A rooftop elopement with Nicole & Zak

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Sometimes the idea of a huge wedding with a ton of guests doesn’t appeal to people. In fact, some people like the idea of inviting their very favourite people to stand beside them on a rooftop to witness their union: those people are Nicole & Zak.

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From the moment Nicole first contacted me to talk about her plans I developed a wee bit of crush - these two are just absolute sweethearts and I admire their dedication not only to each other, but to their elopement plans. So, that’s how I found my myself standing on a rooftop one moody April afternoon with these two lovers, three guests and the always amazing Janneke Storm with camera in hand.

It’s hard to sum up the feeling of sharing in something so intimate - to sit with the bride in her hotel room while she chooses her earrings, to have each guest hug you and to share in a toast to the couple you have just married: it’s like every moment in magnified, the emotion just that much greater.

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It all started at Family – the Nightclub – yep – only a few hundred metres from where we stood at The Calile is where their story begins. Zak walked in one evening and distinctly remembers spotting Nicole (which is saying something considering he’d been drinking since midday at this point). He thought she was absolutely stunning and so decided to talk to her; and while Nicole was okay with him saying hi, she wasted no time in letting him know that if he was only interested in a one night thing then he should just quit while he was ahead. Luckily Zak wasn’t, and so he didn’t leave her side for the rest of the night – and as they both told me – they did in fact end up spending the night together – but it was sleeping in Nicole’s sisters bed (it’s okay, her sister wasn’t there - you creeps); where he awoke to find said sister and her friends staring at him wondering what he was doing there. Nicole remembers how much they both laughed about it after; and how it felt like they had already known each other a lifetime.

From that moment their fate was sealed and eight years on they were married on a rooftop!

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Huge shoutout to the amazing Yukari Botanicals who provided the most stunning floral ceremony space.

Also to the incredible Janneke Storm for capturing every amazing moment and for reflecting my stupid grin with her own as we kept clocking how lucky we were to be there.

Finding a Celebrant: the lowdown on the process.

Congratulations - you’re getting married! But the reality is that beyond knowing that you want to walk back down the aisle to an acoustic version of ‘Riptide’, that your Aunt will definitely whip out her Ipad to take photos despite being told not to and that your left side looks better in photos, when it comes to your ceremony, you have no idea how it all works. While I wanna be all like, “There are no rules! Be a maverick – do what you want!” To an extent, this isn’t entirely true.

Shout out to  Janneke Storm  for this pic of Michelle & Richard’s ceremony.

Shout out to Janneke Storm for this pic of Michelle & Richard’s ceremony.

So here are your ‘must haves’, legally speaking:

o   You will need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage with your celebrant. As minimum this needs to be done one month before the date you plan to get married, but it can be done up to 18 months in advance. You will also need to flash me some ID and (if applicable) proof of dissolution of your previous marriage

o   You need to sign a statutory declaration before you get married stating that there is nothing dodgy happening – ie, you’re related or still married to someone else.

o   In your ceremony you are required to have five legal lines of wording – three sentences for me and one each for you both.

o   You must have two witnesses over the age of 18 (they can be related to you)

o   On the day we need to sign off on three bits of paperwork; the tradition is to sign them during the ceremony – but the reality is that as long as they get done that day, you can sign wherever and whenever you like.

Now here is where it gets fun: beyond those important and legally binding things – you can do what you want!

BUT – In order to get to ^that part, you need to check out this part>>>>

STEP1: Find an amazing celebrant. You can google one, try a wedding directory, fall down an Instagram #hashtag #celebrant hole or the best option: ask around. Most of my weddings are referrals from people who have seen me in action, so ask your mates about weddings they have been to and who was memorable for the right reasons. Cost wise we are all over the shop: but you will always find one to fit your budget, especially if you start looking early.

TIMELINE TIP: I book out anywhere from two months to two years in advance and often have multiple enquiries for the same date. Weddings have seasons, the most popular being April/May/September/October. While you will always find someone to marry you, it might mean sending a truckload of emails and compromising; getting in early simply ensures that you secure your first choice of celebrant.

The lovely  Tennille Fink  captured Miriam & Andres’ super fun ceremony.

The lovely Tennille Fink captured Miriam & Andres’ super fun ceremony.

STEP 2: Found one who you like and who is free on your day? Well, arrange a date to meet them and see if you have good chemistry. Some people view this as a box ticking exercise, that is: “They’re available, they’ll do”, while others view it as an interview process. During this meeting we get to know each other better, I find out exactly how you want to celebrate your love and talk you through the many options you have available.  If you like me, you then pay a booking fee to secure my services.

