Ask A Celebrant - CCN Blog

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More CCN Blog posts can be found in the Blog Categories to the right.
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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Nov
20

Ways to save money on your wedding

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

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Oct
16

Why use a translator or an interpreter in Australia?

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

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Sep
28

Outdoor Wedding ideas

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

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

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Sep
28

The Importance of timing at a ceremony

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

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

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Sep
10

Where to find ceremony inspiration

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

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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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Nov
22

Sticking to a budget

Sticking to a budget

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

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

ABC Article - How much do weddings really cost

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

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



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

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

Things like:

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

 
Tips to sticking with a budget:



1.
do your homework

2.
write everything down

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

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

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


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

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Thank you for 
joining us....

πŸ‘πŸΌ We would love it if you would let us know what you think πŸ€”.  
There is a comment section πŸ‘ at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
πŸ–²Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!
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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.

handshake 2009195 640

 

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



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

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Thank you for 
joining us....

πŸ‘πŸΌ We would love it if you would let us know what you think πŸ€”.  
There is a comment section πŸ‘ at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
πŸ–²Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!
🐘 Don't forget to subscribe πŸ’Œ to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page β‡žβ‡žβ‡ž and the blog will magically πŸ™ŒπŸΎ appear in your email inbox πŸ“¬.
Also please feel free to share 🎁 our blog on your social media πŸ“² so we can spread the love πŸ’ž! 
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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 β€˜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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Thank you for 
joining us....

πŸ‘πŸΌ We would love it if you would let us know what you think πŸ€”.  
There is a comment section πŸ‘ at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
πŸ–²Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!
🐘 Don't forget to subscribe πŸ’Œ to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page β‡žβ‡žβ‡ž and the blog will magically πŸ™ŒπŸΎ appear in your email inbox πŸ“¬.
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Aug
27

Including your pets in your ceremony

When you have a pet, a fur baby, or a four legged best buddy, they become a very important part of your life, so why wouldn't you include them into your life celebrations?  
 
Well, there are a few reasons that you might want to be aware of...

* What happens if your pooch runs off with the rings?

* What happens if your usually well trained llama spits at the guests?

* What happens if nature calls as your horse trots up the aisle?

People with pets understand that things don't always run as smoothly as you sometimes hope they will, then again you could say the same of human children! So here are a few things to consider when including your furry bud in your ceremony.

1.  Think about your pet's temperament.  How does he react around crowds, children, and loud noises? 



2. Talk about your plans with your bridal party and find out if anybody is frightened of (insert type of animal you have)



3. Make sure you get permission from venues and give professionals such as you celebrant, photographer, florist, musician and caterer advance notice. That way everybody can be better prepared. 



4. Ensure that you have appointed a trustworthy person to do the job of pet-sitting.  You can ask a friend who your pet is familiar and comfortable with or hire a professional dog handler to make sure your dog is safe and hydrated throughout the day.



5. If you are somebody who likes to dress your pets up in special outfits, choose the outfit carefully and make sure that your furry friend is not going to be  too hot or uncomfortable wearing it.  



6. As with all ceremonies - you should have a Plan B in case of poor weather, so consider having a Plan B for your pet as well.  If your pooch was meant to carry the rings down the aisle and she doesn't feel like it at the appropriate time, then go with the flow and slip the back up plan into action.

 
Click HERE to speak to a CCN Celebrant about including your pet in your ceremony
 
All the photos in today's blog have been used with the permission of Stephanie Warner of Hitch and Pooch 
You can follow her Instagram feed here: https://www.instagram.com/hitchandpooch/
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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.

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Thank you for 
joining us....

πŸ‘πŸΌ We would love it if you would let us know what you think πŸ€”.  
There is a comment section πŸ‘ at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
πŸ–²Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!
🐘 Don't forget to subscribe πŸ’Œ to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page β‡žβ‡žβ‡ž and the blog will magically πŸ™ŒπŸΎ appear in your email inbox πŸ“¬.
Also please feel free to share 🎁 our blog on your social media πŸ“² so we can spread the love πŸ’ž! 
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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!

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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. 

