Merry Christmas

On behalf of the crew from The Wedding Gurus, we would like to wish you all a fabulously merry christmas and an inspiring, exciting and fantastic new year. We have so many great things coming up in 2013 to share with you as we continue to grow and be inspired by all of the creative, new and innovative ideas that keep us forever busy.

We look forward to your feedback, comments and suggestions and a 2013 full of wedding perfection!

The Wedding Gurus

Handfasting Ceremony Wording

Welcome to week 26 of 52 Wedding Traditions/Rituals in 52 Weeks.
To accompany our handfasting ceremony video we thought it would be helpful to provide you with the a couple of the more popular wording variations.

Example 1:

Celebrant:‘Nicole and Gary have chosen to include a hand fasting ritual in their ceremony today as a symbol of their love
Nicole and Gary please hold your hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to each of you.’

(the hands are bound lightly by celebrant)

‘These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, which are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other all the days of your life.

These are the hands that will work alongside of yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.

These are that hands which will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands which will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief engulfs your heart.

These are the hands that will give you support and encourage you to chase down your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realised.

This binding represents the love that has bound you together to this point. It will continue to bind you to one another until the binding of your rings takes it place.’

The ceremony continues with the couple’s hands bound until the ring exchange at which point the celebrant removes the binding, and the rings then take its place as their binding for life.

Example 2:

Celebrant: Please join hands. As your hands are joined, so now are your lives. (Celebrant binds the hands)

Above you are the stars
below you are the stones
as time does pass
Like a star should your love be constant
Like a stone should your love be firm
Be close, but not too close
Posses one another, but be understanding
Have patience with one another
For storms will come, but they will go quickly
Be free in the giving of affection and warmth
Make love often, and be sensuous with one another
Have no fear and let not the ways or words
of the unenlightened give you unease for the Gods are with you.

Hands remain bound until the ring exchange.

Example 3:  Handfasting with Children

Celebrant: 'When we think about marriage we immediately visualize the joining of two people. But this is not always so. Marriages unite families and as is the case in many families today, who already have children, they give us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and embrace some of the other important relationships in our lives.

During a wedding ceremony rings are sometimes exchanged with a promise. As (Bride) and (Groom) are not exchanging rings, but instead binding their hands, they thought appropriate that their children should also take part as reminder of their promise to them on this day.
They wanted to find a way to let them know now how special and wonderful they are, and how privileged and blessed they feel to be their parents.

Children step forward and their hands are bound with the parents

Celebrant addresses children:

(Insert children’s names) These are the hands that will support encourage and protect you through all of life’s ups and downs, happy times, sad times, love and we hope, great joy. This binding is a reminder of the love and respect that each of you have for the others and that which will last for a lifetime.

You may also like to view our video example of a Handfasting Ritual by clicking here

The Wedding Gurus

Top 10 All Time 'Calssic' 1st dance songs

In keeping with our recent posts on fabulous wedding songs, here is the 'Top 10 All Time Classics' list for first dance songs. Just like the others these are our picks so we appreciate that some of you may have some all time favourites yourselves. If you have, let us know, we'd love to hear them.

We hope you enjoy listening to them as much as we did putting them together!

Top 10 All Time Calssics

10. It had to be you – Harry Connick Jr

9. Unchained melody – The Righteous Brothers

8. Don’t know much – Aaron Neville & Linda Rohnstadt

7. Can’t help falling in love with you – Elvis

6. Endless Love – Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey

5. Because of you – Tony Bennett

4. Sea of love – The Honeydrippers

3. Because you loved me – Celine Dion

2. Amazed – Lonestar

1. At last – Etta James

The Wedding Gurusxxxx

Wedding Reception Options – Hilton Adelaide

Planning your wedding reception is probably going to be one of the single most stressful and costly decisions you will ever make. Finding the right venue that is the perfect expressions of your imagination and within budget constraints is not an easy task.

So we’ve made it our mission to get out and really have a look around at what’s out there and we are starting off with Hilton Adelaide.

Note: We can honestly tell you that we were not paid or persuaded in any way to write this post showing Hilton in a positive light, we were simply invited to come take a look and judge for ourselves.

When you hear the name Hilton, there are many images that spring to mind. The name is so well known the world over that most of us could probably say that at some point we have stayed or at least been to a Hilton hotel.

We were lucky enough o sit down recently with the lovely Laura, Marketing Communication Manager and Rachela, Events Manager of Hilton Adelaide to get a first hand look at their fabulous wedding and corporate events offerings.

