This ceremony is for any married couple who wish to celebrate renewing their marriage vows in a unique and personal ceremony. It is also called re-affirmation of vows. Any married couple, of any age, and married for any length of time, can arrange a Renewal of Marriage Vows Ceremony.

Why have a Renewal of Vows Ceremony?

This ceremony symbolises an on-going commitment to each other as well as a pledge of your love. It also gives you the opportunity to say thank you to each other for the dedication, love and friendship that you have shared throughout your married life.

Often these ceremonies are associated with a special wedding anniversary, but the ceremony is just as appropriate for couples at any stage of marriage. It is sometimes particularly relevant to those who have been through a period which put a strain on their relationship, but who wish to celebrate their renewed commitment to each other. Or where you were not able to have the ceremony of your choice on your wedding day.

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What can you include in a Renewal of Vows Ceremony?

Your ceremony can be arranged the same way as a marriage ceremony, including an introduction or personal story which is unique and expresses your true feelings to each other and your view on your married life together.
As you go through the choices and select what you want the ceremony to contain, a unique event will be created that you and all your guests will remember.

Take time to consider which options are appropriate and have meaning for you both.
Special people in your lives can take part in your ceremony, your children, attendants or guests who were at the wedding and any friends and relatives. You may want to ask two people to witness the signing of the Certificate of the event. These ceremonies have no legal effect, and are not legally binding on those who participate.

My services ensure:

  • You will be given complete choice of ceremony with all your wishes incorporated.
  • A relaxed interview where all your requirements are identified and ideas discussed.
  • Your story is written into the ceremony to ensure it is personal, meaningful and sincere.
  • Symbolic ceremonies or rituals will be suggested and explained.
  • Poems, Readings and ideas for Vows will be provided.
  • Children and other significant people included if desired.
  • Unlimited consultation in person, by phone or email.
  • An on site rehearsal if required (within a reasonable distance).
  • Cue cards, tastefully decorated and printed for reading of poems and vows are provided.
  • You are provided with a Presentation Folder containing a copy of your ceremony and laser printed Renewal of Vows Certificate.
  • Appreciation certificates for people in the ceremony are provided on request.
  • Ample time is allowed before and after the scheduled time of the ceremony.
  • I will dress smartly and professionally.
  • Provision of a powerful public address system. Plus an assistant to operate volume and music at no extra charge.
  • A personal guarantee that I will be totally familiar with the ceremony and will deliver it in a sincere, professional and meaningful manner.

Why have a Name Giving Ceremony?

The Name-Giving ceremony is a popular and meaningful way in which a child can be welcomed into the family and close community. It is a time when family and friends come together to celebrate the birth of a baby or welcome adopted or stepchildren. It recognises the roles of parents as well as Grandparents and God Parents/Guardians.

In the ceremony parents can publicly share their commitment, hopes and wishes for their child.

As there are no legalities for this type of ceremony you may choose to have your Name-Giving ceremony at any time and it may contain whatever you feel is symbolic and meaningful for you.

There are a number of beautiful poems which can be included to express your love and joy for your child or you may prefer to write your own.

Specially prepared certificates can be given to the Grandparents, Great Grandparents, and God Parents/Guardians in recognition of their role in the ceremony and child’s life.

Whatever your option we can create a memorable ceremony for everyone to share and enjoy.

As a general guideline the ceremony usually includes the following:

(the order will vary depending on your ideas)

  • Introduction and welcome by the celebrant
  • Acknowledgments of special people in the child’s life (such as Grandparents)
  • Recognition of siblings (if any) and their inclusion in the ceremony
  • Discussion of parenthood and new born child’s story
  • Readings and/or poems – these can be anywhere throughout your ceremony
  • Special symbolic rituals eg. candle lighting, wish box
  • Promises by parents
  • God Parents or Guardians introduction, expectations and promises
  • The Naming of the child
  • Signing of the Naming Certificate
  • Presentation of the Certificates
  • Final good wishes and closing by the celebrant
  • Presentation of the child for kisses and cuddles

My service ensures:

  • A relaxed, no obligation interview to discuss your ceremony requirements
  • Complete choice of ceremony content
  • A personalised ceremony written including your baby’s story
  • Sighting of and planning for the venue
  • Unlimited contact via email or phone regarding ceremonial matters
  • Professional and meaningful presentation of ceremony
  • A presentation copy of your ceremony
  • Laser printed Naming Certificate
  • Laser printed Appreciation Certificates for Grandparents, Great Grandparents and Godparents or Guardians
  • Arrival at ceremony 30 minutes before scheduled starting time
  • Professional / smart attire for the occasion
  • Provision of professional public address system with built in CD player

How to get the best out of the Naming Ceremony:

Think… about the promises you wish to make to your child.
These can form part of the ceremony.
Try to choose promises that have special meaning for you, and ask your Supporting Adults to do the same.
Choose your Supporting Adults.
Ideally, they should be people who your child will see regularly and who will have a good and positive influence in his/her life.
Being asked to be a Supporting Adult is an honour, but it’s also a role that carries responsibilities, so choose the people you ask with care and talk to them about the promises they feel able to make.
Ask the Grandparents if they would like to be involved.
They are likely to be important people in your child’s life.
Remember absent family and friends and mention them in your ceremony.

