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Jan
02

New Year's Resolutions

Why do we make New Year's Resolutions?  We make them every year and a couple of weeks into the new year, we're inevitably disappointed because we didn't stick to them.  In fact apparently only 8% of people stick to their resolutions - mainly because we set goals that are either unobtainable or could be achieved, but when we don't see results straight away, we quit.  So why do we make them in the first place?
 
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Dec
19

Special Holidays - The dark side of celebrating

As Australians gear up to summer with public holidays and end of the year/new year celebrations, it is time for focus on families and friends.

Whether you are of a Christian faith or another faith - we have a wonderful mix in Australia - or have your own ethical value system based on respect for your fellow human beings and our world, the coming holidays are a special time.

Whilst these days we tend to think of holidays are being times where we are exempted from work or normal business, the origin of the word "holiday in English was hāligdæg, meaning a holy day.
 
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A “Holy Day” usually means a day set aside for a special purpose or remembrance and the origin of the word connected with Old English hal (see hal) meaning "health". 

Holidays are healthy - for taking time out - for being thankful for what we have in our lives - especially family and friends.

What is special about this time of year under the Southern skies?

The end of one calendar year and the beginning of a new. Time to take stock, trim the old and embrace the new.

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So why a "dark side"?

An end to the old and embracing the new is often symbolised by the birth of a child. Along with the joys of having a new bub, can come sadness with the loss of personal time, as well as the previous roles and pleasures as non-parents. 
 
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Other things some people have to deal with at this time of year are:

Dealing with death

Many people find the emphasis on loved ones - family and friends - especially difficult when a loved one has died.  

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Dealing with loneliness

Playing 'happy families' once a year for families who are fractured, can cause more pain than pleasure. 

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Dealing with stress


Big holidays come with extra stress, eating and drinking too much, and extra work, especially for those with children and other dependent family members. 

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Dealing with debt


Of course, sometimes we spend more than we planned.  

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Many famlies these days are finding ways to limit the money they cannot afford to spend. 

There are many ways to do this
One example is:
  • Make other love languages as important as gift giving. After all for many people, the other love languages are more important : quality time, touch/hugs, acts of service, words of affirmation. 

    TCN even suggests a combined group gift certificate for a Wedding Anniversary or Birthday in the new year where everyone contributes to the gift of engaging a professional celebrant to lead the occasion.

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    Search our TCN Directory for a TCN Celebrant near you.
Read TCN's full article  on Special Holidays - The dark side of celebrating for more examples and ways to deal with some of issues mentioned above.

Remember - Holidays are meant to enrich our lives, our health and well-being. 

Let's make that the focus of this special time of year. 

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Holidays and Christmas

There is too.much pressure on parents to spend up big at Christmas. As families we can agree to limit the amount spent per person ... Read More
Friday, 22 December 2017 09:54
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Dec
02

Surviving an Australian Summer

Surviving an Australian Summer

Australia is a pretty big place - 7.692 million km² to be exact.  We cross 25 degrees of longitude and 35 degrees of latitude as well as three timezones - so we're spread pretty wide - which means that we have a number of different climates.

In our south and mountainous areas, it can get super chilly in the winter, whereas in our north the same months see temperatures around the 30s.  In the summer months, all over the country can see dehydratingly high temperatures, whilst the far north experiences tropical monsoonal rains.

In more recent years we've noticed that the hotter months seem to be happening a bit later and typically dry times of the year are seeing lots of rain - which means that we can no longer plan our ceremonies with any certainty that we're going to get what we hoped for.

Just this week - a December weekend in Victoria - historically a dry time of the year, has seen devastating rain and flash flooding - possibly not what most people thought would happen when they planned their ceremony 12-18 months ago.



Here are some ideas to help you survive a summer ceremony in Australia
(and strangely enough, they won't all be about the sun!)

1. Provide shelter.
Most adult guests will be able to make up their own mind as to what to wear to your ceremony - however, not everyone will want to put a hat on over their new 'do' and carrying an umbrella might be a hindrance - so to make sure your guests are comfortable from the time that they arrive and are waiting for you to arrive all the way through to when they can head to your reception - offer shelter.  It might be an inside ceremony, under a marquee, umbrellas, hats, sunnies or even hiring palm leaf swishers.  Offering shelter will be much appreciated..... nobody wants to sit in the sun sweating or indeed stand in the rain, especially if they've made an effort to look fabulous for your special day.



2. Offer refreshments
Iced mint water, a lemonade stand, mimosas.... it will be very much appreciated.



3. Have a Plan B
Even if you don't to use it, it's peace of mind to have it at the ready should the meteorologists deliver unwanted news on the weekend of your ceremony.  A big percentage of couples state, "It's going to be a beautiful day.  We won't need a Plan B." To those couples, I say, "Please listen to your celebrant/wedding planner/friends/venue manager when we suggest to you that you need to have a Plan B." We promise not to say "I told you so" when the sky opens up.



4. Consider how far you are asking your guests to walk
Your dream ceremony location may not suit the guests you've invited.  Can Nana walk all that way down the sand dune?  Do you think Pop can climb up the side of that mountain?  Will the people wearing high heels appreciate having to walk across that field?  Does anybody want to walk 2kms in the heat/rain?



5. Consider the time of day
The majority of ceremonies are held in the afternoon and this is understandable - people want to use the morning to get ready or travel and they'd like their ceremony to flow straight into their evening reception, whilst taking advantage of dusk for great photo light..... but you don't have to do it this way - consider making your ceremony later in the day when it's cooler, just before the sun goes down... great light, cooler, happier guests.



5. Offer your guests sunscreen & mozzie repellent
..... and burn some citronella or spray some essential oil magic to keep the bugs away.



6. Wear appropriate outfits 
If you have had your heart set on a large, puffy, lots of material wedding dress, and 3 piece suits.... then perhaps the beach isn't the ideal setting for you.  Sand is not designed to be walked on in shoes (especially heels) and heavy, layered outfits are not designed to be worn in the blazing sun.  Always think "Comfort! Comfort! Comfort!"  This goes for your guests as well - set an appropriate dress code for your guests so they know it's ok to kick off the heels for the ceremony.



7. Check the weather
There are a number of Apps where you can easily check the weather the week before giving you plenty of time to be prepared.  Willy Weather gives you information on the temperature, rainfall, wind, sunrise/sunset, UV index and tides - all essential things to know about when planning an outdoor (beach) ceremony.



8. Know the weather in your area
Being able to check the weather is great, but having a bit of knowledge about the weather (especially the wind) in your area can be crucial to the planning process.  And if you're holding your ceremony in a different location from where you live - ask your celebrant - they'll know.



Studies have shown that the ideal temperature for people to be able to focus and take in what is being said is 22 degrees, so if you want your guests to be mentally present at your ceremony, then strive for the ideal climate, anyway you can.


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Nov
30

Celebrating Life

Celebrating Life

Throughout our lives there are many milestones that we traditionally celebrate... birthdays, coming of age, weddings, anniversaries, etc... and we celebrate them because in doing so we gain a sense of belonging and achievement, like we've reached a goal, we've finally arrived at a particular stage of our lives.

We made it!  

Celebrating these special moments in our lives can give us a special sense of meaning and happiness.....



... but what about all the other moments that don't get the same social recognition?  

What about the wonderful moments inbetween those big events?

A beautiful sunrise

That job prmotion

A perfectly still ocean



Your indoor netball granfinal win

Your favourite bottle of wine is on sale




Funny cat photos and videos




A fresh new notebook

Reading the papers on a Sunday



Making somebody laugh



A cool breeze on a hot day

Freshly cut flowers



Getting the USB plug in the right way first go

Successfully using chopsticks



Each of us will have our own list of little moments that fill in the space between the big events and each and every one of them should be celebrated.

Some moments in life are meant to be celebrated publicly, with family, friends and sometimes with a celebrant.....

.... and other moments are meant for us to simply enjoy on our own.

If you'd like to speak to a TCN Celebrant about any moment you'd like to celebrate - Click Here

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Narelle Adams

Other times to celebrate ...

Coming Out Transitioning Welcoming pets, partners, family, foster or adopted children
Friday, 01 December 2017 08:33
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Nov
22

Sticking to a budget

Sticking to a budget

Planning a wedding, or any festive celebration can be a pricey affair, but there are ways around it so that you don't have to remortgage your house or sell an organ on Ebay.  The best way is to set a budget and to stick to it.

There have been surveys done that show people are spending an average of $30,000 on a wedding day.  Obviously there are people who spend way more than that and if that's what they want to do and they can afford it, then good on them - go crazy.  However, if you'd prefer to spend your well earned money on something else... a house, a car, a holiday, your kids, whatever.... then a budget is the way to go.

ABC Article - How much do weddings really cost

In the past we have written blog posts with ideas on how to have a gorgeous backyard wedding on a budget, so searching for ideas on ways to save is a great start.  

Here's a TCN member's blog post about budget wedding ideas



Next, make a list up of all the things you'd like or that you think you have to have at a wedding, then put them into two lists:  

1. the things you definitely can't live without and 2. the things you can.

