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8 Things You Can Learn About A Marriage Celebrant From Their Website

by | Ceremony Wisdom, Wisdom


BrisCityCelys, Brisbane City Celebrants

Eves on the River Wedding Ceremony with Brisbane Celebrant Ciara 550x365 8 Things You Can Learn About A Marriage Celebrant From Their Website

When beginning the search for the ‘right’ Marriage Celebrant, most soon to be wed couples will find themselves on a Celebrants website, but aside from finding out what the Celebrant costs and what services they provide, how else can you determine if the Celebrant is the right fit to perform the wedding for you and the love of your life?

Here are some great little pointers to help couples learn everything they need to know about their potential Celebrant, all from a quick visit to their website.

  • A relaxed, happy and connected couple: It is so important for brides and grooms to be relaxed enough to be able to really enjoy their ceremony and share that beautiful connection. The Celebrant plays a vital role in putting nervous brides and grooms at ease so this one is particularly important for any couples that are anticipating that they may feel quite nervous on the day. Look at photos and videos of the Celebrant in action to see if the couple are engaged and enjoying what the Celebrant is saying, if they appear, calm, happy, connected and full of emotion, this indicates that the Celebrant has got the ceremony wording and the delivery of the ceremony spot on!

Eves on the River Wedding Celebrant Ciara Hodge 550x365 8 Things You Can Learn About A Marriage Celebrant From Their Website

Eves on the River Wedding Ceremony with Brisbane City Celebants 550x365 8 Things You Can Learn About A Marriage Celebrant From Their Website

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  • Specialties: A Celebrants website should almost instantly give you an indication of the kind of ceremonies that the Celebrant specialises in, for example, this may be any combination of fun, simple, meaningful, elegant, traditional, fancy dress, religious or non-religious wedding ceremonies. They may be an expert in beach weddings with sand ceremonies or pagan style weddings with hand fasting rituals. There is such a diverse range of Celebrants available to choose from which makes getting the right one for you and your partner so important yet so rewarding.
  • Testimonials: Read their testimonials particularly the ones from brides and grooms, which carry a lot more weight than reviews from fellow wedding vendors who haven’t had the whole bride and groom experience. Gauge ‘why’ the bride and groom were so happy with that Celebrant, their reasons may be completely different to how the Celebrant describes themselves, and ask yourself, is that an important personality trait or inclusion for your potential Celebrant?
  • Writing: The Language used in the various segments of their website is a good indication of how they write and present their ceremonies. Is their ‘lingo’ similar to yours and does it match the tone you envisage for you ceremony?
  • Celebrants Presentation: Are there photos of them dressed in what you consider to be appropriate Wedding Celebrant attire? After all their choice of outfit may forever hold a place in your precious wedding album.
  • Positioning of the Bride and Groom: Look for photos of the Celebrant performing weddings. Are the bride and groom perfectly centered at the end of the aisle? Are they facing each other without their backs to anyone and sharing a beautiful connection? Or are they looking a little awkward as they face forward looking back at the guests? Or have they been positioned with their backs to the guests for most of the ceremony? If there is a bridal party, are the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen looking fairly symmetrical on either side of the couple? A minor detail but one you may be very grateful for later when you receive your stunning wedding photos.
  • The Kiss: Most couples are very grateful to Celebrants who step out of the camera frame for the wedding kiss. The kiss is a highlight of your ceremony as you ‘seal the deal’ so you may well appreciate not getting photo bombed by your Celebrant for this once in a lifetime shot.

Nick Emma 187 550x827 8 Things You Can Learn About A Marriage Celebrant From Their Website

  • Professionalism: Finally, a professionally presented, informative and up to date website is indicative of a professional Celebrant that prides themselves on presentation.

Eves on the River Wedding Modern Celebrant Ciara Hodge 550x365 8 Things You Can Learn About A Marriage Celebrant From Their Website

Images by Nick Evans Photo of Emma and Nicks wedding with Brisbane City Celebrants Ciara Hodge.

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Ms Gingham says: I love this article. A great place to start when you’re trying to narrow your potential celebrant list down. Thanks Brisbane City Celebrants!

