Saturday, September 9, 2017

Selecting a Marriage Celebrant

Selecting a Marriage Celebrant

One of the hardest things about selecting a Marriage Celebrant for your Wedding is wondering will they be suitable for your style of wedding.  
Meeting them for a short I hour interview - are they going to live up to our expectations? * be too casual* too stuffy. * are they going to see our wedding ceremony in the same light same as we do?


An experienced celebrant has seen witnessed and explored all types of deliveries of a Ceremony.  One of the things you would need to check is whether they are versatile in their delivery, all ceremonies should be individual, do they listen to want you want and are accepting of different styles?
They should be able to make you laugh, giggle, smile and shed a tear, fell warm and cosy or party on like there’s no tomorrow!
They would not be getting the appointments unless they can reflect a number of different styles.
Having examples of weddings they have done in the past is a good indication that they are willing to show you they can do different styles of weddings.                                                                                 Styles of vows, readings and wedding wording indicate their willingness to try and please you. 

Style of music- A versatile celebrant should have an extensive list of music –with always room for more. Anything from the classical - Wedding March to Highway to Hell- ACDC and everything in between. This is a good indication that your celebrant is a happy camper when it comes to different styles.


They should be enthusiastic about what your aim is. (And also maybe point out reasons to change or modify your ideas, if they have not work in the past).                                                                               Having experience of the job really is the key.


When the groom say “Is there anything I have to remember to do/say”? And the celebrant answers is “no – I have your vows, readings here and will guide you all the way, the music is on a playlist – all sorted”  - music to the ears of a nervous couple! 
Being prepared - Before the initial interview, I always send my couples a list of questions of what we will talk about at that first meeting, it give them a heads up about what we will be discussing and it means I am armed with some information to write a example draft that we can send back and forth till we create a brilliant ceremony that reflects you both! 

Plenty of Reviews                                                                                                                                     When a member of the bridal party says to you “Oh thanks, you really fill in all the gaps for us’ or “you really listened and gave us the type of ceremony we wanted”, that’s a compliment, we love to hear!                                                                                                                                                                                                 Read the reviews of Bridal couples that have used their services, have they left glowing reports of their ceremonies?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A good Celebrant should have plenty of great reviews.

You’re Input – Very important!

One of the things I do try to point out to couples is that if you don’t let your celebrant a wee bit into the mechanisms of your love story, how are they going to write the type of ceremony you would like? They can’t read your mind – so you need to spell it out. 
This can include;-
 * Your love story – some couples want to share this – others don’t
*What you love about each other.
*Things like- what you love doing together- doesn’t have to be big – just the both of you.
*Things that make you laugh – together or at each other- a big part of a relationship.
*Things that you aren’t too keen on, but are willing to over look in your partner – you love them anyway.
*Family ties- what’s most important do you, want to bring that into your ceremony?
*Nick names/ your goofyness.   

                                      All important in personalising a ceremony!                                              Remember (unless the wording is a legal requirement, which ceremonies do have) you shouldn’t have wording you don’t like and have the ability to change it with no dramas.                                                                                                                      Our aim is to give you a wonderful ceremony!

                                      Cathlyn Woollard Marriage Celebrant over 36 wedding recommendations on the web site and many more –  Based in Lilydale Victoria

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Pop Up Style Wedding in the Yarra Valley? How does it work?

Yarra Valley Celebrants presents...

A Pop Up Style Wedding

                                                                                So how does it work?                                                                                                                             Each Wedding is private affair, with just you and your guests

Five session times are available on our  elected Pop Up Wedding date which is  Tuesday 31st October 2017
Pay your deposit and pick a preferred time, available times are:-

*9.45am – 11.15am  *11.30am – 1.00pm         *1.15pm – 2.45pm * 3.00pm – 4.30pm                              *5 pm – 6.30pm       Interested?  Then contact me Cathlyn Woollard   - or Ph 0408102065                                                                     

You will meet with Cathlyn Woollard—your Marriage Celebrant a registered, experienced and well recommended  Celebrant—She will help you write a personalised ceremony with a selection of  accompanying music and  will complete and register your marriage.

You choose your bouquet and buttonhole from a selected range provided for you by Hello Posey. If you require matching bridesmaid arrangements or buttonholes, we will refer you to Kimberley at Hello Posey who can organise these for you at an extra charge.           Guy Basset is a relaxed, professional and friendly Photographer who will capture your day. He will provide: unlimited photos back to the client in around 2 weeks after the wedding on a USB with no watermarks for them to post and share, and also supply 10 low res photos back to the client via email within 2-3 days after the wedding.

Yarra Ranges Estate  - is the perfect venue for our Pop up                           Style Weddings there is a selection of locations on site to provide a backdrop to a fairytale wedding.
Locations are:
* Beautiful Romantic Gazebo
* Vineyard and Mountain ranges backdrop
* Bluestone Chapel Style room
*  Arch & Rose Pathway
* Sprawling Garden
(Naturally if inclement weather,  an under cover will need to be chosen)
*Function room featuring rustic/Industrial influences.
*Air-conditioned and heater for comfort all year round.  
Onsite will be your Grazing Plates provide by Yarra Ranges                     Estate—a delicious selection influenced by their Italian and             Austrian European background.  Tea/coffee provided.                                               Alcohol is available at Bar prices.    

