Michell é brant Celebrant

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Beach Wedding Blunders – a Celebrant’s point of view

The ceremony I performed at Tallebudgera Creek on the beach in February was the ultimate example of beach weddings errors.
While I was driving thereI was so pleased. Mother nature was on my side that day, I thought. The sun was out, the water was warm, the groom and groomsmen were smiling.

Beautiful weddings had set up a most amazing ceremony decor.  

There was hardly any wind, the ocean was quiet, and there were no birds in sight. Basically no noise for my PA to compete with. 

 
It was going to be a beautiful beach wedding.
Well, that is what I tell myself at the beginning of every beach wedding!
Beach weddings are beautiful, but they bring with it a tonne of problems that really need serious consideration before you choose a location for your big day.
This is not to say “don’t do it”, just that you will need to think carefully about every component, potential risks and certainly contingency plans. 
At 2 PM, although still, the temperature hit a record 39° in the beating hot sun. There was no shade, and no breeze.  
The guests were left with no option but to huddle under a small tree in the background while they waited for the bride. Many were elderly, and getting cranky and thirsty. 

No one was certain as to whether or not to take their shoes off in the sand. What is the correct etiquette?

That decision was made for them, because the sand also hit a record 39°!
While I waited with the groomsmen and the crowd huddled in their patch of cool shade, we waited, and waited… And waited.

I got word that the limousine, driving the bride, had been delayed. In short, she was 45 minutes late!
Have you ever stood in the blazing sun in February, on a beach, in formal clothes, and no shade?

I don’t recommend it. Within the first 10 minutes my make up had dissolved and melted down my face onto my neck and settled along the collar of my shirt. Small droplets of perspiration popped up on my back and dripped down my spine, all the way into my underpants.

 My clothes began to feel damp. The groom and groomsmen were sweating bullets. The guests were fanning themselves with any fanlike item they could find.  

Some of the guests were late too. It turns out that going to the beach on a hot Saturday in February is quite a popular pastime for the general public. Therefore , no carparks. Guests had to park in the next suburb and walk. 
As I was preparing my PA system and microphone, the perspiration on my hands was so intense that I dropped the microphone into the sand.

Microphones and sand are not friends! I was heartbroken for the loss of my dear little mic. Lucky I have a back up.
When the bride finally appeared, there was a sigh of relief from the crowd. But understandably, very few of them wanted to sit in the designated seats for fear of heatstroke. Her dress had a train about a meter long. By the time she reached me, she was dragging about 20 kg of sand inside the petticoats of her gorgeous gown. 
I shortened the ceremony so that my audience would not be tortured for any longer which was appreciated. 

Nevertheless, an ambulance was called shortly after as one of the elderly aunts fainted just after the wedding kiss.
All in all, the couple were happily married, but the beach wedding in itself was a complete nightmare. Some might say that Mother nature had her way after all, and for reasons out of our control, things did not go to plan.
But I disagree. There were several ways in which this wedding could have been turned around into successful and enjoyable event.
Contingency plans – “extreme weather conditions”, whether it be heat or rain, should be taken seriously, and if the weather forecast suggests an uncomfortable environment, you should decide which venue to hold your event. It may not be what you pictured originally but it will be safest for everyone involved. 
Preparation – your guests need water. Prepare an esky with small bottles to hand out to guests should they need it. 

Consider a bucket full of thongs/flip flops. This will mean that ladies with heels can simply slip on a temporary pair of shoes. 

Shade is important. Discuss with your stylist the options of umbrellas and marquees.
Parking – go to the beach on a Saturday, and note the number of available carparks. Then inform your guests of the best locations to park.
Remember that your marriage celebrant is a person too! Carrying a PA system, paperwork and sometimes table & chairs, I have often struggled across the beach. Ask a friend to be in charge of looking out for the wedding celebrant and helping them with their equipment. 

Dress appropriately! If you have divine images of flowing gowns and men in tuxedos, you might get a rude shock on the day!

It comes down to being sensible. Pinterest may boast a host of wedding photos that you dream of. But in reality isn’t it better for you and your guests to have an unforgettable experience (for the right reasons) than to chase an almost impossible dream?

By Michelle Anderson Celebrant

http://idocelebrant.com/
0400207913

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8 Questions You Must Ask a Wedding Professional Before Booking Them

Hiring the right team is critical to planning your dream wedding…and it can also be quite stressful.

Amelia and Sam May 2015 B Weddings

How do you find the right match for you?  How do you know who to trust?  Where do you go for advice?

