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Jul
14

Celebrate Father’s Day with ceremony

How do we acknowledge the men in our lives?

The pace of change is enormous. Once upon a time, our men were the sole bread winners with careers in the one field and often spanning 40 years.

Our men were engaged in volunteer work in their communities with sporting clubs, service clubs, churches and the like.

There were many occasions in those more stable times, for men to receive affirmation for their contribution to their families, work and communities.

By this we mean, some words of acknowledgement for the skills they developed and or the services they performed, no matter how mundane.
 

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Today with the increased pace of change, our men are facing huge challenges with their work skills needing constant review, and like women, trying to find that work/life balance.

 

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So when and where do we give them that special acknowledgement they need?

Fathers Day is one of those occasions when we as family members can step back and have a fresh look at the men in our lives.

Let’s look at what they do to contribute to our families and plan to use Father’s Day as a reason to give those public acknowledgements.

To have a “Party with a Purpose” by engaging a TCN celebrant to create a special thank you to one or more “fathers” in our lives.

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This can be a relaxed and fun occasion commenced by a well organised tribute to those who have fathered, or do fathering as step-parents, uncles and mentors.

Let’s do more than "put a shrimp on the barbie" and give a bottle of after-shave - if not for this year, then for 2017.

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Rona Goold

Thank you dad

A big thank you to my dad Cec. He was the one who pushed me as a girl to get an education. No longer here but always in our heart... Read More
Sunday, 04 September 2016 12:12
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Jul
14

Choosing the perfect location for your ceremony

Is there such a thing as THE perfect location for your wedding?

Surely it depends on the individual couple and their own dreams and aspirations for what their wedding day will look like.
What is perfect for one couple may not be perfect for another. However it will probably be the first and biggest decision you’ll make as an engaged couple and it will influence your budget, decor and even your attire.
 
Ask yourselves the following questions as the answers may help you decide the type of location you want.

How many people are we inviting?
How much do we want to spend….what is our budget?
What kind of wedding style do we want……formal, relaxed, rustic, outdoors, inside?
Is the Venue available on our wedding day?
How much work do we want to do?
Do we want to leave everything to the venue or do we want to do some of the work ourselves?
What time of the year do we want to get married?
Do we want the Ceremony and the Reception to be in the same place?
How easy is it for our guests to get to the location?
Do we have any elderly or informed guests?
Do we want to make it a weekend of celebrations or a singular day?

Garden arch

Locations that are Popular for Weddings
Barns, Farms, and Wineries
Wedding Receptions and Ballrooms
Hotels 
Restaurants In a Public Garden
Zoos, Children’s Farms, Museums, Art Galleries, Warehouses
On a Beach On a Boat
In our own Home
In a Chapel Overseas at a Destination Wedding.


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Things to Do Before you Choose your Location

Narrow down your search to a few options. 
Once you have narrowed down your search email or call the venue and make an appointment to go and see it.

If it is an outdoor wedding try to view it at the same time as your ceremony so that you will know the sun orientation.
Write down a list of questions to ask. Does the location suit the style/theme you want? Read reviews from other couples
 
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If you want an outdoor wedding always have a Plan B in case of bad weather……too hot or too cold. If you are using a public place you may need to apply for a permit. 

Don’t choose the first place you see…..unless you absolutely fall in love with it.

For more advice about choosing a venue, contact one of the TCN Celebrants



Keep Oz Beautiful
Footnote:
 Many couples choose the outdoors for their wedding to take advantage of the beautiful scenery. When deciding on an outdoor venue please take into consideration the need to tidy up after the celebration.

Australia Beautiful Week is an annual event and runs from 22nd to 28th August and the theme this year is ‘Do the Right Thing’ for a litter free and sustainable Australia.  


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Aug
06

What would you like to ask about funerals and memorials?

For Dying to Know Day - today Monday 8th August 2016 - TCN would like to encourage everyone to talk about death and particularly funerals and memorials.  What questions would you like answered by TCN and our celebrant members?

To start the conversation, here are some questions our TCN celebrant members have been asked:

Must we organise a funeral within a few days of a person's death?

Are there any laws we need to know, if we want to organise our own 'send-off'?

Can we have both a funeral and a memorial?

Am I able to pre-plan my funeral ceremony?

How can our family give a loved one a fitting tribute, but not cost us 'an arm and a leg"?

questions answers

Can we have a religious funeral ceremony and a civil memorial some time later?

Can we include religious material in a civil funeral?

Our parent does not want any fuss, and tells us not to have a funeral. However we feel uncomfortable about that. What can we do?

If we are not church goers, and do not want to use a funeral chapel, what other venues could we use?

Do we have to have a "Celebration of Life", if our family member was a rather difficult character who caused more pain than joy?

If we were considering a "Do It Yourself" funeral or memorial, what tips do you have for us?

How can we get mum or dad to discuss what they want us to do, when they die?

How can we get our adult children to talk with us - anytime we try they seem to brush the topic to one side?

The Celebrants Network (TCN) invites you to ask these questions and more!

You may ask a question via our Blog Comments Section at the bottom of this blog - anytime today or tonight.

In fact, if you are too busy today, then ask when you can.

It's very easy to do.

However, if you have any hassles, please feel free to contact us.

The Celebrants Network (TCN) has created a special Dying to Know Section for your information, in addition to our Ceremonies for loss and grief Section for Everyone.

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What have you done to farewell a family member or friend?

You are also invited to share your experiences here with us.

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Rona Goold

My funeral/ memorial plans

Recently I found out that having the body taken straight to the crematorium is much less expensive - can halve or third the costs.... Read More
Saturday, 13 August 2016 10:32
Peter Grant

Pre-Planned Funeral Services =...

We thought we'd share our own plans. Trish and I are Funeral Celebrants and prepare and conduct around 100 Funeral and / or Memori... Read More
Thursday, 11 August 2016 10:49
Anna Wong

It is time to start talking.

Death and dying has been a taboo subject for too long. We owe it to our families and ourselves to speak about it openly and make o... Read More
Tuesday, 09 August 2016 19:44
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Jun
15

On death, dying, funerals and those awkward conversations !

Most Australians plan to " do " their BUCKET LIST when they retire......they plan the trips with great precision and off they go ! They want to do/see/achieve their list before they die or "kick the bucket".

But it is very difficult to get Australians to plan their final days, death or funeral.......it is simply " not nice " to have the awkward discussion with their family members , so when the time comes , surviving family are left floundering.

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Most Australians do not even get the terminology correct...." I lost my mother last week" (really....how careless , did you find her, I wonder? ) or worse ...." My mother passed last week " (do you mean she fainted or died?) 

And so - introducing Dying to Know Day (D2KDay) which wll be celebrated on 8th August.  

Dying to Know Day has events scheduled across the country.  They are designed to activate conversations and curiosity, build death literacy and help grow the capacity of individuals and community groups to take action toward end of life planning. You can find all the events on the D2KDay website

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TCN supports the concept of D2KDay and has added a new section to our information about Loss and Grief ceremonies called Dying to Know Day. This section includes some useful links for exploring further and we would love you to send us questions and your requests for additional information so that we can build up further resources.

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If you would like to talk more about planning a funeral, memorial or an end of life celebration why not call your local TCN funeral celebrant for ideas and information.

