A Beautiful Bali Wedding?

Have you fantasised about having your wedding in an exotic overseas location? 

Ever thought of having your special day in Bali, by the beach on a balmy afternoon? Is it leagal? would your wedding be recognised here?

Providing the required documentation for marriage and the prescribed fee have been lodged with and approved by the Australian Consulate in Denpasar prior to the Bali wedding ceremony taking place, then the ensuing marriage ceremony would be recognised as legal in Australia.

Therefore a further wedding ceremony in Australia would not be permitted but a Renewal of Vows Ceremony (which has no legal implications) could be suggested to satisfy family and friends who were not present at the ceremony in Bali. The Renewal of Vows Ceremony could echo the vows stated in the Bali wedding but the Celebrant would make it clear that they were not performing a legal wedding ceremony.

For couples considering marrying in Bali it is recommend they engage the services of either a reputable ‘wedding co-ordinator’ resident in Bali or the ‘ wedding functions officer’ at one the many large hotels that provide Bali wedding packages. These professional wedding organizers know the documentation that is required by the Australian Government and will organise appointments for the couple to visit the Australian Consulate in Denpasar prior to the marriage to ensure everything is in order for the marriage to proceed and to be legally recognised.

New traditions – Same-sex weddings

Many people think that a same sex ceremony is the same as a ‘straight’ ceremony. And while very much is the same, people in the LGBQTI Communities may have their own traditions, their own dynamics and their own sensitivities and require a different layer of knowledge and sensitivity.

The date

If a couple you are working with has been together for a long time, they may want to have their ceremony on their anniversary date.

The Attendants

Many same sex couples will have only one or two attendants. This differs from many straight weddings in which the couple may have a large wedding party. It is also common to see female and male attendants mixed together on both sides of a same sex ceremony. That said, a significant portion of same sex couple will choose not to have attendants stand with them as they exchange vows.

The Wedding Attire

While most gay grooms simply stop by their local tuxedo shop, finding the perfect wedding attire is one of the largest hurdles lesbian couples might encounter. Lesbian couples may have both brides wearing a traditional gown, or have one bride donning a dress and the other bride sporting a chic pantsuit. That said, some lesbian couples both choose to wear suits – any opion is available. Each couple will be different, but it can be a very difficult time for for lesbian couples when deciding what they will wear.

Champagne Toast

It has its origins in America, but it is making its way here – Champagne or sparkling wine is frequently passed to guests (along with sparkling water) prior to a same-sex ceremony to take the edge off, convey a sense of celebration and introduce the Validation and Affirmation portion of the ceremony. Since same sex ceremonies are new to most guests, an immediate glass of champagne lets them know that this is going to be a very special event and helps calm nerves.

Validation & Affirmation

Many couples include an affirmation into their ceremony. Thisis when the officiant asks the guests to join in a community vow or toast of the couple using the champagne provided to the guests before the ceremony.  This is typically at the beginning of the ceremony, after the welcoming remarks, and makes use of the pre-ceremony champagne.

The term validation and affirmation came from the frequent comment by same-sex couples that seeing all of their guests supporting them felt very validating and affirming.


Walking Down the Aisle

Men and women choose different options for their grand entrance. Many gay grooms walk down a central aisle while holding hands. However, a lot of lesbian brides opt to walk alone down two aisles from different directions. Seldom do couples have a parent give them away, and typically the guests stay seated throughout the processional.  Some couples dont have an isle at all. Some couples choose to be mingling with their guests and then call everyone to gather round when they are about to start the ceremony.

Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding

Because the old school traditions have little meaning for same sex couples, they often don’t abide by them. In particular, is the old tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other before the wedding. Most same sex couples choose to get ready for the ceremony together although women are more likely than men to want to savor the magical moment of seeing her bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle.


Wedding Readings

When it comes to wedding readings, it’s important that you both choose something that reflects your relationship and the way you feel about your marriage. Whether a scripture passage, poem stanza, or children’s book excerpt, the readings at your wedding should reflect your style as a couple as well as invite guests to learn more about the love you share with each other. Off-the-radar texts offer just as much heartfelt emotion as the regulars. Here is are some examples to get you thinking on the some that might tug at your heartstrings – hopefully you’ll find the perfect match!

From Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

“I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self – my good angel; I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wraps my existence about you – and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

I wanna Grow Old With You from The Wedding Singer

I wanna make you smile

Whenever you’re sad

Carry you around when your arthritis is bad

All I wanna do, is grow old with you

I’ll get you medicine when your tummy aches

Build you a fire if the furnace breaks

So, it could be so nice growing old with you,….

I’ll miss you

Kiss you

Give you my coat when you are cold

Need you

Feed you

Even let you hold the remote control.

So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink

Put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink

Oh I could be the man that grows old with you

I wanna grow old with you.

Love is a temporary madness, from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion.
That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots
that grow towards each other underground, and, when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
Louis de Bernieres

To love is not to possess, by James Kavanaugh

To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.

