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Under Australian Law – The Marriage Act of 1961 – there must be 30 day’s notice given to the Attorney General that you have an intention to marry in the form of a NOIM (Notice of Intention to Marry) so the idea of not knowing your intended spouse until the day is just a dream.
But the reality TV show MAFS is seeing us tuning in every night to follow the hopes and dreams of everyday people trying to find their hunky new husband or gorgeous wife. In many ways, it is relatable, as more and more people are struggling to find “the one”, relying heavily on dating apps which use high-tech algorithms to match us with our “ideal” partner. The couples on the show put their faith in “marriage experts” to match and guide them through their relationships.
Putting aside whether these marriage experts are legitimately trying to match the individuals with people who they will get along well with, or if they are deliberately matching them with people who they will clash with for entertainment value, we will never really know.
Morally is it right to portray marriage under these circumstances? I would say no. It brings a sadness to think that Marriage is shown as all glitz and glamour. It isn’t, but can we have hopes and dreams and see this played out on the TV screen? Can we as intelligent adults understand the difference between the TV show and our real lives?
This season of MAFS has scenes of domestic violence, verbal abuse, displays of lunatic behaviour, great sorrow and remorse over actions taken. Apologies, shows of affection, attempts of retribution. We have seen it all. Then we read in the latest magazines it is all for nothing; no one, not one of the couples that marry on the show make it in “real life,” and so…. we saddle up for the next season or tune in to watch “The Batchelor” and start the process all over again.
It is a shame that the institution of marriage is not respected as a sacred union between two loving partners. The show should not be called Married at First Sight. It is a commitment ceremony, not a fully committed relationship that the couples enter. The show opens with a beautiful white wedding with all the trimmings. But we are loving it and is that wrong? I personally watch the show or at least the wedding at the start to see the couple’s journey to marvel at the wedding ceremony and to check out the celebrant! lol
When a couple are trying to decide on the date that they will be married. There are many things to take into consideration such as applying for annual leave from their occupations and if the venue will be free on that date and if the reception can be booked for the same day. They would want to make sure that the date is suitable with close family and friends that they may want to share their wedding with and perhaps something that is overlooked but can be a integral part of the planning of the date is where is the cycle the moon it. The moon cycles approximately every 28 days and there are four phases to this cycle. It is believed that during the New Moon and the Full Moon phases when the moon lines up with the Sun and the Earth the energy that arises from this connection is magnificent. It is during this time that intentions set are believed to be supported by the Universe and planetary forces.
When the moon is full the planet is bathed in illumination and allows us to see clearly. This is a good time to state your intentions by the exchanging of vows and setting your relationship on a new and more illuminated path one of success and integration for your new life together.
Likewise during a New Moon when the moon is positioned between the Earth and the sun it is a good time for renewing your vows. You allow you and your life partner and your relationship to change and develop. You can see each other in a richer and deeper relationship than you have ever experienced before. When the Moon, Sun and Earth align the energy that this creates is magical and you can join with the planetary forces to have a positive effect on you and your union.
So if you have the opportunity and freedom to choose your wedding date and it is not governed by the other forces in your life give yourself the added support by the universe and plan your wedded union to be on a full moon or a new moon. Make sure you get a photo of this beautiful full moon to have in your album and keepsakes. This will ensure that you have the full support of the Universe and the abundant energy that this creates in your relationship will create miracles for you and your loved one.
How Can a Celebrant help You On Your Special Day?
It is your special day and you want everything to be perfect so how can your celebrant help?
I guess what I am trying to say is choosing the best celebrant for you can be a big benefit when it comes to making your day perfect. I have found through my experience is where the celebrants positions themselves as far as the ceremony goes is very important for the photos of the day. I used to do the service planted dead centre of the couple while they held hands. This I have found has not been a wise place as every photo angle of their service has you in it. You have met the couple to do their wedding years later they probably won’t remember your name so why do you have to be front and centre of every one of their photos?
