Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

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Expert Advice

As a wedding professional, Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.


If my partner is muslim, should I be having a civil or religious ceremony?

Are they both equal in the eyes of the law? I was not born in Aus so need a little help understanding

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear Nelly, 

Thank you for asking this question as I think that many people are confused when it comes to a legal marriage in another country other than their place of birth. 

Congratulations, and the quick answer is that you can certainly have your marriage done by a registered celebrant within Australia.  If you can have either a civil or religious ceremony , however for a religous ceremony, the religion must be recognised by the Attorney Generals Department. 

Your celebrant of choice should help and guide you to create a ceremony, which captures the essence of what both you and your fiance' wish to have. This is your day and the ceremony should reflect this.

Happy days to you both.

Jan 

What are wedding vows?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Wedding vows, are the moment when the two of you have the opportunity to declare in front of your family and friends, what you feel for your partner.

Your celebrant can send suggestions to you, or you can, of course, write your own.  This is a special moment in your ceremony and should be taken slowly and well thought out, so as to be able to capture the moment.

I hope this helps you.  Incidently, I usually send three to four examples to my couples, which at least gives them ideas to get started on.

Jan 

Do couples usually use vow books?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hi,

Personally, I hand my couple a typed copy of the vow they have chosen to read at the appropriate time.

This is so they do not have to worry about having them tucked away on their person (!)  I also present them a copy of their individuals vow as a keepsake in my "Celebration Folder".

I hope this helps you.

Cheers,

Jan 

Who writes the vows? Do we say them or have to repeat after the celebrant?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hello,

There are the legal vows which your Celebrant will read.  However, I think you are referring to your vow to each other.  This is entirely your choice.  Personally, I send my couples a selection of vows (which I think are suited to them in particular) and they usually choose one of these or write their own, using the choices as a guide.

You can read these to each other or if you feel uncomfortable I read them on your behalf. 

If you are feeling shy perhaps you might choose a close friend to stand by you and read them to your partner.  I find that in most cases the couple is quite happy to read them as during my meetings with them I really concentrate on their confidence for the day.  Good luck to you and I hope I have helped you with this decision.  Jan 

Should I avoid getting married on Jan 13th as it will be so busy right?

We're a same-sex couple

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear couple,  Congratulations - how exciting for you !  My advice is to get married whenever you wish to.  This is a fabulous place in time for you both and your Wedding Day will be something to hold close to your hearts forever.  Go for it !

Jan 

How many weddings do you book in per day?

Are celebrants usually doing one per day? or two on some days? How is this possible?! haha

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

I only EVER book one Wedding in a Day.  It is my belief that I must give my all to the Bride and Groom for their ceremony.  Usually by this stage we have come to know each other quite well and there is a warm and fuzzy relationship. 

If I went rushing off to another wedding I would be clock watching and would not be able to relax with my couple.  It is often required that I join them for photos as well and nobody can rush a good photographer.

Nah, I am a one wedding a day, kind of gal!

Jan 

Any advice on writing my vows to my wife-to-be?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hi Nathan,

I often send grooms suggestions for their vow and they take "a little bit" from each one.  This at least get's you started and your thoughts usually fly from there on.

However, if you want to write your own from scratch - make some dot point to yourself that you want to say to your Bride. Her character, her kindness, her sense of humour, in other words all the special traits you love about her the most. 

Maybe how you felt when you first realised you loved her, maybe your first date and so on.  It is wonderful to have at the end something about how your life has turned around since knowing her and how much you are looking forward to building your life together. Let your inner romantic self come out of the box !

Good luck Nathan.

Jan 

Have you ever made a mistake in a ceremony? Like saying a name wrong or anything?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hi Carla,

Yes once. However, the names of the Bride and Groom, were a different nationality and very hard to pronounce.  I sort of made it into light moment and everyone was amused as they realised how hard the names were to pronounce in an Aussie accent !

