In my work as a Marriage Celebrant I am committed to how people enter their lives anew through Marriage. I offer a holistic process and I want your marriage ceremony to be truthful and reflective of who you are. I want your marriage to be a dynamic and rich place from which you can live and grow. I have found that the more time and thought you bring to the planning and creation of your marriage ceremony, the more of yourselves you invest in the creation, the richer and more transformative your marriage day becomes and as a result, the stronger the foundations of your marriage.
For many couples choosing where to marry is of prime importance. I will work with you to devise a ceremony based on the choice of the site as an integral part of your wedding day. This includes a site visit early on in the planning stage and an onsite rehearsal as close to the wedding as possible.
The chosen place becomes an integral part of the day rather than just a location. My background in theatre, installation and performance making allows me to work with you from the barest beginnings of an idea- a few images or elements to craft a truly unique and reflective ceremony in which everyone present is integrally involved.
By working in this way you are supported to make your marriage ceremony a conscious and remembered transformative time of your life- by giving time and attention to the process of creating your ceremony you will remember moments specific to you and be on the way to a happy, successful and long lasting marriage.
Marriage is not for everyone. It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ institution. In fact, the challenge facing many couple’s who wish to marry is knowing what marriage means to you today- what you want your marriage to be, what you don’t want it to be and how can you create a ceremony that truly reflects who you are and what you want for your lives together in marriage.
I understand my role as one of creating with and for you a ceremony that contains the best of who you are and what you want to bring to your marriage. I listen to you and bring my ideas and experience to every aspect of your ceremony.
I understand my role as providing you with information, knowledge and choice and the best possible process to realise your ceremony.
Marriage is a supportive and challenging rite of passage and I respect the auspicious responsibility I have in walking with you to the place of your marriage and beyond.
There are few opportunities to effect change in our lives, your marriage and your marriage ceremony is one of those times. I dare you to go for it!
The 1st meeting –The process and your questions
This is a no obligation meeting at a mutually convenient time and location and usually it is about 30 to 45 mins long.
In this meeting I outline my process, listen to your needs and respond to questions. I bring a resource package to this meeting and use it to outline the choices you have in creating your marriage ceremony. We discuss the fee, the time frame and the legal requirements.
If you decide you’d like to work with me and in the way I have outlined you can take the resource package and begin the process. Some couples wish to see other celebrants, to think and reflect. You need not make a decision at this meeting.
I offer a flexible working process tailored to your time and to financial investment you can make. I offer a fully facilitated process where I work with you and write your ceremony, based on your input and I also offer a process whereby you can write and assemble your ceremony with me acting as your guide.
Both these processes are aimed to offer you the opportunity to work as best fits your time, desired investment and budget.
Whichever process you embark on, the process is as follows-
The 2nd meeting – The legals and the stories
This meeting is anywhere from one to two hours in duration. We complete the first of the legal requirements- the NOIM Form
(you will need to bring your relevant documents- see legal requirements). We begin the ceremony planning based on your responses to the question sheet contained in the resource package and any ideas you have for your ceremony.
I find that this meeting is always very fruitful and exciting for couples as the shape and feel of your ceremony begins to emerge.
From this meeting, if I am writing your ceremony, I craft a working copy of your ceremony and we communicate by email and phone. You begin work on your vows and choosing readings or blessings.
If you are writing your ceremony from here, we cover the elements of the ceremony in more detail and I furnish you with advice and resources to go and begin!
Writing or assembling or choosing your vows is something that most couples enjoy. And it is the part of the ceremony that is most essentially yours.
I have resources available and a tried and true process that supports you to know what you want to include in your vows to you loved one and how to express yourself in your own words. I also have a vast collection of readings and poetry, song lyrics and literary extracts to support you in finding the right readings for your ceremony.
The 3rd meeting
This is most often via email where we edit and shape the working copy of the ceremony that either of us have prepared. We speak to reading choices, music, vows and inclusion of any other ceremonies as befits your ceremony.
Some couples wish to have a face to face meeting at this point or on site, if the place is of special importance. We meet in the place you have chosen for your ceremony (if possible). We do a read through of the draft copy of the ceremony and begin to bring form to the ceremony – to pick the exact location or where the bride may arrive from, etc For some couples, this meeting is not possible or necessary, but it is offered if appropriate.
The 4th meeting – The onsite rehearsal
This meeting is best any time from 10 days to one day before the ceremony. At this meeting as many of the key people are present- best men, bridesmaids, readers, ushers, parents or family members responsible for setting up and helping on the day. We run through the entire ceremony (save the vows and declarations!) at the same time of day the ceremony is scheduled for (or as close to) so as to see what the light, sun and shadows are doing.
By this stage the ceremony is finished and almost word perfect. The rehearsal consolidates the preceding process by allowing you to have an experience of standing in the place of your wedding ceremony and of going through the form of the day. How you arrive, when you turn to face one another, the exchange of rings, etc.On the day, this experience, possibly more than any other one thing, supports you to be as present as you can be and to truly remember your ceremony.
Why would you want your marriage ceremony to pass in a blur of adrenaline and unfamiliarity with what you were doing?
The 5th meeting – The day of your wedding.
I arrive an hour before and set up the sound system (which I provides unless there is one at the venue or place) and signing table. I liaise with musicians, meet and greet guests if desired by you, and to provide a calm presence in the place of your ceremony to ensure that your guests arrive into the most welcoming and rich environment as possible.
I perform the ceremony with openness, presence, attention to detail, joy and an ability to really connect with your guests and yourselves to make this meaningful and transformative for all family and friends. I memorise and speak the ceremony with clarity and sincerity. I make and maintain eye contact with you and your guests, involving and including them as the ceremony progresses. I am very well dressed in keeping with the colors and aesthetics of your wedding
Your vows and all readings are printed on card (which you keep). Your certificates are hand written. As I read from a book, a copy of your ceremony is also included.
If how I work is of interest to you and you’d like to arrange your no obligation meeting, please contact me directly. I look forward to hearing from you.
Follow up –
In the resource package you are given at the beginning of the process I have a feedback sheet which couples complete (usually a few weeks) after their ceremony. This is of great value to me as it supports me to continue to provide the best possible process for you. For many couples a coffee and conversation about the ceremony, looking at photos and sharing experiences are great ways to finish this working relationship.
Notice of Intended Marriage Form
The Notice of Intended Marriage form must be lodged with your celebrant at least one calendar month and no more than 18 months prior to your wedding. Original birth certificates or certified extracts are required as proof of identity. If you were born overseas and you have not been able to obtain your birth certificate for adequate reasons, you are able to use your passport and provide a statutory declaration.
To apply for a birth certificate in NSW go to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
If you are divorced, a Decree Absolute is required. This can be obtained from the Family Law Court in the state where the marriage was dissolved. (please note – this only applies to marriages dissolved after 1975).
For marriages dissolved before 1975, a copy of the decree absolute can be obtained from the Supreme Court in the state where the marriage was dissolved.
If you are in the process of finalsing your divorce, you can complete the Notice of Intention to Marry after the court hearing and during the one-month period prior to the decree nisi becoming absolute.
If you are widowed, a death certificate and your previous marriage certificate are necessary.
All documents in languages other than English require a certified translation.