Things like:

the designer dress.....the huge bridal party.....the trillions of guests.....the venue/location.....the open bar.....the vintage cars - [which I think are really cool... but It's not me who is paying].....the hens/bucks nights/bridal shower/kitchen tea/etc....the flowers .....the DJ/Live band.....the cake.
 
Then while you're looking at that list and trying to convince your partner that you really can't live without those designer shoes try and remember what the day is actually about.  It's about the two of you pledging your love to each other and getting married.....
and you won't be any less married if you aren't wearing those Manolo Blahniks.

 
Tips to sticking with a budget:



1.
do your homework

2.
write everything down

3.
be in agreement with each other about it and discuss any changes

4.
Ask a third party to be your voice of reason

5.
Keep a picture of your ultimate goal for after the wedding ie: holiday destination, house or car up on the fridge or near your computer to keep you motivated not to spend all your savings on this one day.


 
 
When it comes to your cermeony - marriage, commitment, vow renewal, naming or any other life event you're celebrating, speak to a TCN Celebrant

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Nov
14

The Marriage Equality Postal Survey Result

Marriage Equality – a statement from the National Committee of the The Celebrants Network Inc

Today people across Australia have clearly shown their support for marriage equality and celebrant members of The Celebrants Network Inc welcome the fact that we are one step closer to enabling all loving couples to marry if that’s their choice.

TCN was founded in 2008 on human rights principles.  It follows that we support the rights of all couples to marry, a right that is enjoyed already in more than 20 countries around the world.    

Parliamentarians now have the responsibility to review and debate the Bills and Amendments that will come before them in the coming weeks.   TCN will be watching the parliamentary deliberations with great interest.  We look forward to debate that is respectful and thoughtful resulting in changes to the Marriage Act 1961 and marriage equality for all.

Sonia Collins
Chairperson, The Celebrants Network Inc
On behalf of the National Committee
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Shell Brown

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Agreed Ros! This is the first step to full equality!
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 18:18
Rona Goold

BEST NEWS.. YES

The best news this Decade. So happy that soon, I along with all of my TCN Colleagues will no longer have to discriminate against... Read More
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 11:54
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Oct
31

Questions to ask other than... "How much do you charge?"

Questions to ask other than... "How much do you charge?"

Yes, I agree - sticking to a budget is very important when planning a ceremony - of any kind, especially a wedding which can blow out very easily.  However when you're choosing your celebrant, price should be the last question that you ask about.  You are going to engage a person that you probably haven't met before to perform the ceremony at one of the most important events of your life, so wouldn't you like to know a bit about them?  Wouldn't you like to know that they are a good fit and are able to provide the service that you have dreamed about?

Asking any wedding supplier if they available on your chosen date is probably the first question you would need to ask, but there are a few other questions that are more important than price that can help you to make sure you are a good fit for each other.



When you book your caterer, you would probably first ask if they can provide the food that you want served

When you book your band or DJ, you would first ask if they can play the music that you want for your reception

When you book your reception venue, you would probably first ask if they can accommodate the amount of people that you are inviting

So, why then, when people book their celebrant do they make their first question all about price?

Do they think that all celebrants are the same?



Do they think that all celebrants do is turn up for 20 minutes on a Saturday and say some words? 
(See last week's blog for what celebrants really do)

Well, there are over 8,000 civil celebrants registered with the Attorney General's Department and with that comes over 8,000 different personalities, styles and ways of doing things.  So here are a few more questions that you might want to ask to make sure that you are hiring the perfect person for the most important part of your wedding day.  

Remember, without your celebrant, you're just throwing a really expensive party.

1. Are you available?

2. What services do you offer

3. What are your thoughts on marriage equality?

4. How many ceremonies have you performed?

5. What made you want to become a celebrant?

6. I would like to have my horse as my best man - do you like horses? (or other niche requests)



7. Do you provide a PA system?

8. Do you speak any other languages other than English?

9. Are you willing to travel?

10. Are you willing to dress up in a costume?

11. Would you like to perform our ceremony?



12. We'd like our dogs to carry the rings.... are you ok with dogs?

13. We're naturists and we'd like a nude ceremony - are you comfortable with that?

14. Do you have ideas for including our children/family in the ceremony?

Every couple and every ceremony is going to be different and not every celebrant is going to fit the wants and needs of every one.  So meet with potential celebrants and ask questions and if you find a celebrant that ticks all of your boxes, that's when you'd ask about their price.....

Remember, the most expensive isn't always the best so it's important that you find the best fit.  Celebrants will charge you what they think they and their services are worth, so if you've found somebody who is perfect for you and they're available, then my guess is that they're worth every cent!



To find a TCN Celebrant in your area - click HERE

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?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  
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?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!
? Don't forget to subscribe ? to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically ?? appear in your email inbox ?.
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Oct
23

A behind the scenes look at being a civil celebrant

A behind the scenes look at being a civil celebrant



Have you ever wondered "What exactly does a celebrant do?"

Have you ever thought "Gee, that looks like an easy job - just talking for 20 minutes on a weekend!"


Well, you can be half forgiven for thinking those things because you might only see the celebrant for 20 minutes on a weekend, but the majority of a celebrant's work is done way before they turn up at the ceremony.



Before your ceremony they will have:

Attended meetings and rehearsals, researched, writen a unique ceremony that suits each individual couple or family, assisted couples and families with writing their own personal wedding vows or poems to their children or loved ones, organised paperwork, including accepting the legal Notice of Intended Marriage form, answered questions, given opinions and made suggestions.  

Then your ceremony day arrives and they will arrive at least 45 minutes before your guests to make sure everything is perfect, greet your guests, calm people's nerves and then perform your ceremony, coordinating the music and the bridal party and the flower girls and page boys and whoever is holding the rings.  They will also be kind and compassionate and have an very good understanding of what you're going through when you are saying goodbye to your loved one.

After your marriage ceremony your celebrant will lodge your marriage certificate with the BDM and securely keep all of the necessary legal documents.



And that's just for your ceremony.

They've also kept their office running with invoices, receipts, notes, creating, printing, filing, purchasing legal stationery, financials, taxation, websites, social media, advertising...



Before any of that can happen though, each celebrant must successfully complete a Certificate IV in Celebrancy and then once the certificate has been awarded, the candidate then must apply to the Attorney General to become registered.  This is a fairly costly exercise - $600 for the applicaiton alone and that must be paid whether the AG registers them or not.

Each year every registered civil celebrant is required to attend an OPD - (Professional Development) at their own cost.



So, whilst you might only see the Celebrant for 20 minutes whilst the ceremony is happening, please be assured that they have worked very hard before the ceremony even starts.

If you'd like to meet one of our hard working TCN Celebrants, click HERE for find a celebrant in your area.

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?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  
There is a comment section ? at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!
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Oct
03

Why would I want to know about relationship education?



Why would I want to know about

relationship education?



Today’s blog starts off with a legal note about the rules that are set out in the Marriage Act (and the Guidelines to the Act) for all Commonwealth Registered Civil Celebrants.



Rules
To quote “As soon as practicable after receiving the NOIM, an authorised celebrant must give the parties a document outlining the obligations and consequences of marriage (subsection 42(5A) of the Marriage Act). This document has been approved by the Attorney‑General in the form of a brochure entitled Happily Ever Before and After, and indicates the availability of marriage education and counselling and other important legal matters concerning marriage.


A notation of the giving of the document should be made by the authorised celebrant in the appropriate space on the reverse side of the NOIM. If the space is left blank it will indicate that the authorised celebrant has not fulfilled their obligations.”

Scales
And, yes there is more with the Code of Practice stating “ Item 6 requires Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants to maintain up-to-date knowledge about the range of information and services designed to enhance and sustain marrying couples throughout their relationship, not just in the period immediately preceding the marriage ceremony. Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants must also inform marrying couples about this range of services. Meeting this obligation requires ongoing action by Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants. The family relationship services available in their area should be reviewed by them annually at least to ensure the information they provide to marrying couples is up-to-date.” 
So, what do all of these legal words mean? 

Relationship blog pamphlet
Your Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrant is legally required to give a copy of “Happily Ever Before and After” to both the bride and groom as soon as practicable after receiving your Notice of Intended Marriage. 

This handy brochure outlines some points that you might need to consider:

  • Health and welfare benefits
  • Changing your name
  • Citizenship
  • Making a Will
  • Taxation after Marriage
As well as some information about strengthening your marriage with:
  • Before Marriage : Marriage Education
  • During Marriage : Family Counselling
  • Marriage Breakdown : Dispute Resolution.

This brochure has also been translated into a variety of different languages if English is not your first language. Your celebrant can obtain a copy for you very quickly as they are also available in PDF format.  The brochure also provides information about the Family Relationships Online Website and Advice Line.

Relationship blog Family Relationship

The other important part of the legal requirements for all Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrants, is that your celebrant must keep up to date with information about the local Family And Marriage Counsellors in your area, and should provide you with a list of these practitioners at the time that they give you your copies of “Happily Ever Before and After”.

Relationship Education and Counselling has gotten a bad rap over the years, with people thinking it is only for couples who are heading for the divorce court.

However, Relationship Education prior to your wedding can highlight all the good parts of your relationship where you are really compatible, and tease out the areas that you might need to work on, and let’s be truthful, every married couple has a handful of these.

