Ask A Celebrant - CCN Blog

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

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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

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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.

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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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Thank you for 
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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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Thank you for 
joining us....

👏🏼 We would love it if you would let us know what you think 🤔.  
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🐘 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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Jul
26

The Order of a Marriage Ceremony

The Order of a Marriage Ceremony

Weddings today reflect the wishes of the couple.  They may be held in any venue at any time or on any day.  Your choice might be a beautiful building, a garden, a boat, a forest or beach.  Apart from some legal requirements you can structure the ceremony however you wish.

Talk to your celebrant about your ideas.  

Many people like to keep some of the traditional structure of a wedding ceremony so here is a run down of a traditional ceremony.

The Procession
The groom and his groomsmen are waiting at the end of the aisle with the celebrant, in front of the guests.  The bride, escorted by her father then follows her bridesmaids, flowergirls and pageboys down the aisle to meet her groom.  The bridesmaids, flowergirls and pageboys take their places on either side of the bride and groom ready for the ceremony.


Photo by: Kingen Smith - Inside Weddings

A more modern way to enter is to have both the bride's parents walk her down the aisle, the groom walk down the aisle with his parents or the couple walking down the aisle together symbolising that they are taking this next step together.

The Celebrant's Welcome
This is the part where the celebrant will say hello, welcome and then thank the family and guests for coming to the marriage ceremony of the bride & the groom.  The celebrant will also introduce themselves and state that they are duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to the law - that part is a legal requirement.

The Monitum (The Warning)
This is when the celebrant stresses to the couple the seriousness of marriage using these words:
"Before you are married in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses,
I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter."

And then explains what marriage means in Australia using these words:
"Marriage, according to the law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."

The Exchange of Vows
There are personal vows and then there are legal vows.  These are generally said one after the other.  Your personal vows can be anything that you want to say or promise to your partner at that moment; they can be as long or as short as you want them to be; they don't have to be the same as each other, they just need to be meaningful to each other. 


Photo: Pexels

The legal vows must say these words:
"I call upon the people here present to witness that I, (full name), take you, (full name), to be my lawful wedded wife/husband."

The Ring Exchange
Exchanging rings is a traditional ritual in a marriage ceremony, however it is not a legal requirement, so you don't have to do this part - or you can exchange different gifts.

You can include the ring exchange whilst your saying your legal vows or you can do this part straight after your vows each saying special words like: "I give you this ring a sign of my love and commitment."


Photo: Pixabay

The Pronouncement of Marriage
Once you say your vows in the presence of the celebrant and your two witnesses, then you are technically married, however traditionally the celebrant makes a statement to make it official "I now pronounce you husband and wife".

The Kiss
You are allowed to kiss anytime you want during the ceremony, but traditionally you are meant to wait until after the celebrant pronounces you "husband and wife" and then it's socially acceptable for you to go for it!


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Signing of the Register
Once the marriage is official, then the bride, the groom, the two witnesses and the celebrant must sign 3 documents - the marriage register - which the celebrant keeps; the official marriage certificate - which is sent into the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages to be registered and the commemorative marriage certificate - which you keep.


Photo by: Shell Brown

Final Words
The celebrant says some final words and gets the guests ready to welcome and celebrate the new married couple.  Also, they will sometimes give instructions or directions for the guests to follow for after the ceremony. 

The Recessional
This is where the newly married couple grab each other's hands and race back down the aisle and into their brand new future, followed closely by the bridal party, then they all congregate and wait for all their guests to come and congratulate them.

 
Photo sourcPexels


Remember - this might be the traditional order of events in a marriage ceremony, but (apart from the legal wording and placement of that legal wording) you can add in other rituals, readings, poetry and stories, and you can involve family and friends into the mix which really helps to make your ceremony your own.

If you would like to speak to a CCN Celebrant about how they could create a unique ceremony for you - jump to our website and FIND A CELEBRANT in your area today.

🌹🌹🌹
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 📬.
Also please feel free to share 🎁 our blog on your social media 📲 so we can spread the love 💞! 
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Jul
18

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. 

