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More Blog posts can be found in the Blog Categories to the right.

Renewing Your Vows – What’s the Point?

Throughout people’s lives, there are many good times as well as challenges and hardships, and it is how we react, how and what we feel and think, and the choices we make that can impact our journey.
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It's Time

It's Time!

Spring equinox 23rd September 2017

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

Photo courtesy of The French Click

IT'S TIME to book your celebrant

If you are planning on getting married anytime in the next eighteen months (that’s how long your NOIM is valid for) then call and book your celebrant soon and get that paperwork done.

You can still get married this spring if you're quick, the Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form must be lodged with your celebrant one month before the ceremony; plenty of time still for a November wedding.

Photo courtesy of The French Click

IT'S TIME to plan your summer celebrations

Clean up the garden, pack away the winter clothes, and make your bookings for festivals, concerts, holidays, backyard BBQs and beach weddings.

elaine blog3
Photo courtesy of The French Click 

IT'S TIME to have your say on marriage equality

Interesting Fact from Wikipedia: With several countries revising their marriage laws to recognise same-sex couples in the 21st century, all major English dictionaries have revised their definition of the word marriage to either drop gender specifications or supplement them with secondary definitions to include gender-neutral language or explicit recognition of same-sex unions.  The Oxford English Dictionary has recognised same-sex marriage since 2000. 

 Haven't Voted Yet?
Fill in and post your Vote as soon as possible and if you would like more information visit

TCN's Marriage Equality section. 

elaine blog4

Remember not to add anything other than the response required (i.e. no comments, no glitter, etc) or your survey response could be invalid.

If you’ve lost or damaged your ballot, you can request a new one from the Australian Bureau of Statistics here any time before October 20th.

IT'S TIME to begin planning the final celebration

If you plan on living your life to the end, then you can start by talking to a celebrant about recording ‘your life story’ or filling in those important documents such as: Advance Health Directive, Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship, a valid Will (who gets what) and emotional will (words of love and wisdom)

Don’t leave it to your family to make difficult decisions at an emotional time, have the conversation now.


Passage of Time

Sadness passes with time 
A hollow field blanketed with snow 
Soon fills with swaying blooms A darkened sky suddenly illuminates            
A weary traveller’s way 
And Spring follows a Winter’s road 
Which butterflies array 
Somewhere, somehow, shadows 
Give way to sunbeams 
Life’s fabric is painted with promised purpose 
And each day new freshness springs 
Laughter envelops an empty room 
And a broken heart sings 
With an abandonment of joy 
As it finally kisses the dawn 
Of a bright new day!

Little Pebbles and Stepping Stones, Compositions from the heart by Ruth Van Gramberg - 2005

For more information on any of the above or to contact a Celebrant near you visit
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It's important to continue learning about your partner

People grow and change and evolve –with kids and jobs whilst progressing through life. It’s normal – change is inevitable.
blog20We are having to continually learn about our partners and keep up with new hobbies, interests, views about life, religion, politics and society.  This makes it vital to keep the lines of communication open with your loved ones to make sure you are on the same page or at least have an understanding of the page that each other are on.

When people first get married, their vows may understandably be idealistic and optimistic, which is great. Those people who have been married for a while will know that it’s not always that easy to keep up the pretence of what was once cute is still cute.

This is why renewing or reaffirming your vows is a great way to modernise your marriage and make some promises that are a little easier to keep.

The bottom line is - “I promise to try” because life is not perfect, and it can be unrealistic to expect a perfect life and a perfect marriage. You are practically setting yourself up for failure.

Whenever there is a change in your dynamic, for example, babies, one goes part time, or stops work to raise the children, roles in your relationship change. Issues of housework, finances, and quality time may arise.
couple 1825139 640Remember when you get married, you don’t cease to be your own person.  You are two individuals who have made a mutual decision to join your lives together - so that needs a big conversation to make sure that you are both going to be happy with how it will all work. Find that balance.
burma 2593728 640It’s all about expectations. If you don’t have that important conversation before you are married - the one where you both say “what would you like this marriage to look like?”  then you are on the back foot before the honeymoon has even begun.

Relationship education guides you through questions like:

Would you like to have children? When? How many?

Who will stay home with the children or will you both work?

What style of parenting will you use? What type of schooling?
family 457235 640Will you organise your finances together or will one person be responsible?

How will that work? If one person is not working, what will happen?

What do you like to spend your money on?

One earns more than the other. How do you both feel about that?

Where will you live:

Will you buy or will you rent?

Will you be happy to move if your partner receives a job in another city?

Will it be ok if your mother comes to stay?

What are your political views?

If they don’t match, is that something that you can live with?