I had asked the Bride how to pronounce her name, however, it did not come out the same with me saying it.  She had a very pretty name, it was just me getting it around my tongue!  XX

How do I change my name when I get married?

How does it all work?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hi Lucy,

You will be surprised, how many places you will need to change your name - Wow.  After you have recieved your certificate from Births, Marriages and Deaths you will need to notify all the relevant bodies.  ATO, Drivers Licence, Passport, Banks etc. Some place will accept the certificate given to you on the day by your celebrant, but not many. 

There is a kit called "change your name" which you fill in and all the relevant bodies are notified.  Not sure how much this kit costs but it is under $30.

Hope this info clears this up for you.

Regards,

Jan 

How early can I file my marriage documents?

Should begin ASAP or does it not matter as long as it's a month prior to the wedding?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hi Mariana,

You are required to lodge your NOTICE OF INTENTION TO MARRY   aka your "NOIM" no more than 18 months before your wedding date and no less than one month.

After your wedding, you will be able to apply to the relevant authority in your state for your original marriage certificate.  This can vary time wise, but usually about six weeks after your wedding. You can apply on line, in person via the phone.  I put the relevant form for this application in my couples celebration folder which I give them on completion of the wedding.   You can speed up this process - for a fee - when you need the certificate quickly ( for application of visa's etc).

Your celebrant will explain all these details to you.  Good luck with everything.

Jan 

I'm looking into booking a celebrant, but I don't understand the difference between ceremony types?

Some provide a "full personalised" ceremony, and others a basic package, what's the biggest difference there? I thought all ceremonies had to be pretty much the same, ie: "Do you ___ take ___ to be your lawfully wedded wife". Please explain how there's such a big difference in price and services? :)

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear Bride.

 A fully personalised ceremony is very different to a basic ceremony.  I take into consideration the personalities of the Bride and Groom and the "tapestry" of their love story.  This can take many hours and I send drafts to my couple until they are absolutely 100% happy. It is lovely when I see family and loved ones so happy and emotionally involved.'  I think many celebrants, dos as I do, which is to present the couple with what I call their "celebration pack" on completion.  Included in this is all the legal paper work which is submitted to Births, Deaths and Marriages and presentation of their marriage certificate to the couple. There are three certificates to sign on the day which are prepared by your celebrant. 

A basic package, means that you simply have the legal wording read by the celebrant which is mandatory by law and legal paper work completed by the celebrant ready to present to Births, marriages and deaths.  Personally, in a basic ceremony, I ask the couple if they would like to exchange their own vows to each other as well.

I hope this answers your enquiry and you are less confused now.

Jan 

I have an issue with someone posting pics of us before we do on social media...

How do we make it known to our guests?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear Bride,

This is a simple and perfectly reasonable request.  I usually ask the guests before ceremony starts  to make sure their mobile phones are turned off any way.  People find this totally normal, as they are often asked to have phones off at functions. 

This request then leads very easily into saying that the Bride and Groom have requested that nothing is posted on Social Media until they have done so. Which also leads very easily into asking them to help the official photographer's job easier by respecting his position when taking photo's for the day.

I can not think of any wedding where this has been an issue for anyone.  People are always happy at weddings and I find usually, respect the couples decision.  A good celebrant will voice their wishes in a polite and acceptable way.

Have fun.

Jan 

Do celebrants come with marriage documents and how early can I file them after the wedding?

I was wondering if marriage celebrants usually come with their own marriage documents included in their package? Also, is there a timeframe of when I should file my marriage documents after the wedding? How early is too early/how long can I wait? Thanks!

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear Cindy,

Celebrants should take care of all your legal paper work.  You will not have to worry about any of this on the day.  You will be signing three certificates on the day of your wedding and the Celebrant will have all that ready for you. You will also require two witness's over the age of 18 to witness your signature on your wedding day.  I usually give my couples the form to fill in to get their original.  This is (on average) about six weeks.

Best of luck,

Cindy.

Jan

I know how important a celebrant is, but how much is too much?

