As a Sunshine Coast Wedding Celebrant I have received some great questions recently regarding anything and everything wedding related, I thought I would take the opportunity to record them and write up the answers in this week’s blog for couples to peruse. Please contact me if you have any more queries you would like answered or anything else I can include for next time that would be helpful. Philippa xx
How long in advance to we need to book? It is really never too early, as soon as you know your date or even have a few to decide between, contact me please as celebrants and other wedding suppliers here on the Sunshine Coast and Noosa get booked up very quickly especially in peak seasons and weekends. A deposit of $150 will secure your date with the remaining balance not due until 2 weeks before the ceremony.
Can both my parents walk me down the aisle?
Absolutely, it is definitely becoming more common for a bride to ask both her parents to walk her down the aisle or asking them both to contribute their love and support to the marriage when asked by the celebrant, if course it may also be your children or siblings who walk you down or you may walk alone, the choice is absolutely yours but I am always able to advise depending on each family.
How many times do we meet? Usually 2-3 meetings as well as a rehearsal, see link, more if you feel it is necessary, of course there are usually a few phone calls and emails back and forth until the wedding ceremony is absolutely perfect for you. If you are interstate until near the day of the ceremony, Skype or ‘facetime’ is a good alternative.
What happens if the Celebrant is unable to attend your marriage ceremony due to illness? Long before the Wedding Day, the Celebrant will have completed the required documents, prepared the marriage certificate for signing after the ceremony, printed the presentation ceremony to hand to the couple as their keepsake afterwards, introduced themselves to other suppliers prior to the day, and of course written and rehearsed the ceremony with the couple. If on the Wedding Day, an accident or serious illness prevents the celebrant from being able to officiate at the marriage ceremony another highly regarded celebrant would be able to perform in their place as we all have a close network of colleagues on the Sunshine Coast and Noosa with whom we closely work and share similar values.
Can I have a family member as a witness? Most definitely, again another special and highly important task is to nominate 2 witnesses who may be any family member, friends or guest over the age of 18, they will be required to sign three certificates along with the bride, groom and celebrant after the marriage ceremony.
We want to get married at dawn on Mount Coolum Hooray! It is on my wish-list as a Marriage Celebrant on our beautiful Sunshine Coast and Noosa as well as a mountain fanatic, to perform a ceremony on Mount Coolum, Emu Mountain, Hell’s Gates in the Noosa National Park, Mount Tinbeerwah or Mount Cooroora in Pomona. However we do need to think carefully about fitness ability of your guest and witnesses! If it’s possible and a dream for you too, let’s do it!
Do we need a rehearsal? Highly recommended! Check out the reasons why on my previous blog: https://www.philippaholness.com/need-rehearsal-marriage-sunshine-coast/
Do you have any ideas to help me stick to our budget? Absolutely!……check out my previous blog interviewing a bride with some awesome money saving ideas. https://www.philippaholness.com/sunshine-coast-noosa-weddings-need-cost-earth/
What happens if it rains? A definite Plan B is a must as the Sunshine Coast does not always live up to its name! This will alleviate any stress if worrying about the weather. A restaurant where you are having the reception would be the best option for a Plan B. We will liaise the day before if rain is forecast and on the morning when you make the call to move to the Plan B. Very light showers are acceptable, however, my PA system cannot be used in this case.
How long will it take to receive my certificate as we are going away soon after the wedding? The Celebrant has 14 days to forward your documents to the registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the state in which you were married. In my case, I forward your documents by registered mail the following business day and you are able to apply for your official marriage certificate within a day or so. Depending on their workload at the time, you will usually receive your official marriage certificate in the mail within 10 days.
My mother would like to do a reading, is it okay to ask her? Absolutely, having a family member chose or write read a poem or passage is a lovely way to include your guests. I have a vast collection of beautiful readings and poems which I will email to you; you may of course select your own from any other source as well.
Can we have a mention to my father who passed away last year? Certainly, and this a lovely idea, appreciated by everyone, a seat kept for him with his photograph on, a framed photo or a special memento to him placed in view on the signing table is also a touching inclusion.