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Jul
14

The importance of family and community involvement in ceremonies

Humans have used ceremonies and celebrations for thousands of years to: 
  • affirm or encourage people at special events  e.g. Olympic Games, Presentation nights, graduations
  • celebrate milestones in our individual life journey e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, retirement 
  • acknowledge significant life-changing occasions e.g. namings/ christenings, engagements, marriages, funerals
  • honour individuals or celebrate community values, e.g. memorials, Australia Day, Citizenship Day, Harmony Day

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The pros and cons of a private ceremony

TCN celebrants have noticed a recent trend towards couples choosing to elope and having a small ceremony with just the celebrant and witnesses.  

On the plus side, these ceremonies can be romantic, fun, stress free and far less expensive than the traditional family occasion.  They are ideally suited to some couples.

The down side may be that family are genuinely hurt by being excluded from this important occasion. 

This can be difficult to understand, especially for couples who are already living together and who decide they just want to "make it legal" with minimum fuss.  

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Sharing is Caring

However, if the couple think more deeply about the significance of the marriage ceremony they may see the value in a larger ceremony that involves family and friends.

The marriage ceremony results in changes of legal status and relationships.  The marriage partners become legally responsible for each other and any children of their relationship.  They also acquire new relationships with their in-laws - a new extended family and friendship group.  For the parents of "first time marrieds"  the marriage ceremony symbolically marks a "graduation" at which their work in raising a baby to adulthood formally ends. 

So in many ways a marriage is not just a relationship between two individuals. It is a formal and social relationship between two networks of family and friends.  Being part of the ceremony means a lot to those who love the couple.

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"But big family weddings are too expensive - eloping cuts the cost!"

This can certainly be true.  So how can we have a big celebration for a small cost? 

This TCN article about having a big celebration on a low budget could assist your planning.

Share your ideas on how to involve family and friends in celebrations that are meaningful for everyone present … 

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? Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!

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Jul
14

Ceremonies using interpreters

Today we look at using Interpreters at marriage ceremonies conducted in compliance with Australian Law. Section 112 of the Marriage Act provides that ‘where a celebrant considers it desirable to do so, they may use the services  the services of an interpreter in or in connection with a marriage ceremony. ‘

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What Does Section 112 Mean?

  1. If you as the Celebrant are only able to conduct a ceremony in English and if either of the couple or the official witnesses do not speak/understand English fluently, an interpreter will be required.

  2. The couple and witnesses MUST fully understand the legal components of the ceremony, which includes the Monitum and the legal vows.

  3. It is the responsibility of the Celebrant to decide if an Interpreter is required.

  4. It is advisable to use an Interpreter, if either or both of the couple are hearing impaired.
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Who can be an Interpreter?

  1. Where possible, it is best that the interpreter be an accredited interpreter through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI) or another official agency. To find an interpreter, please visit: http://www.naati.com.au/

  2.  The interpreter must be a person other than a member of the wedding party. Where a family or friend is used as an Interpreter the Celebrant must be confident that he/she is doing the job properly.

  3. The Interpreter must provide a Statutory Declaration, prior to the wedding, stating their fluency in the relevant language. This must be witnessed by the Celebrant.

  4. After the ceremony the Interpreter must provide a Certificate of  Faithful performance of his or her services. This must be witnessed by the Celebrant.
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Who can be a Translator?

  1. Your celebrant must be satisfied that the translation is a true and accurate translation of an offical document through NAATI or another official agency.

  2. The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI) is the only agency to issue accreditations for practitioners who wish to work in this profession in Australia.

  3. If you need a certified translation, please visit: http://www.naati.com.au/

The Difference Between an Interpreter and a Translator 

Interpreters and translators perform similar tasks, but in different settings. While an 
interpreter converts any spoken material from one language into a different language, as required in Wedding Ceremonies, a translator converts written material in the same manner, as required in the use of legal documents in relation to marriage. 

If you are unsure about your need to use an Interpreter, you may contact The Celebrants Network or the Marriage Law and Celebrant Section of the Australian government for more information. 

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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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Informative post

Thank you for sharing this amazing and informative article with us. This is really good info. We all know that now a days demand f... Read More
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Amazing Article

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Jul
14

Creating Meaningful Ceremonies

When you hear somebody talking about how meaningful the ceremony was, what does that actually mean?  

Where does the meaning come from?

Does everybody who participates take away the same meaningful message?

Your ceremony might be more community centered, bringing the people of your town or city together to celebrate or to mourn or to remember.  The meaning comes from the shared emotion felt amongst your community.

Perhaps your ceremony is about welcoming a new child into your family. The meaning of which will be intensely personal to you and your family members.

You might be holding a ceremony to celebrate the end of an educational pursuit - the meaning in your graduation culminates from all the hard work that you've put in.  There are feelings of pride and acommplishment for what you've achieved.



When I started thinking about how we, as celebrants create meaningful ceremonies I wondered where we get our inspiration from and the answer is - from the very people we are performing the ceremony for. 

The meaning comes from you; your story, your love, your loss, your dreams, your past and your future.



The meaning in a ceremony is different for every person, every couple and every family.  No two ceremonies are alike, which is why your celebrant takes the time to get to know you and to learn your story.  Creating a ceremony that is both unique and meaningful to the couple or family is not a simple task and takes empathy, knowledge, experience, care and time.  

Here are some suggestions to how you could add meaning to your ceremony:

Add music

a favourite piece of the family member who has passed away; or a song that you and your partner love and feel tells your love story.



Add poetry

writing your own piece of poetry adds extra meaning becuase you have dedicated time and thought into how you feel.  Although, sometimes you find just the right words, that explain exactly how you feel have already been written by somebody else - which is fine as long as you credit their work.

Add a ritual

for some people, participating in a ritual makes what you are celebrating or mourning much deeper and heartfelt; It can help you to feel more connected.

Add a cultural element

the meaning will come from the pride you feel about your home and the traditions that you can share.

Stay true to who you are

your wedding doesn't become more meaningful based on how much money you spend on your reception.



Meaningful ceremonies take place when you are together, sharing a moment with the most important people in your life.

Why not contact one of our fabulous TCN Celebrants and let us create meaning ceremonies for you.

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Thank you for joining us....

?? 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!

? 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 ?.

Also please feel free to share ? our blog on your social media ? so we can spread the love ?! 

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Jul
14

PWAP - Using your ceremony as a way of raising money for charity

We are all familiar with the trend in funerals for the family to request a donation to the deceased favourite charity or non-profit.

But what about other ceremonies?

A couple being first married in their fifties did this. Both had all the households goods they needed, and no prospect of having a family of their own. So instead of taking pot-luck with gifts, or having a Gift Registry, these lovely people chose to ask their guests to contribute to a group gift to their preferred charity. Their choice was to fund a year long literacy program for an under-privileged child, knowing this would make a huge difference to that child’s future. The celebrant coordinated the receipt of monies and announced the amount raised as part of the marriage ceremony.
 
group gift S
 
The community or group gift goes back a long way in our cultural history. Combining resources or recycling goods for the next generation was really important. The marrying couple were setting up home together for the first time so in great need of household goods. Not so these days.

Rather the reverse. In this lucky country, we need to consider whether materialism is creating more kind, respectful and compassionate people. Perhaps there are opportunities for various birthdays and wedding anniversaries for the guest/s of honour to nominate the charity or non-profit of choice to have the benefit of the get-together.
 
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With our youngsters, this could be way of allowing them to learn the benefits of giving by allowing them to nominate a birthday or perhaps simply organise a party where the aim is to fund-raise. The skills learned and the sense of achievement are wonderful gifts for our children and grandchildren - gifts for life. Rather than some toys that are soon forgotten.
 