One celebrant I like charges $1200, but I know a lot of celebrants charge half of that. Why is there such a difference? Is it comparable to music in that it's a "taste" thing? Or a talent thing? It's not like I can "taste test" like a cake or listen to a song.. it's hard to justify because by the time you get the service, you've LONG paid and if you're disappointed it's too late! Advice please!

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear Bride,

Oh dear - well I am a Celebrant, so I will endeavour to answer your question.  I do not want to get "unethical" here.  I think if you are wanting a Celebrant who is a Celebrity in their own right, then they will be part of your entertainment.  Then $1200 probably is not too much as their fee.  Do you want your marriage ceremony to have the focus off you and onto a Celebrity.  Your wedding ceremony is the most important part of the day and it is all about the two of you and your love and committment.  

Some celebrants, only  present the legal wordings and legal paper work.  Other celebrants go to an enormous amount of energy and time into writing a ceremony unique and individual to you.

Ask your celebrant, exactly, what you will be getting for your money. The process, is normally (I think) that you meet your celebrant sit down and have a good chat.  They should tell you what to expect from them and how they will be writing your ceremony.  They should also explain about all the legal work and so on.  You should get a feel for this person as you are chatting.  Do you like them, do you think they present well do you trust them with your emotions and do you think they will make you feel confident on the day? 

As for the cost - across the board- if their fee is knocking on the door of $1,000 for a personalised ceremony, their fee is way too high.

I really hope I have helped you with this one and best of luck.

Jan 

How should I let a friend know that she's not included in my bridal party?

We haven't been close for years but she has only a few other friends and had an expectation that she would be included as a bridesmaid. She found out through one of the bridesmaids that we had already gone looking for dresses, and she said she was devastated because she wanted to come (although we had never talked about it!). We are having a super intimate wedding and only inviting our family and closest friends - everyone else seems to have picked up on it but I'm so worried that she'll be hurt when she finds out she's not invited to the wedding itself! Your advice is appreciated!

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Explain to your friend, that the decision has not been easy for you but.......... you must have your sister, grooms sister, Auntie Flo or whomever for whatever reasons. Tell her you love her and perhaps she could be involved in another way. Could this girl friend be your witness, could she do a reading, could she make a speech at the reception? Plenty of ways of including other people in your wedding day.

If someone objects to a wedding... what do you do?

I know most people leave this part out... right? But if it did happen, what would you do? :)

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Oh ! What a nightmare this would be. Calm the situation as much as possible. Temporarily halt the proceedings. I would probably ask to speak to this person away from the guests and bride and groom and ask him for proof. If he has none, (which would be very highly likely) I would entrust a couple of burly guests or the grooms attendants to remove him from the premises. Then, most importantly, I would re assure and calm the Bride and Groom down. Apologise to the guests and the parents and move forward in a warm and happy way. AND Stay calm myself.

Why do you have to kiss at the wedding ceremony?

Does it actually serve a purpose or is it just a thing people do...?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

The "kiss" is a physical sign of love. However, there is no ruling on kissing at your ceremony at all. It is YOUR day you do whatever, you wish.

Travel documents and name changes

Do you need to change the name on your travel documents urgently or can this wait?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear Bride,

You certainly do not have to change your name on your travel documents in a rush.  After your marriage has been recorded at the Registry Office in your state, you will be able to go ahead and change all your cards, drivers licence, passport and all the other necessary places. 

If you have made travel arrangements for your honeymoon, whatever name these were booked under is fine.

Hope this helps,

Jan

Bridesmaid drama!

I have a lot of female first cousins that I'm very close to but one in particular that I've chosen to be in my bridal party (along with my two sisters). I know my cousins and aunts will be upset that they/their daughters weren't chosen and I'm worried about hurting people's feelings. I'm announcing the bridesmaids at my engagement party. Do you have any advice?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Firstly Dennise, do you have to announce your Bridesmaids at your engagement party. I would give that a bit of thought, might be a possibility that it will spoil your night. Secondly, your Aunties would have to realise that you can't have a dozen attendants. Maybe you can give your other cousins the opportunity (all together) to stand up during the ceremony and do a reading (share it) this way no one is left out or offended. Maybe a couple could be your witnesses as well . Witnesses does not have to be your bridesmaids. Good luck with it all and have a lovely wedding day. Don't forget it's about you and your fiancée and try not to get caught up in the politics of family. The day is about Love and Understanding.