Cider House Pickering Brook WA copy.JPG

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.... 

puppy-bouquets-7.jpg
Photo source: people.com

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... 

Blurred photo.jpg

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!

dsc_2812 copy.jpg

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. 

Flower-Bridal-Bride-Rose-Bridal-Bouquet-Bouquet-168832 copy.jpg

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. 

bride-614918_1920 copy.jpg

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!


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Jul
11

Show me the Stats

Show me the Stats

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics dated November 2016, there were 113,595 marriages registered Australia wide in 2015.

The number of marriages decreased in 2015 by 7,602 - down 6.3%

81.1% of brides and 79.1% of grooms were marrying for the first time.

16.3% of the marriages included one partner who had been married before.

Marriages where both partners had been married before were at 11.7%

The median age for men getting married was 31.8 years and for women it was 29.8 years - both ages increased from previous years.


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Couples who lived together prior to marriage accounted for 81%

54.2% of couples married in 2015 were both born in Australia.

 Out of the couples married in 2015 31.9% were born in different countries.

13.9% were born in the same overseas country.

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Civil Celebrants have overseen the majority of marriage ceremonies (since 1999) at an average across the country of 74.9%

If you would like to engage a civil celebrant for your marriage ceremony, commitment ceremony, vow renewal, baby naming ceremony or any other event that you'd like to celebrate - including memorials and life celebrations - then please contact one our fabulous CCN Celebrants

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Jun
29

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?

or

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:

Weather:
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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Flowers:
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:
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. 

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Mar
15

A wedding Vs a marriage

 
Some people think that a marriage and a wedding go hand in hand.... well, they do - but really, they don't.  
Yes, you have a wedding because you are getting married, but you don't (or you shouldn't) get married because you want a wedding.
 
It's vital not to lose sight of what is important.

A wedding can take an extraordinary amount of planning and can test your ability to deal with stress, your organisational skills and possibly your patience, but that's about all.  At the end of the day, yes you'll be married (assuming you've remembered to book a civil celebrant), but throwing a successful wedding party doesn't mean that you have a successful marriage - not yet anyway.

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A marriage takes work and it takes time. Years of nurturing your relationship where you treat each other with equality, respect and kindness.  Marriage is supporting each other through the great and the not so great times.  Marriage may force you to assess and re-evaluate some of your choices. It may also be a constant reminder that there is another person that you need to consider.  It's being able to communicate with your partner effectively and working out ways to live together harmoniously.  It's creating strategies to deal with conflict and disagreements.

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So why do we put such a massive emphasis on the wedding day?

We follow traditions about what we should wear and what our friends should wear.  We make sure that everything is colour coordinated, we adhere to the prescribed formulae so the day is perfect and a lot of us are throwing big $$$$ dollars at this one day.

Does the most expensive wedding = the best marriage?
Does getting the colour scheme wrong = a marriage failure?
Does bucking traditions = not a real marriage?
No.

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A marriage is a lifelong partnership and a wedding is the one day you choose to celebrate the beginning of that marriage.
Which ever way you choose to celebrate your marriage is totally ok - there's no judgement here, however be mindful of what is actually more important to you - the marriage or the wedding.

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To find a CCN Celebrant to help you create an amazing celebration for what is sure to be a wonderful marriage -  Click here.

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Nov
23

Do We Need a Bridal Party?

The History of the Bridal Party

During the "marriage by capture" era, close friends of the groom helped him to kidnap the bride from her family. The first groomsmen were more like a small army, fighting off the bride's angry relatives as the groom rode away with her on his horse.

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Bridesmaids and maids of honour became more common when weddings were planned. For several days before the marriage, a senior maid attended to the bride. This maid or matron of honour, as we know her today, ensured that the bridal wreath was made and helped the bride get dressed. 

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For a long time, bridesmaids wore dresses much like the bride's gown, while the groomsmen dressed in clothing that was similar to the groom's attire. This tradition began for protection against evil rather than for uniformity; if evil spirits or jealous suitors attempted to harm the newlyweds, they would be confused as to which two people were the real bride and groom.