TCN has a special project called “Party with a Purpose” to encourage families to emphasise the purpose of a ceremony or party by group giving as well as engaging a TCN celebrant to make the occasion extra special. Learn more about Party With A Purpose here.
 
Why not contact our TCN Celebrants to ensure a stress free ceremony.

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?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!

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Jul
07

How does the cost of a celebrant fit in with your budget?

Congratulations, you are getting married and are busy working out where you want the ceremony and the reception, the wedding gown, the photographer, how many guests (and do you really have to invite all of the cousins?), who is in the bridal party, rings, cars, cakes, the list goes on. 

And the costs escalate.  Escalate very quickly.

So, where does the celebrant fit into your budget? Celebrant fees can range from $300 to over $1,000 depending on your location and the celebrant. A good tip is to check the fees for your state’s Registry Office, who provide a basic marriage ceremony and expect the fees of an independent celebrant, who comes to your venue of choice and provides a personalised service to charge more than that.


So, you are sitting there with your budget wondering why anyone could charge that much money for less than an hour’s work? 

A celebrant will spend an average of between 10 and 20 hours working on your wedding. Holding meetings with you, making sure all of the legal paperwork is correct, and then making sure the correct paperwork is lodged with the Birth Death and Marriages Section in your state. They will also write a special ceremony for you, with all of your wishes included, they will organise rehearsals of your ceremony and then, on the big day, they will perform your wedding ceremony and make sure that your wedding is legal. 


Without the celebrant, your wedding is just a great party. The celebrant ensures that your party is actually a wedding. 

SO, how do you budget for your celebrant? First, you need to select your celebrant, and do that based on which one feels right for you, not based on their cost. And make sure that you book the date with them, and pay your deposit. 

Then, you can work out the best way to budget for the celebrant, in the same way you would budget for your cake, your reception, the photographer, the hairdresser. 

Some celebrants will happily work with you to organise a “lay by” scheme, whilst others have a scheduled three payment option. Talk with your celebrant about the best options for both of you. 

Having your perfect celebrant perform your perfect wedding ceremony is something that you will remember for the rest of your life.



With your perfect celebrant you can create magic on your wedding day and you can find your perfect celebrant in the TCN directory by clicking here.

READ MORE about Civil Celebrants by clicking 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.  

?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!

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Also please feel free to share ? our blog on your social media ? so we can spread the love ?! 


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Jun
25

5 Tips for Staying Calm on Your Wedding Day

All the planning for your special day is complete.  You have chosen the perfect music, you're wearing the perfect wedding ensemble, your ceremony location is even more picturesque than even you could have imagined, you've taken care of every last detail.

With so much effort having gone into creating such an amazing day there are sure to be a few nerves.  Not only do you have to handle the pressure of everyone wanting your attention, but you also feel the stress of wanting everything to go smoothly.

Pre-wedding jitters are totally normal and we're here to help you with these 5 tips for staying calm through your marriage ceremony.

Be Yourself

 

Try and remember that this ceremony is about you and your partner declaring your love and promising to live a beautiful life together.  It is not a performance for your guests.  Nobody is expecting more from you than you are able to give.  If you are nervous about talking in public, then just imagine it is you and your partner (and your celebrant) simply having a chat.  Most couples who were nervous beforehand say afterwards that it wasn't nearly as bad as they thought it was going to be.

Delegate! Delegate! Delegate!
 


You (and your partner) have important things to be thinking about; your sole job today is to get married.  Leave all of the other side bits and pieces to somebody else.  Either employ a Day-of Wedding-Co-ordinator or ask a trusted friend to take care of all those last minute things.

Keep Up The Communication

 

It's important to keep up communication on the day of your wedding. With your fiance, check on how you are both feeling.  If you are choosing to not see each other before the ceremony, then you could write each other a little note confirming your feelings and putting their minds at ease; with your Day-of Co-ordinator/trusted friend, keeping them informed as things change (also a great idea is to give this person's phone number to your celebrant and other suppliers); with your bridal party - if you're feeling nervy, let them know so they can help you through it.

Let It Go


Photo Credit: Arina B. Photography

There are going to be things that go wrong - there I said it.  You have to accept that and move on.  The most important thing on this special day is not whether the flowers are the right colour or if the flowergirl tipped all the petals on the ground in one place, then stormed off...... The most important thing is that you and your partner get married.  Everything else is decoration and/or funny.

Find The Funny


Speaking of flowergirls doing the dump and run... being able to laugh relieves stress and nerves tremendously!  You might like to speak to your celebrant about including a funny story into your ceremony, helping you to relax whilst engaging your guests.

Why not contact our TCN Celebrants to ensure a stress free ceremony.

* __________________________________________________________ *

Thank you for joining us....

?? 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!

? 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 ?.

Also please feel free to share ? our blog on your social media ? so we can spread the love ?! 

Please use this ? link: https://www.celebrations.org.au/blog when you share. ?

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Sonia Collins
And I'd like to add - Trust your Celebrant. We understand that the big day can leave you feeling nervous but we are professionals... Read More
Saturday, 16 July 2016 18:09
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Jun
22

Are memorials becoming more popular than funerals?

It seems in recent times, more families, who would normally be choosing a civil funeral service, are having a private service or even a simple viewing to say 'goodbye' to their loved one, then organising a Memorial for the wider circle of family and friends a few weeks later. 

There may be many good reasons for taking this approach.

Flexibility with timing for the ceremony

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There are a lot of decisions to be made following a death, especially an unexpected one.  A private farewell and a later Memorial ceremony reduces the immediate stress and helps people make clear decisions about the type of farewell they would like.
 

Having a Memorial a few weeks after the death, gives extra time for planning the ceremony and more choice of day of the week, time of day, length and content of the ceremony, and location.  This flexibility can be very useful where family and friends are overseas or interstate.

The family can take time to find a civil celebrant who suits the style of tribute the family wants.  Civil celebrants are very flexible about the arrangements and will encourage family members to be involved in planning the ceremony and actively participating in it.

Consideration of Costs 

b2ap3 thumbnail Funeralcosts

 
A lavish funeral using the funeral company’s chapel and other facilities can cost many thousands of dollars.  A simple farewell is more cost effective and enables the family to consider how best to create a personal and fitting ceremony to honour their loved one.  

 

 The Memorial ceremony can be as beautiful and heartfelt as a funeral

flower 408833 600 

There are many ways a ceremony can involve beauty and show respect for our loved ones who have died. 

You may have a beautiful urn or hand crafted box with the deceased’s ashes as a focal point.  You may have a favourite photo, or display of personal items in place.

There could be floral arrangements, inspiring poetry, carefully chosen music, a slide show capturing the highlights of the deceased life, room decorations that reflect their personality or interests.  These can all be part of a Memorial and can be carefully prepared in the weeks between the death and the ceremony. 

 

b2ap3 thumbnail Foreverlovedchair

You may decide to have caterers arrange a lunch or afternoon tea to follow the ceremony, enabling family and friends more time to share memories and expressions of love and respect.

 

Remember to contact our TCN Celebrants first if you need to make arrangements for a loved one.
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?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  
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Susanna Jose
I've worked with funeral directors who are wonderful - friendly and helpful to the family of the deceased and professional and gen... Read More
Saturday, 09 July 2016 18:26
Rona Goold
I agree Fiona. My most recent Memorial Ceremony was for the parents of a 50 year old women with intellectual disabilities. Her ... Read More
Saturday, 25 June 2016 12:53
Fiona Hall
I have been privileged to lead a memorial ceremony which was held beside a beautiful waterway where family and friends gathered t... Read More
Saturday, 25 June 2016 11:06
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Jun
12

Should we be talking about Funerals?

