Single Celebrant: I wanna know what love is…

Being a single celebrant is sometimes a little tough, but at the end of the day, it makes me a better single lady.

Being a single celebrant is something that’s a little different and not something Foreigner lyrics can probably teach me.

I believe in marriage for all.   Whatever you identify as, if you both are consenting adults in a relationship built on love, trust and respect, I say knock yourself out.  Get married and hopefully, one day very, very soon, someone will do something about making that legal for everyone.  But what happens when the person who is joining you both in a state of marriage, knows nothing about it?  How can I, as a single person, possibly know what it means to swear your life, holus bolus, to someone else?  The answer is, I can’t.

I am single.  I am ‘never validly married’, I am a spinster, unattached, bachelorette, old maid, the names get worse people, but the point is I don’t have a significant other.  I don’t even have a cat.  (I’m not ready to be the crazy cat lady yet.)  So what can I possibly bring to a ceremony where I have no knowledge of what it means to love someone that hard?  That my friends, is easy.

As a wedding celebrant I meet couples.   I meet couples who are in that sickly, sweet stage of love that some days makes me so ill I question my breakfast.  However, there is one thing that all of my couples have in common.  They love each other.  Lots.  And watching all of those different kinds of love, does something that nothing else can.  It gives me hope.

Hope that love exists and has the possibility to exist in my own world.  I’ve seen sickly sweet love, cheeky love, gentlemanly love, chivalrous love, plain outright desire and all things in between.  Through all of it, it is you, the married couples of my world and yours that have taught me the most valuable lesson of being a single woman.  That love, in all its sometimes strange but glorious forms, is possible.

It is that sense of hope and pure feeling of joy that I get from celebrating the love you have for each other that makes me love this job.  Getting married is about two people, swearing on everything they have, are and will be, that they’ll love each other, in one form or another, for a good long while.  Getting married for the rest of us is just pure hope and joy that we as humans are loveable.

So being a single celebrant keeps life interesting.  It reminds me on those days when the man hunt is beyond slow to non-existent that love and marriage is possible.  It reminds me that people, all people, deserve to be loved and that somewhere out there, there might not be a prince, but there could be a man with a dog.  So thank you ladies and gentlemen out there about to be hitched or just hitched, it is you who reaffirm my faith in love on a daily basis and every time I pronounce you husband and wife.

This is my flamingo Beatrice.  She's a pretty awesome companion, if not a bit quiet.
This is my flamingo Beatrice. She’s a pretty awesome companion, if not a bit quiet.

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.

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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!

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Boonah Bonding

I’ve said it before but I can’t say it enough. Being part of a someone’s day is a privilege like no other and being a part of that day with someone you love is a topper on an already amazing rainbow layer cake. 

In early August the trek to Boonah was one of love and friendship. Megan and Chris have been a part of my life for over eight years and on the 8 August I did all that I could to help them start their life together.   

The ceremony was one filled with laughter, patterned socks and stories of a life about to begin.  And like all good parties, the night ended with dancing with friends and a bacon and egg sandwich. Love and friendship really doesn’t get much better. 😊

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Henderson. You really are a most spectacular couple.   

 Mr and Mrs Henderson

 The fanciest (and the loudest) table of the night. ‘Ssshhh and eat your dessert’ he said. 😳
 Friends!

   
Grown-up mode  

 

 
The fanciest of red carpets.

When she’s all grown up

Getting married young is not so common anymore. If your relationship is ready and you are then sometimes knowing is more than enough.

My baby cousin, (the second littlest) is getting married!  It’s an exciting time for all of us when someone you love is going to tie the knot and it’s twice as special when you love them like a sister.  Girls in our family are a rare species.  I grew up with a broomstick and a purple mask being a Ninja Turtle in the backyard.  (Of course my mask was purple – I was a girl and I certainly wasn’t allowed to have a cool weapon.)  When my cousin was born when I was twelve I thought all of my dreams had come it once.  She was mine!  I was going to get this one.  She would watch Disney Princess movies with me, we would dance and sing and I would cover her in make up.  The fact that she was just as comfortable outside with the slingshots, motorbikes and sandpits is irrelevant.   There was another girl and she was on my side.