Most counseling is done in a relaxed setting, with lots of talking, lots of laughter, lots of agreement, lots of ah-ha moments and lots to take home to discuss.

Relationship blog discuss


Counseling Services in your area can support you before getting married and throughout your marriage if tricky issues become sticking points, and they offer a safe space to discuss the myriad of concerns that every married couple has over the years, especially in this fast paced, high stress society.

Counseling is no guarantee, but it can provide a solid framework of understanding for your marriage to grow.

Click here if you'd like to speak to a TCN Celebrant about getting married or obtaining more information about Relationship services in your area.

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?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  
There is a comment section ? at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!
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Sep
26

It's Time

It's Time!   Spring equinox 23rd September 2017

It's officially spring....
the flowers are blooming...
 new life is emerging....
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Sep
06

Simple ways to donate to charity

Simple ways to donate to charity

Charity doesn't have to be a huge grand gesture, costing you hundreds of dollars that you may not be able to spare.  

Charity can come in many different forms...

* Monetry donations
* Donations of your time
* Donations of goods or services
* Lending an ear
* Being able to feel empathy for people who are in a less fortunate situation to yourself



Here are some ways that you could help that you might not have thought of before.

If you're a celebrant or someone who offers wedding/celebration services you could donate a percentage of each ceremony to a nominated charity.  Either choose a charity that is important to you or you could work with each individual client and decide together where that particular contribution will go.



If you're someone who is having a ceremony/event you could...

- Have one, two or three tip jars - each labelled with a different charity... let people either donate money directly, or give each person a token to put into the preferred jar and you donate that amount to each charity at the end.
- Ask your guests for donations to a chosen charity in lui of gifts
- Make it a themed event where your guests pay a gold coin to join in - all proceeds go to the charity of your choice.



This is how you "Party with a Purpose"

For more information about partying with a purpose - check out our website

And if you'd like to speak to a celebrant to help you with your next celebration - simply click HERE

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?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  
There is a comment section ? at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
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Aug
30

Celebrating Father's Day

Father's Day is only 4 days away!  
What have you got planned?


Father's Day is celebrated worldwide to recognise the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of their children.  The day is celebrated on different days in different countries, and in Australia, along with New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea we celebrate it on the 1st Sunday in September.  

Quite similarly to Mother's Day, the modern day celebration might include buying dad a tie, some socks and a mug that says "World's Greatest Dad.  We give him a card and possibly gather the family together for a meal - probably a BBQ that dad ends up cooking.



Here are some alternative ideas that might just make dad's day.

1. Let him sleep in.  If dad usually has to get up early because of work or kids or sport.... let him sleep in on Sunday.



2. Ask him what he would like to do - let him make the decisions and choices all day.



5. Plan a day full of surprises that dad will love.



5. Just spend time with your dad - go for a walk or sit and talk.



6. Invite all the family around - uncles, grandfathers, step fathers



7. Be creative - Make a special slide show, write a song or create a book about all the things you love about your dad.



If you'd like to speak to a TCN Celebrant about how you could add ceremony into your father's day celebrations - Click HERE to find the closest celebrant to you.

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Sep
01

Day of Love Ceremony Credits

"I hope you don't mind
that I put down in words
 
How wonderful this life is
while you're in the world"
 
 
Elton John



Each of these celebrants is offering you a credit for any ceremony if you call today to make a booking. 

So, check out these amazing celebrants and get on the phone and start booking .... #sharethelove



Shell Brown - Mandurah, WA


Elaine Dinnigan - Perth, WA



Sonia Collins - Batemans Bay, NSW

 


Susie Roberts - Grafton, NSW

 


Fiona Hall - Central Coast, NSW



Anna Wong - Melbourne, Vic

 You can find all our other fabulous celebrants HERE 

Thank you for being a part of TCN's Day of Love

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Aug
03

Make your wishes known now - before it's too late

Make your wishes known now - before it's too late

In keeping with TCN’s contribution to Dying to Know Day next week our blog today is about the importance of making your wishes known before it’s too late.

While no one really likes to think too much about dying it makes sense to prepare for death in the same way that we prepare for other major events in our lives. 

Let’s explore some of the benefits in forward planning...
 
None of us know exactly when or how we are going to die, but you can make your wishes and preferences for your end of life care known by making an Advance Care Plan or Directive.  This will let your family and doctors know what you would like if you are no longer able to make decisions or communicate your wishes.  You can nominate someone to make your health care decisions for you and you can state what is and is not acceptable to you – for example, are there treatments or outcomes that would not be acceptable to you?  



Do you have a legally valid Will?

According to the NSW Trustee and Guardian, 45% of Australians don’t. If you are one of them, there is a risk that your estate – property, money and other assets will be distributed according to a legal formula instead of following your wishes. 
 


So make a Will now!!

What about your funeral? 

You can really help your family out by letting them know what you would prefer – church or civil service, burial or cremation, who to notify of your death, any special music, photos or readings for the ceremony.  It will be much easier for your family or friends to make arrangements if they feel confident that they are fulfilling your wishes.  Rather than saying “just put me in the compost” why not write down and talk about your wishes and tell the family of any plans you have put in place such as a pre-paid funeral arrangement. 



If you are not sure what is possible for funerals why not talk to a TCN funeral celebrant.

Leave a special legacy by recording your life story 

This might be in words, pictures or both.  It might be a published autobiography or a hand filled photo album.  How many times have you wished that you asked your grandfather more about his wartime service or looked at a family photo and wondered who that very old man in the centre of the photo is? 



We live in such a rapidly changing society that the things we thought were normal and mundane when we were young, now seem like ancient history to our grandchildren. Your first job may not even exist today. Your first car may now be viewed as a vintage model.  

If you would like ideas and help to get started with recording your life story contact a TCN celebrant


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Jul
11

Show me the Stats

Show me the Stats

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics dated November 2016, there were 113,595 marriages registered Australia wide in 2015.

The number of marriages decreased in 2015 by 7,602 - down 6.3%

81.1% of brides and 79.1% of grooms were marrying for the first time.

16.3% of the marriages included one partner who had been married before.

Marriages where both partners had been married before were at 11.7%

The median age for men getting married was 31.8 years and for women it was 29.8 years - both ages increased from previous years.


photocreditmelissadavis.jpg
Couples who lived together prior to marriage accounted for 81%

54.2% of couples married in 2015 were both born in Australia.

 Out of the couples married in 2015 31.9% were born in different countries.

13.9% were born in the same overseas country.

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 3.41.46 pm.png

Civil Celebrants have overseen the majority of marriage ceremonies (since 1999) at an average across the country of 74.9%

If you would like to engage a civil celebrant for your marriage ceremony, commitment ceremony, vow renewal, baby naming ceremony or any other event that you'd like to celebrate - including memorials and life celebrations - then please contact one our fabulous TCN Celebrants

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Jul
04

Popular Wedding Traditions - Explained

There are loads of wedding traditions that people still live by and think that it's not a real wedding if we don't.....

wear a white dress;
have bridesmaids;
have my dad walk me down the aisle;
carry flowers:
something old, something new, something borrowed & something blue...

Because of tradition we base what constitutes a 'real' wedding on whether we follow what everybody else has done before us. 

Whilst traditions in general are important for continuity; making the moment special; and giving you something to look forward to, not all traditions are as relevant as they once were.

For example:

Wearing a white dress

pexels-photo-342257.jpeg
Photo: Pixabay

Modern brides might describe their wedding dress as "cream" or "ivory," but in most cases, it's some variation on white. While there has been an emerging trend on colourful dresses, traditional brides have stayed true to the color white ever since Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840. Before that most brides wore whatever was nicest piece of clothing in their cupboard, while nobility wore luxurious gowns embroidered with metallic thread. Victoria ditched the nobility's traditional silver gown for a white satin one, and unintentionally kick-started the tradition of the white wedding dress.

Note: It is not a legal requirement for you to wear white and it won't mean that you are any less married after your ceremony if you choose to wear something different.

Bridal Parties 

wedding-2275270_1280.jpg
Photo: Pixabay

While bridesmaids are invaluable for moral support and helping you get in and out of your dress, originally they used to have a far more serious role in the wedding: protecting the bride from evil spirits. Bridesmaids were originally directed to dress just like the bride, and this was intended to confuse evil spirits or those who wished to harm the bride.

Note: It is not a legal requirement for you to have bridesmaids or groomsmen as such - you only need your celebrant and 2 witnesses, and you won't be any less married if you don't have a buck's or a hen's night.

Father Giving Away the Bride

adult-2242163_1280.jpg
Photo: Pixabay

Back in the day daughters were considered their father's property, meaning the father had the right to give his daughter to the groom, usually for a price which had to be paid to the bride's family before he could marry her.  This was called the dowry.  Times have changed a bit now and having dear old dad walk you down the aisle has become a sign of love and symbolic of the marrying couple having the support from all the parents as they move on with the next stage in their life. Some people have added mum into the mix with the bride walking in with either or both her parents and sometimes the groom also walks in with his parents first.  

Note: As this isn't a legal requirement, you can walk into your own ceremony any way you like with whom ever you want to support you.  How you walk in is generally irrelevant to the you actually getting married.