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Over time this tradition has morphed into inviting a small number of your nearest and dearest to help you plan your special day and to carry out that plan on the day.  Special responsibilities are given to the bridal party, for example: bridesmaids will go with the bride to chose outfits and have a number of beauty treatments whilst the groomsmen pick their outfits and sometimes engage in a group activity like go carting or golf.

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Then on the day, they are given responsibilities such as: the Best Man holds the rings, the Maid of Honour holds the bouquet; the groomsmen hand out ceremony programs and the bridesmaids are in charge of making sure that the train on the bride’s dress is sufficiently fanned and that the flower girls are looked after. 

And they are all responsible for arranging buck’s and hen’s events.

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So, do I actually need to have a bridal party?

The short answer is no - there is no legal reason to have a bridal party.  However some people do like to have their closest buddies around them on their special day, sharing in the moment and helping them prepare, but it is not a prerequisite for getting married.  A civil marriage ceremony only requires you and your partner, your celebrant and your two witnesses - everybody else is there to watch and help you celebrate.

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Some 'pros' to having a bridal party

You get to share the shopping with your besties, you have access to honest advice throughout, hen’s/buck’s parties are more fun with more than one person there! If you are feeling a bit stressed on the day, your best man is there to talk you through it and your bridesmaids are at the ready with the touch up lippy.  Group photos are great fun and you have your best friends sharing your most special day with you from woe to go.

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Some 'cons' that come with having a bridal party

Sometimes having a bridal party can be a bit of a drama.  Before there was just you and your fiancé to think about, now you have a MOH a BM, 4 BMs and 5 GMs - Then you are plagued with questions: Is it going to look awkward if the numbers are uneven?  Do you invite somebody just to fill the numbers?  Will asking my 2 year old niece to be a flower girl balance the numbers out even though she won’t know why she’s there or even remember the day?  What colours will they wear?  Will they all were the same?  My girlfriends are all different shapes and sizes, will the same dress suit them all?  That’s a lot of money to pay for a dress that they’ll only wear once.  I’ve got 4 best friends but I only want 3 bridesmaids - how will I choose and how will my left out friend feel? 

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How you choose to celebrate your marriage is totally up to you.


Here are 8 'non rules' that might be helpful when deciding if you want to include a bridal party or not.

1. You don’t have to have a bridal party if you don’t want to.

2. You don’t have to stick to female bridesmaids and male groomsmen - this is going to sound crazy, but you can choose who ever you want.

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3. You are under no obligation to ask anybody to be your bridesmaid/groomsman - (even if you promised them when you were 9 years old)

4. Remember you are getting married to the person that you love - not putting on a show for paying customers.

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5. The ceremony is about you and your loved one pledging your life to each other and declaring undying love. You don’t need help with that part - except from your celebrant.

6. You can give friends and family special roles/jobs i.e: a reading, day of co ordinator, holding the rings, being in charge of not running out of champagne, looking after the gift table - sort of like a bridal party, but they can wear what they want and they sit with the other guests while you have centre stage.

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7. Giving those people that helped a special mention in your speech is all that is needed.

8.  You can have as many bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, page boys, matrons of honour and best men that you want to - it's your day!

 

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If you would like to speak to an experienced CCN Celebrant about how you can create your own marriage ceremony - CLICK HERE

 

What are your thoughts on having a bridal party - leave your comments in the comment section below.

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Oct
12

Understanding old wedding traditions.

Understanding old wedding traditions.

Have you ever wondered about the symbolism and meaning of some of our old wedding traditions? Here are just a few of the old traditions explained. These are only some of the explanations for each of these practices. There are many more interpretations for these traditions depending on the country and the cultural norms of each community.

Veil

Why did brides wear veils? Veils originally symbolised virginity and purity and reportedly can be dated back to Roman times where the bride wore complete head to toe cover.

In traditional weddings, a bride would wear the smaller face veil through the ceremony, with either her father lifting the veil, presenting the bride to her groom, or the groom lifting the veil to symbolically consummate the marriage. The lifting of the veil would also reveal the beauty of the bride to her groom and all of the guests.

Veils these days are worn more as a fashion accessory to complement the bridal gown, and it is very rare to see the smaller face veil.