While Hilton itself has been a well known brand, it has in the past been more traditionally linked with corporate style events and business class accommodation. But while this is still very much the case, Hilton have launched a brand new focus on ‘Weddings’ and along with this new approach comes a team dedicated to making weddings at Hilton something amazing.

Beginning with a tour of the main function rooms, followed by a look over the wide range of package and menu options and some detailed questions on specifics, we finished the visit with coffee in the stunning ground floor lobby.

So what did we find out?


Hilton in Adelaide is centrally located adjacent the gorgeous gardens of Victoria Square. With the Adelaide central Market next door it is a great place to spend the weekend of your wedding as you prepare for the big day.

Hilton Adelaide Hotel - Hotel Entrance At Night

With three fabulous room options for your reception, each absolutely stunning, but varying in style and taste, there is something to suit every concept idea.

Our tour began with the ‘Victoria’ room, a lavishly decorated, modern space which captures your breath on entrance. If you are looking to really wow your guests then this may be the location for you.

The ‘Victoria’ Room

The ‘Victoria’ room, located on the ground floor is a gorgeous modern space, lavishly decorated with a unique metallic mesh ceiling. The room gives off a very stylish attitude, perfect for the modern couple wanting to entertain their guests with a contemporary, spacious and upmarket reception.

With the addition of a dance floor, the ‘Victoria’ room has the capacity to hold 150 guests comfortably and if your considering a cocktail reception the capacity stretches to 250.

Next we moved onto the ‘Balcony Room’

 The 'Balcony' Room

With so many possibilities, the ‘Balcony’ room, located on level 1, offers the opportunity to really create your own feel. Beautifully decorated with a warm feel and overlooking the gardens of Victoria Square, you really need to see it to appreciate it fully. Ideal for an intimate sit-down or cocktail style reception, this room has the capacity to seat 120 with a dance floor or 250, cocktail style.

Set up with oval tables, pictured above and decorated to your own colour scheme, the magnificent lighting and open feel of the balcony rooms are unique to Hilton. To sit at the table amongst friends and family on a warm summer evening with the concertina doors fully extended is magnificent.

On the day we visited this room was set up somewhat differently with a long table running the entire length of the room, something we had never seen before. With guests all at one table and the bride and groom perfectly placed in the middle, we only wished that we were on the guest list to really experience this exquisite set up.

Moving on to the ‘Grand Ballroom’ was where we were truly awe inspired!

The 'Grand Ballroom'

Although the picture above, shows a beautifully decorated, modern space, it does not even come close to doing it justice. Entering this room there was an immediate sense of class, sophistication and style. The lighting above catches the eye immediately with its very unique look and the room itself is massive, 660m2 in fact, easily catering for 450 with a dance floor or 800 cocktail style.

Located on level 1, the ‘Grand Ballroom’ is where you want to be  if you are planning a large wedding and want to really give your guests something to talk about. Featuring a 5.8m-high wall-to-wall curtain of intricately woven metal it brings the room to life creating a shimmering veil.

Amazingly, the ‘Grand Ballroom’ is the ONLY pillar free hotel ballroom in the state.

On the day of our visit, this room was being prepared for a large wedding. The tables were elegantly prepared, the ceiling draped with panels of sheer material and the entire front of the room was being set up by light and sound engineers to create some added extras the couple had chosen to incorporate to wow their friends and family.

When asked about how far couples can go in personalising their receptions, the answer was clear….. Hilton staff were happy to work with them to create anything their heart desired as long as it was safe and attainable.

Leaving the ‘Grand Ballroom’ we headed down the main stairs that overlooked the ground floor to the ‘Lobby Lounge’. It’s hard not to be impressed by the glamour of Hilton and the efforts they have made in recent years in updating these areas to an open plan, inviting and contemporary space.

Lobby Lounge

Next on the agenda was the ‘details’, discussed over a delicious coffee and chocolate.

The Complete Package:

Laura began by eagerly telling us about how committed the team were at Hilton Adelaide to providing affordable, yet fabulous wedding packages for all sizes and budgets. She talked about how Hilton’s focus had really shifted to the wedding industry and how they could offer premium services attached to the well known Hilton brand to provide couples with new and exciting options.

Their main aim was to offer ‘Complete Packages’ which left the couple with nothing left to organise or worry about. Despite being very impressed we did have to wonder how much all of this was going to cost. Rachela smiled, telling us that this was the best part, the part that they really wanted to get across to couples – that their packages were affordable and competitive, starting with the base package at just $100, but with more inclusions than most of their competitors.

