What sort of ceremony will suit you?
Everyone says that weddings are a celebration... so why on earth do we put up with ceremonies that are boring and as far away as possible from being a celebration?
Many people think the real "celebration" starts at the reception. Why? Who wrote that stupid rule? Why can't it start at the ceremony? Let the fun begin early and let's get the guests interacting and actually enjoying your ceremony. Culturally, we've been taught to 'endure' wedding ceremonies - be good boys and girls. Be quiet and respectful. I reckon that's all rubbish. You deserve a ceremony that reflects you both. So, don't have a boring ceremony if you're not boring people!
You have a choice now.
If you'd like me to be your celebrant, you'll get a choice of how your ceremony is conducted: if you'd prefer something formal and traditional - that's fine! Or if you'd like something middle of the road, that's cool too - it's the option most couples go for - a beautiful balance between fun and emotional. Or, the more outrageous couples just want a rip roaring time and an 'all fun' ceremony.
It's totally up to you because I can deliver the wedding ceremony you want - I'm flexible and very low maintenance. My main goal is to make you both ecstatic with with your choice of celebrant for the most important day of your lives.
Ok, so now you know you can choose the style of ceremony - let's look at what sort of ceremony do you want? Big? short and sweet? an elopement on the Sunshine Coast? A no frills wedding? You can choose from:
A DIAMOND QUALITY WHITE WEDDING
The standard ceremony is usually about 20 minutes in length, but it really depends on how we design it. Some ceremonies stretch out to about 30 minutes... (but remember, with my ceremonies that doesn't necessarily mean 30 minutes of boring - it can be 30 minutes of fun if you want). You get a big say in how your ceremony is designed and structured (unless you want to leave it all up to me and that's great too).
The majority of my ceremonies are written to be fun and interactive - no boring ceremonies here (and a guaranteed cheese-free zone), even couples who want me to give them a traditional or Christian ceremony have a great time. I believe a good ceremony is one that reflects you both, and is a nice balance between laughs, tears (of joy!) and emotion - not to mention guest participation. Your guests should walk away saying "Wow! that so suited them".
I'll write a ceremony that is personalised to you. You won't get something that's been nicked from the internet. Remember though, you're in charge of the vibe of your ceremony! I can help you write your own vows too. I've found that even people who are terrified of writing their own vows end up nailing them! You just need a template and that's one of the reasons I'm the perfect celebrant for you. We'll run through everything together at our ceremony design meeting and by the end of that meeting, we'll all have a great idea of what will happen.
Oh!... And I like to enjoy myself too... So irrespective of what you decide, you know we'll all have a blast on your day.
A SAME SEX LOVED UP WEDDING
I just love conducting same sex ceremonies - your ceremony will be whatever you choose it to be and I'll help guide you along the way. I was honoured to marry two gorgeous women who'd been together 30+ years, and two fabulous fellows who'd been together 25 years before I married them! How amazing! Both couples told me they never thought they'd get the opportunity to marry.
Check out the brilliant film of Tash and Tegan's gorgeous ceremony at The Chapel, Montville - it'll blow your mind!
A SNEAKY ROMANTIC ELOPEMENT
Want to run away and get married? (this is what Kenny and I did - we eloped and had a huge "sucked in you missed it" party about a month later). Sneaky elopements are about 10 minutes in length. Still fun though! I can supply your witnesses or you can bring your own (2 people over 18 years of age). Elopements basically have a minimum of under 10 guests, and aren't conducted at 'traditional' times, such as a 3pm on a Saturday in September (prime time). These sneaky ceremonies are usually held between Monday - Thursday on the Sunshine Coast, and they're cheaper than a standard ceremony, a lot less stressful, and a bunch of fun.
Sometimes it can be daunting to try to organise a wedding when you don't live in the area - so this is where I can help. I'll recommend some fabulous people who do great work and you won't get ripped off. I only work with people I trust and people who I've worked with before, so if in doubt - just ask.
THE COFFEE TABLE WEDDING
If you can't wait to be married and don't want the fuss, stress or expense of a bigger ceremony - coffee table weddings were designed just for you. Fast becoming a very popular option for couples who want low cost, no fuss weddings. Coffee Table weddings are the legal stuff over a cup of coffee or a glass of champas - about 10 minutes and you're hitched. No ceremony - just some legal words (though you can write and exchange your own vows and exchange rings if you like) then the signing your marriage certificate and legal paperwork.
We stand as we would in a 'traditional' ceremony, so it does feel quite weddingy, and you can even invite up to 4 guests.
This super popular option is to be held in central Sunny Coast during the week - preferably in the Birtinya area (to keep prices low).
My cheapest option to be married is to book into a Coffee Table wedding day through my business Elope to Australia - we've picked the dates, you pick a time, you rock up and I'll have you married in no time. It's the ultimate in a truly no-fuss wedding day. Either email me for more information, or head to Elope to Australia.com.au website and check it out.
