Brisbane Wedding Flowers - why are they so expensive?

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Brisbane Wedding Flowers - why are they so expensive?

I hear this all the time and the answer is simple – it has to be perfect.

Wedding flowers are not like your usual bunch of flowers you send to a friend.

They are usually a specific type of flowers not a mixed bunch.

Many people don’t realise that flowers are seasonal so they may not be available locally at the time of year you are getting married and may need to be imported or brought in from interstate.

To end up with the perfect bouquet of 30 roses the florist may need to order in 70 roses to end up with that perfect 30.

It may look easy but most Brisbane Wedding Florists have been doing what they do for many years and know the tricks to eliminate wastage and get the most life out of the flowers available.

A wedding without flowers is very very plain.

Brisbane Artificial Wedding Flowers?

As someone who sees Brisbane Wedding flowers every week I can tell you that artificial flowers have come a long way.

With the good artificial flowers, unless you touch them, you cannot tell artificial flowers from real ones these days.

Many artificial flowers these days look very real, can be cheaper than the real thing, are available all year round and you can keep them.

There are very good artists in both fresh and artificial flowers – it then comes down to what you want – the artificial flowers don’t have the beautiful smells.

Brisbane Wedding Ceremony Music


Brisbane Wedding Ceremony Music

Normally you would have three songs:

  1. an entry song / Processional
  2. a signing song
  3. and an exit song /- Recessional

Sometimes there is an entry song for the bridesmaids and another song for the bride

Entry Song:

Traditional Processional Music:

Wagner ‘The Bridal March’ from Lohengrin (Here Comes The Bride)

Mendelssohn ‘Wedding March’ from ‘A Mid Summer Nights Dream’

You could play something like “ “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran,

“A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri.

Or “Can’t help falling in Love” Elvis

Symbolism – you have found the one you want to be with forever

The timing for this should be such that the song finishes when the bride reaches the groom or the person in charge of the music should fade the music out when the bride reaches the groom.

Signing Song:

This can be something you both like – your favourite song or something neutral – often some light classical background music.

Or “Everything” Michael Buble

“Have I told you Lately” Van Morrison

Normally one song is long enough for the signing, professional photo staging and for the guests to come forward to take photos.

Exit Song:

Traditional Recessional Music:

Mendelssohn ‘Wedding March’ from ‘A Mid Summer Nights Dream’

You could play

“From This Moment.” Shania Twain

“Beautiful Day.” U2

“How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You.” James Taylor

“All you need is Love” Beatles

Symbolism – the exciting beginning of your new life together – happy upbeat

Check list

What is listed below is common sense but it is where this can go wrong

  • You need to burn the 3 or 4 songs on to a disc in the order they are to be played in so that other songs can’t be played by accident or put them on your iphone in order
  • These need to be recorded in the format that is compatible with the player
  • You need to ensure that the cd works in the machine that it will be played in on the day – before the day -  not on the day – same with ipod or iphone
  • You need to check/ensure that the player has fresh batteries or is charged on the morning of the ceremony not when at the ceremony
  • With ipods or iphones ensure that they are charged before leaving home
  • Ensure that the person in charge of the player knows how to operate it and knows which songs are to be played
  • If it is an outdoor ceremony ensure that the player has enough volume to be heard over the background noises of people and cars



Brisbane Wedding Cars yes or no?

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Brisbane Wedding cars yes or no?

Only you can decide this

If cars at not your thing this is one area where you can save money.

At many Brisbane Wedding Venues the wedding cars pull up out of sight of the guests so the only people to see the cars are the photographers, celebrants and wedding co – ordinators.

If you are into wedding cars or wedding limousines there are lots and lots of choices for Brisbane Brides.

There are stretch Chryslers, Statesman, Fairlanes, Hummers, Mercedes Benz’s and Rolls Royce’s.

There are Jaguar’s, Lincoln’s, Lamborgini’s, Ferrari’s, Maserati’s, London Cabs, Bentley’s, Rolls Royce’s, VW Kombi’s, an Excalibur, Mercedes Benz’s, Chevy’s, Daimler’s, Cadillac’s, Lexus’, Old Holden’s and Falcon’s, American muscle cars and vintage cars all available for hire in Brisbane.

9 Tips to ensure your Brisbane Wedding Day goes well!

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9 Tips to ensure your Brisbane Wedding Day goes well!

!. Place a big box next to your kitchen bench and put everything that needs to go to your Brisbane wedding ceremony in it

2. You need to write a list and tick everything off as you place it into the box

Sand, rings, ring cushion, love letters, personal vows, speeches, candles etc.

3. Then on the day or the day before your Brisbane wedding get your husband to be to take that to the venue.

4. The night before your wedding try and get an early night and not drink too much – you don’t want to be hungover.

5. On your wedding day, go for a run, eat breakfast, eat lunch, stay hydrated, don’t drink alcohol and do whatever you need to do to relax – get someone to give you a massage, get a manicure and or a pedicure whilst you are getting your hair and makeup done.

