No two snowflakes are the same...

It’s not uncommon when a couple first makes contact with me – for them to ask for examples of previous ceremonies I have performed.

I’m more than happy to do so… but it comes with a very specific direction:  “Don’t focus on the words,  focus on the intention.”

Why?  Because when I write a ceremony, it’s a personalised ceremony… and it is completely and utterly customised to the couple who it is written for.

There’s probably aline in there which is designed to bring a little smirk to the couple’s faces – an inside joke that no-one else there on the day would appreciate. – and you’ll just be thinking “what the?” as you read it – and that’s ok – remember, focus on the intent.

There might be a shout-out to the friends who brought the couple together.

And when you see an introduction that looks like the opening scene from Julia Zemiro’s ‘RockWIz’ – don’t worry… I don’t do that at EVERY ceremony.   Focus on the intent.

There’s a reason why one  ceremony has a reading “The art of marriage” (Wilferd Peterson), and another “Nothing Else Matters”  (Metallica).  It's because it was perfect for that couple, and their ceremony!

So remember,  FOCUS on the intention, because you will quickly realise that I’ll go above and beyond to create a ceremony that is perfect for YOU.

Thank you - for letting me be a part of your special day.

I had the honour of being the Celebrant at Justine & Scott’s Wedding, which was held at Tumbling Waters Retreat in Stanwell Tops NSW.

They LOVE horses – specifically Random Blue, who is pictured, and walked the Bride down the aisle!

Each ceremony I perform is personalised to the couple. For Justine & Scott’s wedding, I found a reading called ‘Thank-you’, and whilst it’s a poem about a horse and their rider,  I felt it was appropriate to the qualities that the Bride & Groom share.

 

THANK YOU.

Thank you for guarding my secrets.

Thank you for teaching me lessons my parents and teachers never could.

Thank you for being the best listener in the world.

Thank you for helping me fly.

Thank you for helping me face my fears.

Thank you for making me smile.

Thank you for showing me hard work really does pay off.

Thank you for never giving up.

Thank you for trusting me.

Thank you for being my best friend.

For all the things you have done for me, there is nothing I can do to say how much I love you for being there.

 

 

If you are looking for a celebrant who is Modern, professional, and LOVES what he does – then please head to www.andrewpickering.com.au  or email info@andrewpickering.com.au

Love is all there is...

I support Marriage Equality.  As a celebrant I am in a unique, and privileged position to witness the celebration of love between a couple, formally, legally, and in the company of family and friends.  It is unfortunate that same-sex couples do not currently have the opportunity to experience this joyous moment.

The following statement, known as the Monitum, is currently legally required to be read by the celebrant during an Australian wedding ceremony:

“I am a duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

 

It's not uncommon for couples to request to change the wording to be more inclusive... Unfortunately I cannot.   However, in a  small way of progressing forward… here’s a few words you might like to consider adding to your ceremony…

“However, Beth and John look forward to a day when marriage is a right any couple can share”

 OR

 “Beth & John support marriage equality, and they look forward to the day when marriage is a human right which any consenting couple in love can share.”

 OR

 “Beth and John have requested that I read out a short statement of their own.They believe that any two people should be able to make the commitment to stand up and publicly declare their love in front of their friends and family. The ability to do this should be legally recognised by the state, as a responsibility, a privilege, and as a basic human right.Beth and John believe that this right should be available to all couples, and hope that one day soon this will change for the better.”

 

I look forward to the day that we no longer have to ‘add’ to the Monitum. 

Love is all there is.

My eyes leak... and I'm not ashamed to admit it!

I seem to get dust in my eyes at the end of watching Undercover boss.   Somehow I must have been cutting onions when Gordon Ramsay saves another Hotel Hell.   And then there is the continual eye leak that seems to happen whenever I hear Somewhere over the Rainbow - even when it's sung by Kermit the Frog!

Love is beautiful - actually, that doesn't even come close to describing it.   And I make no apologies for getting caught up in experiencing a moment that is  amazing, that I can't even begin to capture it in words.  

I'm not, and I will never be - a 'robotic' celebrant.  I just can't even fathom being a part of a wedding - where two people are expressing their enduring love for each other - and not being affected by it.   THAT doesn't mean, I'm a blubbering mess... I'm still the absolute professional.  

I've learnt to take my own advice -  I tell my couples,   when it becomes a tad overwhelming - take a deep breath - and soak in all the love that is around.   A moment's pause may feel like a lifetime,  however it reinforces that these special moments will last forever.

Original Art of a Reprint?

When I paint (a passion of mine) - I draw inspiration from Everywhere... My surroundings, the people in my life, other artworks and artists... It all goes into a giant melting pot and out comes a unique painting that more often than not - is nothing like what I originally thought it would be, however is somehow exactly right for what it has become!

The ceremonies I create with couples are the same. They have ideas, I have ideas, I have the opportunity to discover more about their lives and their love... And then organically we end up creating something pretty magical.

I can't do cookie-cutter ceremonies. I happily can draw from past ceremonies, and from materials that the intending couple love... However each ceremony will always be a specialized piece of art, and hopefully in the eyes of the couple - a masterpiece!

(PS.  The pic is a few years ago,  back when I had some longer locks!)  Sabine Albers Photography

An oldie but a goodie...

Deciding who your witnesses are for your marriage certificate can be quite a big decision for some couples (and for others - they're happy with 2 randoms off the street... but I digress!).  

Most people just automatically choose their chief bridesmaid & best man... however - it's not mandatory,  and it may be a delightful opportunity to include some important people from your life, who unfortunately don't always have a large role in your big day.

Have you considered your Grandparents!!!  How lovely would it be to have someone so dear to your heart, who has been there from day 1,  to give their official seal of approval on your wedding, by being witness to your marriage.

Bonus points - most grandparents have incredibly neat penmanship & signatures that look beautiful on your certificate! 

Did He Really Just Say That?

Your wedding is about YOU.  The two of YOU coming together to celebrate YOUR love.

You have chosen your outfits, the venue, the people attending (well, as much as you can without causing world war 3 in the family),  every tiny detail comes down to YOUR personal choice.

So then when it comes to the ceremony… why should it be any different?

The ceremony is a celebration – and how YOU approach it, should be, and can be as unique as you are.

 

There are words that are legally required by an authorised marriage celebrant in a wedding – and it’s probably not as many as you think.

I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

 And there are a few words that the bride and groom must say:

“I call upon the people here present to witness that I, AB/CD, take you, CD/AB, to be my lawful wedded wife/husband.”

 And even then, there are few words that are allowed to be changed in the monitum and vows.

 

So… outside of that you have incredible freedom to create your own wedding ceremony.  Tradition has it’s place – but you are not bound to it.  Fairytale recreations are possible – but they’re not mandatory. 

Sit down with your partner and celebrant,  and create a ceremony that truly is special to you.

PS.  I think ‘that’ celebrant really should be me :-)

Why I became a Celebrant

I fell in love… (cue tears in my eyes... but luckily you can’t see that!)   When you find that one, it moves, it rocks you to places that you’ve probably never experienced before.

I was having lunch by myself, when I decided to marry the love of my life.   And whilst there, I saw this couple getting married, and I sat there in awe, just thinking how beautiful and lovely it was.   And I watched the celebrant… and I thought how amazing to be THAT person, bringing THAT couple together in the understanding of what love is about… and at that point, two years ago, decided this is the job for me, this is what I’m going to do.