It’s still a Wonderful Life

Wow – what just happened?  The entire world paused for a few months!    How did you manage isolation?  Lots of people I know, do not want it to end – they are enjoying too many aspects of this ‘new’ life. I know we are still …not there yet, but perhaps we are adapting a little better.

I do, however, acknowledge the loss of lives and the many people who have been unwell   – and my heart and love reach those families.

So…. working from home has meant: less travel – less pollution – more productive family/relationship time – not getting out of bed quite so early – forgetting what it is like to wear shoes! And the list goes on.

And, although we look forward to when things can slip back into gear,  the social calendar has not been quite so full – no pubs or clubs open – no restaurants open for dinner – no cinemas.

                                                     As a Celebrant – this is how I survived\thrived:

I am so lucky to live close to many nature walks – I only need to go out my back door – I do love the Dandenong Ranges!

I did enjoy conducting some small weddings – no more than five people. Those weddings were especially intimate and so filled with love – but like you, I am now looking forward to the larger weddings.

Have you been one of those couples who have had to postpone? My heart and thoughts go out to you – because I know the story from so many of my already booked couples – this has not been a good time.

But – I am always the glass half full person – so it may have given you more time to consider different aspects you wish to include in your wedding. You may have had more time to save more money for your honeymoon – even though it might still need to be in Australia – we have some beautiful places here. You might have had time to reconsider your guest list. More people – fewer people?

How has this lock downtime affected the relationship you have with that amazing person you are going to marry? Has it strengthened or stretched? These have been interesting times – and I am not sure I know any person, who has not had a challenging moment/day/week with those they love. This is all part of a solid strong and ever-evolving relationship – if you come through it, you are stronger. I also know there have been some who have had deeper clarity – and have realised, the person they were about to marry was not the right person for them – or they the right person for their partner. This can be devastating – but it is so much better to receive that clarity now, rather than the heartbreak further down the years. From all adversity and challenge we learn and discover new strengths and resilience.

Finding out about ourselves, and the person we are about to marry can be very illuminating – and during these last few months, we may have discovered things about ourselves that we did not know. We may have also found out things about our partner we did not know. Relationships are continually changing and growing, but what we have just experienced – and continue to in many respects – may have highlighted this even more.

If you have enjoyed getting to know each other more and want to take it to a deeper level -please consider booking two sessions for “Relationship Strengthening”. I offer this service as part of Soulful Ceremonies. Whilst this IS NOT counselling – I do have a Social Work/Counselling background which enables me to facilitate these sessions. Check it out on my website https://soulfulceremonies.com.au/pre-marriage-education/

Relationship Strengthening is designed to educate couples about themselves and each other – a tool to facilitate a happy and solid marriage. It has 2 sessions – 1½hours each, offered day and evening. I am now also offering this on ZOOM if you prefer not to travel up to Upper Ferntree Gully – but who would not want to travel up to this little slice of paradise? This is a great opportunity to get to know yourself more deeply and understand aspects of your partner you may not know.

Call me now – 0474 128 869 to book your first session.

I would love to hear how creative you have been with your entertainment during these lockdown weeks. I have heard some great stories about adventures people have had within the confines of their own home.

I put together a list of ideas – we still can not resume our normal entertainment just yet – so here are some ideas to stop the boredom or routine.  Here is the link. ENJOY.

FUN AND EASY IDEAS FOR A DATE NIGHT AT HOME –

What do Celebrant’s Do?

SCHearts

 

Hey there – welcome to number two Blog for Soulful Ceremonies.

I love Mondays!!

During my (other) working life I didn’t think I would ever say that! But as a Celebrant – I just love Mondays.
It is the day I finish all the final details to the Wedding/s I have officiated during the weekend – and press the submit button. Yes – we are all online now, so all the details of the couples I work with are entered into the Births Deaths & Marriages (BDM) – Celebrants Section, Web Page. And for the Couples who want it (and who wouldn’t – it’s included in my fee) I also order their Official Marriage Certificate.
It takes the BDM up to 4 weeks to register
the marriage and send out the Certificates
                                                                      – straight to the couple’s house.

So once that’s all completed – I sort through all the photo’s that I have snapped along the day of the wedding – and ones others have sent me – kind of reliving the moment, and highlighting what shots will be fantastic for Soulful Ceremonies future use.
The next step is my favourite – I sit quietly and do my serious planning for the coming week. This usuallycomes after my morning meditation – great space to let go of last week – and anticipate the coming week. This may sound a little kitsch – but it is always exciting – knowing what I have planned –

but also anticipating the unknown.
I have no idea who might contact me
during the week – with so many different requests.

