Flicking through the pages I could tell her a story about each couple I had married — the memories were as fond as they were fast.
“This is more than a book of records. This is a book of 100 wedding stories,” I told her.
“You should write them down,” she suggested.
I shrugged it off as a nice idea, but the suggestion has never left the back of my mind… So, one year later, here I begin.
In the interests of privacy, the couples shall remain nameless (but hopefully you will know who you are)…
Also, thank you to the 100 couples who have touched my life in such a beautiful way. It’s an honour and a privilege to have been your Marriage Celebrant.
1. J&G: My first wedding ever! They wanted a surprise wedding, (something low-key), in their back yard. Low key? Everywhere I looked people were hanging over fences, standing on tables, chairs and bins, crawling through legs for a better view. Hilarious. Also, as I arrived early, and in order to maintain the surprise element, the groom introduced me as … “the stripper.” That certainly melted the ice (but did nothing for my nerves, ha ha).
2. K&H: Their dog was the ring-bearer and did a perfect job! I still see this bride around town, five years on, and I can still see her as she was on her wedding day — sparkly-eyed, happy and utterly gorgeous.
3. A&A: The groom’s parents flew from Italy for this beachside wedding, and Mama never left her son’s side for the entire ceremony. She even clung to him a couple of times. Classic. I learned how to pronounce the couple “Husband and wife” in Italian for the parents’ sake. (It’s marito e moglie, for the record.)
4. M&A: This couple eloped to Margaret River, and married on the deck of their hotel room with the neighbours looking on as witnesses. I thought I was going to have my first “backing out” when the bride was having second thoughts (and some regrets) about her mother not being there. She went ahead with it though, and I took photos on her phone to send to her Mum instead. The bride must have been happy, because she has been referring other brides to me since!
5. S&J: Wooooowwwwwww, what an AMAZING wedding this was, on the banks of the Pentecost River in the The Kimberley. The couple put my husband and me up in a beautiful room at the Home Valley Station, which, along with the rest of our week in the Kimberley, was something I’ll never forget. Pure magic.
6: A&S: This couple were absolutely stoked to be married on the deck of their accommodation (River’esque) in Margaret River, while my husband took the photos and the chalet owner acted as witness. Still being new to Celebrancy, I cried throughout — mainly from the sheer honour of being allowed to officiate such an intimate, life-turning moment, but also because I could see how clearly happy the couple were.
7. I&K: My first experience with the “shortening of time” requirements by the BDM department. The couple had decided to turn their engagement party into their wedding instead, but that was just two weeks away. (The Attorney General requires one calendar month notice.) There are five categories of circumstances whereby a “shortening of time” may be granted. These are:
- Employment related or other travel commitments,
- Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations,
- Medical reasons,
- Legal proceedings,
- Error in giving notice.
Despite the couple’s application falling into “celebration arrangements”, they were not granted a shortening of time, and so I presented a commitment ceremony instead. Two weeks later, the couple overnighted in Busselton, where I united them legally in the foyer of their hotel.
8. P&L: This time I really did cry… a lot. Catching a glimpse of the looks passing between the couple, I let go of a big sob during a reading. Jealous of what they were sharing? Overwhelmed with having such a pivotal role in a moment that will affect the rest of their lives? I don’t know. I just know their was a big surge of emotion that bubbled up inside me and I tripped over what I was reading. (Lucky for me, the family loved it!) Nevertheless, it was off to “emotion control” class after that!
9. J&M: The Bunbury City Council had double-booked the location of this wedding — the park backed onto two street frontages so one booking was made at each address. Fortunately both couples had their rehearsals booked at the same time so we discovered the blooper with 24 hours to spare. It was a bit of a Mexican stand-off as to which couple would get the water-front section, but my couple won!
10. D&K: Instead of a relaxed rehearsal, this couple had a “full dress rehearsal”. The bride’s mother couldn’t travel down south, so for her benefit, immediate family gathered by the beach in Perth for a commitment ceremony. Afterwards, I was chatting to Tim Minchin (who happened to be nearby), and he said, “That bride is HOT. Love her dress!” I passed this onto the bride later, who said, “Tim who?” Ha ha ha ha. Bad luck Tim!