Ciara Hodge & Jamie Eastgate of Brisbane City CelebrantsWe are a modern, passionate and enthusiastic team of Brisbane Wedding Celebrants. We love nothing more than seeing our brides and grooms so happy and relaxed throughout their wedding ceremony

Tips For Bridesmaids Dresses

by | Fashion Wisdom, Wisdom


Sacha Drake

Having all your best girlfriends together to celebrate with you on your big day is one of the many things that makes the day so special, however finding a dress that suits everyone can be a difficult task! Thankfully, long gone are the days where all your friends need to be clone copies of each other in the exact same dress and hair and makeup. I love seeing bridal parties that celebrate the uniqueness of each individual and personality and really, what bride doesn’t want to see their girlfriends equally comfortable and feeling beautiful on the day.

A trend that we are seeing a lot of in bridal and event dressing is when brides pick a versatile fabric or colour and then let bridesmaids choose a dress that best accentuates their personality and body shape. Here are my pearls of wisdom on the classic ‘body shapes’ and how to flatter them.

The timeless Hourglass typically has a curvy bust and hips, narrow waist, medium width shoulders and a slim or shapely thigh. With this figure your best asset is your slender waist and gorgeous curves so show them off! Avoid anything too roomy in the waist. A lean skirt or A-line dress shape will be your best choices.

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Marta Fitted Lace Dress

Statuesque Columns have shoulders and hips that are the same width, flat tummies with thicker waists, small to medium busts and slender legs and arms. Show off your slim limbs, focus on styles that can be wrapped or tied to create a waistline and get bare shoulders out into the open!

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Prunella Long Fishtail Dress

Apples typically have broad shoulders, a voluptuous bust, rounded tummy, slim hips and thighs. Choose garments with open necklines to draw attention to your face, use soft draping and ruching that skims not clings to a fuller tummy and go for clean tailored lines to streamline your body and show off your legs.

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Persimone Cap Sleeve Faux Wrap Dress

Pear shapes typically have narrow shoulders, a neat bust and waist, wider hips and curvaceous thighs. Create a wider shoulder line with sleeve details to balance out hips and stick with hems to the knee to show off your shapely calves.

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Bennie Fifties Style Dress

Pregnant woman can be any body shape so be proud of your growing bump! Keep a feminine silhouette by creating shape under the bust and choose open necklines so that you are not ‘all tummy’.

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Cheryl Long Silk Dress

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About Sacha Drake: Encouraged by her mother at age 14, Sacha Drake started sewing lessons with a 70-year-old tailoress where she was taught made-to-measure pattern-making and sewing.  She continued her education by studying fashion in Brisbane, costume design in London and film making in Rome. Sacha’s commitment to designing clothes that are uniquely feminine, yet striking and flatter all women’s bodies are the core values behind what she creates. Sacha believes in realistic sizing and pricing that is reflective of most women.

What Would They Know? Danicia Quinlan of Pastel Blues Ceremonies

by | Ceremony Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Pastel Blue Ceremonies What Would They Know? Danicia Quinlan of Pastel Blues Ceremonies

Where would we be without wedding celebrants? Providing an alternative to the traditional church based ceremony, a celebrant is the most important part of your wedding day. Without a celebrant, the day becomes – well – just a beautifully planned party. And Danicia from Pastel Blues Ceremonies does just that. What a great profession – helping a couple craft the words that fit their unique story, guiding a couple throughout the ceremony to the end point of being legally married, sharing in the joy of the moment. Now isn’t that the perfect job?

What was the catalyst for becoming a wedding celebrant?

I had recently sold my consulting business and was sitting on a veranda feeding my youngest babe when the postman delivered a flyer advertising the Cert IV Celebrant course at a local TAFE. I had spent most of my career consulting on quite challenging resource and community projects and all I could think of was how nice it would be to regularly be surrounded by people who were truly and genuinely happy. So I enrolled that day and have been surrounding myself by wonderful folk ever since.

How long have you been in this business?

4 ½ years.

3 Emma and Trent photo credit to Arlene Bax What Would They Know? Danicia Quinlan of Pastel Blues Ceremonies

Image by Arlene Bax Photography

What is the most special thing for you, being a marriage celebrant?

The most special thing about being a marriage celebrant is having the opportunity to hear and share a couple’s story. I feel so privileged to sit down with my couples and hear their honest, heartfelt, funny, sad and sometimes truly inspiring stories on how they found and picked each other. Out of all the millions of folk wondering about the planet that they decided to make a call to share the journey of life with each other.