With world class kitchen staff, Hilton can also cater for any food choice. Having done weddings involving all Indian food, all Asian food and many others, their ability to adapt and meet clients needs is second to none.

With inclusions like Chair covers and audiovisual options which are usually ad-ons, Hilton have really created some enticing inclusions. So what WILL you get included in your package?

Well each package contains a range of items including menu choices, canape’s, room hire, stage and dance floor etc ( a full list of package options can be requested from their webpage at:

But, believe it or not each package contains a 5 hour drinks package, including pre-dinner drinks and are you ready for this? An overnight stay, access to all facilities and with sparkling wine, chocolates and breakfast!

If that wasn’t enough in addition every couple receives:

Chair covers
Audiovisual options
A menu tasting
Printed, personalised menus
First anniversary gift vouchers – Choose from a $250 dinner voucher OR an overnight stay in a deluxe room with a bottle of sparkling, chocolates AND buffet breakfast
A gift box with $1000 of gift vouchers to spend at other suppliers including transport, photography, Make-up, flowers, bridal shoes and more
Accommodation is also provided for your guests at 25%off their best available rate.

(*inclusions as at Nov 2012, subject to change)

Overall we have to say that we were really impressed with Hilton given that in all honesty, they would not have been top of our list to consider as being a premier provider in the wedding industry, simply because we just didn’t know what they had to offer.

Deciding on a reception venue is a really big deal and not one that should be taken lightly, but in our experience, most couples prefer a situation where everything they need can be done under one roof to take away the thousands of little tid bits of organisation that often drive them completely mad by the time the big day arrives.

To be able to stay at the hotel the night before, wake up to a nice breakfast and a day of pampering which can all be organised within the hotel, be whisked off to your ceremony and return knowing that absolutely everything is on time and organised is worth it’s weight in gold. After all your only planning to do this once, so when it’s over you want to be able to look back at it fondly for the next however many years!

If you are interested in getting package prices or in discussing the possibility of having your reception at Hilton, then contact:

The Hilton Adelaide Event Sales Team
08 8237 0363

If you are planning a wedding at another Hilton, here is the link to their web page

We had a great time researching this post, so we hope this helps you with thinking about your reception and we hope to bring you another Hotel/Reception venue review soon.

The Wedding Gurus

Week 25 - 52 Rituals/Traditions in 52 Weeks

A Fishy Korean Ritual/Tradition
Now if your looking for something out of the ordinary, then this one is for you!
In this Korean tradition the poor groom is subjected to some pretty interesting antics. Usually done in the spirit of providing him with increased strength for the wedding night, this ritual begins after the main ceremony. The Groom’s ‘friends’ (using the term loosely) will tie his ankles together with rope then take of his socks in order to beat the soles of his feet with a fish – A Yellow Corvina.
Pic From:
Odd? Yes a little, but it is all done in the spirit of good will and as a fun gesture of friendship so who are we to judge.
We just love these strange and out there rituals/ideas, so if you know of any you would like us to use, please feel free to drop us a line on the contact page.
The Wedding Gurus

Wedding Entertainment

Your wedding reception is booked and food menus are finalised, apart from your speeches and first dance what else will you do to add that special touch to your night? You want to entertain your guests with something spectacular, really give them that wow factor that so many other weddings lack. Apart from the obvious choice of a live band it can be difficult to brainstorm fun and unique activities or entertainment which is why we have compiled a range of ideas to have your special night imprinted in the memories of your guests for life.

Firstly you should ask yourself a few key questions:

1. What is your budget?
2. What type of atmosphere are you trying to create?
3. Is there something you and your partner enjoy, its a great idea to choose entertainment that represent your personalities or perhaps culture.

Photobooth - Everyone loves to dress up and have their photo taken right? This is a brilliant way to add some fun to the evening whilst giving you a keepsake of all the photos taken. Tip: there are a range of different photobooths out there we love the companies who provide a photoalbum on the night where two copies of the image is printed one for your guest to keep and the other is pasted in the album for your guest to leave a nice message.

Comedian - A stand up comedian will surely remove the seriousness from the evening and add a little fun and laughter. Tip: preview you comedian first to ensure they are appropriate for the occasion and appealing to your guests.

Fireworks - Indoor or outdoor end your night with a bang. This one is defiantly one for those with a bigger budget. Tip: If you are having outdoor fireworks be sure to gain council approval.

