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7 commandments of proposing

Yes that's right. There are rules or commandments when it comes to proposing. You've spent time (sometimes too much time) considering whether this is the person for you, so take some time to consider how you are going to propose. There are also some "Do's" & "Don'ts" when it comes to engagement ring shopping, but more about that later in the article. Let's get back to getting the job done in the first place. This is a moment they will remember for the rest of their lives and they will talk about it over and over again if you do it right...and you'll be the hero of the moment. So do it right and well thought out. And get down on one knee. It adds 100% to the moment. Once you've proposed and received the correct answer, then it's time to announce it to the world. Take a look at this article on a whole bunch of ideas as to how to announce your engagement to the world via social media. 10 FUN ENGAGEMENT REVEALS And when it comes to shopping for an engagement ring there are a set of "Do's" and "Don'ts", so take a moment to familiarise yourself with these. THE DO'S & DON'T'S OF ENGAGEMENT RING SHOPPING Steve Mummery is a Marriage Celebrant living in Perth, but travelling Australia and the world to bring couples together. You can check out his Pinterest page where these commandments and many other tips are stored here. Steve also has many reviews of his work on Facebook here and you can follow him on Instagram here.

What do all the dress codes mean for men at weddings?

When you see a dress code for men on a wedding invite, how many of us actually understand what it means? Well here is the ultimate chart I've ever seen to help you with your decision making guys. Although I feel this next article I found on theblacktux.com is a little formal for Australian weddings, you certainly can't go wrong taking the advice that is given. Better to be the best dressed guy at a wedding than the worst dressed guy there. Check out the article Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Let's go pear shaped!

I had never seen pear shaped engagement rings before, until I saw this article on hitched.co.uk. Check out some of these gorgeous rings and read the article. For all the details on these rings and other pear shaped engagement rings, see the full article here. I have a collection of all types of engagement and wedding rings on my Pinterest page here if you're interested. There's a whole lot of other wedding Inso ideas on my Pinterest site as well, like flower trends, arbours, wedding dresses, suits for guys and the list goes on. Check it out here. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

What to wear to a wedding

If a wedding invite has ever left you clueless about what to wear, then fear not, with the help of "theknot.com" I have sourced the info you need to interpret the dress code wording. Whether it's black tie, white tie or something in between, here's a cheat sheet for deciding what to wear. If the invite says "white tie" This is the most formal of all wedding dress codes (think state dinners and the Oscars). He should wear: A long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest and a bow tie. Formal black shoes and even white gloves are appropriate. She should wear: A formal, full-length ball gown. Glamorous makeup and dramatic jewelry and hair are appropriate. If the invite says "black tie attire" This is the next most formal wedding dress code and usually means the wedding is an evening affair. He should wear: A tuxedo. A black bow tie, cummerbund and patent leather shoes are also suggested. She should wear: A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown. The couple, wedding party or close friends can help answer questions about the appropriate dress length. If the invite says "formal attire" or "black tie optional attire" The wording here suggests something slightly less formal than black tie. This means that a tuxedo isn't required, but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate. He should wear: A tuxedo or formal dark suit and tie. She should wear: A long evening dress, dressy suit or formal cocktail-length dress. If the invite says "cocktail attire" This is slightly less formal than black tie and black tie optional, which means no tux required for men and no floor-length gown required for women (unless you'd like to wear a long dress, which is popular for winter wedding attire). He should wear: A suit and tie. Lean toward darker hues in chillier months, and feel free to opt for lighter grays or blues in warmer weather. She should wear: A cocktail dress or dressy suit or jumpsuit. If the invite says "beach formal" This suggests an elegant beach wedding—so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand and water). Anything you'd wear to a nice restaurant on a summer night is appropriate. He should wear: A summer suit with a linen shirt (no ties required), linen pants (or khakis) and sandals. She should wear: A formal summer sundress at tea or knee length with flat sandals. Makeup and hair can be natural. If the invite says "semi-formal" or "dressy casual" Depending on the time of the event, you'll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening fete; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding. He should wear: A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day. She should wear: A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top. If the invite says "casual" or "daytime" Generally, casual means anything goes—but jeans, shorts and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they're specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume business casual to be on the safe side. He should wear: Dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo. She should wear: A summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse. Makeup and hair can be natural. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Wedding dates to avoid in 2020, 2021 & 2022

I've been inundated with enquires over the holiday break. It seems that it is a very popular time to get engaged. I guess there are more opportunities with family here from interstate and overseas etc. to share the excitement with. I remember my nephew Josh went to elaborate lengths to make a special book that he gave to his girlfriend in front of the family as a Christmas present on Christmas Day. It chronicled their partnership from day one to that very day and on the last page, he asked her to be his wife. Awwwwrrrrrrr how romantic. So if you have become engaged over the last few weeks, it's time to start looking at wedding dates and if you are, here are some to avoid over the next few years. Friday 13th Days If you’re superstitious, you might want to avoid any Friday 13th dates too. There’s nothing to say that getting married on Friday 13th is actually unlucky, but if you’re someone who’s particularly superstitious, here are all the Friday 13th dates within the next three years. Friday 13th Dates in 2020 Friday 13th March Friday 13th November Friday 13th Dates in 2021 Friday 13th August Friday 13th Dates in 2022 Friday 13th May Big Sporting Events Traditionally the AFL Grand Final is held on the last day of September (not to mention the finals series that leads up to that. You don't want to have people watching their phones during your ceremony (and if I catch them, I'll point them out and ask for a score update), or sneaking out of the reception to see what's going on etc. There is also the Australian Open (around Australia Day), the ARL Grand Final (first weekend of October), Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t hold your wedding during these dates, but it’s worth keeping in mind. Important Personal Days To avoid any family politics, you may want to check your personal diary for milestone birthdays, upcoming weddings of family members or friends, big anniversaries and any other significant days involving your family or close circle of friends. Locally Significant Days It’s also worth noting things that are being planned in your local area, or the area you’re planning on getting married in. Does the town have an annual festival or carnival that might be worth avoiding? If you’re unsure and want to be on the safe side, contact the local council – they should be able to notify you of anything within the local area that is big enough to cause disruption to your wedding plans. Aussie Public Holiday Dates Some couples will aim to hold their wedding on a public holiday, for example, the October long weekend is right in the middle of "wedding season" in Australia, however keep in mind that it is different weekends in different states. Also keep in mind that long weekends can come at a cost, with increased pricing. Aussie Wedding Dates to Avoid in 2020 Wednesday 1st January - New Year’s Day Monday 27th January - Australia Day Holiday Friday 14th February - Valentines Day Monday 2nd March - Labor Day (WA only) Wednesday 1st April - April Fools Day Friday 10th April – Good Friday Monday 13th April - Easter Monday Saturday 25th April - Anzac Day Monday 27th April - Anzac Day Holiday Sunday 10th May - Mother’s Day Monday 1st June - WA Day Wednesday 24th July to Friday 9th August – Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Sunday 6th September - Father's Day Saturday September 26 - AFL Grand Final Monday 28th September - Queens Birthday (WA only) Sunday October 4 - NRL Grand Final (twilight game) Tuesday 3rd November - Melbourne Cup Day (Vic only) Wednesday 11th November - Remembrance Day (11am) Friday 25th December - Christmas Day Saturday 26th December - Boxing Day Thursday 31st December - New Year’s Eve Aussie Wedding Dates to Avoid in 2021 Friday 1st January - New Year’s Day Tuesday 26th January - Australia Day Holiday Sunday 14th February - Valentines Day Monday 1st March - Labor Day (WA only) Thursday 1st April - April Fools Day Friday 2nd April Good Friday Monday 5th April - Easter Monday Sunday 25th April - Anzac Day Monday 26th April (Anzac Day holiday) Sunday 9th May - Mother's Day Monday 7th June - WA Day Sunday 5th September - Father's Day Monday 27th September - Queens Birthday Saturday October 2 (to be confirmed) - AFL Grand Final Sunday October 10 (to be confirmed) NRL Grand Final (twilight game) Saturday 23rd October to Saturday 27th November – Rugby League World Cup Tuesday 2nd November - Melbourne Cup Day Thursday 11th November - Remembrance Day (11am) Saturday 25th December - Christmas Day Sunday 26th December - Boxing Day Friday 31st December - New Year’s Eve Aussie Wedding Dates to Avoid in 2022 Saturday 1st January - New Year’s Day Wednesday 26th January - Australia Day Friday 4th February to Sunday 20th February – Winter Olympic Games Friday 4th March to Sunday 13th March – Winter Paralympic Games Monday 14th February - Valentines Day Monday 7th March - Labor Day (WA only) Friday 1st April - April Fools Day Friday 15th April – Good Friday Monday 18th April - Easter Monday Sunday 8th May - Mother's Day Monday 6th June - WA Day Wednesday 27th July – Sunday 7th August – Commonwealth Games Sunday 4th September - Father's Day Friday 11th November - Remembrance Day (11am) Sunday 25th December - Christmas Day Monday 26th December - Boxing Day Tuesday 27th December (holiday for Christmas Day) Saturday 31st December - New Year’s Eve Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth. You can find him online at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook at smcelebrant, Instagram @smcelebrant or you can find lots of wedding inspiration on his Pinterest page @smcelebrant including wedding & engagement rings, dresses, shoes, groom's attire, flowers, arbours, the lot. Call Steve to chat about your wedding ceremony today on 0418 897 215 or email steve@smcelebrant.com.au

Opening lines for wedding speeches

Here are a bunch of lines to get the crowd on your side at the start of your speech. Remember the one rule; if it feels weird saying it, then don't say it, because it will sound weird as well. If it feels good, funny and "like you", then throw it in. "Loyal. Kind. Honest. Generous... That's enough about me, I'm here to talk about (Name)!" "I'd like to begin my speech by giving the happy couple some relationship advice, but unfortunately I'm single and spend most of my time on Tinder / trying to coax my cat into little outfits / browsing Doctor Who fan sites / playing Rock Paper Scissors with Alexa." “Wow, what an emotional day it’s been. Even the cake is in tiers.” “The couple have requested that I don't share any embarrassing stories... so that's it from me! Thanks for listening!" "(Name), I love you so much, and I really hope you'll feel the same about me after you hear my speech." "I just want to start by congratulating (previous speechgiver's Name) on their wonderful speech. I always knew it would be hard to follow and I was right, I couldn't follow a word of it." "The couple actually had a bit of trouble finding someone to make a speech today. They started by asking their funniest friend, and they said no. Then they asked their most charming friend, and they said no. After that, they asked their best-looking friend and, again, they said no. Then they asked me, and, after already turning them down three times, I couldn't refuse again." "Ladies and gentlemen, today we witnessed a unique event in history - it's the first and presumably last time anyone has trusted me to give a speech!" "(Name) and I share the same sense of humour so if you don't like my jokes, you can blame him/her!" "Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to celebrate something truly magical. Something so rare and fortuitous and wonderful that it simply must be celebrated. I am, of course, talking about the open bar/donut wall/photo booth." "Where do I start with (Name)? They're kind, intelligent, gorgeous, charming... (directed at them) sorry, I'm having trouble reading your writing, you'll have to tell me the rest later." "I think we can all agree that it's been a fantastic day. But unfortunately that ends right here with my speech." "A few months ago, (Name) called me up and asked, 'What are your feelings on marriage?' I had to tell them that, while I was very flattered, I wasn't ready to settle down just yet." "Can everyone hear me OK? If you can't hear me in the back, the silence from the people at the front should reassure you that you're not missing anything." "Hello everyone! I'm (Name). I'm sure you all know me as (Name's best friend/sister/mum/dad), but if you don't, well done on sneaking into the wedding unnoticed!" "Before I begin, I must explain that, this morning, (Name) asked me to remove anything resembling innuendo from my speech. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to go through it again, but if I come across anything risqué, I'll whip it out immediately." "(Name) knows that I'm a bit nervous about this speech, and they gave me some great advice. They said 'Don't try to be too charming, witty or intellectual... just be yourself!'" "All of us gathered together in this room, we've got something really important in common - none of us have got a clue what I'm going to say next!" "I'd like to start by congratulating (Name) on their excellent taste in speech givers." Now that you've got your first line, here's what you should be saying in your speech. Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth. You can find him online at smcelebrant.com.au or Facebook at smcelebrant, Instagram @smcelebrant or find a whole bunch of inspiration on Pinterest @smcelebrant

DIY bridal emergency kit

There’s a few extra things you need to pack to have on stand by for your wedding day. You've probably already thought of a few things that "you must not forget", but it might be a good idea to run your eyes over this article in case there are a few other things to pack in the emergency kit. You might like to make it the bridesmaids' role to make sure all these things are packeting dead ready at hand at the right moment. Run sheet Regardless of having a wedding planner or a hosting a completely DIY wedding, it’s a reassuring idea to have this on hand to know what’s going down throughout the day. Even if it’s just a case of chucking it into the notes of your phone, or your bridesmaid’s. Bobby pins, hair ties and hair spray After spending so much time in hair and makeup, there’s no doubt you want to look shit-hot on your wedding day. Your H&MUA made you look absolutely incredible, but 10+ hours of your wedding day (especially if you’re in a breezy open space like a winery) can cause your hair to slip. Be prepared with these three essentials. Makeup for touch-ups If your makeup artist is onsite, you might be lucky enough to receive a few touch-ups after the ceremony. Otherwise, ask the makeup artist to advise you on what products she’ll be using for your wedding day (a good time to do so is after your trial), and get your hands on your own products for touch-ups. Alternatively, some makeup artists are happy to stay around for a per-hour fee, which might be handy for a pre-reception touch-up. Some basics to have on hand include a compact mirror, cotton tips, lip gloss, concealer, bronzer, and light powder. Water Goes without saying, but please, stay hydrated before the wedding as well as after! Have bottles of water to drink on the way to the ceremony in the car. You will probably be anxious and nervous leading up to the ceremony, so a bottle of water in the hour leading up to will ensure that your mouth doesn't go dry at the all important moment of saying your vows. And continue after the ceremony as well in between all of those champagnes. It’ll help you avoid a nasty hangover in the morning, or any dizzy spells if you haven’t drunk water all day. The days goes by, you’re in hot demand and it’s easy to forget to drink water, so you could even ask a bridesmaid to remind you regularly throughout the day. Deodorant and perfume Getting married in the peak of summer or a bit of a nervy perspirer? Hello, sweat city. Have deodorant and perfume on hand to ensure you’re smelling fresh as a daisy at all times. Small sewing kit Sometimes you need to make some last-minute alterations on your wedding dress. A small sewing kit including scissors, a needle and thread, and safety pins should do the trick for any last-minute blunders. Panadol Stress can cause a seriously annoying headache, and it will drive you bananas if you’re not feeling 100% on your wedding day. Have a few of these on hand just in case. Bandaids New shoes? Blisters tend to come with. If you haven’t already worn in your shoes, I suggest doing so around the house in advance of the big day. Keep a handful of bandaids within arms reach in case you have any of these suckers turn up unexpectedly. Wet-wipes These are essential to wipe off Aunty Jean's (and everyone else's) makeup from the groom's collar or your dress when they're congratulating you both after the ceremony. Booby tape Booby tape (or double-sided tape) is essential for securing necklines, mending hems, holding bra straps in place and fixing any wardrobe malfunction. It also prevents nip slips so you can move around all night without a worry. Tampons I'm not sure if I need to say much more here really. Tissues or hanky Again, goes without saying, but there are plenty of seriously tearful and beautiful moments during your wedding, where you’ll be thankful to dab away any tears with a tissue from your emergency bridal kit. Floss You know that feeling when you get something stuck in your teeth and you spend an hour at dinner mindlessly tonguing it to try and dislodge it? Let’s avoid that, shall we? Not to mention, you don’t want any bits of green salad stuck in between those pearlers for photos. A compact mirror Helpful for the previous point, it’s also a handy thing to have to check on any makeup smudges or for lippy reapplication. ID This one is for younger brides. Last but not least, if you have an early wedding curfew or are simply kicking on after the celebrations have come to an end, then don’t forget to take your ID with you, just in case you’re asked. Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth. You can find him online at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook at smcelebrant, Instagram @smcelebrant or you can find lots of wedding inspiration on his Pinterest page @smcelebrant including wedding & engagement rings, dresses, shoes, groom's attire, flowers, arbours, the lot. Call Steve to chat about your wedding ceremony today on 0418 897 215 or email steve@smcelebrant.com.au

Disney's craziest weddings

I just love this tongue in cheek look at some of the classic Disney weddings of all time that was put together by the team at Oh My Disney. From Gaston failing to notify the potential bride (Belle) or check if she even wants to get married through to acknowledging that none of the guests wore pants at Robin Hood and Maid Marien's wedding. I guarantee you that this will give you some good laughs. Check out A Definitive Ranking of Disney Weddings put together by Oh My Disney. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

The Ultimate Wedding Checklist

I noticed this blog on hitched.co.uk that might be of interest to brides and grooms who are gearing up for their big day. A wedding checklist is one of the most important tools a couple can use and there are heaps of them on the internet. I always give my couples one to run through as you never know what might have been missed on another checklist. So it's worth perusing all of them. Anyway, from writing the guest list at the beginning thorough to arranging a photo/video day after the wedding for your family and closest friends (and their 56 steps in between), here is Hitched's version of the Ultimate Wedding Checklist.

Songs to walk BACK up the aisle to

It's a moment of great energy and joy. The moment you've been officially pronounced as husband and wife, wife and wife or husband and husband - let's face it, it doesn't matter what sex you both are, what matters is that you choose the right song to walk back down the aisle as a married couple to. It's a song that should reflect the moment in time of your marriage and chances are everyone will remember it for a long time - along with the rest of the event. Choose something up and bright so that it matches the energy you and your celebrant have created for the ceremony. MY SPOTIFY PLAYLIST OF SONGS TO WALK BACK UP THE AISLE TO IS HERE Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth who can travel to officiate your wedding. Check his website here. See Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Same Sex Wedding Guide

In Australia, a same-sex wedding is identical to an opposite-sex wedding in the most important way — legal status — thanks to the landmark legislation to allow same-sex marriage, passed the Australian Parliament on 7 December 2017. Still, couples planning same-sex weddings might want gender-specific advice and inspiration for their ceremonies and receptions, which is why I've put this article together. Whether you're thinking of a simple elopement or a grand affair; whether your wedding aesthetic tastes veer more moody or more rustic; whether you'll have a dozen wedding attendants or none, this should cover you. Check out this same-sex wedding planning guide before you begin envisioning your special day. Proposals & Engagements A same-sex wedding usually starts with a heartfelt same-sex wedding proposal. For many gay and lesbian couples, there isn't a blueprint for how to propose, since you may be the first same-sex couple you know to get married. If you have a million and one questions about how to propose to your boyfriend as a guy or how to propose as a girl, that's totally normal. Here are some of the most common proposal and engagement conundrums: Do I need an engagement ring to propose? No. You don't need anything to propose, but many want to give their significant other a physical token of their affection, so if rings aren't your love's thing, you could consider a nice watch, monogrammed cufflinks or another memento. I want to pick a ring, but don't know where to start. Join the club! Engagement rings come in many different metals with just as many settings and stone choices. Read up on the Dos and Don'ts of Engagement Ring Shopping to get some clarity on your next step. Wedding Planning Timeline When it comes to same-sex wedding planning, here are the big topics you'll need to clear off on as a couple: Determining your total budget; Picking a wedding date; Creating a guest list; Choosing the perfect wedding venue; Selecting a wedding photographer and videographer; Filling out your vendor team with catering, a wedding planner, florists, cake designer, transportation and other services. The question of whether you want to "come out" to your wedding vendors as a same-sex couple or a couple with one or two trans people might arise as you're searching for the perfect vendors. The answer is ultimately up to you two, but you may consider being upfront with a wedding vendor when gender is a big part of their service offering. Same-sex wedding ceremonies and receptions Here's the fun part! You get to plan the ceremony and reception that best fits you as a couple. You'll definitely want to think about these elements of your wedding day: Gender-neutral ceremony readings; The rules to writing your own same-sex wedding vows; Love songs for same-sex couples. Friends, family and guests at your same-sex wedding While planning your LGBTQI wedding may be as mundane as any other couple planning a wedding, you might run into a few rocky moments when it comes to navigating family, friends and guests. Here are some of the issues you might encounter (and how to handle them): How to handle two mother-of-the-brides How to have a bridesman or a groomswoman What to do if your parents won't attend your wedding Cool ideas for a couples wedding shower Answers to awkward questions your friends or family might have about your LGBTQ wedding. What's the most important thing to remember? While all of the info above is important, probably the most important thing of all will be the selection of your celebrant. You need to choose someone who will create a ceremony that fits the two of you and your personalities. Someone who will listen to your story and reflect it in a way that you and your guests will remember forever. A celebrant for a same sex marriage needs to have empathy for the two people choosing to spend their life together. So choose carefully and don't be afraid to ask to see reviews and if you have time, audition two or three, so that you get a feel for who is going to work best with you. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia who has done a stack of same sex marriages. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. You can find him online at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook at smcelebrant, Instagram @smcelebrant or you can find lots of wedding inspiration on his Pinterest page @smcelebrant including wedding & engagement rings, dresses, shoes, groom's attire, flowers, arbours, the lot. Call Steve to chat about your wedding ceremony today on 0418 897 215 or email steve@smcelebrant.com.au