The Bride Arriving Late For The Ceremony 

mandala-1907222_1920.jpg

This is not a tradition

and no reference to it as being "a thing" can be found, so from this moment forward, in my opinion only, as a show of respect for the groom, the families, all the guests, the celebrant, the musician, the photographer, the videographer, the venue, the co-ordinator, the car hire people and anybody else that it effects that all brides should arrive on time.

Note: Being super late for your ceremony could effect you becoming legally married on that day.

Please contact a TCN Celebrant today to find out more about the traditions that you'd like to include in your marriage ceremony.
 
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Jun
29

Should we get Married in Summer or Winter?

Should we get Married in Summer or Winter? 

Summer Weddings versus Winter weddings

When and where to hold your wedding are probably two of the biggest choices you will make and they go hand in hand.

Do you want a balmy summer day so that you can get married outdoors?

or

Do you prefer a cosy intimate celebration centred around a roaring fire?
 
In Australia the majority of weddings take place in Spring and Summer with only 5% of marriages taking place in June and July.
 
Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 12.08.43 am.png

However both have their positives and negatives so let's look at some of the factors that may influence your decision:

Weather:
How do you picture your dream wedding... exchanging vows with a beautiful sunset in the background or a roaring fire? Points to consider about the weather:

*  In summer you need to plan for excessive weather changes such as rain or extreme heat.
* In winter you know it is going to be cold so you and your guests can dress accordingly. 

* In summer you may have daylight saving so longer hours to enjoy the sunshine.
* In winter the shorter days may dictate the time of your wedding. 

The Wedding Dress:
How have you pictured your wedding dress… sleeveless, backless, light and summery, long sleeved?  Although the time of year may not influence your choice of wedding dress you will need to consider some extras for a winter wedding such a shawl or jacket and it is not always easy getting it to match your dream wedding dress. And don’t forget your bridesmaids who will feel the cold a lot more than you as they don’t have the same amount of adrenalin to keep them warm, so will need extra clothes. The amount of clothing is much less for a summer wedding. 

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 12.10.31 am.png

How Quickly do you want to get Married?:
How quickly you want to get married after your engagement may determine the season in which you marry. 

* It is far easier to book many of the wedding vendors at short notice in winter. Popular venues and photographers are booked well in advance for a summer wedding. There is greater availability and choice in winter.
* It is often cheaper to book popular vendors in winter because prices become negotiable as they are less busy. In summer you may need to pay a premium for the more popular vendors. 

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 12.10.53 am.png

Flowers:
Do you want your favourite flowers for your bouquet? Flowers are seasonal so the prices will vary a lot depending whether they are in season or need to be imported. If you are happy to use only seasonal flowers you have a greater choice in summer than in winter.  

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 12.11.10 am.png

Practicalities:
Practicalities include all the extra little things that need to be considered for a wedding.
* In summer that would include providing shade for your guests for the ceremony, lots of cool drinks, umbrellas on hand for sun or rain and an indoor alternative venue for rain or sun. 

* In winter that would include hats, gloves, shawls, warm drinks and an outdoor alternative if its a nice sunny winter day. 

Whether you choose summer or winter there will always be a TCN Celebrant free to perform your ceremony so contact your local TCN Celebrant now. 

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Jun
20

Why have a memorial ceremony?

 
Memorial ceremonies can be held shortly after death, perhaps following a private or family funeral ceremony.  They can also be held on significant days, months or even years after a death, on birthdays or other anniversaries for example...
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May
14

Different Types of Families

Different Types of Families

Family:
 noun, plural families.
a. a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.
b. a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family.

 
 

The idea of the ‘traditional’ family of Mum and Dad and the kids has changed 
tremendously over the last 50 years.  No longer are you required to be in a heterosexual 
coupled relationship, all living together in the same house, with possibly a dog and a picket fence to be considered a “family”

Today’s families are diverse; culturally, genderly and ethnically mixed and should be celebrated.

In many countries around the world you can find:

* Children who are adopted and fostered and can be raised by grandparents or other relatives 

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Photo: Pixabay

* Single parents

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Photo: Pixabay

* Families that consist of two parents who don’t live in the same house

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Photo: Pexels


* Children who will grow up with step parents and step siblings, half siblings and extra grandparents

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Photo:Free Stock 

* Parents/couples who can be different genders, the same gender, transgender or not identify with a gender at all

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Photo: proudparenting.com

* Children who don’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth

&

* Families with members who live with a disability

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Photo: Nathan Anderson - unsplash.com

*Couples who do not to have children



* People who choose to complete their family with a fur baby.  

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Photo source: PHann

* Loving partnerships that bring together families from different cultures or nationalities

&

* Families that can be made up of a group of people who are not blood related to them at all

Smile_3.jpg
http://atlantablackstar.com

This is just a short list of the different kinds of families that can be found in Australia and around the world and there's one thing for certain.... 

There is not one type of family that is more ‘normal’ or important than another.

If you would like to find out how you can celebrate your family, please speak to a TCN Celebrant today.

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May
08

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day

Wikipedia tells me that Mother's Day originated in the USA back in 1872 as women were called to support disarmament and for the 2nd June to be established as a "Mother's Day of Peace".  This day was not to honour mothers as such, but for organising pacifist mothers against the war.

On further reading, it was actually Catholic and Protestant Christians in certain parts of Europe in the 16th century that held aside a day called "Mothering Sunday" which fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Day.  This was the day that people would visit their "mother" church, - the church that they'd been baptised in, and being that it was the only day that family would be able to get together, it also became an occasion to honour their own mothers.

Mother's Day in Australia, is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.  In 1924 it became a day to honour mothers and give them gifts when a woman from Sydney, Janet Heyden began visiting patients at the Newington State Home for Women.  She met many lonley and forgotten mothers and to cheer them up, she rounded up support from local school children and businesses to donate and bring gifts to the women.  Each year the day got bigger and bigger and thanks to florists and confectionery companies, became quiet commercialised.  The chrysanthemum becoming the traditional flower to give mums on Mother's Day.

Mother's Day has become a day for Mums to sit back and relax whilst her family dotes on her by making her breakfast, taking her out to lunch, doing odd jobs around
the house and bringing her flowers and gifts….

bed-tea.jpg
Image Source : cheapmothersdaygiftideas.wordpress.com

If she’s anything like my mum you will probably find her tidying up after all those activities and arranging the lunch herself!

Ahh, a mother’s work is never done!

TCN would like to gently push Mother's Day into the future... to a time where we don't simpy give Mum a card and some flowers from the petrol station and be
done with it, but that we look at the Day as a chance to honour our Mum and celebrate her achievements and say thank you for all that she's done for us.

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Here are some different ideas to celebrate your Mum on Mother's Day...

Plant Some Memories... 
Spend the day in the garden with Mum planting some of her favourite flowers that together you can water and look after. Spending this quality time with you
mum will make her feel loved, needed and apprecated. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_mom-daughter-gardening1.jpg

Mother’s Day Selfie... 
Start another family tradition of taking funny selfies of your family with your Mum as the central figure. Then you can print them out and make a
collage of the day. You can look back on that every day and remember how special your Mum is. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_likenessvselfie2.jpg

A Family Reunion...  
Gather all your beloved family members together at a park or someone’s backyard and before you bbq and share out the potato salad, take turns to share
how you feel about your Mum, what she means to you and why you're grateful to have her in your life. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_o-FAMILY-REUNION-facebook.jpg
Image: JACK HOLLINGSWORTH/PHOTODISC/THINKSTOCK

Share in Mum’s Hobbies... 
Gardening might be her passion, she might like funny movies, or she might just love pottering in the kitchen making those mini cakes she’s
famous for - get in there with her. Learn, laugh and love. 

MD-movie.jpg
Image source: blog.ltdcommodities.com

Surprise Mum with a “This Is Your Life” Ceremony...
Take a walk down memory lane and create a book of all Mum’s accomplishments throughout her life.

All you need to do is speak to a celebrant and together you can pull off the most fantastic surprise for your Mum.

b2ap3_thumbnail_grandmother-923871_1920.jpg

Give Mum the Day Off and Leave Her Alone...
No cooking, no cleaning, no washing, no picking up after anybody - just a day of pure bliss.  If Mum has small children, sometimes all she wants
is to have some quiet time to herself to read the paper, or go to the toilet in peace.... then once she has had some time - then you celebrate her - big time!

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To me, my Mum is more than just my Mum - she’s my best friend and it brings a tear to my eye to even say the words ‘I’d be lost without her’, but there are lots of
people out there who will be celebrating Mother’s Day without their Mums.

Your Mum will always be special and it's important to keep them in your memory.

Make her favourite recipe...
Dig out that scone recipe that your Mum used to make and think about her with every turn of the wooden spoon, then lovingly whip some cream and with each
bite, remember all the wonderful things about your Mum.  You could also invite family around to share in the love with you, sharing memories and stories.

b2ap3_thumbnail_gallery-1461869243-gettyimages-548555775.jpg

Hold a Day of Remembering...
Not too unlike a memorial, but a lot happier.  Gather the people who were close to your Mum together, ask them to bring with them something that reminds them of her and each speak about the wonderful person that she was and the amazing legacy that she has left for you all.  You could incorporate a TCN Celebrant to assist you in arranging the day and keeping it flowing so that you can be completely immersed in the memories and the feelings of the day.

multi racial gathering diversity fellowship dinner vine seminar family Courtesy of Monkey Business Images Shutterstock com  _292953494.jpg
Courtesy of Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Make a patchwork quilt...
My Mum has a thousand scarves and each one reminds me of a different event, a different place and a different smile.  Imagine sewing all those memories
together into one glorious patchwork quilt to wrap yourself up in on Mother's Day.

b2ap3_thumbnail_gallery-1461869637-gettyimages-153940025.jpg

CLICK HERE to find some more lovely ideas to keep Mum close with you this Mother’s Day.