I would like special music played while I walk down the aisle I have a lovely selection of modern love songs that I play to test my equipment and to get your relaxed and in the mood for the proceedings as they arrive. I usually ask you to choose 3 or 4 songs and out then on a wedding playlist one of those being for while you walk down the aisle, the others being for during the signing. My powerful high quality PA system will play those via your ipod or Smartphone through my connective cable. I ask you to nominate somebody with access to your phone’s pin etc. to press play for you at the correct time I can assist with the timing.
Is the deposit refundable? Unfortunately, the deposit as is the case with any wedding supplier, is non refundable. By the time the deposit is received quite a lot of work will have gone into preparing your documents and paperwork. Part of the balance is refundable though, depending on the notice given and the individual circumstances. A change of date is acceptable if I am available on your next choice of date.
We live interstate what can we do? That is fine and I very regularly perform ceremonies for couples who do not actually arrive in Noosa or the Sunshine Coast until the day prior or even the day of their ceremony! I will guide you every step of the way and can supply 2 witnesses as well if necessary. We will communicate via email and Skype and all the documentation can be completed and checked easily.
There will be young children, how long will the ceremony take? Most ceremonies that are tailored to the couple with 3 or 4 readings will take around 20-25 minutes, a little longer if special rituals are included. An elopement or basic ‘legal’s only’ ceremony if that is the minimum you would like can take a little as 5 minutes, however, it is always nice to have a few carefully chosen words to remember when looking back at your special day.
How can I include/amuse our children? I have some lovely ways to include children during the ceremony, an age appropriate reading of which I have a selection, playing of a simple instrument, walking their parent down the aisle, helping to seat your guests, the giving of a symbolic gift, a unity sand ceremony for the whole family, or a circle of acceptance. At the reception they may like to be ‘in charge’ of photos by running around with their own disposable camera, providing a card table for them, wedding show bags with healthy treats and activities to keep them busy, a game of wedding i-spy game prepared on a sheet with lots of things they can look out for and tick off, as well as involvement in decorating and setting up the ceremony area.
How can I make a pledge to my partner’s children? I have a selection of beautiful vows to you can make to each other’s children. It is a beautiful thing to blend two families and we have special ways to ensure that respective children feel included and loved.
My partner does not want a ring That is fine and many guys prefer not to wear a ring because of work hazards, however we can still say some beautiful words when giving the bride her ring and at the same time a pledge to the groom from the bride. of course, he can always have a wedding ring and keep it to wear as a ‘dress’ ring for social occasions.
We can’t decide on the time to have the ceremony as we are having the reception at home Your photographer is usually the best person to ask regarding the prime opportunity for capturing the ‘Golden Hour” (the hour before and up to sunset) and those all important lifetime memories with the optimum lighting. Consider also the time of year, the age of your guests, if you are travelling directly after the ceremony, and naturally the location of the ceremony and the food and beverages you intend to provide.
How late can I be? It is traditional for the bride to be a little late but let’s consider your guests who may have travelled some distance to be with you on the day, may be waiting in the heat of the Sunshine Coast and of course your groom who will be naturally a little anxious. There will be other suppliers dependent on their involvement in your day to flow like clockwork so the latest I would advise being is 5 minutes.
What i.ds do we need? Currently the Attorney general requires a couple to present their drivers licences as well as EITHER a passport OR a birth certificate. In the case of those who have been previously married a Divorce Order or certificate of death if widowed.
I cannot find my divorce certificate from my previous marriage, what should I do? This is the link to follow and 10 days is usually required for a replacement copy of the divorce order after complete an application online and submitting a fee of approximately $30 https://eservices.comcourts.gov.au/epod_applications/new
How easy is to change from my maiden name to my new married name? Once you receive your official marriage certificate you may call yourself by your new name, however, I do suggest you advise each agency one at a time Medicare, Department of Transport and Main Roads or when you next renew a document such as your passport or when you next visit e.g. bank, doctor. Trying to do them all at once can be a little overwhelming and each will have their own procedure.
Do I sign my new married name at our ceremony signing?
You will sign your usual signature with your maiden name.