Give a special gift to your child during the ceremony.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, but choose something long lasting that they can keep and treasure in years to come.

Make the ceremony suit your needs and feelings.
You can, for example, read the promises aloud as a statement or answer them as questions.
Try to make the occasion unique to you and your child through the promises and readings you choose. This is one of the great pleasures of a Naming Ceremony.

Any number of these can be incorporated into a ceremony to make it truly unique for you.

unity-candle

Unity Candle – Two small candles or tapers are lit (usually by mothers of the Bride and Groom) during the ceremony to signify the life of the Bride and the Groom. The Unity Candle is then lit simultaneously using the individual candles to symbolise the joining of two lives into one and the creation of a new family.
This candle can be relit on each wedding anniversary to symbolise the continuance of the love and the light you share.

love-letter-wine-box

Love Letter and Wine Box

Both the Bride and Groom write a love letter that is not shared with each other. You can write about what made you fall in love with the other person, how you have grown since you’ve met, and what your hopes and dreams are for the future. You seal your letter in an envelope and give it to your Celebrant. During the actual wedding ceremony, the love letters are placed in the box which holds a bottle of wine or champagne and locked shut. The box will be carefully stored in your home and on the 1st anniversary of this wonderful day the Bride and Groom will open the box, share the wine/champagne together and read the letters they originally wrote to each other.

warming-of-rings

Warming of the Rings – The wedding rings are placed in a small organza bag. They are then passed around family members or friends to be “warmed” or wished upon before being placed on the Bride and Groom’s fingers. This is a symbolic representation of family and friends wishing the best for the couple and recognition of their involvement in the lives of the couple.

rose-ceremony

Rose Ceremony – The Bride and Groom give each other a rose. A single red rose means “I love you” and this ceremony gives recognition to the new and honourable title of husband and wife as well as the first gift being given in this new role.

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Sharing of Wine – This is a tradition where the Bride and Groom drink three times. The first is a drink to friendship, the second to commitment of love and the third represents the unity of spirit.

hand-fasting

Hand Fasting – The Bride and Groom’s hands are tied together (loosely). The inter-woven fibres of the ribbon represents the interconnected facets of their lives. The loop and tied knot which remains after the hands are removed symbolises infinity and the joining of the couple, tied together forever.

Honouring a special person – With blended families becoming increasingly the norm, the inclusion of children into the wedding ceremony acknowledges the very real need to honour the uniting of two adults and their offspring.
When families blend through a shared adult couple, there is potential for more than this loving relationship alone. Children can be included into the wedding ceremony to help make them feel special and a wanted part of the new family.

Sand Ceremony – The sand ceremony has several symbolic features. Firstly, one can imagine the sand as the foundation of the place from sand-ceremonywhich each partner has come – his or her literal home ground. Secondly,
the sand may represent the sands of time as they pass through the hourglass, measuring out our time on Earth, and the grains as all the various things that combine to create our lived experience.

Unity Bowl – This ceremony is an example of honouring the range of generational influences on the lives of the Bride and Groom, especially when these people are able to attend the wedding ceremony. It also allows children of the couple to be included.

The Bride and Groom choose a glass bowl that will have a prominent unity-bowlplace in their home. Each person who has some relationship to them, for example, grandparents, parents, siblings, or through other relationships (godparents, step-parents, guardians) is given a small bag that is filled with coloured marbles or stones. Each bag holds a colour that is unique to that person.

The stones are placed into the bowl that the couple has chosen. This represents the foundation of the family and the wedding itself. After everyone has added their stones to the mix, the celebrant mingles the colours and then the Bride and Groom add their stones as well.

To conduct the sand ceremony, two containers of sand – one each for the Bride and Groom – are required, with a third container (preferably made of clear glass) for the celebrant. The Bride and Groom pour their sand into the third container symbolising the blending of their lives together which can never be separated.

Flower ceremony – This is a simple addition to the traditional ceremony. It is also an easy way to acknowledge the mothers during the service. As the bride walks down the aisle she presents a single flower from her bouquet to her mother.
After the wedding ceremony is complete she hands a flower from her bouquet to her mother-in-law on her way back down the aisle. The Flower Ceremony brings you together in accepting all parts of your personality and uniting them.

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Dove Release – For many centuries, the White Dove has been a symbol of peace, love and new beginnings.

butterfly-release

Butterfly Release – The Bride and Groom release several butterflies and as they fly upward, silently, the guests make a silent wish for the couple.

Stone Ceremony – This ceremony works particularly well for beach weddings. The Bride and Groom are given a stone each, and they cast it into a body of water (usually the sea or a river) to symbolise their unity so long as the river flows or the tide ebbs and returns.

