The ritual of marriage is a paradox: a wedding ceremony is by definition the making public of the private. Personal, private feelings are turned into the most public event, sanctioned by law and society. Yet why should this be so?
The term “micro weddings” was coined during the time of covid, but such weddings really are nothing new. Civil ceremonies are often small and intimate, which characterises them as heart-felt and memorable. Just the couple and their wedding party, a gathering of special friends to celebrate a special moment.
Sometimes the group will move into a luxury guesthouse for a weekend, self-cater and celebrate every hour – what a basis for future anniversaries!
Sometimes it will be just the family which gathers – parents, grandparents and perhaps the couple’s children; then the wedding is also the celebration and consolidation of family.
Intimate ceremonies can take place in private homes, too. It is exciting to see a house (or garden) transformed into a chapel of sorts – the arbour, the table-setting, the flowers, the fairy lights which come on as the celebration goes into the night …
Of course the most intimate way to be married is an elopement.
What could be more romantic than running off with your beloved to a secret location?
Just you two, your two witnesses and celebrant.
You can choose a sentimental spot, in the mountains, by the sea, indoors or amongst nature – you just have to please yourselves.
The exchange of wedding vows is a private moment – which is what it should be. Those who witness are privileged indeed to intrude into this moment as you declare your intention to commit, “to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily, for life”. Such a private intention, as you call upon your witnesses to remark your taking of one another as partners in marriage, the culmination of dreams and plans not yet made public.
A wedding ceremony is the public declaration of the private commitment that you have made and it legalises your marriage.
A reaffirmation ceremony is a beautiful way to celebrate your ongoing commitment to this relationship on a wedding anniversary. It provides a formal occasion on which you can re-state your marriage vows minus the legal trappings. By law you can only be married once, but sometimes reaffirmations can also give friends or family the chance to witness some of the ceremony they may have missed years, months or weeks earlier.
Yes. You can find more information in my article about COVID Safe Weddings.
Absolutely – read about my Ceremony Planning Session.
Yes, I have probably done more same-sex than straight weddings since January 2018.
Yes, we will have 2-3 meetings to discuss your ceremony and fill out a Notice of Intended Marriage, and after your wedding I send all your documents to Births, Deaths and Marriages and register your marriage online immediately.
Not specifically, but I can write a letter for you to take to the Department of Immigration as evidence of your intention to marry in Australia.
Yes – I have lots of suggestions on giving them a role to play.
No, but I can make suggestions.
If you think you need one, I will hire one on your behalf and charge you $75.
No, but it must be understood by the bride, groom, two witnesses and me.
I can conduct ceremonies in French, German and Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu, but for other languages you will need a qualified interpreter.
You must be over the age of 18, not related to one another and not married to someone else.
You must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (provided by me) and lodged (with me) one month before the wedding date and no more than 18 months before.
You must show me your passport or birth certificate and your photo ID.
You must get the permission of a parent or guardian, as well as court approval (in some cases court approval is sufficient). Under no circumstances can both of you be under 18.
I must see your final divorce order or a death certificate.
At least half an hour before.
Your second meeting in my office is our opportunity to go through your ceremony in as much detail as you need. If you need me to travel to your ceremony venue, there will be a charge for that and you must give me a month’s notice and the time must be negotiated.
Penrith, Blue Mountains, Northern Beaches, Inner West and Sydney CBD.