Blog Married by Andy

What to ask your celebrant

Married by Andy - Happy Bride

I’ve been there. 🤗

Organising a wedding is a big deal and there’s so many little things to remember; To-do lists, excel sheets, maps, websites, endless conversations with your partner, ideas and dreams, expectations and the never ending debate over the guest list. 

When it comes to your celebrant, I think you really want someone who’s - a friend-ly, someone you ‘click’ with.🙃🤓 

For every wedding I’ve done, I wanted to be an extension of the couples network, a friend who knows why we are gathered here today and who understands you as a couple and as a person - a friend to celebrate your love. 🥰

Once you’ve booked your venue and have a date, you should contact your celebrant straight away as the good ones book out often more than a year in advance. To save yourself time, always ask these questions first -

  • Are you available on DATE at TIME?  

  • Can you travel to LOCATION?

Once the date/ location is discussed and your celebrant is free, that’s a tick off your list. 🥳

Now that the celebrant is all yours, be sure to ask plenty of questions and see if you ‘click’, if it feels right in your gut and you could be ‘friends’. Your celebrant is there to make your love shine and take care of the ceremony. She/ he will give you ideas and inspiration that should reflect who you are as a couple, and your celebrant will look after all legal aspects. Your celebrant should really take you by the hand and guide you through the processes etc. Don’t worry, it’s loads of fun!!! 🥳💃🥳

Here comes the bride…

Here comes the bride…

10 Questions

  • How many meetings are needed before the wedding and what paperwork is required, what do you need from us?

  • Are you willing to travel, what are your fees and what do they include? 

  • How long does the ceremony approximately take? 

  • Do you provide all your own equipment? Is your speaker of good quality?  

  • We want a personalised ceremony, how can you help us? Writing personal vows, do you help? 

  • Do we require a rehearsal prior to the wedding? 

  • What time will you arrive pre-ceremony and what will you be wearing on the day? 

  • What happens if you are sick on the day? Do you have a cancellation policy? 

  • Do you have a certain style to your ceremonies? 

  • How long have you been a celebrant and how many have you concluded?

I normally discuss all the above on the first call and then set up the first face to face meeting. Here we can relax, chat and really get to know each other, talk all legal bits and pieces, the order of ceremony and anything else you’d like to include or discuss. 

I will bring the first form to fill in, the ‘NOIM’ (Notice of Intended Marriage) to complete and sign before me, which is your first legal paper towards your marriage. All we need is your passports and drivers licences. If you do not have your passport, please bring your birth certificate and your drivers licence. All I have to do is to establish your identity as well as consent to marry from the two of you - so lots of kissing from your end really... 😘😉

I hope this blog helps you finding your ‘friend’-ly celebrant. Well better contact me now and I’ll be your friend. 😊

Much love, Andy 

Cheers to the Newlyweds 🥂

Cheers to the Newlyweds 🥂

The subtle art of writing Vows

Adriano & Andy - Wedding Wollombi Oct 2018

My favourite part of the ceremony are the vows, the personal vows of each couple.

Why are we coming together today? To pledge, vow, combine and promise ourselves to our partner, manifest our commitment, our desires, our adventures and all the things to come as a couple - now joined together by words and vows taken. I love seeing couples embracing their vows and their emotions. 😍

Be alive, be present, look into your partners eyes, cry and cry some more. You can kiss and hug, as this is it, your moment! This is why we are here today. I know because I was there last October and I am there every day of my life vowing, promising, living and loving the LOML (Love of my life).

This is why I became a celebrant, because I love truely and I love to see people in love and help make your love shine on your day. I’m all about love and living to the fullest, embracing emotions and being alive in love and in the moment. What better moment to relish and roll in, like a pig in mud when looking at your LOML and feeling the love 😍

I will share my vows with you and give you some tips on how I wrote them that will help you as well.

Is it an art? Maybe, but all I did was the below and listened to my heart. Sit back, put on your favourite love song and relax and visualise your ceremony and your LOML in front of you. Take a pen and some paper/ or your notes in your phone and off you go.

Tips on how to write your vows:

  • Use the notes on your phone to jot down ideas whenever they come to you

  • Start a few months before your wedding (if you can)

  • Note down any lyrics you hear in songs you like

  • Note down any phrases/ conversations with friends that resonate with you

  • Listen to your favourite songs and check their lyrics for nice phrases as inspiration

  • Any words that come to mind here and there that are significant to your relationship, write them down

  • Movies - another awesome pool for ideas are movies, whenever you hear something, quickly write it down, there’s so many amazing movies out there, maybe one you’ve watched together and you love

  • Quirks or things your partner does you just love ie I’m jealous of the pillow you hold all night and not me or your big brown eyes, love for your children/ inspiration

Ending: Use the most powerful words there are and the ones that marked the start of your relationship? I love you. I love you, forever.

