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.

28 June 2017

I'll never come between you

Hello, and welcome
Celia and Peter exchange wedding rings
Celia and Peter exchange wedding rings,
attended by their friends Lucy and Morris
Canberra Southern Cross Club Yacht Club  Yarralumla
29 March 2017

Choosing your position

Standing between the bride and groom is the traditional place for a celebrant to stand. But somehow it’s never felt right for me.

Bride, celebrant and groom,
all close, all three
A couple of times over the years, I have stood in the centre at the request of the marrying couple. In my role as their celebrant, I didn't feel as relaxed and comfortable as I usually do.

The energy in the space felt so intimate to me, I seemed to be intruding. The emotions are so powerful when two people in love are making a lifelong commitment to each other.

Besides, when I stood in the middle, I couldn’t make eye contact with the guests and that’s something I really like to do. These days, if a couple asked me to stand in that traditional position for their ceremony, I think I’d actually ask that they find another celebrant.

Bride and groom, almost at arm's length
Celebrant in the centre

Lots of couples - if not most - will be fine with the traditional setup. In the images I've found online as examples, even though I've changed these images a fair bit to to avoid showing identities, the happy feelings still come through.

I'm offering you an alternative. You may find you prefer it.

Groom and bride, wide apart
Celebrant is central
When I stand to the side and the guests are either standing or seated in an arc shape, rather than seated in straight lines, a warm inviting atmosphere is instantly created. Everyone gets a nice sense of inclusion.

When the ceremony begins, the bride and the groom are together, centre stage, in their own special space, facing towards their guests. They turn to face each other to make their vows. Close together, face-to-face, with no-one in-between them, they make their deep personal commitment to live their lives together in marriage.

All the guests have a good view as the marrying couple share their vows, exchange rings and seal their marriage with a kiss. Photos taken during the ceremony will feature the couple.
Mino and Belle share intimate space
This is how intimate it can be for a marrying couple
when no celebrant is standing between them.
 Belle stands close to Mino, making her personal vow to him,
as they stand together in their own intimate space - no celebrant is sight.
The Heart Garden 19 November 2017
Where would you prefer your celebrant to stand? This is just one of the small choices you can make as a couple that could have a bigger effect on the the atmosphere of your wedding than you may realise.
 
Sometimes I show up in other photos.
Here I am with happy newlyweds Vincci and Russell,
at the signing table in my Heart Garden
17 April 2017
The law requires a celebrant to hand the personal Certificate of Marriage to the newlywed couple. This is a favourite time of mine. I like to get a photo of the three of us together then, for my own collection. Otherwise, I stay out of the picture. (And photos I put online, always with permission, don't show personal details on the certificate.)
Mino and Belle receive their certificate of marriage
Mino and Belle receive their certificate from Michele

If you choose me as your celebrant, all photos of the two of you making your vows of marriage to one another and exchanging wedding rings will not have me in the middle. I think you’ll probably be glad of that when you look back on your most special day.

My fee for a 'beautifully simple, simply beautiful' wedding is $600, all included. (Except travel beyond the Canberra/Queanbeyan area). I specialise in simple weddings as there are no Registry Office weddings in the ACT.

A gang-gang visits the Heart Garden
A gang-gang visits the Heart Garden
for a winter feed.
June 2017
There's a lot more information here. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Obligation-free, of course. You'll also find recent photos on my facebook and Instagram pages. On Pinterest, you can see photos of my Heart Garden, each month of the year.

You'd be so welcome to hold your small intimate wedding in my large romantic garden, any day from 10.30am, with up to eight or so guests. There's no extra fee for this. For a larger wedding, from my vast experience as a celebrant, I can recommend lots of other lovely places.
Here's a photo from a private wedding in the Heart Garden
on 6 June 17. I love the way this shot has actually preserved the identity of the bride
and groom as they walk through the garden together for their ceremony.



Ben and Teresa share a private moment
Teresa and Ben, just married, sharing a special moment, just for them.
Margaret Whitlam Pavilion    National Arboretum ACT
19 March 2017
If you'd like me to be your celebrant

If you'd like me to be your celebrant, I'd be delighted. Your day will be my focus - that's my promise - it's my pleasure. 😊And my congratulations to you both.

Please contact me through this email contact form, or email me directly. Or phone me on 0406 376 375, any day between 9am and 9pm. Or text anytime. Or send me a message on facebook.

Please note that I only have meetings with couples who have chosen me as their celebrant for their wedding but, if you're still at the selection stage, I'd be very happy to share a chat with you by Skype.

Sincerely
Michele