6. Try and arrive about 10 minutes before your scheduled ceremony start time.

7. Leave plenty of time to get to the venue – limos drive at about two thirds of the speed limit.

8. When you arrive just let go of any worries and let it all happen – you have hired Brisbane Wedding Professionals – let them do what they do and make sure you smile for the photos.

9. Make sure your father or whoever is giving you away is in the car so he or she does not get lost and is there when you are ready to walk down the aisle.


What questions should you ask a Brisbane Wedding Celebrant?

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What questions should you ask a Brisbane Wedding Celebrant

Here are the questions you should be asking your prospective marriage celebrant:

 1. How long have you been doing this?  

You would think this is the most important question but it is actually the next one is. I spoke to a celebrant recently who has been a celebrant for 10 years but had only done 200 weddings.

 2. How many weddings have you done?

 Based upon the government statistics this is the most important question.

If the average is 6.6 per year that means that some do even less than that!

You want someone with plenty of experience - you want the most experienced person possible.

You need someone who is confident in front of large crowds.

Someone who knows how the paperwork needs to be completed – you want to be sure that you are legally married

Someone who knows what and what not to do on your wedding day based upon experience.

Someone who knows what ideas work and don’t work – you want your ceremony to go smoothly and for the crowd to have nice comments afterwards.

Someone who copes well under pressure

Do you want someone to experiment at your wedding?

I have done over  700 weddings in the last 7 years

 3. Are you experienced at performing rituals during wedding ceremonies?

 If a celebrant hasn’t performed the various different rituals possible then they don’t know the things that can potentially go wrong and ensure that they don’t.

They are not able to advise you on the pros n cons and potential pitfalls.

Do you want someone to experiment at your wedding?

4. Do you have any experience at organising events or coordinating people and are you an organised person?

 You need someone who knows how to organise the crowd, get everyone in position, show everyone involved in your ceremony what they have to do, explain to the crowd what they need to do and do all of this in a quick orderly manner – so that everything is ready to go when you arrive.

5. Do you cope well under pressure?

Whenever there are people involved there is the potential for things to go wrong. Is your celebrant calm under pressure?

On the wedding day, people forget rings, sand, ring cushions, lighters. There are clothing malfunctions and knots that don’t come undone.

Is your celebrant prepared?

6. Do you have a PA system?

There is nothing worse than being at a wedding and not being able to hear and understand what is going on.

A celebrant without a PA system is like a carpenter without a power saw.

Also check how expensive / powerful it is – indicates the quality of what people will hear

7. Do you have any testimonials?

If a celebrant has only 3 or 4 testimonials does that mean they have only done 3 or 4 weddings or even worse that only 3 or 4 had nice things to say

There is no substitute for experience.

If there are hundreds of testimonials for example – they can’t all be wrong

Have a look at my testimonials page

8. What do you wear?

Some male celebrants wear grey suits and rainbow ties!

Some female celebrants wear bright red dresses and fascinators!

You don’t want the celebrant to stand out – the bride and the groom are the stars of the day.

Your celebrant should wear smart neutral clothing

9. Ask the celebrant what is the most important element of the day?

 If they don’t say “The Photos” first

or “The ceremony, then the photos” – be concerned.

This means that the celebrant probably doesn’t appreciate the importance of the photos, does not work with the photographers and doesn’t think about how the various elements of a ceremony will show up in photos.

Remember – the photos and memories are all that is left after the day.



Brisbane Wedding Rehearsals - Do I need One?

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Brisbane Wedding Rehearsals Do I need One?

What is the purpose of a Brisbane wedding rehearsal?

This is an opportunity for the your Brisbane wedding celebrant to explain what happens on the day and show you how the bride and groom stand, how the bridesmaids enter and where they stand, where the groomsmen stand, how the father gives away the bride, and how everyone exits so that you know that there is nothing to worry about and for everyone involved to have a practice run.

Ideally you have all of the bridal party present including flower girls and page boys (yes lots of people have multiples these days because they can) plus whoever is giving the bride away, anyone doing readings or any rituals.

Ideally you would do this at your Brisbane wedding venue but if that’s not possible a park or backyard can be utilised.

Orders of Service for Brisbane Weddings

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Orders of Service for Brisbane Weddings

Orders of service were created for church (typically Catholic) weddings that go for an hour and a half, where the crowd are asked to get up, sit down, get up, sit down and are required to recite parts of the bible, read prays and sing songs.

The crowd couldn’t do this without the words and instructions supplied.

None of this is required in the majority of civil ceremonies.

Ask any celebrant who has been around for a while and they will warn couples about issuing these for 2 reasons:

85 – 90% of the time people read the order of service while the ceremony is happening, to see what’s coming up next and miss the entire ceremony.

