Step one The where and how
First things first; you need to a) pick a joint that suits the theme or style you are after (that’s the WHERE) and then the HOW is the celebrant or minister (if you choose to get married in a church; you don’t need me – I can’t help you there). Give me a tinkle or shoot me an email and I will check my availability for your wedding date. We can then have a chat about your wedding, your expectations (ensuring those dreams come to life) and what I can offer.
If you are happy to proceed the next step is to arrange an initial meeting. If you are unable to attend a face to face meeting due to distance we can organise to have a meeting via email, phone or Skype.
Step two The initial meeting
This meeting tends to determine two significant points of reference;
a) I am the right Celebrant for your ceremony? There is no obligation to go ahead with me at this stage; you’re simply just ‘window shopping’, and
b) How I am going to look in your wedding photos!
What I always find amusing in the initial meetings is when the bride gives me the ‘once over’… This is not necessarily judging my values, experience or professionalism; more so how well I’ll come up in the shots. I LOVE it and I’ll point it it out to you when I catch you doing it!
During this meeting (or at a later date); if you decide to have me on board, we can fill out a Service Agreement Form. Essentially, this clearly outlines my promises to you both and secures my availability to perform your wedding.
Step three Creating your wedding ceremony
Following this meeting (where we sign the Service Agreement), I’ll request another whilst getting to know you both, your family, important guests and the ideas for your ceremony. From there, I will now create your specific and personalised wedding ceremony for you both. I will then forward a draft ceremony for you to consider. And whilst there is no obligation to stick with this ceremony; there are certain words that you and your partner (and myself) are required to say legally for your marriage to be valid. Other than the legal requirements your wedding ceremony is totally up to you.
At this time, if you have personalised vows that you would like included in the ceremony; now is the time to get them to me. They can be changed or adjusted at any point before the ceremony. Generally speaking, I’ll have a final copy of your ceremony in your hands at least one month out from the day.
Step four A little paperwork
Yeh, we’ve got some paperwork to fill out and this is some very important paperwork (legal documentation) called the Notice of Intended Marriage Form (NOIM). This document needs to be lodged at least one month prior to marriage and is valid up to 18 months from lodgement date.
What to bring to this meeting (MUST BE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS; no copies, scans, no cheating!):
- Birth Certificate if born in Australia or passport if born outside Australia
- Drivers licence
- If previously married you will need the proof of end of marriage. Either Divorce documents or Death Certificate. Please note: there may be additional documentation needed depending on your circumstance, I will advise when this is necessary.
At this meeting we will:
- Finalise the Notice of Intended Marriage form and I will witness both your signatures.
- I will sight your identification documents, ‘End of Previous Marriage’ documents if needed and any other documents required.
- Discuss the finer details of your wedding day.
Discuss your ceremony
- The style – elegant, informal, relaxed or extravagant.
- The role of family and friends in your ceremony.
- The venue and alternate venue if weather is poor.
- Music, vows and any special requirements you may have.
- Other elements to include in your ceremony such as; sand ceremony, unity candle, hand fasting, warming of rings and breaking of glass.
Step five Time to fine tune and bring it all together
As the title suggests, this is when we put the planning into action and run through the ceremony in its entirety. The timing for this is entirely up to you; depending on your commitments, family and venue.
Generally speaking, I encourage couples to run a rehearsal 2-3 days out from the date. This is pretty cool and sensible as it then allows everyone to relax the night before and enjoy their time with family and friends. Some of you would prefer the day before; some won’t even bother. It’s all up to you!
At this time we will sign the final paperwork in preparation of the wedding; ‘Declaration of No Legal Impediments to Marriage’.
Step six One the day
- I will arrive at the venue approximately 2 hours before the ceremony is set to start.
- I will meet with the groom to confirm any last minute requirements or answer any queries.
- I will intermingle with both families; highlighting common bond, bringing them together and ensure an ambience suitable for your arrival. My role on the day is to coordinate with all involved, including your guests, photographer, musicians, venue organisers etc.
- I will officiate your marriage.
- You, your partner, and your witnesses (both over 18) and I will sign three marriage certificates.
- I will leave you with a ceremonial Certificate of Marriage and a copy of your personalised Certificate.
- For reference, I only use state of the art Behringer Sound Equipment. This includes ability for both battery or power generated output, multiple wireless microphone (better for your photos) and blue-tooth connectivity. What does that all mean? Essentially its big, loud and crystal clear; so everyone gets to hear the ceremony – yes, even Nana!
♥ Wedding Ceremony ♥
Please note: The certificate you receive on your wedding day is ceremonial and will not meet the identity requirements of many government agencies. You will be required to obtain a certificate of marriage issued by your state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to have your personal documentation (eg driver’s licence) changed to your married name. I apply for your official marriage certificate on your behalf when I lodge your marriage documents with Birth, Death and Marriages.
Step seven Lodgement of legal documents
After your wedding, I will lodge the original Certificate of Marriage and other documents with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State or Territory where your marriage took place. This will finalise the legal process.