Love me when I am old, by Bee Rawlinson

Love me when I’m old and shocking
Peel off my elastic stockings
Swing me from the chandeliers
Let’s be randy bad old dears.
Push around my chromed Bath Chair
Let me tease your white chest hair
Scaring children, swapping dentures
Let us have some great adventures
Take me to the Dogs and Bingo
Teach me how to speak the lingo
Bone my eels and bring me tea
Show me how it’s meant to be
Take me to your special places
Watching all the puzzled faces
You in shorts and socks and sandals
Me with warts and huge love-handles
As the need for love enthralls
Wrestle with my damp proof smalls
Make me laugh without constraint
Buy me chocolate body paint
Hold me safe throughout the night
When my hair has turned to white
Believe me when I say it’s true
I’ve waited all my life for you

A Vow, by Wendy Cope

I cannot promise never to be angry;
I cannot promise always to be kind.
You know what you are taking on, my darling –
It’s only at the start that love is blind.
And yet I’m still the one you want to be with
And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure.
You are my closest friend, my favourite person,
The lover and the home I’ve waited for.
I cannot promise that I will deserve you
From this day on. I hope to pass that test.
I love you and I want to make you happy.
I promise I will do my very best.

An Excerpt from a Native American Wedding Ceremony

May the sun bring you new strength by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your fears,
And the breeze invigorates your being,
May you, all the days of your life together,
Walk gently through the world and know it’s beauty.
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter for the other,
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other,
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be company for the other,
Now you are two persons,
But there is only one life before you.
Go to your dwelling,
Enter into the days of your life together
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Celtic Blessing

May peace guard
The door of your house
The door of your heart
May the road rise to meet you,
And the sun stand at your shoulder
May the wind be always at your back
And the rains fall softly upon your fields
May life itself befriend you
Each day, each night
Each step of your journey.
May peace be with you
And with your children,
From the day that we have here today
To the day of the end of our lives,
Until the day of the end of your lives.

Ancient Sanskrit Poem

Look well to this day, for it is life
The very best of life
In its brief course lie all the realities and truths of existence
The joy of growth,
The splendour of action,
The glory of power.
For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision
But today if well-lived,
Makes every yesterday a memory of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope
Look well therefore to this day.
On your wedding day.
Today is a day you will always remember
The greatest in anyone’s life
You’ll start the day just two people in love
And end it as husband and wife.
It’s a brand new beginning, the start of a journey
With moments to cherish and treasure
And although there’ll be times when you disagree
These will surely be outweighed by pleasure.
You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past
When the secrets of marriage were spoken
But you know that the answers lie hidden inside
Where the bond of true love lies unbroken.
So live happy together as lovers and friends
It’s the dawn of a new life for you
As you stand there together with love in your eyes
From the moments you whisper “I do”.
And with luck, all your hopes and your dreams can be real
May success find it’s way to your hearts
Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys
But today is the day it all starts.

I Wanna Be Yours, By John Cooper Clarke

I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your raincoat
for those frequent rainy days
I wanna be your dreamboat
when you want to sail away
Let me be your teddy bear
take me with you anywhere
I don’t care
I wanna be yours
I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out
I wanna be the electric heater
you’ll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
hold your hair in deep devotion
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
that’s how deep is my devotion.

Ceremony Songs

When you plan your ceremony, you need to think about more than one song. You should consider one for when you enter, and as you leave. But also think about songs to play while your guests are waiting for the bride to arrive, a song for when you are signing the certificates. Think about sogs for these times:

  • The guests assembling and finding their seat – It is nice to play some appropriate background music as your guests take their seats.
  • The procession down the aisle – The moment you’ve been waiting for! The music to accompany the bride’s entrance and exit from the ceremony will be the most significant – go for a traditional wedding song or perhaps pick a specific song that has meaning to you and your partner.
  • The ceremony itself – Unless you are having a church service, you won’t really need to pick any music once everybody is sat down and the vows and readings begin. If you are having a religious ceremony, then choose hymns that will really mean something to you.
  • The signing of the register – This part of the ceremony will usually take around five minutes or perhaps even longer if there are photos, so you will once again need some background music to entertain your guests.
  • The exit from the ceremony – Yay you’ve just got married! Your recessional music should be long enough to cover yours and your guests exit. Choose something that has an upbeat feel to it to highlight the happy atmosphere.

Glasgow Love Theme, from Love Actually

Walking down the aisle to a song from your favourite film soundtrack is another way to incorporate instrumental music with a personal touch into your ceremony. There are loads of options to choose from –Love Actually is a great place to start, and will have you welling up before you know it.

A Thousand Years, The Piano Guys (originally Christina Perri)

Often couples can’t decide between a classic instrumental or a more modern love song with vocals for their processional music. Why not get the best of both worlds with an instrumental cover of one of your favourite songs? We seriously love this piano and cello cover of Christina Perri – check out The Piano Guys for more classical covers.