Veil

Father of the Bride “Giving Away The Bride”.

This is an ancient tradition that dates back to when a female child was considered property, and the groom had to pay for the right to marry his beloved. The practice also implied that the bride was being handed from her family to origin to her husband’s family. This tradition has evolved of the centuries, and modern day brides who follow this custom, often see it as a nod of approval from their dad for their groom.

Many young brides have eliminated this tradition from their wedding entirely, or have adapted it to include both parents, family members, or even all of the guests.

Wedding Bouquet.

Bouquets were originally bunches of herbs, garlic, grains and grasses intended to ward off any evil spirits who were lurking as the bride made her way down the aisle. When this old custom morphed into flowers, the bouquet formed part of the garlands worn by both bride and groom. which represent happiness.

Over time, bouquets became beautiful arrangements of flowers, symbolizing fertility and everlasting love. All flowers have symbolic meanings, and a wise florist will tell you of these meanings so you could weave a story into your bouquet.

Bridal Showers

It is reported that the very practical women of Holland started this tradition when a father of the bride didn’t approve of the groom, so didn’t provide a dowry and the bride’s friends clanned together to "shower" her with gifts so she would have the necessary dowry and marry the man of her choice. This tradition still remains, with groups of women often providing necessary household gifts for the bride to be.

Bridal shower

The Best Man

Centuries ago, men often had to capture their brides, and took along a friend to help, the best man for the job! The role evolved through the centuries, with the best man also tasked with ensuring her family didn’t recapture the captured bride during the ceremony. These tales come from German folklore and the excavation of ancient altars has revealed many weapons possibly used by these best men!

Nowadays, the best man is normally tasked with keeping the wedding rings safe, and to stand with the groom to witness his wedding.

Bride standing to the left side of the groom.

This tradition is also said to date back to the capturing of brides, with the groom having his right hand free to use for defence. There is also the more recent tradition of men walking on the right side of the footpath so that the woman is protected from traffic and any splashes from puddles.

Modern brides stand on the side that they are more comfortable with.

Garter Toss

Historically, the garter represents the virginity or purity of the bride, and in ancient custom there were witnesses at the marriage bed to ensure consummation, and the garter was used as evidence.

Nowadays, we have the garter toss, where eligible single men stand and wait for the garter to be tossed, and it is said that catching the garter brings good luck to the man who catches it, with him to be the next one to marry.

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Something old, something new, a silver sixpence in her shoe.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue is a good luck saying that dates back to Victorian times and many brides still follow this old tradition.

  • Wearing something old connects them to their family.
  • Something new is said to represent good fortune and success for the bride.
  • Something borrowed will remind the bride that friends and family will be there for her when help is needed.
  • Something blue is the symbol of faithfulness and loyalty and very often the blue item is the garter.
  • A silver sixpence in her shoe is to wish the bride wealth.

The Wedding Cake.

Originally, wheat, bread and then cake was thrown at the bride as one of the many fertility based traditions surrounding a wedding, and this is reputed to have been changed to our modern tradition of eating the cake by the early Roman bakers.

Cutting of the cake is steeped in symbols. By placing his hand over the bride’s hand, this is said to signify that the groom will support his bride. Cutting through the bottom layer of the cake symbolises the continuity of their relationship. When the cake has been cut, the groom is meant feed his bride first, and then the bride will follow, signifying their commitment to care for each other, and ensuring good luck and fortune.

Cake

 

Share your ideas on how to involve family and friends in celebrations that are meaningful for everyone present … 

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Sep
20

When your wedding plans are becoming overwhelming - remember the reason you’re getting married.

Your wedding is getting close and your nerves are becoming more frazzled. Feeling overwhelmed is becoming your new normal, and you and your fiance seem to spend all of your time consumed with wedding plans.

Sounds familiar? According to a survey by fearcourse.com

  • 71% of brides-to-be suffered from some type of nerves during the build-up to their wedding
  • 92% of brides experienced nerves on the day of the wedding or the evening before
  • 66% reported that it affected their daily lives prior to it, or hampered their performance and enjoyment during the day itself.