Songs that celebrate Life

Finding songs that fit within a funeral can be daunting, so here is a list to get your started. My suggestion is to firstly think about artists or songs that the person who has passed liked. Secondly, look at songs that the family feel fit the person's outlook on life. Thirdly, look at songs that go someway towards explaining how you feel about the person now they have passed. It's no easy task. You'll probably need at least four songs for a ceremony. 1. The entrance - to use as the family enters the chapel immediately prior to the service. 2. Tributes - if video or photos are going to be used you will need 1-2 songs to play while they are bring played. 3. Reflection - the moment where people approach the casket to leave rosemary on the casket and say goodbye to their loved one (sometimes 2 songs may be needed) 4. Exit - to end the ceremony and as the family exit a song can be played that sums up the person's life. So here's a list I've put together of songs that have been used at funerals I have attended. Time to Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry & the Pacemakers
Angels – Robbie Williams
Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler Angel - Sarah McLachlan
We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole (or the version with Natalie Cole as a duet), or even listen to Sia's version from "Finding Dory"
Imagine – John Lennon
Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
My Way – Frank Sinatra
Simply The Best – Tina Turner Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt
Candle in the Wind – Elton John
The Way We Were – Barbara Streisand
Gone to Soon – Michael Jackson Somewhere Over The Rainbow/Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo
I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing – Aerosmith
What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong The Prayer - Andrea Bocelli (ft Celine Dion) or the Anthony Callea version
You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
Let’s Talk About Love – Celine Dion
Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin Bring Him Home – Josh Groban
Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds or the shower more haunting Hollywood Mon Amour version
Amazing – Alex Lloyd
Wish you Where Here – Fleetwood Mac Days Like This - Van Morrison
Danny Boy – Daniel O’Donnell
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – The Hollies
Amazing Grace – Leann Rimes
Ave Marie – Celine Dion or the versions by Sarah Brightman, or Beyonce Pie Jesu - Angelis
Hallelujah “Vocal” – Mozart
Fields of Gold – Sting
Goodbye – Lionel Ritchie
Morning Has Broken – Cat Stevens
Sailing – Rod Stewart
The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore – The Walker Brothers
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston/Dolly Parton You can check out these songs and a few surprises on my Spotify playlist here. Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth who can officiate the celebration of a loved one's life. Funerals don't need to be a morbid affair - its already sad enough. Steve believes that a ceremony to celebrate the life of a loved one is how most people would prefer their own life be dealt with once they are gone. Check his website here.

The occult truth behind weddings

I found this article written by Mitch Horowitz and was fascinated by how much of a wedding ceremony — from the procession of bridesmaids to the exchanging of rings — is rooted in the supernatural. The role of the bridesmaid began in ancient Rome as a way of distracting evil spirits from the happy bride. Roman brides themselves started wearing veils to hide from wicked forces. But only the bride can wear white, which the ancient Greeks considered the color of joy. Greek brides even painted their bodies white the night before the ceremony, a custom also found among traditional cultures in Southern Africa. Using the age-old system of “sympathetic magic,” English brides are supposed to wear an object belonging to an older, happily married woman in order to inherit her luck. (“Something old, something new, something borrowed…”) The marriage ceremony teems with mythical symbolism. In ancient Egypt, a circle was considered a symbol of eternity; this morphed into the wedding ring to represent an unending union. “The ring,” wrote occult scholar Manly P. Hall in The Secret Teachings of All Ages, “has long been regarded as the symbol of attainment, perfection, and immortality — the last because the circlet of precious metal had neither beginning nor end.” The ring also derives from a coiled serpent biting its tail, representing a union of transcendent and worldly purpose. The earliest use of wedding rings appears in ancient Hebrew ceremonies, though the practice is also found in Greek and Roman culture. Today, the cake is one of the most ornate (and expensive) parts of the ceremony. In East European folklore, however, the cake is not eaten — but worn. Symbolizing life and physical sustenance, bread or cakes are sewn into the clothing of Polish brides or sometimes worn on armbands. According to old Scottish tradition, a bridesmaid can dream about her future husband by passing a bit of wedding cake through the bride’s ring, placing it in her left stocking, and then under her pillow. The evocative practice of stomping on a wine glass in the Jewish wedding ceremony is often explained as recalling the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D.; it is a recollection of bitterness in the midst of joy. But this practice has diverse roots. Ancient Hindus had a similar rite and believed that shattering a hollow container frightened off wicked spirits. What’s more, the breakage represented the virility of the male and the “submission” of the woman (perhaps not quite as appropriate today). Among some traditionalists, throwing rice remains part of the festivities. This custom began in Vedic and Chinese cultures, where rice is a symbol of prosperity and fertility. Rice was thrown to placate or distract demons and spirits and wish plenty on the couple. (Ancient Romans threw nuts and fruit — ouch.) Even after the wedding, newlyweds must be careful. The bridegroom carries his wife over the threshold, which the Romans believed was swarming with mischievous spirits; his act of chivalry foils lurkers in the doorframe. Of all wedding rituals, my personal favorite — and one of the most historically rich — is “jumping the broom.” Today, the African American expression “jumping the broom” means getting hitched, and some couples continue this customary rite as a reflection of joy and tradition. The practice is rooted in an old African custom in which newlyweds literally jump over a broom to prove that one of them is not an evil double. In folklore found in Western and Central Africa, as well as in the European Middle Ages, evil witches or wicked spirits are considered obsessive-compulsive in nature. A malevolent spirit would have to stop to count all the broom’s bristles, thus exposing a sinister entity disguised as the bride or groom. This lore extends to vampires — if you’re chased by one of the undead, you can throw a handful of pebbles or a knotted string on the ground; the wicked creature must stop to count the projectiles or undo the knots. Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth who can travel to officiate your wedding. Check his website here. See Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Songs to sign your marriage certificates to

It's a moment of reflection and excitement as your guests watch you and your witnesses sign your official marriage certificates. Yes, they will all chat about how good the ceremony has been so far, but it's also nice to have some music playing in the background to keep the energy level up. Think about a song that means something to the two of you. Perhaps it's "your song". Maybe it's a song that reflects your relationship, or a moment in your relationship that was talked about by the celebrant within the ceremony. You can go with a classic like Van Morrison's "Crazy Love" (the 2013 remaster), Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman" or "Fly Me To The Moon" by Frank Sinatra. Or perhaps you're after a strictly modern feel so Ed Sheeran's "Kiss Me", or Emily Hackett & Will Anderson's version of "Take My Hand" might just be perfect. Whatever song you choose, it should reflect your personalities, so that it fits in with the other music chosen for the ceremony. Make sure you choose songs for your big day that perfectly capture the atmosphere and emotions and conjure up happy memories for a lifetime. MY SPOTIFY PLAYLIST OF SONGS TO SIGN MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES TO IS HERE Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth who can travel to officiate your wedding. Check his website here. See Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Music to walk down the aisle to

It's the moment. The moment your guests have all been waiting for. It's your moment - the one you've been waiting for most of your life probably. The bride's entrance is the one single moment everyone pauses and looks to the back and watches the bride, or brides, or grooms walk into the room and take their place for one of life's most special rituals - marriage. It's a moment that the addition of music can make it stay in people's minds forever. Every time after that moment when they hear that song, they will remember that special day you walked down the aisle to get married. But keep in mind, the pace of the music is just as important. If it's too fast you'll be running down the aisle and if it's too slow, your guests will start yawning before the celebrant has already started. The team from "you and your wedding" have categorised song songs below. Modern songs to walk down the aisle to: All of Me – John Legend First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes Somewhere Only We Know – Lily Allen (Cover of Keane) Greatest Day – Take That Make You Feel My Love – Adele Marry You – Bruno Mars Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran Come Away With Me – Nora Jones Best Day of My Life – American Authors The Power of Love – Gabrielle Aplin cover Classical music to walk down the aisle to: Canon in D – Pachelbel Air – George F. Handel Romeo and Juliet Love Theme – Tchaikovsky Clair de Lune – Debussy The Flower Duet from Lakmé – Léo Delibes Ave Maria – Bach/Gounod Bridal Chorus – Wagner Wedding March – Andrew Grossman, Lana Ross and Anna Moor The Arrival of the Queen of Sheeba from Solomon – Handel Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Bac Instrumental music to walk down the aisle to: A Thousand Years – The Piano Guys (Cover of Christina Perri) Love Me – Yiruma I’m Yours – Vitamin String Quartet (Cover of Jason Mraz) Married Life (from the film Up) – Michael Giacchino La Vie en Rose – The O’Neill Brothers Group (Cover of Edith Piaf) A Sky Full of Stars – The Piano Guys (Cover of Coldplay) All I Want is You – Bridesmaids Quartet Riptide – Piano Tribute Players (Cover of Vance Joy) Wings – Pierluigi Colangelo (Cover of Birdy) Your Song – United Guitar Players (Cover of Elton John) Old favourite songs to walk down the aisle to: Can’t Help Falling in Love With You – Elvis Hallelujah – Blake (Cover of Leonard Cohen) The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack Be My Baby – The Ronettes The Very Thought of You – Billie Holiday At Last – Etta James What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong God Only Knows – The Beach Boys Dream a Little Dream of Me – The Mamas and Papa MY SPOTIFY PLAYLIST OF THE ULTIMATE WEDDING ENTRANCE SONGS IS HERE Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth who can travel to officiate your wedding. Check his website here. See Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

The right fit for the right man

Whether renting or buying wedding suits for grooms, the fit must be right to remain sharp. Aside from choosing the right color, fabric, detailing and stitching, you still need a wedding suit style that complements your physique. Check out these tips! If the groom is short or stocky, avoid excess fabric, long jackets, high button stances and pants with lots of break. Become friends with the pocket square and show some cuff. Your suit shoulders should not slouch. Make sure they keep you walking tall and fit. If you have a choice between two or three buttons, go for two. Three will always make you look more boxy – of course, unless that’s what you are going for. The sleeves should end at the height of your wrists. Have your tailor narrow the suit to your figure and get rid of excess fabric. Don’t go lapel crazy. maybe 2 inches at its widest point. All off the suits above are part of my "Grooms Attire" board on my Pinterest site. If you'd like to check out more, click here. Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth who can travel to officiate your wedding. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Wedding dates to avoid in 2020

Ready to set a date? Check this list of dates you might want to steer clear of when booking your wedding.  One of the first things you do when planning a wedding is picking out a date— or multiple date options, to avoid pigeon-holing yourself. Use this guide below to make sure you pick the right one. Personally Significant Days Check your own calendar for school or family reunions, family weddings, anniversaries or other events, like big conventions or festivals in your city (call your local chamber of commerce), and any annual occasions that involve your family or close friends. Holiday Weekends Holiday weekend weddings where you have Monday off from work have pros and cons. You've got an extra day for the festivities (and recovery!), plus you can have your wedding on a Sunday, which is often less expensive than a Saturday one. But costs of travel and venues may be higher. And if you're looking to marry around Valentine's Day, be wary of your floral bill, especially if you've got your heart set on red roses—they'll likely be more expensive than at any other time of the year. Likewise, reception sites often charge a higher fee for a New Year's Eve wedding. Also, don't forget to consider the impact of a holiday weekend on your guest list—some families have standing plans or traditions they'd prefer not to miss. Australia Day (always held on the day, but creating a long weekend in 2020) Sunday January 26, 2020 (creating a long weekend with the holiday on Monday) Labour Day (WA ONLY) - always a Monday holiday Weekend of February 28-March 2, 2020 Mother's Day (always the second Sunday in May) Make sure your mum is okay sharing this weekend with your wedding. And ask yourself: Do you want your anniversary to fall on the same weekend as Mother's Day if or when you become a mum? Weekend of May 9–10, 2020 Father's Day (always the first Sunday in September) As you would with your mums, check with your dads about doubling up on this day. And grooms, make sure you're okay with celebrating your anniversary the same weekend as Father's Day if you decide to have kids. Weekend of September 5-6, 2020 Queens Birthday - always a holiday Monday (WA) Weekend of September 26-28, 2020 Queens Birthday - always a holiday Monday (QLD) Labor Day (ACT/NSW/SA) Weekend of October 3-5, 2020 Halloween Avoid it if you're terrified that someone might actually show up in costume (and embrace it if you want them to!). Saturday, October 31, 2020 New Year's Eve Thursday, December 31, 2020 Religious and Cultural Holidays Be mindful of religious and cultural holidays (your own and those of your guests) when planning your wedding. There may even be restrictions at your house of worship as to whether you're allowed to marry at these times. Palm Sunday April 5, 2020 Easter April 10 - April 13, 2020 Passover (begins at sunset) Wednesday, April 8, 2020 Tisha B'Av (begins at sunset) Wednesday, July 29, 2020 Christmas Friday, December 25, 2020 Boxing Day (also Boxing Day Test Cricket) Saturday, December 26, 2020 Ramadan (dates may vary based on the lunar calendar) Thursday, April 23 until Saturday, May 23, 2020 Days of Remembrance We're talking about historically significant days (like the anniversary of September 11) that may be off-limits if you come from a big military family. Or, that could make them all the more meaningful—it's up to you to decide. Anzac Day (always on the actual day itself) Saturday April 25, 2020 (creating a long weekend with a holiday on Monday) Remembrance Day Friday, September 11, 2020 Major Sporting Events If you're die-hard sports fans—or if you're worried your guests might have a hard time choosing between your wedding and the big game—avoid getting married during popular sporting events - especially Eagles and Dockers matches between April and September. AFL Grand Final TO BE CONFIRMED Saturday September 26, 2020 in Melbourne (Fri Sep 25 a public holiday in Melbourne) Also in Perth be wary of any Derby battles between The Eagles and Dockers. You'll piss everyone off! Unlucky Dates If you're superstitious, you might want to watch out for these historically inauspicious dates from across several cultures. The Ides of March For ancient Romans, an "ides" was simply a date that marked the middle of the month—until Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15 in 44 BC. Since then, "Beware the Ides of March" has become the mantra of this superstitiously unlucky date. Sunday, March 15, 2020 Friday the 13th The unluckiest date of the year has questionable origins. Some historians say it comes from the 13 diners who were present at the last supper, but the famous Babylon's Code of Hammurabi doesn't include a 13th law, which suggests this superstition is as old as 1700 BC. And it wasn't until a successful novel titled Friday, the Thirteenth was published in the early 1900s that Friday became part of the unlucky equation. March 13, 2020 November 13, 2020 Leap Years Greeks and Romans thought starting any new life event—from getting married to baptising a child—in a leap year would bring bad luck. Next Leap Year: 2020 Saturday, February 29, 2020 Following Leap Year: 2024 Thursday, February 29, 2024 Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

The world's best honeymoon destinations by month

Where does Australia sit in this list of top destinations on this planet to honeymoon at by month? How about Canada, Thailand,, The Caribbean, Brazil, Japan, Sardinia, Croatia and Zimbabwe? They're all on this comprehensive list compiled by the team at Hitched. The best time for trekking in Peru to do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is September with clean sunny days. In fact September is ideal for all of South America like Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador. This is a seriously good read, so head to Hitched if you're interested in choosing the destination for your honeymoon. Here are some of the most gorgeous places they mention. So whether it's The Galapagos Islands, Vietnam, Turkey, Cuba, India, Cambodia, Hawaii or Mauritius that you're keen on, this guide will let you know the best time to be there. All you need now is a partner! Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Ultimate Checklist

I have seen some excellent checklists for the countdown to a wedding in my time as a celebrant, however this one that My Wedding Reception Ideas (myweddingreceptionideas.com) have created is probably the best. Not only is it comprehensive, but it is interactive, as in you can tick the radio buttons on the pdf via your computer or smart phone/tablet and save it to keep up with what you have done and what you still have to do. If you'd like a copy of it, just download it here. And while you're at it, check out their site for some top ideas for your wedding. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Overcoming wedding speech nerves

Wedding speeches are one of the most important parts of the wedding day, but it need not be stressful for you, whether you're the father of the bride, father of the groom, the best man, the maid of honour, or even the bride or groom. Here's some tips that will help you get through in the lead up and if you want to see some examples of real life speeches by people who have been in the roles I've mentioned above, then check out this article: Real wedding speeches Expert vocal coach Alan Woodhouse gives some tips to find out how to keep your nerves under control. Speak the Words Before You Write the Words When writing a speech, most of us would start by writing down some notes, but Alan explains this is not the best place to begin: “You need to plan what you’re going to say. And you’ll be tempted to start off by writing some notes: don’t. Turn on your mobile phone or computer, and find the voice-recorder. Start to talk through your ideas. You want to sound as if you’re talking to the guests, not lecturing them or reading them an essay. By speaking at the outset you will find the best way for you to tell the stories that you want to tell.” Remember to Breathe This sounds like an obvious one, but it is very important. Alan says that forgetting to breathe deeply can make your nerves worse: “If our breathing gets stressed, we will feel stressed, and our voice will sound stressed. We need to breathe deeply in order to get some energy behind the message we want to convey. You are breathing, so don’t TRY to breathe, it will make you tense. Imagine you are watching the breath flow gently and smoothly away from you; and then imagine you are watching the new in-breath as it confidently flows towards you. Let the breath flow out, let the breath flow in. Perfect!” Don’t Try Too Hard to Be Funny You may feel under pressure to make your speech funny but joke-telling doesn’t come naturally to everyone and jokes that were funny on the stag do , may not translate in a room full of family friends and relatives. Alan recommends keeping it sincere: “Get some ideas from the internet by all means, but steer clear of the jokes. You will be loved and appreciated if you share your thoughts and your stories about the people you care about.” Think About Your Audience If you’re not sure what to include Alan says to consider who will be in the room: “This is a good way to develop a structure for your speech. Simply think, if I were listening to my speech, what would I want to hear about next? We start by greeting people: we all like people to say ‘hello’. Depending on whether you’re Groom or Best Man or Father of the Bride, you will have stories to tell. What did you see, what did people say, what did you feel? That’s what people want to know.” Some Other Things to Consider: Keep it Short If you’re feeling daunted by the task, don’t put yourself under added pressure by trying to deliver a Kayne style speech. Go for the short and sweet approach. Thank the people that need thanking and make a simple toast. It’s all about the quality rather than quantity. Practice, Practice, Practice Make sure you start writing your speech early, giving you plenty of time to practice. You can never be over-prepared. Have a run-through every day if you can. The more familiar you are with the content, the less likely you are to trip over the words or lose your place. Enlist a Friend As well as practicing by yourself, make sure you practice in front of someone else at least one. They can give you some encouragements and may be able to give you some pointers! Make Notes When writing your speech down, structure it in a way that will be easy to follow on the day. Rather than writing a full script, put together some short bullet points, which can work as prompts. If the thought of free-styling brings you out in a cold sweat and you’d rather read it fully from a script – that’s ok! The most important thing is that you feel as confident as possible in your notes. Change the Format Traditionally speeches happen after the wedding breakfast but there’s no reason why you have to stick to this. Consider having the speeches before dinner so you can get it out of the way and be free to enjoy the meal without worrying. Making your toast whilst everyone is still standing enjoying a drink may make you feel less conscious of everyone sitting looking at you. Avoid Alcohol It may be tempting to have a few drinks to calm your nerves but this could be a big mistake. Give yourself the best chance of delivering a perfect speech by not having more than one or two drinks before the speeches. They’ll be plenty of time to party afterwards! Whatever you do, remember everyone is there to support the couple and bridal party. By the time it’s all over, you’ll be wondering what you were worried about. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Wedding speech tips