I start my planning with the most ‘urgent’ tasks – this might be completing the first draft of a future Ceremony – so the couple can read through – ask any questions or suggest any changes. I keep telling people who are planning their wedding – that it’s their day and their way. It has very little to do with what I like – this is all about crafting the right ceremony for the right people – and every one is unique.
I always ask the couples who choose me as their Celebrant:
“how would you like your guests
to describe your wedding ceremony
after the day?”
And nearly everyone answers that differently – but it provides a goal for me – and I work toward that.
Responding to all my emails and FB and Insta comments is high on the agenda too. I always attempt to respond to any requests or interests, as quickly as I’m able. All the people ‘out there’ who contact me for the first time – need to know I am responsive and reliable
 I have never let anyone down – hope I never do.
I might have several appointments during the week – and all the other office-based work – fits in around my appointments. A typical week might include:
Meeting with a couple for the first time – checking out if we are a good fit to proceed with their wedding plans. I present them with a Folder which holds a lot of information – they get to keep this
Meeting up with couples to sight their ID and complete their Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) – this can be done up to 18 months before their wedding – but no later than one month before
Meeting with a couple to discuss the Outline for their Ceremony – and if they want particular themes throughout their wedding (I once officiated at a wedding of two scout leaders – who both loved Lego – that was specially themed!). The couple then decide  if they want particular readings or rituals and how it   will fit in with exactly what they have planned
Meeting with a couple for a Wedding Rehearsal. Often this is at the Venue where they will get married – but it can also be at home/ in the park or any space available. We get to practice the timing for the bride walking in – and where to stand etc. We practice what it might be like to say the vows to each other (I have a little pretend vow sheet which helps couples to read, and then look into the eyes of their lover). Consider any environmental challenges such as steps, paths etc and work out how to navigate them
Meeting with a couple to sign the Declaration of No Legal Impediment. This document must be signed as close to the Wedding as possible, but preferably not on the Wedding Day – many more important things to focus on, rather than signing a form before getting married.
It depends on how many meetings I have for the week ahead, as well as how many hours travel is involved, as to what time I allocate to all the remaining important tasks.
And next Blog – I’ll tell you about all the other things I get to do.

Why Did I Become a Celebrant?

SCHearts

Welcome to Soulful Ceremonies First Blog

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy creating them.

When I speak with friends and others in the community there appears to be a belief that Celebrants only have a job on Saturdays – to stand in front of a number of guests, with the Bride and Groom, and officiate a 20 minute ceremony – then go home. Easy gig, right?  Well – if that’s all it is, I don’t think I would love it as much as I do.

Many years ago, when I first had the thought of becoming a Celebrant, I also thought much the same thing. In fact, what stopped me proceeding at that time, was the fact I still had a young child, and I didn’t want to be working at my ‘real’ job Monday to Friday, then take up a Saturday job!  Little did I know what “being a Celebrant” involved.

As time went on – my life changed – my youngest child grew up – I was still working full time, but I still had a strong desire to be the person that people would choose to make their love story come true and officiate at their wedding.

Ten years ago, I was finally accepted by the Attorney’s General Dept as Registered Civil Celebrant – PHEW!

The complete journey was not exactly a romp in the park – it had lots of research, study, videos, and assignments, taking a large chunk out of my busy week. Unfortunately – or fortunately – depending which day I look at it – I also became a Senior Manager within a Palliative Care Service the very same month. Naively – I thought perhaps I could do both!  How mistaken was I!

There were some very ‘stand out in my memory’ weddings I did officiate at in those early years, for some very special friends that I will remember forever – but really, I realised then, just how much time it took to prepare for each wedding. The job I had at the time, left little room for what was required to set up and run my own business as a Celebrant.

One day I realised I really wanted to be a full-time Celebrant – so I left my paid job!

The process was not quite that simple or straight-forward. I find life offers us many choices – and unless we are in a position where we truly trust that we are doing is the right thing – we will always find barriers that prevent us from moving forward. Whilst I loved the field I was working in – I also knew I needed to fully commit to being available to my business ‘Soulful Ceremonies’– if I was going to succeed as a Celebrant. When I opened myself up to that and trusted my decision-making – I became a full-time successful Celebrant!

I can honestly say – I have never regretted that decision – apart from the initial financial uncertainty – but I always trust the Universe to lead me in the right direction – and it hasn’t let me down yet!

Once I am closely involved with the beautiful couples who want to plan for their amazing ceremony to commence their married life together,

I become so immersed with the privilege of helping them to create their ‘love story come true’ day.

Keep posted – and I will fully explain what I actually “do” as a Celebrant in my next Blog.