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?

wedding-1149219_1920 copy.jpg

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. 

music-625590_1280 copy.jpg

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 
joining us....

πŸ‘πŸΌ We would love it if you would let us know what you think πŸ€”.  
There is a comment section πŸ‘ at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
πŸ–²Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!
🐘 Don't forget to subscribe πŸ’Œ to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page β‡žβ‡žβ‡ž and the blog will magically πŸ™ŒπŸΎ appear in your email inbox πŸ“¬.
Also please feel free to share 🎁 our blog on your social media πŸ“² so we can spread the love πŸ’ž! 
Please use this πŸ–‡ link: https://www.celebrations.org.au/blog when you share. 🌻 
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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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Jul
04

Popular Wedding Traditions - Explained

There are loads of wedding traditions that people still live by and think that it's not a real wedding if we don't.....

wear a white dress;
have bridesmaids;
have my dad walk me down the aisle;
carry flowers:
something old, something new, something borrowed & something blue...

Because of tradition we base what constitutes a 'real' wedding on whether we follow what everybody else has done before us. 

Whilst traditions in general are important for continuity; making the moment special; and giving you something to look forward to, not all traditions are as relevant as they once were.

For example:

Wearing a white dress

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Photo: Pixabay

Modern brides might describe their wedding dress as "cream" or "ivory," but in most cases, it's some variation on white. While there has been an emerging trend on colourful dresses, traditional brides have stayed true to the color white ever since Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840. Before that most brides wore whatever was nicest piece of clothing in their cupboard, while nobility wore luxurious gowns embroidered with metallic thread. Victoria ditched the nobility's traditional silver gown for a white satin one, and unintentionally kick-started the tradition of the white wedding dress.

Note: It is not a legal requirement for you to wear white and it won't mean that you are any less married after your ceremony if you choose to wear something different.

Bridal Parties 

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Photo: Pixabay

While bridesmaids are invaluable for moral support and helping you get in and out of your dress, originally they used to have a far more serious role in the wedding: protecting the bride from evil spirits. Bridesmaids were originally directed to dress just like the bride, and this was intended to confuse evil spirits or those who wished to harm the bride.

Note: It is not a legal requirement for you to have bridesmaids or groomsmen as such - you only need your celebrant and 2 witnesses, and you won't be any less married if you don't have a buck's or a hen's night.

Father Giving Away the Bride

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Photo: Pixabay

Back in the day daughters were considered their father's property, meaning the father had the right to give his daughter to the groom, usually for a price which had to be paid to the bride's family before he could marry her.  This was called the dowry.  Times have changed a bit now and having dear old dad walk you down the aisle has become a sign of love and symbolic of the marrying couple having the support from all the parents as they move on with the next stage in their life. Some people have added mum into the mix with the bride walking in with either or both her parents and sometimes the groom also walks in with his parents first.  

Note: As this isn't a legal requirement, you can walk into your own ceremony any way you like with whom ever you want to support you.  How you walk in is generally irrelevant to the you actually getting married.

The Bride Arriving Late For The Ceremony 

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This is not a tradition

and no reference to it as being "a thing" can be found, so from this moment forward, in my opinion only, as a show of respect for the groom, the families, all the guests, the celebrant, the musician, the photographer, the videographer, the venue, the co-ordinator, the car hire people and anybody else that it effects that all brides should arrive on time.

Note: Being super late for your ceremony could effect you becoming legally married on that day.

Please contact a CCN Celebrant today to find out more about the traditions that you'd like to include in your marriage ceremony.
 
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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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Feb
01

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

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.

 

This same spirit of inclusiveness applies to civil ceremonies, and marriages of couples from different faiths or cultures are a great example of the way a civil celebrant can craft a marriage ceremony that incorporates both backgrounds.   A civil ceremony is a great option for couples who come from different faiths or cultural backgrounds and want to marry in a ceremony which combines their beliefs and provides a balanced ceremony respecting both parties.  
 
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Interfaith and cross cultural marriages are another way that civil celebrants uphold human rights.  Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that men and women who have attained the age of majority have the right to marry "without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion”.   

