Visitor weddings

Married, photo by Crystal Leigh Shearin, Rocky Mount, United StatesI promised to let you know why some visitors to Australia come here to get married because it is not possible to marry in their own country. I also wrote that as I was not exactly sure why this was the case I would wait for the next such wedding and then after more research I would let you know the facts. The reason is quite simple really. In a country where there is a main religion, the partner who is not of that religion needs to change to the religion of the land for a marriage to take place in the church. Here in our country inter-religious marriages have become easier in some cases. Back to the case of marriages in countries outside Australia – when a couple wished to have a civil marriage in such a country, red tape can take so long that it becomes thwarting. So couples visit other countries, bring back the formal documentation which is then recognised and registered in their own country.

I conducted a wedding for a couple from overseas where in their country it was
difficult to have a wedding due to his different religion
so once they lodged the notice of intended marriage in the due time
they flew over and I conducted their marriage in the Royal Botanic Gardens
with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the background
it was a delight and the photographer took some impressive pictures
he then took them to other attractive scenic spots where
more pictures were taken, finishing off in their hotel lobby
the couple then flew off to Fiji for their honeymoon…
a marriage to remember

Married, photo by Crystal Leigh Shearin, Rocky Mount, United States

Wedding ceremony

437055_white_bauhinia.jpgOn your special day, you choose the wedding ceremony according to your taste. A romantic ceremony in a park, on a beach, at a reception house, in your backyard, even at the Opera House on the steps. Another exciting part of having a celebrant formalise your marriage is that you choose whether it is a long script or one that is short and sweet. This choice enables you to create the ceremony that has meaning for both of you. Check the celebrant category on this site and get some ideas about what to choose.

the bride and groom wore black
and so did the guests
the marriage took place on the
wharf at the Opera House
they chose the short version
the sun was shining and a cool breeze
gently ruffled everyone’s clothes
then in the middle of the romantic ceremony
helicopters buzzed above, in formation
their mates on the FX team had organised that
and everyone waved at the sky
a day to remember that was

Relationship checklist

from:New York Times

Heart, photo by Michael Bretherton, Brisbane, Australia, customised relationshipsQuestions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying
Published: December 17, 2006
Relationship experts report that too many couples fail to ask each other critical questions before marrying. Here are a few key ones that couples should consider asking:

1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

2) Do we have a clear idea of each otherís financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?

3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?

5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?

6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?

7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?

8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one anotherís ideas and complaints?

9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each otherís spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?

10) Do we like and respect each otherís friends?

11) Do we value and respect each otherís parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?

12) What does my family do that annoys you?

13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?

14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the otherís family, are we prepared to move?

15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the otherís commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?

Honeymoon period

Lovers, photo by Sundar Chinnusamy, Erode India, loving relationshipsMost times when we romantically connect with people, the first phase is called the honeymoon period because it’s a state of ‘love in bloom’. We think alike, we enjoy the same food and drinks. We share the same interests, even to the extent that the men watch ‘chick flicks’ and the women watch ‘action movies’ (usually full of gruesome violence). Just being together is fun. It’s a moment in time that usually lasts for 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years, as shown by surveys. The relationship can then transform into a loving relationship based on friendship. Couples can customise their relationships to suite themselves and make life fulfilling which will provide a safe environment for their children, if they have any.

he asked her to marry him and
as both had been divorced
as well as having children between them
they discussed two or three vital issues
which they expected to face in marriage
then they agreed on some resolutions
which they could use to avoid disharmony
it was a peaceful, happy, sensual relationship
and above all a friendship based on respect

Wedding day

la propuesta, photo by Gabriel Bulla, Isla Margarita, Venezuela,  wedding ceremonyBeing in love is amazing and people like to complete the experience by getting married. The wedding day can be formal or it can be as depicted in this photo, partly formal and partly casual. Whatever it is, the main emphasis needs to be on making the day exciting and unforgettable. As a celebrant I have been a part of many wedding ceremonies which can be seen in the weddings category on this page.

they were in love and well organised
they knew how they wanted to celebrate
their wedding day and it sounded
absolutely fantastic because
it would be on the beach with a
few members of the family
and close friends
they all loved dreamy weddings
and this one was so romantic too