When we think of the end of our life, there are probably a few different thoughts going through our heads.

Have I lived a good, fulfilling life? Did I remember to sign my will? Who will look after my loved ones? Why me? I wish I'd lived, loved, laughed more. Are my affairs in order? Did I delete my browser history?
 
But one thing that not many of us have thought about, and if we have thought about it, haven't done much about it - is our funeral.

It's not the nicest of topics to talk about, but to those either on their way there soon or for those who just like to be prepared - this is an important conversation to have and it's important that we listen to the wants and needs of our loved ones.


If you're unsure how to go about starting this type of converstaion, there are people that can help you, like the organisation called: Death Over Dinner who recently featured on Ch 10's The Project who do exactly that - helping people to have that awkward conversation about your dying wishes.

Whilst the funeral is more for those left behind, you might like some particular words to be said; you may have a piece of music in mind; you might prefer your funeral to focus on celebrating your life rather than mourning your death; you might have a definite choice of being buried or cremated and maybe you have a specific location you'd like your ashes to be scattered.

None of these things will happen in your final moments though if you don't tell somebody about them.

 

You could also contact one of our wonderful TCN Funeral Celebrants to help you with ideas.

READ MORE about pre-funerals planning here.

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May
29

Calling All Spring Brides.

Spring is just around the corner!
Here are some fabulous ideas to make your Spring wedding amazingly fresh!

 

An indoor-outdoor venue

Spring certainly makes you think of flowers, new life and sunshine after the cold wintery months.  However, while a day full of glorious spring sunshine would be great, keep in mind that the weather is still a little unpredictable, so take this into consideration when you are choosing your venue.  

You will, of course have a back up plan just in case, and if your Plan A venue has a Plan B location - even better!

 

Book early!

Spring is a popular time to get married so your favourite suppliers, like the celebrant you've been following on Twitter may well be booked up. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut and make that booking as early as you can. This way you'll be organised and relatively stress free, whilst avoiding disappointment. Win/Win!

 

Go seasonal

Spring brides have a great choice when it comes to flowers. Late spring flowers such as sweet peas and peonies come in an array of different colours and are stunning in both bouquets and centrepieces.

 

If you’re going seasonal with your flowers this can be a good place to start your planning in terms of a theme, as your colours may well be decided by the choice of blooms available. 

 

 

Be prepared

Choosing an all-weather venue is a great start but you’re likely to want to have some photographs taken outside. Spring brides should definitely be prepared for showers and embrace the possibility of rain or wet ground by investing in a fabulous umbrella or a pair of statement wellies.

 

Rain on your wedding day is considered to be good luck by some cultures and remember that a wet knot is harder to untie!

 

Be kind to your bridesmaids

Floaty chiffon and tulle bridesmaid dresses can be stunning but aren’t the warmest outfits for a chilly spring day! If you’re opting for this sort of dress check out wraps or shrugs for them as well to ensure they are comfortable and are not a light shade of blue in the photos.

 

Spring Gifts

Think about how you can extend your Spring theme into gifts for your guests by planting small containers of spring bulbs as wedding favours, or maybe a packet of summer flower seeds to brighten up their gardens and remind them of your day.

 

Contact one of our TCN Celebrants and start sharing your spring wedding ideas!

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May
29

What is a Blessingway Ceremony?

What is a Blessingway Ceremony?

 

A blessingway or mother’s blessing* is a wonderful alternative to a traditional ‘baby shower’ that is held for a woman approaching birth.  A baby shower tends to focus on the baby with presents for the baby and games centred around the baby, whereas the Blessingway is all about the mother to be.  It literally blesses the way for the mother to be ready for childbirth.

 

 Traditionally, the mother would invite her closest female family and friends, choosing people who offer her friendship, wisdom and trust to participate in a beautiful and meaningful ceremony to help her prepare for the birth.  You can invite friends to bring a plate of food and/or a gift if you like, but the ritualistic ceremony is the central focus of the blessingway.

 
* Sometimes a blessing way is called a mother’s blessing out of respect for the Navajo people, who have a ceremony called a blessingway on which the modern ceremony is based. Because the modern ceremony does not adhere to the exact rites of the Navajo ceremony they do not always approve of the term being used.

 

History of Blessingways

Blessingways are traditional to the First American Navajo who mark the transition a woman makes when she moves into motherhood.  It is a time when she is nurtured and honoured by the other women in her community. The Blessingway Ceremony acknowledges the commitment and energy involved in being a mother and gives her a time where all the energy is available for her to receive. This ceremony can be given to a woman each time she has a child, as with each child comes a new level of commitment.

 

To make the most of the ceremony the mother to be should allow herself to receive all the positive female energy being offered to her.
The blessingway is also a great way for the mother to prepare for the birth.  This is an opportunity for the women to share their experiences and for the mother to express any fears or worries she may have within a safe and sacred setting, receiving much needed support.

 

Here are some ideas to help you create your special day:

 

You can choose as many rituals as you like, keeping in mind the length of the ceremony.  Choose a ritual that would best suit your group of ladies

 

Bead Ceremony

Bead Ceremony Blessing Way

 

Each woman is asked to bring a bead for a blessing necklace. At some time during the ceremony a bowl is handed around the circle and each woman gives her bead and a blessing for mother and baby – this can be in the form of a wish; a poem; a lyric or a word. At the end of the ceremony one of the women threads the beads together and gives the necklace to the mother to have with her during the birth. This helps the mother to be connected to all her women friends and draw on that strength when she is giving birth. People who are unable to attend the ceremony can still participate by sending their bead and their blessing for another friend or the celebrant to read out on their behalf.
 

Candle ceremony

Blessing Way Candle Ceremony

 

A candle is lit and passed to each woman in the circle. As they hold the candle they share their blessings for the mother to be and her baby.  An alternative to this is that the women can tie a second piece of string around a candle that the mother then lights during the birth.

 

 Massaging the Mother

blessingway massage

 

Take along some lush, pregnancy friendly, massage oils and be sure to give her the full treatment with as many women as possible joining in. Brush her hair, give her a facial, whatever indulgence she wants.

 

Flowers

Flowers are symbolic of nature's abundance and beauty just as a woman is when she is pregnant. Ask all the women to bring flowers and create a beautiful crown for the mother to be to wear during the ceremony.

 

Belly Casting 

Belly Cast

 

A kit is usually the easiest way to ensure success with a belly casting. You can either do your cast in private and then have it at the Blessingway Circle as a group activity to decorate. Alternatively, you can create the Belly cast as part of your blessing way ceremony. 
 

Prayer Flags

Blessing Way Prayer Flags

 

Flags are a beautiful way to create a lasting memory of a blessing way ritual. Each guest is given a piece of fabric of equal size to decorate. You will need fabric pens, sewing materials, fabric scraps and more so your guests can create a unque prayer flag specifically for you and your baby.  You can also purchase ready made bunting to use if you are a little sewing machine challenged.

 

Post Birth Support

On the day of the Blessingway Ceremony have a close friend take the names and contact details of each woman present to be put on a ‘support roster’ for bringing meals after the birth. Each woman brings one meal (ensuring the ingredients are breastfeeding friendly) to the new mother and helps out in any way she can when she drops it off – e.g. dishwashing, clothes washing etc… This support is invaluable for the new mum at a big transition time in her life.

 

If you would like to know more about a Blessingway Ceremony - speak to a TCN Celebrant

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May
12

What's Your Back Up Plan?