 

Couples planning to marry should consider how their backgrounds may impact on their married life.  Things to think about include:  how compatible are their underlying values and beliefs?  What does each think about faithfulness, children, worship, food and rituals?  If the couple is planning to have children, how will they be brought up?  How will the religious and cultural practices of each family be shared and respected?
Cross cultural ceremonies can also be used for baby namings, funerals, or to mark other major life events.   CCN celebrants have a wealth of experience and a variety of styles, knowledge and resources to help design a meaningful and inclusive ceremony.

 

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Ways in which a celebrant could incorporate different religious or cultural beliefs into a ceremony include: 

 

Readings:
Choosing readings from religious texts can add depth and meaning and highlight the beliefs and values of the couple.  

 

Music:
The couple can choose music to reflect their cultural background or include hymns, psalms or other religious songs.  

 

Rituals:  
A civil marriage ceremony can include rituals from different faiths or cultures.  
 
 
 
 
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Jan
18

Don't Be Late!

Don’t be late!

 

Is it fashionable for the bride to be late to the ceremony anymore? 
 
 
Was it ever fashionable?  

 

There are valid excuses for being late:

 

Car trouble, traffic, wardrobe/hair/makeup malfunctions, nerves, forgot something vital to the ceremony… but intentionally planning to keep your guests waiting because you think it’s a tradition or so you can make a grand entrance is not necessary. 
 
Being late is as much a tradition as it is lucky when it rains on your wedding day - it's just something people say... and your entrance will be grand regardless of what time you arrive.

 

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Image source: stuff.co.nz

The same excuses can be allowed for guests, however intentionally arriving any later than 15+ minutes before the ceremony is due to start is not ok.  

 

Perhaps people assume that the bride will be β€˜fashionably late’ and therefore what’s the point of arriving early? 
 
But what if this bride is considering the comfort of her guests and valuing her celebrant/photographer/videographer/musician/other ceremony service provider’s time and arrives on time for the ceremony - then you run the risk of missing the beginning of the ceremony or causing a ruckus coming in half way through.

 

Let’s ditch this idea that the bride (or groom) should be late to the ceremony.

 

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Image source: Pixabay

Let me tell you an extreme, and yet very true story of what can happen if you choose to be late on a hot day.  

 

Imagine, if you will, a very hot day - sweltering in fact... I'm talking up and over 40℃

 

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Your guests have arrived 15 minutes early as instructed.  They are dressed in their finery, ladies in heels and make up, gents in long pants and suit jackets.  You have opted for the magnificent location of that park near that lake where there’s not a lot of shade.  Your guests have not thought to bring hats or umbrellas, possibly not being familiar with the park’s shade offerings.  So they stand uncomfortably in the sun, holding their clutch purses over their faces, slowly melting, silently hoping that the bride will be on time.

 

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Photo credit: Shell Brown

The groom and his best man are dressed in their 3 piece suits, looking marvellous except for their glistening red faces and parched lips.
The bride is sitting somewhere in air conditioning having the finishing touches done to her hair and make up.  The girls are having a last champas before getting into the air conditioned car to get to the ceremony….. it doesn’t matter if we’re a bit late, they decide - it’s fashionable, right?

 

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Image source: Pixabay

Cut back to the park where the guests have now been standing in the blazing sun for 30 minutes, with no bridesmaid filled vintage limo in sight.  The guests haven’t brought any water, as they didn’t think they’d be standing there for this long.  One of the nanas has thought to bring a fan with her and she is starting to look way too flushed. Her breathing slows down as she slumps slightly in her chair.

 

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Image source: totally-awesome.net

The girls are finally in the limo and are super excited to be on their way.  The guests have been waiting for 45 minutes now and people are losing their patience and good humour.  The limo pulls up to the park, it’s another 10 minutes while the bride has some photos in the car, then gets out of the car and has more photos in front of the car, then with the bridesmaids, then one with her dad, then a few of the bride with the bridesmaids fussing around her dress…. 

 

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Image source: Pixabay

The guests can see she has arrived and are wondering, as they wipe the sweat from their eyes, waterproof mascara running, why she hasn’t started walking towards them yet.  People can get cross and fed up in the heat.