A GIFTED CHARITY WEDDING
I am the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of My Wedding Wish, a national charity which grants 'wedding wishes' to couples around Australia who are battling a terminal illness. The first Wedding Wish was held on Wednesday, 11th December 2013 (Chrissy and Nathan below) and since then national My Wedding Wish crews have gifted almost 50 weddings worth around $600,000 to some gorgeous couples who would otherwise not be able to have the wedding they deserve. Our awesome national suppliers donate their time or services to gift these couples a beautiful white wedding or often, a small bedside wedding. You can find more details about My Wedding Wish through the website - or just shoot me through an email.
A LOVED UP FUNERAL OR LIFE CEREMONY
A lot of time goes into writing the ceremony for a funeral or life ceremony - that's because it's almost impossible to sum up a person's lifetime in the 30 minutes designated at the chapel. I put a lot of effort into writing amazing funeral and end of life ceremonies which capture the essence, the spark, the personality and the quirks, because your loved one deserves that!
I'm very particular when conducting funerals because I believe that funerals should be conducted with love, respect and compassion - but that doesn't mean boring. The life ceremony for your loved one should reflect who they were - if they loved a beer and laugh, well that should come out in their ceremony. I've buried a gent who was 100 years old, and I've buried 20 year old cancer and suicide victims.
So, I promise I will conduct your loved one's life ceremony, funeral or remembrance ceremony with love and humanity (and yes, maybe even a few laughs too).
WHAT THEY ALL HAVE IN COMMON
Firstly, I can promise you my personal attention in all matters. I encourage lots of contact from my couples - the more contact we have the closer we'll all feel on your day: I won't be "the Celebrant" at your wedding: I'll be your friend, Lynette (or Lynny which most people end up calling me). I don't turn into a stalker, so I'm not in your grill all the time, but if you want me - I'm there!
Many of my past brides have become close friends and we're still in contact after many years. It's one of the perks of my job! In fact in the past few years, I've conducted renewal of vows ceremony for couples I married ten years ago - how cool is that!
I send out "homework" to my couples - its one of the tools I use to get to know you. But it's a pretty handy tool too - it will help me write your ceremony - and if you're interested in writing your own vows - well, I'll show you how it can help with that too: it's handy homework! It sounds ominous but my homework is not a serious thing - get your gear off and roll in the grass, maybe throw spaghetti at each other .... then fill it out - have some fun with it. I promise the fun and joy of your relationship will reflected in your ceremony! If you don't want to do homework - don't! You'll still have an awesome ceremony!
If you want to write your own vows (and I encourage you to do this), I'm here to help and I'll give you some hints and tips. You can stick with the traditional, standard ones, but personally, I think every relationship is unique and writing your vows is a way of showing that uniqueness to each other and the world. I would strongly suggest you back away from Google - especially if you don't want cheesy vomit-worthy vows. I'll show you how to write honest, fun and sensitive words and you won't feel like an idiot saying them. It's amazing how many couples (especially the boys) say they don't want to write their own vow, but when I teach them how, the vows are incredible! Honesty is the key!
Obviously all the legal stuff is the same irrespective of the wedding ceremony type! Yes, all the paperwork will be lodged on time and your wedding will be legal. Ha! there's no loopholes in my contracts :)
I don't have different "levels" of service like many other celebrants. My quality doesn't vary depending on how much you pay me. So there's no silver, bronze or plastic 'levels' here - Great professional service always, irrespective of the ceremony type.
OTHER CEREMONIES AND CELEBRATIONS
Yes I do most other life ceremonies including child namings (only for couples that I have married or will marry) and renewal of vows on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland and in surrounding areas. In all my ceremonies, my personality and humanity remains the same. I want the best ceremony for you - one you deserve.
HINTS 'N TIPS
Summer in Queensland has been known to reach the 40's so don't forget your guests: make sure there's plenty of water, sunscreen and shade. Oh! and don't keep them waiting too long - 10 minutes max. is polite.
PLANNING A BEACH WEDDING
Check out the tide times if you're planning on a beach wedding, and the sunset and sunrise times can help you plan your day. Most people worry about rain at their beach wedding, but trust me, the wind can be just downright nasty! If it's super windy, please consider moving your wedding to your Plan B option. Not only will it ruin your updo and rip out your veil, not many people enjoy being sandblasted and no-one will be comfortable so your guests won't engage in your ceremony (and girls in short dresses have a dreadful time trying to stay modest)
WHAT'S YOUR PLAN B
If you're panning on getting married outdoors it's really important you consider the possibility of bad weather. Get yourselves a "Plan B" - a place you're just as excited about as your "Plan A" - it may save some tears on your day! (If you get stuck ask your reception venue if they can cater for you - most will be able to oblige!) Bad weather isn't just rain, it's heat and wind as well.
Lynette was our celebrant at our wedding and she was absolutely amazing! My partner and I may be biased but we have never been to a better ceremony. Lynette goes out of her way to create a ceremony that suits you as a couple and she definitely achieved that for us. There were tears, there were smiles, and there were full on belly laughs! The ceremony truly was a celebration and really set the tone for the day. Thanks Lyn! :)
Emily and Paul