Wedding day tips and advice for the wedding party, from a marriage celebrant

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  • Eat breakfast and drink plenty of water to avoid fainting.
  • Go easy on the champagne while getting ready – you want to remember the day.  Go easy on the grog the night before!
  • Make sure you have worn your shoes a few times before the wedding day to get used to them.
  • Go to bed early the night before and avoid “windy” foods such as curries, baked beans and cabbage.
  • Pack some food and drinks and leave in the car, in case you forget to eat all day!
  • Carry a hanky in case of tears.
  • Stand tall and look good, no hands in pockets!  Left hand over right to see watches if you want to be uniform. Smile!
  • Mobile phones off.
  • Walk slowly and naturally, chin up shoulders back, enjoy, smile and relax!
  • Wedding bouquets to cover belly buttons.
  • Please be in contact with a guest at the venue to advise me if you are running late.
  • If you feel faint, move your knees, wriggle your toes and give me a signal by resting your forehead on your hands and I will get assistance.
  • Look at each other when saying the vows, relax I will talk you through it.  Put the ring to the knuckle, say your words, pause for photos , then gently push the ring the rest of the way.
  • Sign all documents in maiden or current name.
  • You are signing legal documents so if I assess you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol it may be a commitment ceremony only!
  • If any of the above don’t seem right for you, remember, this is just a guide to help you.  Let me know what you would like and if possible I will fit in!

 

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Wedding celebrants Annual Professional Development Melbourne

Marriage celebrants are required to do five hours annual professional development annually.  I chose to do mine earlier this week as part of the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrant annual conference which was held in Melbourne this year.

It was a great opportunity for networking with other celebrants as well as keeping up with the latest changes to the Marriage Act which came into effect in December 2017.  The marriage equality bill has brought about a few changes to the legal paperwork and the wording in the ceremony.  The description of the parties to the marriage is now Party One and Party Two, and they can call themselves Groom, Bride or Partner.  When saying their vows they have to use the words husband, wife or partner in marriage

The biggest change is to “The Monitum” (a passage from the marriage act) which the celebrant is required to say during the ceremony.  The words “Marriage according to law in Australia is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others”  can no longer be said.  Instead the words, “Marriage according to law in Australia is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others” must be said.

There are other minor changes.  I was surprised to learn that we can no longer call ourselves “civil celebrant” but must add the word civil marriage celebrant or just use marriage celebrant.

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Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com

 

Celebrant Code of Practice

Laura Hodgetts wedding

The Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants

Ceremonies and Celebrations

Couples who are being married by a civil marriage celebrant can be confident because their celebrant operates under the Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants. 

The Code is compulsory. It is in legislation and celebrants who do not uphold the code can be disciplined.

So your celebrant will take care, every step of the way, to make sure they provide the legal services and great customer service required by the Code

So, what can you expect from your celebrant?

A high standard of practice                                                                                                       

A marriage celebrant must maintain a high standard of service in his or her professional conduct and practice. This includes (without limitation) ensuring the following:

(a)  appropriate personal presentation for marriage ceremonies;

(b)  punctuality for marriage ceremonies;

(c)  accuracy in preparation of documents and in the conduct of marriage ceremonies.

Recognition of Significance of Marriage                                                                                              

 A marriage celebrant must recognise the social, cultural and legal significance of marriage and the marriage ceremony in the Australian community, and the importance of strong and respectful family relationships.

Compliance with the Act and other Laws                                                                                            

A marriage celebrant must:

(a)  comply with the requirements of the Marriage Act 1961 and the Marriage Regulations 2017 which apply to the marriage celebrant; and

(b)  observe the laws of the Commonwealth and of any State or Territory in which the marriage celebrant solemnises marriages; and

(c)  avoid unlawful discrimination in the provision of marriage celebrancy services.

General Requirements for Marriage Ceremonies                                                                               

A marriage celebrant must respect the importance of the marriage ceremony to the parties and the other persons organising the ceremony. This includes (without limitation) the following:  

(a)  giving the parties information and guidance to enable them to choose or compose a marriage ceremony, including information to assist the parties to decide whether a marriage ceremony rehearsal is needed or appropriate;

(b)  respecting the privacy and confidentiality of the parties, including by:

     (i)  arranging for appropriate facilities to interview parties; and

     (ii)  dealing appropriately with personal documents and personal information; and

     (iii)  maintaining appropriate facilities for the secure storage of records; and

   (iv)  ensuring the return of all personal documents belonging to the parties as soon as practicable (unless it is necessary to keep the documents for the ceremony);

(c)  giving the parties information about how to notify the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department of any concerns or complaints they may have regarding the marriage services provided by the marriage celebrant.

