Flap your feathers, Ssssh Bridget!

Wedding envy is real. Without ever having a wedding I know that it exists. I see it in my brides, my friends, the weddings of strangers and the nuptials of my nearest and dearest. It’s that persnickety little wench that lives inside you that secretly claims ‘I would never have that at my wedding’ and ‘Ew, can you believe they chose pewter?’ She’s there, inside all of us, taking tiny notes on every wedding you’ve ever attended. I know she’s there, because even though I’ve never had a wedding, she sits, with her bottle of free champagne, in pink taffeta and smudged lipstick, right there on my place card.

As a guest, the little wench, let’s call her Bridget, is loud. Before I was a celebrant, she wasn’t just sitting quietly taking notes in the background, I fed her champagne and shots and encouraged her barefoot proclamations of ‘when I get married…’ With every invitation, RSVP and new dress I bought for a wedding I fed her ego with abandon. I wanted Bridget not to write notes, but fill blackboards with information so that my future wedding could be perfect. My guests would proclaim that my wedding would be the best they’ve ever attended.

I still haven’t had the joy (pain) of planning my own wedding but now that I’m a celebrant I’ve had the joy of attending more weddings than I’ve ever dreamed of. While Bridget never truly dies, as a celebrant I’ve managed to teach her a few things. Bridget now has the maturity, experience and exposure of so many weddings that she’s got some new rules when attending weddings and I think she has learned a valuable lesson.

Bridget has learned that when a bride is happy, the rest of her wedding decor choices are irrelevant to her, and any other guest in attendance. A wedding is the reflection of the bride and groom. It’s a personal choice of style that shows the personality of the bride and groom and reflects the life they have built and the beginning of the life they will have together.

It’s not the bride’s problem that Bridget doesn’t like pewter. Nobody getting married should ever give a second thought to what Bridget likes. When Bridget attends a wedding now her only job is to watch the faces of the bride and groom and their nearest and dearest and take extensive notes on all of the things that bring giant, teethy smiles to these people who are getting married and are in love with love.

Every wedding is different. Every bride wants different things. There is absolutely no point trying to build the wedding you’ve always wanted compiled from the ‘don’t’ list from every wedding you’ve ever attended. As a bride and a groom, work out what it is about the two of you that is worth celebrating. If that thing is your undying mutual obsession with Dr Who then yes, your wedding cake should be a sonic screwdriver. If you both love sloths, then put them on everything. If visiting cemeteries in foreign countries was what bought you together and keeps you that way, then make them your table centres.

The fact that all of your guests have inner Bridgets is not your problem. Let them drink champagne and eat cake but it’s your wedding. Make sure that cake is made to look like a flamingo if you want it to. Bridgets will be silent as long as there is a glass in their hand and a cake on their fork. Be that flamingo in a flock of pigeons. Plan the wedding you want, stand tall and proud and flap your feathers in whatever colour they may be.

The poor guy who marries me is going to have to reconcile my flamingo passion with my dinosaur fixation. With any luck he’ll love superheroes and I’ll have the perfect theme. ūüėČ

Happy Wedding Planning.


A Sydney Summer Wedding

It’s like rain on your wedding day. It’s not a bad omen, it’s just rain.

Getting married is a little hectic. ¬†The day itself has visitors flying through doors at the drop of hat, hugging, messing your makeup, touching your dress and generally getting all teary-eyed at you even though you’re the one that everybody is going to look at. ¬†It appears to be, well, a little overwhelming…

As a guest at a wedding, and a destination wedding at that, it’s nothing but frivolity. ¬†There’s champagne in the morning, leisurely swims, a late breakfast and a bunch of your friends in a room doing hair and make-up together while dancing to the 90s best rhythms on the hotel television.

In Sydney, in December, all of those worlds collided and it nearly spun off its axis. ¬†Dancing in hotel rooms, champagne and petit-four morning teas, hair straighteners and hunts for wrapping paper that ended up with two of us on Oxford Street finding studded bra tops in a cheap shop couldn’t be further from the stress of what was happening upstairs. ¬†The morning was fun – it was spent with love and laughter, with a bride that was part of our tribe and by that afternoon we were going to see it grow by one. ¬†There wasn’t anything that could go wrong.

Billie and Gareth were getting married. ¬†I was going to marry them and the wedding was filled with people that we all loved. ¬†There was absolutely nothing to be nervous about. ¬†Standing in the foyer of a very fancy hotel we waited for a cab. ¬†It was taking a while, but it’s Sydney. ¬†That’s ok, plenty of time to spare. ¬†Standing on the footpath with our tribe of seven plus a mini, we watched the sky blacken and the wind whistle through the trees of Hyde Park.

The wedding was in the Botanic Gardens, under the trees and meant to be in the glorious Sydney sun.  With a wedding at three and a radar that looked dangerously like the white caps of an angry Pacific ocean, this wedding had to be fast.  I got nervous.

Rain on your wedding day is apparently an ominous sign. ¬†Many an outdoor ceremony has been thwarted because the fluffy whites have turned to angry black clouds in the blink of an eye. ¬†A cab ride later and the sky is still threatening to pour at any minute. ¬†“How fast can you talk?” Gareth asks. Not fast enough I think.

The Bride arrives, the ceremony begins and the weather is no longer important. ¬†It wouldn’t have mattered if the heavens opened up that very second, the moment Gareth spotted Billie, the moment she walked in looked at her husband to be, the world could have collapsed and none of us would have noticed.

