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.

Continue reading “Gorgeous Greek beach wedding ceremony on Halki”

‘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…

Continue reading “‘About me’ extra”

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

Your wedding Vows are the pivotal point of your wedding ceremony. With a Celebrant led wedding ceremony, there are so many ways you can choose to conduct your wedding ceremony, elements you can emphasise or even exclude, but the wedding vows will always remain. After all, it’s this exchange of promises that seals the deal. How you choose to exchange your vows is a very personal decision. You might only want to say ‘I do’ or you might want to write a stream of declarations and promises. Discuss the way you want to make it happen with your partner.

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 vows are the fine details.  So you don’t want to get them wrong! Continue reading “How to write wedding vows”

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”

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”

The last minute one – the bits I loved from 2017 continued

wedding celebrant rhodes

A lovely Swedish couple had been refused at their planned wedding location due to a mistake with some paperwork.  As they had made all the other arrangements, not to mention a load of friends and family travelling from afar, they contacted me in desperation just a few days before their planned wedding day.  I love a challenge and a bit of drama so of course, I said yes.   Continue reading “The last minute one – the bits I loved from 2017 continued”

Our feet in the water – the bits i loved from 2017 continued

Our feet in the water – The bits i loved from 2017 ceremonies continued

These were the words continuously in my head when writing a ceremony for a relaxed, intimate beach wedding on a tiny Greek island called Tilos.  ‘We want to get married with our feet in the water’.  It was one of the first things the couple told me in our initial skype call.  And who am I to disappoint?  So they did.  They stood at the edge of the sea, feet in the water, as their friends and family wriggled their toes in the sand.  At the close of the ceremony, the groom scooped up his bride and carried her into the water for their ‘first swim’. Bridesmaids slipped off their dresses to reveal bikinis and with them, their guests followed them onto the watery dancefloor a few minutes later to join them.  It was the perfect way to begin their married life as the sea had played such a significant role in the relationship. Continue reading “Our feet in the water – the bits i loved from 2017 continued”