Knowledge and Understanding of Family and Relationship Services                                                    

 A marriage celebrant must:

(a)  maintain an up-to-date knowledge about appropriate family relationships services in the community; and

(b)  inform the parties to the marriage about the range of information and services available to them to enhance, and sustain them throughout, their relationship.

Ask your professional marriage celebrant if you have any questions about the Code.

Excerpt from Celebrant Cod of Practice and CCN marriage celebrant blog 4th June, 2018

 

Managing Wedding Planning Stress

from www. ido.com.au

11 Handy hints

We’ve put together our 11 handy hints for marriage planning without the meltdowns, plus have a newly opened private Facebook group The Wedding Forum…a forum for engaged couples to seek honest advice and support from fellow brides and those who have been there before.

1. Take Stock

Right from the outset, be honest with yourself and work out how much time you can actually put into wedding planning. Then, determine who you can call upon for help if and when the wheels fall off (but this article is all about hoping they won’t!)

Knowing yourself, and your likely trigger points for stress (will it be if the decorations go over budget, if the bridesmaids’ dresses are left until the last minute, if you can’t agree on a band, working out the seating plan with family?) means you can plan how to manage the issues when they arise well ahead of time.

2. Stick Together

Bride and groom kissing

Epiphancy Photography

The wedding is about the marriage, the marriage is not about the wedding. It’s easy in a flurry of lace, lilies and line dancing to forget to nurture the reason you’re doing all of this in the first place – your husband-to-be. Be sure to schedule in date nights, even a walk in the park where you promise not to discuss wedding plans so they don’t become all-consuming. If things aren’t going according to plan, share, and let him know. This is only the first kink in a hopefully long and winding road together.

3. Keep your Friends Close

yoga with friends

Connect, and spend quality non-bridesmaid-dress-shopping-time with your besties, whether you’re doing yoga, hitting the beach, shopping for outfits for them for a change, or just winding down with a wine. Those cultures which insist on women gathering together before the wedding to pamper, drink tea, do each other’s hair or relax with friends are onto something we reckon.

4. Find a Marriage Mantra

Yes really, it’s been working for monks and yogis for centuries – why not for brides? Next time your mother-in-law makes a snide remark or an unreasonable request, find a quiet place to close your eyes, focus on your breathing and repeat something zen. Whether it’s “I feel calm” or “I am bride-chilla” – you’ve got to find what works for you.

5. Nerves are Normal 

Butterflies causing chaos in your belly? It’s ok. Nerves often accompany excitement, and we shouldn’t shy away from them. Taking a moment to question such a big commitment isn’t a danger sign, it’s pretty sensible – unless every time you take a moment the feeling slides from jitters to downright dread.

6. Delegate – and Then Delegate Some More

Repeat after us: I am not superwoman. Because you’re not, so stop trying to manage it all on your own. Weddings are (most often) massive undertakings.

Invite friends and family to help. Whether it’s making place cards, decorating pews, packing bonbonniere or making phone calls, people love to feel needed – and useful!

7. Pamper Yourself

facial pamper bridal

There’s no need to wait until your wedding eve for a pampering session. A 30-minute massage, facial or even mani/pedi can work wonders for frazzled fiancees and if you really don’t have time, take a book, a candle and some bubble bath and hit the tub at home.

8. Exercise is a Brides Best Friend

Virtually nothing releases tension like a good sweat session, whether you’re running, hiking, boxing, swimming, cycling or standing on your head. Physical activity helps release uplifting endorphins, so make it a priority, and watch your mood improve with your waistline.

9. Meditate

yoga stress

Even if you’re new to the cause, meditation helps. Trust us. It’s the key to managing overwhelming emotions and to clearing your mind, even in a few minutes a day, or before bedtime. There are plenty of meditation and mindfulness apps you can try with a pair of headphones, so sift through to find one that works for you.

10. Slow Down on Social

Studies have found that if you’re feeling anxious, social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram can make it worse, especially if you’re prone to feeling jealous of what others have, or are doing. This can be particularly tough in the wedding space. Sure social media is a fab tool for gathering inspo, but gather and go, don’t surf until you feel low.

Researchers have found that if you’re already feeling anxious, spending time on Facebook can make it worse.

Another study found that if you have a tendency to feel envious, Facebook can also increase the risk of depression. Bottom line: A break from some social media in the midst of your wedding planning might be a relief.