I just need a celebrant and a license

How do I go about this? Do I need forms to fill out? It will be a very very simple wedding. Just need someone to do it please.

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Of course, you can have just that. You will need a celebrant to organise the completion of your NOTICE OF INTENTION TO MARRY minimum one month prior to your chosen wedding date. Then you will need the same celebrant to present the actual legal ceremony required by Law. After that the three certificates will be signed by yourselves and two witnesses over the age of 18. Your celebrant will do all the arrangement you need for this to happen. Or you and your fiancée will need is to provide the Celebrant with documents of you Identification. There will be a fee from your celebrant of choice.

How does one handle someone bringing a baby to a kids-free wedding?

I didn't know what category to put this in, but my partner and I opted for a totally child-free wedding however we have a guest who has simply decided her grandchild ( a 23week baby) will be coming along - without asking anyone! The parents are invited to the wedding but only one set of grandparents. I know the other set is available to babysit (and would be delighted to) but the guest is simply insisting that the baby will just come along (and note - it's not the mother insisting, it's the grandmother). How do I have a conversation with her or at least my M-I-L (it's her cousin) to let her know that it is our wish NOT to have children attend - and there are other couples that are respecting these wishes! I think it's rude both to us and those guests that have respected our wish to simply assume that this is ok.

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear Tam,

It is the grand-parent who is being rude and she should know better !  This is a respect issue.  Perhaps, hone in on the statement you made in your question, which was it's not fair on the other guests who have left children at home.  Also, the baby will not like being at a noisy wedding with lots of music etc etc.

Do you know this person?  If so, I might phone her to explain. Then she is going to look a little foolish and selfish is she goes ahead with her plan and will not look well in other peoples eyes. 

This is your Wedding Day and you both have asked for a child free wedding.  Stick to your guns.

Best of luck 

Jan 

My fiance's mum and sister don't like me. Should his sister be in the bridal party. What do I do ?

How am I supposed to plan a wedding without his mum taking part and his family. It's supposed to be a happy and proud moment for both of us but it's not

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear Bride,

Eeew !  This is awful for you - I am sorry.  I don't think the sister should be in your bridal party - why should she?  Even if you asked her, she would be being two faced if she accepted.  Mum is a different story.  You can include Mum re where she is sitting on the day and in your Groom's speeches etc. 

To try and build bridges with your future Mother In Law, why not think about buying her a corsage or wrist corsage for the Wedding Day.  You might be surprised.

Anything, really if you are respecting your new Husbands relationship with his Mother.

Make sure you hold your head up high and have a happy and proud day.

Best of Luck,

Jan 

Help! I need vows help, I honestly have no idea what to say! I love her. What else should I say?

I asked my friends and they said it'd come to me. It hasn't. I am freaking out!!!

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hello Melissa,

You could ask your Celebrant for help with this one.  I personally, have many vows for couples to choose from.  I send them some examples which I think would suit their personality.  Then they can piece together their own vow or write their own from the examples I have sent.

Alternativly - Google, google and google - fabulous amount of vows to look at.

Have a wonderful day,

Jan 

Who should sit at the top table if the bridal party have all got partners?

My bridal party is made up of several friends, my sister, my finance's sister, and also his brother. Everyone has their individual partners, who are invited to the wedding. Some are being stubborn and want to sit with their partners, but that'll make my top table huge. But if they sit at other tables with their partners, my top table will suddenly have nobody. Are there ways around this? I don't really want to sit alone, but having a huge top table doesn't really sit well with me.

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear Jackie,

I really want to say to you, that this should not create a huge problem for you. I think you and your fiancé should place people where you want to.

