Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

(6 reviews)
Service Area
Hobart, Tasmania (and all other areas of the State)
Business Hours
By appointment
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Expert Advice

As a wedding professional, Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.

Can the celebrant refer to us as husband and wife in a commitment ceremony?

In a commitment ceremony is the celebrant allowed to say husband and wife?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Technically no as those terms are generally used following an official marriage ceremony.  If you would like to contact me at all regarding what terminology would be favourable then I would love to hear from you.


Ray Curran

Marriage Celebrant

Who can be our witnesses if we don't know anyone in Australia?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

That's a question often asked but the simple answer is anyone who is over the age of 18 years of age and present at the Ceremony.

Ray Curran

Beyond Celebrations


Can you become a celebrant and preside over your own wedding?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Good question but sadly the answer is a 'No'.  You can write all your own bits and pieces regarding the ceremony however if you were to become a Celebrant and wished to get married then another Celebrant will need to be the officiant for witnessing and attesting to all the legal requirements and basically conducting the ceremony.  If you have any other questions just give me a call.



What are wedding vows?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

That's a great question and many people do not quite understand just what Vows are.  The vows are the promises that you make to each other, they are the heart felt words that you wish to convey.  In a wedding ceremony there are two parts to your vows. 

The first part are the legal words, as per the Marriage Act 1961 that must be said word for word after which you can then add your personal vows to your partner.  The personal vows can be anything you wish to say, they can be serious or they can be funny or even a mix of both.  

I hope everything goes well for your wedding planning and if there is anything that I may be able to help you with, please get in touch.

Ray Curran

Beyond Celebrations

Any way I can include my step-child in our vows?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Of course you can. 

How you involve your step child is really only limited by your imagination.  I have conducted many weddings where there are step children involved and the couple wish to make special mention of them in their vows.  The most common way that I have found so far is where the couple say their vows to each other then, either together or one at a time, they say specialised vows to the child or children.  This direct address to the child will show that they too are a part of this ceremony and that they too are cherished and loved and the promises made include them very much.

As well, you can involve the child in other ways, as part of the bridal party, or being involved in an internal ceremony within the main ceremony such as a sand ceremony or hand binding etc where they take an actual part as well.  They may even be asked to say a reading or be the ring bearer.

If you have other questions at all regarding this, please get in touch as I would love to help you.

I wish you well with your wedding planning.

Ray Curran

Beyond Celebrations

How can I incorporate my step-child into the ceremony?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

There are many ways you can incorporate your step child into your ceremony.  A lot will depend upon the age of the child of course as to what you can ask them or get them to do.

These are just some examples that have been used in ceremonies I have been involved with:

1.  They can be part of the official bridal party - bridesmaid, groomsmen.

2.  They can say a reading within the ceremony.

3.  They can be the ring bearer.

4.  They can of course be a flower girl or page boy.

5.  You can make special mention of them within your ceremony.  Many couples that I have worked with like this have, after they have said their vows to each other, then said vows to the children.

6.  They could play music at some part of the ceremony if they have that skill.

7.  One bride had a young child from a previous relationship and what they did was to drive that infant in a large remote controlled car front of the bride as she entered.

8.  They can be part of an inner ceremony such as a sand ceremony where they get to pour sand within the same vessel as the couple thus blending the two families.

Your imagination will be the only limit to how you can make something work.

I wish you well for your wedding and your family together.

Ray Curran

Beyond Celebrations

How does the name change process work?

Do celebrants help with this process?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Hello, that is one of the first questions many brides ask me about.  If you are looking to officially change your name after the wedding then there are a couple of steps that you need to take.

Firstly, apply for an *Official Marriage Certificate from BDM as this will show the official registration of your wedding and all the other necessary details rquired for your name change.

Then once you have obtained this, make several photocopies and get them certified by a JP or other person authorised to certify them.  When you go to change your name on your licence, passport, Medicare etc you will then be able to provide them with a certified copy they can attach to your records.

I usually get my couples to complete the application* and forward that on for them as part of my service.