We've all seen some hideous wedding speeches and we've all seen some awesome ones. Don't make yours fit into the first category. It can be quite nerve wracking, however, with a bit of thought and planning, you can make an awesome speech, whether you're the best man, the father of the bride, the father of the groom, the maid of honour, the bride or the groom. I found a literal treasure trove of speeches on the internet at hitched.co.uk. They should be awarded a medal for collecting them over the years. They're real speeches that have been used by real people and sent in to the site and I've provided some links to them below. Best Man Speeches Father Of The Bride Speeches Groom Speeches Bride Speeches Maid Of Honour Speeches It's always important to start off strong, so here are some ways to introduce yourself. How to Start Your Wedding Speech 1. Always Introduce Yourself Whether you’re the groom and everyone is there because you invited them or you’re the best man who has flown in from overseas for the occasion, it’s always polite to introduce yourself. Smile as you do it and make a bit of a joke if you feel tense, or reference how important the day is if you don’t feel like joking: “Hi, I’m [GROOM’S NAME] – you should probably all know who I am, and if you don’t, well done for sneaking in unnoticed.” “Hi, I’m [BEST MAN’S NAME], but you can call me by my full name: [BEST-MAN’S-NAME-WOULD-YOU-LIKE-A-DRINK].” “Hello, I’m [FATHER OF THE BRIDE’S NAME] and I’m so delighted to welcome you all here on this beautiful day.” It’s becoming more common for the maid of honour or bridesmaid to give a speech, as well as the bride. If you’re giving one, feel free to mix up these examples. Don’t go overboard with a long-winded introduction about yourself – a line or two about who you are and your role in the day will be enough. If you’re the best man, it’s fine to start with a joke – we’ve got some of the best, tried and tested best man jokes to inspire you, or scroll down for even more speech introduction examples… 2. Make Eye Contact Pick a few reassuring faces in the crowd and pitch your speech to them – but don’t focus just on one person. Aim for a couple of different locations around the room so everyone feels as those they’re included in the speech. If the idea of making eye contact is too much, pick inanimate objects to focus on but mix them up. 3. Have Notes to Hand Don’t think you need to know your whole speech off by heart – you’ll feel more confident if you have your notes to hand and no one will judge you for it. If you don’t want it to be too scripted, simply give yourself cue cards to work from. 4. Don’t Drink Too Much Don’t try and drown your nerves – it’ll only make starting your speech more difficult. Save the celebratory drinks for after you’ve completed your speech – slur free! Speech Introduction Examples Here are a few more ways to introduce your speech, no matter what role you’re playing in the wedding day – just tweak it to suit you and your speech. “Friends and family of [NAME] and [NAME], thank you for being here today to celebrate their marriage.” “The highest happiness on earth is the happiness of marriage.” “Welcome to the most important day in the lives of [NAME] and [NAME].” “Today, promises have become permanent and friends have become family.” “Today is a celebration and we are here to celebrate with [NAME] and [NAME].” “Thank you for joining us today on such a wonderful occasion.” “We would like to welcome all of you here today to celebrate and thank you for choosing to spend the day with us.” “Love has brought [NAME] and [NAME] and everyone in this room together today.” “My name is [BEST MAN] and it’s an honour to be here today as [GROOM]’s best man.” “Hi, I’m [NAME] and it’s time for me to do this speech I scribbled down about an hour before the ceremony started.” “I must admit, I’m not accustomed to public speaking. Up until I was asked to give this speech I thought a toastmaster was a kind of kitchen appliance!” “Before I begin, I must admit that [NAME] and [NAME] have asked that I remove anything resembling innuendo from this speech – I’ve promised if I come across anything even slightly risqué, I’ll whip it out immediately.” Now, if you'd like to see a funny best man speech, check out this video. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Wedding arbours

I am constantly impressed with the may different wedding arbours that couples choose for their big day. It really does make a different to outdoor weddings (even indoor weddings). It helps focus and frame the couple os they say "I do". I've collected a bunch of my favourite arbours and put them on my Pinterest page. so if you are on the hunt for a good arbour look to frame your nuptials, then I've done the hard work for you, just click here or on the image below to go straight to the source. But, just for the record, this is my favourite one. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

How important are wedding invitations?

Of course a wedding invitation is necessary so that you can keep track of numbers for your big day. Couples usually do 3 lists. An A List of people who must be there. A B list for those you would also like to have there and a C list for those who you feel would like to be there, but you're not sure. They get the A list invites out first and wait for rsvp's, followed by the B list and then the C list. There is some absolutely gorgeous wedding stationary out there these days too. You can even get gold or silver foil if you like...it's just a matter of how much you want to spend on invitations...and let's face it, they all end up in the bin, apart from the 2 that you keep as keepsake after the wedding (oh and the one you send to your mum). If you're trying to cut back on your wedding budget, consider not having hard copy invitations and instead, doing it via a website, which can also look amazing. As an added service to my couples, I provide their own page via my website that they get a link to to send out to all of their guests. They receive an email response back from people as they rsvp, so it's easy to keep track of who is and who is not coming on the big day. It reduces cost of wedding stationary substantially, along with postage costs. Here's how it looks. You'll notice it's broken into 4 sections. Section 1 is the hereto banner - a nice image of the two of you with the announcement that you're getting married with links to what's further down the page. Section 2 is the detail and a map of where the wedding ceremony and reception is. This is all the crucial information guests will need. Section 3 is where all the other info for the wedding and reception goes, like what the dress code is, what the story is with gifts (and if you have an online gift registry, you can link straight to it), what to do about parking open the day and any other info you need your guests to know. Section 4 is where your guests can rsvp straight back to you. I include this as part of the package for any couples who choose me to marry them. They don't have to use it, but if they want to, I will gladly create the page for them and even an invite graphic for them to place in the initial email to their guests. If you're interested, don't hesitate to call me to chat about it. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Cool summer grooms who still look smart

As a guy , if you're getting married in summer, wearing a suit can be a real drama, particularly if you sweat. Nobody wants to have sweaty pics taken on their wedding day... even a guy. So here are some looks that I found on Pinterest that are "workin' for the man" this summer. There are many options guys have to choose from to keep their cool on the big day, like wearing a vest and no jacket, wearing just a shirt with braces (suspenders), really smart shorts or of course linen suits. I think my favourite (especially for a beach wedding) is the light coloured pants, white shirt buttoned up to the top and braces (see below). Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. You can see all of the above looks and more on his Pinterest collection "summer looks for grooms". Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

How to propose to your boyfriend...if you're a guy

When it comes to planning your gay proposal, there aren’t any hard and fast rules. While it certainly helps to have a blueprint, the most important thing is to carve out a little time to tell your love how much you him and that you’re ready to be married. But, as with all things in life, your marriage proposal can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. So, once you know you’re ready to propose to your boyfriend, your He Said Yes moment is totally in your hands. Learn the ins and outs of your perfect gay proposal! You don’t need a ring. While the classic proposal image is a man on bended knee, same-sex couples are free to (and very often do!) completely upend this tradition. When it comes to gay proposal ideas for two men, an engagement ring doesn’t have to be the centerpiece. If you’re thinking about proposing to your boyfriend, think about his personality and what would symbolize your relationship up to this point. If he’s the type to go for an elegant band, then it’s time to go ring shopping. Otherwise, consider a nice bottle of wine, a luxury watch or even a handmade token of your love to present at the proposal. But! If you’re going to propose with a ring, do your homework. So, a ring is optional. But, if you’re going the ring route, you’ll want to be prepared. Most male engagement rings are bands, so there’s no need to go deep into the 4C’s, but you will want to think about metals. Platinum: Extremely durable without any additional metals or coating, this is the most expensive metal. White gold: Gives the look of platinum, but without the expense. Will need to be replated when the rhodium coating wears off. Yellow gold: Soft and pliable, gold is typically mixed with other metals so that it stands the test of time. Rose gold: A mix of yellow gold and copper that produces a more durable material than either yellow or white gold. Palladium: Related to platinum, but slightly less durable. Titanium: Lightweight but strong, this is a favorite for men’s rings. It can’t be resized. Tungsten: A sturdy metal that comes in black, gray or white. It can’t be resized. Beyond a simple metal band design, you’re free to customize your love’s engagement ring with diamonds, precious stones (birthstones are popular choices) or engravings. It’s not a bad idea to go ring shopping at least once with your boyfriend before you plan your marriage proposal. This way, you can covertly find out his ring size and get a feel for the style he likes. Also, let his best friends or close siblings in on your plan, so they might be able to do a little snooping on your behalf as well. Before you order the engagement ring, be sure you have the correct ring size! Don’t be afraid to talk about the proposal. While the proposal itself is often a surprise — although it doesn’t have to be — you’ve likely begun to walk about marriage with your boyfriend. Don’t be shy in asking him how he envisions being proposed to, or whether he’d prefer a public or private affair. Of course, he’ll know you’re fishing for gay proposal ideas, but the exact who, when and where is still in your hands. This might also be the proposal planning stage where you decide a surprise proposal isn’t in the cards. For some couples, a less startling approach is better, so don’t be afraid to create your own unique proposal scenario. Keep your boyfriend in mind as you’re planning the proposal. Now that you know you want to plan a surprise proposal, it’s time to get planning. Think about your boyfriend. Is he an extroverted, social butterfly who lives to share his life with friends and family? Then a big party in his honor might be right up his alley. Is he more shy, but has a very close-knit group of friends? An intimate dinner proposal with his nearest and dearest might be the way to go. Or, is he the type who would cringe at having to say yes in front of anyone but you? A romantic proposal with just the two of you is in order. Once you’ve purchased the ring, the real challenge of keeping a secret begins, so be sure to cover your tracks as you’re planning the surprise. Go beyond adding a “Shh!” to the Facebook invite and maybe ask a best friend to keep the ring, so there’s no chance he’ll find it while snooping or plan a decoy event to throw him off the scent. Make a plan for stunning photographs. Now you have the perfect surprise proposal planned for your guy. The last thing you want is a flawless event without any photographic evidence to show off on the ‘gram and to your crew. You can totally hire a professional photographer to capture the moment — they’re masters at stealth! If that’s not in your budget, delegate a close friend with a nice camera or even a great smartphone to be on photo duty. Trust us, you don’t want to miss that bended knee moment! Get ready to start wedding planning! You got your yes! It’s time to share the engagement news and be ready to answer the $1 million question: When’s the big day? Just like your proposal, same-sex couples have free reign to take what works from hetero weddings and leave the rest when it comes to writing your vows, ceremony readings, attire, decor and every other aspect of wedding planning.

2019 wedding trends

Here's where weddings are heading in 2019. Florals, cakes instead of desserts, changes for the reception, long veils, there are a stack of trends happening and I've captured the most impressive ones here. The Outfit Change Obviously, we can thank Meghan Markle and Gwyneth Paltrow for this one! We will see more brides/grooms with a number of outfit changes throughout the course of their wedding. For the evening reception, we’ll be seeing jumpsuits, elegant separates, classic/simple gowns. The Statement Veil Again, thanks to Meghan Markle: the statement veil is back. Meghan’s 16-foot cathedral veil was embroidered with a flower from each of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth which made a statement as she walked down the aisle. You will also see short lace veils worn across the face, tuffed-up blushers (see Mandy Moore) and also coloured veils! Bright Floral Arrangements Unique floral and greenery installations are hot and will continue to boom but be ready for bigger, bolder and brighter arrangements. You will see violet flowers and shades of purple making an appearance. Violet floral arrangements are going to be big in 2019 Desserts Instead Of Cake 2018 has already seen a trend for dessert tables, ice cream carts, doughnut walls, these will continue to trend in 2019. Eco-Friendly Confetti We know how great glittering confetti looks when it’s tossed on newlyweds as they make their grand exit. We’ll see more couples skip the plastic confetti and opt for lavender or flower-petal toss instead. Both smell great, have the same visual impact, and will biodegrade, leaving behind no waste. Wedding Guest Entertainment In addition to a band/DJ, we’ll see couples experimenting with ceremony entertainment. Think lawn games, magicians, tarot readers, circus performers, face painters and so on! Wedding Stationery Calligraphy dominated 2018 but in 2019 it will be about the nouveau and gold-foil lettering. Thanks to the people at appywedding.com.au for this info. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Attorney General of Australia. Steve is based in Perth, but can travel anywhere. Check his website here. See some Facebook reviews of his work here and follow him on instagram here @smcelebrant.

Fun wedding vows for modern couples

If you're struggling with writing vows, this article I found on the easyweddings site might help steer you in the right direction. You are my husband/wife. My feet shall run because of you. My feet shall dance because of you. My heart shall beat because of you. My eyes see because of you. My mind thinks because of you. And I shall love because of you. Why we love it: Because it’s talking about the body but it really means the soul. And how cool would a marriage filled with running, dancing and thinking be? From the Eskimo Love Song. I promise to encourage us to try new and unusual things. I vow to invest in loving you daily and to snuggle you as often as possible. I vow to be the best parts of me that fit perfectly with the best parts of you. Although I will be imperfect, I pledge to be sensitive and respectful of your unique talents, abilities and quirks. I pledge to lend you strength for all of your dreams. Through our union we can accomplish more than I could alone. I believe in you. Why we love it: It perfectly sums up one of our favourite sentiments – that two hearts (and heads) are better than one. I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone. Why we love it: Because Arwen, from The Lord of the Rings, doesn’t need endless words to express her love for Aragorn. One perfect sentence is all it takes. The perfect short wedding vows. I wanna make you smile whenever you’re sad, carry you around when your arthritis is bad, all I wanna do is grow old with you. I’ll get your medicine when your tummy aches, build you a fire if the furnace breaks, oh it could be so nice, growing old with you. I’ll miss you, kiss you, give you my coat when you are cold. Need you, feed you, even let you hold the remote control. So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink, put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink, oh I could be the man (woman) who grows old with you, I wanna grow old with you. Why we love it: If you think you’ve heard these words before, you have. They’re from The Wedding Singer, sung by a slightly vocally challenged Adam Sandler when he boards the plane and, with a little help from Billy Idol, gets the girl. Pure romance with a touch of humour and whimsy. I love you, I knew it the minute I met you. I’m sorry it took so long for me to catch up, I just got stuck. Why we love it: From that wonderful film Silver Linings Playbook, this oh-so-sweet quote shows a wonderfully sweet side of the person professing it, as well as a little timely vulnerability. It has serious ‘aww’ factor! And it’s short and sweet. Celebrant: Do you take this man to be your husband?
Bride: I do.
Celebrant: Do you take this woman to be your wife?
Bride: He does. Why we love it: Because it’s hilarious. Duh! I love you. Very simple. Very truly. You are the epitome of everything I have ever looked for in another human being. There isn’t another soul on this planet who has ever made me half the person I am when I’m with you. I am forever changed because of who you are and what you’ve meant to me (edited). Why we love it: Who knew director Kevin Smith had such poetry in his soul, revealed in the outstanding Chasing Amy? It’s everything we would want to say, but more beautifully spelled out. Because that’s what two people embarking on marriage do – they help make each other better and find a new love for themselves in doing so. You are the love of my life. I choo-choo-choose you. Why we love it: You might recognise ‘I choo-choo-choose you’ from The Simpsons when Lisa gives Ralph an adorable novelty card for Valentine’s Day. This vow is the perfect choice for Simpsons lovers, and many in attendance will recognise the reference. Winning! You are my best friend. I love you with all my heart and stand here before all of our friends and family, sharing the happiest day of my life. I want nothing more than to share my future with you – my triumphs and my challenges, my joys and my sorrows. Together, I know we can accomplish the life we both dream of living. Why we love it: There is nothing more exciting than finding your best friend and lover all rolled into one – a meeting of minds and magic that offers infinite possibilities. Jamie Marie, from this day forward I promise to be worth it. Worth the time. Worth the trip. Worth the energy. Worth the embarrassment. Worth your love. I promise that you will always count. You will always come first, and of course, if you don’t for whatever reason, I will buy you some shoes. From the moment you entered my world, you have filled it with life, colour and energy like never before … like kool-aid in a mud puddle … or a cupcake in a salad … or a rose garden in a junk yard. You are my rose, Jamie Marie, and I promise to devote my life to being your dirt. Why we love it: These real-life vows from comedian John Caprulo strike just the right note between romantic, funny and touching. He’s not afraid to put his heart on his sleeve and say ‘My life is much better for having you in it.’ Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.
Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
Always. Why we love it: All three of these seemingly cryptic quotes come courtesy of J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter characters and, though they have very specific meanings relevant to specific incidents in her books, they each stand alone as wonderfully loving passages that make them perfect for the moment two people profess their undying love to each other. Here in front of everyone we love, I give you everything that I am. My dreams and my fears. My triumphs and my failures. I trust you, and will always endeavour to be worthy of your trust in me. If we face times of struggle and hardship, you can depend on me to support and protect you, no matter what the cost. Why we love it: Because nobody throws a wedding like a daytime soapie, and these vows from The Bold and The Beautiful prove why they’re such a viewer favourite. Now that we’ve gotten skinny for this wedding, let’s get real fat together. Why we love it: Because everyone knows how much wine and cheese will be consumed on the honeymoon. If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together
There is something you must always remember.
You are braver than you believe, strong than you seem and smarter than you think.
But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart
I’ll always be with you. Why we love it: This super adorable A. A. Milne quote is the perfect way to pledge your commitment to one another. When I say, ‘I love you’, it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a woman/man. You’re the one. Why we love it: Because Spike and Buffy were the ultimate star-crossed lovers turned soulmates. And woe betide you get in their way… You are my inspiration and my soul’s fire. You are the magic of my days. You help me laugh, you teach me love. You provide a safe place for me, unlike I’ve ever known. You free me to sing my own song. You are more of an amazement to me, each day I rediscover you. You are my greatest boon. I am yours. You are mine. Of this we are certain. You are lodged in my heart. The small key is lost. You must stay there forever. Why we love it: Because it was written by Frau Ava in the 1100s and is still as relevant today as it was then. We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutual weirdness and call it love. Why we love it: This quote by Robert Fulghum is a super cute way to describe love. It’s a great way to make your vows light-hearted and enjoyable for all in attendance. So this is love, so this is what makes life divine. I’m all aglow and now I know the key to all heaven is mine. My heart has wings and I can fly, I’ll touch the star in every sky. So this is the miracle that I’ve been dreaming of. So this is love. Why we love it: This ‘Cinderella’ quote is an adorable addition for any Disney fans out there… And for anyone hosting a fairy tale wedding! From the moment our paths crossed, you’ve captivated me, challenged me, frustrated me and improved me in ways no person has done before. And I have fallen in love with you again and again. I promise to be true to you, to support and encourage you and to challenge and frustrate you. I truly believe we are good for each other and that we will continue to grow stronger together Why we love it: Because good for each other is a great base for good to each other. You know that there are some things I don’t believe in. But today, I want to tell you about some things I do believe in. I believe in sunrises and sunsets. I believe in hikes in the woods and walks on the beach.… I believe in all the beauty, the mystery and the wonder of life, and I believe that these joys, like all joys, are multiplied when you have someone to share them with. And I’m here because I want you to be that person. There’s no one else I’d rather spend my life with. I love your shy smile, your sweet laugh, your sense of humor, and your adventurousness. And most of all, I love the way you make me happier than I thought anyone ever could. That’s why I’m here, and that’s why I’m marrying you today. Why we love it: Because love, like joy, is always better shared. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride. So I love you because I know no other way
than this. Where I does not exist, nor you. So close that your hand on my chest is my hand. So close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. Why we love it: Because the beautiful words of Pablo Neruda should be essential in any wedding ceremony. Or a slight twist on Pablo Neruda: I love you without knowing how, or when or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride. Loving what I know of you, and trusting what I do not yet know. Home is wherever you are. I love you not for what you are but what you are when I’m with you. Why we love it: Because houses come and go, friends come and go, jobs come and go. But home? That’s something you hold in each other’s hand and hearts. Today, as I give myself to you, my mind is clear and my commitment is strong and without reservation. I take you to be my life’s partner. I will never leave you nor forsake you; I will spend all my days at your side. We will share a lifetime of eternal, immeasurable love. Why we love it: Because these few short sentences pack such a punch; love really is all you need it (well that and sandwiches). I promise to love and cherish you as much as I do our dog. From this day forward, I will lint roll the chairs whenever your parents visit. I will love you in sickness and in health, as long as you take care of the vet visits. I promise to cuddle with you as much as I do [dog’s name], and pick up treats for you whenever he gets some, too. Why we love it: Because doggos are life. And sometimes they do shed a lot of hair. I promise to unclog the drain, even though you are the only one of us with long hair. Why we love it: Because every girl knows and appreciated the struggle their fiance goes through tackling stray hairs on the floor, in the sink and in random places all over the house on a daily basis. I vow to never to steal your covers, unless you are hogging them. Why we love it: Let’s face it, there’s a blanket hog in every relationship. Let us be friends and lovers, and grow old disgracefully together. Why we love it: Because it sounds like an awesome adventure. I used to be afraid of falling in love, of giving my heart away. How could I trust a man/woman to love me? To give me all that I wanted to give to him/her? But when I met you, I realised how much we could share together. You have renewed my life. Today I join that life with yours. Why we love it: Love is a giant leap of faith. It’s putting your heart in someone’s else’s hands and trusting them to protect it. And what’s more symbolic of this than a wedding? There are three words that are stronger than I love you. Today I stand in front of you to say ‘I choose you’. I choose you over all others. I choose you to share happiness with. I choose you to care for. I choose you to have a family with. I choose you to grow with. I choose you to love forever. Why we love it: Because it’s marriage in a nutshell. The choice to team up for an adventure through the known and, even more excitingly, the unknown. I love you, with everything I have. Today I am so proud to call you my husband/wife. Words will never be enough to show the love I have for you. When I’m with you my heart beats so fast. I feel like it may explode if I let myself feel just how much I love you. The extent of your beauty is overwhelming, both inside and out. I could not possibly live without you. I promise to be there for you and our family, and I will never let you down. I look forward to growing old with you. You are my best friend, and my soulmate, I have loved you since the day I met you, and I will continue to do so until forever. Why we love it: Because, of course, you can’t possibly live without each other. I promise to protect you from carbon freezing and promise to protect you from the Dark Side, through hyperspace and into the far reaches of the galaxy. Why we love it: Because Star Wars fans are in it for the long haul. Groom: I promise to love, cherish, and care for you in sickness and in health. Unless the reason for your illness is the fact, you have just seen our latest credit card bill and realised just how much you spent last month.
Bride: I promise to love, cherish, and care for you in sickness and in health. Unless it is 3am and the reason for your illness is alcohol-induced, and the care involves sitting with you beside the toilet bowl with a wet cloth. Why we love it: Because it’s so funny and personal, and a lot more realistic than promises to never share an angry word. She is the only evidence of God I have seen with the exception of the mysterious force that removes one sock from the dryer every time I do my laundry. Why we love it: If you’re having a religious ceremony, or even if you believe in a higher power, this lovely quote, from St. Elmo’s Fire, is serious, but also humorous at the same time, the perfect mix for the wedding vows of a bride or groom who isn’t afraid to have a little fun during such an important moment. I promise to give you the best of myself and to ask of you no more than you can give. I promise to accept you the way you are. I fell in love with you for the qualities, abilities, and outlook on life that you have, and won’t try to reshape you in a different image. I promise to respect you as a person with your own interests, desires, and needs, and to realise that those are sometimes different, but no less important, than my own. I promise to keep myself open to you, to let you see through the window of my personal world into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams. I promise to grow along with you, to be willing to face change as we both change in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting. And finally, I promise to love you in good times and in bad, with all I have to give and all I feel inside, in the only way I know how … completely and forever. Why we love it: Because it so beautifully illustrates the realities of for better and for worse. That a wedding ring isn’t a guarantee of happily ever after. That takes work – from two people who acknowledge their differences but also their desire to grow a life together. And what could be more romantic than that? I came to this place today as a man/woman standing alone. I will walk from it by your side. Today I cross the threshold with you and enter into a new and lasting lifetime commitment. I commit myself to you as your husband/wife. Why we love it: Because commitment is cool. After all, that’s why we’re here! And these short wedding vows are perfect to steal for your big day. If you are thinking of writing your own personal vows but are unsure where to start, we recommend taking your favourite examples out of this list of fun vows and reworking them with personal anecdotes and stories to make them unique to you as a couple. Be sure to include other references, traits or hobbies the pair of you share, and ones that can be appreciated by those in attendance. This will make exchanging vows a more enjoyable, personal experience.