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Apr
24

Why is Ceremony Important?

Why are ceremonies important?

The dictionary defines "ceremony" as:

ceremony
/ˈsɛrɪmənɪ/
noun (pl-nies

1. a formal act or ritual, often set by custom or tradition, performed in observation of an event or anniversary


I recently came across a great webpage belonging to a Canadian Celebrant, and thought that her explanation of why we have ceremonies was spot on and I couldn’t have worded it any better myself....

Here's what Celebrant Michele Davidson of Modern Celebrant says on her webpage: http://moderncelebrant.ca

"Longing to Connect
 
Have you ever wondered why we put so much effort into celebrating the start of a marriage with a wedding ceremony? Or why celebrations of life, memorials and funerals feel so incredibly important to do – and to do right?  What about the feeling we have when we bring a new life into this world…. doesn’t it feel like there should be some sort of community event?
One of the most beautiful aspects of being human is how strongly we yearn to connect with the people we love. We quite naturally long for emotional richness and a sense of significance when it comes to the big experiences of life. For some people it’s a very conscious desire; for others it is something they can’t quite name or put their finger on. 

It’s such a shame that in our fast-paced society, many people no longer truly ‘get’ the profound opportunities ceremony offers! They either do nothing, or go through the motions with perfunctory (just get through it) ceremony.
We’ve evolved and grown in so many ways – as a culture and as individuals – but for some reason we play small when it comes to honouring life changes.

Ceremony should be a Catalyst
A well thought out and lovingly conducted ceremony takes you through a gateway. Metaphorically through the words and gestures of your ceremony, you move with greater intention from one phase of your life to the next; from one way of ‘being’ into another. For instance, a wedding ceremony is not merely saying, “I do.” A wedding ceremony should be a catalyst that allows two individuals to really ‘get’ that they now step forward into a life that is shared.

Your ceremony should actually mean something. Not be just a pretty sparkly thing that is soon forgotten.

Something that you will remember forever."
[thank you to Michele Davidson - Modern Celebrant for allowing us to use her webpage]

Ceremonies happen at many events:

* At birthdays we blow out candles and sing "Happy Birthday" - would the party mean as much if we didn't do those things?

* We celebrate people's greatness by giving out awards and making speeches - would the recipient feel as special and appreciated if we made no fuss?

* At funerals and memorials we lay flowers and recite poetry to show respect to lost loved ones - how would we feel if we didn't mark their death in some significant way?
 
* We exchange rings and vows at a wedding because it actually means something to the couple.  They're saying 'I choose you to take this next step in life, will you join me?'  It's binding, not just legally, but emotionally.

Ceremonies.jpg

The more that we pay attention to the ceremony, and accept that it is there to help make our transitions through life smoother, the easier it will become to understand why it is so important.

Talk to a TCN Celebrant today about adding ceremony to your next life event

???
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Apr
08

Getting Married in Australia - The Legals

Getting Married in Australia - The Legals

The Marriage Act of 1961 says that you must comply with these six things below in order to get married in Australia:

1. your relationship must be between a man and a woman

2. you must be 18 years of age or over
(Under rare circumstances, a person between the age of 16 and 18 can marry, provided their prospective marriage partner is 18 years or over, and the couple have been granted permission by a Court)

3. you must not be married to anyone else

4. you cannot marry a person who is your antecedent or descendant by marriage or adoption

5. you must both be capable of and give free consent to marry the other 

6. you must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form with your celebrant no earlier than 18 months and no later than 1 month before your ceremony
(A prescribed authority may authorise a marriage where a NOIM form is lodged within one month of the date of the ceremony - ask your celebrant for details)

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So, if you can say yes to all six of the Marriage Act rules, or you have been granted the necessary permissions, then you are clear to start planning with your celebrant.

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Making the union legal between you and your partner can sometimes be a confusing business which is why it's a great idea to #AskaCelebrant and they will explain all the requirements to ensure your marriage is legally valid.  

You can find a TCN Celebrant in your area through the TCN website.

Your celebrant must also sight original forms of your ID and divorce/death certificates (not photocopies) before the ceremony can take place. 

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Some legal things that you might not know:

It is an offence, punishable with fines and/or jail time:

* for a person to go ahead with their marriage when the haven't complied with the 6 rules stated above and for a celebrant if they knew and solomnised the marriage anyway
* for a couple or a celebrant to falsify documents, by giving false information or backdating forms and certificates

* for a person who is not an authorised celebrant to solemnise a marriage
* for an interpreter to give false information

During the ceremony

The celebrant must state that they are authorised to solemnise marriages according to the law, and recite the monitum - which literally means "warning" that informs a wedding couple of the legal expectation of the binding nature of marriage within Australia, then the couple states that they want to become legally married to each other.  

This all has to be done in front of your celebrant and 2 witnesses who are over 18.

To conclude the ceremony, you, your celebrant and your witnesses sign three certificates and then your paperwork is sent off to the BDM in the state your ceremony took place to be registered.

And that's it!  It's that simple!

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FAQ:
What about if I want to surprise my fiance and organise the wedding without them knowing?

I'm sorry, but this just can't happen.  
You can surprise your guests, but both people who are getting married must have full knowledge and be in agreement at least one full month before the ceremony date.

Can I marry my first cousin?

Yes, you can.

Will my name be changed after the ceremony?

No, If you choose to change your name after you are married, you can automatically take your partner's surname without doing anything.  You can officially change your name, by going into government departments - Passport Office, Department of Transport, your bank, Medicare, etc, however.... you will first need to obtain an official marriage certificate from the BDM in the state you were married in.  

The pretty certificate you get on the day is a legal document that shows you are married but is not accepted by government departments and others for changing your name.

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Read More Information Here

If you have any questions relating to legally getting married in Australia, you can find one right here: Find a TCN Celebrant

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Mar
23

Add Purpose to your Party

TCN's Party with a Purpose initiative is all about adding purpose to your party.  Yes it's fine to have a glass of champas and a slab of cake, but it's important to remember why we're there - to show our love and appreciation for the Guest of Honour.

Here are some practical ways that you could add more purpose to your party..... 

First of all, put the cake down.

* Offer a gift - but not just the flowers you picked up last minute from the petrol station with little-to-no thought - a real, 'I've put a lot of thought into this' gift that shows your Guest of Honour that you truly do care about them.

* Offer to arrange the party rather than just turn up for the free food and drink

* Organise something special for the Guest of Honour - eg: fly in a relative they haven't seen for years 

* Make a speech honouring the Guest of Honour

* Engage a TCN Celebrant to create a beautiful ceremony


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Image Source: Pixabay


"I thought Party with a Purpose was to do with charities.... Where does the charity part come in?" I hear you ask.

The second initiative of TCN's Party with a Purpose is to utilise these types of gatherings as an opportunity to help raise money for a charity.  


TCN gives our members the opportunity to choose and sponsor a charity on our website.  The charity is then given exposure not only in our website directory, but also on our social media pages as well.

So, how can you help?  

I'm glad you asked.... When you're organising this fabulous party, you could ask the Guest of Honour who their favourite charity is..... then think of ways in which you could incorporate the party and raising money.  


Here are a few suggestions:

1. Have a dress-up party where the guests pay a donation on entry

2. Run fun raffles and games throughout the party

3. Ask your guests to give donations instead of gifts

4. Instead of giving each wedding guest a bonbonniere, donate to a charity in their name


5. Sell tokens that guests can then put into jars labelled with different charities - choosing which one they like the best

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Image Source: Pixabay


Giving is such a great feeling and knowing that you've participated in an event that will follow on to help others is an even better feeling.

Find out how you can sponsor a charity on TCN's website - click HERE

More ideas about how to Party with a Purpose - click HERE

Talk to a TCN Celebrant about assisting you in arranging a fabulous Party with a Purpose ceremony - click HERE
 
We'd also love to hear your ideas about how you add purpose to your parties.... please feel free to add a comment below or jump into the conversation on Facebook
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Rona Goold

Great Ideas!

Love the idea of bringing attention to something important to the couple in this way. I've seen the token idea used to good effec... Read More
Saturday, 08 April 2017 15:42
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Mar
22

The Importance of Poetry

I know it's still March and I never like to wish any part of the year away, but April is Poetry Month and I wanted to get a head start.....

Following is a blog that was written by TCN's esteemed Committee Treasurer, Civil Celebrant and all round lovely lady - Susan Roberts and I thought it was the most fitting blog post to share with you today.

April - the Month of Poetry

Poems play a very important part in all of the ceremonies we celebrants perform. 