Have you got a Plan B if the weather turns bad on your wedding day?

 

No matter how confident you are that your day will be perfect, there is always a chance it might rain or there might be an unscheduled heatwave or be too windy for your bridesmaids to stand up straight, or maybe the venue has just called to let you know they've started renovations..... you will have to make a snap decision as to what you're going to do.

Having a back up plan in place:

* makes things more relaxing for your guests, knowing they won't be uncomfortable

* takes the stress away from you on the day

*leaves you to enjoy your day in the sun..... or rain.

Do you have a story about having to change your wedding plans at the last minute?  

Share it in the comments.

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Thank you for joining us....

?? 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.  

It looks like this:       


?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!

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Anna Wong
It is important for couples to think about Plan. B. I always discuss it with them although many don't want to think about it. Fort... Read More
Thursday, 19 May 2016 11:31
Rona Goold
I always have a back up plan. Only needed to use it once. Most brides are happy to do what is needed.
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 22:51
Sonia Collins
Fabulous advice. I always insist on having a Plan B - even though every bride tells me that nothing will stop them being married ... Read More
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 18:37
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May
02

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day

A day for Mums to sit back and relax whilst her family dotes on her by making breakfast, taking her out to lunch, doing odd jobs around the house and bringing her flowers and gifts…. If she’s anything like my mum you will probably find her tidying up after all those activities and arranging the lunch herself! 
 
A mother’s work is never done!

Here are some fun ideas to do with younger kiddies…

Find the Funny: Start a new tradition this year by creating a family comic strip. Take a long sheet of paper, and draw three or four large squares next to one another, like a newspaper comic strip. Then think of an event, or something funny that happened this Mother’s Day and draw it in the panel. You can include dialogue, a date, and a title. Make your Mum the central character.  Save your comic strip, and create another one next year and others in years to come. Year by year, you will have built an amazing book.

 


Planting Memories: Spend the day in the garden with Mum planting some of her favourite flowers that together you can water and look after.  Together you can create labelled markers to stick in the dirt with the flowers with the date.

 



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.

 

What about some fabulously fun ways for the grown ups to celebrate Mother’s Day?

A family reunion - gather all your beloved family members together at a park or someone’s backyard and whilst you bbq and share out the potato salad, you can share stories of why the mothers in the group are so wonderful.

 


Share in your Mum’s hobbies - maybe gardening is her passion, she might like old Doris Day 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, love.



Surprise Mum with a “This Is Your Life” Ceremony - all you need to do is speak to a celebrant and together you can pull off the most fantastic surprise for your Mum.



Click here for more information

Every year my Mum says “All I would like is some flowers and and choccies.  I don’t need anything else.”  But she does get more than that, even if she doesn’t realise it.



I’m not talking about tangible, wrapped handkerchiefs or scented candles or soaps, I’m talking about the unconditional love, admiration and gratitude for everything that she does for me.  To me, she is more than 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

* Sew all her old scarves together into a patchwork quilt

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

Thank you for joining us....

?? 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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Anna Wong
A great tribute to Mother's Day. Wishing all mothers a day filled with the knowledge of love and appreciation.
Sunday, 08 May 2016 08:53
Shell Brown
Some beautiful ideas here. Well done TCN team!
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 15:09
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Apr
22

The History of TCN

 
Anzac Day this week has really made me think about our history and in particular, the history of TCN, and who better to chat to about it than the founder and now life member of The Celebrants Network Inc - Rona Goold.

 



What is your background in celebrancy?

I was appointed a Commonwealth Civil Marriage Celebrant at the age of 42, after working in schools and the health department in a range of roles. I was looking for a career that used my skills and talents, as well as give me the flexibility to work when I chose.

The goal was probably achievable given that a substantial number of celebrants were making a wage from the work - the statistics in 1995 indicated that celebrants averaged 64 weddings per celebrant per year, nothing like the 10-11 average now.



Although I had extensive experience from my previous careers, I had no training in business knowledge and skills.  Also, as a government appointee, one could not ‘tout for business’. One could not advertise in any way that made you stand out from another celebrant, a simple White or Yellow pages line was permissible as was a single line in the Public Notices of a local paper, Nothing more.

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Shell Brown
What a terrific blog! Reading about the history of our association and how it came to be was really interesting. It's also very ... Read More
Friday, 29 April 2016 19:50
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Apr
20

Anzac Day

Anzac Day

 

Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War and then, after 1945 the services moved to include those who served in WWII.

 

I don't think there's a person alive in Australia who doesn't already know the Anzac story, so I won't try to educate you here.  What I would like to talk about though is the importance of ceremony, not only for the people who were directly involved, but for their families and loved ones who were left behind.

 

Holding a ceremony brought people together to mourn and to remember and give thanks to those brave soldiers who lost their lives during WW1.
The first Anzac Day commemorations were held in 1916, on the 25th April.  The day was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies, marches and services across Australia.  There was also a march in London and a sports day was held in the Australian camp in Egypt.  It wasn't until the 1920s that Anzac Day became an established national day of commemoration and every state in Australia observed some form of public holiday.  

 

The rituals and services we observe today - the dawn vigils, marches and two-up games started around the mid 1930s and have been a steadfast way of spending the day for the past 80 years.

 

So, why is ceremony so important?

 

It gives us a place to be with other people who are in the same frame of mind.  It gives us an opportunity to reflect on the many different meanings of war.  It gives us a way to speak to lost loved ones, to mourn their passing and to be proud of their courage and their strength. 

 

After the First World War, returned soldiers sought the comradeship they had felt in those quiet, peaceful moments before dawn and so a dawn vigil became the basis for commemoration.

 

Today, we collectively gather together with people that we don't necessarily know, but who are all there for the same reason.  It's usually pretty cold in April, especially at dawn and as you're standing there in the dark, shivering, it gives you a small sense of what those soldiers might have been feeling.  It gives me a feeling of loneliness, respect and gratitude and that is what ceremony does - it takes you out of your own world for a moment and places you into another and makes you think.

 

What will you be doing for Anzac Day?

 

There are plenty of ways for you to add ceremony to Anzac Day...

 

* Get together with famiy and friends and talk about it "Lest we forget".  
* Tell the younger generations the stories of the heros, both sung and unsung.
* Visit Gallipoli - I have never been to a more moving place

 

* Join a dawn service near you
* Keep up your own comradeship with your mates with a get together and game of two-up

 

This next snippet was on a friend's Facebook page today.....

"A lovely military man selling poppies stopped me today and asked if he could re-position mine - while doing so he told me that women should wear their poppy on their right side; the red represents the blood of all those who gave their lives, the black represents the mourning of those who didn't have their loved ones return home, and the green leaf represents the grass and crops growing and future prosperity after the war destroyed so much. The leaf should be positioned at 11 o'clock to represent the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the time that World War One formally ended. He was worried that younger generations wouldn't understand this and his generation wouldn't be around for much longer to teach them."

 

Lest we forget...

 

Talk to one of our celebrants who can assist you with preparing a ceremony.

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Mar
20

Easter Celebrations

Easter Celebrations

As with many other Christian dates, the celebration of Easter extends beyond the church and since its origins, it has been a time of celebration and feasting.

Easter Sunday morning is often filled with children (of all ages) searching for chocolate eggs and treats which have been mysteriously hidden all over the house and garden. According to the children's stories, the eggs were delivered by the Easter Bunny in an Easter basket which children find waiting for them when they wake up. (The Easter Bunny's motives for doing this have still not been clarified.)