 

The bride finally arrives and can’t understand why her guests all look furious and a little damp.

 

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Sure - this might be far fetched, but people can get cranky in the heat! Image source: iloverealestate.tv

Nana manages to make it though the ceremony - only just and is then taken to hospital with heat stroke.  Another two guests opt to go home because standing out in the heat has made them feel sick.

 

So… to be late or not to be late?

 

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Image source: memes.com

If you would like some advice on how best to plan your ceremony so that everybody makes it through to the reception, why not #askacelebrant? 
 
You can contact a CCN Celebrant by clicking this link.

 

And if you do have a guest suffer from heat stroke - here are some handy hints 

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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 fiancΓ© 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 β€œGiving 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.

Garter AdobeStock 61365779



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.

coupe

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.
hearts in the sand thumb7706102

 

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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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

Choosing the perfect location for your ceremony

Is there such a thing as THE perfect location for your wedding?

Surely it depends on the individual couple and their own dreams and aspirations for what their wedding day will look like.
What is perfect for one couple may not be perfect for another. However it will probably be the first and biggest decision you’ll make as an engaged couple and it will influence your budget, decor and even your attire.
 
Ask yourselves the following questions as the answers may help you decide the type of location you want.

How many people are we inviting?
How much do we want to spend….what is our budget?
What kind of wedding style do we want……formal, relaxed, rustic, outdoors, inside?
Is the Venue available on our wedding day?
How much work do we want to do?
Do we want to leave everything to the venue or do we want to do some of the work ourselves?
What time of the year do we want to get married?
Do we want the Ceremony and the Reception to be in the same place?
How easy is it for our guests to get to the location?
Do we have any elderly or informed guests?
Do we want to make it a weekend of celebrations or a singular day?

Garden arch

Locations that are Popular for Weddings
Barns, Farms, and Wineries
Wedding Receptions and Ballrooms
Hotels 
Restaurants In a Public Garden
Zoos, Children’s Farms, Museums, Art Galleries, Warehouses
On a Beach On a Boat
In our own Home
In a Chapel Overseas at a Destination Wedding.


Chapel Ballara receptions 450

Things to Do Before you Choose your Location

Narrow down your search to a few options. 
Once you have narrowed down your search email or call the venue and make an appointment to go and see it.

If it is an outdoor wedding try to view it at the same time as your ceremony so that you will know the sun orientation.
Write down a list of questions to ask. Does the location suit the style/theme you want? Read reviews from other couples
 
Sand Arch 300

If you want an outdoor wedding always have a Plan B in case of bad weather……too hot or too cold. If you are using a public place you may need to apply for a permit. 

Don’t choose the first place you see…..unless you absolutely fall in love with it.

For more advice about choosing a venue, contact one of the CCN Celebrants



Keep Oz Beautiful
Footnote:
 Many couples choose the outdoors for their wedding to take advantage of the beautiful scenery. When deciding on an outdoor venue please take into consideration the need to tidy up after the celebration.

Australia Beautiful Week is an annual event and runs from 22nd to 28th August and the theme this year is β€˜Do the Right Thing’ for a litter free and sustainable Australia.  


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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 β€˜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. β€˜

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.
pexels photo 56926 medium

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
 
roses gift 1420732 500
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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Jul
07

How does the cost of a celebrant fit in with your budget?

Congratulations, you are getting married and are busy working out where you want the ceremony and the reception, the wedding gown, the photographer, how many guests (and do you really have to invite all of the cousins?), who is in the bridal party, rings, cars, cakes, the list goes on. 

And the costs escalate.  Escalate very quickly.

So, where does the celebrant fit into your budget? Celebrant fees can range from $300 to over $1,000 depending on your location and the celebrant. A good tip is to check the fees for your state’s Registry Office, who provide a basic marriage ceremony and expect the fees of an independent celebrant, who comes to your venue of choice and provides a personalised service to charge more than that.


So, you are sitting there with your budget wondering why anyone could charge that much money for less than an hour’s work? 