11. R&P: This couple travelled from New Zealand to marry on the beach an hour before sunset. It was boiling hot and the flies were mad, but the bride was late enough that the sun went down and the flies went away. It became a twilight wedding instead, which was just as beautiful and a wee bit more comfortable for the guests.
12. N&J: I was super grateful for the shade at Shelley Cove when the bride (through no fault of her own), ran an hour late. Having no phone reception, I had no way of knowing when she would arrive, and indeed, if she ever would! Then I looked up and saw a single dragonfly flit to the top of the aisle, fly dead straight along it to the groom, then take off. Something made me say, “She’s coming!” Sure enough, she appeared within the minute. By a crazy coincidence, the limousine she had travelled in was fully decked out with dragonflies — decals, stickers, toys — that do-do-do-do-do-do coincidence has stayed with me!
13. T&K: The bride gave the groom a watch instead of a ring. For the first time I started really relaxing into a “free-form” ceremony, having been asked to tell a funny story of how they met. It was a good experience to be able to “channel” the words rather than read from the script.
14. G&S: What is it with me and late brides? For the third time in three weeks I had a bride run an hour late. This taught me to grab the driver details of every bride since, so that at least I can contact someone to find out what’s happening. It’s not fun watching the groomsmen tell the same “She’s not coming mate” jokes over and over again, while the groom gets paler and sweatier and more worried. Anyway, she did eventually arrive, and the ceremony went off beautifully.
15. C&M: “You are invited to a Valentines Day soiree,” the invitation read. It was from a dear friend, so my husband was excited to be going. Turns out he was the only one in the room who didn’t guess that it was really a surprise wedding. Even after carrying my “wedding bag” for me and everything, he still didn’t click! Classic!!
16. I&F: After the ceremony the bridal party walked to the end of the jetty to sign the Register. I honestly though I was going to fall in when my heel got caught in the cracks! I learned from that to never wear heels where there was decking or jetties involved.
17. I&K: I travelled to Manly, NSW for the marriage of my dear friend and his beautiful bride. It was a truly stunning location overlooking the Sydney Harbour and Heads. It was my first time marrying a guy friend — someone I’d known for years — so it felt quite surreal facilitating this major turning point in his life. I was a bit scared I’d stuff it up (being so close to him and all), but fortunately the “Celebration” vibe took over and I had a great time.
18. A&C: He wore a Cambodian police officer’s uniform, she wore a tiger-print flowing dress. I doubled as photographer once the elopement was complete! True adventurers…
19. R&C: A mature couple marrying on the beach, surrounded by naught but his adult children. They elected to have no readings, and to make the ceremony simply about the vows. It was very short, but I loved it — there was no “fluff” to distract them from the point of the ceremony — to exchange legal vows to become husband and wife! I’ve not been afraid to support such a decision by other couples since.
20. J&J: Discovered a new beach near Margaret River thanks to this couple. I visited it a couple of years later after the Margaret River bushfires — the spot where they married was still pristine but the surrounding area was blackened.
21. T&T: Never have I seen a bride sob so much during the ceremony! It was good that I’d had training in how to manage such high emotion… At a suitable moment, I simply passed her a tissue, helped her take some deep breaths, and she was golden after that. Just adorable.
22. P&L: Didn’t pay the balance of their invoice. (What a sad legacy!)
23. B&M: The bride was 5 months pregnant, but not “showing”. Baby, however, decided to “pop” that morning. Getting the dress on was quite the struggle for this poor bride. Nevertheless, she looked gorgeous, and everything else when to plan.
24. K&T: Held in a park near their home, the bride chose this spot because it was where she had walked every day while pregnant with their daughter. When the time came to say their vows, however, she declined the microphone and instead whispered her vows to her groom. Fortunately the witnesses were close enough to hear!
25. B&L: Their original Celebrant had to pull out of this ceremony, so the task was passed to me. As the paperwork was already done, and the ceremony already written, the first time I’d met the couple was 15 minutes prior to the most important moment of their lives to date! They were very gracious, and it was a nice initiation into officiating a ceremony without prior knowledge of the couple.
