"So, are you planning on writing your own vows....?'
It's a question that your Celebrant will no doubt ask early in planning your ceremony.
It's also a question that elicits the most panic in some people.
The idea of writing your own vows and saying them in front of your family and friends
with a microphone can be intimidating. To say the least.
Fear not, I'm here to help!
Here are my tips for writing and delivering vows that will make your beloved's heart soar!
Amazing photographers capturing your Vows and my loved up face....!
Georgia Verrells, Blueton Studio, Weddings With Ryal
1. I got you!
I'll ask to you to send me your vows separately so that they are a surprise to each other on the day.
I will read over them. I will provide feedback.... if you want me to.
I will check that your Vows are the same tone and roughly the same length.
I will most likely get emotional when I read them.
Then, I will print them and have them ready for you on your Wedding Day.
There's no memorising, writing it on your hand or having a crumbled piece of paper tucked
into your pocket, bouquet or shoe on my watch!
When it comes time in the ceremony to say your Vows, I've got you...!
I'll be standing right there beside you. Not in a creepy way.... just in a supportive way.
I'll be there with a reassuring shoulder squeeze, or holding the microphone for you or
holding the book for you. Whichever feels more comfortable for you.
2. Only think about your partner
What are you promising to your partner today?
What do you love the most about them?
This is not the time for a comedy routine or to make all of your guests laugh.
In fact, forget about your guests and just think about the person whom you are marrying.
When it comes to writing to your Vows, go back to the Questionnaire that you filled out to help
your Celebrant write your story.
You'll probably find that the inspiration for your Vows is already there.
Your Vows do not need to be a love letter.
Think of them as a list of promises and statements.
An example of this....
…….., I choose you today, and every day.
You make me....
I am so lucky to.....
I promise to.....
I promise to......
Have fun with your Vows.
Maybe you want to promise to finally watch that TV show you've been resisting...
Maybe you want to promise to build a family together...
Maybe be you want to promise to always have your partner's favourite chocolate in the cupboard.
Think about what you want to say to your (very near) future partner.
Trust me, you won't regret writing your own Vows.
And.... I got you! I'm here to help.
Need some more reassurance and inspiration.....?
Head over to read the wise words of Prue, Roxy and Kate
Do you have a 'Plan B'....?
It's a question that every Celebrant will ask their couple when they hear that they are planning a beautiful outdoor Wedding.
Especially in Melbourne.......! What's the 'Plan B' for torrential rain...? Or a scorching 45 degrees?
Now, in these unprecedented times (take a drink for those playing along at home!) our concerns about weather seem almost trivial!
Our Plan B now involves limits of guest numbers, hand sanitisers, social distancing and face masks...! Not to mention the fact that in Stage 4 Lockdown Weddings were actually BANNED!
Wedding Planning in 2020 has thrown a whole load of new decisions in the mix.
Those decisions can be incredibly difficult to make and will be very different for everyone.
While we haven't faced this situation before..... we've faced making decisions before, and sometimes, on the day of the wedding, to make the memorable and amazing day that you dreamed of.
I wanted to offer a Real Wedding that proves that Plan B can actually be awesome!
Paul and Jane had their first date in Fitzroy Gardens and it has always been a very important place for them, so obviously when it came time to get married, the Gardens were an obvious first choice.
Plans were made, permits acquired, signage designed and rehearsals held.
The week of the Wedding however Melbourne turned it on with days of continuing rain.
And more rain and more rain.
Umbrellas were sourced. Still more rain.
After many discussions, involving tears and restorative drinks, we had a Plan B.
We assembled Paul and Jane's inner circle. Their immediate family and besties.
The 10 of us, huddled under umbrellas and Jane and Paul were married in a short and sweet ceremony in their beloved Fitzroy Gardens.
While the rest of us dried off and made our way to The Aviary Hotel, Jane and Paul and their talented photographer, strolled through the gardens, capturing relaxed photos that sum up their personalities PERFECTLY!
When they arrived at The Aviary, their guests were mingling, enjoying drinks and eagerly anticipating the Wedding of Jane and Paul.