A poem that has been carefully selected, can add a depth to your ceremony. A great poem can add a touch of humour, a gentle romantic touch, a spiritual tone or a sense of solemn respect, and so much more. 

 It can express a parent’s love for their child at a baby naming, a couple’s love and commitment in a wedding ceremony or renewal of vows, and showcase a life in a funeral ceremony. 

The big question is, how do you selection poems. 

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One really workable suggestion is to build up a collection of poems to offer your clients, and to add to the collection all of the time to keep your selections fresh and appealing. 

I keep mine in different folders to make it easier to pick the best poem for the ceremony: modern love poems, classic love poems, naming poems, funeral poems, etc., and make sure that you follow the copyright laws, and always, always, always acknowledge the poet. 

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Fortunately, there are lots of tools online to help. 

Here are just a couple of wedding poem lists after a quick Google search:
And three funeral poetry guides :
Naming day poems are always very personal to the parents,
and often the parents have researched and selected the poem for themselves.
Poetree Logo

On the Forum Board on our TCN website, there is a New Forum Topic which is available for TCN members to put links to your favourite poems. 

So, can you hop online, find your favourite poem and add the link to this Forum, and we will end up with a great resource section of poetry for all occasions. 

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Write Your Own - Custom Poems

When I was in my early 20s, I lost my maternal Grandfather and paternal Grandmother. Coming from a large contingent of grandchildr... Read More
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Mar
15

A wedding Vs a marriage

 
Some people think that a marriage and a wedding go hand in hand.... well, they do - but really, they don't.  
Yes, you have a wedding because you are getting married, but you don't (or you shouldn't) get married because you want a wedding.
 
It's vital not to lose sight of what is important.

A wedding can take an extraordinary amount of planning and can test your ability to deal with stress, your organisational skills and possibly your patience, but that's about all.  At the end of the day, yes you'll be married (assuming you've remembered to book a civil celebrant), but throwing a successful wedding party doesn't mean that you have a successful marriage - not yet anyway.

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A marriage takes work and it takes time. Years of nurturing your relationship where you treat each other with equality, respect and kindness.  Marriage is supporting each other through the great and the not so great times.  Marriage may force you to assess and re-evaluate some of your choices. It may also be a constant reminder that there is another person that you need to consider.  It's being able to communicate with your partner effectively and working out ways to live together harmoniously.  It's creating strategies to deal with conflict and disagreements.

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So why do we put such a massive emphasis on the wedding day?

We follow traditions about what we should wear and what our friends should wear.  We make sure that everything is colour coordinated, we adhere to the prescribed formulae so the day is perfect and a lot of us are throwing big $$$$ dollars at this one day.

Does the most expensive wedding = the best marriage?
Does getting the colour scheme wrong = a marriage failure?
Does bucking traditions = not a real marriage?
No.

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A marriage is a lifelong partnership and a wedding is the one day you choose to celebrate the beginning of that marriage.
Which ever way you choose to celebrate your marriage is totally ok - there's no judgement here, however be mindful of what is actually more important to you - the marriage or the wedding.

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To find a TCN Celebrant to help you create an amazing celebration for what is sure to be a wonderful marriage -  Click here.

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Mar
08

Celebrating the women in our lives

#BeBoldForChange

Think about the women in your life… you might have a mother, a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, a wife, an aunty, a grandmother, a granddaughter or a niece.  You could be surrounded by female friends, work colleagues or neighbours.
 
Now think about the last time that you celebrated each of those women.  When was the last time you told them what a difference they make in your life or how you feel about them?

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Besides Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day how often to we acknowledge and thank the women in our lives for everything they do for us?  They tend to make thankless sacrifices for us and we tend to assume that it’s simply their duty.

So with all that giving and us readily taking, perhaps it’s time that we paused just briefly to think of ways that we could return the love and support given to us?

Here are a few ways that we could give back:

Simply say “Thank you”

It doesn’t sound much does it, but to the person receiving those two little words - you’ll probably find that it means the world.

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Tell them what they mean to you

We all like to feel appreciated and needed. 
So what’s wrong with letting the special ladies in your life know?


Leave them alone!

Sometimes the women in our lives, who do so much for us, just want a bit of  time and space for themselves.  Make an environment where they can do that - guilt free.

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Make time for your female friends

That’s right ladies, I’m not just aiming these tips at men and children….. women need to look out for other women as well.
 

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Throw a party

Just because women should be celebrated!

Support their ideas and their personal goals

Knowing that your loved ones are right there beside you, encouraging you to follow your dreams is very important.

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For more information about events and activities going on for International Women’s Day, check out their website -
https://www.internationalwomensday.com  

Their slogan this year is #BeBoldForChange

To find a TCN Celebrant to help you create an amazing celebration for the women in your life.  Click here.
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Mar
01

Commitment Ceremonies

Commitment Ceremonies

A Commitment Ceremony is every bit like a Marriage Ceremony except for one thing - the ceremony is not legally binding.  However the love and sentiment and support and meaning are just the same.

 
This type of ceremony is usually held for people who are not able to marry due to current laws, so a lot of couples from the LGBTIQ community choose to commit to each other this way.  However, Commitment Ceremonies are open and available to everyone who wants to declare their love for their partner without the legalities.
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Beverley Knowles

Love them.

I have done several Committment Ceremonies over the past ten years and no two are the same. Some couples have very lavish ceremon... Read More
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Leslie Ridgeway

Bring it on

I have conducted quite a few Commitment Ceremonies over the past 7 years. Some couples have preferred to call them Unity Ceremonie... Read More
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Feb
22

Celebrating Who You Are

 
Celebrating who you are gives you an opportunity to thank family and friends for their love and support.

 

Be the reason to enable loved ones to come together to build stronger relationships.  Not one of us would be who we are today without "a little help" along the way.

 

There are plenty of times in our lives that should be celebrated, but we generally only acknowledge a few...

 

Our birthdays every year; a major anniversary, getting married and having a baby - they're the staples that most people celebrate, but what about all those other life transitions and accomplishments that are forgotten about?

 

Here's a few for you to contemplate....

 

Graduating:

 

Pre-school, primary school, high school and university.  Some people celebrate these monumental academic accomplishments with a ceremonial graduation along with their classmates, but there's nothing to stop you from also celebrating with your nearest and dearest loved ones too.

 

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Feb
04

Love Festivals from Around the World

 

In Australia, we look to the 14th of February, Valentine's Day as our day of love.  We buy flowers and jewellry  and chocolates; we take our loved ones out for dinner and buy cards that express our undying love, but what are the rest of the world doing?  

 cover photo by Lizzie51 @ deviantart.com

Here are 16 Love Festivals from around the world

Artist: Marie Muravski

Compiled by: Jessica Smith on boredpanda.com

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No matter what we do for our respective days of love, it the same the world over that we do what we can to make our partner feel special.

If you're in love, you'd best check out our website - Just click here

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Feb
04

11 Questions to Ask Your Celebrant

First of all,  what is the role of the celebrant?

The role of a civil celebrant is to:

  • work with couples and families to create a beautiful, meaningful ceremony that suits their style.
and in addition for a marriage ceremony:
  • witness two consenting adults entering into a legal and binding relationship.  
  • complete all the legal paperwork and make sure that it is all done within the strict legal rules set in the Marriage Act of 1961. 


Here are some questions that you might consider when engaging a civil celebrant.

1. Are you available on the date I’ve chosen for my wedding/anniversary party/baby naming/funeral?
 
This is probably the most important of questions because if the celebrant is not available on your preferred day, then the rest of the questions are irrelevant.

2. What paperwork is required before we can get married?
 
This is a great question because there is a strict time-frame as to when you need to have initial paperwork lodged with your celebrant.
 
3. Can we meet and get to know each other before we decide?

Of course! It’s always a good idea to meet with your celebrant and make sure you feel comfortable with them and that you get a feeling of trust - after all, they will be taking care of a very important event for you and your loved ones.

 

couple-meeting-celebrant.jpg
Image source: https://trulymarvellousweddings.co.uk

3. What services do you offer?

This can be used as a good comparison between celebrants, but it also gives you reassurance that you will be receiving everything that you want/need for your ceremony.

4. What happens during the ceremony?

If you’ve not been to too many ceremonies - weddings, namings or funerals, you may not be aware of how a ceremony works.  Asking this question will help to give you a visual of how the ceremony will flow.
 
For example in a marriage ceremony where everyone will stand or when you’ll be able to kiss your new husband.

 

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Photo credit: Shell Brown

5. Are you willing to travel?

Fairly important if you’re planning to have your ceremony 500kms away from where the celebrant lives!

6. Do you provide a PA system?

As part of the Celebrant Code of Practice, celebrants must make sure that the ceremony can be heard.  So if you’re having your ceremony on the beach or in a field, it’s important that your celebrant is able to provide a good quality PA system.

 

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Image source: Pixabay

7. Do you have or will you take any other bookings on the same day?

Some celebrants will book more than one ceremony on a day, which is completely fine – however a professional celebrant will make sure there is enough time to get between venues without rushing and missing anything. 

 

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Image source: wixsite.com
 
8.  Why did you become a celebrant and what do you enjoy about being a celebrant?
 
Getting to know your celebrant a little and finding out what they love about being a celebrant should help you to decide whether they are a good fit for your style, your personality and your ceremony.
 