10 fun engagement ring reveals

It's okay to show off your new bling. Check out some ways to snap the perfect ring selfie. We all love admiring ring selfies, but before getting to that, remember; DO NOT announce your engagement through an Instagram post. After reaching out to all of your close friends and family members to share the exciting news, you've got the green light to post on your personal account. 1. Holding Hands photo by @MANDYDOLPH 2. With an On-Point Mani photo by @THAINAMADERE 3. Scenic Background (With Your Fiancé!) photo by @KARABUCHANAN 4. With Wildflowers photo by @MEGSIRNA 5. With a Love Note photo by @SALLYIBARRA2 6. With the Ocean photo by @SALLYIBARRA1 7. With the Pets photo by @PUPPYNAMEDCHARLIE 8. "I Said Yes" Manicure photo by @KIMBERLINI519 9. Before Jetsetting photo by @HEYKENZIEE 10. Leading Your Fiancé photo by @BAYOUCITYLIFESTYLE Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

Getting married in Bali

Always dreamed of getting married in Bali?  Then chat to me as it's one of my most favourite places and I can help make your dream become reality. It need not be that hard to do. All we have to ensure is that all the legal paperwork is done. Here are your choices; 1. Get married according to Indonesia Law, or; 2. Get married according to Australian Law Indonesian Law Generally, Indonesian nationals, and persons of any other nationality may marry in Indonesia provided they hold a religion recognised by the Indonesian Government (Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Christian Catholic/Protestant). Under the Indonesian Marriage Law marriages may be performed by Ministers of Religion, officers of the Kantor Catatan Sipil (Civil Registry Office), or the Kantor Urusan Agama (Office of Religious Affairs). For a marriage to be legal, it must be conducted according to the religion, and conform to the laws of the countries of the parties involved. In order for an Australian citizen to marry in Indonesia, it is necessary to make an application for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta or at the Australian Consulate-General in Denpasar. Application forms are available from the Consular Counter at both of these offices or on the Smartraveller website. To obtain a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage you need to: Make an appointment at least ONE work day prior to apply in person at the Embassy or Consulate-General during office hours sign an application form in front of a Consular Officer (applicable only to the Australian National) show the original passports of both parties as proof of identity provide original proof of dissolution of marriage / marriages from both parties (if any) In most cases the Certificate can be issued while you wait. It is preferable that applicants applying for a Certificate from the Embassy in Jakarta do so in person. If this is not possible applications may be processed via post, however the application form must be signed before a person authorised to witness Statutory Declarations (including, in Indonesia, an Indonesian Public Notary). Contact the Consular Section at consular.jakarta@dfat.gov.au for further details on how to apply via post or registered mail. Both parties must be of the same religion. For more detail on this click here. Australian Law You must sign a Notice Of Intended Marriage no more than 18 months prior and no less than 30 days prior to the date of your intended marriage. Your signatures must be witnessed by an official and lodged with your celebrant no less than 30 days prior to your intended marriage. An Australian celebrant can fly to Bali to perform your ceremony, however the legal vows, paperwork (declaration of intent to marry and marriage certificates) must be signed and witnessed on Australian soil. So as you can see, there's an easy way and there's a harder way to go about it.  If you'd like to talk through it more with me, contact me here. I lay out the steps to getting married in Bali on my website here. Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

5 tips for your wedding

Okay there are one million and fifty thousand tips when it comes to getting married. In fact, that is basically what all the posts on this blog are all about. As a celebrant, all I have done is collect information that I feel would be useful to couples in the lead up to their marriage. These five tips are awesome. Did any one ever tell you not to wear a bra early in the day on your big day? And did anyone tell you to sit on the toilet backwards? Now that I've got your interest, let's get to the tips... Steve Mummery is a Perth based celebrant who can travel all over Australia to marry you. Check out his Facebook reviews here and his website here for contact details. You can also follow him on Instagram by searching for @smcelebrant.

Ways to propose to the person of your dreams

There are some classic ways people have proposed to their loved one. The classic light plane flying over with message hanging out the back... a book chronichling the journey of love between two people (which my nephew did) and having candles and rose petals write the words out on a beach in Bali so that when you walk out onto the balcony at dusk you are presented with the words "Marry Me Steve" like I was proposed to. But how about this guy, Ray Smith who spent 5 months proposing to his wife to be. Around 25% of women say their marriage proposal is more important than the wedding ceremony and 1 in 4 of them wish their proposals were more romantic. So if you're about to propose to the love of your life, here are some proposal ideas. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant and can be contacted through his website at smcelebrant.com.au You can see more wedding day ideas on Steve's Pinterest page here and check out Facebook reviews of his work here.

Wedding dates to avoid in 2019 and 2020

Every year I take a look at the dates to avoid if you are getting married. So if you're ready to set a date? Check this list of dates you might want to steer clear of when booking your wedding.  One of the first things you do when planning a wedding is picking out a date—or multiple date options, to avoid pigeon-holing yourself. Use this guide below to make sure you pick the right one. Personally Significant Days Check your own calendar for school or family reunions, family weddings, anniversaries or other events, like big conventions or festivals in your city (call your local chamber of commerce), and any annual occasions that involve your family or close friends. Holiday Weekends Holiday weekend weddings where you have Monday off from work have pros and cons. You've got an extra day for the festivities (and recovery!), plus you can have your wedding on a Sunday, which is often less expensive than a Saturday one. But costs of travel and venues may be higher. And if you're looking to marry around Valentine's Day, be wary of your floral bill, especially if you've got your heart set on red roses—they'll likely be more expensive than at any other time of the year. Likewise, reception sites often charge a higher fee for a New Year's Eve wedding. Also, don't forget to consider the impact of a holiday weekend on your guest list—some families have standing plans or traditions they'd prefer not to miss. Australia Day (always held on the day, but creating a long weekend over the next 2 years)) Saturday January 26, 2019 (creating a long weekend with the holiday on Monday) Sunday January 26, 2020 (creating a long weekend with the holiday on Monday) Labour Day (WA ONLY) -always a Monday holiday Weekend of March 2-4, 2019 Weekend of February 28-March 2, 2020 Mother's Day (always the second Sunday in May) Make sure your mum is okay sharing this weekend with your wedding. And ask yourself: Do you want your anniversary to fall on the same weekend as Mother's Day if or when you become a mum? Weekend of May 11–12, 2019 Weekend of May 9–10, 2020 Father's Day (always the first Sunday in September) As you would with your mums, check with your dads about doubling up on this day. And grooms, make sure you're okay with celebrating your anniversary the same weekend as Father's Day if you decide to have kids. Weekend of August 31-September 1, 2019 Weekend of September 5-6, 2020 Queens Birthday - always a holiday Monday (WA) Weekend of September 28-30, 2019 Weekend of September 26-28, 2020 Queens Birthday - always a holiday Monday (QLD) Labor Day (ACT/NSW/SA) Weekend of October 5-7, 2019 Weekend of October 3-5, 2020 Halloween Avoid it if you're terrified that someone might actually show up in costume (and embrace it if you want them to!). Thursday, October 31, 2019 Saturday, October 31, 2020 New Year's Eve Tuesday, December 31, 2019 Thursday, December 31, 2020 Religious and Cultural Holidays Be mindful of religious and cultural holidays (your own and those of your guests) when planning your wedding. There may even be restrictions at your house of worship as to whether you're allowed to marry at these times. Palm Sunday April 14, 2019 April 5, 2020 Easter April 19 - April 22, 2019 (which will lead into the week that also has Anzac Day public holiday during the week) April 10 - April 13, 2020 Passover (begins at sunset) Friday, April 19, 2019 Wednesday, April 8, 2020 Tisha B'Av (begins at sunset) Saturday, August 10, 2019 Wednesday, July 29, 2020 Rosh Hashanah (begins at sunset) Sunday, September 29, 2019 until nightfall on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 Friday, September 18, 2020 until nightfall on Sunday, September 20, 2020 Yom Kippur (begins at sunset) Tuesday, October 8, 2019 until nightfall on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 Sunday, September 27, 2020 until nightfall on Monday, September 28, 2020 Hanukkah (begins at sunset) Sunday, December 22, 2019 until nightfall on Monday, December 30, 2019 Thursday, December 10, 2020 until nightfall on Friday, December 18, 2020 Christmas Wednesday, December 25, 2019 Friday, December 25, 2020 Boxing Day (also Boxing Day Test Cricket) Thursday, December 26, 2019 Saturday, December 26, 2020 Ramadan (dates may vary based on the lunar calendar) Sunday, May 5 until Tuesday, June 4, 2019 Thursday, April 23 until Saturday, May 23, 2020 Eid al-Fitr (dates may vary based on the lunar calendar) Tuesday, June 4 until Friday, June 7, 2019 Saturday, May 23 until Sunday, May 24, 2020 Eid al-Adha (dates may vary based on how each family observes; the holiday lasts for about four days) Sunday, August 11, 2019 Thursday, July 30, 2020 Ram Navami Sunday, April 14, 2019 Thursday, April 2, 2020 Krishna Janmashtami Saturday, August 24, 2019 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 Days of Remembrance We're talking about historically significant days (like the anniversary of September 11) that may be off-limits if you come from a big military family. Or, that could make them all the more meaningful—it's up to you to decide. Anzac Day (always on the actual day itself) Thursday April 25, 2019 Saturday April 25, 2020 (creating a long weekend with a holiday on Monday) Remembrance Day Wednesday, September 11, 2019 Friday, September 11, 2020 Major Sporting Events If you're die-hard sports fans—or if you're worried your guests might have a hard time choosing between your wedding and the big game—avoid getting married during popular sporting events. AFL Grand Final Saturday September 28, 2019 in Melbourne (Fri Sep 27 a public holiday in Melbourne) TO BE CONFIRMED, but most likely Saturday September 26, 2020 in Melbourne (Fri Sep 25 a public holiday in Melbourne) Also in Perth be wary of any Derby battles between The Eagles and Dockers during the season unless you want people with earbuds in during your ceremony!! Unlucky Dates If you're superstitious, you might want to watch out for these historically inauspicious dates from across several cultures. The Ides of March For ancient Romans, an "ides" was simply a date that marked the middle of the month—until Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15 in 44 BC. Since then, "Beware the Ides of March" has become the mantra of this superstitiously unlucky date. Friday, March 15, 2019 Sunday, March 15, 2020 Friday the 13th The unluckiest date of the year has questionable origins. Some historians say it comes from the 13 diners who were present at the last supper, but the famous Babylon's Code of Hammurabi doesn't include a 13th law, which suggests this superstition is as old as 1700 BC. And it wasn't until a successful novel titled Friday, the Thirteenth was published in the early 1900s that Friday became part of the unlucky equation. September 13, 2019 December 13, 2019 March 13, 2020 November 13, 2020 Leap Years Greeks and Romans thought starting any new life event—from getting married to baptising a child—in a leap year would bring bad luck. Next Leap Year: 2020 Saturday, February 29, 2020 Following Leap Year: 2024 Thursday, February 29, 2024 Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

How to propose to a girl...if you're a girl

If your wedding is the summer blockbuster—the show-stealing, glittering jewel of a moment that simultaneously represents both an important ending and a beautiful beginning, then it’s nice to think of a proposal as a sort of movie trailer. A really great proposal captures the tone of your relationship with your beloved and is filled with the promise of a beautiful wedding. Traditionally, guys have been left to orchestrate the proposal, while women are typically given deference for the actual wedding. However, in this wacky world where everything from pants to Snapchat flower crown filters have become gender-neutral, the hugely important task of proposing is no longer the sole domain of guys. Are you a gal who wants to pop the question? Here's our guide on how to make it happen. Why on earth would I even want to propose? So, hear me out. There are about a million reasons why a woman would want to propose to her love. First of all, if you’re a woman in a relationship with another woman, then, by default, there will be a woman doing the proposing. But there are also reasons women in straight relationships would also want to propose. There’s much excitement, planning and loving declarations involved in just about any proposal, so even if your fiancé has already proposed to you, you might be interested in reciprocating that special moment for them. Plus, some women just want to take control of the proposal timeline and plan one themselves. Much ado about the engagement ring. Although much emphasis is put on where it happens and how the surprise was achieved, the uncontested star of the proposal is the ring, traditionally. For women who want to propose, this might require some creative thinking. LGBTQ women who are proposing to other women sometimes have the possibility of following a more traditional track by purchasing an engagement ring to present during the proposal. If your sweetheart isn’t much for sparkly rings, think about that person and what would represent the promise of marriage to them. If you feel compelled to present something during the proposal, consider a nice watch, personalized cufflinks or a photo album that documents your relationship. There’s also the completely acceptable option of not offering up anything but your heartfelt words when you propose. Start to fill in the proposal’s blank slate. Here’s where you, as a woman, have a definite advantage as the proposer—your love likely won’t see it coming. Whether you’re in a gay or straight relationship, the class of women who propose marriage is still relatively small, so, unlike your male counterparts, you probably haven’t had to endure months of guessing when you’ll pop the question from your friends and family. You’re free to craft a proposal that’s unique to your relationship, as far outside of the well-meaning eyes of your community as you’d like. Now it’s your turn to do what you will with this great advantage, whether that means an elaborate, surprise for your future spouse, or something smaller. Think about your love’s personality: Are they more of an introvert, or extravert? Do they enjoy attention and crowds, or prefer more intimate environments? What are some of your favorite places to go as a couple? Did you meet at a special place, like your college campus, a specific beach or a cool restaurant in town? The answers to these will help you think about the where and how of your proposal. Timing is everything. The major crux of a proposal is, typically, that the person being proposed to is caught a little off-guard. It’s intended to be a sweet surprise, so once you’ve figured out how you’ll propose, you’ll want to plan the perfect moment. If you’re buying a ring for your love, you’ll want to time that purchase as well. Do you need time to save money for it? Will you need to coordinate with your love’s friends to find out their ring size? Does the ring need to be shipped to you? Whatever the answers, be sure you are in a position to have the ring before setting a proposal date, especially if it will involve inviting others or traveling away from home. If your proposal plan is more informal or improvisational, you’ll still want to spend some time thinking about the right time. Consider your partner’s work schedules and when they are most likely to be in a good mood. Also try to avoid general times of the week or month when schedules could change suddenly. Plan as much as you’re comfortable planning, but don’t be tripped up if something does go a little bit wrong. As with a wedding, something not going exactly to plan will likely only add to the charm of the proposal (and all of the re-tellings!), not distract. A day to remember Now that you’re fired up and ready to propose, don’t forget about photography. There’s nothing like the magical moment when your bride or groom to be realizes you’ve proposed, and you’ll want someone to be on hand to capture it. Professional wedding photographers are experienced at being covert and will be sure to catch lots of gorgeous moments. If you know you’d like to go this route, be sure to book them as soon as possible, especially if you’re proposing during wedding season (roughly May to October), as their calendars will be full. Even if a professional photographer isn’t in your budget, you have options. A close friend staked out in the trees with a nice camera will do the trick, or even some crafty smartphone photos after the fact. Just be sure you have some way to document the special moment!

What to say after "I Do"

This is an area that a lot of couples struggle with. What do I say in my personal vows?  Basically, you should say whatever your heart is saying. But if you're a guy... we're not exactly known for knowing what our heart says unless it's to do with food. And maybe I could throw sex into that sentence as well! So what do you say? Firstly, find yourself some quiet time, well before the wedding so that you are not rushed and panicky because you need them down.  Now, when I say "well before the wedding", I realise that in some guy's heads that will mean "the night before", because on the morning of, would be considered too late (by everyone on planet earth)! So let me be clear.  This is NOT what I mean.  "Well before the wedding" means a month or two.  So that if you don't get it done the first time, you still have time.  Yes, I know that most guys will then put it off until the night before the wedding. As a celebrant, I start chasing the vows a long way out from the wedding, so that we get them done and put them to bed (along with the rest of the ceremony), so that it's all fresh to the couple on the day because nothing worse than the couple yawning while you're doing some of your best work in front of them, because they heard the ceremony a couple of days before. Grab a beer or glass of wine and sit down in a quiet room (this does not mean while watching episode 2 of the 2nd season of Game Of Thrones) and listen to your heart.  LOL.  No, of course I don't mean that! That would be stupid. Ask yourself some questions. Let's start with some fun ones to get you in the mood, like: What is something they do that drives you wild? What do they do that always makes you smile? What’s something funny they do? What’s something super cute they say? What is something cute your partner does? Now, let's go with some deeper thoughts, like: What do you just love about them? How long have you loved them? Why do you love them? What sort of adventures do you want to have with them? Is there something special you want to promise? Where do you see yourselves in fifty years? Then, open another beer or fill up the glass and finish off with answering these: What was a defining moment in your relationship? What defines your relationship now? What will define your relationship in the future? Once you have all the answers written down, you've just about done your vows. Just move sentences around looking for a couple of serious statements and then a light-hearted one, then a few more serious ones followed by a light-hearted one. Tip If you're an emotional type of person, then here's a trick for you.  After a statement that you feel you're going to struggle with (and there should be at least one in every person's vows, otherwise you haven't tried hard enough), add in a light-hearted one.  It will help you get through the hard one, knowing that you have a light-hearted one to follow it up with. Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

Who is the right celebrant for you?