If you’ve asked each other these questions and more, and you still feel like you are the right match for each other, and you decide to get married, then good for you.

Years down the track, you might feel exactly the same, or, you both may have grown emotionally, intellectually and socially.

You should ask yourself these same questions and see if you’re on the same page and if you’re not - how can you work together to get back on the same page?

Having a ceremony? Contact your local TCN Celebrant now. 

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Anniversary Symbols

Are you one of those people who can never remember what you're meant to buy your husband or wife for your anniversary each year?  
Is it paper?  
Is it wood?  
Which year do I give roses?


Here's a handy guide for you..... you're welcome!


Photo source: on Pinterest

Do you know what else a great idea to celebrate your anniversary?  

Doing it all again.  

Renewing your vows.  

Reaffirming just how much you love each other

and maybe adding in some new vows.


Photo source: on Pinterest

And while we're talking about great ideas - here's another one...


Talk to a TCN Celebrant who can create the perfect vow renewing ceremony for you.


Click here to read more about anniversary ceremonies


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How to add Ceremony to any Celebration

If  you think about it, there is always an element of formality to most events.   

Normally you think of events like weddings, funerals and naming days, but there are way more events in our lives where we can add ceremony.

Ceremonial aspects of events shouldn’t be underestimated in importance. They include opening and closing speeches, music, playing of national anthems, the reciting of special words, presentation of awards and flowers, flag raising, present giving and blowing out of candles.

While it’s not absolutely necessary to add ceremony to your party or event, it does give it meaning and clarification. 

A ceremony can add greatly to the emotion, symbolism and entertainment value of the event and whilst you're at it - why not make it a Party with a Purpose 

One great way to make sure that your event has a beautiful and meaningful ceremony is to engage a TCN Celebrant.  If fact, why not come together with family members or other guests and make your TCN Celebrant your gift.


So, how do you add ceremony to personal events?  I’m glad you asked!

We’re so used to having or going to birthday parties where you play games and eat as much sugar as you little body can handle.  Then as grown ups the party turns into drinking as much as you can and buying a present that we didn’t put much thought into.  So how are we actually celebrating the birthday person? 



What about a "This is your life" theme? Invite friends and family to share a story or express their feelings;  create a book of memories that the guests have contributed to with photos and tales of the person you are honouring; ask all the guests to write an ode to the birthday girl/boy celebrating what they love about them.  Work together with other guests to hire a celebrant to present an awesome ceremony that befits your friend.

This is such a transitional time in a person’s life.  They have just worked through 6 or 12 or 16+ years of study to be where they are now standing with certificate/diploma/degree/PhD in hand.  Each step of the way should be celebrated for the hard slog already done and to help motivate for the next steps ahead. 



Why not organise a visual gallery of the students' work?  Perhaps a ceremony whereby graduating students are paired with younger students interested in the same field as mentors? You could have teachers, parents and other educators let students know what a great effort they’ve put in whilst giving the students the opportunity to share how proud they are of themselves, and to thank their educators.

Anniversaries pass every year, sometimes unnoticed, but each year is a milestone in your relationship and it is a great time to reaffirm your feelings for each other.  Maybe this doesn’t need to be a big fanfare every year and maybe for you a private, reflective ceremony is all you need…. but then again - why not celebrate in style every year with a ceremony that says “Hey - look what we did! Again!”



Relive your marriage ceremony - repeating your original vows or creating new ones each year as you grow as a couple - also a great excuse for a catch up with your bridal party; Celebrate something different about you as a couple each year - first year: honour your shared love of writing with a poetry infused ceremony; Second year: Celebrate your love of travel with a destination ceremony, you get the idea…



(just a little tip:  I know some lovely TCN celebrants who would jump at the chance to perform your ceremony in Fiji!)

When you receive a promotion at work, there is sometimes a ceremony and presentation with bosses and work colleagues which is a great acknowledgement of your hard work and achievement, but there is nothing stopping you from having your own ceremonial event because it is a reason to celebrate.  



Perhaps before you crack the bottle of champas, you could make a speech thanking and giving your own awards to the people who helped you get where are today.  Gracious, thoughtful and appreciated.

New home
You’ve saved, you’ve scrimped and you’ve gone without, but now you have the keys to your brand new pad. You’ve organised a housewarming and you can’t wait to crack open a beer and celebrate with your mates….. but stop for a second to think about what you have achieved - that deserves more than just knocking the top off a cold one.  Your efforts should be recognised, your sacrifices, applauded. 



Have a small ceremony to stamp the moment that you did this thing and it will make it all the more memorable; You could thank the people who helped you get there;  Have a special blessing put over the house; Light a candle symbolising your future at that address and even use the candle to start the BBQ - #new beginnings!