Do celebrants usually recommend pre-marriage counselling or courses?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran


Celebrants are required by law to provide couples wishing to get married with a brochure called Happily Ever Before and After

This brochure, through Family Raltionships, recommends that couples would benefit from having solid relationships which set you up to meet the changes and challenges of life.  This is because it is important to develop good communication and sound relationship skills early so that you can fall back on these skills during difficult times.  Pre-marriage education prepares couples for marriage by providing skills and information to build lifelong marriages.  Courses are also available to explore the added dimension and complexity brought to a marriage by children from a previous relationship.

In the end though, it is a decision that needs to be made by the couple themselves as to whether they wish to attend such courses.



Do couples usually use vow books?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Not usually for all the couples I have been involved with. 

Most of my weddings have seen the couple repeat their vows however for those that wish to, I provide their vows typed on a card for them to read.  Again, as with all other Celebrants we make sure that we cover the legal requirements first then what is said after that is your choice.

When it is all over I provide my couples with a full ceremony presentation copy to keep.



Which is the bride's side and which is the groom's side?

Is this still a thing? Obvious not for same sex couples, but still

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

This is very much a personal choice nowadays but basically a thing of the past unless you wanted to go with tradition.  

Traditionally, as you look towards the altar, the Groom would be on the right side of the Bride.  (This was, according to stories passed down over the years, because most men were thought to be right handed and that afforded their ability to protect the bride).  As such family and guests who attended the wedding would stand on the side to which they were related or friends with.

The majority of weddings I have done, family and guests usually mingle and stand or sit anywhere they choose though the parents still tend to sit on the side of their son/daughter getting married, their own choice may I say.

Hope this helps.


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

We're a same-sex couple

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Firstly, congratulations on looking to get married finally.  As far as the 13th goes I would go for it regardless of what others are doing unless there are people who you wish to be at your wedding who may otherwise be busy at others.  Stay with your heart and keep the date for your day!


Is it bad to have my guests sitting in the sun?

What if it's really hot? It's a feb wedding. What can I do to ensure no one faints? :/

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Ideally if it looks like it is going to be really hot and you have no choice but to be in the open then it would be wise to provide some sort of shade for guests, especially the elderly.  There are many types of easily erected gazebos available or able to be hired so certainly check these options out.  Failing that you could hire or provide a number of umbrellas for guests to shelter under similar to what you can do for a rainy day wedding.  If you really wanted to go that extra step I know you can hire those water spray pedestal fans that put out a very fine mist...just thinking outside the square for you.

I would advise at least a table of chilled bottled water be available for all guests or a portable chilled drinking fountain or two with cups.

If the day does appear to be going to be a scorcher then advise guests in advance if you wish to relax the dress code for guests, no ties, open neck shirts etc for men and no jackets etc for women.  Being comfortable and being able to have some respite from the sun will go a long way to ensuring no one feints.

Make sure that there are the appropriate number of chairs available (even add more) so that people are not standing too long on their feet during the ceremony.

Shelter should also be considred for the bridal couple.  I'd recommend that at your rehearsal you check out the area at roughly the same time as the planned wedding and see what the sun's aspect will be and if you can move around the positioning of the wedding and guests area to take into account any shade if there is any nearby.



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?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Not at all.  It is your wedding so it should be just how you both wish it to be without outside influences making you do things that you don't want.

In doing what you want, then you should be able to have a relaxed, simple wedding ceremony.  Make the planning simple, keep an eye on what you want and how you want it to go.  In many instances, the KISS principle really does work, even for a wedding.

If I'm in the middle of an argument with my sister, would it be bad of me to not attend her wedding?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Arguments can be settled if you take the time to look at things from both sides whereas the hurt that could be caused by not attending her wedding may never heal.

I'd put aside whatever the issue is and make sure that your sisters wedding day is a special one for her to remember.  You won't regret going.

If I elope, do you think I'll regret it?

I don't want to do the whole big wedding thing so eloping is looking like a good option

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Not at all, why should you regret doing something like that.  If two people love each other so much then how they end up marrying is up to them and them alone.  An elopement would be just as special and memorable as a full blown wedding ceremony.  Follow your heart.

