The first step to planning your wedding is to talk together. This meeting, either face to face at a cafe, pub, home, office or over the phone, is to both get to know each other and to determine what type and style of service you would like to have. Once we have agreed to go ahead it is important to discuss the wedding casually along with your understanding of what a wedding entails along with the legal requirements and social and cultural expectations. I am there to guide and assist you with any questions or concerns.
Wedding ItemsPre marriage counselling is available should you like to use it.
There are a number of different types of weddings and I cater for most of them. For example:
- Traditional Wedding
- Informal Wedding
- Themed Wedding
- Religious Wedding
- Non-religious Wedding
- Cultural Wedding
- Medieval Wedding
- Same Sex Commitment; New Age Ceremonies
Once the type of wedding is understood, I will work with you to create the perfect service format for your occasion. We will discuss the size of the wedding party and their role, the traditions and service format, the music, the readings, the rings and most importantly the vows.
I always encourage couples to choose or write their own vows in order to personalise the service.
Once we both have a good understanding of what is required, I (or you if you prefer) will put together a service format and send it to you for approval or changes.
Your wedding is your special day and must be everything you want it to be. That is what I aim to achieve…making the service all and more that you have dreamt of.
Medieval & Themed Weddings
Looking for a true fairytale wedding that is memorable and different from all the rest? Have you considered a medieval or themed wedding?
I have been Director of the Medieval Guilds Inc. Re-enactment society and a teacher and performer of medieval history registered with the NSW Dept. Of Education and Training for many years now and have performed numerous historic re-enactments, so I know how to get accuracy and quality into a medieval wedding.
Most modern wedding traditions originated in medieval times and had wonderfully romantic, practical and spiritual significance back then, much of which has since been lost or misunderstood. The bridal gown, the bouquet, maids of honour, the best man, etc, are all medieval in origin. For example, the best man was so called because wedding parties were often attacked by jealous courtiers or bandits seeking the dowry, so the best swordsman the family could hire, served as the bodyguard to the wedding party. He was the best man because he was the best man with a sword.
With my connections with the re-enactment society and local theatre and costume makers, I can also help you with props, costuming, history as well as performers and entertainers.
Need a piper? I work closely with Ray Ellington, Pipe major of the Coffs Coast Pipes and Drums, who is available for weddings by request.
I can assist you in organising in any way you require. I am happy to perform in other themes as well…such as renaissance or fantasy. Where ever your dreams take you.
I have conducted steampunk, musketeer, Victorian and Viking weddings and I am happy find a costume and write a script for any themed wedding.
Renewal of Vows
With a degree in Social Science and 20 years experience working with families, couples and marriage enrichment, along with my own relationship and marriage experiences, I am all too familiar with the struggles, heartache and difficulties that expectations in relationships can cause when not fulfilled.
For many, sadly, the answer is separation or divorce. As a celebrant, one of my greatest joys is conducting a renewal of vows service. These services take courage on the part of the couple and are such an inspiration and encouragement to all who attend.
When you renew your vows you are making a bold public statement, not only to your partner but also to friends and family, that you are reaffirming your love and commitment in your relationship that began years before. This relationship may have traversed and overcome hardships and disappointments, and yet you are as determined and committed now as you were when you originally made promises to each other, to love and t cherish into the future.
Just like Olivia Newton John once sang in Grease….”I’m totally devoted to you!” and I want to tell the world.
Nothing would please me more than assisting you in such a special service. I have conducted many of these and they delight me the most.
Name giving ceremonies have a history almost as old as mankind itself. A son was not a true legal member of the family until the father had named the offspring in a ceremony. Thus a legal son could be, in our terms, adopted, born out of wedlock, born of the wife or born of another woman. Naming (or Name giving) was the rite which brought the child into the family.
Name giving ceremonies as celebrants do them however, are relatively new. Ever since some celebrants in the mid-seventies started to officiate at them, they have become increasingly popular as an alternative to a dedication in a church. A name giving ceremony is not a christening or an infant dedication such as the bible records Jesus had, but instead it is a public recognition and statement by the family and friends that this child is precious and valuable and is welcome and treasured in this family. This ceremony in no way inhibits the child from seeking the truth during his life and any future religious commitments of belief.
The baby name giving ceremony is a most appropriate and a fulfilling and meaningful experience. It is an occasion when a new birth is celebrated and a child welcomed into the world. Family relationships are deepened. The parents become more fully aware of their responsibilities. So, of course, do the godparents. The naming ceremony also has a community dimension, represented by the wider circle of family and friends.
The baby naming ceremony is an excellent occasion for cultural expression – joy, hope, acceptance – and is used to express our commitment, hopes, love and support for both the child and family.
In my services The parents, friends and family are encouraged to write a brief letter or poem that speaks to the child all that they mean to them, what they see in them and the hopes and dreams for their future.
Poetry, song, and blessings are all a part of the ceremony of the celebration of your child’s life.
I will guide you as together we create a service that has everything you expect in this special milestone in your family’s life.
An individually designed and printed certificate with your child’s photo will be presented to you on the day as a memento of the occasion.
The funeral service is such an important occasion that it needs to be done with the utmost respect, dignity and empathy for the family. My services are not the morbid, traditional black suited sombre affairs that we tend to associate with some funeral services.
The funeral, when appropriate, needs to be a celebration of the life now past. A remembrance of the joyful times and reflection of association and impact that your loved one has left behind.
I have had over 20 years experience conducting funerals of all types and have a continued understanding of the needs of the family. I also have a degree (Bachelor of Applied Social Science) that covers counselling in loss, bereavement and recovery that enables me to have a more genuine compassion and understanding, along with my own personal experiences of loss.
I always design the service to suit the desires and beliefs of the family, making it culturally and spiritually appropriate to each family. I have a diploma in ministries and religious studies that has assisted my understanding and ability to appropriately respond to the beliefs or otherwise of the people whom I am assisting.
A funeral service has several significant purposes. First it is a memorial service. We are here to lay to rest the mortal body of the deceased.
Secondly it is a service of healing, to bring comfort to those who grieve the loss of a loved one. For some the healing is more rapid than for others.
The funeral service is designed so that the reality of death can be faced – the family and friends become a shield of love. It provides an atmosphere for grief and for loss. There is healing in faith, hope and love.
It is also a time to reflect on our own frailty of life and what lies beyond the grave for each of us. It is this knowledge and belief that can give us hope and comfort, for it need not be a message of despair, but one of encouragement and anticipation.
Allow me to help construct the service in the way that you and your loved one would want it as a fitting memorial. I will interview the family and gather the ideas that will enable me to take the worry out of how the service will run. I have never had a disappointed family yet in 20 years. All have been touched and blessed and assisted in the dignity and appropriateness of the service.
Because of the large number of close professional contacts I have established over the years, I can also arrange the following for you at surprisingly low cost:
- Scottish Piper for all occasions. Ray Ellington is the Pipe Major for the Coffs Coast Pipes and Drums and has competed in the World Titles in Edinburgh.
- Photography – Exceptional photography and artistic presentation.
- Design and printing of invitations and stationary. Either designed or printed or hand done by the best professional designers and card makers on the North Coast.
- Harley Davidson rides. Want to arrive at your wedding on a Harley? I can arrange it for you.
- Medieval wedding performers, costumes and artifacts. Being the director of the medieval re-enactment society, I can arrange performers and re-enactors to make that reception more fun and realistic.
- Counselling: professional marriage, family or grief counseling by qualified counselor.
- Life Story Publication; Have the story of your life or recently deceased professionally written and published in booklet form, along with photographic memories. A lasting memorial of the life of your loved one.