And can I tell you, this one of the most relaxed and FUN ceremonies I have ever been part of!
Jane and Paul strode into their Wedding, relaxed and beaming, hand in hand.
I was able to tell their story while asking guests to imagine that they were standing in the sodden grass at Fitzroy Gardens.
Revealing to their guests that we had already completed the legal elements and now, we were here to celebrate their love!
With their super cute nephew as ring bearer, Jane and Paul exchanged rings, made funny and heartfelt promises to each other. To the delight and applause of their guests, I declared them MARRIED!
From there, it was a few steps to being congratulated and embraced as husband and wife.
And a few more steps to the bar....!
"Without the talented and amazing Dee, we would have been lost on our day!
Dee came up with plan B, C and maybe even a D. Plan B was the way to go.
We asked a small group of loved ones to join us at the gardens with umbrellas in tow and had the short version of the ceremony (just the legal stuff- and a bit of Dee humour)!
Then we all made our way to the reception venue to do the whole ceremony
in front of everyone else.
When I look back at it, I loved the fact I got to do it twice.
Not many people would be able to say that!"
So, with Weddings back in Melbourne..... let Jane, Paul and I reassure you..... the
Elope Now, Party Later theory is a very VALID now.
Whether the time in between Eloping is 2 hours..... 2 months or 2 years!
We will work together and make this as memorable and meaningful and FUN as we can.
Venues - Fitzroy Gardens and Aviary Hotel
Photographer - Ryan Wheatley Weddings
Hair - 730Hair and Jessica Jiang
Celebrant - ME! Custom Celebrations By Dee
I Came Out today.
I Came Out to my new Osteopath*.
It wasn't especially noteworthy or remarkable or awkward.
The only awkward thing about it was that I was lying face down with my head squished into that little space on the massage table......but I was fully dressed. So that's something!
Now, I wasn't 'testing the waters' by Coming Out to my Osteopath before I came out to family, friends, employers and the rest.
No. I'd Come Out in various ways (some better than others) many years earlier...!
I'd also Come Out to numerous Osteopaths over the years....!
This was just an interaction with someone I am building a professional relationship with, and trust me...... it is always best to get this out of the way sooner rather than later.
You see, no one ever Comes Out once! It's a process and it's a process that LGBTIQA+ community members will repeat over and over and over and over again.
First is Coming Out to YOURSELF, then selected friends, family, extended family.
It's a constant and ever evolving 'status update'.
I'm not talking about wearing a huge rainbow flag (although I have been known to do this....) and declaring your sexuality / gender on a grand scale. I'm talking about the quiet coming out that introduces you and your partner and your family to those that you choose to.
On a daily basis.
Starting a new job..... you'll come out.
Meeting the new neighbours..... you'll come out.
Most of the time you'll come out to these people to avoid a bit of awkwardness down the line......
"oh, no my partner is female!"
"no, not sisters..... we're married"
"hhmmm, actually my HUSBAND..."
And EVERY SINGLE TIME you do it..... no matter how often ... you watch. You wait for a reaction.
You watch for the flicker of recognition, perhaps a slight head nod or a knowing eye.
You also wait for a different reaction. One that isn't positive.
It can involve a slight stepping back, a look that crosses a face.
So, imagine planning a Wedding and Coming Out and waiting for that reaction, EVERY time you engage and enquire with a Wedding Vendor. It can be exhausting and stressful.
If you ever wondered why I am so "out" here and on my socials with every 3rd (or so) photo being of a rainbow....? It's this.
I'm gay. That's not changing. I'm gay when you first meet me, and I'll still be gay every time we meet after that.
If that's not your cup of tea, that's fine (well, it's not actually.... we'll address that another day!)
You see, over the many years that I have been Coming Out, I have seen all the reactions.
Thankfully, most of been overwhelming positive, but I've also seen that flicker in the eyes of the person who I have just come out to.
I've felt the temperature seem to drop in the room. I've noticed the change in the tone of voice.