 

These secular rituals often have origins in Christian symbolism; the eggs, for example, can be taken as signs of rebirth and resurrection. 

Some of Easter's symbols can be traced back still further; some (such as the Easter bunny, originally a hare) seem to have their origins in earlier pagan rituals celebrating nature's springtime rebirth.  In Australia it is not spring time, however we have adopted the tradition in keeping with our northern hemisphere cousins.




Whether you belong to a religion or not, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Easter...

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day

 



Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Lent. In earlier days there were many foods that observant Christians would not eat during Lent such as meat and fish, eggs, and milky foods. So that no food was wasted, families would have a feast on the shriving Tuesday, and eat up all the foods that wouldn't last the forty days of Lent without going off.

Pancakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday because they were a dish that could use up perishable foodstuffs such as eggs, fats and milk, with just the addition of flour.

Many Australian groups and communities make and share pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. 

Selling pancakes to raise money for charity is also a popular activity - and that's what I call Partying with a purpose!

 

Family Reunion

Perhaps you and your family could use the public/bank holidays to reconnect with each other and to make it a more meaningful event, you could add a ceremony to your reunion celebrating all the fabulous events that have happened in all your family member's lives since the last time that you saw each other - you could invite your Family Celebrant to create a ceremony for your family gathering and make it an annual event!

 

What other Easter traditions are special to your family?

 

 

 

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Mar
20

Our TCN Committee Members 2016-2017

Firstly we would like to offer a massive thank you to the committee members for 2015-2016 for your participation, your enthusiasm and your dedication. 


Some of the highlights from the past year include:

* The participation in the Mardi Gras Fair Day, which enhanced our standing in not only the LGBTI community, but the community at large, showing that TCN stands for equal and human rights for all people.

 

*  The creation of our brand new and improved website - more user friendly and easier to navigate, while still housing all the resources, articles, directories and forums that you could ever need.



* Our wonderful two day conference at the Novotel in Darling Harbour Sydney where our members met with old and new friends, heard some fabulous inspiring speakers and completed their annual professional development obligations.  

 mikekate


TCN is a national organisation that primarily communicates online, so it is possible for everyone to join in and participate in discussions and projects no matter where you are in Australia.  We are also continuing to build up a strong presence on social media with pages on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram

Our TCN Committee is a group of volunteers committed to supporting our members as well as strengthening the professionalism and expertise of all civil celebrants through our active involvement in the peak body, CoCA.

TCN members elect a new committee each year at the AGM in March, and we are very happy to welcome our new Committee for 2016-2017.

Sonia Collins160329 250

We very much look forward to a year of community, harmony, OPD days and special projects throughout the year. 

All celebrants and non-celebrant Affiliates are welcome to join TCN - Visit our webpage and see the fabulous resources and benefits we offer our Members.

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Mar
14

Party With a Purpose - Cultural Diversity

Cultural Diversity Week and Harmony Day brings together Australians from all walks of life to promote community 

harmony and celebrate the many cultures that make our country so vibrant. 

There are some fascinating statistics about Australia’s diversity. 


Did you know:


* around 45 per cent of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was

* 85 per cent of Australians agree multiculturalism has been good for Australia 

* apart from English the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek,
Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Spanish and Hindi

* more than 60 Indigenous languages are spoken in Australia

* 92 per cent of Australians feel a great sense of belonging to our country


 
How do you Party with a Purpose in your culture?

 

Over the centuries as cultures have merged and intertwined, celebratory traditions have been adopted and adapted into our own wedding celebrations.
 
Have you heard of these wedding traditions?

 

Scottish:
Quaich
The Scottish Quaich or ‘Loving Cup’ is a two-handled silver bowl which is topped up with whisky, usually by the bride, and then passed around for the wedding party to sip once the legal proceedings have been concluded.

 

Irish: 
Claddagh Ring
The Claddagh Ring is one of the old traditions that's widely know. The traditional ring is given by young Irish men to their girlfriends as a gift, and sometimes it's inherited from a family member. But the ring has a part in wedding ceremonies, too.

Single women traditionally wear the ring on the right hand, with the ring facing outward. When in a relationship, it's turned inwards, indicating that the lady isn't 'available.'

But the ring is moved to the left hand when the wearer becomes engaged (point outward), and turned inward on that hand once married.

 

 
 
Japanese:
An All-White Dress Code
At a traditional Japanese wedding, the bride and groom usually wear Japanese wedding kimono. The bride wears a white wedding kimono called "uchikake" with a white headdress. The headdress is big and bulky and is said to hide the bride's "horns" as a symbol of submission. The groom's kimono is usually black and has his family's symbol embroidered on it in white.

 

 
Philippines:
Releasing the doves
The happy bride and groom release a pair of white doves — one male, the other female — into the air, which represent a harmonious life together for the newly married couple.



China:

Wardrobe Changes
In China, brides typically walk down the aisle in a slim-fitting, embroidered dress ... what is called a traditional qipao or cheongsam. For the reception, they change into a more poofy, decked out gown with Western flare. But the bridal fashion show doesn't end there! To cap the night, Chinese brides often make a final change into a cocktail dress. Total: three dresses!




This is what is so wonderful about living in such a multicultural society; each culture bringing with them their rich traditions and colourful customs. 

Together we stand in harmony

#harmondyday

Why not speak to one our many fabulous TCN Celebrants to see how you can incorproate cultural customs into your own wedding celebrations?

 

 

 
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Mar
13

International Women's Day

How did you mark International Women's Day this year?

 

Every year on the 8th March women all over the world are celebrated.

In some countries it is observed as a national holiday; in some cultures it is tradition for the men to buy chocolates and flowers for all the female members of his family; in some countries there is no fan fare and women and girls are still suffering abuse and treated as second class citizens with no change in sight.

 

So there is still much more work to be done!

 

 We, at TCN are all about the celebrations in life; and we are all for equality and human rights for everybody.

 
We want to fight against child and forced marriages.  
We want to put an end to senseless violence against women.  
We want to Celebrate the fabulous woman in our history, in our lives today and those who will succeed and prosper in the future.

 

 

Celebrating Women

Here are some ways you can celebrate the women you know this month (and every month - why stop there?)

Note:  These tips are not just for men - women should be celebrating other women as well.

1. Tell your mother how precious she is to you and let her know you are thankful for everything she has done in her life

2. Show your sister that she is a very important person in your life

3. Encourage your daughter to be anything that she wants to be and let her know that her gender should never be a barrier

4. Visit your Grand Mother and use the annual Mothers Day to engage a celebrant for a special ceremony for all the mothers in your family

5. Start a support network for your girlfriends or women in your neighbourhood - it's nice to know you always have a backup person

 

These are all very simple and easy things to do, so if you want to stretch yourself further a field......

6. Volunteer at or donate to a women's refuge

7. Donate money or your time to women's charities

8. Be the voice in your company or organisation who stands up for those women not being paid or treated fairly

9. Join groups, sign petitions and be a part of the change that finally stops underaged girls and women being forced into marriages
 
10. Think about your views on the importance of women in our society and help to educate others.

 

 

Why not add a ceremony to the celebration of the women in your life? 

Contact a TCN celebrant to find out how

 

Read more about all the ways celebrants can assist you in celebrating life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feb
14

Want a fresh approach to your OPD?

Presenting.....

 

The Celebrants Network Inc

"OPD Days with a Difference"

in partnership with International College of Celebrancy

 

All Celebrants Welcome

 

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TCN are holding 6 full day (8.45am - 5.00pm) Professional Development days in various locations around the country this year.