Commitment Ceremonies

At the moment, same sex marriages are not yet a legal option in Australia. However, I am a huge supporter of marriage equality and hope the laws in Australia are changed soon so all those in-love are able to marry.

However, there is the option of holding a commitment ceremony instead.

Celebrate your love and union with a heartfelt ceremony declaring your devotion to each other and your commitment to your friendship and relationship. The principles, stories and inspiring ideas for creating a fun, fabulous and personal ceremony are the same for all couples.

A commitment ceremony can be an important declaration of life-long commitment in front of close friends and family. Take the opportunity to honour your relationship in front of the people who are most important to you. It is a very special moment.

There are lots of great ideas and stories that will inspire you and make your ceremony absolutely beautiful! You can create your own Vows that are meaningful and most importantly, an expression of your love.
Until our laws reflect all of the people who reside here, don’t be afraid to take matters into your own hands and celebrate your loving partnership your way.

Planning the Day

Planning a commitment ceremony is really just like planning any other wedding ceremony. To help you out I’ve listed a few common questions that can crop up when planning a same-sex commitment ceremony.

How Will Your Ceremony Work?

With a commitment ceremony, you have the freedom to make the actual ceremony as personal as you like. Since this commitment is currently not legally binding, the ceremony can be written to reflect whatever is important to you and your partner. The sequence of a traditional wedding ceremony is essentially followed but with a few elements removed. I co-create all my ceremonies in consultation with my clients, so each one is unique and personal.

Who Will Be In Your Ceremony?

There is no need to stick with traditional practices when choosing your commitment ceremony party. Just because you and your partner are the same gender, it doesn’t mean that you have to both choose an all male or all female wedding party. Mix it up if you like.
The very notion of celebrating same-sex partnerships allows you to blur the traditional notions of gender and just choose the people who you’d like to stand up with you in one of the most important ceremonies of your life. Get creative and choose people based on those in your life rather than trying to fit into the usual wedding etiquette mould.

Can Promises or Vows be Included?

At the heart of your commitment ceremony there are the pledges or Vows that the two of you will make to each other. To pledge is ‘to make a
solemn binding promise’. It is entirely up to you to decide what it is that you wish to promise to each other. I can help you with ideas for the wording of your Vows or you are free to write your own.

Will You Need Witnesses?

Part of what lends a commitment ceremony its power, is that there are others present to witness your pledges. In some instances it could be simply the presence of the celebrant which lends solemnity to a very private commitment ceremony. More commonly you may want to invite the

important people in your life to witness and celebrate with you. When you imagine your commitment ceremony who do you picture gathered around you?

The first step is for us to have a face to face meeting during which I learn a little more about you and you get to pick out the ideas you would like incorporated into your ceremony.

My Services

As part of my package there will be …..

  • Complete choice of ceremony with all your wishes incorporated.
  • A Resource Book containing a range of different ideas and wordings for each section of the ceremony.
  • Guidelines on how to write your own Vows.
  • Explanation and inclusion of symbolic ceremonies or rituals.
  • Willingness to accommodate children and animals.
  • Powerful public address system with built in CD player, using a discrete hands free lapel microphone. Assistant operator included at no extra cost.
  • An on-site rehearsal (within 1.5 hours travel).
  • Commitment certificate laser printed with your choice of font.
  • Optional Appreciation Certificates for everyone involved.
  • Cue cards for Vows and Poems / Readings.
  • Signing table and chairs provided.
  • Complimentary Presentation Folder, containing a personalised front cover, your personal ceremony, guest congratulations and wishes pages, guest attendance list, guest gift list, presentation Vows Certificate and presentation Commitment Certificate.
  • A personal guarantee that I will deliver the ceremony in a professional and confident manner.
  • A list and explanation of all legal requirements to ensure your marriage is properly solemnised.
  • A tried and proven structure for the wedding ceremony ( which can be altered according to your ideas and wishes).
  • A list and explanation of symbolic ceremonies or rituals which can be used in your ceremony.
  • A Resource Book containing a range of different ideas and verse for all sections of the ceremony, including 134 wedding poems, wording for The Asking, Ring Ceremony, Vows and Symbolic Ceremonies.
  • Ideas / options for the entrance processional.
  • Guidelines on how to write your own personalised Vows.
  • A list of suitable music, hints on bridal party arrangement, and what to include in your personal story.
  • A copy of the Attorney General’s Code of Practice for Celebrants.
  • A copy of the pamphlet “Happily Forever After” for both the Bride and Groom.
  • Legal information for after the ceremony.
  • Samples of Marriage and Appreciation Certificates.
  • The Notice of Intended Marriage document which must be lodged with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages of Victoria.

Please contact me with your particular requirements and I will happily provide you with a fixed all inclusive costing.
Don’t forget, your first meeting is free of charge and obligation-free.

Get in touch