Plenty of parking
Beautiful Yarra Valley Location

Visit Yarra Ranges Estate and pick out your location for a glorious wedding!
Ph 9752 0683


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pop Up Weddings in the Yarra Valley - 5 packages available $2100 31st Oct 2017 includes Venue, Celebrant, Photographer, Bouquet and Buttonhole

9/6/17 – It’s on - Pop Up Weddings – Get in Quick – Only 5 packages Available!
                                                              31st October 2017                                     I’m very happy to say we will be working with professional and wonderful suppliers for our Pop Up Weddings on the 31st Of October!
Yarra Ranges Estate is in a beautiful location for our PopUp Weddings. And is run by the lovely couple, Anne and Anton together with their son James, who have many years experience providing their services to the Wedding industry.                                                                                     Their web site is – if you’re interested in having a Pop Up wedding, visit the location and say hello to Anne and Anton. While you’re there pick out your location. Their number is -Ph 97520683. 

 If you’ve ever dreamed about having your wedding in a glorious location with delicious food in the Yarra Valley, well these Pop Ups make that dream come true for a fantastic price.
Best part is once your 1 & 1/2 hours is up, there are plenty of wineries and caf├ęs in the area so you can continue to party on in the area!
  • Remember “An Intend to marry Form” needs to be filled out, signed and witnessed and lodged with a Marriage Celebrant, 31 days before your wedding to make it legal. You will need either your birth certificates or passports and a Photocopy of your driver’s License for ID. If married before your divorce papers are needed too. All in English or translated be a NAATI approved translator. Any questions – just ask. Ph 0408102065
  • If you don’t have your legal papers in order in time, you can have a commitment ceremony and when the legal papers are available, and the 31 days from signing has passed, a small legal ceremony can be performed at your residence or mutually agreed place.
  • For more information go to or ring me on 0408102065

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pre Planning A Funeral

Pre Planning a Funeral

                              Hmm sounds icky? For the pessimistic ones? No actually its not a bad idea.                                            A lasting legacy or a celebration of life - well that's what many Funerals are these days, friends and family coming away saying in amazement - "Wow what a life! Never knew that about old Harry".                                                                                                                                     Moving towns, cites, or countries, leading separate lives away from our siblings means that some aspects of a life long history are only discovered at the funeral.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I started to ponder my Funeral when at my 50th Birthday Celebration, two of my siblings decided to take it upon themselves to do a speech. They showed a large A4 picture of me at 13, shower cap on the head, up close and personal with the mirror squeezing a pimple.                                                        One of my friends was silently mouthing to me"what are they doing??"                                              I just grinned and took the ribbing that was to come. Yes they were trying to be funny and embarrass me at the same time.                                                                                                                              But the thought did enter my head "OMG! theses are the people who could be doing my FUNERAL!"
Bit sad when all anyone can come up with after 50 years is a pic of a gawky teenager.                            I've led a wonderful and interesting and far from sheltered existence.                                                   Traveled to many countries, backpacked, white water rafted many times, abseiled, paragliding, owned many businesses and pushed boundaries and had loads of fun!                                              Adding to that, I have one daughter who was born when I was 36, by that time I'd already had a Farm, traveled heaps and been doing all sorts of things, I'm still filling her in on ( Some I don't want to disclose!)                                                                                                                                               But this isn't about what I've done, but it is to show just how family in your life can zero in on one aspect, rather than the big picture and not that I want accolades about what I've done I would want an overall picture at my passing, of a well lived in life.                                                                           One that comes to mind - for example - a gent I know - having a lifetime love of pigeon breeding with many awards and skills passed to other breeders and honored by his peers, is seen by his family as "just mucking around with those bloody messy pigeons!"

Preplanning lets you decide how your lifelong journey will be portrayed. Whether your into pidgeon breeding, classic cars, rock n roll music - whats important to you is what's important.                       Not only do you get to have the last say (hehe), it takes the pressure off family to organise a lifetime of photos ( Many in old albums slowly rotting away), history, and interesting stories in a matter of a few days.                                                                                                                                                    Pre planning can be a rewarding experience that can be shared with a loved one who  is eminently moving on. Sometimes the recalling of old memories puts a spark into the life of an elderly person - rather than talking about the obvious, but the 'smiles on faces' recalling of life's stories to make it a moving experience.
Funerals these days include;- displaying items from hobbies, loved music, family rituals, their funny quirky aspects, their pet hates, grandchildren speaking about their beloved Poppy or Gran, writing good wishes on caskets, friends recalling warm memories, social clubs veteran affairs involvement.
A celebration of the things that were important to the deceased.                                                           Such a important ceremony - why not Pre plan?                                                                                     As a Funeral Celebrant our job is to provide a personalized ceremony full of warmth, interest and love that family and friends can relate to as being " yes that just like him/her!"And do it well.
If your in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne and are interested in Pre Plannning a Funeral Ceremony contact me at 0408102065 and we can discuss your requirements.

