Elopement for Jim and Rebecca

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Today in glorious sunshine, I had the privilege to be a part of Jim and Rebecca’s elopement.

With Rebecca’s son Ryan, and two of their friends as witnesses they were married beside Flinder’s Canal at Raby Bay and then off for a celebratory lunch with family and friends.

Wishing Jim and Rebecca a wonderful life together.




Elope? Traditional Wedding? Small Intimate Ceremony?

Wedding Ceremony Options

DSCN1331Originally the word elope referred to lovers running away together to marry secretly, however eloping these days can be to have a small intimate ceremony with close family and friends. Whatever term used, the result is you’re legally married, provided a registered celebrant performs the ceremony.

Most couples who choose an elopement style of ceremony choose this option for many reasons, they just want a small private, no frills wedding without having to go through the fuss of planning a traditional wedding.

Couples who elope, or choose a small intimate wedding, say they want to save money. The traditional wedding with family, friends, work mates, can cost in the vicinity of $20,000 plus so a small ceremony with just two witnesses is a great option to save serious money, better spent on a great honeymoon, maybe even flying first class!

Other reasons are the time saved in planning with the benefit that all important special day can happen much quicker. Family complications can be avoided, divorced parents, different cultures with different expectations, one family may be overseas and it’s not appropriate to have onlIMG_5405y one family at the wedding.

Not everyone wants a big wedding, shy and introverted people find being the centre of attention stressful. Previously married, the idea of having another big `celebration’ may be awkward, so that small intimate celebration would be just the answer.

For some couples a destination marriage suits them, however in some countries this marriage may not be legal, so `eloping’ in Australia provides the perfect option to formalise your overseas wedding.

If eloping is the right option for you and your fiance, consider some variations,

  • have a ceremony that’s just the two of you, but throw a party afterward,
  • invite only your best friends and your parents and have a celebratory meal afterward,
  • hire a professional photographer then send out great photos to announce your marriage.  See this article ..Why to engage a Professional Photographer

When marrying in Australia there needs to be two witnesses, however if you’re planning an elopement, in the original sense of the word a secret affair, then we can arrange those witnesses for you.

If you’re thinking about an elopement or small intimate ceremony, then give me a call to find out how I can assist you. I will proviMarriage Certificatede the venue with water views and, if you want, professional photos at a reasonable fee, arrange a professional AIPP accredited photographer to capture those special memories. My aim it to make your marriage planning relaxed, easy, cost effective without the wait of a traditional wedding. This can all happen in only a month, at a time to suit you – perfect solution to wedding planning stress!

Until next time Laurel m. 0418 722 396 or marriage@pobox.com

Straddie’s in his Heart – Beach Themed Marriage

James and Cherry wanted a wedding that was special for them so we went to Staddie (that’s North Stradbroke Island, Queensland for those from interstate).IMG_7448 (2)

While family and close friends made up the guest list, this only added to the joy of the day. The weather was perfect, no rain, little wind, white sand and blue, blue ocean, what more could you want.

This young couple come from very different worlds, James with his Irish heritage, and Cherry from Hainan Island, South China, so the ceremony had to reflect their union.

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Coincidence can be funny, but in this case it turned out to be just the thing to tie the beach theme together for this couple. Having a sand ceremony allowed James and Cherry to symbolically join their lives together. The heart jar was from Hainan Island, South China, Cherry’s birthplace, the black and white sands from Straddie where James spent many enjoyable holidays. And the red sand to seal their love and passion.


I can’t forget the Beach Wedding a poem with sentiments of

`And just as there will never be a morning without this ocean’s flow,
So there will never be a day without your love for one other’

expressed their future together and the circle of love made up of shells where they exchanged their vows, just topped their commitment. Everyone got involved at the end of the ceremony, casting stones with their blessings into the ocean, element of fun to set James and Cherry on married journey.IMG_7479

After the ceremony I was to find out that Patti, James mum, was married on the same beach. What a wonderful way to welcome a new Bride into Australian traditions.

Symbolism and traditions can add that special meaning to your ceremony and my aim, as your celebrant, is to make sure Your Special Day is Your Way, no matter what your wish may be.

You can email me at marriage@pobox.com or phone 0418 722 396 to talk about your ideas and how I can assist you for your special day.


What Does A Civil Celebrant Do?

Hi I’m Laurel, welcome to my website. I am a registered and experienced marriage celebrant and have had the honour to have officiated at over a hundred marriages.

Venturing into the world of blogs came about from the upgrade of my website.  I am excited that you can now search for a marriage celebrant and find my website with a clear view on your mobile phone. Enjoy an Intimate Wedding In My Garden

I hope you find the information and tips in my blog useful so that planning your marriage is as easy as possible. Many of my clients tell me that they just don’t know where to start so here I am writing my first blog about `what a celebrant does’.

As a registered marriage celebrant my role is to ensure that your marriage is legal and that the ceremony is conducted the way you want and befits the importance of marriage. My style is relaxed and friendly so that you can be comfortable in telling me exactly the way you want to be married, hence my mantra Your Special Day – Your Way!Beach Weddings In Queensland

Firstly I explain the basic legal aspects,

• the lodgement of the Notice of Intended Marriage form (must be lodged one month before the date of the marriage);
• the verification of your identity (sighting your original birth certificate or passport if you’re not born in Australia and photo ID – your driver’s licence or Proof of Age card);
• The Laws you need to know about when you marry; and
• The legal documents, the Declaration, The Certificate of Marriage and the Registered Marriage Certificate.
The New Couple Leaving The Church

Then we talk about the fun part, your ceremony, and the way you want this to happen. During my time as a marriage celebrant I have conducted many different marriage ceremonies. Very simple, informal ceremonies at my home at Cleveland with the Bride and Groom and the two witnesses required by the Law, semi-formal at a beach wedding at Noosa with the couple’s pet dog Ralphy as an attendant, formal and traditional at the lovely Old Church at North Tamborine. I have many wonderful memories of being a marriage celebrant as this is a great job.

Phone me to talk about your marriage, or email me for more information on how I can assist you with your wedding vows!

Thank you for visiting my site.

Keep in contact for my next post.

Make the ceremony your own


p: 0418 722 396
e: laureldonaldson@pobox.com