 STEP 3: Ceremony writing time! No, not you silly! You have enough on your plate, you’re wedding planning after all. That is why you hired me, remember? Some celebrants will show you your ceremony in advance, and some like to surprise you on the day; alternatively you can tell them what you would prefer. Personally, I like to send a copy of the ceremony through to make sure I have the tone right, that way I can edit according to your needs.

Chris & Matt by  Lucas Krause Photography

STEP 4: Write your vows! Or don’t write them! Legally you don’t need to have vows, so it’s totally up to you as whether you feel like including them. If you do, remember that you don’t need to recreate a Shakespearean sonnet (you totally can if that’s your jam). I always tell my couples to write down why they love the shit out of each other and if they want, include a few promises they’d like to make – shout out to the bride who promised she’d limit the number of decorative cushions she brought into the home. In other words, they don’t need to be super serious. Send them to me and I will have them printed out on pretty cards on the day ready for you to read/recite/perform through interpretive dance.

STEP 5: Final meeting. We have drinks, we chat, we finalise details like distribution of confetti, who will look after the dogs at your ceremony (the answer is always me) and what I should wear so I can coordinate with your crew. Here is where we sign your stat dec and I check your ID (Passports or birth certs and photo ID). We part ways with you being completely confident about your ceremony.

STEP 6: Da-da-da-dum – here comes the bride/groom/dog in a tux. I’ve brought my awesome wireless PA system (yes you can play your music though it), am at peak banter with your guests and am ready for the fun to officially start. Lipstick on, tissues at the ready – let’s do this. I’ll hang around after to help organise group pics, to direct people to the drinks (hot tip: guests can always sniff out booze) and to generally help out.

STEP 7: I finalise your paperwork, mail it off to Births, Deaths & Marriages in the State you were married and tell you how to apply for your official paperwork. I will also send you some details regarding how you change your last name; again it’s personal and there’s no rules that say you have to. I’ve even had some couples ditch both of their last names and pick a shared shiny new one.

STEP 8: I show off your greatness on my socials (if that’s cool with you) and hopefully you leave me a lovely review on FB and tell your mates about me when they are looking for a great celebrant and so the cycle of marital bliss/successful small business continues…

Stew, Ness and I captured by  Lucas & Co Photography

Stew, Ness and I captured by Lucas & Co Photography

 

 

 

ALL OF THE DOGS IN ALL OF THE WEDDINGS

So you may not know this about me, but I really like dogs. Like a whole lot. I would own approximately 47 of them if wasn't for my voice of reason other half telling me that it's probably not the best idea considering we have two toddlers. Whatevs.

But seriously, your dog is part of your family; our wee sausage Frankie was our beginner child until we had the real human kind. When our two did arrive she got bumped down the chain a bit but nevertheless she is still adored and shown on the daily through lots of lovely cuddles and not so lovely toddler squeezes. 

So if I was getting married tomorrow then Franks would have to be there - she's family! I'm a huge fan on involving pets in weddings and have plenty of ideas if you're looking for a way to include them.

Bupa asked me and a bunch of other talented vendors about our best tips for getting your pets involved on your big day; so head on over to the Bupa website to check it out! 

Photo by the talented Jess Jackson Photographer

Amanda & Paul

Photo by Poison Apple Studios   www.poisonapplestudios.com.au

Photo by Poison Apple Studios 

www.poisonapplestudios.com.au

Most people have a wishing well at their wedding, or are happy with gifts; Paul & Amanda aren’t most people. Theirs was a wedding that was unique, a wedding that expressed who they are as couple and as individuals: thoughtful, enlightened and with a spirit for adventure. Guests were asked to engage in a series of challenges that included joke writing, trying something new, donating to charity and, my personal favourite, practicing an act of kindness. Cue people all over Brisbane finding Scratch its on their windscreen and being given roses in the Coles carpark. The universe appeared to acknowledge their selflessness and on the day of their nuptials, the rain ceased and they were rewarded with a beautiful blue sky. Their ceremony was romantic, lighthearted and even called for the involvement of their guests. It was a joy to be apart of.

On a day like this, who needs a filter?!

On a day like this, who needs a filter?!

Hi!

My name is Erin Woodhall.

I love weddings.  I love them so much that I became a celebrant so now I can go to them all the time! A great celebrant can really make a wedding and I pride myself on being that great celebrant. I’m an easy going optimist who loves being creative and meeting new people. One of the many perks of being a celebrant is hearing about how people find their match in this big crazy world. I’m excited to work with you to help craft your dream ceremony; be it short & sweet, funny & romantic – or a combination!

So if you're looking for a celebrant to craft the perfect ceremony for you - then I'm your gal. Feel free to contact me!