 

 


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The compulsory and elective topics for each session will be presented by:

Experienced celebrant and coordinator of the International College of Celebrancy's OPD Program

Yvonne Werner

 

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TCN has chosen this elective topic:  

How Ceremony Promotes Health and Well Being

as this expresses TCN’s vision of civil celebrants' roles

and

in addition, TCN will present a session on:

How TCN can enhance your professional celebrancy practice

Each day will be fantastic and will build upon the importance of our roles as celebrants in our communities as well as exploring how you can use your TCN Membership to market yourself and the Civil Celebration Network.

What a great way to meet up with some of your fellow TCN members as well as some of the hard working members of the committee.

  

 

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Just to make things easier for you...

You can choose to pay your OPD fees in three installments..... 

click HERE for part payments.

 

TCN is keen to make sure that OPD is not just another 'tick in the box' but a really valuable part of the services TCN offer to support it's members.

 

Book your place and find more information here

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Feb
10

Mardi Gras Fair Day 2016!

Party With A Purpose!

 

This Sunday, the 21st February 2016 is the Sydney Mardi Gras Fair Day. 

10am - 8pm @ Victoria Park, Camperdown

It is a family day out with community minded stalls, music, food, friends and lots of fun!

 

This year, for the first time, The Celebrants Network - TCN will be maintaining a stall to share our vision for family celebrations.  
 
Celebrants do more than just weddings and funerals and there are so many more opportunities throughout our lives to celebrate who we are, what we've achieved and what our future looks like because of the families or communities that surround us.

 

Click last week's blog post to see a list of the life celebrations you could be adding more meaning to.

 

Come and visit our stall at Fair Day and meet some of our fabulous

TCN Family Celebrants.

 

 

Read more about how you can celebrate every stage of your life

 

 

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Jan
27

Making It Legal

Are you wanting to get married, but not sure what you need to do?

 

The law in Australia at the moment is that legal marriage you must comply with these five things:


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

2. you must be 18 years of age or over *

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 


If you can say yes to all five of those stipulations, then you are clear to start the getting married process with your celebrant.

 
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 walk you through all the important legal requirements.  
 
You can find a celebrant in your area by clicking here.

 

Your first job, after finding your celebrant, is to complete the Notice of Intended Marriage form, commonly known as the NOIM.  Once this is filled in (your celebrant can help you) you lodge it with your celebrant.  This must be done no earlier than 18 months and no later than one whole month before your ceremony date.

Read more

 

If you are lucky enough to have found the one you love and they just happen to be the same sex as yourself then we are working hard to ensure that you are able to marry legally here in Australia.  However, until that time comes there are avenues in some states where you can register your union.  Click here for more information.

Why not speak to your celebrant about a Commitment ceremony or 'Betrothal' ceremony in preparation for full equality in marriage becoming legal in Australia?

Read More

* 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 as prescribed in the Marriage Act 1961.

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Jan
13

TCN National Celebrant e-news

Yesterday the latest edition of our TCN National Celebrant e-news was emailed to more than 7500 celebrants on our mailing list.  

Key points from the latest newsletter are:

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Jan
01

The Power of Celebration for 2016

Here's wishing a happy, healthy and hopeful New Year to everyone

2016 promises to be another big year for The Celebrants Network - TCN with our focus on Celebrations and our new mobile friendly website on www.celebrations.org.au

One of our TCN Celebrants, Narelle Adams, shared a link to a Huffington Post article called: What Is the Power of Celebration?

There are two great quotes in this article by Michael Feeley
"People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state -- it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle... Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one's actions." -- Abraham Joshua Heschel
"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." -- Oprah Winfrey
Take the time to read this explanation of what celebration means.

May 2016 be a year for more celebration and appreciation of life for us all!

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Dec
23

What is your inspiration at this time of year?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG:  

One of our TCN Brisbane members Eunice Phipps penned this poem for Christmas for us to enjoy. It's called: My Christmas Inspiration

Perhaps you'd like to share what inspires you?

The Celebrants Network takes this opportunity to wish every TCN member, every celebrant and every one of our followers peace of mind and peace of heart during this annual holiday time. May you, your loved ones - family and friends have fun and relaxation as well as a safe time whereever you are and especially when you travel.

The TCN National Committee
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Jill Fry
Oh Eunice Again thank you. You said it all and after a hectic year that was how I felt and sitting with loved ones , friendship an... Read More
Saturday, 26 December 2015 07:40
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Jan
09

Why have a ceremony?

ASK CELEBRANT BLOG:

Add a ceremony to your celebration!

Intuitively we know that a celebration is a way we mark important rites of passage.

Many Australians celebrate important events though, by having a booze-up and throwing in a few words towards the end.  We have forgotten that the food and drink were meant to accompany the speeches or ceremony, not be the celebration itself.

Without a meaningful core to the gathering, a celebration may be boring and unsatisfying and more likely to lead to excessive eating and drinking.

Ceremony is an Act of Love - quality time spent together, a way of re-establishing that meaningful core to the event.

READ MORE

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Dec
31

The Celebrants Network Wishes for 2016

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG 

In 2016 let's strengthen family and community networks by celebrating with ceremony.

Let's celebrate:
o Civility (being civilized - cooperation, compassion, care, courtesy, chivalry)
o Creativity (celebrate and encourage different talents and interests)
o Companionship (cooperative partnerships, family and friendships, groups)
o Citizenship (respect, equality, valuing justice –“a fair go”, free speech, diversity and community)

The Celebrants Network Incorporated is a  non-profit community celebrant based association that upholds the important role of civil ceremony in Australian society, supports marriage & celebrant equality and promotes 'adding a ceremony' to all important life stages and changes.

FAST FIND A CELEBRANT - Party With A Purpose, Ask A Celebrant, Funeral Options, In Memory Of and Cvivl Celebrations Network Directory are projects of TCN Inc.

Ask a celebrant how to choose one of our celebrants  for your next special occasion.

 

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Apr
19

Why Wait to Celebrate a Milestone?

By Roslyn Macfarlane,
Access Civil Ceremonies
 http://www.accesscc.com.au

Having just passed our 42nd anniversary I have been giving some thought to having a ceremony to celebrate all of our years together.  Like most couples our journey through life has had some twists and turns,


some ups and downs and still, together we have created some wonderful memories.

Raising a family and having a successful, long term, loving marriage is an event worth celebrating and waiting for the major milestones to celebrate that makes sense in some ways, but when I think about it, there is no really good reason to wait.  Every year we have together as a couple and as a family is a blessing.  Fate can take us down any number of roads, and all too often we find ourselves wishing that we had acted on our good ideas sooner, rather than later.

So where do you begin to prepare for such a celebration?  Looking at the history so far; where it began, the roads you have travelled and the things that inspired you along the way can be a good place to start.  Bringing in elements of your life that have had significant impact such as holidays, professional achievements, social involvements and family.  If you  think a ceremony to celebrate your anniversary is a good idea then there are some wonderful ideas on the internet. 

Visit: Wedding anniversary ceremonies

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Ask A Celebrant
Congratulations Roslyn on 42 years of marriage!! You both certainly have a lot to celebrate - look forward to hearing about your ... Read More
Friday, 19 April 2013 22:32
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Jul
11

What do old Books and Ceremonies have in common?

What to do with those books gathering dust on your bookshelf?

Here is a fabulous, low-cost, easy and fun craft activity, which you can make yourself to decorate your ceremonial space.  

A unique decorative idea for a wedding ceremony or any special occasion.  