Personally, I would suggest keeping it "even". Put all the Bridal Parties partners at the one table together, with other close friends. Your parents, Grandparents and long time close friends of the family in your parents age bracket at another table.

If your members of your Bridal party are being stubborn. Nicely, suggest to them that it is your day and you have asked them to be your attendants because they are who you wanted. However, if they will not budge on this matter, I would seriously ask them to step down so you can choose someone else. For goodness sake, cant they be without their partners for a couple of hours. They are in the same room !!!

Be strong, it is YOUR day.

Regards,

Jan

Is it rude to give a couple a gift when they have said no gifts?

I really don't feel comfortable not giving them anything... But they said no gifts/wishingwell on the invitation!

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hi Luna,

No it is not rude, but it is not taking their wishes seriously and also puts other guests in an awkward position.

I would advise, to abide by their wishes.  If you want to do something special for B & G after their honeymoon take them somewhere special for dinner.

Alternatively, have them home for dinner and present them with your gift then. 

Happy days to you.

Jan 

How do I ask my gf's dads permission?

I need to ask my gf's dad permission because I want to marry her... but how do I do it? Do I take him out for a beer, call him or what? He's pretty serious so it's a little daunting. We've been dating three years and her family loves me. Her mum is nice should I do it with her there too?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hi Jakob,

I think it is a lovely idea to ask her Mum AND Dad.  Afterall, she is daughter to both of them.

If you have a great relationship with them, then I would pop around to see them, when you know your girlfriend is not at home.

If you arrange to take Dad out for a beer - or similiar - then they will all know what's up !

Maybe, have a bottle of champagne (or their fav) in your car on ice and when they say YES ! run and get it. If you are as respectful as you sound, they will love you for it and so will your GF. 

Congratulations,

Jan 

I am unsure if I want to change my last name when I get Married? Is there anything I should consider

My Fiancé & I are getting Married in early 2018 & he wants me to change my last name to his. I'm not sure if I want to. Is there something I can/should do to make this decision easier?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hello Kate,

Isn't it wonderful that women today even  have this choice !  Not long ago, you were considered really strange if you did not take your husbands name. I know exactly how you feel, as I had very strong opinions about this myself.  When, men question me about this - my answer is - "how would you feel about changing your name?"

However, if you plan on having a family this is a major issue. What name do your children use?  You have a few options here.

Just go with the flow and take your husbands name.  A name does not stop you from keeping your heritage or independence.

Stay with you maiden name.  Actually, you are always your maiden name by law. ( I think this is a fact which not many people realise).

If you keep your name, then you and hubby will have to decide on your children's names.

You can both change your name by Depol to a completely different or hyphenated name.  This will cost is about $800 per person. 

Many women are facing this decision today and I personally have had many couples debating or asking about this.

Good luck with whatever you decide I'm sure in will be the right decision for you both.

Jan 

Can I hire a celebrant and have a "wedding" for my friends and family even if I already eloped?

Just wanted to do something nice for my family because we eloped about a month ago but it's not like we need to get remarried... haha. I don't want to do a reception at all and only want it to be small. Mainly a photo opportunity.

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hello Bron,

Yes, you can have a "second" wedding / marriage celebration with a Civil Celebrant.  However, there will be no legal wording ( as you are already married).

You can say vows again, you can have the Celebrant read a service and you can have attendents.  This can all be good fun as all your loved ones will be there this time.  Just remember, there will be no legal statement or signing done at all.  Your celebrant will advise you on all this.  Have a happy day!J

Jan 

What is everyones thoughts on +1s at a wedding??

We are already on a tight budget and originally i had just said family only... but when planning out our tables my fiancé and my mother asked where the partners of our bridal party are and where family members partners were sitting and i said they weren't invited and they both looked shocked like you can't not invite your bestfriends partner to your wedding...in my head i say why not? Its my wedding, i dont like her partner and i don't want them there... is it terrible for me not to invite them?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hi Alexandra,

This is a hard one ! It is your wedding and I would normally say - do what you like for your big day.  However, it is your fiance' wedding as well.  I think you have to ask yourself, wether you could rise above your personal feelings for the sake of your future husband and your Mum.  