I've seen the uncomfortable looks.
By being out in a very visible way I'm protecting myself.
I am also saying to my LGBTIQA+ community members, "I get it..... you are very welcome here!"
I guess what I'm trying to say is, to my fellow Wedding Industry colleagues, please don't underestimate, even in 2020, how stressful it can be for members of the LGBTIQA+ community to Come Out to you when they enquire with you.
Make it super easy for couples to spot that you are LGBTIQA+ inclusive and welcoming.
Make it so obvious that they don't have to ask " Do you do Same Sex Marriages?"
The language that you use and the images you choose to share are the best ways to do this.
Three of my favourite Celebrants EVER have written wise words on this topic and I encourage (URGE) to read Lauren, Precious and Monty's words.
The AMAZING Lauren Khabbaz
Mind Your Feckin Language
My good friend Precious Celebrations
To couples planning your Wedding......? If it's not obvious that a Wedding Vendor supports YOUR love and partnership and family.... find those that DO!
*Let's just pretend that this post was written in a time when Melbourne wasn't in Stage 4 Lockdown!
I LOVE the collaborative nature of weddings.
I love working with you in preparing and conducting your ceremony and I love working with like minded wedding professionals as we all work together creating your celebration.
I believe every wedding is a collaboration.
A collaboration between you as a couple. Between your families and friends.
A collaboration with your vendors as you plan your day.
A collaboration between us vendors ON your big day......the secret nod between musician, photographer, and celebrant when all is ready.
It has been said by one of my couples that it takes a village to pull off a wedding
and I couldn't agree more....!
Sometimes that collaboration goes a step further and can, on rare occasions,
result in the coordinated wonderment that you see above!
When Casey and Riley were planning their wedding, there were key elements that this design focused pair were very sure of..... and that included Dave.
Having witnessed Dave's eloquent and heartfelt reading at a family wedding, Casey and Riley knew that they wanted Dave to have a key role in their ceremony.
While I welcomed everyone into the space and conducted the legalities to ensure that they were indeed married, when it came time in the ceremony to tell the love story of Casey and Riley, it was Dave who took the microphone.
Dave told this love story in a way that only a trusted and much loved friend could.
As a celebrant, it's always a privilege to hear your love story and convey this to your family and friends. It was also a privilege to hear someone who knew Casey and Riley so very well tell their story.
There are many elements that go into creating YOUR perfect ceremony.
Casey and Riley also wrote incredible vows to read to each other.
There was laughter and many tears..... especially from Riley as they poured their love for each other into beautiful vows.
It's also one of my favourite parts of the ceremony, as I stand beside you, with a steadying hand on the microphone, vow card, or in Riley's case, shoulder, as you say the legal vows and your own vows to each other.
When it came time to announce Casey and Riley as Mr and Mrs, Dave and I were both on the microphone to very loudly and proudly present MR AND MRS BUSH to their adoring family and friends.
This was an incredibly emotional and beautiful wedding and one that I am so very proud to have been part of.
"Thank you SO much, the ceremony was everything I had hoped it would be and more.."
Now....on to that coordination....!
Casey and Riley, who are both designer orientated with impeccable taste, had a strong design ethos for their Wedding which included a colour palette for guests.
Turns out, Dave and I were meticulous in studying this palette because the dusty pink ensembles you see us wearing, were completely unplanned!
I finished sewing my dress the morning of the wedding, and Dave collected his custom made suit on the way to the airport.....!
Yes, Dave and I had chatted about the ceremony and his telling of their story, but we did not think to coordinate outfits. I suspect even if we had of, we could not have coordinated them better.
Collaboration. It's the perfect alchemy of picking the right people to be part of your day!
The details :
Photography : Georgia Verrells
Celebrant : ME! Custom Celebrations By Dee
Flowers : Poppy Culture
Dress : Mariana Hardwick
Hair : Alarah Studio
Make Up : Arielle Wray Beauty
Catering : Provider
Venue and CHEESE CONES : Red Hill Cheese
Styling : The beautiful bride herself!