Choosing a Celebrant

Remember this story in the Courier Mail?

‘Shonky Wedding Celebrants Just Take The Cake’ April 1, 2012, which recounted horror stories about celebrant behaviour at weddings.

Let us refresh your memories:

The limousines have delivered the happy couple, the flowers are in place "just so'', the VIP guests are seated and the venue is a picture of understatement and class.

Then the celebrant arrives in a low-cut top with bursting cleavage and the blushing bride is joined by a blushing groom as those expensive wedding photographs record the disaster for all time.

Like a Rowan Atkinson skit, couples are being left fuming as bumbling celebrants spoil their special day with gaffes to rival the old classic: "Do you take this bride to be your awful wedded wife?''

Celebrants who tried to crack on to the bride, shouted at guests, hit the booze or just failed to turn up have driven couples to fire off dozens of complaints to the federal Attorney-General's department over the past five years.

"I just wanted to say I think you're cute,'' one celebrant told a shocked bride at rehearsals.

Complaints obtained under Freedom of Information laws revealed celebrants also ran off with deposits, misspelled names on certificates or failed to lodge documents - in some cases rendering marriages invalid or leaving no trace of weddings at all. Even the most expensive and meticulously planned celebrations were not immune as celebrants mumbled through ceremonies, mispronounced names, forgot to ask couples to say "I do'' or missed the wedding kiss.

The number of registered civil celebrants has more than tripled to about 10,300 in the past eight years and operators warn of a rise in shonks.

"There are so many celebrants now that the average celebrant is doing five weddings a year. They are not going to get the experience they need to improve,'' said Alliance of Celebrants Queensland president Caroline Jackson.

"It's important you feel comfortable with the celebrant, don't go on price alone.

"A lot of celebrants out there are doing it as a weekend hobby, they charge very little and basically you get what you pay for.''

If complaints are substantiated celebrants can be suspended or deregistered, cautioned or ordered to undertake additional professional development. In cases examined by The Sunday Mail celebrants often escaped with a caution or were asked to apologise or pay back fees.

Some had not completed mandatory training for five years, exposing flaws in monitoring

Story by David Murray
Source: Courier Mail

As a celebrant these accounts are difficult to read, but in some cases, sadly true. The one thing that is particularly upsetting though is that for those of us who work our butts off to create a fantastic day for our clients, we are lumped in and made to look as bad as the few the Courier speak of.

As a trainer of Ongoing Professional Development for Celebrants I have the opportunity to work with many hard working, dedicated and knowledgeable celebrants who attend their 5 hours of training every year and come motivated and full of ideas for contribution.

On the whole being a celebrant is not a particularly lucrative endeavour and so for the most part the ones who go through the training and spend their hard earned money to get set up are there because they really want to be.

Of course there are ‘shonks’ as the Courier puts it, as there are in every industry, but word gets around pretty fast in the world of weddings and for those who do the things mentioned above, it doesn’t take long before they are known and no longer in business.

For couples looking to find a good celebrant, one that is right for them, good research is the answer. Like with anything in our society you often get what you pay for, so choosing the cheapest celebrant around may not always be in your best interest. Most celebrants charge a reasonable amount for the work that they do so if you find one that is charging much less than others you may want to look a little closer at what they are offering.

If you are looking for some great advice about how to choose the right celebrant for you, don’t miss our upcoming post on ‘Finding The Right Celebrant’, full of great ideas and strategies to ensure that the person guiding you and leading you through on one of the most important moments of your life is the right one. Keep a look out for it, coming soon.

Susan x

Creative 'Save the Date' Ideas

There are so many fun and unique ways to create a memorable 'save the date' to notify your guests of your big day. It should be something that represents you as a couple whether it be done in a vintage setting to represent personal taste or on a sports field to show a hobby or profession the more personal and creative the better! In order to help get your creative juices flowing we have compiled some of our favourite ideas found on the internet, enjoy!  

Please note: These photographs have been compiled from numerous sources including Facebook posts and other web pages. These photographs are not the property of The Wedding Guru's. If you would like any information on contacting the owner of a particular photograph we would be happy to assist.

Week 20: The Giving of the Bride - A Modern Version

Welcome to week 20 of our "52 traditions/rituals in 52 weeks".

A bride I recently worked with decided that she would like to explore the tradition of ‘the giving of the bride’. She desperately wanted to have the well known tradition as part of her ceremony, but she wasn’t happy with the traditional wording or the implication that she was something to be ‘given away’.

After much discussion and thought this is what we used.

The bride walks with her father to join her groom. He then leaves her and joins the other guests.

Celebrant: At this time, others might ask, who gives this bride in marriage, but, as a woman is not property to be given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own free will and if she has her family's blessing.

Celebrant: Danielle, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?

Danielle: Yes, it is true.

Celebrant:  And with whose blessings accompany you.

Bride's attendant (or anyone bride chooses): She’s accompanied with her father’s blessings.

While many still prefer the traditional ‘giving of the bride’ this is a fabulous adaptation and provides the perfect way for those who prefer a more modern approach to their ceremony, to still include traditional elements.

