Freedom of Choice: Creative Civil Ceremonies in Australia

Norman Lindsay House
Norman Lindsay Gallery, Faulconbridge, Australia

One of the main things a civil ceremony had going for it in the 70s was the idea of choice – the couple’s choice as opposed to the church’s decision. Choice of location being the thing that allowed for the first time so much freedom for creativity and design. A Commonwealth authorized celebrant can marry a couple anywhere within Australia or its territorial waters. So unfortunately you couldn't fly me to Bali to do your ceremony!

Nowadays I do a lot of weddings in the Blue Mountains, the Hawkesbury and the Northern Beaches, but looking over my register from 20 years ago, I conducted my
first ceremonies in private homes and gardens on the Western Plain – Nurragingy Reserve at Doonside is still an extraordinarily busy spot to be married, with a reception centre and various gazebos and garden areas from which to choose to celebrate your nuptials. Settlers at Mulgoa and Mamre Homestead at St Marys also provide unique, intimate wedding venues, and it is good to still be visiting them after all these years. Another favourite was the Log Cabin until it burned to the ground a few years ago! Weddings on the Nepean Belle, at the Weir, at Lewers Gallery – all showed and continue to show off the backdrop of the river as perfect for weddings: the river often more reliable than the mountains.

Galleries are ideal for smaller weddings – I started to do ceremonies at Norman Lindsay’s Gallery at Faulconbridge – I was told that we even were doing the signing on Norman’s own little escritoire and that we should be careful not to scratch it!
In my next post I’ll take you further up the mountains and talk about the many stunning options up there for your wedding…

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