Living Statues - Surprise your guests as that fascinating sculpture in the corner jumps to life.

Caricaturist - Have an artist mingle with your guests and capture their inner cartoon selves on a one off portrait that they can keep forever.

A Look-a-like - How fun to have a martini with James Bond or having a dance with Michael Jackson, an impersonator will provide for some fun photos and a few surprises.

Candy Buffet - There are some gorgeous jars available to hire and you can fill them with candies, chocolates and gourmet treats for your guests to help themselves to. Why not go all out and have a chocolate fountain with marshmallows and fruits to dip, we guarantee there will be a line up.

Dancers - Belly, salsa, burlesque or hula dancers, fire jugglers, Hakka performers whatever you choose dancers will create a vibrant atmosphere with entertaining routines and magnificent costumes and colour.

Our picks for the Top 10 'Modern' 1st dance songs.

As promised, we have done our research and come up with 'our' picks for the 'TOP  10 MODERN 1st DANCE SONGS - including the video.

So forget the classics and those all time favourites and take a little tour of those perfect songs from more recent times. Now these are just our picks so they may not be yours, but we hope you enjoy them and feel free to leave comments with your favourites.

Let the countdown begin!
10. You’ve got the love – Florence and The Machine

9.  I’m yours – Jason Mraz

8.  Lego House – Ed Sheeran

7. We found love – Rhianna & Calvin Harris

6. Burn your name – Powederfinger

5. Show me heaven (top gun) – Maria Mckee

4. Heaven – Bryan Adams

3. Truly madly deeply – Savage Garden

2. Ave Maria – Beyonce

1. Nothing’s real but love – Rebecca Ferguson

We hope you enjoyed them and if you want to add your favourites, let us know by commenting below.

The Wedding Gurus

Weiner in the Hole: Hens Night Game

This is a fun (and a little rude) hens night game which will have all your guests in tears from laughter.

Each guest has a piece of string tied around their waist with a cocktail frankfurt attached to the end (we reccommend piercing a hole into the frankfurt and threading the string through to ensure it is extra secure). The string must be long so that the frankfurt is dangling, if it is tied too close to the body this game becomes too easy. Your guests line up and below them are shot glasses, one for each person. The aim of the game is for everyone to squat or kneel over and get their frankfurt into the shot glass. The first person to hold it there and yell "weiner in the hole" is the winner.

Week 24 - 52 Rituals/Traditions in 52 Weeks - Wishing Stones

The Wishing Stone Ceremony

The ‘Wishing Stone' Ceremony is a wonderfully inclusive ritual to incorporate into your big day and is great for not just weddings, but any ceremony you may be considering.

I have performed it as part of a baby naming as well as for weddings. It basically involves using small polished stones, just large enough to write a small wish on if necessary.

Photo from:

 Usually the stones are given out by someone selected to perform the task (can be a great way of including children, by getting them to walk around and make sure everyone has a stone).

As the ceremony commences the guests are asked to hold the stones tightly and make a loving wish for the couple’s life together.

The stones can later be collected in a vase for the couple to keep as a momento of all of the wishes their loved ones and friends made for them or each person can be invited to come forward as part of the ceremony and place their stone – making their wish for the couple, in the vase.

Each stone represents a special wish that the couple can take with them to reflect on throughout their married life together.

Some couples may wish to go a little further and ask guests to write their wish on the stone, offering felt tipped pens for the guests and family to write their names and add their wish.

Week 23 - 52 Rituals/Traditions in 52 Weeks

Acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land

I thought I might share this with you as I have been on occassion asked to begin a ceremony with an acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land upon which we have stood.

An acknowledgement is a great way of paying respect to those who have come before us and can be done whether or not you have an indigenous background. The two examples here are from one particular area, using specific groups, but wherever you are in the world, you can easily use similar wording to pay respect and honour the traditional owners of the land on which you stand.

It is believed that paying tribute brings good luck by ensuring that you are beginning on a positive note.
We acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians whose ancestral lands we are meeting upon here today. We acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal peoples to country. We also pay respects to the cultural authority of Aboriginal peoples visiting/attending from other areas of South Australia/Australia present here.”


“We would like to acknowledge this land that we meet on today is the traditional lands of the Kaurna people and that we respect their spiritual relationship with their country. We also acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of the greater Adelaide region and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still important to the living Kaurna people today.”

If you are thinking of adding something like this to your ceremony, or are assisting a couple who would like to have something similar included, be sure to check the details of the traditional owners of the land that you will be performing the ceremony on.

