How do we get legally wed?
Don't worry, I'll take care of the paper trail and make it super easy! But basically, you need to both be over the age of 18 (or have a court order allowing you to marry if you’re 16-18), not married to anyone else or each other, and not related to each other. You need to lodge your "Notice of Intended Marriage" form with me at least one calendar month before the ceremony takes place. This can be done up to 18 months before the big day. After checking your documentation to make sure all the t's and i's are perfect, we’re good to go! There will be more things to sign just before and once you're married, but again, its quick and easy and I'll look after it for you. After the big day, I'll lodge your legal paperwork with Births, Deaths and Marriages and then email you a link to apply for your "Official Certificate of Marriage" which you'll need if either of you plan on changing your name.
We love you... How do we book you?
I think it's a great idea to meet with your prospective celebrant before booking, so that you know your vibes match up! If you love them and feel super relaxed in their presence, then your guests will too.
Once we've fallen for each other over a coffee or G&T and you let me know you're keen to lock it in, I’ll send you through a booking form, online contract and an invoice for a non- refundable booking fee. Once all that is sorted, then we'll be officially official and your booking will be a sparkling new addition to my calendar!
What comes next?
After you've done the steps above and booked me, I'll start work on the creative side of things! This is the fun bit. First things first, I need to get to know you! I want to create a ceremony that fits you two like a glove and be able to tell your story in an authentic way. So to get me started, I'll send you a questionnaire that I'd love you each to fill in separately (don't show each other, it's more fun that way!). Once you've emailed those to me, I'll get to work writing.
I like to provide my couples with a draft of their ceremony at least a month before the big day (and if the timing works for you, I'll invite you over for a drink to do our final planning so you can hear the story in person). Some celebrants prefer to keep it a surprise, which I totally get, but personally I just think people are nervous enough before their wedding day without wondering what their celebrant is planning on saying in front of 100 people they know! Totally open to keeping it a proper surprise for you two though if you prefer.
Once you receive the draft, you can make any changes if you wish, and you'll just need to fill in the blanks where I've requested info (e.g. witness names, music choices etc.). At that point, you can start working on your personalised vows if you're doing them! I have tricks to help you get started on those too if you like! We'll also organise a rehearsal time and then all that's left to do is get you two married!
Do we need a rehearsal?
That's totally up to you! I find it really helps people to feel relaxed on the big day, so I encourage you to consider it. It's also a nice little last minute reminder of what it's all about, so makes you stress less about the details that have been consuming your time and energy for so long! We don't go through the whole thing, just the bits where you two say or do something (e.g. ring exchange etc.). It's nice to be able to practice the walk down the aisle etc. too if you’re doing that. Most couples do the rehearsal in the week or two leading up to the wedding, often the day before as that seems to be when we can get the crew together. Don't stress if not all the wedding party can make it though! It's a blast so I'm always happy if couples are keen to do one, but no pressure either way. The alternative is to just chat with each other over FaceTime in the week leading up to the wedding to go over any last bits and pieces, which works really well too.
What equipment do you provide?
I have a great PA system and use a madonna style microphone for myself and a handheld one for my couples. I can use my PA to play your music during the ceremony and will have back ups on two devices to be sure it's all good to go. I am also able to provide a nice signing table and chairs at no additional charge, so let me know if you'd like to borrow it. Or you can skip having a table all together!
We live interstate / overseas and won't be in SA until just before we marry. Will that be an issue?
Not at all! I've married plenty of couples who live interstate and overseas. I will chat with you about how you can lodge your "Notice of Intended Marriage" form electronically. I haven't ever found it to be an issue communicating and getting to know my couples via FaceTime or over email (as you prefer) until we meet in person. The main thing you need to remember is to pack all your original documentation with you so I can see it before you get hitched!
Will you travel for weddings?
Absolutely! I love to travel, and regularly do ceremonies far from home including interstate. Let me know your plans and I can provide details on any additional fees involved to cover travel (and accom if required). As a side note, I'm super keen to do more adventure weddings and am fit enough to hike/paddle/venture to the wild place you may have in mind!
Can you do other types of ceremonies?
Absolutely. Weddings are the thing I do the most of, but I would love to be involved in celebrating another big life moment for you. Particularly, I am honoured to be able to create amazing Celebration of Life ceremonies that really do a person's story justice. I have worked in Intensive Care for many years as a nurse so am comfortable supporting families who have lost loved ones and always felt it was once of the most important parts of my job. Please just let me know what you have in mind and I can work with you to create something bespoke that will be just right for your needs.