For me, every couple and every wedding is different but there are certain things that I’ll go over with you, legal elements that I’ll explain and options and resources that I’ll offer you so as to make your celebration truly unique.
♥ Our first meeting
At this meeting, I’ll make notes including your full names, address, contact numbers, email addresses etc. I’ll also run through my resource folder with you. This contains lots of really useful information including the legal elements associated with your wedding, sample readings and vows, information on the various rituals you may like to include, a list of other suppliers that I can connect you with, details about purchasing your official Certificate/s Marriage, the Code of Practice for marriage celebrants etc.
If you have chosen me as your celebrant, I’ll also complete the Notice of Intended Marriage using the information contained in your individual birth certificates, photo ID or passports. If either of you has been married before, I would also need to see proof that your previous marriage has ended (either via a final divorce certificate, death certificate or proof of dissolution of your marriage).
During the first meeting, I’ll also give you a timeline of the steps between now and your wedding day so that we are all working towards this all-important date.
Apart from our initial contact, this is the beginning of my relationship with you where we start to get to know each other and connect on a personal level.
♥ Our second meeting
I’ll ask you to bring to this meeting the completed questionnaire which was included in my initial wedding pack. It’s from this that I’ll write a unique and personal introduction to your ceremony. I’ll also ask you other questions about what you’d like to include in your ceremony, what you’d prefer to leave out etc. If you haven’t yet made all the decisions (and this is often the case), I’ll follow up by sending you an email after our meeting outlining the information that is still required. This helps you to know where things are up to and I can see at a glance which details are still outstanding. I’ll also ask you what sort of feeling you would like your ceremony to have. For instance, you may choose for it to be fun, intimate, elegant, romantic, offbeat or casual or something completely different and this will guide me when designing your ceremony.
♥ Keeping in touch
I will keep in touch in the way that works best for you to let you know where things are up to. You are most welcome to contact me in person or via email, Facebook, phone or Skype if you have any queries at any stage. My aim is to make the lead up to your big day as stress-free as possible.
If one of both of you live interstate or overseas, that’s not a problem. We can still communicate regularly, get to know each other and share information easily so that you are comfortable with what will happen during your ceremony and that it’s everything you had hoped for.
♥ The draft ceremony
Following final payment of my fee (due by four weeks before your marriage), I will email you, also four weeks before your ceremony (unless you are marrying in a short time frame in which case I will bring the timing forward), a copy of your draft ceremony. This will be based on the information I’ve gathered from you over the time we’ve known each other and from your answers to my questionnaire. If I’ve done my job properly, there are usually few or no changes required but, either way, you are very welcome to change anything at all in the draft ceremony I design so that you’re completely happy with it. Ideally, you’ll get back to me by two weeks before your ceremony so I can make any final adjustments.
♥ The rehearsal
If you have chosen to have a wedding rehearsal, I will contact you four weeks before your ceremony to plan a convenient day/time to meet again. I usually recommend that this takes place at your venue and, if possible, at the same time of day as your ceremony so we can check where the sun/shadows are, tides etc. I also suggest that as many of your bridal party as possible are in attendance too so that they all feel comfortable with their roles and where they should stand. If the person looking after your music and anyone doing a reading can be there too, that will help everything to flow well on your wedding day.
I’ll go over the key points of the ceremony, the processional, signing table and recessional, highlight where any readings or rituals will take place, discuss the exchange of rings as well as using the microphone for the exchange of vows. It’s also the perfect time to check that there are no issues with your music working on my PA and for the girls in the bridal party (and any flower girls or ring bearers) to practise walking up the aisle before taking their positions.
This meeting is usually a convenient time for you to sign the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage which all couples marrying in Australia must sign before their marriage. This is a legal declaration which basically means that neither of you is married to anyone else and you are not in a prohibited relationship (closely related.) I’ll explain this to you at our initial meeting.
♥ Your wedding day
Depending on the location of your venue, I will arrive between 30-40 minutes before your ceremony so that I can set up before family and friends arrive, chat to any other wedding vendors such as your photographer, co-ordinator etc., hand anyone doing a reading a laminated copy of what they’ll be coming up to read out and to settle any nerves on the part of the groom.
♥ After your wedding day
I’ll upload your marriage documents to Births Deaths & Marriages in NSW (usually a day or so after your wedding) and write to you to advise that I have received notification that your marriage has been registered. I’ll also arrange for your official Certificate/s of Marriage to be sent to you via registered mail (assuming you have arranged for me to place an order on your behalf.) In other States of Australia, I will mail your documents to BDM in the relevant capital city so that your marriage can be registered there.
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The important thing to remember is that I’m here to support you, explain all the legal elements and offer you lots of options so that your ceremony reflects you as a couple. You can choose to keep things as simple or elaborate as you wish. Communication is key and, as I only work as a celebrant, I am very flexible with regard to days/times to meet with you and will always reply promptly to any of your messages.
022 – 31/10/15