These feeling of overwhelm could be caused by a number of issues in the busy lead up to your wedding.

  • Budget
  • Guest lists
  • Seating plans
  • Suppliers who don't deliver
  • Disagreements over some of the wedding details
  • Family pressure
  • Wanting the day to be perfect.

Whatever your reasons are, perhaps it is time to take a wedding planning break, just you and your partner spending time together, just hanging out and remembering your reasons why you wanted to get married.

Taking a mini break dedicated to you as a couple is a great way to let you see the big picture, strengthen your bond, and to set a good pattern for your marriage, especially after you have kids.

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Minibreaks could be an afternoon off, a weekend off, or even a whole week with wedding planning put on the back burner, while you spend time looking after your relationship. Some great mini breaks are :

  • A couples massage session
  • An afternoon movie session
  • A romantic dinner date
  • A weekend away at your favourite B and B
  • Bingeing out on a whole TV series.
  • A walk on the beach.
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Time out is a great habit for couples to adopt, and when better to start the habit, than during the planning of your important day.
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Sep
13

Australia - let’s celebrate LOVE and LIFE!

YES

Civil Celebrations Network Incorporated is a celebrant based non-profit community association promoting civil ceremonies and celebrations.

Civil ceremonies and celebrations uphold the values of a civilised society - respecting and supporting all people in its jurisdiction.

Today is Australia’s Citizenship Day.  Australian citizenship is more than a legal status. It is our common bond that represents our shared democratic beliefs and gives us a sense of belonging and need to work for our common good as a nation.

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This Day provides a wonderful opportunity for all Australians to reflect on the meaning and importance of Australian values such as a “Fair Go”, looking out for the 'underdog', government by democratic processes - for the people and by the people - respect for all people without discrimination, upholding civil and human rights and our rights and responsibilities with justice under law.

• CCN supports Marriage Equality 

and 

• CCN supports Religious Tolerance 

 

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Section 47 of Australia's Marriage Act 1961 allows Ministers of Religion and independent religious celebrants to refuse to marry any couple on any grounds. Therefore it is possible for Australia as a whole to support both religious tolerance and marriage equaility as CCN does.
 
Now that the Marriage Equality plebiscite has been announced, what can we as celebrants do to help to inform the public about marriage law and reduce the predicted hateful and discriminatory debates?

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CCN has created a Fact Sheet on the Marriage Act 1961 to assist in understanding how religious celebrants already have exemptions under the Act.

 

One of the most important rights and responsibilities we have as Australian Citizens is to VOTE

As free people, we can play our part in deciding how our nation is governed, what services our government revenue is spent upon and what laws are made to balance our freedom and safety as individuals, families and communities.

Few opportunities come along in our lifetimes where we can change unfair laws directly, by referendum or plebiscite.

voting 30403 box 303

 

Are you registered to vote? 
Are your children and eligible grandchildren registered to vote?

 

The Marriage Equality plebiscite will be democracy in action.
 
While the plebiscite result will not be binding on the government, each and every vote is vitally important.

 

Voting is one way we can uphold our Australian values of a "fair go" and ensure our civil laws are upheld for all.

 

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Jul
14

The importance of family and community involvement in ceremonies

Humans have used ceremonies and celebrations for thousands of years to: 
  • affirm or encourage people at special events  e.g. Olympic Games, Presentation nights, graduations
  • celebrate milestones in our individual life journey e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, retirement 
  • acknowledge significant life-changing occasions e.g. namings/ christenings, engagements, marriages, funerals
  • honour individuals or celebrate community values, e.g. memorials, Australia Day, Citizenship Day, Harmony Day

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The pros and cons of a private ceremony

CCN celebrants have noticed a recent trend towards couples choosing to elope and having a small ceremony with just the celebrant and witnesses.  

On the plus side, these ceremonies can be romantic, fun, stress free and far less expensive than the traditional family occasion.  They are ideally suited to some couples.

The down side may be that family are genuinely hurt by being excluded from this important occasion. 

This can be difficult to understand, especially for couples who are already living together and who decide they just want to "make it legal" with minimum fuss.  