Want to read more? Click HERE to check out some of our sugggestions for celebrating every stage of life.

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Remembering Loved Ones

Ways to Remember 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.  


To do this we wear poppies as a way to mark the day, we lay flowers, we march wearing the medals of our grandfathers and great grandfathers, we hold services where a bugler will sound the “Last Post” and we observe a one minute silence.


We do all these things so as not to forget those people who died for our freedom.  It’s one day out of the year that is set aside to specifically think about those men and woman.  We do this, even if we never knew any of them personally, so what do we do to remember those loved ones that we did know? 
Here are some ideas that you might like to use when you choose your own day of remembrance for your loved ones.


Gather relatives and have your own day of remembrance for those family members who have died.  You could incorporate some of the ideas below at your gathering.


Play their favourite song - you could do this at your gathering or you could listen privately - anywhere.  We all know the power of an old song to trigger vivid memories that seem to transport us back in time and space.   Music has the ability to evoke such strong memories of people and places.


Get all the grandchildren and try to emulate Nana’s famous biscuit recipe.  Whilst you're all there, stories about all the things you loved about your Nana can be shared, passing on the love to the younger members of your family.


 Go to their favourite park for a picnic - Go with family and share in the day remembering and swapping stories.  It may help you to feel closer to them and if you choose to go on your own, gives you a quite place to reflect.


Plant a tree in their honour - You may have heard of planting a tree in celebration of a birth; the same logic applies for a death. The tree symbolises not the fact that your loved one has died, but that they lived.  A flowering tree is great because when the tree blossoms every year, the branches can be brought into the house, symbolising the celebration of that life.


 Dedicate a memorial bench -  I love wandering through parks reading the memorial plaques on benches, thinking about who the people could have been and what their lives were like.  This is a place that you can go to actively think about your loved one and if the bench is in a place that they loved to go, that can help you to feel that bit closer to them as well.


Light a candle - This has always been symbolic in memorials.  Gazing at flame helps you to focus your thinking on their memory.  Just be careful not to leave the flame burning when you're not there!


Create a book of stories about your loved one - Ask family and friends for their favourite stories and precious memories, include photos and make a treasured keepsake.


Display old photos of your loved one in a creative way - It's nice to display pictures instead of keeping them tucked away in a photo album. Friends and family members can be hesitant to discuss their deceased loved one, but pictures can be very comforting to those who are grieving.


To make the special day even more memorable, you could add a meaningful ceremony to your day.


It takes nothing to speak to one of our TCN Celebrants who can help you to arrange the perfect tribute for your loved one.


Want to Read More... 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.  

? 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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Celebrants do more than just weddings...

It's true that a lot of civil celebrants only conduct marriage ceremonies or funerals but there are also many Family Celebrants who offer their services for a multitude of celebrations that will continue on throughout your lifetime.  

Betrothal / Engagement Ceremonies

Making the decision to get married is just as important and exciting as it is to actually get married, so why not celebrate it?  When you get engaged one of you is asking the other to spend the rest of your lives together.  And if the answer is yes, then that is cause for celebration.  A promise to one day soon be married (legally you need to wait at least one full month after you've signed the Notice of Intended Marriage form with your celebrant).  How wonderful it will be to find a TCN Celebrant who will become your Family Celebrant for all the celebratory milestones in your lives.

Blessingway Ceremonies

This is a lovely ceremony for when you're pregnant or adopting a child.  It is a beautiful and relaxed way to honour the mother in her preparation for the arrival of her baby/child.  There are rituals that can be performed and advice offered from experienced friends and relatives.


Naming Ceremonies

This is the non relgious version of a Christening or Baptism for your baby/child or your newly adopted baby or child to welcome them into their family and their community.  Naming Ceremonies are also for people who are transitioning from one gender to another or simply wanting a new beginning in their lives where a new name is part of that transition.


Coming of Adolescence Ceremonies

In some cultures, there are specific rituals for boys who are coming into manhood and young ladies have always had biological changes welcoming them into womanhood, although this is more often a secret tha tis not spoken about let alone celebrated.  However in Australia we don't really have a custom or tradition where the young men and woman are ackknowledged or eased into this special and sometimes confusing time in their lives.  In the past we had debutant balls and coming out parties which were designed to introduce young ladies into society, but that tradition is surely fading.  The Coming of Adolescence Ceremony is ackowledging and celebrating the transitions that your teenagers are passing through.  No longer a child, but not quite yet an adult and yet they are acheiving milestones that should be recognised.

