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


  • 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!



Managing Wedding Planning Stress

from www.

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.

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


Nathan and Erica’s secret wedding – and then 2 more ceremonies!


Nathan and Erica had a very small intimate ceremony in their backyard and very few people knew about it.  He did a wonderful job decorating his backyard in Melbourne and creating a lovely intimate atmosphere for his marriage to Erica.

Erica was from Taiwan so after their legal ceremony in Melbourne they celebrated again in traditional Taiwanese fashion!  There were many frocks involved for the pre wedding party and another frock for the main ceremony.  It was a grand occasion!

See my website for information on small intimate weddings.

Chris and Kristen’s wedding in the park

Chris and Kristen wanted a very short simple and casual ceremony with their friends and family in St Kilda Botanical Gardens.  It was a beautiful day and the park had a lovely relaxed atmosphere with many people enjoying the sunshine.  They arranged for me to come at a pre arranged time when the festivities were already in progress.  I performed the ceremony with minimum amount of fuss and the celebrations continued!

The CeremonyDSC05593DSC05588



Beach Weddings


Beach weddings look beautiful but with Melbourne’s unpredictable weather make sure you have a plan B!  You will need to seriously consider your alternative plan not only if it is very cold, wet and windy but also in the extreme heat.  Be mindful that your guests will have arrived a lot earlier than the bridal party so try to arrive on time and you may need to have some shelter and refreshments available!



Personalised Marriage ceremonies Daniel and Bernadeth


Daniel waited a long time to marry Bernadeth.  His bride-to-be lived in The Philippines and Daniel was sponsoring her to obtain a prospective spouse visa. He came to see me and to support his application we filled out the paperwork and I wrote a letter to the Department of Immigration stating that he had hired me to be his celebrant to perform their marriage ceremony.  We set a tentative date and then had to wait for the visa to be granted before they could get married.  Many months later the approval was finally granted and the marriage took place in April this year at beautiful Queens Park in Moonee Ponds.  It was a crisp autumn evening but the ceremony was held outside with the beautiful backdrop of the lake.  Bernadeth’s sister travelled from The Phillippines to be one of the bridesmaids…………

(Daniel’s vows)

….It’s taken us 2 years and almost 6,000 kilometres to get here, But our journey is definitely not over yet.  Today, I commit to spending the rest of my life on that journey with you I promise to love you and care for you, I promise to make you smile and laugh and I promise to always provide for you and look after you – Regardless if you’re being makulit or mabait. I’ll keep trying to learn Tagolog – but I’m not promising I’ll succeed with that one… From this day, to the end of my days I will love you and only you Mahal kita walang iba

(Bernadeth)  When I met you, I had no idea how much my life was about to be changed, but then, how could I have known?  A love like ours happens once in a lifetime.  You were a godsend to me, the one who was everything I had ever hoped for, the one I thought only existed in my imagination.

When you came into my life, I realized that what I had always thought was happiness couldn’t compare to the joy loving you brought me.  You are a part of everything I think, I do and I feel, and with you by my side I believe that anything is possible, because of you, I laugh, I smile and I dare to dream again…….


Daniel and Bernadeth

0407 300 970

I have helped many couple with their prospective spouse visa application, don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like me to be your celebrant and good luck with your application!  Many couples wait a long time and it is a very rewarding experience to be able to help them.







Personalised Marriage Ceremonies Bruna and Alby: The Mandalay, Northcote

moments_E848FD33-95A4-4B51-B9F8-FE620F7DF026_orig_res (002)

It was a slow beginning to the relationship between Bruna and Alby it took months of text messages and the odd chance encounter on the train before Alby decided to give his mobile number to Bruna.  Then one night in October at a soccer presentation night, Alby discovered the feeling of butterflies in his belly when Bruna went over to say hello. A quick good bye was exchanged at the end of the night with the hope that more would come. Around comes November and Alby invites himself to watch Bruna play indoor soccer; he felt like a young teenage boy full of excitement to see this girl. Finally Alby got the courage to ask Bruna out and they went on a first date on the 26th of November.

On this date there was no shortage of conversation, both were fighting to get their say, Bruna winning that battle of course. It was a great night; both enjoying each other’s company.

A second date followed on the Saturday where they decided a movie would be nice… which ended up with poor Alby discovered that bringing Bruna to an action movie wasn’t such a great idea. As it so happens Bruna is very jumpy during the action bits and has such a thing that with every jump she flings her arms in fright…well let’s just say that Alby went home that night with some nice bruising on his arm.

From then on Alby and Bruna were inseparable, with a deep understanding of each to the point where they would finish off their sentences or would answer each other’s questions before it was even asked. It is like they have known each other for years.

Now fast forward ……… nestled in a cute little restaurant under the Spanish steps in Rome, Alby asks Bruna to marry him and with a little delay she said yes…

I asked Bruna and Alby to finish this sentence – if love is… then marriage is? 

If love is like making a cake…Then marriage is like enjoying what you have created together…….

The following are a few lines from the beautiful vows Bruna and Alby wrote themselves:


…….It amazes me how I feel so at ease and comfortable with you.  Never before have I opened up my most inner thoughts and desires to anyone as I have to you. I have always had this inner me but not willing to share it with anyone before. ……….

Bruna, my Bella, I promise you today to give you all my love now and forever, as your husband till the day my eyes close for the last time.


………I love you for the way you make my heart beat a few extra beats when you hold me tight and for how you look into my eyes and allow all my worries to just fade away and you let me just simply breathe………..I love you for how you love my son like his yours and for how you are willing to make us your family.  I love you for being you…a warm gentle soul, that has lots of time for others, that has compassion, courage, strength, intelligence, wits and a great passion for life…………..

 Vows to include Bruna’s son Wayde)

Marriage is also an affirmation of the family union which includes Wayde and the responsibilities, joys, sharing, love and strength that this family holds for them.  Alby and Bruna know that by loving one another they will give Wayde the greatest gift of all, that of giving and receiving love.  Their shared love and friendship will bring great joy to themselves and to all those who know them.

Vows to Wayde

Alby: Today as I become your husband, we will also become a family.  I promise to be faithful to you and I will be there for you and Wayde always.  No matter what circumstances life brings our way, we will face them together as a family.  I commit myself to both of you from this day forward and forevermore……



If you would like to hire me as a celebrant you can email or visit my website for further information. 

0407 300 970