Steps Involved In Planning Your Wedding Ceremony

Initial Contact

Give me a call or send me an email and I can let you know if I am available on your wedding date. We can then have a chat about what I can offer, costs involved and I will also fill you in on the legal requirements of a wedding ceremony. All of which is obligation free.

Next Step

If you are happy to proceed to the next step we can then arrange a personal meeting or alternatively a chat on the telephone or even Skype each other. Telephoning or Skyping are particularly useful if you are not a resident of the Mid-North Coast of NSW. We will sign a Service Agreement and complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). I will provide the paper work, however you will need to bring a form of identification such as a driver’s licence and original Birth Certificates (For people born outside of Australia we require Passport or a Birth Certificate) and Divorce or Death Certificates (if applicable).  Legally the NOIM must be given to the authorised celebrant no earlier than 18 months and no later than one month before the date of the marriage. (A shorter period can be arranged in some circumstances, which I can discuss with you). We can then start work on your wedding ceremony. If you need any additional suggestions or ideas let me know.

Service and Payment Agreements

A Booking Fee is paid after signing the Service Agreement.  This reserves your time and date for the ceremony. The balance of the fee is to be paid by direct deposit no later than 14 days prior to the ceremony or in cash no later than 48 hours prior to the ceremony. Prior to the wedding (usually sometime during the week before the ceremony) you must sign a Form 14 Declaration, which is a Statutory Declaration, stating that there is no reason why you shouldn't marry.

Rehearsal (If required)

Depending on the venue and distance, we can meet up on location and walk through the ceremony. We can discuss the guests and groom's arrival, the music, the bridal party's entrance, the signing of the Marriage Certificates and how you wish to exit the ceremony.

This may not seem necessary for a simple service however it does help to reduce the nerves you may potentially experience on the day. It also gives you an opportunity to get a feel for how your ceremony will look and for you to make the best use of your location. You may wish to include your bridal party in the Rehearsal. It can be a great opportunity for every one to get together for a social occasion.

The Wedding Day

My role on the day is to coordinate with all involved (including your guests, photographer, musicians, venue organizers etc.) to ensure that you can be calm and relaxed, and that your wedding ceremony meets all your expectations. The idea is that on your wedding day you shouldn't have to worry about anything.

You should be enjoying it!

I will arrive at least 20 minutes before the service to help welcome your guests and make sure that all is in order

A Sample Format of a Wedding Ceremony

·      The Welcome

·      The Introduction ~ I have many choices or you may have your own ideas.  

·      The Celebrants Authorisation ~ this is a legal requirement.

·      The Giving Away ~ this may involve one or both parents, children, friends, or all of the guests.

·      The Asking ~ while this is not a legal requirement, a lot of couples like to hear the words "I Do" in their ceremony.

·      The Vows ~ I will provide information on writing your own vows, or I can assist you in this process.

·      The Ring Ceremony ~ which can be incorporated in with the exchanging of your vows or perhaps you would like to include a ring warming. Other Ceremonies such as a handfasting, sand, candle, wine or water ceremony can be included (there are many other ceremonies and customs that can also be incorporated).

·      Declaration of Marriage ~ A huge round of applause here!

·      Signing of the Marriage Certificates  ~ A great photo opportunity.

·      The Presentation of the Married couple ~ Lots of cheers, good wishes & applause!

I will assist you to design your own ceremony using ideas and readings from my collections.

I will provide ideas about each step of your ceremony and help you develop your own vows if necessary.

Readings or poetry may also be an important part of your Wedding ceremony. Often you will find family members, or friends who would love to take part in reading a poem or words of a song as part of the ceremony.

We can also include children in your ceremony, special vows to children who will be part of the new family can be written into the ceremony.

This is a general outline of the service I offer, please discuss any ideas with me, as it is your special day and I will help you make it a day to remember for the rest of your lives.

Following The Service

I will leave you with a ceremonial Certificate of Marriage and a copy of your personalised Wedding Ceremony. I will lodge the necessary documents with Births, Deaths and Marriages to finalise the legal process. (This occurs within 14 days of the ceremony).


 I am able to provide a portable PA system at no additional charge.

I always appreciate any feed back you can offer, so if you would like to make any comments, please email, leave a message on my Blog or mail me your response. I will also, as a professional practice, post you a formal Feedback Sheet following your wedding day to help me continue to provide a quality service for all future couples.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Deb McMahon

© Les McMahon 2013