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Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant

(13 reviews)
Service Area
New South Wales  View Map
Business Hours
7am to 7pm daily
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Expert Advice

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

If a Couple Doesn't Kiss at Their Wedding, What Else Can They Do?

I am extremely phobic of being touched, but at weddings the couple always kisses. Is it a requirement, or are there different things I can do? If so, what?

Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant


A kiss is traditional but certainly not a requirement. Other options might be a hand fasting, where your hands are joined together with a special ribbon with your names embroidered on it. Once the fasting is completed the knot is slipped off and placed in a special box as a memento of your special day.

If the actual touching of the hands is an issue you could have a special set of silk gloves just for the purpose.

Another option is sharing a glass of wine, where you have a special goblet and you each take a sip from it.

I hope that helps,

All the best,

Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant

My partner won't be wearing a wedding ring. Does this make the "ring exchange" part of the ceremony seem awkward?

Hello, My partner won't be wearing a wedding ring. Does this make the "ring exchange" part of the ceremony seem awkward?

Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant


That is pretty common and certainly not something you should worry about.  I generally say a few words of introdcution to the custom of the ring ceremony and hand the ring to the groom who repeats a few words after me and places it on the bride's finger - end of story :) If the groom is going to be waearing a ring I then do the same with the bride repeating a few words. No one will even notice!

All the best,


how can i make my elopement special?

Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant


An elopement is a great alternative to the expense of a wedding where it is often difficult to decide who not to invite and how much money you should spend. All you basically need is a celebrant and two witnesses, whom your celebrant can probably find for you if you decide to get married in another city, for example. At the same time you can still make it very special with a beautiful location, beautiful words, great feelings and  a great celebrant! One couple I married decided not to go ahead with the big wedding their parents wanted to arrange with over 500 guests and instead chose an intimate ceremony with their two closest friends in the Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens and it was one of the most romantic weddings I have performed.

Give me a buzz if you would like to have a chat about your ideas.

All the best,

Philip Holland

How long does a civil ceremony take?

I'm having a civil ceremony but I don't know how long it should be to give me enough time to do photos after and also not bore my guests? How long does the average civil ceremony take?

Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant

Hi Judith

The ceremony can be as long or as short as you want ?? It depends on what you would like to include in the ceremony,

Most of my ceremonies are 15-20 minutes which means that no-one has time to become bored

and is short enough so that people are able to stand if you only have a few seats.

Have a wonderful day!

All the best, Philip Hollan

Can I request my celebrant to wear a certain colour or outfit?

I've seen some awful clashing outfits and celebrants in white etc... is it rude to ask them to wear a particular colour or style? I don't know if I'm taking it way too far haha. But I want everything to look good! It is my wedding day, after all :)

Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant

HI, Keira, It's a bit easier being a male celebrant in that regard I suppose - I generally wear a black suit with a white shirt and a colourful tie and I encourage brides to let me know if they want that in a particular colour! I also have a white tuxedo if a bride wants to take it up a notch. But then again I have also dressed up as a pirate, a clown, and an Indian magician amongst others, but that's a whole different story :)
Cheers, Philip Holland

How do I change my name when I get married?

How does it all work?

Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant

Hi, Lucy, it's pretty simple, especially if you use one of the name-change websites, like Easy Name Change. You will need a copy of your marriage certificate - the one you obtain on the day will be sufficient for some purposes, but if you need a new passport or driving licence in your new name, you will need the official marriage certificate fro the NSW Registry (bdm.nsw.gov.au). Then, on www.easynamechange.com.au you add in all your details once, select all the insurance companies, banks, government depts etc that you deal with , and it prints out all the letters and envelopes - all you need to do is post them :)

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!

Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant

Hi, Luna,

Always a tricky one :) May I suggest that you tell them that you have given money in their name to a charity, like the ones where you buy a goat for a poor family in need in Africa, for example? That way they don't feel that they are taking advantage of your generosity but someone in need will benefit greatly!


Philip Holland - Sydney Celebrant

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?

Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant

Hi, Jakob,

May I suggest that you call him and say that you would like to have a word with him and ask when would be convenient. He will probably sense at this stage what you are planning but, speaking from personal experience, he will really appreciate the respect you are showing him - it worked for me when my daughter got engaged :)


Philip Holland - Sydney Celebrant

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.

Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant

Hi, Bron,
This is a frequent request that we get :) As you are already married your celebrant is not allowed to give your guests the impression that this is an actual wedding. We have to make it clear that the wedding has already taken place but we can say that we are all gathered together to celebrate that wedding. It could be termed a Renewal of Vows and in most respects it can be just like a wedding ceremony, but we don't include any of the official stuff.
Let me know if you have any more questions and I would be happy to answer them.

All the best,
Philip Holland - Sydney Celebrant

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?

Philip Holland Sydney Celebrant

Hi, Daniella, Some of my most beautiful weddings have been elopements - a lot of them from overseas but also lots from Sydney. One eloping couple I met had parents insisting on 500 guests for the bride's side of the family and when the groom suggested 50 he was told that was too many! So they decided to elope to the Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens with just their two closest friends as witnesses. It was so full of joy, there was absolutely no stress and they saved themselves and their parents a huge amount of money. As the cost of weddings increases I think that I will be seeing a lot more of these. All the best, Philip Holland

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