Hannah bug's Naming Ceremony

Hannah bug's Naming Ceremony

Amy and Mark already had the bright and beautiful Hannah-bug present with them at their wedding ceremony in October 2015. So when I received an email a couple of months ago it wasn't the 'we're pregnant' kind of news, but rather 'Hannah is turning 1 (!) and we would love to arrange a joint birthday party and naming ceremony'. Where has the time gone?

Amy set about planning an adorable woodland themed celebration, complete with a little red riding hood cloak for Hannah and magical toadstool cake.

Enjoy!

Confetti - c'mon, you know you love it..

Confetti - c'mon, you know you love it..

Weddings have changed a lot in the last 40 odd years, but the need to celebrate and mark the occasion with memorable moments and demonstrations of love and hope, hasn't.

While I can acknowledge (albeit, begrudgingly) that it's not 1977, I still challenge anyone not to appreciate the childlike fun of a good 'ol confetti toss. I mean, look at this awesome photo by Kate Pardey - it simply oozes happiness and joy, right? And who doesn't want an extra big helping of that on their wedding day?

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.

Do we have to include religious content in our wedding ceremony?

Do we have to include religious content in our wedding ceremony?

In Australia, there are three different ways to get married. The Marriage Act 1961 allows for marriages to be solemnised by:

1. Ministers of religion of recognised denominations,
2. State and Territory Officers (most commonly at a State or Territory office of Births, Deaths and Marriages) and
3. Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants. This category contains both civil (non-religious) celebrants (like me!and ministers of religion who are not aligned with a recognised denomination.

London calling - Leonie and Lee

London calling - Leonie and Lee

Lee and Leonie value their families and close friendships above everything else; in fact, this was one of the qualities that first attracted them to each other. With all of Lee's family in England and all of Leonie's family in Australia, they decided to chase this sunshine with an Adelaide hills winery wedding and timed it to maximise the number of friends and family who could make it from overseas.

It was imperative for them to be able to relax, laugh and truly enjoy their guests' company on their wedding day and Barrister's Block in Woodside was the perfect backdrop for their laidback celebration. So much love and warmth. 

I hope you enjoy their photos from Leonie's very talented brother, Pete Thornton and Karina from What Pete Shot.

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?

5 wedding readings that aren't too soppy

5 wedding readings that aren't too soppy

What are your options if you want to include a reading in your wedding ceremony, but aren't a fan of Shakespeare and don't want to have 1 Corinthians 13?

The great thing about civil ceremonies in Australia is, apart from 3 sentences that I have to say from The Marriage Act 1961 and 1 legal sentence you have to say in your vows, the rest is completely up to you. The sky's the limit.

And you can make your ceremony even more meaningful by finding a reading (or two) that you LOVE - rather than something you think is 'just okay'. Readings can come from anywhere; lyrics from songs, quotes from movies or the words from your team's victory song (God help us all..)

Here are five of my favourites..

Wedding Ceremony Wine Box Ritual (what it is and how to do it)

Wedding Ceremony Wine Box Ritual (what it is and how to do it)

Most of my couples are not dove/butterfly/ferret-releasing kind of people.

Many are a bit uncomfortable being in the limelight on their wedding day and don't want over-the-top, grand gestures or anything said that's too soppy. That's when I tell them about the wine box ritual. I like to think of it as a time capsule with interest.

Let me explain..

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.