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Sharing is Caring

However, if the couple think more deeply about the significance of the marriage ceremony they may see the value in a larger ceremony that involves family and friends.

The marriage ceremony results in changes of legal status and relationships.  The marriage partners become legally responsible for each other and any children of their relationship.  They also acquire new relationships with their in-laws - a new extended family and friendship group.  For the parents of "first time marrieds"  the marriage ceremony symbolically marks a "graduation" at which their work in raising a baby to adulthood formally ends. 

So in many ways a marriage is not just a relationship between two individuals. It is a formal and social relationship between two networks of family and friends.  Being part of the ceremony means a lot to those who love the couple.

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"But big family weddings are too expensive - eloping cuts the cost!"

This can certainly be true.  So how can we have a big celebration for a small cost? 

This CCN article about having a big celebration on a low budget could assist your planning.

Share your ideas on how to involve family and friends in celebrations that are meaningful for everyone present … 

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Jul
14

Ceremonies using interpreters

Today we look at using Interpreters at marriage ceremonies conducted in compliance with Australian Law. Section 112 of the Marriage Act provides that ‘where a celebrant considers it desirable to do so, they may use the services  the services of an interpreter in or in connection with a marriage ceremony. ‘

wedding on steps
What Does Section 112 Mean?

  1. If you as the Celebrant are only able to conduct a ceremony in English and if either of the couple or the official witnesses do not speak/understand English fluently, an interpreter will be required.

  2. The couple and witnesses MUST fully understand the legal components of the ceremony, which includes the Monitum and the legal vows.

  3. It is the responsibility of the Celebrant to decide if an Interpreter is required.

  4. It is advisable to use an Interpreter, if either or both of the couple are hearing impaired.
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Who can be an Interpreter?

  1. Where possible, it is best that the interpreter be an accredited interpreter through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI) or another official agency. To find an interpreter, please visit: http://www.naati.com.au/

  2.  The interpreter must be a person other than a member of the wedding party. Where a family or friend is used as an Interpreter the Celebrant must be confident that he/she is doing the job properly.

  3. The Interpreter must provide a Statutory Declaration, prior to the wedding, stating their fluency in the relevant language. This must be witnessed by the Celebrant.

  4. After the ceremony the Interpreter must provide a Certificate of  Faithful performance of his or her services. This must be witnessed by the Celebrant.
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Who can be a Translator?

  1. Your celebrant must be satisfied that the translation is a true and accurate translation of an offical document through NAATI or another official agency.

  2. The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI) is the only agency to issue accreditations for practitioners who wish to work in this profession in Australia.

  3. If you need a certified translation, please visit: http://www.naati.com.au/

The Difference Between an Interpreter and a Translator 

Interpreters and translators perform similar tasks, but in different settings. While an 
interpreter converts any spoken material from one language into a different language, as required in Wedding Ceremonies, a translator converts written material in the same manner, as required in the use of legal documents in relation to marriage. 

If you are unsure about your need to use an Interpreter, you may contact Civil Celebrations Network or the Marriage Law and Celebrant Section of the Australian government for more information. 

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Jul
14

How to involve blended families into your ceremony

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

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

Some ideas to include in a ceremony:

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

2. Do a Tree Planting together

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

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

6. Create a Painting together

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

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

10.  New family members can all sign a Family Certificate 

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

Why not create your own special ceremony?

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

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

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May
11

We Need to Talk About Relationship Education

Let’s start to look at “Relationship Education” in a different way.

 

You meet someone you like, you have a giddy feeling in the pit of your stomach when they’re around.

 

You grow so close that you automatically know what they’re thinking before they think it.  

 

You feel like you know each other better than you know yourselves.
 
 
You’re in love and you can’t wait to get married.

 

Here’s where I’m going to stop you.

 

This is the time when you need to step outside of the beautiful love bubble that you’re in and sit down for a serious conversation with your beloved.
More and more couples are finding themselves - post marriage - reaching a point in their relationship where they don’t quite understand what has gone wrong as a result of not discussing important issues before getting hitched.

