wedding experts

Hey, I'm Camille..

Hey, I'm Camille..

I've been meaning to make a celebrant video for my website for ages.

You know, something simple and to the point, just to say hi and let people know a little of what I'm about. And I am well aware that if I were 20 years younger, I'd be snapchatting my way through most weekends.

But when I tried to take a handful of short videos for Bridechilla Club last week at Luke Simon's studio (thank you again, Luke), I discovered that it wouldn't be the walk in the park I hoped it would be.

But then, I had a revelation.

What to look for in a (great) celebrant

What to look for in a (great) celebrant

Such a cute photo from Mink Studio of little Grace at Lien and Andrew's wedding ceremony, yes? She read A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton and it was a precious moment for their guests.

What I see in this shot, is how far I have come in 8 years. I see a celebrant who is completely immersed in the moment, striving to help a guest speaker (however tiny) feel confident and supported because it is not about me. Your wedding ceremony has (almost) nothing to do with what I think, what I like or how I've won a couple of awesome awards (and I'm very grateful for them, but still what does it mean for you?)

I say this to my couples ALL THE TIME; I can guarantee that not one of your guests will attend your wedding ceremony just because I am conducting it. To be frank, they don't give a fuck who is solemnising your marriage as long as YOU (and your fiancé) are happy. 

Okay, so the next step is, how do you make sure that you are happy with your celebrant on the big day?

What does a celebrant do?

What does a celebrant do?

It's been a pretty busy week for me, which I'm guessing is par for the course for most celebrants in peak season. When family and friends ask me what I've been up to, I invariably answer 'just busy with work' which is often met with a raised eyebrow and some exasperation. The look on their faces says 'are you really THAT busy, when your job is just to stand at a ceremony and talk for 20 minutes?'

It used to make me angry when people didn't get what I do, but I have learned over the years that many people are simply not aware of what goes on behind the scenes, how much preparation goes into a ceremony and the contingencies that a good celebrant needs to account for.

So in the interests of being open and trying to educate rather than explode, here's a snapshot of what I get up to in an average week.

Amicus Strings

Amicus Strings

One of the most uplifting, and yet sometimes subconscious, first impressions a guest has of a wedding ceremony is conveyed via the music they're greeted with. The atmosphere live music creates at a wedding can be emotional, calming and magical.

Enter Amicus Strings; a professional string quartet founded in 1996 by Carolyn Lam. I've worked with the girls at several wedding ceremonies over the years and have admired their professionalism and polished performances. 

Carolyn and I got the chance to sit down for a chat last week about what sets Amicus Strings apart from other quartets and how couples CAN afford live music no matter what their wedding budget.

Kicking goals in 2015 - good job everyone!

Kicking goals in 2015 - good job everyone!

2015 has been a massive year for me and my business.

On top of all of the incredible weddings, renewal of vows, commitment and naming ceremonies that I have been a part of and all of the beautiful people that I have met along the way, I have also achieved some big business and personal goals too.

I was absolutely thrilled to have my first article: 'No Ugly Crying' published in the Huffington Post earlier this month. A little surprised and very grateful to receive the 2015 ABIA Marriage Celebrant Award in October. And then on Thursday I was told that I had been chosen as a finalist in the Flying Solo Business Awards for customer service.

David of Griffin Alliance (they're DJs, people..)

David of Griffin Alliance (they're DJs, people..)

Did you know that there is just one question you need to ask to help determine if someone is a trained, experienced and professional wedding DJ? 

It was during my interview with wedding photographer and nice guy, Luke Simon, when I first heard about this cool DJ/businessman that I have never crossed paths with before; David Bartholomeusz. David's level of commitment to client satisfaction and business excellence is inspiring. And even though David and I couldn't match our schedules for a face to face chat, he generously volunteered to record his answers to my hard-hitting questions for us.

I hope you enjoy his take on DJ trends, the science of holding a crowd and the difference between extroverted and introverted DJs as much as I did. One day, we may even get to have that face to face chat.

***READ ON TO FIND OUT HOW TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE 14-PAGE, 300+ SONG EBOOK: WEDDING CEREMONY MUSIC GUIDE!***

Over to you, David!

Luke Simon of Luke Simon Photography

Luke Simon of Luke Simon Photography

Luke is just one of those perennially 'up' kinda guys - always brimming with energy and enthusiasm whenever our paths cross. But the best part about working beside him is how inspiring and talented he is as a wedding photographer and businessman. From the outside at least, he seems to do a stellar job of balancing his family life with his ever-growing business interests, which include yearly trips to the Maldives for work (yeah, right..!)

I caught up with Luke in his Colonel Light Gardens studio for a chat about his process and why couples really need a wedding photographer who is always 3 steps ahead.

Dan Evans of Dan Evans Photography

Dan Evans of Dan Evans Photography

Here's something to consider when you're hiring your wedding photographer; you may spend anywhere up to 10 hours of your big day with them and around 8 hours with your new husband or wife. Yep - crazy to think about, yes?

For me, Dan Evans of Dan Evans Photography is just a pleasure to be around - just like an old (or quite young!) friend. There is no pretence with him and he's also very passionate about what he does. We sat down for a coffee at The Edge Deli Brighton, just down the road from his studio, to chat about how to make the taking of your wedding photos fun and relaxed which in turn, translates into an awesome end result.

Brian Ruiz from The Shizzle

Brian Ruiz from The Shizzle

Nothing can match the celebratory nature and heightened sense of anticipation that live music can impart on a wedding ceremony. In my past life, I was a performance music degree graduate and although I try to stay out of the way of the musos while I’m doing weddings, I can’t help but notice when an artist gets it right; there is a big difference between ‘just playing a song’ and performing an original interpretation with energy and integrity.

Brian Ruiz is one of the most soulful musicians and fun guys that I have had the pleasure of working with at my Adelaide weddings. It was great to sit down with him at Patch Kitchen & Garden, Stirling and have a chat about what he does and why he believes (contrary to musician snob rhetoric) that performing at a wedding is the best gig in town.