A celebrant will spend an average of between 10 and 20 hours working on your wedding. Holding meetings with you, making sure all of the legal paperwork is correct, and then making sure the correct paperwork is lodged with the Birth Death and Marriages Section in your state. They will also write a special ceremony for you, with all of your wishes included, they will organise rehearsals of your ceremony and then, on the big day, they will perform your wedding ceremony and make sure that your wedding is legal. 


Without the celebrant, your wedding is just a great party. The celebrant ensures that your party is actually a wedding. 

SO, how do you budget for your celebrant? First, you need to select your celebrant, and do that based on which one feels right for you, not based on their cost. And make sure that you book the date with them, and pay your deposit. 

Then, you can work out the best way to budget for the celebrant, in the same way you would budget for your cake, your reception, the photographer, the hairdresser. 

Some celebrants will happily work with you to organise a β€œlay by” scheme, whilst others have a scheduled three payment option. Talk with your celebrant about the best options for both of you. 

Having your perfect celebrant perform your perfect wedding ceremony is something that you will remember for the rest of your life.



With your perfect celebrant you can create magic on your wedding day and you can find your perfect celebrant in the CCN directory by clicking here.

READ MORE about Civil Celebrants by clicking here. 

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Jun
25

5 Tips for Staying Calm on Your Wedding Day

All the planning for your special day is complete.  You have chosen the perfect music, you're wearing the perfect wedding ensemble, your ceremony location is even more picturesque than even you could have imagined, you've taken care of every last detail.

With so much effort having gone into creating such an amazing day there are sure to be a few nerves.  Not only do you have to handle the pressure of everyone wanting your attention, but you also feel the stress of wanting everything to go smoothly.

Pre-wedding jitters are totally normal and we're here to help you with these 5 tips for staying calm through your marriage ceremony.

Be Yourself

 

Try and remember that this ceremony is about you and your partner declaring your love and promising to live a beautiful life together.  It is not a performance for your guests.  Nobody is expecting more from you than you are able to give.  If you are nervous about talking in public, then just imagine it is you and your partner (and your celebrant) simply having a chat.  Most couples who were nervous beforehand say afterwards that it wasn't nearly as bad as they thought it was going to be.

Delegate! Delegate! Delegate!
 


You (and your partner) have important things to be thinking about; your sole job today is to get married.  Leave all of the other side bits and pieces to somebody else.  Either employ a Day-of Wedding-Co-ordinator or ask a trusted friend to take care of all those last minute things.

Keep Up The Communication

 

It's important to keep up communication on the day of your wedding. With your fiance, check on how you are both feeling.  If you are choosing to not see each other before the ceremony, then you could write each other a little note confirming your feelings and putting their minds at ease; with your Day-of Co-ordinator/trusted friend, keeping them informed as things change (also a great idea is to give this person's phone number to your celebrant and other suppliers); with your bridal party - if you're feeling nervy, let them know so they can help you through it.

Let It Go


Photo Credit: Arina B. Photography

There are going to be things that go wrong - there I said it.  You have to accept that and move on.  The most important thing on this special day is not whether the flowers are the right colour or if the flowergirl tipped all the petals on the ground in one place, then stormed off...... The most important thing is that you and your partner get married.  Everything else is decoration and/or funny.

Find The Funny


Speaking of flowergirls doing the dump and run... being able to laugh relieves stress and nerves tremendously!  You might like to speak to your celebrant about including a funny story into your ceremony, helping you to relax whilst engaging your guests.

Why not contact our CCN Celebrants to ensure a stress free ceremony.

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May
29

Calling All Spring Brides.

Spring is just around the corner!
Here are some fabulous ideas to make your Spring wedding amazingly fresh!

 

An indoor-outdoor venue

Spring certainly makes you think of flowers, new life and sunshine after the cold wintery months.  However, while a day full of glorious spring sunshine would be great, keep in mind that the weather is still a little unpredictable, so take this into consideration when you are choosing your venue.  

You will, of course have a back up plan just in case, and if your Plan A venue has a Plan B location - even better!

 

Book early!

