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.

06 April 2016

How will you make your entrance?

Hello, and welcome.
Sarah has walked down the aisle at Gold Creek
Chapel with her Dad. A happy handshake
follows between father and groom.
     If you’re planning to marry - well, first thing, my congratulations to you both. You may be wondering about the right way to walk to your wedding ceremony.
     There actually is no right way, and there is no wrong way. There’s a traditional way but that no longer makes it the right way. Things are more flexible these days.
     Chloe married Jadium at the National Carillon on Aspen Island on Thursday 31st March. She walked across the bridge to the ceremony, as tradition goes, with her step-Dad, Robert. Some brides are accompanied by their mothers or another special person and some choose to walk in between both their parents.
     Chloe kissed Robert. Jadium and Robert shook hands, then Robert joined the arc of guests. During the simple ceremony, Jadium and Chloe made quietly-spoken, heartfelt personal vows to each other before their vows of marriage. Their guests were standing only a few metres away from the bridal party and this gave a friendly intimacy to their wedding.
     Here are Thuong and Rob who married in my Heart Garden on a beautiful summer's day in February.
     Rob and Thuong arrived at the Heart Garden together with their guests. After their Declarations of No Legal Impediment to Marriage had been signed, Thuong walked alone along the garden path to her waiting groom.

     Like many couples do these days, when Qin Qin and Chang Yong chose to marry in the Heart Garden in December, they walked in together. So really, you can see that it’s totally your choice about how you arrive for your ceremony.

Lucy was accompanied by her young
son when she arrived for her marriage
to Kirk last Spring.

     Smiling nonstop, bride and groom, Lucy and Kirk leave their simply beautiful and beautifully simple wedding together, along the blossom-lined driveway. They are now wife and husband, joined in marriage. 

Consider the sunshine and the cool

     Autumn is such a beautiful time to marry in our nation’s capital. Canberra will soon be aglow with stunning autumn colours and they’ll last right into June. Our autumn days are typically sunny ones.
     The autumn solstice around March 21 and 22 started our shift to shorter days and longer nights. Daylight saving has come to a close. The more we move towards winter, around the middle of the day is probably the most enjoyable time to marry. As the sun goes down earlier, the afternoon shadows get longer and can be too cool to stand in. It’s good to take this into account when choosing the exact spot for your ceremony.

If you plan to marry outside, as so many couples do, always work out what the sun will likely be doing. You want everyone to be comfortable. You want them to have happy memories of enjoying your wedding. You won’t want your guests to wish your wedding would finish so they can head to a more comfortable place! 
Think too about your own comfort. Strapless dresses in autumn and winter are fine in warm churches and special wedding places, such as the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion at the National Arboretum. But when you’re standing outside on a cooler day, you may be glad of sleeves or a warm wrap. Some brides  wear fluffy boleros. They look warm and gorgeous.

The weird thing about chairs at weddings

The presentation of Jayden and Sarah as
newlyweds was easy for all to see.
     The weird thing about chairs at weddings is that almost no-one ever wants to sit in them. If there are lots of chairs, it often takes me a while to fill them before the bride arrives. I plead: ‘Please guests, take a seat. Empty chairs look bad in wedding photos’.  So, if you’re thinking about chairs, I suggest just a few at the front, perhaps for immediate family, the elderly and the very pregnant.
     Of course, if your wedding is to be quite formal and you’ll have chairs for every guest, then it’s clear that everyone will be sitting down. Keep in mind however, that in a church or chapel where everyone is seated, they can look up to the bride and groom on at least one step above them.
     On level ground, it can be difficult for guests just a few rows from the front, to see what’s going on. Guests at the back will hear your wedding but may not actually see it. Keep this in mind if you’re choosing a formal venue. The Hotel Kurrajong for instance, has broad steps for the bridal party to stand on. So does the courtyard at Old Parliament House. The Chapel at Gold Creek is configured like a church so all the guests have a good view of the ceremony.

If you would like me to be your celebrant

     If you would like me to be your celebrant, I'd be delighted. Please contact me by filling in this Email Contact Form, or by phone or text to 0406 376 375, anytime on any day between 9am and 9pm. We can talk on Skype if you wish.
     It just so happens that because we have no Registry Office weddings in the ACT, my specialty has become simple weddings, usually quite small. I describe them as Simply beautiful and beautifully simple but I still love large weddings too. As a writer, I also enjoy helping couples craft a totally unique wedding for themselves in the full service that I offer. My fees for simple and longer weddings are here.
       Many of the weddings I attend as celebrant are small and private. This means that I never post photos from them online. Two weddings recently have been so small and so private that I've also found witnesses for the marrying couples. 
     One wedding was in the National Rose Gardens at Old Parliament House and I helped the bride and groom by finding a professional photographer who was also very happy to be witness. At a wedding in my garden last week, two of my writing group friends kindly agreed to be witnesses. I guess you could call these two weddings 'elopements'.
     Even with the simplest of weddings, there are lots of options, especially in choosing your location. I have many years of experience as a civil celebrant in Canberra and close-by. Please think of me as a freely-available resource, as well as your possible celebrant. I'll happily answer any questions you may have.

Sincerely
Michele