Can We Have a Surprise Ceremony?


By a “surprise” wedding we can mean either;
• One party to the marriage wants to “surprise” their partner with a whole wedding ceremony that has been organised without their knowledge – perhaps as a ‘gift’ to their partner, or
• The marrying couple wish to keep their wedding ceremony a secret from everyone else and “surprise” their guests who have been invited to join them for some other type of celebration.

One of the requirements in the Marriage Act 1961 (the legislation under which a man and a woman can me legally married in Australia) is that “both parties know about and agree to their marriage”. They must sign legal forms before they are married thus signifying their consent to marry that partner. So a wedding “surprise” for one of the marrying partners is NOT possible under Australian law. NO, you cannot surprise your partner on the wedding day!

To surprise all your guests who think they have been invited to celebrate a;
• Birthday
• Engagement
• House warming
• A bbq
• A baby naming, etc
Or any other reason to celebrate that you can think of, then YES this is ABSOLUTELY legally allowed.

The legal preparations for the wedding ceremony must be carried out with both partners signing documents signifying their consent to their marriage. But no one else has to know about the wedding arrangements before the day and the hour. Even though you must also have 2 witnesses to sign the legal documents at the wedding ceremony these 2 people can be asked by the bride and groom at the actual wedding ceremony. Their job is to be present at and witness the legal marriage ceremony and then to witness that both parties to the marriage have signed the legal documents in front of them at the end of the ceremony.

SO GO AHEAD, organise your ‘surprise’ wedding and be sure you have such fun doing it!!!

Wet Weather Wedding….. Oh No!

You have planned the perfect outdoor venue for your wedding ceremony! But… have you also planned what to do if the weather turns terrible on your wedding day?

Here are my tips on how to plan for such an eventuality;

  1. Have a ‘Plan B’ right from the start of your planning so you know exactly what you will do and you wont be stressed trying to decide what to do 30mins before you are due at your ceremony.
  2. For your ‘Plan B’ if you have an indoor venue for your reception that would be the first and most convenient place for you to try to organise for your ceremony to be moved to. Most venues are usually accommodating for this as your back up plan.
  3. Is there some shelter nearby at your outside venue – we just move the ceremony to the shelter if appropriate.
  4. Have a good number of umbrellas available to hand around to guests at the ceremony. If it is already rainy most guests will bring their own brollies.
  5. Have your groomsmen ready with large clear umbrellas to hold over you and your bridal party. This is only sutiable when the weather is showery but doesn’t work well for a torrential downpour!
  6. Get dropped as close to your ceremony venue as possible – drive the car right up whenever possible to get your bridal party close to the entry. You may have to forgo some of the beautiful walk in that you had planned to do!
  7. Make the call to move your ceremony venue at least several hours before the arrival time so that all your guests can be notified in time. You then have time to relax yourself, having that settled beforehand!
  8. If you cannot make any other arrangements to get out of poor weather on the day…. you must EMBRACE the weather and determine to enjoy your celebration rain, hail or shine!!!

Why does a marriage celebrant charge so much?

Occasionally celebrants are asked the question by marrying couples “Why does a Marriage Celebrant charge so much?”

The hidden costs are part of every business. What are you actually paying for when you purchase a beautiful wedding gown?

Here are just some of the expenses many celebrants may incur to run their celebrancy business.

These costs must be reflected in their fees if the celebrant’s business is to remain viable.

• Government registration fee (when registering as a new celebrant);
• Government annual registration fee;
• Annual Professional Development training by an accredited training provider (compulsory)
• All legal documents – self printed or purchased from government printer; Read more

WHY is it important for couples to check what a celebrant provides …

WHY is it SO important for every marrying couple to CHECK exactly what a celebrant provides as part of their fee before booking that celebrant?

Here’s a list of what is actually required BY LAW for a Marriage Celebrant to provide to their marrying couples under the Celebrant’s Code of Practice…..

Read more