 

Leading relationship expert Dr Karen Phillip, and author of new book, “OMG We’re Getting Married - 7 Essential things to know before we say I Do” says,
 
“There is this assumption, because a couple is so in love and know each other so well, that they are on the same page, but it is incredibly important to talk about your finances, career goals and whether you want kids plus a whole range of other things before getting married.”

 

In a lead up to the wedding, couples work together and make big decisions about where the reception will be held, who is going to be in the bridal party, who is sitting next to who at the family table, but they’re planning a ‘wedding’ and it seems that conversations about their forthcoming ‘marriage’ - the important bit - are left unsaid and unquestioned.

 

Couples are not talking about:

 

* Whether they want to have children?

 

* How their children will be brought up?
* What their parenting style will be?
* Whether they were wanting to have their children baptised into a certain religion?

 

* Who will be the main ‘stay at home’ parent?
* If they can afford to put their kids in daycare?
* Where they will live?

 

* How much money each other earns?
* Any debts they’ll be bringing into the marriage?
* If they can live and stick to a budget?

 

* What they hope to do in the future - career wise?
* What are their expectations about married life?
* How much will each other’s families influence their lives?

 

* Ways they will continue to work on their relationship after they are married? i.e. date night without social media and open communication where both people’s feelings are accepted and validated.  This should be an ongoing part of your marriage.  Situations change and feelings change, so your relationship needs continual checking in with each other to make sure you are still on the same page.

 

So what is stopping us from having these incredibly important conversations?

 

As a celebrant, whenever I talk to couples about the importance of relationship education most of the responses are very similar:

 

“We’ve been living together for years, we know what’s going on with each other.”
“We don’t need that, do we Babe.”
“I already know him like the back of my hand.”

 

When we look at the other areas of our lives, we seek help from a doctor when we feel ill and we confide in a friend when we need advice.
 

We make appointments with financial advisors when we have money issues and we employ yoga instructors to keep our bodies in shape.  It seems we are looking after our health and well being in so many areas of our lives - except the most important relationship with our partner.

 

The word ‘counselling’ has somehow become attached with something being wrong or broken in your relationship, but that’s not necessarily the case at all.  To seek the help of a relationship professional shows that you take your relationship seriously and that you want to do what you can to keep it healthy.

 

You might seek help because you've lost your direction, but you don’t have to wait until you’re at breaking point before asking for help. Some couples have regular ‘check ups’ with a relationship professional, just to keep on top of things. 

It’s a conversation to see how you’re feeling about everything in your lives. A professional helps to keep that conversation on track and if necessary might give you some handy hints to make things even better.

I don’t know a single couple who hasn’t needed relationship help at some point.  It is just as sensible as having your car serviced or having a check up at your doctors. It’s easy, it’s painless and it could be the best thing you ever do in your marriage.

 

Finding a relationship professional in your area is easy - simply call your local CCN Celebrant to ask for a recommendation or here are a few suggestions:  

Relationships Australia: www.relationships.org.au

Family & Relationship Services Australia:  www.frsa.org.au

Interrelate family centres: www.interrelate.org.au

Anglicare Relationship Education: www.anglicare.org.au

Centacare: www.catholiccare.woll.catholic.org.au

Uniting Care: www.unifamcounselling.org

Better Marriages: www.bettermarriages.org.au

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Jan
27

Making It Legal

Are you wanting to get married, but not sure what you need to do?

 

The law in Australia at the moment is that legal marriage you must comply with these five things:


1. your relationship must be between a man and a woman

2. you must be 18 years of age or over *

3. you must not be married to anyone else

4. you cannot marry a person who is your antecedent or descendant by marriage or adoption

5. you must both be capable of and give free consent to marry the other 


If you can say yes to all five of those stipulations, then you are clear to start the getting married process with your celebrant.

 
Making the union legal between you and your partner can sometimes be a confusing business which is why it's a great idea to #AskaCelebrant and they will walk you through all the important legal requirements.  
 
You can find a celebrant in your area by clicking here.

 

Your first job, after finding your celebrant, is to complete the Notice of Intended Marriage form, commonly known as the NOIM.  Once this is filled in (your celebrant can help you) you lodge it with your celebrant.  This must be done no earlier than 18 months and no later than one whole month before your ceremony date.

