How far in advance do we need to book you?
My average booking time especially for peak wedding periods (September to May) usually sits around 9 to 12 months. That’s not to say that I’m not available for your ceremony if it’s within that timeframe. My suggestion would be to get in touch as soon as your date is locked in as like your venue and photographer a great Celebrant can only be marrying one couple at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon! More couples are choosing midweek or Friday weddings these days too which I think is also great particularly if you fall in love with a venue but find that it’s Saturday’s are booked up for a year or two.
Can we meet before booking you?
Most definitely. I’m based in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire and often meet couples for a cheeky beverage, a Balter XPA for me if you’re buying, up at my local. Alternatively if you’re not Sydney based or able to come to me we can have a FaceTime or Skype video chat. It’s a tough decision choosing your Celebrant but often meeting is a great chance to get a feel for each other and see if my approach is in line with what you’re looking for.
Do you travel outside of Sydney?
Yes I do, over half of my ceremonies are outside of Sydney. I work with lots of couples who like me are Sydney based, we do all of our preparation and meetings close to home (which can be super convenient if you’re a bit time poor) and then I travel for your ceremony. Outside of Sydney you’ll regularly find me on the South Coast, in the Southern Highlands, Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley and parts of Regional NSW including Mudgee and Bathurst.
What do you wear on the day?
I think it’s important that I dress for the occasional and so I have a selection of outfits I often ask couples to choose from. I always ask about your colour schemes, for example, what colours your wedding party are wearing or what your floral tones are, and then we coordinate my outfit in line with that.
Can you help us with our personal vows?
Yes I can. Personal vows are a beautiful moment and a highlight of any ceremony but they are also not for everyone. If that’s not the type of couple you are or the thought of speaking publicly during your ceremony is well beyond your comfort zone there are lots of other ways we can incorporate those heartfelt moments without as much pressure. Legally you don’t need to do personal vows, or exchange rings, or be given away – like everything when it comes to planning your wedding day decide on what suits you both and what doesn’t. Be brave to be you. In saying that if you do decide to write and share personal vows I’ve got some great resources that I can share with you and will happily guide and support you through that process.
Do you support marriage equality?
Yes and I can’t quite believe that this still needs to be a question! Love is love, jump onboard the wedding train if it’s for you. Thank you, next…
How do we book you?
A $400 non-refundable booking fee locks me in for your wedding date with final payment due two weeks prior to the ceremony. I also have a service agreement that I send you which sets out how we work together.
What do I do on the day?
I oversee anything that has a direct impact on the ceremony – for example, your photographer, videographer, musicians, venue staff, anyone who might be involved on the day to ensure we’re all on the same page. We work out things like how we stand, where people are entering from, music cues, etc. Getting all of these little details right ensures we have a smooth ceremony. I usually arrive around an hour before the ceremony starts to set-up and test my equipment. I bring along my own portable battery-operated PA which you are also welcome to use to play recorded music from during the ceremony, and then I marry you.
How long does a ceremony go for?
Your ceremony doesn’t need to be long to be meaningful. Legally I could marry you in two minutes (but please don’t, that’s far too brief!) On average most of my ceremonies sit around the 20-minute mark – keeping in mind some of your guests might be standing and we’re often outside in the elements, these are just some of the things you should also be considering. And the last thing we want to do is just keep banging on about the same things but in slightly different ways. A killer ceremony packs a punch, focuses on what’s important to you both and helps set the tone for your whole wedding day.
How do we work together?
To create a memorable and meaningful ceremony that is genuine and authentic I need to get to know you both, and vice versa. Once you’ve booked me we generally would next meet-up around 3 months out from your big day. This catch-up takes a few hours, we take care of completing your initial legal paperwork (your Notice of Intended Marriage) but more importantly we just start getting to know each other. I’ve got some questions I ask you face-to-face that help me draw out meaningful content along with any ideas you might have for the ceremony. From there I take all of that and write a ceremony from scratch just for you. It is sent to you as a draft and you are welcome to make edits. No questionnaires for you to complete, no cookie-cutter generic ceremony waffle, we create a ceremony that is all about you.
Can we work with you on our Australian wedding from overseas?
Most definitely. We can take care of completing your Notice of Intended Marriage by email (essentially after getting some details from you I pre-complete your Notice, you print and take it to sign in the presence of an authorized witness overseas and then once the signed Notice is back in my possession it becomes active). We discuss ceremony ideas via Skype, finalise your draft by email and meet in person to fine tune things once you’ve arrived in Australia.
How long have you been a Celebrant?
I became a full-time Celebrant in late 2014. Over the years I feel blessed to have met so many wonderful couples and to have had the privilege of being part of their wedding day, regardless of whether they were big (200+ guests) or more intimate occasions. I’m super proud of every fun, relaxed, heartfelt and unique ceremony that I have created. While even now there are always new ideas that I take away from each ceremony, I love the suggestions and insights I offer my couples as a result of my experience.
Can we use your PA for ceremony music?
Yes, I use a battery-operated PA system that packs a real punch and you’re more than welcome to use this for ceremony music. All I get you to do is let me know your song selections and I download them onto my own device to use on the day. If they are less common songs, edited versions or not available on Spotify I get you to Dropbox me a MP3 of the song and we can play it that way.
Best advice for couples planning their wedding?
Never lose sight of the fact that your wedding days is not a movie or a production, but instead it’s a moment. It doesn’t need to be perfect but it should always be real. Let it be full of laughs, raw emotion and all of the feels. Spend the time opening up to your Celebrant and putting your trust in them to take your stories and turn them into something amazing.