Before getting married brides, grooms, families and wedding planners do nothing but worry about the small details. ¬†The small details make sure you get the wedding you’ve always wanted but in that moment, in front of your tribe, the details are unimportant. ¬†As long as you stand with those you love, all that matters is that chance to say ‘Yes.’ To say ‘I do choose you’ and the rest of the world becomes irrelevant. ¬†Even if just for a moment, not even the rain or the threat of a wild summer storm makes an ounce of difference.


PS:  The rain did hold out long enough Рjust long enough to clap and cheer.  Then it rained.  A lot.  Enough to swim in on the very wet walk back to the hotel.  Billie + Gareth?  Dry as a Middle Eastern Desert.

Rob and Jenny

My last two weddings have been for strangers.¬† These couples I had not met before their first text message asking me for my services.¬† Like all times, meeting new people can often be awkward and a little nerve racking and when you’ve only communicated with people via phone, meeting face to face brings a whole plethora of new anxieties.¬† I am a wedding celebrant and meet new people all of the time but the anxiety attached to meeting brand new couples face to face doesn’t go away even when you do it all of the time.

I had only spoken to Jenny on the phone.  We had texted and talked but not actually met in person.  Breaking the ice with your celebrant is by far the most important thing you can do.  Once we both moved past the apprehension of first time meetings and hellos our relationship and their wedding took on a totally different feel.

The white gazebo of I do’s

From the moment I met Jenny and Rob, they welcomed me into their home with a cup of tea and their middle child crawled onto my lap to say hello and we drew while we talked. From the first four seconds of spending time in their presence, they were no longer strangers but people I shared tea with and people I talked to about the everyday goings on of life.

When four months later I stood with Rob under a beautifully white decorated gazebo, I was not at his wedding as a stranger.¬† I was at his wedding as someone he knew.¬† We had laughed together, shared cups of tea and talked about Jenny’s ongoing DIY projects long before the day they would both say ‘I do’ and now this wedding was about all of us.¬† The guests, the family, the lady from next door who rushed down a bouquet or some other forgotten necessity and me.¬† I was personally invested in making sure this day went perfectly and watching Jenny walk towards us, I was genuinely happy to see her and Rob so happy at the thought of what comes next.

At the end of their ceremony my cheeks were so sore from smiling and my happiness so severe that it took a lot out of me.¬† Giving Jenny and Rob a great big hug as Mr and Mrs Watts was truly a moment of happiness and joy that they let me share with them.¬† Jenny and Rob, it was a privlege and an honour to spend the day with you and I thank your beautiful friends family for making me feel so included in your special day.¬† (Someone needs to share that punch recipe immediately and tell that lady she needs to start selling her cupcakes!)¬† Rob and Jenny I can’t wait to see a photo or two of your day!


Spread your happiness! Anyway you can!

Getting married is a big deal. ¬†Strolling with a friend today, sinking¬†in Tenneriffe’s pretentiousness, we stumbled across a wedding. ¬†Walking along the river walk in a Kmart shirt and a Lorna Jane hoodie I only felt part the pretender I actually was but was happy to bask in the same sunshine as the rich and not so famous.

On the boardwalk, in front of the giant metal sheep, stood a whole bunch of people in all of their finery.  Three men and very nice suits and a celebrant in sensible yet trendy shoes. We continued our walk, gossiping shamelessly about how much the whole hoo ha of an event would cost and how it could be possible to spend that much money on a single day.

As we turned right, instead of left, the limo arrived.  The bridesmaids stepped out and so did a bride.  Covered shoulders in ivory lace and hair in a perfect french roll.  But apart from that, irrespective of her beautiful dress and expensive wedding, the crux of our conversation moved to the people at the wedding.

Nobody is sad at a wedding. ¬†The amount of money you spend and where you have it is irrelevant. ¬†The thing that is always the same is that the two people getting married are happy. ¬†The happiness that they share is then spread like a virus through your loved ones. ¬†It’s something worth catching and definitely something worth spreading – not only to your loved ones but those on the footpath basking in your happiness.

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I married a friend this week.

It happened. ¬†This week I married one of my oldest friends. ¬†She’d kill me if she knew I said she was old but you know what I mean. ¬†She’s been my friend for eons. ¬†She knew me before I was a grown up and encouraged me to be a better human more than once in our lives. ¬†On Sunday the 12th of April, I married her to the person that makes her a better human everyday.

I met Sarah years ago in a small country town as we both paid or penance in our former years of teaching.  We both had the hidden agenda of finding husbands or at least fill in husbands to while away the hours of country living.  I was not so lucky.  Instead, I found Sarah.  Sarah and a few others to while away the time but she has been a keeper.

Now living miles apart, our drinking escapades (well mine) have ended and we now see each other over craft fairs and shopping trips but we still maintained the idle chit chat that comes with finding our own fairytales. ¬†Sarah found the beginning of hers in our country town and she vows that mine is just around the corner. ¬†But in her fairytale, I get to be the fairy godmother. ¬†I got to be the one person who could join her and her prince charming and I got to say ‘…and she lived happily ever after.’

Congratulations Sarah and Nathan!

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We’ve got a booking form!

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Like the title says – we’ve got a booking form! ¬†If you’ve got a date and you want me to save it you have to send me a booking form. ¬†Complete with a date and a location for your ceremony. ¬†(At least the general vicinity you would like to have your ceremony in!) ¬†Once your deposit is paid consider your wedding booked and confirmed.

Make sure you include your contact details in an email to me and then we can arrange a date for a chat, a cup of coffee (or a wine) and plan your ceremony (and fill in the necessary forms).  Click on the link in this post to preview our booking-form.

Happy wedding planning!