26. P&M: The couple asked me for a copy of the ceremony beforehand, which I was happy to oblige. When I turned up to the ceremony on the day, I discovered every guest had a copy of the ceremony — word for word. It didn’t bother me, but I did learn that if you give guests something to look at, they’ll look at it instead of at what’s really going on. All heads were down, reading along with me, rather than looking at the couple!
27. J&S: The groom had a surname I couldn’t pronounce. It taught me to write phonetic tips in the ceremony booklet!
28. L&R: Another wedding at a holiday rental in Cowaramup. As the guests were enjoying stunning views of the ocean, my husband surprised them all by flying overhead in his little 2-seater plane.
29. A&S: The windiest wedding I’d experienced to date! Everyone was very patient with the conditions and smiled throughout. It actually complimented the bride’s hair and dress beautifully, and her photos all look like glamour shots!
30. A&J: This couple married on a charter boat in the Fremantle harbour, so I got to write “coordinates” (instead of a location) in my Register for the first time.
31. P&A: Doves, coloured sand and six kids… This couple made sure their ceremony would be one to remember! I was invited to their reception afterwards, which (rarely), I accepted.
32. S&J: The groom “called” to his bride on his American Indian flute, and she entered by responding on hers. They played a shivers-up-the-spine “courting” duet while she approached, before standing by her man on a bed of frangipani petals.
33. A&A: My first wedding under a rising moon on Meelup Beach. Sighhhhh. So protected and civilised compared to the beaches facing the western seaboard! I learned a Zimbabwean word as the groom’s request, to include in the ceremony. He wouldn’t tell me what it means, but I like to think it is “beloved”… Monwadivé.
34: J&A: To be honest, I was initially a little intimidated by this “glamour couple”, but I soon realised I had nothing to worry about. They were gorgeous inside and out, completely authentic, and it was an absolute joy to present their ceremony on their family’s property in Gracetown. (I went on to marry the bride’s sister and two cousins down the track — I am beginning to feel like part of the family, ha ha.)
35. A&R: Married in the rose garden at Voyager Estate, the couple wanted to impress their English relations — impress them they did! The groom laughed-out-loud after overhearing my discreet comment to the best man (who was complaining about having to witness three documents) to, “Toughen up princess!” It was pretty funny…
36. D&D: I kind of lost it watching the bride walk down the aisle to her groom, probably the manly groom had no shame in showing the tears in his eyes. So sweet! This was the first time I offered my tailor-written closing blessing, whereby the couple sends me three things they love about each other, and I weave them into a blessing to send them on their way. I liked it!
37. J&S: Got to conduct a wedding at a Western Australian wedding icon venue: Caversham House, in Perth. Loved that the venue supplied the mic, a stand, the amp, and I barely had to carry anything to site apart from my Register. Totally professional. Noted!
38. C&S: I had at least three guests come to me after the ceremony complaining about the photographer. Of course the couple’s choice of photographer is out of my hands, but I did try and smooth the waters by explaining he’s getting paid to “get the shot,” (even if this did mean sticking his bum in the mother-of-the-bride’s face)…
39. D&S: Another “surprise wedding” disguised as an engagement party. I announced to the guests that I would be their MC for the evening and asked them to gather around the dancefloor. Then the groom and his men filed in and the penny almost dropped. I thought about introducing them as the next act (“You Can Leave Your Hat On” from the movie Full Monty), but instead said, “I’m not the emcee, I’m an MC — a Marriage Celebrant!” and an almighty roar drowned out the rest as the bride appeared …
40. R&W: A second wedding for these two — to each other!
41. A&A: I realised how unfit I was climbing to the top of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse to conduct this ceremony 40m above the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Absolutely worth every single step.
42. C&M: My first wedding at Castle Rock. Wow, I’d found a beach even more beautiful than Meelup!
43. B&M: I’m thinking I’m loving winery weddings more than beach weddings now, after marrying this couple in the grounds of Rivendell. No wind, less heat, more shade… Anyway, for our initial interview, I met this couple in their home in Perth, and their cat was so cute it convinced me to get one of my own…
44. D&C: The marriage created a blended family, and for the first time I tailor-wrote a “promise to the children”. Where possible the kids were involved in the ceremony, which was cute — especially when the eldest boy (acting as ring-bearer) dropped the rings!