Unless you've already seen a celebrant in action at a friend's wedding who you thought would be the right fit for you, it's really important to take time to chat to a few celebrants before choosing one. Most celebrants are chosen either by referrals from friends who have seen one in action or by the bride and groom themselves at a wedding.  If you see one that you feel would work for you, then ask them for a business card after the wedding.  Or go back to the bride afterwards and ask her for the celebrant's contact details. The guys at cinecraft.com.au were kind enough to provide me with some raw vision from a wedding I did recently, so that I could put together my first ad!  This gives you an idea of how I look and work at a wedding ceremony. Amelia and Josh made a great bride and groom.   You'll find it here on my website, or take a look at it below.  Feel free to share it with anyone you know who might be looking for a celebrant. Let me know what you think. Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

Wedding day timing tips

The following tips are intended to give you a rough idea of timings for your wedding day.  There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to your wedding schedule. You don’t have to follow the traditional Western wedding day program – you could mix it up by having speeches before dinner or literally have a ‘wedding breakfast’ or brunch before your wedding ceremony! It’s your big day so organise it in a way that suits you best – just be realistic about the amount of time you allocate to each part of your wedding so that you don’t feel rushed. The morning of your wedding In order to work out how much time you should allow to get ready in the morning, you will need to think about what time you need to leave in order to reach the ceremony and work backwards from there. Hair & Make-Up Having had your trials, your suppliers are likely to have told you how much time to budget for your prep and that of the rest of your bridal party. The larger your bridal party and the earlier your ceremony, the more likely you are to have a rudely early start time! If you’ve got separate hairdressers and make-up artists, ask them to coordinate their timings to maximise the efficiency of your wedding morning. The running order of your bridesmaids and Mum’s preparation as well as your own will be key. Dressing How long will it take to get into your dress? It’s much easier in the shop when there are professionals on hand who are used to fiddly buttons and zippers, but it might be a different matter with overexcited bridesmaids, nervous hands or fake nails that lack precision! If your dress is a zip up, you’ll be in it quicker but a corset or buttons up the back will take longer. Also allow time to put all your accessories on and don’t forget that last spritz of perfume! Eating Regardless of whether or not you’ll feel hungry on the day, you should schedule in time for breakfast and, if necessary, a bite of lunch too. It’s going to be a long day and even a nibble here and there will help fortify you. Besides, even though you might not touch any food, the rest of your bridal party are likely to be grateful for some sustenance. ‘Getting Ready’ Photos Finally, allow time for a few photos during your prep, once you’re ready and before you leave (if you’ve got photography coverage during this part of the day). Your photographer is likely to try and capture more documentary moments here but you don’t want to look harassed in these photos, so give yourself some wiggle room. The Ceremony What time is your ceremony? You really need to think about this from the very beginning of your planning as it will impact the timings of the whole day. As tempting as it is to have an early ceremony so that you can party until all hours of the night, wedding days are already quite long and can be very tiring. A later ceremony means that guests will miss fewer meals, so you can cater for them less. You’ll need time in the morning to get ready and you’ll also have to take into consideration where you’ll be getting ready in relation to your wedding venue. Give yourself enough time to have pre-wedding photos with your bridesmaids and Dad/family members, either at your prep location or outside your venue when you arrive. Don’t forget to factor in travel times between venues, i.e. how long will it take you to get to your ceremony from the place you’re getting ready? Ask your celebrant how long the ceremony will take. Civil ceremonies can take 30-45 minutes depending on readings, whereas religious ceremonies might last for 45-60 minutes sometimes even longer!  People will want to congratulate you after the ceremony )it will take about 20 minutes for 80 people to say "congrats".  And then the photographer will want to take you away for some photos. Make sure this is not too far away.  Try not to have to use transport, just walking distance only. Drinks Reception Allow a minimum of 90 minutes for your drinks reception if you’re hoping to have lots of photos (particularly group shots). But try not to be away for photos too long if people are waiting around for you. After all, they're there because of the two of you, so you might as well spend as much time with them as possible.  Make sure you’ve catered for your guests appropriately with enough drinks to go around and perhaps some form of entertainment such as live music or a magician or grass games. If you have an early ceremony (12pm-1pm), chances are your guests will miss lunch so they’ll be hungry. It’s therefore good to have some kind of canapés during the drinks reception. If your guests are travelling via communal transport you’ve arranged between venues, then consider giving out snacks and drinks en route, such as mini champagne, water bottles and snacks. Photography Chat to your photographer to make sure you’ve budgeted enough time for them to work their magic. As a guideline, you should allow 3-4mins per group shot and at least half an hour for your private couple’s portraits. If you want a big group shot of all your guests (N.B. be realistic about this expectation: it’s fine to ask for if you have 50-100 guests but if you have 200+ it’s unlikely you’ll even be able to see all their faces), the best time to coordinate this image is when your guests are all together. Therefore, try to fit it in either straight after the ceremony or just before they go into dinner. Ask your photographer when the best time of day will be for your portraits, especially if you want to get the golden hour for the best lighting. You could always split it into a couple of parts – maybe sneak off between courses during your wedding reception if you need to get a few more shots in and make the most of the light - or you could always opt for a ‘first look’ where you have portraits taken before the ceremony. As tempting as it might be to not have portraits as you don’t want to miss time with your guests its also important for you as a couple to have a bit of alone time together to take it all in and your portrait session provides the perfect opportunity for you to do this. Dinner time Make sure you leave enough time for your guests to be seated for dinner. There’s a lot of loitering between the call to dine, guests checking the table plan/escort table and finding their seats. You’ll also want to make sure that service starts with wine being poured (and potentially bread served) before you’re announced into the room. Your caterers should provide a detailed breakdown of how long service will take. The number of guests and your choice of food will make a difference. Remember that your caterers will need to take into account the facilities as well, for example the distance of the tables from the kitchen and the number of staff being coordinated. If you’re having external caterers, make sure they’ve familiarised themselves with the venue to consider all of these factors. Speeches You should allow at least 10 minutes for each speaker during the speeches (but tell each one they only have 3 minutes - trust me on this), bearing in mind that they will also need to be introduced. Ask each speaker how long they think they’ll need and then double it – everyone always underestimates or approximates the duration of their speech. This is another consideration to feedback to your caterers if you decide to have speeches before dinner. If dinner is running late you could serve tea and coffee with the dessert or maybe start speeches once dessert has been served. Make sure you know what time your reception must end – clarify with your venue if all guests must be out by then, or if it’s simply the cut off time for your DJ/band and everyone can exit thereafter. If you need to, ensure that your transport is booked well in advance and perhaps even get your planner/point of contact to make a follow up call on the afternoon of your wedding to confirm the booking. Breathe Finally take time together during the day to take it all in, this is your wedding day and you have all your closest family and friends with you so savour the moment and enjoy the day. When you realise the extent of all the planning, co-ordinating, organising, setting up and herding of people involved in one wedding day, it’s no wonder so many couples choose to hire a wedding planner! Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth, Western Australia.  To contact him check out his website smcelebrant.com.au or email him at steve@smcelebrant.com.au.

Bridal shoe heaven

OMG how awesome are all the shoes out there for brides to choose from for their wedding.  There were so many beautiful, elegant, stylish (and expensive) #weddingshoes out there that I just decided to create my own "bridal shoe heaven" on my Pinterest page. Yes, that's correct. Me, a guy, who likes guy shoes etc. just became engrossed (and a little jealous) about how many there are for brides to choose from.  You probably won't be able to afford any of them ladies, however, it's going to be pretty good fun looking at them...and you never know, you may just decide to splash out for your big day. So take five minutes out of your day to move to fantasy land and check them out now here on my Pinterest page. And in case you're interested, these were my favourites... Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Commonwealth Government of Australia to officiate at weddings.  He has a 5 star Certificate of Excellence from easyweddings.com.au. Find out more about the ceremonies Steve does at smcelebrant.com.au or if you would like to contact Steve, you can at steve@smcelebrant.com.au or call +61 418 897 215. Steve has done the hard yards for you and collected a bunch of other ideas for your wedding, other than shoes, like wedding rings, bride gowns, groom attire, wedding day ideas, checklists, wedding speeches, wedding invites and stationary, wedding cakes, wedding music choices and lots more, by clicking on the Pinterest logo.

5 star certificate of excellence

I was a bit chuffed recently receiving this from the team at easyweddings.com.au. It was my first 5 star Certificate of Excellence, which is awarded to celebrants who have received at least 5 5star ratings on the easyweddings.com.au website.  Easyweddings is Australia's number 1 wedding website destination for brides and grooms - so it was a pretty big deal to me.  After my first 12 months as a qualified civil celebrant it was a  significant achievement in my mind, made even more significant as I have had not had any rating lower than 5 stars (which is the maximum btw) in any of my reviews on their website (and there are significantly more than 5 reviews). I'm also proud to say that I have not had a rating any less than 5 on my facebook reviews either and there are over 15 of them last time I counted (okay, my mum was one of them - thanks mum).  If you're keen to read any of them, just click on the image ---> Asking clients to do a review after their ceremony is always an uncomfortable thing for me, as you've finished the job and I'm sure that after all the lead up to a wedding, they just want to have a break from it all. So the idea of a "needy" celebrant hassling them for a review of his performance on the day seems very self serving and not really in their interest at all. However, it's so important for me as the celebrant, as it's word of mouth and recommendations that encourage others to get in touch with me about making their wedding day the most special day for them as well. So, to those who have helped me achieve my 5 star Certificate of Excellence from easyweddings.com.au and for providing their feedback on Facebook, I thank you for your kind words and the encouragement it has provided me to stay on track with this most special of professions. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Commonwealth Government of Australia to officiate at weddings.  In 2018 and 2019 he has received the 5 Star Certificate of Excellence from easyweddings.com.au. Find out more about the ceremonies Steve does at smcelebrant.com.au or if you would like to contact Steve, you can at steve@smcelebrant.com.au or call +61 418 897 215.

DIY confetti using paper shredder

How is this for a cost effective and awesome personal touch on your wedding day.  All you need is a micro cut paper shredder, which you can pick up on eBay for $80-$100, some A4 coloured paper that match your wedding colours if you have one. Firstly, let's check out exactly what you will need. SUPPLIES: “Micro-Cut” paper shredder A4 Regular coloured paper (from Officeworks) Plastic Test Tubes with Screw Top (buy some from Amazon for about $1 each here) A4 Sticker Paper (from Officeworks) Scissors (don't run with these) Home Printer Our FREE “Toss Me” tag printable at the end of this post! SHRED YOUR PAPER You'll need a Micro-Cut Paper Shredder. The key is to get a “micro-cut” machine, not a “cross-cut” or the pieces won’t be small and cute. Paper Note: regular weight (thickness) paper will work the best for this confetti. You can use thicker paper like cardstock, but the edges will look more torn up. PRINT + CUT + LABEL Download our free “TOSS ME” label printable at the end of the post, or create your own! Then print onto 8.5″ x 11″ sticker paper and cut each one out; they measure 5/8″ x 2.75″. Peel the backing off and stick onto each test tube. FILL YOUR TEST TUBES Each of these exact test tubes will hold 1/4″ cup of confetti. 10 sheets of regular paper will yield 6 cups of confetti, meaning you can get 24 favor tubes from 10 sheets; or 12 favor tubes from 5 sheets! PLACE ON EACH CEREMONY CHAIR Place one tube on each chair at your ceremony and expect the most fabulous shower of confetti as you make your way back down the aisle as Mr + Mrs, or Mrs & Mrs, or Mr & Mr. And there you go. A nice personal touch on your special day and something that is pretty easy to do (especially if you already know someone with a paper shredder). You could even make your own labels that make it even more personal with you and your partner's names on it.  If you'd like to download the "Toss Me" bale, just click here. Steve Mummery is a marriage celebrant authorised by the Commonwealth Government of Australia to officiate at weddings.  He has a 5 star Certificate of Excellence from easyweddings.com.au. Find out more about the ceremonies Steve does at smcelebrant.com.au or if you would like to contact Steve, you can at steve@smcelebrant.com.au or call +61 418 897 215.

How to have a Groomswoman

Most of us have best buds of a different gender, so when it’s time to assemble your wedding crew, you might be looking at a co-ed situation. For modern couples, asking a male bestie to be a bridesman or a female friend to serve as a groomswoman isn’t that uncommon. In fact, according to WeddingWire’s 2017 Newlywed Survey, about 70 percent of couples organize their wedding parties by gender. That means nearly one in three of today’s couples are mixing things up big time when it comes to gender in their bridal party or wedding party. If you’re planning on having a bridesman or groomswoman, remember these five things! Create lots of opportunities for your mixed gender wedding party to bond. Bonding activities are important for all wedding parties or bridal parties, whether they’re co-ed or not, but when you have folks of different genders, they become even more important. If you’re only including one person of a different gender — for example, a bridesman when the rest of your wedding party includes bridesmaids — you’ll really want to make sure that friend feels included. Consider activities where everyone is sure to have a good time, like a game night at your home filled with Taboo or Cards Against Humanity, or an afternoon at a local street festival. Stay away from gendered activities that might alienate some members of the wedding party. Treat everyone equally — including for the bach parties! Even a childhood or school best friend might seem like an odd addition to an otherwise all-male bachelor party or all-female bachelorette party, but trust us, your opposite-gender wedding attendants shouldn’t be treated differently. Of course, your bridesman may opt out of your bachelorette or bridal shower, but encourage him (or them!) to participate fully in all of your pre-wedding activities so that they get the full experience of being a part of a wedding party. This might mean chatting with your best man or MOH to be sure you’re planning events that are inclusive of your co-ed wedding parties, or even combining some events, like with a co-ed wedding shower rather than gendered celebrations. Make sure your wedding attendant attire is coordinated. Whether you were planning on matching attire for your bridesmaids or groomsmen, or a mix-and-match approach, you’ll want to be sure the shades, patterns and fabrics you choose will work well for both suits and dresses. Luckily, large retailers will often help you easily match shades across attire options, so the mint green of your bridesmaid gown can easily be found in a necktie for your bridesman, or something to that effect. Another easy way to ensure your entire wedding party is coordinated is to select some unifying elements — a basic color palette, fabric or even the same designer, if they offer designs for both genders. Be prepared for hair, makeup and grooming on your wedding day. It’s common for a groom to pay for pre-wedding grooming for his guys, or for a bride to gift her maids with hair and makeup. Since your coed wedding party will have diverse needs, make a plan to provide the necessary grooming for everyone in your wedding party on your wedding day. If everyone feels comfortable, you might be able to accommodate your wedding party in one suite for getting ready, or you might need to arrange for the getting ready suites to be single-gender, which might also mean that some folks from your “side” of the wedding party get ready with people from the other “side.” Choose gender-neutral gifts. The act of thanking your wedding attendants is admittedly a little less complicated when you can select one bridesmaid gift or one groomsman gift for all of your attendants. With a coed wedding party, you’re either faced with gifting different items, or selecting a gift that everyone will enjoy. Just as you would with a single-gender wedding party, think about what your friends really like to do or wear, and what would best commemorate the time you all spent together as a wedding party.

How to have a Bridesman

Most of us have best buds of a different gender, so when it’s time to assemble your wedding crew, you might be looking at a co-ed situation. For modern couples, asking a male bestie to be a bridesman or a female friend to serve as a groomswoman isn’t that uncommon. In fact, according to WeddingWire’s 2017 Newlywed Survey, about 70 percent of couples organize their wedding parties by gender. That means nearly one in three of today’s couples are mixing things up big time when it comes to gender in their bridal party or wedding party. If you’re planning on having a bridesman or groomswoman, remember these five things! Create lots of opportunities for your mixed gender wedding party to bond. Bonding activities are important for all wedding parties or bridal parties, whether they’re co-ed or not, but when you have folks of different genders, they become even more important. If you’re only including one person of a different gender — for example, a bridesman when the rest of your wedding party includes bridesmaids — you’ll really want to make sure that friend feels included. Consider activities where everyone is sure to have a good time, like a game night at your home filled with Taboo or Cards Against Humanity, or an afternoon at a local street festival. Stay away from gendered activities that might alienate some members of the wedding party. Treat everyone equally — including for the bach parties! Even a childhood or school best friend might seem like an odd addition to an otherwise all-male bachelor party or all-female bachelorette party, but trust us, your opposite-gender wedding attendants shouldn’t be treated differently. Of course, your bridesman may opt out of your bachelorette or bridal shower, but encourage him (or them!) to participate fully in all of your pre-wedding activities so that they get the full experience of being a part of a wedding party. This might mean chatting with your best man or MOH to be sure you’re planning events that are inclusive of your co-ed wedding parties, or even combining some events, like with a co-ed wedding shower rather than gendered celebrations. Make sure your wedding attendant attire is coordinated. Whether you were planning on matching attire for your bridesmaids or groomsmen, or a mix-and-match approach, you’ll want to be sure the shades, patterns and fabrics you choose will work well for both suits and dresses. Luckily, large retailers will often help you easily match shades across attire options, so the mint green of your bridesmaid gown can easily be found in a necktie for your bridesman, or something to that effect. Another easy way to ensure your entire wedding party is coordinated is to select some unifying elements — a basic color palette, fabric or even the same designer, if they offer designs for both genders. Be prepared for hair, makeup and grooming on your wedding day. It’s common for a groom to pay for pre-wedding grooming for his guys, or for a bride to gift her maids with hair and makeup. Since your coed wedding party will have diverse needs, make a plan to provide the necessary grooming for everyone in your wedding party on your wedding day. If everyone feels comfortable, you might be able to accommodate your wedding party in one suite for getting ready, or you might need to arrange for the getting ready suites to be single-gender, which might also mean that some folks from your “side” of the wedding party get ready with people from the other “side.” Choose gender-neutral gifts. The act of thanking your wedding attendants is admittedly a little less complicated when you can select one bridesmaid gift or one groomsman gift for all of your attendants. With a coed wedding party, you’re either faced with gifting different items, or selecting a gift that everyone will enjoy. Just as you would with a single-gender wedding party, think about what your friends really like to do or wear, and what would best commemorate the time you all spent together as a wedding party.

