Joyce Mathers Celebrant

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Joyce Mathers Celebrant
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Questions and Answers

How do I change my name after my marriage?

Joyce Mathers Celebrant

This is something that a lot of brides get confused about.    

You must apply to Births Deaths and Marriages for an Official Marriage Certificate that is specifically for legal purposes, changing your name etc.  This form can be lodged with BDM 14 days after your marriage.  You need to provide identifications eg passports, driving licences, birth certificates to make the application.  In Perth the BDM office is at 141 St.George's Terrace on Level 10.  

As part of my service I will lodge this form for you.  Together we fill it in when we are doing the Notice of Intended Marriage, I certify your identification documents, and then lodged along with all the other legal paperwork after your marriage is complete.  


What is the Notice of Intended Marriage?

Joyce Mathers Celebrant

The Notice of Intended Marriage is the first of the legal documents that has to be completed before you get married.  This is the document that proves who you are, so you must provide official documentation to your Celebrant e.g. passport, driving licence, birth certificates, divorce documents.  The document can be lodged within the time period of 18 months to 1 month prior to your wedding date. 

Once you have provided the idenfications, and the form has been filled in, the Bride and Groom signs it, along with the Celebrant.  The date is noted, and that is the day of the lodgement.  After the wedding ceremony, the Celebrant completes the form and it is lodged with BDM.  

What questions should I ask a Celebrant?

Joyce Mathers Celebrant


Picking a Celebrant is a very important task.  The Celebrant is the one who will be there at the “Alter” when you make one of the most important Commitments in your life.  You have to, at least, like the person!


It is essential that you develop a rapport with your Celebrant.  Therefore, a pre-organised meeting is well worth investing your time in.  Most Celebrants will offer an obligation-free first meeting to see if the fit is right.  At that time you can meet, have a chat, and decide  if you can work with this person or not.


When you are going to meet your Celebrant for the first time, it is good to be armed with a list of questions so that you don’t forget once you get there.  Its easy to get carried away getting to know a Celebrant and then you have realised after you have gone that some of the important questions haven’t been answered.


Here are some suggestions:-


1.        What does the fee include?

There are such a variety of fees out there that it is good to have it defined as to what the Celebrant is actually offering.  Many times, one Celebrant may be a good deal cheaper than another, but they may then have “add-ons” that you didn’t think about.  For example, perhaps the cheaper Celebrant charges extra for travelling to the venue, extra for rehearsals, signing table etc.  Remember cheapest is not always best!


2.       What type of Ceremony do you create?

I am very fussy about creating Ceremonies that are crafted exactly for the couple I am dealing with and not just a pro-forma with the names changed.  Make sure that your Celebrant is going to make your Ceremony personal to you and not use a one-size-fits all script.


3.        Does the Celebrant provide a PA system?

For a wedding ceremony over 20 people I believe the Celebrant’s voice has to be projected above the crowd so that she/he can be heard.    A reliable PA system is a must.  I, personally, have a great little system that projects my voice over up to 200 people and it is small and easy to set up. 


4.        Can music be played in the PA system?

Some PA systems allow for music to be played through their system either on a usb stick or direct from an iphone/ipad or computer.  Ask your Celebrant if their system is able to this but note that it is not the Celebrant’s responsibility to organise or play the music on the day.  You do need to have an operator to carry through this duty on the day.


5.        Do you perform rituals?

Not every Celebrant is comfortable with performing rituals.  I love rituals!  I have a great list that I love to share and it is so beautiful to perform a ritual that has meaning to the Bride and Groom.  For example, the Handfasting Ceremony is so lovely if you have a Scottish or Celtic background, or the Sand Ceremony for a blended family, a wine box and letter ritual for something a little more personal to the Bride and Groom.  The list is endless. 


6.        What does the Celebrant wear?

This may seem like an odd question but, believe me, some Celebrants are not blessed with the gift of style!  Remember your Celebrant will be in your wedding photos, and it is always lovely if he or she blends into your wedding party. 


7.        Will the Celebrant be happy to do a rehearsal?

Not every wedding ceremony requires a rehearsal but some need it!  It helps the  Bride and Groom get their head around each individually step during the Ceremony.  It helps them to see how far they have to walk to the “Arbour” , where to stand, and perhaps going over the vows and/or rituals eases the nerves.   It all helps in the preparation and can take the stress out of the whole event.    It’s also a great photo opportunity for the pre-wedding album!



I wish you all the best in choosing the perfect Celebrant for you and your significant other!

Do I need to provide a seat for everyone at the Ceremony?

Joyce Mathers Celebrant

To sit or not to sit!  

This is a question that is often brought up on Social Media…..and there is no right answer. 


As a Celebrant I have been in many situations where there have been no seats, where there have been only a front row of seats, where seats are provided for half the guests, or where seats have been provided for all of the guests.  All work perfectly well.


Firstly,   let’s talk about no seats.   This is probably the most casual style of wedding ceremony and “Surprise Weddings” come to mind or weddings held in a backyard where it is more like a party with legalities! 