 

First of all, this is not an easy task and it’s totally normal for couples to feel overwhelmed, frustrated or confused.

It’s not like you plan a wedding every day!  This is all probably brand new to you, so be patient with yourself.

And remember, you will only have 1 wedding…  While the really great vendors will do more than 2 a week!

TRUST your suppliers and your day will be smooth sailing.

 

A few tips to finding the right ones for you…

 

  • Do Your Homework.You’ll get much more out of a meeting or conversation with a wedding professional if you do a little background homework first.

 

Spend some time on the internet or talking to friends who’ve recently been married.  Find out the average prices in your area and what services are available.  Get an idea of what you like and don’t like.  Wedding websites and chat rooms can be a great resource.  This way when you meet with a wedding professional you’ll be able to ask better questions and have an idea of what to look out for.

If you haven’t been a guest at many weddings, watch some classic Hollywood movies for inspiration.

  • Meet With Them.An in person meeting is the best way to interview a potential wedding vendor. It lets you get the full experience of their personality, style and professionalism.  If that’s not possible, have a phone conversation.

 

  • Ask Questions.There are no stupid questions! Make sure you get clear, specific answers to your questions. If you aren’t sure what something means, ask them to clarify. Keep asking questions until you completely understand.

 

If a wedding vendor has a problem with you asking questions, they probably aren’t the one for you.  The best wedding professionals are patient, understanding and take the time to help you make the best choices for your wedding.

 

  • Listen.Don’t just hear the words they say, really listen.  Watch the vendor’s body language.  Are they confident and comfortable with their response?  Do they look and sound nervous?  Do you get a “funny feeling” about them?  Take all the sights, sounds and feelings into account along with their responses; if your gut tells you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.

 

  • Check References.Portfolios are hand-picked to show off the best work, but they may not represent the “average” wedding performance.  Videos are edited for the optimum presentation.  But real referrals from satisfied clients are hard to fake.

 

Call up both client and professional references.  Ask questions and use those listening skills.  Even if they give a rave review, you’ll often be able to “read between the lines” if there were any issues or problems.

Ask around and search the internet for reviews.  Weigh all of this information into your choices.

Here are the top 8 “Must Ask” questions to ask your potential wedding professionals before booking:

  1. How many weddings do you do per year?  How much experience do you have?

This is an extremely important question.  Ideally, your wedding professional should have ample experience specifically with weddings.  Not only will they be more skilled in their craft, this also makes them a valuable source of information and ensures that your wedding day goes smoothly.

  1. How much do you charge?

Price is often relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation and expert skill.  Generally, the most talented professionals have a higher price tag because they are worth it.

Essentially, you get what you pay for.  The cheapest florist is unlikely to deliver the very best flowers, for example.

  1. How much is the deposit?

A deposit is essential for every wedding vendor.  Without a deposit, your date is not secured.  When are the payments due and find out terms and conditions.

  1. What specifically is included in that cost?

Because packages often vary, it’s likely that you won’t be able to compare one vendor exactly to the next without doing a little figuring.  The lowest cost isn’t necessarily the best deal; some higher quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in other packages.  Make sure you take this into account.

(Travel costs are a big one – some celebrants charge per kilometre and others include it in their overall fee.)

  1. What happens if I cancel?  What happens if you cancel? 

Find out if your deposit is refundable under any conditions.  Does the wedding professional have a back up plan if something happens to them?

  1. Are there any little perks to choosing you over another?

Some vendors are marketing savvy!  This is a cut throat industry and sometimes the small extras can win you over.  Perhaps they are throwing in more time or product, giving away voucher or gifts or a discount for fellow vendors that they recommend.

  1. Are there any additional fees?

Taxes, service charges and travel fees can add up quickly.  Make sure you understand exactly what is included and if there are any other fees you’ll have to pay.  This should be clearly defined in your contract/T&C.

  1. Do you carry have public liability insurance?
    The answer you’re looking for here is Yes.  This protects you in case an unfortunate accident should occur on your wedding day.  It’s also a sign that this is a reputable business, since most “fly by night” operations don’t invest in insurance.

So there you have it.  Now you are armed with a solid process that will guide you toward wedding success.  If chosen wisely, with the right wedding vendors you get expert help and advice…for free!

(Obviously a marriage isn’t possible without a celebrant, so be sure to give this decision some serious thought.  And call me!)

Michelle Anderson (Michell e brant) ~ Your Celebration Celebrant ~ idocelebrant.com ~ michelle@idocelebrant.com ~

0400 207 913~ @Michell_e_brant

Content courtesy of Stephanie at Bookmorebrides.com

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