Let us know what you think

Susan x

Honeymoon Destination - Hawaii

The Wedding Gurus take you on a journey to

Hawaii is a honeymooners paradise with fantastic weather, stunning beaches and a never ending array of activities.

Hawaii is made up of 6 main islands with the main tourist spot being Honolulu on O’ahu. Honolulu (Waikiki) is Hawaii’s leisure and pleasure capital with gorgeous beachside resorts lined with the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean. Here you will find the main strip of Kalakaua Avenue where you can enjoy world class shopping, dining and entertainment. For those who do not enjoy the sand or the hustle and bustle of tourists, then Hawai’i (The Big Island) might be for you. The Big Island is home to the worlds most active volcano along with deserts, rainforests and surprisingly snow capped mountains. If you are looking for a holiday which includes the sun, sand, shopping and relaxation with a little exploring, hiking and mixing with the locals then why not take the time to spend 5 days on each island. Flights between them are only a mere 40 mins departing with Hawaiian Airlines several times each day.

The Facts:
Destination: Hawaii
Capital:  Honolulu

Location: USA

Distance from Australia: Aprrox. 9hours 45mins
Average Temperature:  27°

Recommended Length of Stay: 10 days (5days Honolulu and 5days Big Island)

Recommended Hotel:  Honolulu – Sheraton Waikiki in a King Ocean Front
                                          The Big Island -  Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

My Top 5 Must do’s in Honolulu:

1.       Diamond Head Crater Walk: Hike to the summit of Diamond head and enjoy 360 degree views of Waikiki and the blue of the Pacific Ocean

2.       Enjoy a shopping spree and bag a bargain at Ala Moana Centre. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as this behemoth precinct is some 1.8 million square feet. (picture: ariel view of the huge complex)

3.       Paradise Cove Luau: Experience a genuine Hawaiian Luau with a backdrop of a spectacular sunset. Amongst the excitement you will also enjoy tropical dishes, island games and local crafts.

4.       Pearl Harbour: Relive a monument in history at the Arizona Memorial shrine dedicated to the final resting place of the thousands of sailors killed during the Pearl Harbour attack in WWII.  

5.       Take a romantic stroll down Waikiki Beach Walk, grab yourself a rainbow coloured shaved ice and stop to admire the beautiful sunset.

My Top 3 Must do’s on The Big Island:

1.       Snorkel the secluded and beautiful beaches of the Kona Coast

2.       Hiking: Take the time to explore the breathtaking landscapes of the big island. Make your way through the volcanic trails or adventure through Hilo to find secluded waterfalls, many of the visitor centres will have trails you can follow.

3.       Helicopter Tour: Discover the big islands beauty with a birds eye view of its volcanic fury, lush rainforests and turquoise blue coast.

Note:  Those travelling from Australia and other countries will require an American Visa. This is an online application which can be completed on ESTA (approx. $14USD).

Happy Travelling!

Yasmin x

Latest Wedding Bridal Shoes

By Julie Ndagire
There are various types of wedding shoes ranging from closed, open, platform and high heels. The choice of the shoe to wear on the wedding day depends on what the bride whats. Most brides especially shorter one prefer high heels wedding shoes to low heels and even look smarter.

Most wedding shoes depend on the colour and style of wedding gown though a perfect choice is made by the bride herself.

Silver Wedding Shoes

White high heeled Wedding Shoes

Cream Flowered Bridal Shoes

Silver White Wedding Shoes

Royal Wedding Shoed

Grey Bridal Boot 

Platform Bridal Shoes

The Secret to Marital Bliss

Have you ever wondered what is the secret to a long, loving and fulfilling marriage? (haven't we all)

When couples first walk down the aisle, they are often consumed with the moment giving little thought to anything else, but once the big day is long gone, what is it that really holds people together?

There probably really isn't any one true answer for everyone as we are all different and place value on many varying things within a relationship, but there are some things that we would likely all agree on.

Perhaps honesty, loyalty, love, respect and attraction? Matching outfits? yes matching outfits.

According to this gorgeous couple, matching outfits is the secret to their long and happy 65 year marriage.

Check out this story as told by

An octogenarian couple have revealed the secret to their 65 years of marital bliss — matching outfits.

Joey Schwanke, 81, and her husband Mel, 86, bought their first custom-made matching outfits in 1976 and have dressed alike ever since.
They now own 146 bespoke coordinating ensembles and never leave their home in Fremont, Nebraska, in anything else.
"We don't dare go somewhere without having matching outfits," Mel told KETV. "Every day, every single day, my tie matches her dress."
Mel and Joey think their matching wardrobes "enhance" their relationship, but admit there's more to a happy marriage than dressing alike.
"To this day, if he does something for me I thank him," Joey told the Huffington Post.
"If we run into each other, we say excuse me. We fully respect each other and consider each other with every decision we make."

Latest Wedding Changing Dresses

By Julie Ndagire
Brides have different tastes and preferences. This applies to wedding gowns, bouquet, bridesmaids dresses, wedding theme colours and also changing dresses.

Some brides prefer long dresses while others like short dresses.

Below are some of the latest wedding changing or evening dresses.
Blue Changing Dress

Green Wedding Dress

White wedding changing dress