2017 Surprise backyard wedding! So much fun.


If the guests have been invited to a 50th birthday party that then turns into a wedding you don’t want to give the surprise away by having a wedding set up when they arrive.  The best Surprise Weddings are those that are totally incognito!


Alternatively, your wedding may be at a local park, or at the beach,  and you wish to have a more casual stance where the bride and groom are surrounded in a half circle by their family and friends, and everyone is up close and feels very much connected to the bride and groom and the ceremony.  I would hasten to add that if this was the case it may be a good idea to make sure your guests are in their younger years and the ceremony is fairly short and sweet.   Consider the elderly that are being invited, as well as any guest who may be pregnant or have a disability.




Providing every guest with a seat is quite lovely as each one can sit comfortably and enjoy the ceremony.  As the bride and groom, you are the hosts for the day and making your guests feel comfortable is all part of a good host’s criteria.


Some couples like to allocate particular seats to some of their guests and I always encourage  thinking about who they would like to have closest to them on such a special day.  The front row of seats are generally kept for close family and friends.  The first seat (next to the aisle)  on the left hand side (as you look at the bride and groom) is usually reserved for the person who is giving the bride away.   Traditionally, the bride’s family sits on the left hand side and the groom’s on the right.  Mostly, this tradition is kept only for the immediate family with friends and extended family sitting anywhere behind the two front rows. 


I have seen many seating plans for the first and second rows where the guests have been allocated their own personal seat with a name tag.  This is very special, thoughtful and quite lovely.   Name tags can be tied with string or ribbon and be standard rectangular tags, heart shaped, butterfly shaped, boat shaped,….just dip into your creative mind!  However, make sure they are well secured so they don’t blow away.


Seating gives you a chance to be a little more creative with your decoration.  Ribbons in the colour of your wedding party can be added, or fresh flowers to the end of each row of chairs.  Shepherd hooks are very popular and If you are into DIY you can make your own decoration in the theme and style of your wedding.


A word of warning for all brides with dresses with a full skirt ….make sure you leave enough space to go down the aisle with your dad, or the person who is giving you away.  I have seen on occasion that some brides have to walk in front of who is giving her away as the seating set up hasn’t left a wide enough aisle! 


In a Country setting bench seating is quite popular which makes your ceremony set up blend into the wonderful landscape surrounding you.  Bales of hay are also quite a quirky and fun way of seating your guests!  The sky is the limit as you draw on your imagination.




This is a compromise where, for example, you are having a wedding for 90 guests, you choose around 40 seats for the guests.  Two blocks of ten chairs (two rows with a split in the middle for the aisle).  This allows you to cater for your immediate family, elderly guests and also any guests who may be pregnant or have a disability.   It also keeps the cost down a little bit. 


On many occasions, with part seating, the guests are a little reluctant to sit down as they are being polite leaving the seating for other guests.  However, it is your Celebrant’s job to make sure all the seats are filled, usually with a little friendly coaxing!


To sit or not to sit …..that is the question!  There is no right or wrong way…..only YOUR WAY. 

All the best!

What is a Sand Ceremony?

Joyce Mathers Celebrant



A Sand Ceremony is a ritual that you can perform at your wedding.  It is a very sweet way of telling the world that you are now married and like the blended sand you can never be separated.


The ritual comes from the Native Americans where each bride and groom would grab a fistful of sand each and throw it into the wind.  The idea behind this is that when they threw the sand together, the particles of sand are blended together and can never be separated.  This can be a fantastic inclusion to a Beach Wedding – as long as the wind is blowing in the right direction!


How does it work?   


  •       The bride and groom choose a vase into which they are going to pour coloured sand.  There are lots of different style vases available from expensive custom made vases to inexpensive ones you can buy from your local homewares store. 

  •     Both bride and groom choose a coloured sand, which can be the colour scheme of their wedding or the colour scheme of the room they are going to house the vase.  Each individual coloured sand is tipped into its own little pouring vessel.   So, you have one main vase, and two smaller pouring vases with the coloured sand. 

  •       The bride and groom then take turns pouring their sand into the main vase creating a layered effect.   


Following the ancient symbol of the Sand Ceremony, once those sands have been blended they cannot be separated.  The vase is then kept in a sacred spot at home to remind them of their special day. 


This Ceremony is especially lovely for blended families, where each member of the new family has their colour of sand e.g. If there are four children each child would have his or her own colour as well as the bride and groom making 6 different colours altogether.  Each child has their turn to pour their sand into the vase.  This then blends the families into one. 


Sand Ceremony receptacles can be purchased online, or at many wedding supply stores or you can simply make up your own depending on what theme you want to create.  For example, you may have a rustic theme wedding and might want to use mason jars that you have dressed up with the colour of your bridesmaids.  Alternatively, you may have a beach theme and want to use glass dolphins or vases with seashell decorations.   The choice is up to you and how creative you want to be.


At the end of the day, no matter what style of vessel you may use the outcome is the same.  You have performed a ritual that is special to you and your husband/wife, or your family.  This little performance and has bonded you together for life!

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