Marry Me, Train

If you want a modern song but aren’t sure what sort of thing to go for, then I think this a great choice. The melody and lyrics are both beautiful, and the tempo isn’t too fast for a processional.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

For something a little bit different, you can’t beat this gorgeous ukelele cover – it’s sure to get everyone smiling!

Bridal Chorus, Wagner

Often known as Here Comes The Bride, this piece of classical music is the traditional choice for the procession of the bride, and is often played on an organ. We’ve chosen a slightly more modern arrangement by Vicente Avella on classical piano – that way you can keep the element of tradition without the drama!

Canon in D, Pachelbel

Another very popular choice with brides – in fact this is my all time favourite! This gorgeous piece of music sounds beautiful played by a traditional quartet, but we also love this version by Per-Olov Kindgren on classical guitar.

Wedding Altar

Why have a wedding altar?

Well you don’t have to – you don’t have to do anything! Traditionally, in western cultures, couples were often married at the church altar. An altar is a structure on which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes, and by extension the ‘Holy table’ of post-reformation Anglican churches. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, churches and other places of worship. And they are very often an important part of a wedding ceremony. In a wedding ceremony, you are creating a sacred space in which to declare you love and commitment.

Nowadays, couples have an altar to create a central point or ceremony space. An altar can be done in a variety of ways. Some couples create a structure that provides a backdrop for the ceremony, and creates the focal area from the couple and celebrant to stand and the ceremony to take place.

If a structure and backdrop seems like a little too much, you can create beautiful table space. I like this, because the ceremony itself is a ritual, and having a ritual altar allows you and your celebrant to bring the details of your ceremony into being. You may even want to mix up your altar space and signing table, combining the two.
When you create your altar table, it should be geared toward your personal beliefs. This is an important ceremonial altar and you’ll want to honour your beliefs and the energies that you want present on your special day.

You can also, create a structure to provide a background and set an altar table up – why not have both!

I’ve collected together some examples of altar tables to inspire you to create your own. Let me know what you think and add your own photo.

Wedding Altar (1)   Wedding Altar (6) Wedding Altar (5)  Wedding Altar (7)Wedding Altar (2) Wedding Altar (4) Wedding Altar (3)

7 Wild Wedding Facts

  1. Valentines day is one of the most popular days for Las Vegas weddings!traditions (5)
  2. Early Roman brides carried a bunch of herbs, such as garlic and rosemary, under their veils to symbolize fidelity and fertility and to ward off evil. These herbs served as a precursor to the modern bridal bouquet.traditions (4)
  3. Did you know…Ancient Romans studied pig entrails to determine the luckiest time to marry… squeal!traditions (6)
  4. In English tradition, Wednesday is considered the “best day” to marry, although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health. Saturday is the unluckiest wedding day, according to English folklore. Funny — it’s the most popular day of the week to marry!            traditions (9)
  5. The Ozark people located in central America believed placing the dried tongue of a turtle dove in a loved one’s house would persuade him or her to marry. traditions (8)
  6. Moroccan women take a milk bath to purify themselves before their wedding ceremony. traditions (12)
  7. June weddings are not a new thing. The Roman goddess Juno rules over marriage and childbirth, hence the popularity of June weddings.traditions (13)


Kidnapped Brides!

In many cultures, the groom historically often kidnapped the bride, and the groom’s friends would help him, leading to the modern-day groomsmen. At the alter, the groom always stood on the bride’s right side so his right hand—or his sword hand—would be free to fight/defend a jealous rival.

traditions (11)

Spiral Wedding Day Aisle

Do you dread the idea of walking straight down the aisle?

How about a circle and skip the straight aisle?

I do heaps of work with people sitting in circle – it’s such a beautiful way to have people connect with each other and feel part of something. Doing your wedding in the round is beautifully symbolic and a nice way to avoid the hierarchy of rows of seats, and changes the way you “walk own the aisle”.

Heaps of couples are opting for circle seating and entering via the side, some even spiralling their way to the altar. Alternatively, you could have your guests sit in a circle, with your celebrant in the centre. Your celebrant introduces the two of you and your families. Then, you and your partner enter from opposite sides of the circle, each of you walking between your parents. Walk towards each other, from opposite side and meet each other in the centre of the circle. I’ve gathered together some beautiful examples below to give you some ideas.

Circle (6)  Circle (5)  Circle (11) Circle (10) Circle (4)

Circle (2)  Circle (1)    Circle (7)

Circle (9) Circle (8)

I’ve also made a fun Pinterest board chock full of ideas for sitting in circle and still looking awesome (and you can also see  credits for the above images) – check it out here.


Honeymoon history

Nowadays we are used to planning a special get away with our newly beloved spouse. But honeymoons weren’t always so luxurious. Ancient Norse bridal couples went into hiding after the wedding, and a family member would bring them a cup of honey wine for 30 days — or one moon — which is how the term “honeymoon” originated.