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Great Ways To Include Guests In Your Wedding Ceremony

by | Ceremony Wisdom, Wisdom


Julia of Julia's Celebrant Agency
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory

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By getting your wedding guests involved, everyone will feel the love during your ceremony! Elena has some great advice on how your guests and even your bridal party can take the lead during the ceremony and perform what traditionally is done by the celebrant.. and why not? As long as the legals are covered, you can be as creative as you like!


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Some fabulous ideas to include your guests in your ceremony – nothing like “sharing the love” around a little!

About Julia’s Celebrant Agency: Julia’s Celebrant Agency is a website that showcases the best Melbourne Celebrants who are available on your wedding day! With just a click of a button you can see straight away who is available and who would LOVE to perform your wedding! Each profile displays the Celebrant’s fees and inclusions which will make your search easy, informative and with no hidden surprises. With over 20 video interviews on the site you can see the Celebrant’s fun personalities come to life, making your important decision all the more easier and enjoyable!

Vendor’s Favourites – Mitchell J Carlin Wedding Photographer

by | Vendor's Favourite, Wisdom


Mitchell J Carlin Wedding Photographer


1. The Boomerang Farm. I love photographing here. Tracey and her crew now how to throw a party. The grounds are super photogenic with a beautiful barn setting for the reception. Perfect for your rustic needs! Image by Mitchell J Carlin

2. Meeting Unique Couples. Probably my favourite thing of all is meeting awesome couples. There are not many jobs where you meet different people every single week. Let alone share a major life event with. Every couple I photograph is as unique as the next no matter how big or small the wedding. I sometimes have to pinch myself that this is a job that allows me to travel, create what I want and share it with people all over the globe. If I could give any advice to any couples out there,  just do what you want and be yourself. It’s your party to throw! Images by Mitchell J Carlin

3. Confetti. Who doesn’t love a good confetti shot. Plus it’s fun to throw! Image by Mitchell J Carlin

4. Paul Voge Marriage Celebrant. Paul is such a great guy and an amazing celebrant. He’s funny, professional, hardworking and c’mon…look how handsome he is! I wish I could work with him every wedding! Image by Natalie McComas

5. Anchored CinemaThere aren’t too many videographers that I come across that make my job as a photographer easier. James is one of those film makers who makes my life easier. He just gets it. He knows where to be and where not to be, He knows his way around a wedding and as you can see, does what he needs to do to get the shot. Image by Anchored Cinema.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such a fun wedding favourites wishlist! We love confetti too! – it just makes everyone happy!

About Mitchell J Carlin Wedding Photographer: Hi, I’m Mitch! I like to photograph people. I like that in a split second you can freeze an expression and keep it forever. More importantly, I live for the fact that photographs of people or beings can cause a reaction. This reaction might be good, bad, happy and even sadness, but, you name it, portraits will stir emotion. I follow a deep desire to create emotion through photography, and that is what put me on the Wedding Train!

Wedding Ceremony Details To Consider

by | Ceremony Wisdom, Wisdom


Mona Chung-Chao


Image by Carla Atley Photography via Kylie and Matthew’s Rustic Vintage Winery Wedding

As you prepare for your big day with your ceremony officiant, there are many things to consider and decide upon. Here is my checklist of useful things to consider:

How would you like to walk down the aisle?  Traditionally, flower girls and page boys lead the way followed by bridesmaids/men, then the bride with her father.  Nowadays there are so many options, so choose the one that reflect you and your relationships. If the bride is close with both of her parents, she can ask both of them to walk her down the aisle. Or choose whoever you think makes the most sense to ‘lead you towards your future’ (or as it more traditionally known ‘giving you away’)


Image by Louisa Bailey via Julia and Nathan’s Urban Art Gallery Wedding

Groomsmen can walk down separately or together with the bridesmaids whilst the groom can be walked down by parents as well.  Or the bride and groom can walk down the aisle hand in hand together! Just know whatever you choose is up to what the two of you decide.

For flower girls and page boys, anyone under the age of four can be unpredictable.  Walking them together is super cute and less stressful for them.  A good ‘Plan B’ if they don’t want to walk is for the next adult (usually a bridesmaid) to take them by the hand and lead them down.  I’ve had several small babies make an entrance in a little decorated trailer pulled by slightly older children and it’s very cute! And of course do not forget flower dogs can be included as well!


Image by Arlene Bax Photography via Pia and Marty’s Romantic Perth Wedding

If you have a veil covering your face, choose whether you want to remain covered for the majority of the ceremony until “you may kiss the bride” or you can be ‘unveiled’ by your groom or the person giving you away at the start.  Try to picture the two options and together discuss which one feels right.

A religious minister usually stands in between the couple but there is no reason a civil celebrant needs to.  Check to find out where your celebrant will stand.  Ideally it is off to one side most of the time and especially during the most photogenic moment – the kiss!

If the bride has a favourite side to take photos from, or her hairstyle shows off one side better (like a hairpiece), then make sure to stand so that side is the side facing the guests for all the photos! Hide tissues too for just in case moments  – boys in their pockets, girls in your palms holding the bouquet!


Image by Karen Buckle via Robyn and Curt’s Handmade Sunshine Coast Wedding

Who is responsible for the rings and being your legal witnesses?  Traditionally it is the best man and maid of honour but share the love (or roles) if you choose!  Ask siblings or cousins or other friends like a mentor or parents.  In Australia, the witnesses only need to be over 18 and understand the language the legal section of the ceremony is being conducted in.  They do not have to be citizens of Australia so parents living overseas can be a popular option.

Agree beforehand how you wish to be introduced socially – for example, as Mr & Mrs.  Or if the bride prefers not to be known by the same surname as her husband, discuss what you want and let the celebrant know to use those titles to set the tone.  In Australia, a legal change of name is a separate procedure so a name change is not automatic once you are married.


Image by Towards the Moon Photography via May & George’s Modern Outdoor Hunter Valley Wedding

If it matters to you, agree beforehand if you want to advise your guests about your wishes in regard to taking photographs and social media posting; ask the celebrant to make an announcement and/or include it in a little pamphlet.

Do not let these details stress you out.  To be more prepared on the day just means you are able to enjoy your wedding that little bit more.  At the end of the day, remember this: no matter what happens, you were married and the day was a success!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Wonderful advice about witnesses – it gives you another opportunity to include loved ones in your ceremony!

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