When Fleur Wood launched her bridesmaids collection at her Strand Arcade store in Sydney, she did so in beautiful style. Along with much dress trying on, sweet gift bags and bouquets of creamy white blossoms tiered wedding cake masterpieces with sugar roses amongst other sweet treats created by Sweet Art.

Images by Fleur Wood

Some Do’s and Don’ts when writing your vows …

Photo by Mine Forever

DO make your wedding vows a priority.

It’s easy to get caught up in every other aspect of the wedding. Set aside some time to focus on your vows, whether you choose words that have been provided by your celebrant or craft your own. Your vows should be one of the most important parts of the ceremony.

Photo courtesy of Andre Elhay Photography.

DON’T rely on your memory.

I know you want the romantic moment that you see in the movies, where the Bride and Groom speak from the heart and recite their vows to each other … that’s a beautiful thought, but the reality is that the nerves kick in and all of a sudden, you go blank … nothing! By all means, memorise your vows, but always have a back up, have them written or give a copy to your celebrant so that they can prompt you if you forget.

DO get personal.

Your vows should reflect you and your relationship with your partner. You can make cute promises to each other like “ I promise to always put you first – even during the footy season!” These promises can be made alongside the more serious vows, and will often get a laugh from the crowd, this adds to the personal nature of your ceremony.

DON’T get too personal.

It’s good to get personal, but please don’t get too personal; you won’t get a laugh if the joke is only between the two of you. And remember, be appropriate, there are just some things that should stay between you and your partner. Take into consideration your audience, your parents, and possibly grandparents that will be present.

DO ask for help.

Your celebrant can help you write your vows by offering examples or editing what you have written. Your parents or close friends may also offer some advice. It is always a good idea for a fresh pair of eyes to look over them. The most important thing to remember is speak from your heart and it will all fall into place.

Photo by Mine Forever

Ms Gingham says: This is probably the hardest form of public speaking because not only are you speaking from the heart, to the person you love, but you also have an audience! Thanks go to Melissa from Mine Forever for these great tips!

My name is Melissa and I consider it a privilege to play a part in a couple’s history together. To share in one of the most significant moments of their lives. I am in my 30’s and have been married myself for 15 years. I offer an alternative to the ”old lady” celebrants for those couples looking for someone with whom they can relate and feel comfortable with. Someone who will create a ceremony with beauty and meaning.

Find out more about Mine Forever here.

Image courtesy of Gabby Vitali

Ever since I was a wee young thing, I have been fascinated by how one finds one’s life partner; how do you know you have the met “the one”? Is it an instant recognition, one that creeps up on you slowly, or one where you just take a chance but are never really sure until much later? My fascination with a couple’s story continues to be present with every couple I speak to in my work as an authorised civil marriage celebrant.

The reason I don’t offer set ceremonies, or ask you to choose from a standard set of vows, is that your ceremony is YOUR ceremony. It is a chance for you to tell your story, to promise to each other the things you cherish, you hold dear and the things that make your relationship special. My role is to listen, translate, script and tell that story for you in a ceremony that is created just for you.

There are some legal components we absolutely must comply with, but we are so fortunate under Australian law to still have a great deal of flexibility and can therefore create a bespoke ceremony. It is this personalisation that makes the occasion not only memorable for the two of you, but also for all those dear to you. So, before you visit your chosen celebrant my advice to you is to spend some time reflecting on your story, how you met, the magic moments in your journey so far. Decide who has been a special part of this story and who you would like to involve in your ceremony.

From here, you can work with your celebrant to design a ceremony that reflects your story. This is your moment, so make sure it reflects who you are, whether you do this by writing your own vows or going one step further. Like Kirstin and Florian, who chose to tell their story on the ocean in their kayaks. Or perhaps like Martine and Scott, who used black and white ribbons to symbolize all the good times and all the challenging times they had already had and are sure to have on their journey together. Or perhaps like Matt and Marisa who wanted to involve their extended family by asking each of their nieces and nephews to read out a wish for their future.

With four sisters between them, it was “the sisters” who joined the hands of Fred and Ness. Each ribbon colour represented a special element for their future and a link to their families’ support throughout their lives together.

Image courtesy of Samatha House of Photography

Image courtesy of Samatha House of Photography

Kayak lovers Kristin and Florian take their first paddle as husband and wife after an intimate ceremony on the water.

Image by Danicia Dutry Ceremonies

A blessing of crowns by the groom’s brother brought traditional Greek Orthodox foundations to Cath and Steve’s very modern ceremony filled with laughter and friendship at the lovely Charlies Estate winery.

Image by Ben Reynolds Photography

Nanny, Holly, wanted the joy of children reflected in her ceremony so we arranged for the oldest child of one of her clients to read out a reflective poem as Holly and her proud partner released two balloons tied in a single knot.

Image courtesy of Holly Forbes

While D’arcy and Sim wanted to show that their marriage meant giving a part of yourself to the other forever. They used their rings, which were imprinted with their respective thumbprints to symbolise this. We included in their ceremony, a special moment where their nearest and dearest thumbprinted their own mark on a wishing tree with a difference, as witnesses to this moment. Their definitions of “Love is …”, were also one of the most unique and personal vows I have included in a ceremony.

Image by Danicia Dutry Ceremonies

When all the champagne is drunk and the dancing over, you will remember that moment, standing up in front and your family and friends, when it is just about the two of you. Use that opportunity to make it your own and make sure you find a celebrant who understands you and can articulate your story.

Image by Danicia Dutry Ceremonies

More ideas on personalising your ceremony are available under my magic moments at Danicia Dutry Ceremonies

Ms Gingham says: There are so many ways to introduce small elements into your wedding day to really reflect who you are as a couple. These examples are so beautiful. Thank you to Danicia for sharing them with us.

Danicia says: One of life’s most amazing milestones is to find a partner to share your life. Creating a bespoke ceremony requires exceptional planning, facilitation and people skills. It is my absolute pleasure to offer this service to couples embarking on their life journey.