My vows

I’m emotional and when reading my vows I was sobbing the whole way through...and that was perfect. Don’t be afraid of your emotions, let it be what it is and embrace this moment, truely. I asked my celebrant to just give me time and the space to express my feelings and that most likely I will be crying. We had the whole audience in tears sobbing lol (You may need a tissue or two...) 🥰

I love you, all of you, forever.

I love you, all of you, forever.

“For me, Lara Fabian summed it all up with her song ‘Adagio’, that I’ve been listening to for many many years… The song finishes with ‘Be the only man to say, That you believe, make me believe, You won't let go’. BF, you have shown me true love and given me the believe and trust that you won’t let go, ever. Every morning when I wake up I get to look into your beautiful eyes and see your smile and I find my home, my creed and fall in love all over again, day after day and I know this won’t change. You showed me true love and true love is alive, every day, every second it breathes in you and through me. Falling for you wasn’t falling at all. It was like walking into a house and suddenly realising I was home. One look at you and my whole life falls into place, before I found you, I prayed for you and I can’t believe you are even true sometimes. The best thing that I will ever do, is that I’ll get to love you. You’ve changed my life in ways I will never be able to put into words. You’ve made me a better man, a stronger man and a more compassionate man. I join my life with yours. Wherever you go, I will go; whatever you face, I will face. I vow to make my life forever yours and build my dreams around you. Today here in front of our family and friends I vow to love and honour, protect and respect you, now and forever, you are my husband. I love you, all of you, forever!”

I hope this will give you some inspiration. I’ll be there helping you along the way as well and have many great vow examples for you to get inspiration from and give you feedback on yours.

On the day I’ll have your vows printed on a palm card for you to read, ready at the altar so you don’t have to worry about memorising them or losing the paper etc.

I’ll be there making sure it’s all that you dreamt off and more. 🥰

Love must always win. 😘

All about the NOIM - Notice of Intended Marriage


The NOIM, as most people call it, is the most important form that you will fill in with regards to getting your legal wedding plans underway. It is the first piece of information along your paperwork trail to getting legally married in Australia and it will have to be given to your celebrant of choice to start the process. 

Let's check out what this NOIM is all about.

Once you’ve found your ‘LOML’ (Love of my Life 😍) and there was a proposal (Congratulations 🥳) and you’ve locked in your venue, it’s time to find the perfect celebrant for your big day. Look no further 😉 Given timings etc work and everyone is on the same page, the next step is to fill in the Notice of Intended Marriage - here is the link to run your eyes over.

We will fill in the NOIM together at our first meeting as I will explain the legalities and we can already get to know each other and talk about your wedding.

If we are unable to meet in person, you can download the form, fill it in and have it witnessed by one of the following authorities before sending it to me. Let’s discuss beforehand. 

  • an authorised Marriage Celebrant

  • a justice of the peace

  • a Comissioner for Declarations under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959

  • a barrister or solicitor

  • a legally qualified medical practitioner

  • a member of the Australin Federal Police or the police force of a Sate or Territory.

If you're overseas and need to get the NOIM witnessed, you will need one of the follwing authorities to witness your signatures:

  • an Australian Diplomatic Officer

  • an Australian Consular Officer

  • a Notary public ( this is the easiest option )

  • an employee of the Commonwealth authorised under paragraph 3(c) of teh Consular Fees Act 1955

  • an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised under paragraph 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955.

You then scan and deliver the NOIM to me, and I will lodge the document. Please give the hard-copy yo me when we meet.

Timings: I must receive the NOIM at least 1 month before the date of your wedding ceremony and no earlier than 18 months. There are circumstances where the date can be shortened, in which case a prescribed authority will need to allow this shortening of time. I can help with this but there is no guarantee.

One person can meet with me and sign, I normally FaceTime the other party as well to introduce myself etc and the overseas party can then sign on arrival as long as it’s before the wedding and I’m satisfied with both parties ID and willingness marry of course. 👍

What I need from you: I will check your passport and drivers licence for Proof of date and Place of birth and, if you have been married before, your valid divorce papers as well please. 

The documents that you can use to prove this are:

  • an offical birth certificate, or an extract of an entry in an offical register, showing the date and place of birth of each party - these can be Australian or International

  • or, a passport showing the date and place of birth of the party

  • or, a statutory declaration made by the party or a parent of the party stating that, for reasons specified in the declaration, that it's not practical to obtain such a certificate and to state to the best of the declarent's knowledge of when and where the party was born.

Born in Australia: Have a passport or birth certificate for me with the proof of the date and place of your birth. If you do not currently possess either of these documents, then you will need to apply for them via the Births, Deaths and Marriages office of the state that you were born. Make this a priority if you need to obtain these documents. 

Born overseas: Please bring your valid overseas passport and drivers licence.

Previously married: Please provide your divorce certificate or any death, nullity or dissolution papers.

Let’s have a chat (message me below) and we can get the process started to successfully complete your NOIM and create an amazing wedding ceremony.

I’m super excited to guide you and let your love shine 💖 ☀️ 

Much love, Andy