45. J&A: The couple were moving interstate following their nuptials, so I adopted their rabbit!
46. K&H: The bride rang me in tears… Actually I wrote about her story in my book, Princess For a Day, Goddess For Life, as a lesson about accepting “serendipity” as a tactic for beating the post-wedding blues. Here is the excerpt…
Believe in Serendipity
One of my brides called me in tears the day before her wedding.
“Our accommodation was double-booked, and we’ve been packed off to an awful beach shack with nothing but a two-burner camp stove for a kitchen!” she sobbed.
The next morning she called to say, “Our florist has lost our order, and I woke up at 4am in a sopping wet bed thanks to my three year old son! Can my wedding day get any worse?”
Oh yes, it could… The ceremony started beautifully, with lovely personal words from the two witnesses present. Just before I was about to launch into the legal component, however, one of the witness’ children declared her urgent need to go to the toilet. “Not just ones, daddy! Twos!”
The bride looked at me with a stunned expression, then burst into loud peals of laughter. “Why was I so fixed on having a perfect wedding day? This is perfect! I couldn’t have scripted a better wedding if I tried!”
What happened to this bride was a release of expectations and a surrender to serendipity.
Serendipity is a pretty word describing a fortunate accident. At the time each thing that went wrong felt like a disaster, but in retrospect the bride was able to see the happiness that came out of each setback.
The beach shack meant she didn’t have to worry about kids with sandy feet making the place dirty; the dismal kitchen facilities meant they went out for dinner and found their new favourite restaurant; the florist was so apologetic she gifted the flowers; the early-morning wake-up gave her extra time to walk on the beach and calm her nerves; and the child’s announcement gave her the opportunity to laugh, release her stress, and reconnect with her groom through laughter. They ended up holding on to each other (more like holding each other up), and saying their vows through tears of joy.
47. K&A: Woo hooo, a naturopath meets a scaffolder and two worlds collide. Totally beautiful watching the dynamics between these two. As a gesture to his new step-daughter, K offered her a necklace. She refused to accept it, which (fortunately) made everyone laugh (good-naturedly).
48. M&N: I take back what I said about western-seaboard facing beaches. Bunker Bay is gorgeous. Having met in the kitchens on a mine site years before, food was a focal point of this culinary couple. They chose the “tasting of the herbs” as an additional symbolic ritual in their ceremony, which worked a treat.
49. J&T: High school sweethearts who had gone their separate ways, only to reunite 20-or-so years later. This was my 4th wedding of the day… It had been a day of high concentration, remembering all the names of all the couples. I got through the entire day perfectly, until the very last line of this very last ceremony… I must have let my guard down, because I introduced them to their witnesses (the retreat owner and receptionist) as Mr and Mrs (Bride’s name). Oh no! I quickly corrected my mistake, but the couple were looking at each other so gooey-eyed they didn’t notice. Phew!
50. N&C: The bride completely and utterly lost her voice! I let her off saying her vows into the microphone — apart from the legal line that must be witnessed, so she bravely squeaked her way through the words, “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I C, take you N, to be my lawful husband”. (Smiling all the way!)
51. S&U: I never appreciated the value of a good wedding stylist until I arrived at this venue. The attention to detail — paper lanterns in the trees, flower arrangements along the aisle, parasols for the guests — took my breath away. (By the way, there are a few stylists down south that, in my experience, are consistently wonderful: Chic Rustique, Cape of Love, and Ferguson Valley Events.)
52. G&K: Wow, I didn’t recognise the groom when I arrived for this ceremony — he’d shaved his head. Turns out in the time between our first meeting and now, he’d been fighting cancer, and just days before had received the good news he was in the clear. So it was a day of double celebration!
53. N&E: In the wake of the Margaret River bushfires, this couple went ahead with their Gnarabup beach wedding, despite the blackened landscape. It was eerily beautiful, nonetheless. During the ceremony a chunk of ash blew into my eye. The “show must go on”, you know, so I carried on, even though the ash was causing my eye to weep. Turns out no-one was any the wiser I was fighting a little battle with the ash… Afterwards, several guests commented on how much I must love my job if I could cry with such happiness!
54. R&J: Rather than go to the end of Meelup Beach where most couples end up, this couple married on the lawn at the western end. Clever duckies! Even the sunbathers cooperated and moved their towels so they wouldn’t end up photo-bombing the ceremony.