Also check out one of our previous rituals/traditions - a traditional smoking ceremony.

The Wedding Gurus

Welcome - to all our new readers

When you first begin to plan your wedding, there are more things to consider than you ever imagined. Wedding flowers, wedding vows, your gown, dresses, wedding invitations, the cake, wedding photos, rings, songs (entrance, waltz etc), shoes, accessories, speeches, reception venues, celebrant and the list goes on and on.

Here at The Wedding Gurus, we try to bring you up to date information on ALL of the most talked about wedding related topics as well as bring you fabulous inspiration and unique ideas you may not have even considered. With dozens of posts on popular topics like wedding invitations, top wedding songs, hairstyles and of course ceremony ideas and our most popular ‘52 Rituals/Traditions in 52 weeks’ take some time to look around and browse through some of our older posts, you are bound to find what you are looking for.

If by chance you don’t then let us know and we would be happy to research a topic for you.

We would just like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank every single one of you that has come over to our page, enjoyed our posts and left us fabulous comments. We love what we do and are so glad to be sharing it with all of you. Happy reading!

The Wedding Gurus

Just for a little fun!

Things don't always turn out perfectly as planned on your wedding day and there always seems to be someone nearby with a camera in hand ready to capture some of the moments you prefer not to remember. In some cases couples are scrapping the traditional and opting for a somewhat unique approach to their big day. We hope you enjoy the hilarity to follow:


*These images have been collected from various sources on the web. If you are the owner of any of the above images please let us know so we can link these back to you.

Top 50 all time best - Wedding 1st dance songs:

When a couple take to the floor for their first dance as husband and wife it is a moment that is etched in time forever. Everyone in the room stops talking, eating and socialising as all falls silent and the mood shifts. All  attention turns back to the couple as they hold each other tightly and move around the floor. It is a big and often very hard decision to pick the one song that is just perfect for this special moment.

We have put together for you a list of OUR picks for the 'Top 50 all time best - Wedding 1st dance songs'. Now these may not be your top selections, so if we have missed any that you think should be here, please let us know.

To add to this, we will also be doing follow up posts on our picks for the 'Top 10 All Time Classic 1st Dance Songs' and the 'Top 10 Modern 1st Dance Songs', including video.

We hope you enjoy, and please leave coments with any others you think should definitely be added.

TOP 50 all time best - Wedding 1st dance songs:
50           You’ll be in my heart – Phil Collins
49        Keep on loving you – Speedwagon
48            We found love – Rhianna & Calvin Harris
47        Your song – Elton John
46        Nothing’s real but love – Rebecca Ferguson
45        Only you – The Platters
44        Ave Maria – Beyonce
43        Because you loved me – Celine Dion
42        I knew I loved you – Savage Garden
41        You’ve got the love – Florence & Machine
40        She’s like the wind – Patrick Swayze
39        Far away – Nickelback
38        Feel – Robbie Williams
37        Never gonna give you up – Rick Astley
36        I got you babe – Sonny & Cher
35        Lego House – Ed Sheeran
34        Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones
33        Lucky – Jason Mraz
32        Show me heaven – Maria Mckee
31        It had to be you – Harry Connick Jr
30        Can’t help falling in love with you – Elvis
29        Endless Love – Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey
28        All my life – K-ci & Jojo
27        Nothing’s gonna change my love for you –Air Supply
26        Every beat of my heart – Gladys Night & The Pipps
25        Because of you – Tony Bennett
24        I’m yours – Jason Mraz
23        Sea of love – The Honeydrippers
22        Have I told you lately – Van Morrison
21        Here and now – Luther Vandross
20        With this ring – Shelamar
19        Always and forever – Heatwave
18        Unchained melody – The Righteous brothers
17        Don’t know much – Aaron Neville & Linda Rohnstadt
16        I finally found someone – Bryan Adam & Barbra Streisand
15        The way you look tonight – Frank Sinatra
14        Heaven – Bryan Adams
13        Can you feel the love tonight – Elton John
12        At last – Etta James
11        When a man loves a woman – Michael Bolton
10        You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
9          I will always love you – Whitney Houston
8          Everything I do – Bryan Adams
7          When you say nothing at all – Ronan Keating
6          Angels – Robbie Williams
5          Amazed – Lonestar
4          Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
3          Truly madly deeply – Savage Garden
2          You’re still the one – Shania Twain
1          Don’t want to miss a thing – Aerosmith