Gorgeous Greek beach wedding ceremony on Halki

A Greek beach wedding ceremony in Halki, Greece. The photo shows the guests seated and the couple in the bckground with the Celebrant and a view of the sea.

There is a Greek dance hailing from the island of Kalymnos which depicts a man, crippled with decompression sickness, as many sponge divers were.  The dance starts off slowly with the lead dancer, the crippled sponge diver, barely able to stand even with the use of a stick.  The music starts slowly, but as it builds up so the passion and pride rise.  At this point he flings aside his stick and joyously dances, the music seemingly lifting him out of his crippled posture. What does this have to do with a romantic Greek beach wedding ceremony?

The memory of seeing this dance was stirred when Barry (the groom), just weeks after having surgery on his back, decisively and determinedly threw aside his crutches in order to read his wedding vows to Niesha. It was like the rising passion for this momentous occasion was all it needed to stand unaided and make his promises for a shared life of joy.  Great moment.

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To the dogs in our lives!

Dogs at weddings

Nearly all my couples are dog owners, dog rescuers or even dog trainers! It’s a popular trend these days for couples to involve their dogs in the ceremony: ring bearers, accompanying the bride down the aisle or just being part of the day. But of course my couples are enjoying a destination wedding and there simply isn’t luggage allowance for beloved furry family members. However, I can promise you that they will most definitely get a mention in the ceremony because if I didn’t, they would know…

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More than just a ring…

I’ll be honest here. It doesn’t pique my interest who your wedding dress was designed by or where you got your suit from, how many roses you want in your bouquet or where you got your wedding rings from – unless of course there is a reason why you made that choice or a story behind it. Then I want to know ALL about it! Another confession coming up – I was a bit ignorant about how significant jewellery can be. I got that pieces hold sentimental value if they are passed on from precious loved ones and of course I got the significance of rings exchanged during a wedding or vow renewal ceremonies. But I had never considered that the design and materials used to create something new could hold as much of a story almost as a bespoke ceremony. That was until I met Linda Syrigos. Linda is a jewellery designer and the creative energy behind ‘Ilion Design’. She’s the girl you need to go to when you want engagement rings, wedding bands or just anything really important designed to do with jewellery. And she’s pretty cool too. So I would like to introduce you to the lovely Linda and let her tell you about why she does what she does.

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Will you…

Apparently, the Christmas holidays are the most popular time of the year to pop the question. I haven’t found that to be true with the couples I have written and performed ceremonies for, but what the heck. I’m still going to share some lovely proposal stories with you.

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‘About me’ extra

The photo above was my very first wedding ceremony as a celebrant.  At least it was supposed to be. As it turned out, an emergency situation meant that it actually became the second ceremony I performed.

I was prepared, super prepared. I was confident that I had written a beautiful, personal ceremony which not only included some beautiful details from the couples love story, but we had also included our version of the wedding crowns, a nod to the bride’s Greek heritage.  So I was feeling pretty relaxed. And so I should, I had weeks, months, in fact, to prepare and email back and forth with the couple to get things just so.

And then I received a phone call from another distraught couple. They believed they had booked a Catholic wedding ceremony at their hotel in two days time.  They had family and friends coming from all over Europe. But there was no Catholic wedding happening at the hotel and an unscrupulous staff member had misled the couple, not even preparing their paperwork for a civil wedding registration. They were devastated and mortified at the prospect that their wedding party would feel they had a wasted journey. Would I be able to perform a symbolic ceremony for them at such late notice? Um, in two days time, you say? Ok!

And so that was actually my first ever wedding ceremony.  Unexpected and written with the intense focus that only such a deadline can evoke, and with a determination that their ceremony would be even more amazing to compensate for their terrible distress. And it was! We laughed, we cried, we basked in the warm glow of the sinking Mediterranean sun and the love of a couple with a story of restored bicycles and lost buttons.

This was the ceremony that convinced me that I had found more than a new job.  It showed me that I could make a difference in one of the most important days in any couples lives.  And that I could even do it at very short notice if I needed to!

If you are curious to find out more about me, head over to the official ‘about me’ page here. Or just ask anything you want to know by email, on the facebook page or my Instagram.

I look forward to meeting you, but please don’t leave it until 48 hours before your wedding to ask for a ceremony!  Unless you really, really have to of course…

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Who you should choose to read at your wedding

Who should you choose to read at your wedding?

I love it when other people get involved in the ceremony. (But only if they have been invited to do so by the couple, if they are just randoms then it can be a bit awkward.) But who do you choose and most importantly, what do you choose for them to read, and maybe even more importantly, do you let them do the choosing?

So let’s take these decisions one by one.

Who should you choose?
I often see a lot of subtle diplomacy deployed here. ‘Important’ roles are distributed amongst the best friends and family members – maid of honour, best man, bridesmaids, dad/mum/brother walking down the aisle. But oops, the groom has TWO best friends, the bride has THREE BFF’s and there’s a stepdad or a spare brother, how are they going to be presented with a starring role when there just aren’t enough to go round? “I know!” You cry, “We’ll get them to do a reading!” So this is how sometimes your second, but no less significant, best friend gets a reading foisted on her/him when quite frankly they would rather eat their own leg than stand up on one of the most important days of your lives and read a slushy poem.

What’s the answer then? Continue reading “Who you should choose to read at your wedding”

How to write wedding vows

Wedding vows are the pivotal point of your wedding ceremony. During the wedding ceremony, we usually arrive at the vows before the exchange of rings.  If the rings are a tangible, physical signature to the agreement, then the spoken words of your wedding vows are the fine details.  So you don’t want to get them wrong! Read on for some expert guidance on how to write wedding vows that are meaningful, true to you and most importantly, done in a way which feels right for you.

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Get your Greek on – the bits I loved from 2017 continued

It came as no surprise to me that my Greek brides would want to include some significant Greek wedding traditions into their ceremony – they may have been second generation from parents that emigrated to the states and Australia, but there is nothing more Greek than a Greek that lives outside of the motherland!  At both weddings we incorporated the wedding crowns (you can read all about these in my guest post for the Celebrants directory here) But it wasn’t just the Greek brides that wanted to include it Continue reading “Get your Greek on – the bits I loved from 2017 continued”

40 years on – the bits I loved from 2017 continued

A couple stand in front of Aghia Sofia Chapel in Rhodes for their wedding ceremony in Greece. ECK - A wedding celebrant in Greece is conducting the ceremony as the son looks on.

What an inspiration! A vow renewal on the day of their 40th wedding anniversary, arranged by their children.  it’s quite a milestone isn’t it?  40 years, that’s 4 decades, 14600 days!  Vow renewals come about for a variety of reasons, Continue reading “40 years on – the bits I loved from 2017 continued”

Flashmob reading – the bits I loved from 2017 continued

Flashmob style happenings are quite a thing in weddings these days whether they involve the bridal party in a  secretly choreographed dance routine or bursting into song.  I love the element of surprise and delight these offer as well as the obvious dedication and time spent rehearsing by all involved, and as I’ve said before I’m a huge fan of audience participation in wedding ceremonies.  So I was wondering how I could include something similar into an intimate beach ceremony where the guests were all a big group of friends and really close family.  I seized the opportunity when I met the maid of honour, who was obviously well up to helping me organise the task. I took her to one side and explained my plan.  She thought it was a great idea and set off to find other willing participants.  So during the ceremony where I had included an 8 line reading about soulmates by Richard Bach for me to read, at the point where the reading started I gave the nod to the maid of honour and she toned out: Continue reading “Flashmob reading – the bits I loved from 2017 continued”