55. P&A: This couple were about “celebrating” from the word GO! Their friend sang them into the crowded loungeroom of a converted Fremantle warehouse, whereupon they stood on the coffee table and exchanged their vows. A few weeks later I was interviewing another couple in a cafe in Cowaramup, when P&A happened to be walking past. They ran straight past me to the couple sitting next to me. “You have got the BEST CELEBRANT EVER! Anita is awesome!” I think I’m still blushing…
56. G&J: Eloping from England, the couple left it to me to organise a location, a photographer and witnesses. I even threw in a flower-girl for good measure (my daughter, armed with rose petals from our garden). My husband acted as witness and gifted them 2 champagne flutes afterwards. Some 18 months later, the couple emailed me a photo of them back in England, sharing a toast (with the same glasses) and showing off their brand new bubba. Awwww be still my beating heart!
57. J&C: With just a smattering of guests, this couple exchanged their “I do”s by a lake just south of Margaret River. Three hours later I ran into them in the camera shop getting their photos developed!
58. A&K: My last official “Perth” wedding, on the bank of the Swan River at the Matilda Bay Reserve. A beautiful setting for a beautiful couple. I asked my husband to take a couple of photos for my memory box, but his inner-Paparazzi decided to take a run. I had to tell him to stop photo-bombing the couple’s official photos!
59. G&M: During the Margaret River bushfires, this groom ran the road block to get back to his house to rescue his wedding paperwork and passports. He really wanted this wedding to take place! To keep things simple during the ceremony, they decided not to bring a table to sign the Register on… I made the best man get down on all fours and we used him as a table instead.
60. L&A: Married at the “place of love” (Yallingup), the groom lined the aisle with the same white pebbles he’d used to spell out his proposal the year before. Very sweet.
61. C&L: I think this is the first couple I married who are parents to the same child. Until now, where kids were involved in the ceremony they were creating a blended family. This time, I was marrying the girl’s biological Mum and Dad. Look at the stats… One in 60 weddings is uniting a 100% biologically related family!
62. K&B: Their “real” wedding was in Thailand months before, but it bothered them that it was not legally recognised in Australia. So, a wedding re-enactment it was, this time with legal vows thrown in. Even though the families had “seen it before”, there were still tears of joy a-plenty.
63. A&C: My first wedding at Leeuwin Estate, yay! The bride arrived in an open vintage Jag, and waved like the Queen. So funny! It was the first time I heard someone else read my original blessing “Right Now, Right Here”, and it sounded pretty good! After the ceremony, one of the bridesmaids booked me for her wedding, so I must have done an OK job!
64. W&N: Normally I stand to the side while presenting a ceremony, but this couple wanted me standing in the middle (in the more traditional spot). I had to concentrate really hard on *not* doing “talky face”, which seemed to work — afterwards the bride thanked me for smiling so much! (It stopped her being nervous seeing a happy face LOL).
65. J&T: Noooooo! Equipment failure! My amp just died mid ceremony. I wanted to toss it into the lake, but instead I inflated my lungs and pulled out my “teacher voice” so the ceremony could be heard. She included in her vows that she would only obey while he was wearing his kilt. (Luckily he didn’t begin ordering her around there and then, considering he was wearing his kilt!)
66. D&L: The groom offered me $1 million for my “lucky umbrella”. It was pouring rain most of the day, until I pulled up to the venue and sat with my lucky umbrella in my hand. Like clockwork, it stopped raining, the clouds parted, and within 5 minutes it was sunny.
67. M&C: She wore a dress that he chose — white with blue trim. I also included some elemental and Pagan themes in this wedding, including calling in the directions, and conducting a hand-fasting. I remember we had to keep it a bit subtle so as to not confuse the “oldies”.
68. D&T: I married them halfway between home and Perth, in a casual ceremony in the park. He seemed super pleased with his “instant family” giving his new step-daughter a cuddle most of the way through.
69. D&P: “Cue the dolphins!” I joked, before a pod of dolphins swum past seconds later. Yes, I claimed that bit of magic LOL.