These lanterns are made entirely from old books and were made by my daughters at our local library school holiday lantern making workshop this week.

Why not gather your bridal party together and make many?

All you need is a book and some ribbon!!  The older and more ragged the book with yellowing pages the better as the final product gives a fabulous vintage look to your lantern.   Feel free to email me for the instructions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted by Robbie Fincham Civil Celebrant, Melbourne

 

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Jan
22

How old must I be before I can get a message from the Queen?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: Problem is by the time I've reached this age, I'll probably need someone else to organise this for me!

So how can a congratulatory message be organised? Australians who are celebrating a special birthday or wedding anniversary can receive personal congratulations from the Prime Minister, Governor-General or The Queen.

Who is eligible for a congratulatory message?

  • The Prime Minister will send a message of congratulations to people turning 90 years of age or more.
  • The Queen and Governor-General will send a message on a 100th birthday.

Read more

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Recent Comments
Ask A Celebrant
Hi Lena Thanks so much for the positive feedback. Today's Mother's Day blog is another special one for everyone. Yes TCN is happ... Read More
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 17:28
Lena Hope
Thank you Rona, for your very interesting insight into your Celebrancy journey. Also thanks to Susan Roberts for the information... Read More
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 23:34
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May
12

Celebrate mothers day with ceremony

ASKACELEBRANT Honours ALL Mothers Everywhere! 

Why celebrate with ceremony?

Because Mothers give of themselves in so many ways.  Plan now for this Mothers Day. Give a Mothers’ Day Gift that is special and unique!

Within the very busy and time poor world of today, seldom do we take the time to honour some of the vital and important ‘things and people’ in our everyday lives.

True we celebrate Birthdays, Christmas, Weddings, and so on, but when it comes to expressions of love and gratitude to certain people, especially our parents, and particularly our Mothers . . . we are inclined to fall into the ‘commercial trappings’ . . . for up until now, there have been few alternative options.

Read more on:

https://www.celebrations.org.au/everyone/content/63-celebrate-mothers-day 

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Jan
15

How can the cost of a great celebrant and ceremony be afforded?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: We can pool our money and other resources to buy something really special such as making the celebration THE gift.

We could pool our $$$$ to engage a professional independent celebrant, rather than everyone buying their own individual gift.

Like well designed stage play, a special event may cost from $ 600 to $ 2000 or more.
This may seem a lot, but is it really if the price is spread across a lot of people and the event has longer lasting benefits.

A $ 600 ceremony package can be covered by

  • 20 participants donating $ 30 per head OR
  • 50 participants at $ 12 OR
  • 100 participants at $6 per head

A $ 2000 ceremony package can be covered by

  • 20 participants donating $ 100 per head OR
  • 50 participants at $ 40 OR
  • 100 participants at $ 20 per head

READ MORE:

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Nov
21

20th Wedding Anniversary - What advice would you give?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: When Rona Goold TCN Coordinator celebrated her 20th Anniversary, she sent her 'sweetie husband" Steve a personal e-card on the theme of 'Life is a bowl of cherries' - when you have a good partner, where one's joined at the heart and that they made "a good pair" with this image :-)

Steve and Rona say that knowing each other's Love Languages is one way they strengthen their relationship.

 "Fortunately 'gift giving' is not high on either of our lists, but words of affirmation and acts of service are.On receiving his e-card, Steve declared that it is really great to feel so close that neither "gives each other the pip"!" says Rona

What are your words of advice to newly weds about strengthening their marriage over time?

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Cameron Moore
My advice would be to take time to listen to each other on a daily basis - either over a coffee, wine or just sitting around. Face... Read More
Saturday, 23 November 2013 10:54
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Jan
18

How do "civil" celebrants set their fees - some are wildly different?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG:

Most professional civil celebrants are professionals in private practice.

That is, unlike most religious celebrants, the civil celebrant has to cover all their costs of operating a home-based celebrancy practice from the fees they charge 'up-front' for their ceremonies, BEFORE they make an hourly rate for their work.

Consider:

  • Couples have not 'lay-buyed'  part of their ceremony as couples have via donations to a church or via government taxes to a Registry Office.
  • A religious celebrant is usually supported financially by their church stipend and has their travel, phone and other expenses covered by their religious institution. Likewise registry office celebrant.
  • A independent civil celebrant is required to ensure the ceremony suits the individual couple.
  • In most cases, this requires considerable extra work in sourcing wedding prose, poetry and other materials, or even writing of new material by the celebrant.
  • READ MORE
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Dec
24

Missing loved ones at this time of year?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG. Merry Christmas! Poem by TCN Melbourne Funeral Celebrant and Poet Graeme Cook.

This is the little verse I put inside a Christmas Card for all the families I have dealt with through each year. It's called  Merry Christmas! I’ll Be Home For Christmas.

Set that happy Christmas table, you need leave no empty space,
For I shall sit between you all, in a peaceful state of Grace,
I shall hear your laughter, I’ll be a part of every smile,
From the kitchen to the pudding, I shall be there all the while.

The gifts you give each other, shall be your gift to me,
The Love that you shall share today, I will clearly see,
Enhance it with my memory, let your hearts be light and free,
For I’m that extra special glow, that coats your Christmas tree.

No matter where you have your Christmas, at home, the bush, the beach,
Cicadas, flies, and heat and gum trees, there no place I can’t reach,
Not just now, forever, as past the years go flying by,
I’ll be home for Christmas, on that you always may rely.


Graeme Cook 2007


Graeme Cook
Funeral Celebrant
http://funeralcelebrantmelbourne.weebly.com/index.html

Ringwood East, Melbourne Vic.
0417 149 382
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Feb
14

ASK A CELEBRANT Tips for Valentine surprises

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: Valentine Day Ideas

Looking for ideas for love poetry?
Lyrics of love songs can be a great way to find an appropriate verse to recite or send a link or play at a romantic spot on the beach or pop in a card.
Google "love songs" or love songs for him or love songs for him or love songs 2015 for the latest etc.
Of course, the net is a great place to find all sorts of love poetry or verse.
Google "love songs" or love songs for him or love songs for him or love songs 2015 for the latest etc.

Or do you want to "pop" the question - "will you marry me"?
Here is a unique gentle way for you to show your interest in getting an answer from your loved one.


Download the Notice of Intended Marriage form from our Everyone  Section.
Fill in your half, fold and place in your Valentines Day with this little question . . .

Would you like to fill in the other half of this Form with me?

The form lasts for eighteen months once lodged with a Marriage Celebrant.

Please use our Celebrant directory website to find a local celebrant to suit you when plans advance that far.
Whilst this tip cannot go this far for couples wanting marriage equality, it is one way to show your intent should the legislation change 

By the way, we'd love to know if you use our tips. Look forward to seeing your comments here!

Note: From 1st April The Celebrants Network will be running its 2016 ASKACELEBRANT GOLD ROSE DRAW.

Booking one of our Gold Rose Celebrant after 1st April will put you in the draw for a cash prize of $500, $300 or $200.

It's our fun way of promoting our TCN Celebrant members!

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Jan
13

Can a 'surprise' ceremony backfire?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG:  We all love to see expressions of delight when we make a love gesture a surprise!  But what if this backfires?

People need to be psychologically prepared to be the focus of attention, even if it is for a short while, by knowing they are going to a party or an event. Elderly people may have even more difficulty being fully present to the occasion if they are not prepared.

So the TCNA does not recommend “total” surprises for anyone. And of course, under no circumstances can the bride or groom be surprised about their own wedding . . .

READ MORE

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