Read more

 

If you are lucky enough to have found the one you love and they just happen to be the same sex as yourself then we are working hard to ensure that you are able to marry legally here in Australia.  However, until that time comes there are avenues in some states where you can register your union.  Click here for more information.

Why not speak to your celebrant about a Commitment ceremony or 'Betrothal' ceremony in preparation for full equality in marriage becoming legal in Australia?

Read More

* Under rare circumstances, a person between the age of 16 and 18 can marry, provided their prospective marriage partner is 18 years or over, and the couple have been granted permission by a Court as prescribed in the Marriage Act 1961.

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Jan
22

How old must I be before I can get a message from the Queen?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: Problem is by the time I've reached this age, I'll probably need someone else to organise this for me!

So how can a congratulatory message be organised? Australians who are celebrating a special birthday or wedding anniversary can receive personal congratulations from the Prime Minister, Governor-General or The Queen.

Who is eligible for a congratulatory message?

  • The Prime Minister will send a message of congratulations to people turning 90 years of age or more.
  • The Queen and Governor-General will send a message on a 100th birthday.

Read more

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Dec
12

High Court throws out ACT's same-sex marriage laws

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ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: Australia's High Court has ruled that the ACT Same Sex Marriage Bill was inconsistent with the Federal Marriage Act, and were therefore unconstitutional.  So the hopes of many couples and families have had a set back. The full judgement will be released later. Read More on: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-12/high-court-decision-on-act-same-sex-marriage-laws/5152168

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Nov
06

Grooms - How do you tell if marriage is for you?

Question_mark_150ASKACELEBRANT BLOG - Are you a bride or groom wondering about whether marriage is really for you? Marriage is a long term commitment. Even in a country where there is divorce, marriage carries thousands of years of expectations and hope that this is a relationship  "for life".

So what questions do you ask yourself to figure out if you are ready to take that BIG step?

Here's an article that uses no religious arguments - yet would be very much at home in many religious faiths - and what's more it is written by a bloke!

Our thanks to Seth Adam Smith for sharing his personal experiences on marriage :

http://sethadamsmith.com/2013/11/02/marriage-isnt-for-you/

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Aug
22

Can a couple be "more married" than married?

Dally-MResponse by our CCNA Life Celebrant Member Dally M Messenger III to a Recent Letter

Unwedded bliss

Peter Waterhouse repeats an old slur often told by supporters of formal marriage, that de facto relationships just take the form of some sort of ''holding pattern'' until ''something better comes along'' (Letters, 15/8). My partner and I have been in a loving de facto relationship for more than 25 years, producing two wonderful sons on the way. We have never had any intention of either looking for something better or of getting married.

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Jul
19

Royal assent to the marriage equality bill UK

Stonewall UK has confirmed that Queen Elizabeth has granted royal assent to the marriage equality bill, concluding its process and officially making it law. This makes the UK the 16th country to pass marriage equality, and same-sex couples will be able to begin marrying in England and Wales by next summer.

See more:
http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/07/17/2313921/marriage-equality-is-officially-law-in-the-united-kingdom/?mobile=nc

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Jun
16

Revoke the ban on legally recognising same-sex marriages.

same-sex-banEarlier this year the Australian Government revoked its ban on issuing same-sex couples with the documents they needed to marry overseas.  Now it's time to revoke the ban on legally recognising these marriages. Fourteen countries currently allow Australians to enter same-sex marriages.

Several, including Japan and Israel, already recognise foreign same-sex marriages even they don't perform such marriages themselves. 

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has introduced a Bill to lift this ban. This is the Australian Parliament's final chance before the election to represent the majority of Australians who support marriage equality and to show the world that Australia has a heart.   

If you wish to sign this petition the link is below.

www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/julia-gillard-and-tony-abbott-allow-australian-same-sex-couples-married-overseas-to-be-recognised-under-australian-law?utm_source=Australian+Marriage+Equality&utm_campaign=ddd64a1c2e-PetitionOSMarriedCouples&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_401f97f215-ddd64a1c2e-99488249
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