How does a bridal couple go about deciding which celebrant suits their personal style?

Offering a bespoke service means I need to understand what each couple is looking for and work to incorporate not only their story, but adapt the presentation of the ceremony to suit their expectations. For most couples, the decision is based on the gender of the celebrant, how formal or personal they would like their ceremony and what expectations their family may have on how the ceremony will be presented. They usually decide this through an assessment of a celebrant’s website and social media profiles, word of mouth recommendations and then meeting the celebrant for an initial meeting in person.

How scheduled should a ceremony be, as far as timing, atmosphere, readings etc? Is there room for flexibility?

My theory is weddings are crazy enough and random things do happen quite regularly! The best way I have found to deal with that is to have a fairly strict script so everyone knows where we are all going on the day. It just makes it easier to deal with the chaos that may unexpectedly arise.

From my perspective it is also crucial that the couple feels completely comfortable on the day. This is achieved by ensuring they know what is coming next and have walked through it all beforehand.

The flexibility comes in the development of the ceremony in the lead up to the big day so it is personal and atmospheric.

2 Ryan and Jess Ceremony Credit to Angela Higgins What Would They Know? Danicia Quinlan of Pastel Blues Ceremonies

Image by Angela Higgins Photography

Do have set ceremony formats, or do you guide couples to personalize their ceremony as much or as little as they wish?

I see my job to facilitate the process rather than insist upon it. I work with my couples to think through the structure of the ceremony so we cover all the people they wish to involve and the bits that are important to them in the ceremony. I then use their story to drive the content development.

Can you suggest readings or poems that might suit the particular style of ceremony? 

Generally once I get a better understanding of the couple’s story and the focus of their ceremony, I recommend a number of readings and styles that might suit and we work together to select something. In other instances brides (or grooms!) have ideas and we work them in. For example, I’ve had one bride carry around the lyrics to Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” since she was 17 so naturally we just incorporated this.

What are some examples of readings or poems that you have come across lately that are a little different? 

I love Woody Guthrie’s ‘Wedding Blessing’ that one of my couples brought in not so long ago and the lyrics to Barry Louis Polisar’s ‘All I want is you’ regularly warms my heart. It doesn’t matter how many times I hear it I still think E.E Cumming’s ‘I Carry Your Heart’ is so beautiful.

1Tiffany and Jason Crowd Shot photo credit Ben Adams What Would They Know? Danicia Quinlan of Pastel Blues Ceremonies

Image by Ben Adams

You must see many delightful unplanned moments. Without giving away too many secrets, do you have one or two you can share, that touched your heart?

One of my favourite unplanned moments was when a father of the bride asked for the microphone before he handed over his daughter and he looked his future son-in-law in the eye and he simply said, “this girl is our joy and our light, before I give her away I want you to promise you will do nothing to crush her sparkle”. It took everything in my power to stop the tears running down my face. The poor groom, he was white as a sheet but he made the promise and then took his gorgeous bride’s hand.

Any suggestions for beautiful places to consider for a marriage ceremony?

I am quite partial to an indoor ceremony and love Indianna’s in Cottesloe, Kidogo Art House, Fremantle and the Linton & Kaye Gallery in Perth City. Outdoors the Marlee Pavilion in Kings Park is my absolute fav.

What is your most treasured item?

Oh tricky, I have a few treasured items – a painting that makes my heart smile every time I see it, all of my books and a 1960s Amethyst Cocktail ring that I had loved since I was a wee lass and my mother gave it to me the day I gave birth to my first son.

4 Emma and Tom Credit to Libby Edwards Photography What Would They Know? Danicia Quinlan of Pastel Blues Ceremonies

Image by Libby Edwards Photography

What books are your reading at the moment?

I have just finished Lost River by WA author Simone Lazaroo which I adored. John William’s Stoner is still on my bedside table as well.

What do you like to do in your leisure time?

My life is a little crazy busy at the moment as, in addition to marring people on weekends, I have taken on the GM Operations PFCI at the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for leisure but I do love sailing, spending time with my two delightful boys and lurking in the odd wine bar around town.

Thank you Danicia for sharing your story with us. To find out more about Pastel Blues Ceremonies visit the website.

Headshot by Nicolle Versteeg Photography

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