Month two – from engaged to married.

All you need is love .. and to follow are real life wedding

Sharmain and Jeremy

Month two


The day before they became engaged people.

When you start the wedding planning process, usually the first couple of things that are decided are the date, venue and the budget. The budget generally determines the venue and the venue can in turn determine the date (if it’s already booked or not) which is turn determines the number of guests, style of the event, food, drink etc.

So this month has been all about the wedding ceremony venue, and after alot of discussion among themselves and friends and family who have been through the wedding planning process, we have a winner, and it’s locked in!!

When they thought about what was important in choosing their ideal venue Sharmain and Jeremy had to think about the guest list, and nearby spots for photo opportunities, they also want their dog to be able to be a part of the special day in some way, so they had to consider somewhere that he would be welcome at or where he could maybe be bought at some point of the day for some photos with them.  Possibly the biggest challenge when deciding on the venue was finding somewhere which they both liked, which was semi private (no random strangers walking in) and a place that none of their family members had gotten married at before, there has been alot of weddings in the family in the last few years, so this was easier said than done.

This handsome fellow needs to be part of the ceremony

Because they were lucky enough to find the venue, view it and then book in, they have actually moved the wedding date up by a year, (yes it’s all about to get real, real fast!)

They have decided on who will be in their wedding party, but have yet to actually ask everyone, and have been lucky enough to secure one kick-arse celebrant (me) for the day.  Sharmain feels like everything is nicely falling into place .. so far.

‘Save the date’ cards will be sent out to friends and family who will need to travel to attend the wedding shortly and once whe’ve told our friends and family the date and venue, it will be all go.

The next big decision will be the reception venue, they are yet to decide between two different places, but that’s another blog post.

Celebrant Secrets

All you need is love and … some insider info from a celebrant.

shannon and sean
Shannon and Sean

I’ve been lucky enough to do a job I adore and have been the celebrant at a lot of weddings, and every single one, I try and learn something from, especially the one’s where things maybe don’t go according to the plan.  I thought I would put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard in this case and share some of the things I’ve learnt to assist you in your wedding planning.

  • There will always be someone who turns up in jeans, regardless of the dress code.  My personal belief is that there are only two occasions where you should show your respect for an occasion and dress accordingly and that is a wedding and a funeral. Unless of course the dress code is super casual (eg jeans and t-shirt) you should always put on a nice pair of pants.
last chance
  • There will always be that one person who thinks it’s funny to say “There’s still time to run” to the groom before the ceremony.
  • Make sure your dress fits properly.  Make sure it is tailored specifically for your body, so you don’t have any gaping areas, or are not worried about ‘the girls’ accidentally falling out at any time.  It will look better for photos and you will feel and thus look better if you know it fits perfectly.
  • Make sure that grooms/groomsman have ironed their shirts and not just pulled them straight out of the packaging moments before the ceremony, and in advice from another celebrant you can read about here: People we love: Nicola Wall – Celebrant, make sure the gents have also tried on their pants, to make sure they are the right length, especially if they have been tailored for them.

    Every bride looks beautiful on their wedding day

  • Allow a lot more time for everything the week and day of the wedding, everything will take longer than you anticipate, in my experience with brides, especially hair and make-up. It will be easier to fill in extra time (think a sneaky champers with the girls) than to be in a panic because you are late. If you are having your photos before your ceremony then making sure you have budgeted enough time in the morning will make sure you have ample time to relax and get those awesome photos.
  • Weddings bring out the worst in people.  Especially family. Make sure everyone is on the same page with duties and expectations, otherwise it will drive you crazy and take the shine off your wedding.


  • Lollipops are awesome distractors for little people on the big day during the ceremony.  Lollipops encourage them to generally stand still and they find it hard to make too much noise with their mouth full of lollipop.
  • Even the most chilled out bride will be stressed the day before the ceremony.  The key is to be organised, not just yourself but your groom, family and wedding party.
  • Don’t leave writing your vows till the day/evening before your wedding. It will put too much stress on yourself and make your celebrant tear her/his hair out.
  • Remember your wedding day should be a reflection and celebration of your love, not what great Aunty Fanny thinks you should have.
  • Have a plan B, just in case.
  • Every wedding is beautiful, whether it is big, small, expensive or on a budget.

I am absolutely honoured every time I get to bring together two people who have decided that they want to spend the rest of their lives together.  Every wedding is full of love and joy and those looks that lovebirds share with each other, and it makes my heart sing to be able to witness and share that each time.

When it’s all too much

All you need is love and … how to elope!

Sometimes it all gets a bit too much.  Maybe every man and his dog is putting their two cents worth into your wedding planning, maybe the two of you are constantly arguing, maybe the mother in law is being well.. a mother in law, maybe the costs are spiralling out of control, maybe you’re looking at each other and thinking ‘maybe we should just elope?’ You definitely wouldn’t be the first people to have these thoughts and you probably won’t be the last.  So here’s the skinny of whether it’s a good idea for you and some things to consider when you’re making the decision about running away to get married.


  • Prepare yourself for family and friends reactions- You will probably be on the receiving end of some strong reactions from your loved ones.  You need to be steadfast in your decision and not apologise.
  • Take care of the legal details – Different countries have different rules and legalities when it comes to marriage, make sure you are aware of the requirements for the area you are getting married.
  • Make a list – Make a list before of all the important people you will want to contact on the day, after you get married, parents, siblings, best friends, and make sure you call them to let them know the news before you make a larger announcement.  It will lessen the impact and surprise if these important people know first.
  • Send out a marriage announcement – Maybe when you get back from your honeymoon or just your wedding day, make a more formal announcement, most people do this on Facebook etc to let the rest of your people know that you got married.  This means that people that came to your engagement party etc know what’s going on.
  • Don’t down play the day – Just because it’s not the big white extravaganza, doesn’t mean that you can’t make it special and important.  You can still have a special dress/suit, maybe a favourite meal/bottle of bubbles, whatever you like to make the day special and memorable.  Remember it’s still your wedding day.
  • Get good photos – Photos are all you will have left of the day, because you won’t have many (if any) guests, so take the time and expense to get good photos of the ceremony and day.  It helps the guests that didn’t get invited feel better if they can see photos of the day.
  • Post wedding party – You can opt to have a post wedding party when you get home, to celebrate with family and friends.  This will be more relaxed than a wedding would be and you still get to share this special time with your closest ones.

No doubt whichever way you do it, you will still hurt people’s feelings.  But remember that your wedding day should be about you and your love and your lives together, not petty bickering and jealousy among those important to you.