You have a PA system that allows the whole service to hear you so within eye contact of your couple will be fine to conduct the service. I stand to the side of the couple and get the bridemaids and best man to leave a gap of around 2 arms lengths between them and the couple. I then work the floor so that I am looking direct into the couples eyes when I am doing the “asking” part of the service and within eye contact of each couple when they say their vows but I allow the photos to be taken of the couple only. If I happen to get into the fringe It can be photo shopped out.
I involve my couple in all the major decisions of their service but the little things I decide quickly and without fuss. At the rehearsal that is where I obtain confirmation that the service is everything they have imagined we time the service at that point and decide on the more finer details.
I always advocate that as a celebrant I am always part of the solution and never the problem for my lovely couple. I always assure them that on the day it is my job to make sure they are married legally and with as little fuss so that they can get onto the celebration part of the wedding which is important to them.
A lot of people have asked me from time to time what made you decide to become a Civil Celebrant.
My reply is simple. I was a toastmaster for seven years and it seemed to me a natural progression from Toastmaster to Master of Ceremonies.
It is really very similar writing a speech and writing a service. You have a set of objectives and after you have met the couple you are going to marry and talked with them a little, you can weave a story and then present a wedding service according to their set of criteria.
Helping a couple to define their story is what I enjoy – to capture their unique essence as a couple and what they value in their relationship. You then reflect their values and their special memories into a service – designed just for them.
My couples (as I like to call them) have come from many different backgrounds and age groups. So they are all unique. I love to sit with them and just talk and get to know how they met and what has brought them to the decision of getting married. Soon, general themes of friendship, similar interests and backgrounds, or the classic boy meets girl scenario begin to emerge.
I then ask them to look at some sample services and we develop one that is personal and unique to them and sits well with how they want their service to be performed.
Being a celebrant is like preparing and giving a toastmaster speech but the words and the performance are much more personal. Words are straight from the heart and the audience are those people who truly care about what the couple mean to each other – friends and family – Mothers, Fathers, Siblings, Aunties, Uncles, Cousins, Close Friends and special work colleagues.
If readings are selected as well, they are usually poems, verses or psalms, which also have meaning to the marrying couple and their family and friends.
As for the big day, the celebrant service is delivered with precision and timed just like a speech with pauses in the right places. The only thing missing is perhaps the lights (green, yellow & red) that Toastmaster moderators use to keep you on track – and the applause when your speech is completed.
Better still, it ends in a kiss when you pronounce the couple husband and wife and suggest he can now kiss his bride.
I just love being a Celebrant!
I came across this new phrase just recently when I was talking to a professional photographer. It is termed as an “unplugged ceremony”.
This is when the use of mobile phones and camera’s are prohibited during the service. Why this has come about is the couple have paid lots of money for a professional photographer and her/his job is hindered by people with mobile phones doing a video or jumping in front of the paid photographer to get the sort after shot.
The person who is manning the phone is not watching the magic of the ceremony unfold before their eyes because they are too busy snapping the moment so that they can compare their shots at a later date. This is a precious moment of two people committing to share their lives together and the mobile user has lost it!
Another reason why the unplugged rule has been adopted by couples is because of the unsolicited use of their photos on social media sites such as facebook. They have paid money to get a professional photographer to get high quaity shots that they select themselves, yet some unthoughtful person has posted before the ceremony is even completed – some of these photos of the happy couple end up looking more like bloopers and not flattering at all! If they had the choice, they probably would not have it on public view on Facebook!!! And we all know that what gets posted to Facebook becomes the property of Facebook and can be used without their consent?
I feel it is the couple’s right to post their own favourite wedding photos and video clips on Facebook – not the mobile phone user.
So can I suggest that out of respect for the marrying couple, even if this is not said by the celebrant at the start of the ceremony that you do not hinder the photographer, or post a photo of the happy couple without their prior knowledge?