Any advice on changing your religion to get married?

We want a celebrant to perform our wedding, as we both have different religions- but i was wondering on your thoughts around changing your religion for marriage? My partner wants me to but I am not sure about it. Any advice?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

That would be a big call but one that only you can make.  I would certainly be looking at where you feel in all this.  If you don't then how would that affect the relationship?  If you do, again, how would that affect other things like your family etc?

I have married many couple where each is of a different religous background but they have gone ahead and married without changing anything because they were in love and they respected each others feelings and beliefs.

I would certainly love to meet you both and go over these issues should you wish.

Any alternatives to swapping rings?

Ceremony ideas?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

The exchange of rings is only symbolism of the commitment that each of you make to each other.

Alternatives can be many and varied so they are only limited by your imagination.  I have friends in the US who exchanged two Ford F250 Utes...hard to wear but awesome to drive.

So really it is a case of something which would be meaningful, something which would remind you every time you look at it, touch it, use it of that special day, that special person.  Handcrafted jewellery is certainly a beautiful way to go for starters.

Any ideas for a cool entrance to my ceremony?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

What a great idea to think of something unique to enter on.

I have had Bridesmaids and Brides enter on the back of motorcycles which looked really cool and the roar of the Harleys was unmistakable.

And at a recent wedding, the Bride and her Father started walking to traditional music then suddently the music turned to rock and everyone started dancing down the aisle which made the guests eally get in the mood for a great wedding.  Take a look at this site and see if you get any ideas from it:

Let me know how you go.

Son in law isn't "allowed" to come to the wedding. What can I do?

My SIL's mother is withholding custody. She said she doesn't want him to be there- there are no legal orders in place- what can I do!?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

I would definitely be trying to work through this with family first to see if a resolution can be achieved however failing that seeking legal advice could be sought if you thought it was that important.

However without more detail on just what your situation is it is hard for me to say more.  How old is the Son In Law?

I'm considering walking myself down the aisle, thoughts?

Has any other bride done this at one of your weddings?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

That is perfectly fine and has been done by many Brides over the years.

How you make your entrance is your decision and yours alone.

I have had several weddings whereby the Bride enters alone and looks stunning and elegant as she does.  Other weddings have had the Groomsmen escort the Bridesmaids first then the Groom escort Bride to the Celebrant.  Each looked beautiful and meant a lot to the couple in making their day that bit special.

Is it okay to stand the opposite way at the altar?

I know the bride is meant to stand on the left in our culture (and opposite in Jewish ceremonies), but can I stand on the right?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Quite simply, Yes!  

In all the civil marriages that I have undertaken over the last 10 years, I have let the couples decide which way they wish to stand when at the alter point. 

This is in part to allow them to be the decision makers for all or most of their wedding plans and for them to know that they have been major parts of the planning for their own unique wedding.

A Civil Marraige does not have to be bound by tradtions and cultural experiences unless the couple wish to incorporate any of those things so such things need to be fully discussed. 

In the end, what is important is that my couples have the wedding ceremony that they want.

Do Aussie couples usually have ushers?

We don't have a bridal party but want to honour our close friends by asking them to have official roles on the day, like ushers, and doing a reading and things like that.

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

I find that most of the couples I marry usually like to get their friends and family members involved in some way.  This can be by way of ushers, being involved with readings, music, holding the rings etc.

So really, their involvement is only limited by your own imagination.

Do you usually have a rehearsal with the couple before the wedding day?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

Where possible I recommend that a rehearsal be undertaken for it allows everyone (Bridal party) to see where things will happen and for the bride and bridesmaids to practice their entrance to any music that may accompany the entry, it allows parents to see and be involved especially where the Father is giving the Bride away, it allows flower girls and page boys to start to get excited as they practice too.

It also allows me to see the confines that I may be working in, and where possible, hold the rehearsal close to the time of the wedding itself so that sunlight angles can be factored in. 

I generally recommend 1 week out or at least some time during that final week.

What is your favourite wedding reading?

Beyond Celebrations - Ray Curran

1 Corintheans, Chapter 13

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