As you go through married life together, there will be many occassions where you will need to compromise.  Life is full of compromise.  Search your heart and see what you come up with, then if you still think the same, sit down with your fiance' and Mum and explain.

Best of luck,

Jan 

I want an outside wedding... in November... in Australia. How can I keep everyone cool?

The weather is expected to be very hot but we don't want to sacrifice our dream. We'd love to have our wedding outside and under the stars but we don't want even sweating off their makeup and hating the day.

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hello,

This is a hard one. Lots of very good quality Shade Sales erected with commercial size fans stragically placed. Keep the breeze flowing through. Marquees can be very very hot, personally, I would not go down that road.

Also if you can find an outside venue with lots of shady trees. Work out where west is and decide where you will be standing for the actual ceremony. You can have a bit of fun with this if you like. Maybe, go to a cheap as chips store and buy so many beach hats or supply hand held fancy fans. Lots of Ice Cold Water constantly on offer as well as the alcohol ( as we know alcohol is a dehydrator) . One last suggestion for me is to ask your venue to supply ice cold face washes to your guests. If you can afford it offer the ladies a rose water face spray each - gorgeous.

I hope this helps and have a lovely wedding day.

Regards Jan

Do I have my future father in law walk me down the aisle?

Unsure what category to put this under. I don't speak to my family at all and have always said I want to walk down the aisle on my own. I've had pressure from my future mother in law and other extended members of my fiances family that I should have him. Comments like "surely you would have xxxx walk you". He's a lovely man but there's a lot I disagree with his alcoholism and priorities and he has also made comments that he thinks I'll ask him. What can I do? Advice? Please ??

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear Shelby,

My advice is that you have whoever YOU want walk you down the aisle. It would be a rather strange scenario for your future Father In Law to "give you away" to his own son. In my opinion, it would not be truly correct. You could have almost anyone else. A very close friend, any grown up children, anyone who means a lot to you and whom you love and respect.

How long would I require a celebrant for?

Generally, when couples book a celebrant how long do they book them for?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Hello Lucy,

I imagine you are referring to the actual Wedding Day ? Usually, a wedding service takes about (varies) 30 mins. Then of course, there is the actually legal paper work to be signed - another half an hour with photographers etc.

However, a celebrants service is from when you book them to after the ceremony. There is so much preparation. Therefore, you would be quoted for their services not just the time factor at the wedding. I hope this helps and happy days to you and your fiancée. Regards, Jan

Is it ok to use the same Celebrant that our friends used?

What are your thoughts on using the same celebrant that a friend used? Have you experienced this before?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Absolutely yes. Many couples do as they have seen their friends celebrant doing their service so know what to expect

Hope you find this useful. Kind regards, Jan

Do Indian hand fastening ceremonies carry religious significance?

We are considering having a hand fastening done in India before our wedding, for relatives there. We are concerned the beliefs behind the Indian ceremony may clash with our own, but I haven't been able to find much information. I don't want to commit until I know that I'm comfortable with it. Does anyone know if this ceremony is based in religion, or is it simply cultural?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Dear Erin,

Actually, hand fastening dates back to ancient Celtic times. In those times it was a Pagan ceremony. It is a lovely ceremony to do and the hand tying is usually a Celtic Love Knot. This implies that your coming together will be never ending. In answer to you question then, it is more a Spiritual symbol while you pledge to each other rather than religious. The tying can be done with velvet chords, ribbon, lace - anything you like. I can't imagine why hand tying would clash with your own ethics and beliefs.

Have a lovely wedding day Regards Jan

How do I get around awkward clashes when seating guests?

I'm planning seating for my reception, but a few of my guests can't be seated together. We have 12 seats per (long) table - is it acceptable to seat these guests at the same table, far apart? I don't like catering for their disagreements, but I don't want a fight -even a small one - at my wedding.