Wedding costs nobody tells you about

I found a really interesting article on easyweddings that uncovers the hidden costs of getting married. To help you plan for everything we have compiled a list of things that are commonly overlooked when setting and allocating your wedding budget. Here are some wedding costs you probably didn’t know about. Corkage and cake cutting fees If you use the cake or alcohol provided by your reception venue, the corkage and cake fees are typically wrapped into the cost. But if you bring in a cake or alcohol that is not provided by your venue, some venues will charge for the cutting and serving of the cake and corkage fees too. Postage costs If you’re having your invitations made, factor in postage to your wedding budget too. Keep in mind that with a standard letter costing $1 to send nationally, adding weight or size to that could see you spending more than $2 for each invitation. Also remember to factor in postage for thank you notes if you receive wedding gifts. Ring insurance You have a beautiful new piece of jewellery adorning your finger, so you should do what you can to protect it. Insurance is a good way to go to avoid a costly replacement or repair if something should go awry. The annual cost to insure your ring is around $1 to $2 for every $100 that it would cost to replace. This means that if your ring would cost $9000 to replace, you might expect to pay between $90 and $180 per year to insure it. Liquor licence If you are having your reception on a private property,  a temporary limited licence is generally not required where liquor will be supplied free of charge. However, a licence will always be required if the supply of liquor is contingent on the sale or purchase of  goods or services. If liquor is being supplied through a catering or beverage company, the company will require a liquor licence. Always check they have the relevant licences and that this cost is covered in their quote. Alterations Unless you’re extremely lucky, your wedding gown is going to require some alterations. This could be as simple as hemming the gown, taking it in (or letting it out), or structural changes like adding straps. Make sure you add a little extra to your dress budget to cover any potential what-ifs. Pre-drinks and food Chances are you have meticulously planned what people will be eating at your reception, right down to catering for the vegans, gluten intolerant and small children.But what about you and your bridal party before the ceremony has begun? Don’t starve! Arrange some small snacks or light meals to tide you over and keep you energised. Also, remember to count yourself and your partner in the final table count.Additionally, your photographer and videographer will be with you for more than eight hours on the wedding day, so consider arranging meals for them to keep them going. Sound system If you are having an outdoor wedding, invest in a sound system if you want your guests to actually be able to hear your vows. Even if it is only an intimate gathering, wind blowing in the wrong direction can be enough to make people struggle to hear the heart of your wedding. Overtime Costs Whether your wedding runs over the allotted time because you got a late start or because you chose in the heat of the moment to extend it, keep in mind that there are sometimes fees associated with going over the contracted time. A place to get ready If you and your bridesmaids are planning on getting ready in a hotel suite, pay attention to check in/check out times. You will often need to book the room for two nights in order to have the morning to get ready. If this is the case, why not all stay together the night before? Marriage certificate You may be given a ceremonial certificate from your celebrant at your wedding, but this will not legally change your name. For those who wish to change their surname, you will need an official marriage license, which can range from $20 to $100 depending on where you are getting married. Also remember this is something you will have to apply for and isn’t automatically sent. If you are having a destination wedding, the costs could escalate as you will need to fly in a few days before or stay longer in order to get your marriage license and this will vary depending on the waiting period of the country. Preserving your gown If you cannot bear to part with your gown after the wedding, you will need to have it cleaned and preserved.While this can be done at the local dry cleaners, you might like to invest a little more to send your dress to a dedicated bridal wear business that could also box it up to keep it safe. This can cost anywhere between a few hundred to $600 depending on the style of dress and the amount of beading and other embellishments. Gifts for the bridal party This is not essential, but might be something you have overlooked until closer to your wedding day (or even after). Planning ahead can mean that you can incorporate something practical into your pre-wedding events that can double as a gift. You could opt for items such as personalised gowns to wear while getting ready, or engraved glasses you can place on the bridal table for them to use during the reception and then take home. Travel insurance for your honeymoon Travel insurance will give you peace of mind to enjoy your honeymoon. Costs will vary depending on where you are travelling to and how long your holiday is, but it is easy to compare quotes before locking in a policy.

What sort of ceremony do you want?

Do you want it to be formal or casual? Do you want it to be indoor or outdoor?  What if it rains?  Do you want to involve family and friends in readings and rituals?  Are there kids to be considered? Or is it all too hard and you just want to elope after reading the first few questions of this article! These are the questions your celebrant should be asking you when you meet for the first time.  Chances are that you've already thought of most of them, but it's their job to make sure you have thought through the whole process. A few years back, it was a much simpler process.  You went to a church, asked the minster or priest if a date was available and you booked in your wedding for 4pm on the Saturday. These days, church weddings are just one of the options and your wedding can truly be a reflection of both of your personalities.  Your wedding (and reception) can pretty much be anywhere you want it to be.  But long with that comes a lot of questions and sometimes hurdles.  For example, if you want to get married in a park, you need to make sure that you let the local council know in case other people have also booked the park for the same time on the same day. Just in the last week or so, some friends told me about some people they knew who recently turned up at a park to get married even after booking it with the local council but there were a bunch of ladies who had settled in for (ironically) a hen's party in the exact same spot. When they were informed that a wedding had been booked in that spot, they refused to move, saying that it was first in, first served!  I'm pretty sure karma will play a role in that wedding when it happens, somehow, in some way. Personally, I feel this was pretty poor form on their behalf.  But there you go, what do you do in that situation. Who do you call etc. So there are lots of different elements and hazards to think about in planning an outdoor wedding to think about. Another classic one is making sure the sprinklers don't come on in the park during the ceremony - at least everyone will always remember that one! In my experience, it's better to make sure you choose the right celebrant for you. It's their job to make sure your ceremony is memorable for the right reasons - not just because the sprinklers came on during the ceremony and drowned everyone, including the bride. Steve Mummery is an authorised civil celebrant based in Perth, Australia.  If you would like to talk to him about your future wedding and the style of ceremony you would like, contact him on 0418 897 215 or check the website smcelebrant.com.au

Awkward questions for your same sex wedding

If you’ve never been to a same-sex wedding, we have some potentially bad news: They’re not all that different from straight weddings. Still, weddings between LGBTQ people are still fairly rare and, chances are, you might have some burning questions about what to expect from your first one. While the basic structure of the wedding won’t likely differ too much from the weddings you’ve been to in the past — a short ceremony, cocktail hour and then a reception — there will probably be some other gender-related differences you might be curious about. Make sure you’re not asking any of these absolute no-no same-sex wedding questions, then check out this list to get answers to all the questions that are way too awkward to ask! 6 of your awkward same-sex wedding questions, answered! Is the ceremony going to be religious? This is totally dependent on the couple. If your friends are the religious sort in their everyday lives, chances are they’ve found a way to marry religion with their LGBTQ nuptials — pun intended! It’s true that many religions have traditionally been less than hospitable to queer people, but that’s changing. Many same-sex couples choose to celebrate their faith in Hindu ceremonies, secular ceremonies with shoutouts to the Jewish faith and full-on Christian same-sex weddings. On the other hand, if the couple isn’t religious, it’s unlikely that the wedding will be affiliated with any sort of religion, but rather readings or poems that are significant to the couple. The bottom line is not to assume an LGBTQ identity and religion are automatically at odds. How should I address a genderqueer person who is getting married? The number of folks who don’t identify as either male or female is on the rise, and an increasing number of LGBTQ weddings feature one or two partners who won’t be “brides” or “grooms.” Avoid any potentially embarrassing snafus with the basic knowledge that a genderqueer person will likely guide you on how they prefer to be addressed. In general, the proper pronouns for genderqueer or gender nonbinary people are they, them and their, as in “Heather invited me to their wedding and I can’t wait to celebrate with them!” Although the pronouns are plural, when it comes to genderqueer people, you can use them to refer to one person. When you’re addressing a card, use the title “Mx” without any punctuation, unless the person has guided you to use a different honorific, like “Dr.” or something else. Avoid using gendered terms like “bride” or “groom,” unless the person specifically refers to themselves that way. So, instead of saying, “What a beautiful bride you are!” consider something like “You look great!” without any mention of gendered titles. Will the grooms or brides’ parents walk them down the aisle? This is a perfectly fair question, since wedding tradition dictates that women are escorted down the aisle by their fathers while men wait at the altar for their brides. When both partners are women, how does the processional work? What about two grooms? This is really up to the couple. Just as many straight couples have chosen different ways to process into the ceremony as a way to honor one or both of their parents, queer couples typically decide how to enter based on their family relationships. In general, weddings with two brides usually feature at least one bride who chooses to walk down the aisle, either escorted or solo. Some two bride weddings make room for both brides to be walked down the aisle, separately or at the same time. For weddings with two grooms, it’s less common that they are escorted down the aisle, but there is still lots of variety in how they choose to process. Will both brides wear dresses? You have about a 50-50 chance of showing up to a wedding with two brides and seeing two women in traditional white wedding gowns. Lots of lesbian weddings see both brides enjoying this tradition, but still others don’t. It’s not uncommon to see one bride in a wedding gown and one bride in a suit, or to see both brides in suits or both brides in dresses that aren’t wedding gowns. The wedding attire possibilities are endless, so there isn’t a cut-and-dry answer to this same-sex wedding question. How should I address the newly married couple? In most cases, you could simply call them by their new name — if they’ve chosen to have the same last name. For example, “The Smiths.” If you are unsure whether one partner will change their name or if the couple has chosen a neutral last name to share, then something more general like “the happy couple” is appropriate for any written correspondence or card to the couple. If you know the newly married couple will be keeping their given last names, it’s still appropriate to refer to them as “Mrs. and Mrs.” or “Mr. and Mr.” and include both last names. What about parent-child dances? Bouquet tosses? Cake-cutting? There are some facets of wedding receptions that most same-sex couples wholeheartedly embrace, like the cake cutting, if there's cake. Others, like bouquet tosses, are pretty unpopular among LGBTQ couples. While you can expect a fun party with lots of exciting surprises for guests, don't expect to see too many of the traditional activities you've come to expect from straight weddings at same-sex weddings.

Wedding readings for gay couples

Choosing special ceremony readings from songs, books, movies or poems is one of the most fun parts of building your LGBTQ wedding ceremony. Gay wedding readings can be difficult to come by, though, as many inspired passages may use pronouns or other gendered language that don’t fit for your ceremony. Here are some really beautiful pieces about love — culled from a variety of sources — to inspire your gay wedding vows. Whether you’re looking for a short and sweet one-liner to add to your gay wedding ceremony ideas or full-blown gay marriage poems to add touching moments to your same-sex wedding, we’ve got you covered. Of course, your marriage celebrant will help you create your ceremony and may have additional ideas for readings to personalize your wedding. Scroll these gay wedding readings to find the perfect passages for your LGBTQ wedding! Moulin Rouge "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return." Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in Hodges v. Obergefell “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” Barbara Cage “Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other, and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together.” Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith "People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves." Warsan Shire "When I love, I love: wholly, thoroughly, completely, drowning in everything. Every glance can be a conversation, eyes just playing and saying what needs to be said. Silence is loud, and the air becomes heavy. I want you. I want all of you." The Art of Marriage by Wilferd Arlan Peterson "A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things –-
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once each day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right partner –-
It is being the right partner." Maya Angelou “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” The Wedding Singer "I wanna make you smile whenever you're sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you
I'll get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh it could be so nice, growing old with you
I'll miss you
Kiss you
Give you my coat when you are cold
Need you
Feed you
Even let ya hold the remote control
So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed if you've had too much to drink
I could be the man who grows old with you
I wanna grow old with you" Amy Tan “I am like a falling star who has finally found her place next to another in a lovely constellation, where we will sparkle in the heavens forever.” i carry your heart with me" by ee cummings "i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)" "Untitled" by Christina Rossetti "What is the beginning? Love.
What the course. Love still.
What the goal. The goal is love.
On a happy hill. Is there nothing then but love?
Search we sky or earth
There is nothing out of Love
Hath perpetual worth:
All things flag but only Love,
All things fail and flee;
There is nothing left but Love
Worthy you and me." "And I Have You" by Nikki Giovanni "Rain has drops
Sun has shine
Moon has beams
That makes you mine
Rivers have banks
Sands for shores
Hearts have heartbeats
That make me yours
Needles have eyes
Though pins may prick
Elmer has glue
To make things stick
Winter has Spring
Stockings feet
Pepper has mint
To make it sweet
Teachers have lessons
Soup du jour
Lawyers sue bad folks
Doctors cure
All and all
This much is true
You have me
And I have you"

I made it to Pinterest

Well I finally made it to Pinterest. I had been resisting for what felt like a couple of years, but I just googled it and Pinterest actually started in March 2010 (Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2006 and Insta in 2010 - do you suddenly feel old?). Some of you "early adopters" would have been on it for years,  but for the rest of us, have we missed the boat (and what a pretty boat it is, on Pinterest)?  My answer is no. If you're in the marriage game at the moment, (or perhaps day-dreaming about your next one lol), I have saved you the time and assembled some of the nicest wedding dresses, wedding rings, suits, wedding day ideas, checklists, speech ideas, wedding cakes, engagement reveal ideas, (btw you can check out my blog on engagement selfie reveals here) wedding photo ideas and Perth wedding venues all in one place.  In fact if you click on any of the images within this blog it will take you directly to my collection of that item (try the wedding dresses image above).  I particularly love the wedding rings (below). There are some stunning pieces of jewellery out there. Pinterest is an eclectic look at what's out there today and you can keep it all in one safe place. It's the 2018 version (or perhaps that should be 2010 version) of scrap booking. Except no longer do you have to cut out the pic from Marie Claire and glue it in a book of paper that feels like it should still be on a tree. There's a great collection of suits that will make fellas look so handsome for their special day (click on image to the left).  There's even some ideas on how to dress the little fellas that may be taking part in your bridal party too. Plus, I've also put together a great collection of ideas that you might be able to use on your special day - stuff that I felt was cute and that would make your day stand out Click on image to the right). As time goes on I will continue to add to these on my Pinterest site, so feel free to forward this blog or the Pinterest link to any brides to be that you know, to get their creative juices running. Who knew Pinterest would be so good! Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Australian Federal Attorney General to marry people according to Australian law.  You can check out his website here, or see how clients have reviewed his ceremonies here or on Facebook.

The rules to writing your same sex vows

Traditional wedding vows can be — how should we say it — heteronormative? The process of writing gay wedding vows can be challenging as you might need to sort through a variety of templates to find some examples that work for your LGBT wedding. On the flip side, as a queer or trans couple, you have a lot of freedom to craft wedding ceremony vows that represent your identity and your relationship without a ton of worry about tradition. In fact, a majority of same-sex couples choose to write their own wedding vows compared with about a third of opposite-sex couples, according to WeddingWire’s 2017 Newlywed Report. Read this before you write your gay wedding vows! Grab some inspiration. Gay wedding vows, straight wedding vows, bi-curious wedding vows — for this step, it doesn’t really matter. Just find a wedding video (or, attend an actual wedding if you’ve got one on the calendar) and pay close attention to the reading of the vows. This will help you see what style you’re most drawn to (i.e. super romantic and a little mushy or a more straight-to-the-point list) as well as learn how the vows typically flow with the overall timeline of the wedding ceremony. For example, if you choose to have a few meaningful ceremony readings before the vows, then maybe you don’t want your vows to sound like another poem being read. In addition to inspiration from real weddings, check with your officiant, who might have a basic template for vows that you can build from or just read for inspo. Remember why you’re getting married. Wedding planning can be incredibly taxing on your relationship, so you might find yourself a little hard pressed for flowery language to describe your boyfriend or girlfriend. Grabbing a quick list like this one will help you to think about the happy, funny and sweet times that you’ll want to have top of mind while writing your gay wedding vows. If you have enough time before your wedding date, you might also keep a notebook or smartphone note where you can jot down memories as they come to you. That way you’ll have some important moments to reference when you do sit down to write your vows. Conquer writer’s block. At some point, you’ll hit a wall. The excitement of planning your LGBT wedding may turn to anxiety and harmonious planning may turn to arguments. Ten weeks until the big day will turn into six, then two and then one, and you’ll be even more worried that you haven’t turned out lines and lines of Shakespearean prose about your love. Take a breather — we promise, you’ll get through it! Hopefully you have some memories and funny moments to consult (see above), but even if you don’t, take a day or two to jot down what you want to say during the vows, without worrying about saying it exactly right. As anyone who’s suffered from writer’s block will tell you, divorcing yourself from perfection is the only way to get something on the page. Once you know what you want to say in your vows, put on your editor hat and whittle it down to what you really want to say. Then, you can dress up your words with the help of a thesaurus or some of your favorite love quotes, spiritual text quotes, movie lines and the like. Don’t wait until the last minute. Easier said than done, we know, but if at all possible, please don’t spend the night before your wedding writing your vows. These are important promises you’re making and, if you hire a videographer, will be preserved for perpetuity, so you want to have a few days to sit with your wedding vows before saying them aloud. Add your vows to your list of planning tasks and be as diligent about them as you are about following up with vendors or communicating with your wedding party — they’re just as important!

How much to pay for a wedding dress

You actually don't need to spend a fortune on a wedding dress. It's a misconception that you need to - and peer pressure of course. So take your time in deciding what you are going to wear and look around.  Remember, this is a dress that you will wear once. Yes, it should be gorgeous, but that doesn't mean it needs to cost $3,000. Get some help with someone who knows how to dress to your body shape. Someone you can trust to tell you the truth, no matter how hard it hurts.  The most important thing on the day is that people say "oh my God, you look so gorgeous in that dress - it suits you perfectly", not "that dress is beautiful - and looks so expensive". It's not about what they will say to you. It's about what they're going to say to their friends the moment they set eyes on you. Look in all the wrong places, like gumtree, ebay etc. You will find wedding dresses that women have decided for whatever reason they don't want any more. If you're looking for a celebrant to officiate at your wedding, I can take care of the entire ceremony also that it hassle free for you.  My fee includes all legal paperwork, our meetings to discus the type of ceremony you want and the actual writing of the ceremony.  Check out my client's reviews of my work here.  For more information, call me on 0418 897 215 or check my website here.

Wedding invitation wording

If you're engaged and at the stage of planning wedding invitations, here's some advice on what they should say from magnetstreet.com The wording on your invitation should correspond with the formality and style of your wedding. From formal to casual, the wording should reflect the formality and tone you’d like to set. Every wedding invitation should include these elements: hosts, couple getting married, time, date and location. Be inspired! Choose wording that complements your situation, style, and spirit of your wedding. General Tips Check with your officiant/celebrant for style specifics but traditionally—​if a couple marries in a house of worship, the request line wording reads “request the honor”. Words, dates, and numbers are typically spelled out, and the only abbreviations are Mr. and Mrs. Punctuation is typically found only in the time, date or in the location. If the bride’s parents are hosting and the daughter shares their last name, it can be omitted from the invitation. Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

How much does a wedding venue cost?

o book a wedding venue in Australia you can expect to pay a total of $14,512. This has gone up by around 10% in the last year according to easy weddings.com.au and is consistent with the average price of a wedding rising year on year as well. They've calculated this average with the average amount of wedding guests that attend a wedding to bring you more accurate data on what you can expect to pay. When it comes to price per head, you can now expect to pay a national average of $150 per guest, compared to $135 per head in 2016. Which is a useful stat to have the next time someone asks you for a surprise plus one! That said, the wedding venue is arguably your first, and one of your biggest, decisions in the wedding planning process. It can kickstart your wedding planning, determine your theme and colour scheme, set the aesthetic for your wedding, and even determine your wedding date and anniversary in the years to come. It’s also going to play a major feature in the memories you have of your wedding, whether it’s how you remember it or how you see it when you’re looking through your wedding photos. So making sure that you choose the right venue for you and your partner is just as important as factoring it into your budget. While most couples get married in their hometown or state, there are of course some who travel back interstate for their wedding or choose a destination wedding in Australia for their big day. Whatever your wedding location, easyweddings.com.au have broken down how much you can expect to pay for a wedding venue in most Australia states and territories. Western Australia The cost of a wedding venue in Western Australia has gone up the most over the past 12 months. However, it still comes in under the national average, with a wedding venue in WA costing you around $145 per person, or $14,076 for a venue. South Australia Couples in South Australia might have more wriggle room in their budgets with the cost of a wedding venue in SA dropping from first place last year down into third. Remaining fairly steady in price over the last year, a South Australian wedding venue will cost you around $14,936. This works out to be around $154 per head. New South Wales NSW comes in a close second after Victoria, averaging in at $160 per head. The cost of a wedding venue here has increased by around 12% over the last 12 months. Coming in above the national average, a wedding venue in NSW will cost you around $15,503. Victoria The so-called ‘garden state’ takes the prize as the most expensive Australian state to get married in this year. While the price has only increased by an average amount, Victoria has been bumped up from the second most expensive state last year. Coming in at an average of $15,580 to book a wedding venue, you can expect to pay an average of $161 per head if you’re getting married in Vic. Queensland Dropping right below the national average now, if you’re getting married up north your wedding venue should cost you around $10,472. This works out to be around $108 per guest. Maybe there is room for that extra plus one after all! Tasmania Tasmania makes an appearance on our list of wedding venue cost this year, with our 2017 Easy Weddings Annual Wedding Survey gathering more data for the southern state than in previous years. At an average of just $105 per head, a wedding venue in Tassie should cost you around $10,200. Australian Capital Territory The most modestly priced wedding venues are in the nation’s capital, with the ACT closing off our list. Wedding venues here have actually decreased in price by a whopping 10% over the last year, with a wedding venue in our capital city expected to cost you less than $10,000. You can expect to pay an average of $100 per person, or $9,685 for your wedding venue in the ACT. Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

Love songs for same sex couples

While we love a good opportunity to belt out “I’m Coming Out,” there’s more to the LGBTQ community than just dancing. Thanks to out-and-proud singers (and allies), gay love songs are in abundance and perfect for same-sex weddings. As you’re preparing a playlist for your LGBTQ wedding, you’ll definitely want to steal some of these gay love songs for your ceremony processional, first dance or just to insert a slow jam or three into your wedding reception. Adding songs by your favorite queer singers is also a subtle way to add a dose of pride to your wedding. Check out the ultimate gay love songs playlist, perfect for any LGBTQ wedding! “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert If some of the lyrics sound familiar, it’s because Mary Lambert sang the hook to “Same Love,” Macklemore’s ode to marriage equality. Mary expanded the chorus of that song into one of the sweetest gay love songs about her girlfriend. “Superpower” by Beyonce feat. Frank Ocean A gorgeous and affecting slow tune about long-lasting love, this beautiful mix of two of R&B’s best voices will be a welcome edition to your gay wedding playlist. “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith Ok, so we know the lyrics detail a sad end to a one-night stand, but Sam Smith’s gorgeous voice and soulful stylings make “Stay With Me” more of a love song than anything else. “If Only You Knew” by Patti Labelle If you need to be convinced of Patti’s status as a gay icon and LGBTQ supporter, just peep her early stance on marriage equality. Politics aside, this is a classic ballad with gender-neutral lyrics that’s perfect for LGBTQ weddings. “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga A rare peek at Lady Gaga’s pop ballad chops, this tale of sticking through tough times in relationships is just as fun to sing along to as it is to slow dance. “Butterflies” by Michael Jackson The King of Pop was in a particularly sweet mood for this celebration of first encounters, flirting and first dates. The gender-neutral lyrics also make it a great choice for a first dance tune for same-sex couples. “I Still Love You” by Jennifer Hudson Written as a love note to the LGBTQ community before marriage equality, this is one of the most perfect gay wedding songs to take a twirl around the dance floor. “Thinking About You” by Frank Ocean Sweet and soft with a dose of gravity courtesy of Frank Ocean’s baritone, this modern love song deserves to be in the canon of great gay wedding songs. “Private Emotion” by Ricky Martin Upbeat and inspirational, Ricky Martin celebrates unconditional love in this sweet wedding song. “I’m the Only One” by Melissa Etheridge Rock out with Melissa Etheridge in this ode to enduring love. Not only does this out singer consistently make perfectly fitting gay wedding songs, but this ballad is great for couples who have a low tolerance for sappiness. “Fool of Me” by Me’Shell NdegeOcello Atmospheric and full of restraint, your guests will love swaying lovingly to Me’Shell NdegeOcello’s tale of helpless love. “Love is Love” by Culture Club Long before “love is love” became the rallying cry of America’s gay marriage movement, Boy George knew what was up and sang about the universality of love and lovers in this 1984 classic. “Time for Miracles” by Adam Lambert Adam Lambert lends his country-tinged vocals to this searing and inspirational song about the possibilities of love and life. “Better Together” by Jack Johnson You can’t help but bop happily to Jack Johnson’s laidback ode to two becoming one — and being better than ever. Sidenote: It’s a great cake cutting song.