Spring is a popular time to get married so your favourite suppliers, like the celebrant you've been following on Twitter may well be booked up. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut and make that booking as early as you can. This way you'll be organised and relatively stress free, whilst avoiding disappointment. Win/Win!

 

Go seasonal

Spring brides have a great choice when it comes to flowers. Late spring flowers such as sweet peas and peonies come in an array of different colours and are stunning in both bouquets and centrepieces.

 

If you’re going seasonal with your flowers this can be a good place to start your planning in terms of a theme, as your colours may well be decided by the choice of blooms available. 

 

 

Be prepared

Choosing an all-weather venue is a great start but you’re likely to want to have some photographs taken outside. Spring brides should definitely be prepared for showers and embrace the possibility of rain or wet ground by investing in a fabulous umbrella or a pair of statement wellies.

 

Rain on your wedding day is considered to be good luck by some cultures and remember that a wet knot is harder to untie!

 

Be kind to your bridesmaids

Floaty chiffon and tulle bridesmaid dresses can be stunning but aren’t the warmest outfits for a chilly spring day! If you’re opting for this sort of dress check out wraps or shrugs for them as well to ensure they are comfortable and are not a light shade of blue in the photos.

 

Spring Gifts

Think about how you can extend your Spring theme into gifts for your guests by planting small containers of spring bulbs as wedding favours, or maybe a packet of summer flower seeds to brighten up their gardens and remind them of your day.

 

Contact one of our CCN Celebrants and start sharing your spring wedding ideas!

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May
22

Sorry - marrying when you first meet just cannot happen

Despite the impression you may have gained from the latest reality TV show, you are legally required to give your celebrant a completed Notice of Intended Marriage at least one month before the planned wedding, if you want to be married in Australia.

i propose 927744 200Most couples of course plan their wedding much earlier and are keen to book their celebrant well in advance, especially if they are marrying on a busy Saturday in summer or a popular date like Valentine's Day. Wedding planning is an important part of the preparation for your life together as a married couple and working with your celebrant over a period of time to design your ideal ceremony is part of the fun.

There are some very limited circumstances where the Notice period can be shortened to less than one month.  In situations such as terminal illness, immediate overseas postings and similar cases it is possible to obtain permission for an earlier wedding.  Your celebrant will be able to tell you about these rules how to go about seeking permission.

So don't be fooled into thinking that you can call up your celebrant for a wedding in the morning because you have just met the new love of your life.  It just doesn't happen like that.

Of course, if you are so madly in love that you cannot wait a month to gather your family and friends around you and declare your love to the world, you can ask your celebrant to do a "commitment ceremony" - this is what you saw on TV.  These ceremonies have absolutely no legal basis and the celebrant  makes this clear to everyone present.  Later on, if you both decide you want to marry then you can return to your celebrant, give due notice and have a legal wedding - as large or small as you wish. 

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Apr
25

Dreaming of a beachside wedding?

beachsideMany Australian couples and overseas visitors decide to take advantage of our beautiful beaches, parks and headlands for their wedding ceremony. 

The result can be a beautiful ceremony with a stunning backdrop which delights you and your guests.

Here are my top four tips for an outdoor ceremony.

1.  Have a plan for wet weather or extremely hot weather - both are common occurrences.

2.  Try to have all the guests seated.  Some councils limit the number of chairs you can set up on public land but it really is much more comfortable for guests if they are seated.

3.  Think about your syle of wedding and location when choosing your outfits - very high heels and billowing long dresses and veils can be difficult to handle on the beach or grass.

4.  Check the tides.  At the wedding pictured we almost got our feet wet!!

What's your experience - do you have other good tips?

 

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Apr
24

Outdoor weddings need a wet weather plan

indoor-decorationThe recent stormy weather meant that one of my couples had to make a last minute change to their wedding venue.  As you can see from the photo, the decorators quickly adapted their planned headland setup to make a beautiful indoor setting for the arrival of the bridal party.

I love doing ceremonies on the beautiful beaches and headlands of the Eurobodalla area and the rain stopped long enough for this couple to get fabulous pictures after the ceremony.  Kyla Hall at Tuross Head however provided a perfect setting for the ceremony and everyone was dry and comfortable.

