Good evening lovers,
Once again, welcome back to our blog, Word On The Avenue.
Photo courtesy of Graceful Ceremonies
Now, we love supporting new Australian businesses, especially in the wedding industry. There are a few really important parts of your wedding day that you want to be personal and memorable and one of these is your celebrant. Today we are talking with Mel from Graceful Ceremonies who has just dived into the world of weddings and is loving every minute of it.
So let's get right to it....
Hi Mel, thank you for sitting down with me today! Let's start off by telling us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Melissa but I prefer Mel. I am a newly appointed Civil Marriage Celebrant. I married my soul mate 1 year ago after being together for 14 years and I am a mum of 3 boys.
Aww that's so sweet! What made you decide to become a wedding celebrant?
The reason for becoming a Marriage Celebrant was I enjoy making people happy and have always wanted to be part of the ceremony world. I also wanted to help people make their ceremonies what they want not what anyone else wants.
What wedding services do you provide?
I offer all different services as follows - eloping, just legals, destination weddings, surprise weddings, vow renewal ceremonies and same sex weddings.
What do you charge and what is included?
My fees range from $400.00 to $550.00. I also charge a travel fee if the location is further than 50km from the 5109 postcode.
How long before their big day should couples book their celebrant?
Celebrants can be booked years in advance, however they have to be booked and the legal paperwork done at least one month before the couple's big day.
How can our couples best be prepared for their first meeting with you?
Firstly, the couple should know their ceremony date and time. Secondly, they should have ideas of what type of ceremony they would like. Whether it be a short and simple ceremony or more like a love story that tells the guestd their story.
In terms of paperwork and meetings, what is the process you follow right from first meeting a couple to marrying them on their big day?
If we're a good match, the couple sign me up and we complete the first lot of paperwork. I then send them my extensive Wedding Kit (they let me know what they want (and don't want) in their ceremony - no boring stuff here!). I create the first draft of their ceremony for both of them to review. I then make any changes and we go back and forth until it's exactly what they want. I meet with the couple up to 3 times prior to ceremony with unlimited emails or messages.
Then we sign the second piece of legal paperwork.
When it comes to the big day, I arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the ceremony to set up and check everything is set the way they want.
I do my thing and, dada, the couple are married!
Then with the two witnesses, we sign the final three pieces of legal paperwork - the certificates!
Are ceremony rehearsals necessary in today’s busy lifestyle?
I believe it's totally up to each couple. Some couples need to know every step of the big day.
How much involvement should couples have in writing material, especially vows, for their ceremony?
Couples can be involved in every step of wording for their ceremony or they can give me ideas of what they want and I can write for them. Couples can also choose to write their own vows to be incorporated in the ceremony. I also support family members or friends doing readings as well.
What does your typical day as a wedding celebrant look like?
Making sure that I have all paper work prepared for the ceremony. Knowing that I have all the equipment ready for the service and, of course, being ready for the service on time.
Do you support same sex weddings?
I support all marriages. I believe everyone deserves to have the opportunity to be married to their soul mate and best friend!
What advice do you have for our couples who are searching for their perfect wedding celebrant?
Make sure you are comfortable in their presence as you don't want any added stress of not being happy with who you have chosen to tell your love story. Also make sure that they are qualified and are registered with the Attorney General's Department.
Do you offer services for other occasions too?
I have a large range of services I offer. I have a list of all my services on my website.They include baby naming, birthday naming, combo naming, pet naming, pet funerals, memorial services and funeral services.
Lastly, if you could marry any couple at any location, what would your dream location be?
My dream location would be at a beautiful waterfall in North Queensland.
Well, thank you so much Mel for chatting with me today! We hope to see you around in the wedding space.
YOU can book Mel from Graceful Ceremonies as your wedding celebrant for your big day. Visit the links below to make enquiries.
Thanks for reading friends - check back soon!
Photo courtesy of Graceful Ceremonies
The one and only Melissa Morrison - as a bride herself!