How to include your mum on your wedding day

Sometimes couples which a special recognition to their mothers - such as giving them a rose each on the exit. They also may read something special, light the unity candles at the beginning - or at the time of the unity candles (lighting the other candle - see below). In some ceremonies with step-parents this may not be appropriate. WITNESSES Use your mums as your witnesses when it comes to signing your marriage certificate.  Your witnesses do not have to be your attendants.  They can be anyone over the age of eighteen.  This is a nice way to involve them in the ceremony and a great memento forever after having their signatures on your wedding certificate.  This is also something that can be done as a surprise on the day without warning to either of them if you wish, as there is no preparation required on their behalf.  You will also get a nice set of photos of the partners and their mothers during the signing by your photographer to mark the occasion. A READING If mum is a good speaker, get her to do a reading during the ceremony.  You could even let her select the reading (or maybe select a few and then you choose the final one you're happy with. UNITY CANDLES - Mothers of Partners: If the outer unity candles are first lit by the mother of the Bride and of the Groom (when each is first escorted forward), it may be appropriate to add: "The outer candles represent the light of your separate lives before today. It is appropriate that the mother of the Bride and the mother of the Groom each lit these candles as it is from these from which the light of your life first shown forth..." ROSE CEREMONY - Roses for the mothers: If adding the Rose ceremony to the marriage ceremony, couples will often stop on their exit and hand the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom each their Rose, whispering "I love you" before proceeding with their exit. There are lots of nice ways to include mum in your ceremony if you want to.  Talk to your celebrant about the different ways they have included mums into ceremonies before that have worked well.  My favourite above is getting both mums to be witnesses on the day. MOTHER OF THE BRIDE CHECKLIST Mothers of the Bride are expected to be the calm in the storm on the morning of your daughter’s big day. But don’t forget how important you also are, and that goes for the Mother of the Groom too. Here’s what to remember on the big day. The Mother of the Bride is the best person to take charge of events at home helping to make sure the bride remains calm and relaxed. GETTING TO THE CEREMONY Mums should leave home ahead of the bride, generally travelling in the car with the chief bridesmaid and any young attendants. If there are no bridesmaids or attendants, you may wish to ask a male relative or family friend to accompany you. MOTHER OF THE BRIDE ARRIVAL Traditionally, the mother of the bride arrives at the ceremony venue around ten minutes before the bride. This is your moment. You should be escorted proudly up the aisle by the chief usher, to your seat in the front row on the left‐hand side. AFTER THE CEREMONY After the ceremony, when the party proceed back down the aisle, your correct position is after the bride and groom and their attendants, on the left‐hand side of the groom’s father. Congratulate the married couple straight after their bridal party does and then mingle with friends and family as everyone else congratulates the happy couple.  Stay close as you’ll probably be required for some photos next. AT THE RECEPTION If you’re making a speech, make sure you have more than one copy of it, just to be on the safe side. Prompt cards with a brief reminder of what you want to say will be very useful, and can easily fit inside a normal sized handbag. And remember, this is your day too. The guests are more likely to enjoy it if you’re looking happy and relaxed. So even if there’s a minor hiccup, keep your cool, smile and, if necessary, take a moment in the Ladies to compose yourself. AFTER THE RECEPTION If your daughter and new son‐in‐law intend to formally ‘leave’ their reception, you’ll wave good‐bye to them along with all the other guests, so make your own plans for a private farewell beforehand. Once the couple have left, you may need to ensure the safe‐keeping of the presents overnight and collect the remainder of the wedding cake, which will usually be packed by the caterers ready to take home.  And of course you'll need to start to get the guests to leave if the time allocated in the venue is up.   Then go home and put your feet up and "glow" with pride! Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

How to handle 2 mothers of the brides

If you’re lucky enough to have two happy, engaged mothers supporting you and your fiancée as you plan a lesbian wedding, congrats! But, while it’s sometimes preferable to plan a wedding with the emotional and financial support of parents, it can be tricky when there are two mothers of the brides. Traditionally, the MOB is the second most important lady of the hour at a wedding, with her own set of rituals and time in the spotlight at an opposite-sex wedding. For queer couples with two brides, it can be an awkward tightrope exercise to make sure both mums feel celebrated and important during the lesbian wedding planning and on the big day. Here’s what you need to remember when there are two Mothers Of The Brides. Get everyone on the same page. This is a must for everyone who will be involved in the wedding planning, particularly for those who might be making financial contributions. For the mothers of the brides specifically, you’ll want to be sure they are comfortable communicating with each other and that everyone is clear about what the couple expects from the MOBs (and vice-versa). If your folks haven’t met your future in-laws yet, use this as an opportunity to have a friendly, working lunch or dinner, so there isn’t a ton of pressure during the first meeting. Also, take this time to suss out the personalities in the room and how they might relate to lesbian wedding planning. For example, an extroverted, joke-cracking MOB might be more comfortable with duties like making a speech at the rehearsal dinner and wedding while a more industrious, shy MOB might want her contribution to be behind the scenes or more intimate. Break up traditional MOB duties. Some areas of wedding planning fall under the domain of “Mom duties,” so what happens when there are two moms and two brides? This is when really clear expectations can be set about who’s going to do what. If you’re planning to have one joint bridal shower, make sure the moms are aware if one or both of them will be on planning duty, along with the MOHs. Other responsibilities, like helping the brides select their wedding attire, will be easier to decipher since your mom will help you and your girlfriend’s mom will help her. Additionally, the groom’s family is expected to host the rehearsal dinner in opposite-sex weddings, so chat with both mothers early on to decide if either is up for the gig. This could be a great way to make sure both mothers have a pre-wedding event they can own. Treat both mums equally. Many mothers dream of their daughter’s wedding from the moment she’s born, and have expectations for what that day will be like. Having two mothers who have these heightened expectations can be a recipe for drama, but avoid potential snafus by being sensitive to both your mother and your future mother in law. Be careful to evenly split things, for example, if your mum invites 10 of her friends, then your mother in law should also be able to invite 10 of her friends. Also, be aware of how the mothers are feeling about being honored. For example, if your fiancée decides to wear her mother’s veil with her wedding dress, your mother might start to feel pangs of jealousy if you don’t also wear something of hers. Maybe a veil isn’t your style, but ask her for a ring, watch, scarf or something else that has meaning that you might want to incorporate into your wedding attire. Beyond attire, maybe you’ll plan to carry her prayer book with you down the aisle, or make a bouquet or boutonniere of her favorite flowers. These may seem like small details, but they go a long way to being sure your mothers feels included. Coordinate mother of the bride attire. Since you and your fiancée are probably searching for wedding attire separately, it can be challenging to secure two mother of the bride dresses or suits that match the wedding color palette, but don’t clash with either of your attire choices. If you’re working with a bridal salon, let your stylist know that you’re also on the lookout for coordinating and complimentary attire options for your mothers. If you feel comfortable allowing your future MIL to know what you’ll be wearing on your wedding day, have the MOBs get together, review the attire both of you will be wearing and then coordinate their outfits from there. Give them both a moment to shine. On your wedding day, your mother will expect to be acknowledged in some way. Traditionally, the mother of the bride is escorted down the aisle before the processional as well as given some time to make a speech (along with other parents) during the reception. With two mothers of the brides, be sure that both of them are given these honours, so neither feels slighted. You can also designate their seats at the ceremony with sweet signs or decorate them with their favorite flowers. Your photographer can also suggest some special photos you can take with your mother (and grandmother!) to commemorate the day for both of you. Lastly, don’t rule out a mother-daughter dance! While you may be anxious to take a twirl with your dad, lots of brides are also choosing to do the same with their mothers. Show your appreciation to both mothers of the brides. Mothers are a big part of your lesbian wedding planning support team, so don’t forget to thank your mothers (new and old!) for their help. Write a thoughtful note to both mothers for them to read on your wedding day; order two beautiful floral arrangements or publicly thank them at your reception. You can also give your mother and your mother in law your wedding bouquets at the end of the night as a sweet parting gift.

Getting married in Bali

Always dreamed of getting married in Bali?  Then chat to me as it's one of my most favourite places and I can help make your dream become reality. t need not be that hard to do. All we have to ensure is that all the legal paperwork is done. Here ae your choices; Get married according to Indonesia Law Get married according to Australian Law Indonesian Law Generally, Indonesian nationals, and persons of any other nationality may marry in Indonesia provided they hold a religion recognised by the Indonesian Government (Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Christian Catholic/Protestant). Under the Indonesian Marriage Law marriages may be performed by Ministers of Religion, officers of the Kantor Catatan Sipil (Civil Registry Office), or the Kantor Urusan Agama (Office of Religious Affairs). For a marriage to be legal, it must be conducted according to the religion, and conform to the laws of the countries of the parties involved. In order for an Australian citizen to marry in Indonesia, it is necessary to make an application for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta or at the Australian Consulate-General in Denpasar. Application forms are available from the Consular Counter at both of these offices or on the Smartraveller website. To obtain a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage you need to: Make an appointment at least ONE work day prior to apply in person at the Embassy or Consulate-General during office hours sign an application form in front of a Consular Officer (applicable only to the Australian National) show the original passports of both parties as proof of identity provide original proof of dissolution of marriage / marriages from both parties (if any) In most cases the Certificate can be issued while you wait. It is preferable that applicants applying for a Certificate from the Embassy in Jakarta do so in person. If this is not possible applications may be processed via post, however the application form must be signed before a person authorised to witness Statutory Declarations (including, in Indonesia, an Indonesian Public Notary). Contact the Consular Section at consular.jakarta@dfat.gov.au for further details on how to apply via post or registered mail. Both parties must be of the same religion. For more detail on this click here. Australian Law You must sign a Notice Of Intended Marriage no more than 18 months prior and no less than 30 days prior to your intended marriage. Your signatures must be witnessed by an official and lodged with your celebrant no less than 30 days prior to your intended marriage. An Australian celebrant can fly to Bali to perform your ceremony, however the legal paperwork (declaration of intent to marry and marriage certificates) must be signed and witnessed on Australian soil. So as you can see, there's an easy way and there's a harder way to go about it.  If you'd like to talk through it more with me, contact me here. I lay out the steps to getting married in Bali on my website here. Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

Staggering figures for royal wedding

With the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials just one month away today (May 19), there is lots of goss going around that it  certainly won’t be a cheap affair. In fact, it’s expected to land a place in the top ten most expensive weddings of all time.  The highly anticipated royal event is slated to surpass that of Prince William and Kate’s 2011 nuptials. According to British wedding site Bridebook, Markle’s upcoming wedding is reportedly estimated to cost around $58.3 million, or £32 million, about $22 million more than Prince William and Kate’s reported $36.6 million nuptials. The wedding site broke down the royal wedding expenses and highlighted that the most expensive part of the ceremony will be the extensive security measures that Bridebook claims will include snipers, undercover police and military tech, and possible drones, adding up to an estimated total of $54.7 million. Other key wedding expenses include: Twenty silver-plated trumpets that will announce the event for $162,400; a pricey $90,900 lemon elderflower wedding cake from Violet Bakery in East London; an abundance of decorative flowers outside of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor for $195,000; a reported $545,700 to hire the glass marquee for the evening reception at the Frogmore House; $46,700 on sausage rolls and hot tea for all of the 2,640 invited members of the public and; a reported $545,000 to $727,000 on Meghan’s soon-to-be-iconic gown. But despite the reported estimated price for Markle’s wedding gown, royal expert Katie Nicholl, author of Harry: Life, Loss and Love, thinks that the soon-to-be royal will be a little more low-key.  “Meghan is very mindful of wanting to send the right message with her gown,” Nicholl told the Telegraph. “It’s going to be iconic and fit the backdrop of Windsor Castle, but it would send off the wrong message to wear a dress that in cost alone would upstage Kate’s.” Kate’s Alexander McQueen wedding gown, designed by Sarah Burton, cost a reported $454,000. The countdown to the royal wedding continues on as invitations have been sent out and guestlist rumours are underway. Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

Coming out to your wedding suppliers

For same-sex couples, couples with a genderqueer person and trans couples, planning beautiful wedding ceremonies and receptions is much easier today than ever before. With Australia wide marriage equality, couples will find the task of locating LGBTQ-friendly wedding vendors more manageable, but reaching out to hire vendors can still be a stressful process. Many queer couples are afraid of flat-out rejection or of booking vendors who might not be a good fit for their community. While there may still be wedding vendors who aren’t supportive of your gender identity or sexual orientation, most may just need a little guidance from you and your partner. In other cases, it might be a good option to “come out” by letting your vendors know before the first appointment that you are a queer couple. Here are some instances where it might be beneficial to “come out” to your wedding vendors. When gender is a big part of the service offering, like a marriage celebrant, photographer or wedding planner Most marriage celebrants will have lots of experience creating wedding ceremonies for straight couples, while photographers may be very accustomed to posing male-female couples and wedding planners who work with straight couples might not be ready for the family dynamics in an LGBTQ relationship. For wedding vendors who will likely have to change up their offerings to accommodate an LGBTQ wedding, it is wise to let them know your expectations before your initial meeting. This doesn’t have to be a dramatic situation. It can be as simple as adding a line to the end of your initial email briefly stating what you’d like them to know. It might be as simple as just using your first names if they are gender specific names, or you could use something less subtle like, “My partner and I are a lesbian couple getting married next year”. I know it shouldn't matter, but if it does (to them), you will soon work it out by the lack of service coming back to you. Plus, this also allows them the opportunity to prepare for your first meeting. If they’ve served queer couples in the past, they can talk through their experience. When you have specific wording for you, your partner or your relationship The word “bride” is used a lot when you’re planning a wedding. Genderqueer folks who present as women, not to mention gay couples who will be married without a bride in sight, might need to assert to their wedding vendors how they’d like to be referred. For example, a group of friends you’ve chosen to be by your side for your groom-groom wedding isn’t a bridal party, but rather a wedding party, or maybe some other name that you’re using to refer to your gang. Not to mention trans folks who might be at risk for misgendering. As you’ve probably figured out, wedding vendors are a very courteous bunch and if they’re misgendering you or your partner, or using language that isn’t accurate for your gender, it will probably be as simple as letting them know your preferences to clear things up. It’s up to you how detailed you’d like to be, but a simple note via email or at your face-to-face meeting will likely do the trick. This can apply to your pronouns, your wedding moniker (i.e. do you want to be called a “bride,” “groom,” “fiance” or something else?) or other gendered words. When you’ll need special venue considerations, like a gender-neutral restroom While venues are typically pretty gender-neutral, there can be a few instances when you’ll need to alert them that your LGBTQ wedding will require some different accommodations. This could come into play when you are discussing where you and your partner will get ready for the wedding, as some places will have a large bridal suite and a smaller suite for grooms. Many groom-groom couples prefer to get ready together, while bride-bride couples may want two bridal suites, both of which need to be large enough for their attendants and glam squad. Then there are restrooms, which are gendered in most places. If you’d prefer gender-neutral restrooms for your wedding party and guests, your venue will probably not have a problem accommodating you, but they’ll need a heads up. Up until this point, your gender identity or sexual orientation probably didn’t factor into meeting or booking this wedding vendor, but this is an instance where “coming out” as queer, genderqueer or trans might make things smoother. If you are working with a wedding planner, it might be less awkward to ask them to have the conversation with the venue. If not, consider shooting off a short email to your venue representative telling them what you’d like and a short explanation. It can be as simple as saying, “We’re wondering if you can make a gender-neutral restroom available for our reception as we and many of our guests identify as genderqueer,” or something to that effect.

Will your wedding cost more than $42,000?