Friday, March 24, 2017

So Your Thinking Of Not having a Wedding Rehearsal?

So Your Thinking Of Not having a Wedding Rehearsal?
So you think that you don’t need a Wedding Rehearsal? Really?
You have spent thousands on your big day but you want to save costs by not having a rehearsal? That’s a bit like buying a car and not driving it!                             So what is the importance of a Rehearsal? Will it make a difference to the wedding?                                                                                                                                     Can’t I just practice walking with the bridesmaids at home?                                                 A good rehearsal consists of many aspects and only 1 part is the actual walking down the aisle. On average I would say 98% of couples have a rehearsal.                                                                                                        And with good reason. When planning for a rehearsal – ask everyone involved who is taking a part in the ceremony.                                                                                                                       They can then practice their part so confidence shows through.                                       Yes! there is a huge difference between weddings where everyone feels confident and relaxed because they have the knowledge of what’s expected.             Why spend all that money on a wedding to have things go wrong when only an hour rehearsal can sort all or most of these problems out?                                       Where to stand- great spot, but that time of year is the sun in your eyes and the party is all squinting? What about daylight saving, have you allowed for the time change? What side is the groom standing on? (There is no wrong side.)                                                                                                               
Vows (I will hand them to you but is the print too small for anyone with eye problems?).  Who is the bride giving her bouquet to and when? (too early, few photos in the ceremony with the flowers.)
Ring Ceremony – “Is it a repeat after me?” Who has the rings? How are they given, in a box? (Small details make a big difference, example;- I always says take the rings out of the box and let the ring bearer take the box back with him, because usually the couple have in their hands already flowers, microphone, vows on a card, you don’t need a box to worry about too).
Speaking into the microphone- (microphone are notorious for only picking up your voice in only certain positions)
Bridal Party – Who is walking first? Practised in those new shoes or are we stumbling ? The flowergirls and pageboys don’t want to walk. Who looks after any children that may decide they don’t want to be a part of the ceremony.     A smooth transition to a friendly face makes all the difference for children.                                                                                                        How is everyone standing? Have they been coached to stand correctly and how to line themselves up to give a polished look for the photos.                Seating -Guests where do you want them seated. Sometimes there is allocated seating only.                                                                                                                              The signing table- placement of the table and chairs.                                                       Music – correct selection for;-
1. Walking down the aisle. Is the song long enough? How should I walk?                        Who is letting the Celebrant know you have arrived and are ready to start the music?                                                                                                                                             2. Signing the docs.                                                                                                                 3. Walking Out - Is the wedding party doing a formal walk out or dispersing into the crowd?                                                                                                                          4. Playlist – Is there one, for before and after the ceremony?                                                                      5. Ipod- Who is running the music at the ceremony? Have they got a running order to match the music? They should be at a rehearsal.
 Ceremonies that include things like - Sand Ceremony, Candlelighting Ceremony – amazing what can go wrong there if you haven’t practiced.
  Plan B – When marrying outside, mainly because of rain but sometimes excessive heat or other reasons, the couple need to move the ceremony inside or to another location. We usually practise this area too.
Saying –“It won’t rain on my wedding day!” Ask us how many times we have heard that before and it’s ended up a wet soggy day.
Ok not convinced? – Here are some things that have happened at weddings with no rehearsal?                                                                                                                 Whether it be speaking into the microphone, or practising a reading. (I’m amazed at the amount of brides/grooms and guest speakers that haven’t read through or practiced their vows/ring ceremonies and readings and of course stumble over words and paragraphs!) or practise walking down the aisle with their beautiful daughter.                                                                                                                                                                                             Groom is standing beside me and suddenly thinks he’s on the wrong side and is whispering to me –“where do I stand? He moves up so close to me and the wall that I’m pushed up to a table and gently pushing him back and trying to direct him as the bride is walking down the aisle.                                                      Someone is given the music on ipod and they announce to me 2 mins before the ceremony that they have never used an ipod before!                                                                                                                                                            There is a table supplied for signing at the venue but the staff have not been informed and as soon as the ceremony started they took the table away?!!
Someone throws a microphone in front to of us at the last minute and it’s on a stand and we can’t get it off. I usually use my own so I have no problem but was told they would supply one. We looked like a trio in a band.                               The person who is doing the reading has been given the verse by the couple but he has never seen it before and stumbles over every word.                           
 I always give the reader a copy of the reading at a rehearsal to take home and practice. Sometimes we have had to change words in a reading because the person reading can’t pronounce them.( That’s ok, but if a rehearsal had been completed we could have changed any wording and save them the embarrassment of struggling in front of a crowd).                                                                                         A friend is running the ipod music at the wedding ( lots of experience with gadgets, full of confidence – works at a Hifi store but messes up the music completely! He said he didn’t need a rehearsal!!
Remember I said 98% of couples have a rehearsal so then that equates to nearly every wedding that doesn’t have a rehearsal has one or more problems like these!
Yes it is more work for us but as a professional Marriage Celebrant we want to see happy relaxed wedding parties and we want you to have the most perfect day !
Ok still no rehearsal? –  Good Luck!!