Ceremonies by Cath - Catherine Flavell

(102 reviews)
Service Area
New South Wales  View Map
Business Hours
By Appointment
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Questions and Answers

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COVID related question - Instead of rescheduling our wedding, can we marry now and then have a second wedding ceremony later when COVID restrictions are lifted and we celebrate with all our friends and family?

It is law in Australia that couples cannot have a 'second wedding' ceremony if they are already married.  So for couples who have opted to have or thinking of having a small 'COVID19' restricted style wedding and have their big celebration at a later date, they can have a 'Renewal of Vows' ceremony which one can see it as a 're-enactment' because it is very much like a wedding.  The stipulation for such ceremonies is that:

* The couple cannot call it a 'wedding' and their celebrant must make their guests aware that the couple has already married and that this is a 'Renewal of Vows' ceremony.

* This type of ceremony does not include any legal paperwork and the ceremony written does not contain any of the required legal words.

However, all is not lost - the best part of a 'Renewal of Vows' ceremony is that it can still look like a wedding ceremony where the bride can still process down the aisle, be 'given away' by her dad/parent and more importantly they can exchange their personal vows.  I have done several Renewal of Vows for couples who married overseas without their extended family and friends, but returned home to Australia and had one of these ceremonies so that they can celebrate their love and commitment with their Aussie friends and family.

COVID related question - We would still love to have our most important guests there but there's too many! How do we pick?

Um, this one is tricky - especially if both parties each come from very large families.  Certainly I would begin with their parents, then move onto siblings and most definitely don't forget your two official witnesses (if they are not part of this initial group).  

Given that the elderly and those with health issues are in the high risk category - as much as couples would love their grandparents to physically attend their wedding, I'm sure couples would have already considered this risk and therefore grandparents may be high on their list as their virtual guests. 

As for the rest of their extended family and friends, with technology available today that is enabling weddings to be live streamed, I do believe that many will be very understanding and couple's will find that this may not be such an overwhelming issue after all.  With restrictions loosening and more people are now allowed at weddings, this is not much of a problem, but everyone still need to be careful.  Everyone's health should be first and foremost in our minds in these trying times. :) 

COVID related question - What are your thoughts on a quick ceremony now and then celebration with guests later?

Everyone is different and it is really up to each couple, but personally I like the idea.  As a Civil Marriage Celebrant, I thoroughly enjoy small intimate weddings. Even though they may be short and quick, it is by no means impersonable - in fact it is more personal for the couple as their focus is on them, their love for each other which is often beautifully reflected in their personal vows.  

I have celebrate many such weddings before and also since the outbreak of COVID and some of the reasons provided were:

* They just want to be married and they are not fussed with the whole big wedding and all the hassles that comes with the organisation.

* They are a shy couple, so taking advantage of the opportunity to have their small intimate and meaningful wedding instead of a large one (which they personally don't want but may have felt pressured into by well meaning family).

* Taking advantage of saving money - just paying for the wedding ceremony and legalities and then have the spare money to perhaps go towards setting up their new home or a honeymoon later when travel is allowed.

* This one is a cheeky one - some have seen this as a blessing that they don't have to feel obligated to invite certain guests that they don't know or didn't want to have at their wedding.

As I said - each to their own and everyone has their reasons which we all need to respect.

ZOOM WEDDING - Can we do a wedding via Zoom and is it legal? Also one of our family members, who we'd like to be our witness is not able to physically attend our wedding, so can they still be one of our official witnesses via Zoom?

Yes, live streamed wedding ceremonies are legal if they are legally performed by an authorised celebrant - that is it is conducted legally with the minimum of the five people present together (the couple/celebrant and their two official witnesses).  Yes, the two official witnesses MUST be physically present at the ceremony so that they can sign the required paperwork after the ceremony has concluded.  Therefore official witnesses cannot witness the ceremony via ZOOM.

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