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Photo: TCN Celebrant Scott Broadbridge-Brown - Beyond Celebrancy
 
9. Are you a member of a professional celebrant association like TCN?

Professional celebrant associations like TCN - (The Celebrants Network) offer their members support, assistance and ongoing professional development.  Celebrants who are a part of an association are able to network with colleagues and share their knowledge and experience whilst having access to a vast amount of information to help improve their skills.
 
10. What are your fees?
 
Once you’ve decided that you'd like this celebrant to be a part of your ceremony, that is the time that you’d ask them about their fees.  Obviously each element of your ceremony needs to fit into a budget, but try not to make your decision based on fees alone. The ceremony is often the part that makes the event different to other family gatherings or parties, and remembered most when beautifully designed and delivered.
 
In regard to weddings, an article was written recently about the costs of weddings and the break down listed the celebrant as the lowest cost item on people’s budgets, which is surprising when you think of the amount of work that is done to personalise a ceremony and the fact that your marriage can’t actually begin without a celebrant.

 

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Image source: ASIC - Money Smart
 
11. Would you like to be our celebrant?

What a wonderful offer.  I’d be honoured!

 

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Jan
18

Don't Be Late!

Don’t be late!

 

Is it fashionable for the bride to be late to the ceremony anymore? 
 
 
Was it ever fashionable?  

 

There are valid excuses for being late:

 

Car trouble, traffic, wardrobe/hair/makeup malfunctions, nerves, forgot something vital to the ceremony… but intentionally planning to keep your guests waiting because you think it’s a tradition or so you can make a grand entrance is not necessary. 
 
Being late is as much a tradition as it is lucky when it rains on your wedding day - it's just something people say... and your entrance will be grand regardless of what time you arrive.

 

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Image source: stuff.co.nz

The same excuses can be allowed for guests, however intentionally arriving any later than 15+ minutes before the ceremony is due to start is not ok.  

 

Perhaps people assume that the bride will be ‘fashionably late’ and therefore what’s the point of arriving early? 
 
But what if this bride is considering the comfort of her guests and valuing her celebrant/photographer/videographer/musician/other ceremony service provider’s time and arrives on time for the ceremony - then you run the risk of missing the beginning of the ceremony or causing a ruckus coming in half way through.

 

Let’s ditch this idea that the bride (or groom) should be late to the ceremony.

 

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Image source: Pixabay

Let me tell you an extreme, and yet very true story of what can happen if you choose to be late on a hot day.  

 

Imagine, if you will, a very hot day - sweltering in fact... I'm talking up and over 40℃

 

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Your guests have arrived 15 minutes early as instructed.  They are dressed in their finery, ladies in heels and make up, gents in long pants and suit jackets.  You have opted for the magnificent location of that park near that lake where there’s not a lot of shade.  Your guests have not thought to bring hats or umbrellas, possibly not being familiar with the park’s shade offerings.  So they stand uncomfortably in the sun, holding their clutch purses over their faces, slowly melting, silently hoping that the bride will be on time.

 

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Photo credit: Shell Brown

The groom and his best man are dressed in their 3 piece suits, looking marvellous except for their glistening red faces and parched lips.
The bride is sitting somewhere in air conditioning having the finishing touches done to her hair and make up.  The girls are having a last champas before getting into the air conditioned car to get to the ceremony….. it doesn’t matter if we’re a bit late, they decide - it’s fashionable, right?

 

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Image source: Pixabay

Cut back to the park where the guests have now been standing in the blazing sun for 30 minutes, with no bridesmaid filled vintage limo in sight.  The guests haven’t brought any water, as they didn’t think they’d be standing there for this long.  One of the nanas has thought to bring a fan with her and she is starting to look way too flushed. Her breathing slows down as she slumps slightly in her chair.

 

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Image source: totally-awesome.net

The girls are finally in the limo and are super excited to be on their way.  The guests have been waiting for 45 minutes now and people are losing their patience and good humour.  The limo pulls up to the park, it’s another 10 minutes while the bride has some photos in the car, then gets out of the car and has more photos in front of the car, then with the bridesmaids, then one with her dad, then a few of the bride with the bridesmaids fussing around her dress…. 

 

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Image source: Pixabay

The guests can see she has arrived and are wondering, as they wipe the sweat from their eyes, waterproof mascara running, why she hasn’t started walking towards them yet.  People can get cross and fed up in the heat.

 

The bride finally arrives and can’t understand why her guests all look furious and a little damp.

 

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Sure - this might be far fetched, but people can get cranky in the heat! Image source: iloverealestate.tv

Nana manages to make it though the ceremony - only just and is then taken to hospital with heat stroke.  Another two guests opt to go home because standing out in the heat has made them feel sick.

 

So… to be late or not to be late?

 

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Image source: memes.com

If you would like some advice on how best to plan your ceremony so that everybody makes it through to the reception, why not #askacelebrant? 
 
You can contact a TCN Celebrant by clicking this link.

 

And if you do have a guest suffer from heat stroke - here are some handy hints 

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Dec
21

Party With a Purpose this New Year's Eve

Party with a Purpose this New Year’s Eve!

 

As 2016 draws to a close, you have a champers in one hand and a whistle blower in the other.  You’re surrounded by friends as you celebrate the year that was and look forward to the new year ahead.

 

That sounds awesome, but what if I told you that there was a way you could still do all that, but help people in need as well?

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TCN's "Party with a Purpose" is all about adding that extra meaning to your celebration and New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to do this.

 

 

As you reflect on your 2016, the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows, there are people everywhere doing exactly the same thing, except that their 2016 might have included illness, homelessness, domestic abuse or financial hard times, just to name a few.

 

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Using your party is a great way to raise money for people who have had a tough year.

 

Fancy Dress - $10 each - straight to a charity and a person or family in need

 

Whistle blower/noise maker for midnight celebrations - $5 each - straight to a charity and a person or family in need

 

Entry fee - $15 each (the price of one cocktail) - straight to a charity and a person or family in need

 

Run a raffle - $2 per ticket - straight to a charity and a person or family in need

 

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What are some of your ideas for raising money at your party? Share them on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.

 

Party with a Purpose
(seriously - it’s the next big thing!)

 

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Nov
23

Do We Need a Bridal Party?

The History of the Bridal Party

During the "marriage by capture" era, close friends of the groom helped him to kidnap the bride from her family. The first groomsmen were more like a small army, fighting off the bride's angry relatives as the groom rode away with her on his horse.

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Bridesmaids and maids of honour became more common when weddings were planned. For several days before the marriage, a senior maid attended to the bride. This maid or matron of honour, as we know her today, ensured that the bridal wreath was made and helped the bride get dressed. 

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For a long time, bridesmaids wore dresses much like the bride's gown, while the groomsmen dressed in clothing that was similar to the groom's attire. This tradition began for protection against evil rather than for uniformity; if evil spirits or jealous suitors attempted to harm the newlyweds, they would be confused as to which two people were the real bride and groom.

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Over time this tradition has morphed into inviting a small number of your nearest and dearest to help you plan your special day and to carry out that plan on the day.  Special responsibilities are given to the bridal party, for example: bridesmaids will go with the bride to chose outfits and have a number of beauty treatments whilst the groomsmen pick their outfits and sometimes engage in a group activity like go carting or golf.

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Then on the day, they are given responsibilities such as: the Best Man holds the rings, the Maid of Honour holds the bouquet; the groomsmen hand out ceremony programs and the bridesmaids are in charge of making sure that the train on the bride’s dress is sufficiently fanned and that the flower girls are looked after. 

And they are all responsible for arranging buck’s and hen’s events.

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So, do I actually need to have a bridal party?

The short answer is no - there is no legal reason to have a bridal party.  However some people do like to have their closest buddies around them on their special day, sharing in the moment and helping them prepare, but it is not a prerequisite for getting married.  A civil marriage ceremony only requires you and your partner, your celebrant and your two witnesses - everybody else is there to watch and help you celebrate.

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Some 'pros' to having a bridal party

You get to share the shopping with your besties, you have access to honest advice throughout, hen’s/buck’s parties are more fun with more than one person there! If you are feeling a bit stressed on the day, your best man is there to talk you through it and your bridesmaids are at the ready with the touch up lippy.  Group photos are great fun and you have your best friends sharing your most special day with you from woe to go.

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Some 'cons' that come with having a bridal party

Sometimes having a bridal party can be a bit of a drama.  Before there was just you and your fiancé to think about, now you have a MOH a BM, 4 BMs and 5 GMs - Then you are plagued with questions: Is it going to look awkward if the numbers are uneven?  Do you invite somebody just to fill the numbers?  Will asking my 2 year old niece to be a flower girl balance the numbers out even though she won’t know why she’s there or even remember the day?  What colours will they wear?  Will they all were the same?  My girlfriends are all different shapes and sizes, will the same dress suit them all?  That’s a lot of money to pay for a dress that they’ll only wear once.  I’ve got 4 best friends but I only want 3 bridesmaids - how will I choose and how will my left out friend feel? 

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How you choose to celebrate your marriage is totally up to you.


Here are 8 'non rules' that might be helpful when deciding if you want to include a bridal party or not.