11. Talk!

It’s an oldie, but still a goodie. Whether it’s a colleague, a therapist, a fellow bride or a slightly removed family member, it pays to have a designated person to download to when you need to blow off steam.

It’s usually best if it’s not your Mum, sister or best friend (who are likely too close to home and may sometimes be the cause of the stress in the first place). Try to put a time limit on your whingeing though, five minutes to let it all out, and then let it go.

 

New Year’s Resolutions for the Bereaved

Very thoughtful article.

Accepting Notice of Intended Marriage from same sex couples

As Celebrants we have a close link to the Attorney Generals Department.  The following passage was taken from their website:

“The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 (‘Dean Smith Bill’) was introduced into the Senate on 15 November 2017. The requirements set out in the Marriage Act 1961 remain in place until such time as an Act of Parliament changes them. As such, celebrants are currently not able to accept a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) from same-sex couples.

The date from which same-sex weddings could occur in Australia will depend on the date the Australian law is changed to allow same-sex marriage.  The department will communicate advice to celebrants and the public about changes to the Marriage Act 1961 as soon as possible after the passage of any amendments.”

The above passage was taken from The official AGD site.  As is the current law all couples will need to wait a month after signing the NOIM before they can get married.  Hopefully we will see a lot of same sex marriages early next year!

Don’t hesitate to contact me for an obligation free chat so we can get to know each other and we can meet again to sign the NOIM when the law is changed!

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http://www.annarichards.com.au

0407 300 970

 

 

What does a celebrant do?

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Looks like an easy job, right?  Surely they just rock up talk for 20 minutes and go home!

Let me tell you, I have been a celebrant for 11 years and I still spend a lot of time before every ceremony checking everything and reading through the ceremony again to make sure I am happy.  It is their wedding day, they have planned for months for this moment and what I say and do on the day also has to be perfect, and legal!  There is a lot of behind the scenes preparation.  There will have been meetings to commence legal paperwork and to discuss the content for their unique personal ceremony.  I provide many resources to help with the process and encourage input re writing their own vows, including children in the ceremony, providing information on rituals, symbols, music etc.  I also encourage couples to have a rehearsal at the venue to help calm the nerves.

On the day of the wedding I arrive at least half an hour early to set up my P.A system and legal documents.  I check to make sure everything is perfect, greet guests, calm groom and groomsmen, greet bride and bridal party.  Liaise with wedding coordinator,  organise music, bridal party, flower girls, page boys, ring bearer, readers.

After the marriage ceremony I lodge your marriage documents with the BDM and securely keep all of the necessary legal documents.  I also have to keep my office running, answering emails, phone calls, writing invoices, receipts, bookkeeping, printing, filing, purchasing legal stationery,  websites, social media, advertising.

All celebrants must have completed at least a Certificate IV in Celebrancy before they can apply to the Attorney General to become registered.  The initial registration fee is $600.  They are then required to pay an annual fee of $240 to stay registered. All celebrants are required to attend Ongoing Professional Development or they will lose their registration. They are also required to have professional indemnity insurance.  So, whilst you might only see the Celebrant for 20 minutes whilst the ceremony is happening, please be assured that they have worked very hard before the ceremony even starts.

http://www.annarichards.com.au

Baby Naming

Naming-pic1I conducted a name giving ceremony last week for a three month old baby and thought again, what a lovely celebration for the parents, grandparents, uncles aunties, siblings, cousins and friends.

As more and more people are moving away from religious ceremonies, baby christenings are not performed as much and parents are preferring to have a civil ceremony to name and celebrate the birth of their child.   It is a lovely happy occasion with the appointing of Godparents or guardians and the presentation of certificates.

If this appeals to you don’t hesitate to discuss with me and we can create a personalised ceremony to celebrate the birth of your child.

0407 300 970

tocelebrations@bigpond.com

http://www.annarichards.com.au

 

Perfect weather for weddings!

IMG_3123IMG_3132I just spent a week in Noumea.  Our hotel was 50 metres from the beach and we had a balcony overlooking the coast.  Every morning we woke up to a beautiful blue sky and we went out for breakfast in the fresh morning air.  By the time we headed out for our activities for the day it was a gorgeous 25 to 27 degrees and by the evening it was a little cooler to get a good night’s sleep.

Always having weddings on my mind it occurred to me how wonderful it would be if we  could have weather like that for a few months of the year!  It would take away all that stress of having an outside venue and always having to back it up with plan B!