well in advance for a summer wedding. There is greater availability and choice in winter.
* It is often cheaper to book popular vendors in winter because prices become negotiable as they are less busy. In summer you may need to pay a premium for the more popular vendors. 

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Do you want your favourite flowers for your bouquet? Flowers are seasonal so the prices will vary a lot depending whether they are in season or need to be imported. If you are happy to use only seasonal flowers you have a greater choice in summer than in winter.  

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Practicalities include all the extra little things that need to be considered for a wedding.
* In summer that would include providing shade for your guests for the ceremony, lots of cool drinks, umbrellas on hand for sun or rain and an indoor alternative venue for rain or sun. 

* In winter that would include hats, gloves, shawls, warm drinks and an outdoor alternative if its a nice sunny winter day. 

Whether you choose summer or winter there will always be a CCN Celebrant free to perform your ceremony so contact your local CCN Celebrant now. 

Thank you for 
joining us....
?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  
There is a comment section ? at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!
? Don't forget to subscribe ? to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically ?? appear in your email inbox ?.
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Commitment Ceremonies

Commitment Ceremonies

A Commitment Ceremony is every bit like a Marriage Ceremony except for one thing - the ceremony is not legally binding.  However the love and sentiment and support and meaning are just the same.

This type of ceremony is usually held for people who are not able to marry due to current laws, so a lot of couples from the LGBTIQ community choose to commit to each other this way.  However, Commitment Ceremonies are open and available to everyone who wants to declare their love for their partner without the legalities.
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