1. You don’t have to have a bridal party if you don’t want to.

2. You don’t have to stick to female bridesmaids and male groomsmen - this is going to sound crazy, but you can choose who ever you want.

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3. You are under no obligation to ask anybody to be your bridesmaid/groomsman - (even if you promised them when you were 9 years old)

4. Remember you are getting married to the person that you love - not putting on a show for paying customers.

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5. The ceremony is about you and your loved one pledging your life to each other and declaring undying love. You don’t need help with that part - except from your celebrant.

6. You can give friends and family special roles/jobs i.e: a reading, day of co ordinator, holding the rings, being in charge of not running out of champagne, looking after the gift table - sort of like a bridal party, but they can wear what they want and they sit with the other guests while you have centre stage.

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7. Giving those people that helped a special mention in your speech is all that is needed.

8.  You can have as many bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, page boys, matrons of honour and best men that you want to - it's your day!

 

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If you would like to speak to an experienced TCN Celebrant about how you can create your own marriage ceremony - CLICK HERE

 

What are your thoughts on having a bridal party - leave your comments in the comment section below.

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Nov
15

Tolerance

tolerance
ˈtɒl(ə)r(ə)ns/
noun
noun: tolerance; plural noun: tolerances
1. the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.

 

This week on the 16th November is the International Day of Tolerance.

 

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The lovely thing about civil celebrants and civil celebrations is that they are all inclusive. They promote respect for people’s differences in religion, gender, sexual preference, race, cultural background, economic status, football team, icecream flavour and whether or not they want a traditional wedding or an elopement.  Civil celebrants don't judge.  
 
The most important thing to us is that there are two consenting adults:
Who are both 18 years old
Who are not married to other people
Who are not directly related to each other
Who have been able to provide required ID
Who have given the required one month notice

 

Anything beyond that is simply not our business to judge.

 

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Civil marriage ceremonies aim to focus on the couple's love and life together, rather than on their religious beliefs or cultural traditions or that of their families. Civil celebrantions are all about tolerance and respect and acceptance - the clue is right there in the name - 'civil'.  Having said that, if couples would like to include their religion or their cultural traditions into the ceremony, then that can be catered for as well. There are no rules on what you can add to your legal ceremony - that's the beauty of a civil ceremony!

 

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When one partner belongs to one religion and the other to another or to none at all, a civil ceremony is the perfect solution to declaring their love and becoming married in a ceremony that welcomes everybody without discrimination. Even if your guests don’t agree with your choices, they can still enjoy the meaningful ceremony created by a civil celebrant.

 

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Civil funerals allow a person’s family and friends to mourn their loss in a respectful ceremony, where those who do not understand
the deceased person’s specific religion are able to fully engage with the meaning and intent of that ceremony of transition.

 

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Supporting Marriage Equality

Acknowledging your support for marriage equality during your own marriage ceremony is becoming quite popular for those couples who believe that everybody should have the same rights - click HERE for suggestions as to how you could include a statement into your ceremony.

 

If you are thinking that you’d like be more tolerant of others, but are not sure how to put it into practise, click HERE for some simple and effective ideas.

 

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If you'd like to speak with a civil celebrant who you can be sure is tolerant and accepting of people of all walks of life, then please head to our directory and find a TCN Celebrant in your area.

 

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Recent comment in this post
Elaine Dinnigan

Tolerance is such a simple act

Nice post, congrats to the author
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 20:09
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Nov
08

Remembering Loved Ones

The 11th of November is coming up this Friday which is Remembrance Day.  The day we pay our respects to those soldiers who died in the First World War.
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Nov
05

Adoption Awareness Week

Next week is National Adoption Awareness Week (NAAW), which exists to raise awareness of adoption and the importance of permanency for children, along with providing education on the support needs of children and families - www.adoptchange.org.au

 

With this fabulous cause in mind, we wanted to share with you a couple of ways that you could welcome a new family member into your home.

 

As babies are too little to really understand that they have a new home, the welcoming is more aimed at the parents, siblings and close family.

 

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Naming Ceremony - A lot of children who are adopted already have names given to them by their biological parents, so this ceremony can celebrate the child’s first name, a new family surname or can simply act as a welcoming ceremony, introducing the child to their new family.

 

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When the kiddies are older, it becomes more about them and welcoming them into their new family and their new home.  Making them feel loved and safe and helping them to build personal relationships.

 

Welcoming Party/Ceremony - For older children, one way to show them that they play an important role in their new family is by having a welcoming party in their honour.

 

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Some adoption experts say…

 

Find out about your child’s life before they were adopted - If they come from a different country, perhaps you could incorporate something they are familiar with.  Music, food or games.

 

Introduce family members slowly - Bombarding your child with all their new aunties, uncles and cousins at one BBQ could be quite overwhelming.

 

Preparing other children - If you have other children at home, preparing them for the arrival of the new addition is just as vital as welcoming a new child.

 

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Speak to one of our TCN Celebrants who can help you to arrange the perfect welcoming ceremony for your family.

 

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Jul
14

Citizenship Day ceremonies for Australian born citizens?

Most of us think of Citizenship ceremonies as only for overseas born people who apply for Australian Citizenship or who are born here to overseas nationals, but who are not automatically granted Australian Citizenship status.

We hear a lot about these ceremonies around Australia Day. But few of us have heard about Australian Citizenship Day. Perhaps because it is really in its infancy.

In 2001, Australian Citizenship Day was launched to increase community awareness of Au​stralian citizenship. Australian Citizenship Day now provides a focal point for citizenship-related activities and celebrations. It was introduced as a result of a recommendation by the Australian Citizenship Council.

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Some of these activities are ceremonies where people who are already Australian citizens, born here or overseas, can come to affirm their loyalty and commitment to Australia and its people. As such they have been termed Citizenship Affirmation ceremonies.

17 September each year was chosen because it is the anniversary of the renaming of the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 to the Australian Citizenship Act 1948.

 

Australian citizenship affirmation ceremonies can be hosted by any Australian citizen as a ceremony.

 

What a wonderful opportunity for us as independent Australian civil celebrants?
 

We can start planning ways we can host Citizenship affirmation ceremonies in our communities to uphold the values and practicies our forebears developed - our Indigenous peoples and our newer arrivals - that make Australia a caring and respectful multicultural democratic society. The core of the ceremony is the 'vow' or the 'promise". . . 

The Australian citizenship affirmation states:
As an Australian citizen
I affirm my loyalty to Australia and its people,
Whose democratic beliefs I share,
Whose rights and liberties I respect,
And whose laws I uphold and obey.
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Any promise or commitment we make is important. However as celebrants we understand that when we make promises publicly we give those promises, and those who receive them more power, honour and respect.

Learn more about ceremonies in this TCN section and more about Australian Citizenship Day from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Affirmation cards can be ordered or downloaded from the Australian Affirmation website.
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Jul
14

How to be a good listener

A key skill in creating a good ceremony is listening.  As celebrants we should all try to develop the skill of listening through regular and frequent practice.

 

Hearing and listening are very different.  Hearing is physically taking in the sound of somebody else's voice, but listening is more difficult.  

 

Listening is when we not only hear what the other person is saying, but we also store and analyse that information.  

 

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It is easy to think you are listening when really you are just letting the other person talk while you are busy thinking of the next thing that you want to say - this is not really listening!

If you are always talking, or thinking about the next thing you want to say, you are only ever listening to the things that you already know, but if you listen to somebody else, there's a good chance that you might learn something new.

 

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So how is this helpful for celebrants when working with clients?

 

Celebrants and their clients can often have pre-conceived ideas of the ceremony structure and content. By actively listening to each other the celebrant and client can share their ideas effectively.

 

Active listening means paying attention, showing that you are paying attention by your body language, giving feedback to check and show understanding, delaying judgement and responding appropriately. 

 The client can explain their requirements, concerns and preferences and the celebrant can advise on ways to meet those needs and give guidance on any ideas that might cause logistical or other difficulties.  

Active listening on both sides creates a successful conversation.  Only then can the celebrant and client co-create a beautiful ceremony that is perfect for the client.
 
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Aug
31

TCN Celebrates its Day of Love

TCN Celebrates its Day of Love -  1 September 2016.

Why have we spent all day shouting about love all over our Social Media?

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Because, as Celebrants, all of our work is about love.

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When we marry a couple, they are deeply in love, and the wedding service more often than not reminds the couples attending about their love story.


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When we perform a funeral there is a great deal of love in the room for the deceased and for the family members.

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When we name a child everyone there is full of love for the child.

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When we officiate at significant birthdays and other events, there is always lots of love woven into the ceremony.

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As Celebrants, we make can your ceremony of LOVE the most memorable time of your life.


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So, what are you waiting for?

 

Check out our amazing group of Celebrant.

You won’t be disappointed.

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Aug
31

TCN's "DAY OF LOVE" CELEBRANTS OFFERING CEREMONY CREDIT TODAY!

"Love; it will not betray you

Dismay or enslave you,

it will set you free"

Mumford and Sons


 

Each of these celebrants is offering you a credit for any ceremony if you call today to make a booking.

So, check out these amazing celebrants and get on the phone and start booking ………we are sharing the LOVE.

Ceremony Credit 600

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