Meeting 1: If the shoe fits
When it comes to getting married, you need to choose the person that’s right for you - and that extends to your celebrant, too!
This meeting is our chance to see if the three of us hit it off. Completely obligation-free, it takes place over a coffee, cocktail or whatever takes your fancy (maybe both?) at a cafe or via Skype. It can feel a little like a blind date when you walk in, but once we’re seated across from each other it’s all about working out if we’re a good fit.
Because it’s crucial that you click with your celebrant, it’s an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have to determine if I’m the right match for you. What time I’ll arrive on the day, what I’ll wear to your wedding, favourite food, best Bond of all time? Ask away. You both need to feel 100% comfortable with me and trust that I will listen to and deliver on your wishes.
I’ll also take you through the legalities and process of planning your ceremony and you can fill me in on your life together and any and all of the plans you have for your day. Tell me as much as you like – I love hearing all of the little details!
If you decide to proceed, I’ll then send you an invoice for the booking fee along with a copy of my terms and conditions.
Meeting 2: It’s all in the detail
We’ve had our ‘first date’ and we’re ready to get serious.
This meeting is to work out the how, what and the why of your ceremony. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of this day for years and know exactly how you’d like your ceremony to work. Maybe you haven’t given it much (ok, any) thought.
This is where my journalistic skills and years of experience as a celebrant are put to use to help you plan the right wedding for the two of you.
We’ll talk about what you want from the ceremony, who you’d like involved and much more. You can have as much or as little input as you like. I’ll ask lots of questions, take just as many notes and will be there to give you suggestions and recommendations as you need.
It’s important to me that you’re both 100% happy with the content of the ceremony, so after this meeting I write your draft and send it to you for your review.
You have complete creative control to ensure that your story is told and ceremony unfolds in the way that is right for you.
This meeting is also when we sign your Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). It takes place at least one month before your wedding to ensure your NOIM is completed in time.
To complete your NOIM, you’ll need to bring with you either your passports or original birth certificates. If you have been married previously, you’ll also need to provide proof of how that marriage ended (divorce or death certificate).
Meeting 3: Getting serious
This meeting takes place the week of your wedding. It can occur over Skype or in person, whether at a cafe or your wedding venue.
The week before your wedding can often be very busy and a little stressful, so this meeting is designed to feel like a couple of friends catching up over a drink – who just happen to be going over a ceremony.
You will have seen and approved your full ceremony script long before this meeting, so we’ll go over it again and talk through how everything is going to work. Who stands where, when the music should start, how to get rings on fingers (they’re trickier than they look, trust me) and the like. By now we know each other quite well and by the end we’ve probably digressed well and truly from wedding talk!
From a legal perspective, this is when you will sign your Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage (DNLIM). If we’re meeting over Skype, you’ll sign the DNLIM on your wedding day before your ceremony.
Meeting 4: Your wedding day
On your wedding day, I arrive early to set myself up and be on hand for anything you need me for, whether that’s directing guests, pinning buttonhole flowers or liaising with other suppliers.
When you’re both ready and everyone is in position, away we go! This is, without a doubt, the best part of my job – making you married.
At the end of the ceremony, I’ll stay for as long as you need me, particularly if you’d like to keep playing some background music through the PA as you absorb all those hugs and kisses from your nearest and dearest.
I’ll then hand you your marriage certificate and give you both a big, congratulatory hug before making my way home. This part is always a little bittersweet for me as I’m so happy for the two of you and yet a little sad to say goodbye.
That evening, I’ll lodge your documents with the appropriate state registry - and most likely raise a glass of something delicious in your honour!
In addition to bespoke ceremonies, I also offer a legals-only option.
Banner image by Daniel Brannan Photography