Coming Out Ceremonies

Whether you are gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender or one of the many other gender identies, that is nobody's business but your own.  However, if you want to share and celebrate this joyous occasion and you or your child have been brave enough and found the confidence to come out to your family and friends, then why not celebrate?  Coming out is all about accepting yourself the way you are and living a life that is true for you.  You are you.  You are beautiful and you should be celebrated and be celebrated!

Coming of Age Ceremonies - 18th, 21st

Since the 1960's when the legal age of 21 was reduced down to 18 in Australia [read more about this here] we typically celebrate by getting as drunk as we possibly can.  With all the alcohol related violence, it is way overdue that we look at our coming of age celebrations and rethink what it actually means to become an adult.  It means amoungst a long list of responsibilities: voting, signing legal documents and travelling.  Yes, it means that you can drink legally, but it also means that you need to be mature enough to do it responsibly.  So why not make your coming of age party more meaningful with a ceremony that honours who you are, where you've come from and where you're going in your life.

Special Birthday Celebrations

Is Nanna turning 80?  Is Granddad 75 already? What fabulously interesting lives they must have lead in their time. Why not celebrate in a style befitting family elders and leaders by giving your loved one a Party with a Purpose.  A "This is your life" tribute honours their lives, their accomplishments, their hardships, their knowledge and their experiences.

Anniversary Celebrations & Wedding Vow Renewals

Each year that a couple has worked at their marriage should be celebrated.  Check out the Wedding Anniversary symbols page for some ideas on your next anniversary party theme and how you could incorporate a meaningful ceremony with the help of your TCN Celebrant.  When you've been married for a while, you can look back on the vows you made at your marriage ceremony and decide whether they are still fitting for your relationship now or whether you'd like to add some new ones to match how your relationship has evolved.

Moving in Together

Without the legal paperwork, buying a house or moving in together is a commitment that can in some ways be just like a marriage.  You'll need to communicate effectively to feed the pets and work together to pay the bills.  This momentous occasion should be celebrated.  You could invite everyone around and combine your housewarming party with a commitment ceremony and really party with a purpose!


Why not talk to one of our TCN Celebrants to help you make your next celebration more meaningful?


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Wedding Anniversary Symbols

Have you ever wondered about what wedding anniversary symbols are all about?


No one knows precisely when wedding anniversaries were first celebrated, but the tradition is believed to go back at least to the Middle Ages.  At that time in the Germanic regions of Europe, a husband crowned his wife with a silver wreath on the 25th anniversary of their wedding day.  If the couple was fortunate to live long enough, the husband presented his wife with a gold wreath on their 50th wedding anniversary.


Over the years more symbols have been added and it is generally believed that increasingly durable gifts were chosen for successive years to represent the progressive strengthening of the marriage relationship.  As the years go by, the gifts increase in strength and worth from paper to diamond.


1st Anniversary


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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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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: 

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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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Wedding Anniversary Symbols

Just sent an e-card to a niece in Queensland  "A happy anniversary bouquet for a beautiful bride and hubby on their 12th + 2 days anniversary!"

The Traditional symbols for 12th wedding anniversary are Silk/Linen and the New Tradition is Pearls which I love. The Flower is Peony.

Perhaps you can look up the symbols for the next anniversary in your life here at:

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Celebrate your Anniversary with Ceremony

Steve Rona 1993 wedding 200How do you and your partner celebrate your anniversaries? And what is it that you celebrate - the anniversary of first meeting, first moving in together or more traditionally, your wedding anniversary?

First thing of course is to remember the date!  This can be tricky as many of us know but it is usually greatly appreciated so well worth doing! 

Perhaps you are looking for a different and special way to celebrate this year.  Maybe it is a significant anniversary for you for some reason. It may be the number - 1st, 5th, 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th and 50th wedding anniversaries are often deemed more special,  But it may also be something else that is special this year - overcoming difficulties together, starting your family, having the last child leave home - the reasons are as individual as the couples who are celebrating.

Why not think about engaging a celebrant from the The Celebrants Network (TCN) to design and conduct a ceremony that meets your individual needs?  You can find a celebrant near you on our website .  You can also find lots of information about different ceremonies for anniversaries.  

Our TCN founder Rona Goold and her husband Steve had their 21st Wedding Anniversary last year and they asked TCN Celebrant Robyn Lenahan to conduct a ceremony for them.  

Rona made a YouTube video using pictures from their wedding to use as part of the ceremony, an example of an original idea that had significance for the guests at their celebration.  You can watch it here and enjoy the original song "I Wish For You" performed by the Two Macs which was first performed at Rona and Steve's wedding.

Tell us about your ideas for celebrating anniversaries by commenting below.


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