Wow, it's been ages since I've Blogged and I've been meaing to share some Vows Gold from some recent weddings I've facilitated and some Tips!! Don't be freaked out by writing your Vows because I hear this a lot, "Where the hell do I start Ben!?! I'm freaking out!" That might be because you've heard terrible Vows at other weddings and this is probably because their celebrant gave them an outdated resource for their inspiration. I supply all of my couples with a gem of a documents and here's a few Tips below:

  • I'm here to tell you to keep it REAL. We don't want to hear anyone but You laying it down to your life partner. 
  • Speak Authentically in your Own Language, is there really any other option!?
  • Keep it Sweet, don't drag them out to 2 pages worth, find that right equilibrium that isn't too short but not long.
  • Do not Google your Vows, they will be average and something we've heard
  • I do not do the Repeat After Me scenario, I think it's quite shite. I print your Vows out onto a card to read from in the ceremony.
  • There's no Right or Wrong here. Write a love letter, list some promises, create a poem or just tell us How It Is!!!! 
  • If you're going to keep it a Surprise from each other, send them through and I can measure them up for Vibe & Content.

Here's a few great examples of my recent Couples Love Words from Byron Bay & Tweed Coast Weddings!!

Natarsha & Steve - Fig Tree Restaurant - Wedding Vows

Natarsha to Steve:

Steve you're my best freind, my love and my life partner. As we stand here today my heart is overflwoing with love for you.

When someone is willingly able to withstand my neurotic ways, such as my obsession with indoor plants, the way I talk to my bunnies and my weird pet peeves, you know that person's a keeper. You know me better than anyone in this world and somehow you manange to love me.

You are without doubt the best blessing that life has ever given me and I am so grateful to wake up next to you everyday!

You are the sweetest, most kind hearted, golf obsessed human I have ever met. And while I can't promise that I will succeed to pick you up from golf every Friday, I promise you this-

I promise to give you the best of myself, love you endlessly and give you perfect trust. You're consistently the best part of my day, and I promise to value our relationship above all else.

I vow to you my loyalty, my everlasting devotion and my unconditional love for a life time.

I promise to respect you as your own person, encourage your passions and help you live your best life.

You are the love of my life Steve and I promise to let you know that every day. I Vow to make you feel as in love as you today, every day.

Natarsha & Steve - Fig Tree Restaurant - Byron Bay Wedding Vows

Photo from Wilde Visual from their Fig Tree wedding. Check out their Real Wedding

Sarah to Dre:

Today I choose you Dre Boy! Your caring, loving & calm nature, cooking skills and motivated drive for advneture has me hooked, line and sinker

I take comfort in knowing we are taking on this world through the struggles and success we will face - Walking side by side as a team.

I promise to mow the lawns while you vaccum the floor, and bring in the firewood, while you cook our dinner.

I promise yo dream nig with you, build and grow with you, and always love you, cheer you on and encourage you.

I am so excited to be spending all my days going on adventures with your, today and forever.

Andre & Sarah - Broken Head Beach Wedding

Photo Figtree Pictures at their Barefoot At Broken Ceremony

Ashley's to Cara: Our dapper groom couldn't do romance but utlised his Salesman Skills to get his feelings out onto paper.

Cara as per every birthday card I write to you, you know this going to be pporly worded and not very romantic. So in short, your are awesome.

Instead of promises, today I am going to give you a list of goals I want to achieve in our life together, as you know how much I love a KPI.

Goal 1 - I will make you laugh everyday.

Goal 2 - I will get more accurate with my long range shots into the washing basket.

Goal 3 - I will be less needy and demand less attention, when you have had a hard day at work.

Goal 4 - I will eat quieter and evern slower.

Goal 5 - I will travel with you and try new experiences, wherever you wish to go.

Goal 6 - I will buy you a new puppy.

Goal 7 - I will feed you when you are hangry.

Goal 8 - I will continuously try to be the best possible husband I can be and ensure I can make you as happy as you make me. 

You are my best friend and I cannot wait to be able to call you my wife, for the rest of our lives.

Ash & Cara - Summergrove Wedding Vows - Benjamin Carlyle

Photo Ivy Road Photography at the amazing Summergrove Estate

Jillian's Vows to Brad:

Brad, Falling in love with you was something I didn't expect. But being in live with you is something I couldn't have stpped, even if I tried.

I laugh harder with you, I get to be myself around you.

When I see something strange or something goes worng or right, you're the frst person I want to talk to about it.

Our journey isn't perfect, but it is ours!

And even on bad days I will still be happy with you, because having you as my husband make sthe trip worthwhile.

I love the way you smile at me. I love you for all that you are, all that you have been and all that you're yet to be.

I want to be the only hand that you ever need to hold and when we are 80 years old, we can say we made it.

Just keep loving me and I will keep loving your and the rest will fall into place.

I am so ready for our future together.

Brad & Jillian Wedding Vows - Byron View Farm - Byron Elopement

An epic shot from Van Middleton of a Full Moon Elope Byron Bay ceremony at Byron View Farm

Yahoo!!! On 7th December, 2017 the Australian Parliament voted a big YES for Marriage Equality in Australia!! If you missed the news you must have been on holidays in Antartica. On 8th December, 2017 the Prime Minister and the Attorney General sat down and changed the Legislation, allowing Same Sex couples to get married in Australia! Extremely exciting and amazingly efficient work!! The rainbows, glitter and unicorn memes will dominate your Social Media for a while to come.

