Please introduce yourself
Hi my name is Michelle Shannon and I am a Marriage Celebrant. Guests have often asked me 'are you a minister'? (I just cheekily say - yes, I am the 'Minister of LOVE' :) - we are the same but different..
Can you tell us about your services and what you offer?
I am lucky enough to be part of a couples special day. As a celebrant we do all the legal documentation required and with meetings and phone calls/Emails etc. I guide couples to creating the kind of wedding ceremony that they have always dreamed of. Then when the big day comes we make it all official and start off the celebrations with a heart- warming, memorable ceremony and at times we even have a few laughs - The day really is about the couple and their style of ceremony which suits them and their personality.. Everyone is different and each ceremony is individual and personal.
How early do you accept bookings?
I am already taking bookings for 2014 - couples usually start booking at least 6 to 12 months in advance and by Christmas time I am usually almost fully booked for the year ahead - which is wonderful!
What is important for couples to be aware of?
I am always surprised by those who leave booking a celebrant till last. At the bare minimum, you need book and supply the Notice of Intent to Marry Document to your celebrant no later than 1 month prior to the big day. You need to find your birth certificates to be sighted by the Celebrant and if either of the couple have been married before they also need to locate their divorce decree to be recorded.
It is always helpful for me to know your ceremony location and chosen time when booking as this really helps in the planning for all of us.
And have a bad weather back up...A definite must if you are looking at an outdoor wedding..
Most important aspects to consider for you and your guests especially if you are having an outdoor wedding are -
- Shelter if required (could even be umbrellas on the beach if hot)
- Toilets & parking close by
- And a drink of water if needed
- (some months like January and February can be very hot outside).
Why should couples book with you?
I really believe it is a personal choice - the great thing is that couples have so much choice now. I always say my style in modern, romantic with a little bit of fun there if you wish. If I had all my past 300+ couples come together for a party I know they would all get on great. The same kind of lovely people find me!!!
What special advice do you suggest?
- Have a look at the internet to get ideas.
- Takes notes if you are going to any family or friends wedding about the kind of things you like and wish for your wedding ceremony -
- Make sure you meet a couple of celebrants so that you know you are happy with who you have chosen.
- Take note of weather for those months or even tide times if on the beach.
- Don't try to involve everyone to please them it is your day so keep it memorable and about you.
- Email family and friends well before the big day so they have a clear indication of what is happening for the weekend -
- E.G - Rehearsal dinner Thursday 7pm - meeting at Pub for drinks at 6pm Fridayevening - Wedding Ceremony starts at 3pm Saturday - Wedding breakfast 10am on Sunday @ Fresh Restaurant etc. Just so your phone doesn't ring constantly the day before the wedding.. (I see it happen all the time - trust me!)
- If you want help - delegate don't try to do it all alone - I see too many tears the day before from Brides trying to be everything to everyone..
- And when all the family turn up remember to take yourself and your fiancé out for a quite drink somewhere on your own that night before the wedding to reflect and have a moment alone.
- And smile - this is going to be the best day of your life.
How can they get in contact?