70. B&L: The bride wore a scarlet red cape, and totally rocked it. Despite being the middle of winter, the day was glorious in the gardens of Caves House. They had golden balloons in the shape of their initials that kept misbehaving.
71. T&S: I climbed to the top of Canal Rocks for this couple and their two witnesses. Coincidentally, my husband was on a joy flight at that time, and took a photo as he flew overhead. (Another coincidence, this couple just contracted my husband’s building company not realising the connection!)
72. M&C: Another elopement on the bank of the Margaret River. She wore a fairy dress and climbed trees; he wore a top hat and encouraged her! They then had their photo shoot at the Margaret River Heartland with one of my favourite wedding photographers, Russell Ord.
73. A&T: I’d known this bride for 15 years or so — had been through her ups and downs, her wins and losses, and count myself blessed to have her as a friend — so I forgive myself for crying during her ceremony!
74. A&S: A weekend wedding of epic proportions. Caravans, tents, trailers and swags everywhere… Bunting in the trees, hay bales for seats, fairy lights across the dance floor… This couple wanted the fairytale wedding, and they got it!
75. M&E: From a wild weekend of celebration, to a sophisticated, elegant gathering of lawyers. That’s how I roll baby! Again, the lucky umbrella came in handy to stave off the rain, but there was nothing we could do about the wind. The flautist needed bodyguards to keep her music on her stand!
76. S&E: My services were only required to ensure the marriage was valid. The rest of the ceremony was conducted by their actor friend. I loved being a part of the “audience”! The groom’s family is from a Catholic background, so the ceremony was a delightful eclectic blend of modern traditions and age-old prayers.
77. M&K: I hope the bride didn’t mind me calling her groom “HOT!”, but he was wearing a kilt, and he did look hot! Anyway, they needed some laughter to lighten the mood — they’d been rained out of their preferred venue and had resorted to squeezing into the restaurant where they were having their reception. Once the ice had been broken, everyone relaxed and the attention was reverted to “celebration”.
78. M&M: The only witnesses were their closest family members. I remember the mother asking me (mid-ceremony) if I’d mind moving because I was in the way of the video camera. That got everyone laughing — “Mum, just move the camera!”
79. L&F: The weather was a big dodgy, which unfortunately affected my amp. Water damage caused it to cut out halfway through the ceremony, so once again, it was “teacher voice” so everyone could hear. I liked how the bridesmaids and groomsmen positioned themselves — in a cluster to the side, with the couple’s children. Afterwards, I got into my car and drove straight to the Elton John concert in Perth, making it with minutes to spare to hear his first song.
80. B&S: Not only was the bride an hour late, but the guests were 45 minutes late! It was one of the funniest moments I’ve experienced in a wedding, when the guitarist began his “aisle song”… AT LAST (Etta James). Cracked everyone up.
81. B&E: After working a few weddings now with Russell Ord, this time he remembered my name. I’m in! LOL. Anyway, this couple didn’t choose me as their Celebrant initially — somehow I got the privilege, and I’m sure glad I did. It took a little longer than usual to warm to me, but I could feel their trust during the ceremony and that was good for me.
82. R&A: There was a guest who looked like Cate Blanchett and I started to get wobbly knees. Celebrities visit the south-west all the time, incognito. Right? What if it was really her? I’m in the presence of royalty! Turns out it was the bride’s cousin and I’d known the girl for years — she manages my favourite restaurant in Bunbury!
83. K&T: Another elopement, this time on the cliff tops of Gracetown. The photographer told the witnesses to hop in the car to make sure they kept out of his photos. I had to go get them out again — the point of being a witness is to witness the wedding! Hilarious.
84. R&M: A highly elegant affair, the guests were dressed to the nines. The bridal party were beautiful, the groom stately, the bride breathtaking. I’m glad everyone laughed when he veil flew off while she was signing the Register.
85. J&L: Balloons instead of bouquets, and a bouncy castle for the adults. The inner children were getting unleashed for this wedding!
86. S&D: The bride’s shoes stole the show! Big, black and high, and the totally pulled off the look.
87. D&J: “D and the woman formerly known as Prince!” That’s how I got to introduce this newly married couple.
88. C&S: The groom wore a fishing fly as his boutonniere, hand-crafted by the bride. The bride’s daughter was in the wedding party, sporting elfin hair following her “World’s Greatest Shave” fund-raising effort. The bride’s make-up artist was really familiar — so familiar it was bugging me — until I realised she was my pilates teacher and I hadn’t been to class in so long I’d forgotten her face! Anyway, I also remember the bride being so beautiful (inside and out) that it took my breath away watching her walk to her groom.
