Putting the wow in that vow: Australian weddings

You’re getting married. You’re floating around on a magic carpet of luxuriously positive emotions, intoxicated by the romance of it all. Your life is about to change forever and you love it. There isn’t a cloud in your sky, right? Well, maybe just a baby cloud. Because there’s another part of your mind that hasn’t been swept off its feet yet, isn’t there?—the practical part that deals with the laundry, fetches the groceries and walks the dog. That part thinks: ‘How on Earth am I going to organize everything?’ It’s normal to sweat the small stuff. You want everything to be perfect. Naturally, well-meaning expectations will come at you from all sides: from family and friends, the media, advertisers, and yes, from articles like this. But its your life and increasingly nowadays, your money. So, focus on what you want, take what chimes with you from what’s written below and the day—your day—will turn out just as you planned it.

Perth wedding Ceremony

Perth Wedding

We’ll compare wedding trends past and present before offering a few tips to help you decide what’s best for you. We are where we are, but where are we? Our thinking around marriage has undergone a dramatic change over the last 25 years. Today’s weddings, for instance, are smaller than they used to be, often with just close friends and family in attendance. We are waiting longer before getting married too. The age at which couples get married for the first time increased from 26.1 for men and 24.0 for women in 1989 to 31.5 for men and 29.5 for women in 2013. More couples live together before getting married now (76.8% of couples married in 2007 were already cohabiting). And whereas the church used to be the sole venue for marriage ceremonies weddings now take place in gardens, dolphin pools, on top of mountains and on ocean going vessels—anywhere meaningful for the bride and groom.

And in keeping with the drift away from the religious, 78% of Australian marriage ceremonies are performed by one of the many Wedding Celebrants. These are significant changes. Yet the biggest change is arguably the most welcome. Couples currently plan their weddings in their own unique way, blending traditional customs with modern ideas to produce an unforgettable experience for themselves and their guests which is theirs and theirs alone. To help you choose between traditional and modern elements of your ceremony here are some humorous tips. We hope they start you discussing what kind of wedding you really want.

James Burton Photography

Wedding at Mulberry on Swan (photo by James Burton Photography)

Six tips to make your wedding plans really shine

1. Who should I invite? Don’t invite everyone you’ve ever met. Your Great Aunt Millie’s next door neighbour’s hairdresser’s tennis coach will eventually get over not being invited and the smaller the guest list the more you’ll save.

2. The wedding meal: Eat, drink and be merry! You don’t need to tell your guests when their food is on the table or even where their table is, but it’s traditional to do both. The modern concept of everybody just ‘doing their own thing’ won’t work, because without precise directions the probability of your guests randomly discovering their Pan Fried Sea Bass in a hotel complex with 8,000 rooms are about the same as the Bride’s grandparents being abducted by aliens from the hotel lobby.

3. Wedding meal timing: Let them eat cake but at the right time A word of caution here. Let’s say uncle Murray has travelled all the way to Perth from Alice Springs on a grapefruit and a small bowl of Cheerios. By the time the wedding meal is served he will be starving. Common sense suggests that you feed Murray first. Otherwise he will leap from his seat like a fat gazelle the second the buffet is declared open. All that is then needed to court disaster is a ten metre stretch of over-polished dance floor. By the time Murray—230 pounds and not a single pound hanging the right way—looses traction he will have gathered more momentum than the Indian Pacific at full throttle.

Mathematics have shown that Murray will hit the soup tureen with the force of a bunker-buster bomb. No matter how skilled your deejay, simply playing MC Hammer’s ‘You Can’t Touch This’ will not deflect guests’ attention from your semi-conscious uncle, spreadeagled over a loudspeaker with a tuxedo full of chicken broth.

4. Cutting the cake Traditionally this is done with a knife. However, there is no reason why you couldn’t use a chainsaw. If you do, just make sure you warn the Fire Services—they’ll need an hour or two to hose down the floor, ceiling, walls and guests before the dancing can start.

5. Dancing It is traditional for the Bride and Groom to have their first dance together. But if dancing isn’t already woven into the tapestry of your life don’t bother. You don’t need the stress. If you do have happy feet, let rip. Start with the Argentinian Tango and segue into the Cha-Cha if you want. Or dictate that other than the Charleston all other dances are prohibited. And of course we always recommend a total ban on twerking for anyone over fifty unless you have para-medics standing by.

6. Throwing the garter The traditional removal of the brides garter by the groom while guests look on is a tad too voyeuristic for many. In any event, depending on the Best Man’s tolerance to Jose Cuervo Gold it is highly likely that, regardless of who catches the garter, he will end up wearing it as a headband during the last dance of the evening. So why take the risk.

Fotografiacoppola, perth weddings, hyde park

Wedding in Hyde Park, Perth (photo by Fotografiacoppola)

So in conclusion, your wedding is your day so have fun planning, do what you want and on the day just have a great time…


Brad has been one of Perth’s fun and relaxed Marriage Celebrants since 2006. Having performed almost 2000 memorable weddings in Perth, Brad Whitelock is happy to assist you in planning a personal and engaging wedding ceremony that you and your guests will love.  Ph:  0431 974 608

Marriage Celebrants in Perth, Perth Wedding

Brad Whitelock, Marriage Celebrant in Perth

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