Just last month, she sent me a picture of a diamond and it was on her left hand.  She is young, twelve years younger than me, and my left hand is decidedly naked of adornments.  On a bad day, it could have hurt a little but it didn’t and this was my little girl.  She’s been a grown up since the day I let her dance to Sweet Transvestite so many years before she should have.  She’s been a grown up since the first time she had to pick me up from an unspecified location in the city.  She’s been a grown up since I treated her like one when she was still a tween.

Her other half is gem.  He’s been part of our family since his mid teens and it’s hard to imagine life without them together.  Unlike many couples I know batting twice their age brackets they have this weird ability to complement each other.  He knows when to ignore her tantrums (she gets that from me) and she knows when it’s best not to ask.  I look at them and hope to high heaven that at some point in my life I will find myself in a relationship that as just as grown up as theirs.  So in September… of next year… I will marry them.  I will be the one that gets to say ‘husband and wife’ and start her next journey into a grown up world she belongs in.  I’ll just stand and wave from the edge and hope that if I still ask nicely enough she’ll pick me up when I can’t find my cab money home.

I am not the grown up (the one on the right)
I am not the grown up (the one on the right)
They go alright...
They go alright…
Decorations from Event Illusions Toowoomba
Decorations from Event Illusions Toowoomba

The Basics

So you’re getting married and you want to know what you get for your buck? Here it is, the short version.

For a basic $450 ceremony I will…

  • Meet with you to work out what you want and what you like before your wedding (You can show me your pinterest board!)
  • Come to the rehearsal with you
  • Bring my very small PA system that hopefully will be helpful
  • Fill in your NOIM with you (NOIM – Notice of Intention to Marry – paperwork to be filled in at least one month before your ceremony)
  • Write your ceremony specifically about you and your partner – I’ll send it to you before your wedding so that you can mark it all over with red pen
  • Perform your ceremony on the day
  • Do my best to entertain you and your guests on your day
  • Put my best handwriting on your wedding certificate
  • Handle your paperwork for the day and even post it to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages so it’s all legal

What do you need to do?

  • Show up for your meetings and your ceremony
  • Find your birth certificates or passports and other forms you might need to prove who you are
  • Organise your change of name forms (if that’s what you are into)

The Small Print…

  • If you’re having a wedding miles from anywhere but it’s really, really beautiful there may be some travel costs involved
  • There are some words I have to say in your ceremony if you want it to be legal, even if you don’t like them 🙁

There is probably something really obvious that I’ve forgotten and if there is just let me know and I’ll fix it.  Happy Wedding Planning y’all.

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PS:  This is Anna and Rob – as much fun as you can have with a microphone!  Congrats guys, loving you both sick.

I found you!

Since becoming a celebrant you notice different things. I’ve never been predisposed to mushiness but more in awe of the romanticism of it all. The idea of weddings are beautiful – and as a celebrant, I get to revel in them without the fear and worry of what they cost, if Aunty June will mind being near Cousin Bertha or the messiness that is leaving wet towels on the floor or washing someone else’s socks.

While I’m not adverse to wet towels or washing socks the pressure of having to do that day after day scares me a little bit but I can’t see how I will ever get sick of watching people tell their world those three simple words. ‘I found you!’

It’s not ‘I love you.’ I love a lot of people but what we truly search for is that other person who is your person. The one that you want to wash socks for and history would have it they are generally not the people you’d think they were. You find them in the most mysterious of places. At work, behind sheds, in bars, on ferris wheels, in bad profile photos with dogs, the options are endless but at the end of the day – once you’ve done the hard work and before you’ve started the real work, you get one day. One day when you get to tell your world that ‘I chose you.’

Even in the middle of Vietnam on a Thursday, in a red dress, the look of a wedding day is still the same. You can tell them that you love them everyday for the rest of your life but you should be telling everyone else ‘I found them.’ That’s the true miracle of a wedding.

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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!