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So where to from here!? When can Same Sex couples get Married!?!

Well, from 9th December, 2017 any couple, regardless of their sexual preference, can fill in the new NOIM Form and have this in their Celebrants' possession via an email or in person on the same day. The earliest date of Marriage for any couple, wishing to kick this goal with their NOIM tomorrow, will be 9th January, 2018!!! All of the same rules apply to the NOIM Form & the ability to get married, will depend on you both kicking the relevant goals.

Learn more about the NOIM Form

Learn more about getting Legally Hitched

I'm also super excited about the changing of the wording of the Law of Marriage in Australia. I will now get to read this statement in my weddings: " I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to the law. Before you're joined in my presence and the presence of your witnesses, I am to remind you of the relationship of which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to the law in Australia, is the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."

I'm so excited for the future ahead and to be able to Legally marry amazing couples like Laura & Courtney!!! Check out their Real Wedding. Love is definitely the winner, well down Australia!!! Photos Carly Tia

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NOIM Form - Notice of Intended Marriage - Benjamin Carlyle Celebrant

The NOIM - Notice of Intended Marriage is the most important form that you will fill in with regards to getting your Legal Wedding plans underway. For what is a big Wedding Shindig without a legal wedding ceremony!!? The NOIM is the first piece of information along your paperwork trail to getting legally married in Australia. SO let's check out what this NOIM is all about.

Firstly you need to find a gorgeous partner with whom you wish to spend the rest of your days with. Next you choose a Celebrant that you're happy with and have agreed to their Terms and Conditions. So everyone's happy and on the same page, the next step is to fill in the Notice of Intended Marriage you can fill this in with your Celebrant or you can download the form, fill it in and have it witnessed by one of the following authorities:

  • 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, due to a being unable to be in Australia before the NOIM is due, you will need one of the follwing authorities to witness:

  • 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 would then deliver the NOIM to your celebrant, who will lodge the document in their filing system.

The Celebrant must receive the NOIM at least 1 month before the date of the wedding ceremony and no earlier than 18 months before the date of the wedding. There are circumstance where the date can be shortened, in which case a prescribed authority will need to allow this shortening of time. It is sometimes the case when one of the parties may not be present at the signing of the NOIM and it being sent to the celebrant 1 month before the wedding. This is acceptable as long as the remaining party sign the NOIM prior to the wedding being solemnised.

Proof of date and place of birth is required by the Celebrant to complete the back page of the NOIM. This ensures that you're whom you say that you really are!! The Documents that you can use to prove this to your Celebrant 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.

So if you're born in Australia, have a passport or birth certificate, with the proof of the date and place of your birth then this is sufficient to use as your document for the NOIM. 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.People born overseas will need to provide the relevant documents or obtain them from their relevant government departments.

The celebrant can witness these documents when the NOIM is witnessed or at any other time prior to the marriage being solemised.

The Celebrant is also required to check your Proof of Identification, to make sure that you're truly are whom you claim to be. These forms of ID can be:

  • a driver's licence
  • a proof of age/ photo card
  • a passport
  • an Australian citizenship certificate along with photographic evidence.

Have you been married before? If so, then you will need to provide evidence of death, nullity or dissolution to you Celebrant. If you do not have these documents then you will need to obtain them from the relevant Family Courts or BDM's of the State that's required.

So, as long as you're over the age of 18, you're not related and you can provide the forms of identification, proof of place and date of birth and any other documents required - then you've successfully completed your NOIM. Obviuosly having the document witnessed and in the Celebrants hands 1 month prior to the Big Day is also key to the legal success of your wedding. Now time to go back to fretting over the seating plan and the colour combos of your cocktails to suit your theme!! LOL!

Download the Notice of Intended Marriage by clicking on this link.

I have often said that the wedding ceremony is the start of your wedding celebrations and it's important to Kick Start the party at this moment. Why are Wedding Ceremonies often thought of as boring, awkward and painful experiences that we should all suffer through? One of the main reasons the ceremony is not a highlight is due to the Celebrant not having the skills to engage your guests in the celebration. To not have a connection with the Couple and to bring this out in a unique and personal delivery! The guests hear and see the same old Ceremony, watch an unprofessional facade and witness reguritated tradition upon tradition. Add a terrible PA into the mix and now the guests are all cringing! This can then lead to copious amounts of alcohol being consumed, post ceremoney, to numb the taste and experience from their memories.

 Benjamin Carlyle Marriage Celebrant Blog - Fun Weddings

Benjamin Carlyle Gold Coast Celebrant. Braeside Chapel. Adam Ward Photography

Going to the Chapel and we're going to get married!! Does an indoor ceremony in a Chapel tick the boxes of your wedding ceremony dreams? Such a great option which enables you to enjoy your ceremony no matter what the weather may be doing on your special day. This takes away a lot of stress and no need for a Plan B in the event of sideways rain + Chapels have an awesome atmosphere and create a unique space to profess your words of love to each other! Here' s the selection on the Gold Coast. Pics by Adam Ward Photography