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

A sensitive issue. If you have guest who "don't get on" they probably don't want to sit hear each other anyway! Be easy on yourself, this is not really your problem. However, on saying this I would suggest you place them away from each other . If you can, place them at different tables - if not one end to the other.

Good luck with this - if a disagreement does break out - have a stand by person (your MC?) to politely ask them to take there disagreement outside or save it for another day and respect the Bride and Groom.

Regards, Jan

What vows would you recommend for a commitment ceremony?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Here is one particular vow, which I think is delightful and sais it all.


Today, we reaffirm our commitment and love to each other.

Our hopes and dreams are intermingled and enmeshed.

I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you and to comfort you,

in times of sadness and in times of struggle.

My love has no beginning and no end, it just is.

Today, we renew our promise to try always to bring out the qualities in our relationship, to show integrity, compassion, our uniqueness and most importantly to respect each other.

These things, I promise you today and continue to share in our joys and hold each other tight.

Simply, I love you with all my heart and my soul.

How can I make an uneven bridal party work?

We will have 3 bridesmaids and 4 groomsmen. Particularly for the first dance, usually bridal party take their partners and join bride and groom on the dancefloor but we have an uneven number so they can't join together as couples....

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

In a situation like this, ie first dance and on the dance floor, the 4th groomsman ( as discussed prior) can dance with the Brides mother, an especially close friend of the bride who was not in the party, a person of his choice, or even his daughter. People, do not mind swaying from usual traditions any more. It actually, makes your wedding more memorable and different.

Is there a good template to plan the timeline for my wedding day?

I'm wanting a Chinese tea ceremony in the morning, ceremony in the afternoon & reception in the evening. What's a good guide for lengths of time for these events?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

On the internet are many WEDDING CEREMONY TIME GUIDELINES. They are many and varied, some are very extensive and some very simple. I present my Brides and Grooms with quite an extensive one with the time line being one year. I advise they can take all on board or only what they need. If you look at "WEDDING CALENDAR CHECKLIST" I sure you could find one to suit you OR of course ask your celebrant.

Are there any affordable celebrants out there for a simple ceremony?

Hi, I'm looking for a celebrant to perform a simple (yet still professional) wedding ceremony. I don't want all the usual song and dance or long storytelling - just a simple, sweet and short ceremony. And a streamlined process in the lead up with whatever legalities are required; no coaching, or coffee catch ups as I'm just not that kind of bride. Are there any celebrants out there that do this and are affordable? (Needs to be under $500) Thanks for your suggestions :)

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

Certainly, there are celebrants who can do a simple ceremony and a simple fee ! I have done quite a few of these. If you want everything light and breezy but sincere and professional as well, the wording can be honed down considerably and the LEGAL CEREMONY would be the main focus. I usually charge a bit more than the Registry Office charges. $400 is my fee for a very simple ceremony.

How do I set up a wedding ceremony schedule?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

If you have decided to have a WEDDING ORGANISER that is their job - that is what you will be paying them for. However, if you work out the schedule yourselves there are a variety of ways. This is something I discuss at first meeting. Sometimes I feel like a Wedding Organizer myself! We go through a basic schedule and work it from there. I usually (sort of) go from beginning of the day to the end of the wedding and then do the reverse, in otherwords, go backwards from the end to the start again. I know this sounds confusing, BUT it WORKS. The timelines are sorted out and you have an idea then, with the inclusions in your ceremony or the exclusions a pattern starts to form. I genuinely find that this works well and I hope it helps you as your schedule is often the most daunting task. Good luck and enjoy your wedding day - even if there is a hiccup along the way - people are there to celebrate your day and your love - don't worry.

How do I set up a wedding ceremony schedule?

How d

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

I have copied and pasted from my above answer to same question - truly hopes this helps you.