Kyla_Hall_small_640x479

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Jun
22

Why do 75% of couples choose civil ceremonies?

I was thinking about this question when someone recently suggested that civil ceremonies were a "cheap" option compared with the traditional church wedding.  Really nothing could be further from the true reason people choose civil ceremonies.  No matter where the ceremony is held, the cost of a wedding is determined by all the extras - dresses, flowers, photographs, cars, reception and so on, and these are usually the same whether the ceremony is civil or church.

No! The real reasons are about atmosphere and choice.  For the couple who do not have strong connections with a church, the words, music and atmosphere of a church service can be alien.  Whereas with a civil ceremony the couple can choose the time and day, their favourite location, the words and music for their ceremony and can make vows to eachother that are truly meaningful to them.  This choice leads to a happy, relaxed atmosphere in which guests can really appreciate the love and commitment that the couple are showing towards each other.  No wonder that civil marriage ceremonies, conducted by celebrants trained in both ceremonial and legal requirements, are the most popular ceremonies today.

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Jun
05

Pop Up Wedding - or more choice?

pop-up-toaster-225ASKACELEBRANT BLOG

On a Pop-up Wedding Day several couples are married at the same venue, in carefully controlled timeslots throughout the day.   They are certainly a fun, low cost alternative to the traditional large wedding.  For around $1000 and an hour of your time you have a short ceremony with a registered celebrant, photos in a pretty setting, a glass of champagne and some cake.  You don’t need to invite anyone – there will be witnesses on hand – or you might take a couple of guests with you. The ideal answer for couples who want a low key, no fuss, intimate occasion. 

Or is it? 

You should know that you can cut the costs and the fuss and still have total control of your wedding.  Choose a place that you both love and decide the day and time that suits you, book a celebrant for a simple short ceremony, book a photographer for a one hour shoot or take along a talented friend with a camera, chill a bottle of decent bubbly, pick up a cake (or your favourite food) and enjoy your special day your way. Fun to plan whether it’s your secret or shared with some close friends, unique and personal. Plus, you’ll definitely save money!

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Jan
26

What do we think is the most important part of a wedding day?

child_bride_groom_holding_hands_md_clrASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: What does the ceremony do for a wedding?

Your wedding ceremony sets the tone for the rest of your wedding day and creates memories for you, your family and friends for years ahead

Getting married is about making one of the most important legal, emotional, social, economic and practical commitments you will ever make in your life.

It is a day too, that will never be able to be repeated.

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Oct
30

The me, me, me wedding

ASKACELEBRANT BLOG:
This is a delightful personal story about the value of family and community in ceremonies and an example of the sorts of stories  our couples and  families could write about their wedding and other ceremony preparations.

http://www.tennantcreektimes.com.au/story/1771594/the-me-me-me-wedding/

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Sep
01

Emotional Wedding

From Gwen Stephenson
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Civil Celebrant
Cairns Queensland.
www.rhapsodyceremonies.com.au

tears-weddingI recently officiated at my nephew's wedding at the beautiful Annabelle the Wedding Chapel at Sunshine Coast.  This wedding, even though I knew it would be difficult as I actually knew half of the wedding party/guests, I had no  idea it would so emotional for all concerned. 

The groom cried, the bride cried, the flower girl cried - and then everyone cried (including myself and the photographer).  Unbelievable!! 

Thank goodness we only do family weddings once in a while.  Smile  But it was my first family one and I loved every minute of it.  Doing another one for one of my Goddaughters this Saturday so that one will be interesting also.  Can't wait.  Love doing weddings.  Cheers to all my colleagues (no matter where you are) and keep up the good work.  

Our job is very important and many people rely on us.

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Aug
11

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME . . . .

ASKACELEBRANT
This article submitted by NSW CCN Celebrant, Rebecca Skinner 
www.celebratinglifeschapters.com
Throughout history roses have held great significance. Monks tended rose gardens in the Middle Ages...there are references to roses in the bible and of course Shakespeare's immortal words were, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."  So no wonder some couples chose to include a rose ceremony at their wedding.
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