In 2017, the national average cost of a wedding in the United States was $33,391 (AUD$42,236). This figure was revealed by Maggie Seaver on "the knot" website last month after they surveyed 13,000 couples married in 2017 for their real weddings study and they learned that unique venues and guest experience are taking priority. Here's how today’s couples are spending their wedding budgets (hint: it’s all in the details!). The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study (in the United States) has revealed how much it really costs to say "I do" (and why). They polled nearly 13,000 US couples married in 2017 and learned the national average cost of a wedding is now $33,391 (AUD$42,236), excluding the honeymoon. Couples are prioritizing different details, namely personalization, guest experience and cultural elements. In fact, couples are so excited to show their guests a good time that, while both the average spend and guest headcount have decreased, the average cost per guest has reached an all-time high at $268 (AUD$338) which is up from $194 (AUD$245) in 2009. Custom guest entertainment has more than tripled, with up to 40 percent of newlyweds saying they splurged on fun reception amenities (think: sparklers, selfie stations, lawn games, candy bars and musical performances). From what I've seen in Australia, I feel the trend is the same here. So what's the why behind the lower overall spend? We’re seeing fewer formal and black-tie weddings—which are naturally pricier—as couples choose to tie the knot in nontraditional locations that let their unique story shine, require fewer embellishments and call for a smaller budget. Whether it's a low-key barn venue or a historic library with tons of character, couples seem to favor sites that reflect their personalities. One couple followed their search for a quirky, industrial venue all the way to a boxing gym—and it looked seriously awesome. Finally, while today's couples have no problem tossing some time-honored wedding traditions (like the garter and bouquet toss - which I am yet to see at any of the weddings I've done here in Australia over the last 12 months), it's still important to them to infuse their heritage, culture and/or religion into their day. Twenty-one percent of couples incorporated a traditional cultural element, including a Chinese tea ceremony, Irish bagpipers, Moroccan belly dancers and traditional Hindu ceremonies. Now more than ever, couples are finding creative ways to please their guests while doing something meaningful for themselves, which makes for some incredibly beautiful celebrations. As I've said before though  whatever you do though, do not scrimp on the celebrant. This person sets the tone for the rest of your day and it's important that you have someone who "gets" your wedding vision from the very start and creates a unique ceremony for you both. Steve Mummery is an authorised civil celebrant who can marry people anywhere in Australia.  Check him out at smcelebrant.com.au or email him at steve@smcelebrnat.com.au

Wedding dates to avoid in 2018, 2019 and 2020

Ready to set a date? Check this list of dates you might want to steer clear of when booking your wedding.  One of the first things you do when planning a wedding is picking out a date—or multiple date options, to avoid pigeon-holing yourself. Use this guide below to make sure you pick the right one. Personally Significant Days Check your own calendar for school or family reunions, family weddings, anniversaries or other events, like big conventions or festivals in your city (call your local chamber of commerce), and any annual occasions that involve your family or close friends. Holiday Weekends Holiday weekend weddings where you have Monday off from work have pros and cons. You've got an extra day for the festivities (and recovery!), plus you can have your wedding on a Sunday, which is often less expensive than a Saturday one. But costs of travel and venues may be higher. And if you're looking to marry around Valentine's Day, be wary of your floral bill, especially if you've got your heart set on red roses—they'll likely be more expensive than at any other time of the year. Likewise, reception sites often charge a higher fee for a New Year's Eve wedding. Also, don't forget to consider the impact of a holiday weekend on your guest list—some families have standing plans or traditions they'd prefer not to miss. Australia Day (always held on the day, but creating a long weekend over the next 3 years)) Friday January 26, 2018 (creating a long weekend) Saturday January 26, 2019 (creating a long weekend with the holiday on Monday) Sunday January 26, 2020 (creating a long weekend with the holiday on Monday) Labour Day (WA ONLY) -always a Monday holiday Weekend of March 3-5, 2018 Weekend of March 2-4, 2019 Weekend of February 28-March 2, 2020 Mother's Day (always the second Sunday in May) Make sure your mum is okay sharing this weekend with your wedding. And ask yourself: Do you want your anniversary to fall on the same weekend as Mother's Day if or when you become a mum? Weekend of May 12–13, 2018 Weekend of May 11–12, 2019 Weekend of May 9–10, 2020 Father's Day (always the first Sunday in September) As you would with your mums, check with your dads about doubling up on this day. And grooms, make sure you're okay with celebrating your anniversary the same weekend as Father's Day if you decide to have kids. Weekend of September 1-2, 2018 Weekend of August 31-September 1, 2019 Weekend of September 5-6, 2020 Queens Birthday - always a holiday Monday (WA) Weekend of September 22-24, 2018 Weekend of September 28-30, 2019 Weekend of September 26-28, 2020 Queens Birthday - always a holiday Monday (QLD) Labor Day (ACT/NSW/SA) Weekend of September 29-Oct 1, 2018 Weekend of October 5-7, 2019 Weekend of October 3-5, 2020 Halloween Avoid it if you're terrified that someone might actually show up in costume (and embrace it if you want them to!). Wednesday, October 31, 2018 Thursday, October 31, 2019 Saturday, October 31, 2020 New Year's Eve Monday, December 31, 2018 Tuesday, December 31, 2019 Thursday, December 31, 2020 Religious and Cultural Holidays Be mindful of religious and cultural holidays (your own and those of your guests) when planning your wedding. There may even be restrictions at your house of worship as to whether you're allowed to marry at these times. Palm Sunday March 25, 2018 April 14, 2019 April 5, 2020 Easter March 30 - April 2, 2018 April 19 - April 22, 2019 April 10 - April 13, 2020 Passover (begins at sunset) Friday, March 30, 2018 Friday, April 19, 2019 Wednesday, April 8, 2020 Tisha B'Av (begins at sunset) Saturday, July 21, 2018 Saturday, August 10, 2019 Wednesday, July 29, 2020 Rosh Hashanah (begins at sunset) Sunday, September 9, 2018 until nightfall on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Sunday, September 29, 2019 until nightfall on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 Friday, September 18, 2020 until nightfall on Sunday, September 20, 2020 Yom Kippur (begins at sunset) Tuesday, September 18, 2018 until nightfall on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Tuesday, October 8, 2019 until nightfall on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 Sunday, September 27, 2020 until nightfall on Monday, September 28, 2020 Hanukkah (begins at sunset) Sunday, December 2, 2018 until nightfall on Monday, December 10, 2018 Sunday, December 22, 2019 until nightfall on Monday, December 30, 2019 Thursday, December 10, 2020 until nightfall on Friday, December 18, 2020 Christmas Tuesday, December 25, 2018 Wednesday, December 25, 2019 Friday, December 25, 2020 Boxing Day (also Boxing Day Test Cricket) Wednesday, December 26, 2018 Thursday, December 26, 2019 Saturday, December 26, 2020 Ramadan (dates may vary based on the lunar calendar) Tuesday, May 15 until Thursday, June 14, 2018 Sunday, May 5 until Tuesday, June 4, 2019 Thursday, April 23 until Saturday, May 23, 2020 Eid al-Fitr (dates may vary based on the lunar calendar) Thursday, June 14 until Friday, June 15, 2018 Tuesday, June 4 until Friday, June 7, 2019 Saturday, May 23 until Sunday, May 24, 2020 Eid al-Adha (dates may vary based on how each family observes; the holiday lasts for about four days) Tuesday, August 21, 2018 Sunday, August 11, 2019 Thursday, July 30, 2020 Ram Navami Monday, March 26, 2018 Sunday, April 14, 2019 Thursday, April 2, 2020 Krishna Janmashtami Monday, September 3, 2018 Saturday, August 24, 2019 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 Days of Remembrance We're talking about historically significant days (like the anniversary of September 11) that may be off-limits if you come from a big military family. Or, that could make them all the more meaningful—it's up to you to decide. Anzac Day (always on the actual day itself) Wednesday April 25, 2018 Thursday April 25, 2019 Saturday April 25, 2020 (creating a long weekend with a holiday on Monday) Remembrance Day Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Wednesday, September 11, 2019 Friday, September 11, 2020 Major Sporting Events If you're die-hard sports fans—or if you're worried your guests might have a hard time choosing between your wedding and the big game—avoid getting married during popular sporting events. AFL Grand Final Saturday September 29, 2018 in Melbourne (Fri Sep 28 a public holiday in Melbourne) TO BE CONFIRMED Saturday September 28, 2019 in Melbourne (Fri Sep 27 a public holiday in Melbourne) TO BE CONFIRMED Saturday September 26, 2020 in Melbourne (Fri Sep 25 a public holiday in Melbourne) Also in Perth be wary of any Derby battles between The Eagles and Dockers. You'll piss everyone off! Unlucky Dates If you're superstitious, you might want to watch out for these historically inauspicious dates from across several cultures. The Ides of March For ancient Romans, an "ides" was simply a date that marked the middle of the month—until Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15 in 44 BC. Since then, "Beware the Ides of March" has become the mantra of this superstitiously unlucky date. Thursday, March 15, 2018 Friday, March 15, 2019 Sunday, March 15, 2020 Friday the 13th The unluckiest date of the year has questionable origins. Some historians say it comes from the 13 diners who were present at the last supper, but the famous Babylon's Code of Hammurabi doesn't include a 13th law, which suggests this superstition is as old as 1700 BC. And it wasn't until a successful novel titled Friday, the Thirteenth was published in the early 1900s that Friday became part of the unlucky equation. April 13, 2018 July 13, 2018 September 13, 2019 December 13, 2019 March 13, 2020 November 13, 2020 Leap Years Greeks and Romans thought starting any new life event—from getting married to baptising a child—in a leap year would bring bad luck. Next Leap Year: 2020 Saturday, February 29, 2020 Following Leap Year: 2024 Thursday, February 29, 2024 Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

What to do if your parents won't attend your wedding

While weddings are generally thought of as happy times for multiple generations of family to come together and celebrate love, they can be a tricky time for couples who won’t have parents attending the wedding. Illness or finances may keep some parents away from weddings they’d like to attend, and still other parents refuse to attend their child’s wedding because they have strong feelings about the religion, orientation or gender of the person their child is marrying. LGBTQ people in particular are less likely to have support from family, with about 60 percent of same-sex couples reporting family or friends were supportive of their marriage. (This is up from previous years, but still trails straight couples level of family support.) Dealing with parents who can but won’t attend the wedding of their child is not only a difficult emotional trial for the couple, but can present challenges for the wedding vendors and guests. Luckily, wedding traditions can be adapted or scrapped altogether to be sure your love isn’t overshadowed by absent parents. Whether you or your partner is estranged from parents, here are some alternative ways to celebrate your chosen family when parents won’t attend the wedding. Spread the word. Resist the urge to sidestep the fact that one or both of your parents will not be in attendance as you’re planning your ceremony and reception. Your marriage celebrant, wedding planner and DJ have all likely experienced this issue and may have helpful tips for how to achieve your wedding vision without a set of parents to support. If the subject of parents is particularly raw for you or your partner, consider handing over this task to a close friend who can speak to the situation with clarity and tact, so that you have one less potentially emotional conversation to get through before your wedding. Get out in front of finances. Parents are often expected to shoulder a portion of the financial burden of hosting the wedding and its accoutrement — wedding shower and rehearsal dinner. Knowing that you are missing parents from your support system, don’t feel bad if you want to scale back any portion of your wedding or wedding weekend. Maybe your rehearsal dinner turns into an intimate meal at a friend’s home or your wedding shower becomes one big couples shower to save money for your wedding party. While mothers typically lend a helping hand (and wallet) to plan showers, this is an opportunity to rely on your close friends who are willing and able to fill the gap. Instead of your maid or man of honor planning a shower with your mother or your partner’s mother, perhaps you ask a group of friends to all take on hosting duties so as not to burden any one person too much. Ask friends to step up. When your relationship with parents is strained, friends often become your chosen family. Don’t be afraid to honor them during your ceremony and reception to fill space that might otherwise be occupied by walking parents down the aisle or parent-child dances. This could be as simple as asking close friends to read poems about friendship or platonic love; asking friends to sit in the front rows during the ceremony or even staging a best friend’s dance instead of a parent-child dance. Rely on other close family members. Just because your parent might not approve of your relationship, that doesn’t mean there might not be others in your family — grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings or cousins — who do support your wedding. Ask your close family members if they’d be comfortable standing in for your parent or parents. For example, a favorite uncle might be a natural to escort you down the aisle if a father isn’t available while a grandparent might have a great time taking a twirl around the dance floor with you at the reception.

How to have a wedding shower...if you're guys

A wedding shower just for the ladies? So passé. Dudes enjoy a nice occasion to enjoy delicious bites and sips just as much as brides, so why not host a couples shower for both partners and both sets of friends and family? The basic idea of a couples shower is exactly the same as a traditional bridal shower. Invite the relatives and buddies closest to the couple and pick a theme that represents some aspect of their relationship, their upcoming wedding or their interests. The theme is often the trickiest aspect of a couples shower. Whether the couple consists of two brides-to-be, two grooms-to-be or a bride and a groom, landing on a theme that pleases both can be difficult. So, check out 5 couples wedding shower ideas we love! Classic Australiana with pies and beer There are few things as Australian as pies and beer. So for couples with lots of different interests that won’t blend well, go for a classic Aussie themed couples shower. An outdoor venue works best with this couples shower, so look for a beach or public park. Ask everyone to bring a picnic rug and wine if they would prefer (or supply it yourself). Get some classic donuts, cupcakes for after the pies. Or swap the pies for fresh pizzas delivered to the spot. Hire a catamaran for the afternoon Another thing very Australian to do is to get on the water. We are surrounded by some magical oceans in this country, so why not hire a catamaran for the afternoon (or day) and get your friends on board to enjoy champers and seafood (or pies and pasties and sausage rolls), along with some gorgeous rays, tunes and swims if the water is warm enough. Cocktails and Cake With a “Sex & the City” Theme For the brides and grooms who are still jonesing for Carrie Bradshaw’s designer-filled closet, a “Sex & the City” theme is perfect. To pull this off, you’ll want to mix elements of modern city chic with cool pastels and warm metallics. Just like Manhattan’s favorite columnist, Cosmopolitan cocktails are a must for this couples shower, so consider creating a cocktail station with vodka, gin, various mixers and stemmed cocktail glasses. Continue the classic New York theme with wedding shower games like “Who Knows Carrie Best” trivia, New York strip steak sliders and Big Apple and brie appetisers. Might be a bit old hat now though. Relaxing Spa Theme With White Decor and Candles If you’re a couple who firmly believes the family that relaxes together, stays together, then a spa-themed couples shower might be a good idea. Rent a modern venue space with all-white or nearly all-white decor to create a relaxing ambiance. Arrange short white tealights on the tables along with flowers that will create a Zen-like atmosphere. Keep the decor very minimal with subdued metallics and a pastel here and there. For entertainment, consider hiring a chair massage therapist, an on-demand nail technician for manis and pedis or a yoga teacher. Keep the food spa-like as well with cucumber water and healthy snacks like celery, carrots and sliced fruit along with finger food like sushi rolls, samosas or watercress sandwiches. Leave guests remembering your commitment to relaxation with personalized white robes or a soft pair of slippers. Or hang the expense and just book out a spa for the afternoon and treat everyone to a facial or massage. Modern Rustic Garden Party For lots of couples, being outdoors is neutral territory. Whether it’s taking in a sports game together or going for a sunrise hike, Mother Nature provides ample opportunities to bond, which is why an outdoor, gender-neutral, garden party-themed wedding show is perfect for many couples. Look for an event space with a large patio or garden space, preferably with lots of greenery and flowering plants (a historic home is a great option). Keep decor minimal, but set a dining area with romantic flowers, embellished glasses and a few branches for accents. Celebrate spring with a delicious green menu that might include roasted spring vegetables, pasta salad with veggies and nuts along with seared meat and fish. All sounds a bit hard to me though.

The most popular dates to get married

Happy Valentines Day! And to all those getting married today on the "day of love", I wish you a lifetime of happiness.  Especially you Luke & Shan. According to the latest wedding survey carried out by easyweddings.com.au, these are the most popular dates to get married in 2018.  Obviously the warmer months are very popular at either end of the year (March & October being the most popular), with most people staying away from the stinking hot Perth summer months and freezing cold (well, West Australian's consider it freezing cold) winter months. So let's take a look to see if the date you're looking at is amongst them and if it is, you better get moving if you haven't locked in your celebrant and all of your suppliers.  Here are the most popular wedding dates of 2018: February 24th The 24th of February is the final Saturday of summer and is likely to be warm still (especially as early summer has been quite mild in Perth). Many choose late Feb to catch the last of the summer warmth but avoid a super hot wedding day. March 10th Interstate, this is the Saturday before a public holiday (Vic, SA, Tas and ACT)  that gives guests plenty of time to get to Perth and home again after a big Perth wedding. 17th March is one of the best (and most popular) months of the year for your wedding. It’s no surprise that three of the top dates this year fall in March. 24th This one is just six days before Good Friday, a national holiday and a verrrry long weekend. Many people have opted for this date to avoid getting married over Easter. April 7th April 7th is the first Saturday after Easter, and similarly, many people have chosen this date to avoid the Easter Holiday. Plus, having a little time off of work before the wedding won’t go astray!  It's likely that Perth will still have pretty good weather around this time. 21st April is a lovely, mild temperature due to it falling in autumn. The 21st is another extremely popular Saturday this year to get married. April on the coast is also usually mild, less windy and not as hot in direct sun). October 6th If you’re after a Spring wedding, then October is a really popular time to get married. The first Saturday is a very popular wedding date for 2018. 20th The last two Saturdays of October are also both extremely popular among 2018 couples. At this time of year, flowers in season include Anthereium, Lisianthus, David Austin Roses and Lily of the Valley. 27th The end of October is a beautiful time of the year, full of beautiful flowers and perfect for brighter colour schemes for your wedding. November 10th November 10th is the ideal date for couples that would like to include peonies in their wedding flowers. This date is also about the last one in the year that won't start to coincide with xmas/wind up functions. Saturdays are still very popular for weddings, with a huge 62% of couples getting married on this day of the week, compared with Friday at 14% and Sunday at 10%.  If you're looking at any of the dates above, then choose and lock in your celebrant early as the good ones will get booked out.  The same goes for venues, photographers, videographers and all other suppliers you might want to utilise. Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law.  For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.

The Do's and Dont's of engagement ring shopping

If you’ve never gone engagement ring shopping before, the process might feel a bit daunting. With so many gemstones, metals, and styles to choose from, plus the fact that you may not know exactly what your partner is looking for, you may be feeling anxious before even stepping foot into a jewelry store. Read on and learn the top must-dos and definitely-do-nots of engagement ring shopping. DO: Learn the basics It pays to study up on the basics—namely, the 4Cs of diamond shopping, and how to differentiate the most common diamond shapes before engagement ring shopping. DON’T: Rush the shopping process We recommend starting to research engagement rings at least six months before you’re planning on proposing (26 percent of proposers plan even further out!). This time frame not only provides some space to consider your partner’s style, but also gives you time to save some money or budget as needed for the purchase. DO: Look for hints Your partner may be dropping hints—and it’s up to you to find them! Check out their Pinterest boards to see if they’ve pinned any rings recently. You can also check for any comments about jewelry they have made on social media lately — this can be as subtle as liking/commenting on a photo of someone else’s engagement ring or wedding band. Another great way to figure out their ring style is to ask their friends — someone he/she goes shopping with often is quite likely to have some insight into what they’d like. Just make sure said friend is trustworthy and will stay tight-lipped if you’re planning a surprise proposal! Finally, think about their wardrobe and the types of jewelry or accessories they wear day to day. If they wear mostly silver-toned jewelry, a white gold or platinum ring might be best. But if they’re into warmer-toned jewelry, focus on yellow or rose gold rings. DO: Find the right retailer Be sure to buy from a retailer that offers free resizing and an upgrade policy. This will allow you to adjust your ring’s band size and upgrade the size of the diamond as needed. Read reviews on sites like WeddingWire or get recommendations from family members or friends. You’ll also want to find a retailer that’s geographically convenient, as you’ll likely have to make multiple trips. DON’T: Feel like you must spend three-months’ salary The average cost of an engagement ring is about $5,000—but how much you choose to spend is a matter of personal preference, your comfort level and where you’re at financially. Ask yourself: How much can I afford to spend considering my savings, income, and expenses? DO: Choose the setting first When it comes to figuring out how to buy an engagement ring, in most cases you should choose the setting first. If you first figure out the type of setting that will work best for your partner’s lifestyle and personal style, the choice of diamond becomes easier. Further, the metal you choose for the setting will help determine the color grade of the center diamond. DO: Customize together If you’d like to create a completely custom ring, we recommend designing it with your partner. Since a custom ring has essentially endless possibilities, this is the time to bring your creative minds together and build something that represents your relationship as well as your partner’s personal style. This also negates the risk of you (or your jeweler) designing something that is not a good fit for your fiancé(e)-to-be. DO: Think about the recipient’s lifestyle When engagement ring shopping, consider your partner’s hobbies, lifestyle and sense of style. For those drawn to clean, elegant looks, a solitaire ring is often the perfect choice. If they love complex outfits with lots of layers, a halo engagement ring is usually favorite. For someone in-between the two, go for a solitaire with a diamond band for subtle added sparkle. Additionally, if your partner is pretty active and often works with their hands, choose one of the two most durable metals: platinum or palladium. Also consider buying the most secure type of ring setting for a diamond: a bezel or semi-bezel solitaire. DON’T: Be afraid of shopping together Turns out that 42 percent of couples shop for an engagement ring together. Before you do so, be sure to discuss who’s paying or if you’re splitting the cost, and determine your budget. DO: Ask questions Before purchasing a ring from a retailer, be sure to ask the following questions: How do I figure out my partner’s ring size, and what if I buy the wrong size? How do I insure the ring? Is there an upgrade policy with the ring? How long does it extend and what does it cover? Are all the ring materials (including the diamond and metal) conflict-free? Are the diamonds certified by GIA or AGS? What is the clarity, cut and color grade of the center diamond? How does its price compare with diamonds of the same carat weight and quality? DON’T: Feel pressured When you first go into a store to start engagement ring shopping, go in with the knowledge that you will probably not make a purchase that day. The initial trip to a jeweler should be dedicated to research. Browse as many styles as possible. Take a notebook or use your smartphone to make notes on styles you like. If you don’t see something you like at a particular retailer, just leave — the last thing you want is to be pressured into buying something that doesn’t suit you and your partner. DON’T: Stress out While it’s important to educate yourself about your options, above all don’t stress out! The proposal is the hard part. As long as your partner says yes, you can always go back and adjust the ring to make it exactly what he or she wants.