If you have decided to have a WEDDING ORGANISER that is their job - that is what you will be paying them for. However, if you work out the schedule yourselves there are a variety of ways. This is something I discuss at first meeting. Sometimes I feel like a Wedding Organizer myself! We go through a basic schedule and work it from there. I usually (sort of) go from beginning of the day to the end of the wedding and then do the reverse, in otherwords, go backwards from the end to the start again. I know this sounds confusing, BUT it WORKS. The timelines are sorted out and you have an idea then, with the inclusions in your ceremony or the exclusions a pattern starts to form. I genuinely find that this works well and I hope it helps you as your schedule is often the most daunting task. Good luck and enjoy your wedding day - even if there is a hiccup along the way - people are there to celebrate your day and your love - don't worry.

How do I convince my fiancé to elope?

My finance has a huge family so our wedding is going to be too expensive. I only have a small family so my guests will be out numbered. I think weddings are more about pleasing others and the meaning gets lost. I want it to be a special moment for just him and I, without the expensive price tag. I want to elope but he wants the huge traditional wedding. What do we do?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

The word elope is a bit harsh. Suggest to your fiancee that saving your well earned dollars on a house, furniture, wonderful honeymoon would make you happier and will take any stress re finances out of your relationship. So many couples spend huge amount of money on their wedding day and then it's all over so quickly. Perhaps suggest, that after you are married, you come back to your loved ones and invite them to a celebration party, or take a few people out to dinner. Most people understand this is the fiscal environment of today. If there are parents who will be upset by your decision, use your imagination and incorporate a honored speech to them at the party/function, or present them with a beautiful arrangement of flowers - do something for them you know they would love and appreciate to feel part of your marriage.

I need a suggestion for a special poem or reading

I am getting married next year on Remembrance Day and I would like a few words or a short poem commemorating mine and my fiance's grandparents. We would love to acknowledge their vintage weddings and we are having a vintage-themed wedding for this reason. There will also be two Veterans present at our wedding so I’d love a reading or poem that would appropriately honour them too.

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond


Perhaps Love


Perhaps love is like a resting place
A shelter from the storm
It exists to give you comfort
It is there to keep you warm
And in those times of trouble
When you are most alone
The memory of love will bring you home

Perhaps love is like a window
Perhaps an open door
It invites you to come closer
It wants to show you more
And even if you lose yourself
And don't know what to do
The memory of love will see you through

Oh, love to some is like a cloud
To some as strong as steel
For some a way of living
For some a way to feel
And some say love is holding on
And some say letting go
And some say love is everything
And some say they don't know

Perhaps love is like the ocean
Full of conflict, full of pain
Like a fire when it's cold outside
Or thunder when it rains
If I…should live forever

And all my dreams come true

My memories of love will be of you.

How can I help my celebrant to provide a personal and fun service?

What's the best way for me to help my celebrant to provide a personal and fun service?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

A Celebrant always welcomes any fun or interesting stories about you both coming to this day. It could be the day you first met, how your fiancee proposed, or even a particularly humorous occasion while you were "dating". A celebrant, who is good with building on these stories can bring them to life, throughout your ceremony. To include family members and close friends weaved into the story can be hugely funny and makes your loved ones feel included in you wedding day.

How do I choose a celebrant that will suit my partner and I?

What is the best method for choosing the ideal celebrant?

Marriage Celebrant Above and Beyond

It is a good idea to meet with your celebrant initially for a no obligation chat, usually, you would have spoken on the phone a couple of times anyway. Look for a celebrant who is genuinely interested in your personalities and the story of your romance. He or she can then create a ceremony in harmony with character. Always, ask if they will be sending you drafts of the ceremony, so the end result is tailor made and unique for you both. To help the celebrant, make sure you let them know what special people, occasions or memories you wish to be incorporated in the service. Also,if you wish to have a particular poem, reading or prayer. Most importantly,you must feel relaxed with him/her and feel confidant and happy that you will be able to communicate with them. The celebrant for you is a personal choice and your wedding ceremony, is after all, the most important part of your wedding day.


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