Celebrant Sue

(17 reviews)
Service Area
Gold Coast and surrounds
Business Hours
7 days
8am - 8pm
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Expert Advice

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

What does a marriage celebrant have to say?

What are the legal requirements?

Celebrant Sue

To be honest, in terms of what a celebrant has to say in order to make the marriage 'legal', is a lot less than you probably think.  The celebrant has to say the Monitum (which is literally only 3 sentences BUT very important ones!  The Monitum introduces the celebrant and lets your  guests know that the celebrant is legally authorised to perform the ceremony AND it also includes the legal definition of marriage).  Otherwise the only other 'legal' words that must be said during the ceremony is by the couple getting married - and it is four lines that must be said during the  vows.  Really then, as long as the legals are 'covered' in the ceremony, almost anything goes!  You can be as creative as you like and include special readings, poems, handfasting ceremony...there are no hard and fast rules about what a ceremony must / must not contain, so create a ceremony that is a reflection of yours and your partners' personality!

I'm a chilled bride. Is that a bad thing?

I just don't need any stress, and I don't think the wedding is as important as the marriage. Don't get me wrong, is IS important and I have my gorgeous dress and venue, and all of that, but do I really need to be going crazy for months in the lead up, worrying?

Celebrant Sue

All I can say is - are you still looking for a celebrant?  Because you are my type of bride!  LOL.   Seriously, if you are organised then don't stress about not being stressed.  There is nothing wrong with being chilled, you will have a much more enjoyable time in the lead up to the big day (which is what should be happening!) and then just go with the flow on the day.  

Can we still marry if my partner has an expired visa?

Celebrant Sue

While a celebrant can still marry you and your partner (with an expired visa), you need to seek legal advice regarding your partner's visa status immediately.

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

Celebrant Sue

I have only ever booked one ceremony per day however coming up soon, I will be doing two:  one in the morning &  the other in the afternoon.  This will help me to determine if I will ever do it again...stay tuned. 

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

Celebrant Sue

You just have to write straight from your heart!  It doesn't matter if you think that you are not very good at writing, just write down exactly what you want to say to your beautiful bride to be and, if you are worried it doesn't sound quite right, send off to your celebrant to read over:  you will find he/she can give you excellent advice!

how am i supposed to keep my surprise wedding a surprise when a celebrant rocks up?

I haven't found a celebrant yet that is able to blend in..

Celebrant Sue

In the past, I have shown up as close to the ceremony time as possible and just starting setting up my PA system - I think that everyone believes I am just another guest or part of the entertainment, so no-one has ever really paid attention to what I am doing.  Can I also suggest that if you organise the guests to be there about 2-3 hours before the celebrant is due to arrive?  That way, the guests usually have relaxed and had a couple of drinks (and generally well established with talking to others), so I find I can slip in very easily without getting too much attention!

When meeting with a celebrant am I supposed to know what readings I want already?

or do they usually offer suggestions and examples at the meeting? Is there anything else my partner and I should decide on first?

Celebrant Sue

Hi - that is a great question.  I tend to find when I meet my bride for the first time, that they are looking for help in planning their ceremony.  So if a bride tells me that they would like someone to do a reading, I ask if she has allready chosen one. If not, I tell her that I can email her some that are really lovely (to help her out) as I have many on file.  Most celebrants have an extensive collection of readings / poems, so please do not feel obliged to have your reading picked out when you meet him / her, as they can help you!

Do you ask people to give toasts or is it spontaneous... do you warn people at all?

Celebrant Sue

I think it is important to let people know that you would like them to say a few words and propose a toast.  Some people are not very comfortable with being put 'on the spot' and it will give the person time to say exactly the words they want to at your reception.  

When I enquire with a celebrant, what should I be asking them>?

Celebrant Sue

It is important to find a celebrant who can create exactly the mood you want at your wedding.  Once you establish that they are available on your special day, you should meet with them to see if they have the personality that 'clicks' with you.  Your gut will tell you if the celebrant is the right one for you!

How do I change my name when I get married?

How does it all work?

Celebrant Sue

Your celebrant can certainly help you with this question.  Basically, it is quite simple.  You just need to apply for a copy of your official marriage certificate from the Births, Deaths and Marriages office (your marriage will be registered in the state where you were married), and once you have that, you can change your name.  I often tell my brides to start at the Transport Department, and get a drivers' licence issued in the new surname first as at least there will be one form of photo ID with the new name on it that can be used at banks etc

What vows would you recommend for a commitment ceremony?

Celebrant Sue

I recently did a commitment ceremony for a lovely couple and these were their vows:

I accept you as you are today

You are my one true forever love,

my best friend, my soul mate

I will respect you, honour you

and promise to love you with all my heart from this day forward

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?

Celebrant Sue

Daniella, I really sympathize with you as it is difficult to compromise when you both have different expectations. All I can say is that you need to sit with him and talk about the pros and cons of a big wedding vs the elopement (and don't just focus on the financial issues here). Honestly, I have been a celebrant at both elopements and big weddings, and elopements are much more intimate and are really all about your love for each other...not about keeping friends and family happy, etc. In fact, the last elopement I performed was so moving, I had tears too! Perhaps you could elope with a few chosen friends and family and then hold a big celebration a few weeks later for everybody to come...but more like a party rather than a formal wedding reception. Good luck and I hope you can both reach a compromise

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