Ad-free news, views and advice on the local wedding scene for Canberra ACT and nearby NSW, and on getting married in Australia in general. With Michele Bolitho, registered civil marriage celebrant for well over one thousand wonderful weddings. ... Your day is my focus. That's my promise. It's my pleasure.

18 August 2011

TV romance is not reality

Hello, and welcome

You can't marry in less than a month and a day
First the bad news. Bec and Matt are getting married next week on 'Winners and Losers'. Not that that's bad news. I am happy for them BUT here's just one more opportunity missed to help the Australian public understand their own Marriage Act. 
Bride-to-be Bec,
played by
Zoe Tuckwell-Smith
Groom-to-be Matt
played by
Blair McDonough
     In the storyline this week, the happy reunited couple found a celebrant (stereotypically, a female) who said something like 'they have a strong relationship' and she apparently gave them permission to marry in a week's time.
     I know this is fiction but it could be based on fact. If shows like 'Winners and Losers' spread the word that you can't marry in less than a month and a day (unless you have an extraordinary reason that satisfies the Registrar, not the celebrant) then celebrants would not need to disappoint couples who think they'll be able to legally marry in a shorter time. 
     This time requirement is nothing new. It's been law since 1961 and that's for the lifetime of most couples I'm celebrant for. I'll be glad when it's common knowledge.


Your paperwork can easily be transferred
If you like watching 'Winners and Losers' as I do, then you'll recall that Bec and Matt planned to marry some time ago. Here was a great opportunity to put something in the script like: 'The church said they can send the papers to our celebrant so we can get married next week'. 
     As a celebrant, I'd like to make it more widely known that your Notice of Intended Marriage must be lodged with your celebrant (church or civil) at least one month and one day before the wedding and, just like Matt and Bec, you can change celebrants if you wish, right up to your wedding.
      Last week there was a small private wedding in the Heart Garden for a beautiful young couple who had already married each other on a Mediterranean beach. They planned to legalise their union in marriage at the Registry Office in Sydney but it suited them much better for me to officiate for them in Canberra. The NSW Registrar's office simply posted the paperwork to me by registered mail. Easy.
     I realise that if you're not happy with the celebrant you've chosen, it may not be so easy to negotiate a new one but the good news is, your request to make a change will not be refused. 
     Our role as celebrants is to give you service. If you ask any celebrant to send your Notice of Intended Marriage to another celebrant, they will. Last year I was asked to send a Notice to another celebrant and I was glad the couple had found someone they felt more comfortable with. I've also received paperwork from other celebrants, mostly because they had to go out of town at short notice or weren't well enough to conduct the wedding. 
     Just for the record - in way over 900 weddings I've never been ill or had to find a replacement celebrant for any other reason.
     Everyone wants your wedding to be a happy successful day. If that involves changing your celebrant booking, go right ahead and do it. It's your day. You only plan to do this once. Everything needs to be just right.
Real-life happy couple Deb and Mick chose me as their
celebrant for their wedding on August 7
I'm very happy to say
     If you decide I'm right for your wedding, I'll be delighted to be your celebrant. Please  feel free to phone me any day between 9am and 9pm on 02 6161 0718, or on my mobile 0406 376 375. Or email me. Click here, or fill in this email contact form.
     If you'd like to know more about the full service I provide, I will post you a package of information, along with a Notice of Intended Marriage (and no obligation to lodge it with me).
     Please note that there are Pages of extra information, top right of this blog, including a page with twelve good reasons that I may be just the celebrant you've been looking for for your very special day.




Till next time
Sincerely 
Michele

01 August 2011

Celebrating in Two Harmonious Cultures - An Australian/Korean Wedding

Hello, and welcome 
An young ha se yo. 
Milla and Jay walk down the aisle as their guests clap and cheer, and a friend plays 'Here Comes the Bride'
     On Sunday July 3, Milla and Jay with lots of their friends and church community created a wonderful wedding. Milla dressed in western bridal tradition for the ceremony and cutting the cake. 
She changed to Korean traditional dress for the after party. 
     I felt honoured to be a guest as well as celebrant, and to get the opportunity to experience Korean culture. Loved the traditional Korean way to prepare watermelon (see also in photo slideshow to right of this post) and I intend to always cut watermelon this way from now on! Thank you Jay and Milla for a joyful afternoon.
_________________

Fee Increase Imminent
I am constantly refining and enhancing the services I provide to marrying couples. After more years than I can remember I feel it’s time for a fee increase. 
     As from September 1, the fee for the Simple but still Special Service, exclusive to my beautiful Heart Garden on any weekday of your choice, will be $350. A one-hour meeting in which we can do everything that needs doing to prepare for your wedding and make it legal is included in this fee. Please note here that there is no extra charge for holding your wedding in The Heart Garden. You are my garden's very special guests.
     The fee for my full service at any location in Australia at any time on any day will be $550. This will be payable in two parts - $250 at the first meeting, which goes for about half an hour, and $300 at the second meeting in the week of the wedding. This meeting where we get to finalise every little thing goes for about an hour. 
     If I need to travel ‘outside city limits’ for the wedding (past Lanyon, Hall, Watson or Queanbeyan) there’ll be an extra fee for return travel beyond those limits ($1.30 per K up to $200 max, like for a return trip to Sydney, Brisbane or the Coast). 
     I have added complete notes about the full service I provide as a PDF on this blog. I’ve uploaded through scrib’d and there’s an easy to follow menu for sharing, enlarging, downloading, storing and printing. You can also 'float' it on your phone. However, I still offer to send these notes to you by ‘snail mail’, along with a Notice of Intended Marriage (and no sense of obligation to lodge it with me). I keep on with this offer simply because I personally still find it's fun to get something good in the real mailbox.
     I think anyone who is planning to marry in Australia and is not familiar with the process will find these notes useful.



Michele Bolitho Civil Marriage Celebrant A2188 at your service
There are now over 10,000 civil celebrants in Australia authorised by the federal Attorney-General and at least 100 of these are in our local region. Out of the 10,000 I was the 2,188th celebrant to be authorised. You can tell how long a celebrant has been authorised – now called ‘registered’ – by their registration number. The lower the number the more experienced the celebrant is likely to be. 
     You may have noticed that sometimes I refer to myself as "the celebrants' celebrant". Five celebrants have chosen me as celebrant for their own weddings. I really appreciate this endorsement of the high quality service I provide by my peers in the industry.

     J and J who are both celebrants came over from South Australia to marry in the Heart Garden on July 9. What a privilege for me, and such a pleasure to share their wedding day. 

     After well over twenty years as a Civil Marriage Celebrant I am still deeply committed to giving marrying couples all the expert knowledge and assistance they need to have a very successful wedding, just the way they want it.
     Together we can create for you a wedding ceremony that will be truly memorable for all the right reasons, for both of you as well as all the special people in your lives who’ll be joining you for this most significant life event.
     If you'd like me to officiate for you as your celebrant, I'd be delighted to do so. Please contact me through this contact form, or email me directly
     Or you’re welcome to phone me on 02 6161 0718 between 9am and 9pm any day, including weekends, to discuss your exciting plans. 
     Or phone my mobile 0406 376 375. I am self-employed so I'm readily available to take your call, ring you back quite soon or email in quick response.
     
Till next time
Sincerely
Michele