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.

13 February 2014

Valentine's Day is good for the heart

Hello, and welcome
     It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow and many minds turn to thoughts of love. Cynics may say this day is just an excuse to sell cards but you can’t send a card, a text or an email to someone you love without thinking about them first. And your thoughts will evoke warm, loving emotions.
A new year of Heart Garden weddings begins.
I share the happiness of Megs and Josh in the shady garden
on a hot summer's day.
     In the Heart Garden, tomorrow's unusual. There'll be a wedding in the afternoon as well as one in the morning. The two happy couples will have a wedding anniversary that will always be easy to remember!
     Last year there were 35 weddings in the Heart Garden, all lovely and all special. 
Alicia and her flower-girls in early October
    
It's a legal requirement of the Marriage Act that all civil celebrants request an review of their performance from every couple they are celebrant for. (Note here though, that couples are not required by law to do a review.)






Eliza was a June bride
     Often couples will go to my Review Page after their wedding and then use the form to send me a review about how wonderful their wedding was. I always appreciate their kind words. Lisa and Simon (on the right) wrote after their December '13 wedding, with a 10/10 rating:
     Thank you so much Michelle for being our celebrant. Your garden was amazing and we felt so happy walking in to your Heart Garden.

     After much spontaneous feedback about how unique and memorable a Heart Garden wedding is, and several suggestions that my fee should be higher, I'm announcing that the fee from now for a Heart Garden wedding, held on any weekday - not weekends - with up to about 8 guests, is now $450. 
Leanne and Matthew married in the
green room, overlooking the garden,
on a cool day in late May.
     This brings the fee into line with my fee for a Simple (but still) Special Service at any other venue, on any day, with any number of guests. The fee for my full service remains at $600 (payable in two parts - at a half-hour lodgment meeting, and a one-hour meeting in the week of the wedding).

Bronwyn walks in to wed Alistair
     As before, if my Simple Service in the Heart Garden is your choice, the fee will be payable at our one-hour meeting, as this is when nearly all the admin for the wedding is completed. 

     When we get together for your ceremony, except for signing declarations that you are legally eligible to marry each other, all the preparation has been done. Your wedding can begin as soon as the bride makes her entrance through the rustic gate, past the fountain and along the garden path to her groom. (Unless you choose to come into the garden together, of course.) 

     After the ceremony, if you wish, we can all have a small celebration with sparkling wine (or non-alcoholic drink). I'll supply the crystal glasses. We can sign the certificates at our leisure, while your guests enjoy the garden and take lots of photos of you both. I suggest you allow at least 'a good hour' for your Heart Garden wedding. It can take less time, it can take more - the choice is yours.
Rikki and Ben celebrate
their winter wedding

     I've also decided to add a fee of $30 if I need to prepare a letter for a Visa application. I do this at the meeting, so the meeting takes about an hour and a quarter altogether. When the overseas partner arrives in Canberra, we have an extra meeting to 'meet and greet' and finalise the paperwork.

     If you would like me to be your celebrant, please email me by clicking or tapping here, or by filling in the email contact form in the Wedding Pages on the right of this blogpost. There are several pages of information there but they they may not appear on the screen of your phone or small tablet. If not, you'll see a 'Pages' menu at the top.

Newlyweds Georgina and Kirk,
leaving the Heart Garden
27 September 2013
     Or phone, or text, me any day from 9am to 9pm on my mobile 0406 376 375. (I no longer have a landline.) 

     I'm happy to answer any questions you may have. We can have a chat on Skype if you'd like, but please note here that I have meetings only with couples who have booked me for their wedding.

     Being Valentine's Day, maybe there'll be a proposal tomorrow! Please keep me in mind as a very experienced, friendly, efficient celebrant who loves her work and would be delighted to be part of your wedding, either in the Heart Garden or at another special venue you have chosen together.

     Till next time
     Sincerely
     Michele