Getting married

Pure Gold, photo by Sanja Gjenero, Zagreb, Croatia, getting marriedNowadays people have happy relationships without getting married. However, quite often such happy people make a decision to get married because they feel it would enhance their relationship. This can be a smooth uncomplicated process to organise if they work together and if they have similar tastes. The bride usually knows what sort of rings will please her, after all she will be wearing that jewellery every day of her life. So it is wise to have her be a part of the shopping exercise for both her engagement and wedding rings.

they came to me so I would conduct their wedding
my role was fairly simple once we completed the
legal Notice of Intended Marriage form
they needed help with organising the ceremony
as celebrants are not permitted to be wedding planners
the best I could do was give them examples of weddings
which I had experienced previously and this meant
that they had many choices to make from other
peoples ideas and experiences

Pure Gold, photo by Sanja Gjenero, Zagreb, Croatia, getting married

Notice of Intended Marriage

Kiss, photo by Hobbes Yeo, Singapore, wedding ceremonyIt is important to remember that when you plan to get married, you need to make a Notice of Intended Marriage application which is witnessed by your Marriage Celebrant (or an authorised official) no later than 1 month and 1 day before the intended marriage date. The celebrant will also need to view your birth certificates and divorce documents (if applicable). If you’re born overseas, a passport and statutory declaration can be accepted if you don’t have a birth certificate. There is no chance that the celebrant can shorten the period to less than the 1 month and 1 day which is required by law. However, the celebrant can write a letter explaining your circumstances which you both could take to your local court for approval of shortening of time. This approval is not easily gained, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Both parties need to be applying before the minimum required time, so be prepared.

she phoned me 2 weeks before New Year’s Eve
and asked me to conduct their wedding at midnight
what’s more she wanted it to be a surprise for him
she assured me that he always wanted them to marry
and all their friends could confirm it, if necessary
I refused saying that it was outside the minimum time
and that both parties needed to sign the
Notice of Intended Marriage before that period
she was angry about my response but
celebrants have no choice in this matter

Pets at your wedding

Marriage dog, photo by Michael Ruck, Bonn Germany, like familyPets are part of the family in many cases. So at one of the most important ceremonies of your life it can be vital to have your pet present. When you have a civil marriage ceremony that is possible. You not only choose the type of ceremony you will have, the place it will take place but also having your pet with you as part of that special day with the people you love most.

they had been living together for several years
and now it was time to celebrate their union
with a wedding ceremony which included
family, close friends and their pet who
was like family to them
it was such a rich day because
they could have their celebration
exactly how they wanted and
in their favourite park
with their loved ones sharing it
especially with their loved pet

Marriage dog, photo by Michael Ruck, Bonn Germany

Wedding flowers

Orchids, photo by Justyna Furmanczyk, Rotterdam, Netherlands, traditional eleganceWedding flowers are such a lovely touch for a marriage ceremony. Once a small bouquet was thrown by the bride for the single females to catch.? It was believed that whoever caught the bouquet would be the next to get married.? Nowadays it is possible to have an elaborate arrangement which the bride keeps and has framed as well as a smaller version to throw for the single women to try and catch.

my daughter has her wedding bouquet
which is dried, pressed and framed
hanging on a wall in her house
it is so gorgeous and it always
reminds me of the day they
celebrated their marriage
even though on the funny side
I had tripped and landed on
my knees as we were about
to have family photos taken
I often wonder what brought
me to my knees, or was it
just clumsy of me?

Successful wedding

the kiss, photo by Noelle Franzen, Carlsbad, United States, bride and groomAnyone who has lived through a wedding will know the stress that can take place. However, there are moments that are blissful too. Choosing the venue, the outfits, the catering, the dance music, and the wedding party. Of course the festivities just before are a fun experience too. What fuels the whole process, so that it does not collapse, is the love the bride and groom have for each other. This love can overcome all sorts of hassles in order to have a successful wedding. When everyone looks back on the event through the photographs, they forget those moments of stress and eventually only remember how wonderful it was.

oh what a commotion it was
the in-laws disagreed about almost everything
it was going to cost more than was planned
but the wedding was in the Royal Botanic Gardens
overlooking the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House
the weather was fantastic
the outfits were perfect
the bride and groom had the freedom
to choose what they wished to do
for one of the most important days of their lives
the celebration was on a reception boat in the harbour
and everything made it a successful wedding
to remember for the rest of their lives

the kiss, photo by Noelle Franzen, Carlsbad, United States, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/370021