The Process

What Do I Need To Do Before Getting Married?

The most important things to do first are pick a date and a venue, then decide on your celebrant, photographer and florist. These are the people most likely to book up in advance. Once you have them locked in it’s pretty cruisy from there. Need help finding a venue? I can help. Contact me with information such as number of guests and the general vibe you’re after. I'd love to send you some links for beautiful places.

You’ll need to complete some paperwork with me a minimum of one month before your ceremony. You need to provide three items: photo ID (such as drivers licenses or proof of age card), an original or extract birth certificate and valid passport (expired is fine, canceled is not). If you’ve been married previously you need to provide paperwork (certificate of divorce or death certificate) to show how that marriage came to an end.

If you don’t have these documents handy, it’s no problem. I can help direct you to the places you'll need to get new copies, as long as there’s enough time (sooner is better than later when it comes to paperwork).

You can participate in relationship education before you marry if you wish – see Relationship Education for further information.

What Does It Cost?

Get in touch with me to discuss this – most ceremonies are charged a flat rate, but factors such as travel can add a little to the cost in some circumstances. I'll do my best to arrange things so the costs are kept as low as possible. If you’re a member of PBS FM I can happily offer you a 5% discount. 

I require a non-refundable deposit of $250 to reserve your ceremony date, with the balance due two weeks prior to your ceremony. You’re welcome to work out a payment plan with me, or pay the balance in a lump sum. I’m pretty flexible.

I’m also open to discussing bartering. Half of the payment is required as the cashmoneys (or online transfer), because I can’t pay for petrol, shoes or the mortgage with hugs, but if your budget requires we can discuss options. For example, a couple I worked with on their ceremony in 2014 paid for half of their ceremony with a piece of jewellery made by the groom. That piece is now my lucky charm, worn at every ceremony, so that’s pretty lovely. Other bartering I’ve engaged with and would be interested in discussing (both ways) include graphic design, gardening, child care, voiceover work, tattooing, visual artwork, vouchers, etc. Let’s chat!

Do I Have To Include Religion In My Ceremony?

Many people ask this, and the answer is no. Utilising a celebrant means that you can make your ceremony whatever you like. Celebrants are generally secular and specialise in civil unions. 

Where Does The Name Joyful Ceremonies Come From?

Joy is my middle name – mum set me up for life with that one!

Can You Do My Wedding In Auslan (Australian Sign Language)?

If you or your partner communicates with Auslan, or you have guests who sign, I recommend hiring an interpreter for the day of your ceremony – but in the lead up as we plan your wedding we can communicate easily without one.

The reason for requiring an interpreter for the ceremony is that Auslan and English have different grammatical structures, so speaking and signing at the same time is a bit clunky. I want your ceremony to be the best it can be and I can personally recommend interpreters who are brilliant at weddings for your consideration.

Can You Include A Welcome To Country In Our Ceremony?

I am not an Elder, but can certainly help you to get in touch with the right people in the place you are marrying to request an official Welcome to Country.

I love to include an acknowledgement of the Traditional Owners of the land the ceremony is taking place on as a mark of respect. I’ve officiated at some brilliant ceremonies where the couple made contact with local Elders who participated in their wedding day with smoking ceremonies and traditional dance. 

Can We Have A Surprise Wedding?

Absolutely! As long as the two people getting married know what's up, we can surprise the heck out of everyone gathered at your party when you get hitched. I'm happy to jump out of a cake or hide in a cupboard as required. I can bring my crochet with me or my crosswords for the hiding time. 

How Many Hairstyles Do You Have Anyway?

I know. There are as many different styles as there are photos on this website. I'll check with you to make sure I don't clash with your vision on the day if I'm doing anything outrageous!

Jenny, Can You Marry Yourself?

This one I get asked a lot at parties! Oddly enough – even though my partner and I are both celebrants, we opted to work with another celebrant friend of ours to get us hitched. Also it wasn’t legal in 2014 for two ladies to marry each other in Australia, but mainly we were just really excited about outsourcing to experts.

Getting married showed me the other side of the process – there sure are lots of details to take care of! I learned that wedding providers are generally really great at what they do – they’ve been there and done that many times over, and at the same time have the respect and love for your individual occasion. It was a real pleasure sitting back and enjoying everything they did.

 Photo by  Tajette O’Halloran