89. A&N: Another blended family, married in front of an ancient tree at the corner of a cross-road — symbolic of all their lives’ paths meeting at this point. The couple gave each of their children a necklace to symbolise their unity, which the children were delighted to receive.
90. A&S: Instead of the bride walking from behind the guests and down the aisle, this bride walked towards them all. It was actually a really lovely break from tradition! I was so pleased to be involved in this union — they had been through such ups and downs in their life, and this day was a celebration they deserved.
91. B&F: Turns out the groom drives past my house every day on his way to work. He hardly smiled during the ceremony, which worried me until his parents told me (afterwards) that was normal!
92. S&B: The groomsmen were kept busy sweeping the kangaroo poo away from the aisle even minutes before the ceremony was due to begin!
93. T&S: While the couple were signing the Register, I noticed a group of men getting undressed behind a nearby tree. Turns out they were his colleagues, and were changing into their chef uniforms to raise their knives and form an avenue of honour. Very, very cool.
94. N&S: We rehearsed this beach wedding the day before, at the same time as the ceremony was scheduled. Everything went smoothly. On the day, though, we turned up to discover we only had half the beach as we’d had the day before. Never mind, let’s just be happy! Instead of guests standing six or seven deep, they stood 20-30 wide, and everything was coolio! And instead of the couple walking “back down the aisle”, they headed straight to the reception area where everyone lined up to congratulate them there. After the ceremony a couple approached me with smiles on their faces. It was A&K — couple #58! A joked that I need to get new material, ha ha… Jokes aside, I did!
95. J&L: The groom and his brother were absolute doppelgängers — I suggested as a joke we should put the brother up front and see if the bride noticed. J assured me she would. The friend assigned to play music rocked up with two iPods — both with flat batteries. I sent her straight to my car to charge one with my car-charger until the bride arrived. (Problem-solving at its best!) She charged it just enough to ensure the couple got their three songs played. Phew.
96. E&Z: Not many women can say they married their hair-dresser, but that’s what I did today! I married E and Z under clearing skies (it had been stormy all morning), in front of thundering surf and world-class surfers hammering said surf. Normally I have to prompt a “second kiss” to ensure the photographer gets the “first kiss” shot, but this couple didn’t come up for breath. I just told them to keep going — I would close the ceremony around them, ha ha. Great vibes.
97. C&B: It was so windy at Eagle Bay this day, the canopy under which the couple intended to marry, blew away! The bride was so happy she didn’t even notice it was missing.
98. D&J: I invited him to “kiss the bride” and he gave her a peck on the cheek. Clearly not a PDA man!
99 and 100…. Aaaaaand here’s where I discover the Marriage Register only has 98 marriage certificates in it — not 100 as promised. So, to make up 100 stories I’ll tell you about a couple of vow renewals I did during the same time period.
99. JP&N: At the rehearsal, the couple chose a shady spot on the lawn for their nuptials. I arrived on the day with my “lawn-appropriate” shoes, only to discover they had changed their location to a deck. Uh-ohhhhhh. Yep, a repeat of the heel-getting-stuck episode (per wedding #16). I was so thoroughly stuck the best man had to unbuckle my shoe to free me! At least it was at the end of the ceremony, and it wasn’t the bride!
100. Gavin & Anita: To celebrate 7 years of marriage, hubby and I did a little vow renewal by putting a love-lock on our farm gate. Keeping it real, I vowed: “I take you for better, but if it gets worse I’m leaving!” Then we rolled around laughing and carried on with the whipper-snipping. Yep, that’s us. Keepin’ it real.
So that’s it! 100 wedding stories hidden behind the formal marriage certificates inside my big red Marriage Register. What a lucky girl am I!
At the time of writing this piece, I’m more than half-way through my next Register. Stay tuned for the next instalment in this blessed life as a Celebrant.
Anita Revel CMC
PS. Don’t leave me hanging… Feel free to comment!