Before they know it the ceremony is over, they have missed the whole thing and didn’t see the smiles, tears etc.

The other thing to bear in mind is that most people are there at least ½ an hour before hand so they will have read the whole ceremony before hand and there is no mystery – they already know the readings, who’s doing what and everything that is happening – sand, giving and receiving, candles, ring warming etc – they might as well go home.

I am a member of a number of associations where we have e groups (emails).

When new wedding celebrants ask about orders of service, you should see the numbers of warning emails sent by the older celebrants telling the new celebrants to warn the couples not to spoil their ceremony.

If you wish to still issue the attendees at your wedding an order of service, you now do so informed.



Drinking, Smoking and Joking

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Brisbane Wedding Celebrants and the law

If you are drunk, stoned or even jokingly say “I don’t think I should get married today” on your wedding day in front of your celebrant, your Brisbane wedding celebrant is required by law to terminate proceedings and you will not be getting married that day.

Your celebrant has to comply with the law and is legally allowed to make that judgement call.

You are allowed to have as many drinks as you like after your ceremony and what you smoke after the ceremony is none of our business but marriage is a legal process, legally binding documents are signed that change your personal status so you must be totally cognizant of what is happening on the day before and during your wedding ceremony.

Most people are nervous on their wedding day so it is difficult sometimes to tell if someone is joking or serious so be careful what you say and we deal with all sorts of different cultures, nationalities and accents plus varying levels of English proficiency.

There have been cases of couples forced into arranged marriages in Australia.

If a celebrant is led to believe you do not wish to go ahead with the marriage the celebrant is required by law to terminate proceedings.

If your celebrant is threatened by you or any of your guests with violence once again this applies.

So be careful what you do and say and how you behave on your wedding day.

We as celebrants want you and your guests to have a truly wonderful day like this couple.

Fortunately, none of this has happened on my watch but you are better to be warned than find out on your wedding day.

The Minimum Legal Wedding Vows

Neal Foster The Marriage Celebrant Fiona and Paul

The minimum legal vows required for someone to be legally married in Australia.

I get asked regularly about the minimum legal vows required for someone to be legally married in Australia.

My name is (celebrant's name) and I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

 This is not negotiable - it must be said by the marriage celebrant.

The couples must then say the following vows:

I ask everyone here to witness that I (full name) take you (full name) to be my lawful wedded wife.

 I ask everyone here to witness that I (full name) take you (full name) to be my lawful wedded husband.

If you say those words and sign the required paperwork in front of two witnessses aged over 18 years - you are then legally married.

Prior to this you will have had to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage with your chosen marriage celebrant at least one month prior to the chosen date, provided all of the necessary original identification documents and signed the required wedding declarations.




Brisbane Celebrant or Brisbane Registry Office?

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Brisbane Celebrant or Brisbane Registry Office?

You can legally be married by a Brisbane Wedding Celebrant or by the or Brisbane Registry Office.

So which do you choose?

It’s up to you.

The difference is that by choosing a Brisbane Wedding Celebrant you can choose the location of your wedding ceremony.

If you choose a registry office wedding you have to get married in the ceremony room at the Brisbane Registry Office.

That is really the only difference.

We as marriage celebrants are all required by law to prepare and lodge all of the required paperwork to ensure that you are legally married = that’s our job.

If wedding photos are not important to you, you just want to legalise your relationship and you both work in the city then the registry office could be perfect for you.

If you want to get married at any of the beautiful wedding venues in Brisbane, on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast beaches then you will need a marriage celebrant.

Brisbane Wedding Entertainment

Neal Foster The Marriage Celebrant Stamford Plaza Brisbane

Brisbane Wedding Entertainment

An Ipod with a docking station or a professional Brisbane DJ?

What should you choose?

Choose the Ipod if you want everyone to go home early because they are bored or hire a professional Brisbane Wedding DJ and they will most likely stay until it's time to leave the venue.

A professional Wedding DJ knows how to read the room so ensure you choose someone who has extensive wedding experience.

He or she can then feed the crowd the music they are reacting to.

Bear in mind that most weddings have a mix of ages, often 3 generations so it's important to have variety as you want people to leave your special day thinking that was fun!

Most people expect the daggy oldies as they are great to dance to after a few drinks.

Let your guests dance to the Macarena, Grease, Nutbush and The Blues Brothers if they want to.

It's about having fun, celebrating your union and you want people to remember what a great day it was.

Did you know the most requested song is "The Horses" by Darryl Braithwaite?

Pay the little extra and get a professional DJ - you'll be glad you did. 

A Typical Brisbane Wedding Day Timing

Neal Foster The Marriage Celebrant Jamie and Nadia

What is a typical Brisbane wedding day timing?

I often get asked this question.

What is the typical wedding day timing?

Normally hair and makeup starts about 7am for the bride, bridesmaids and mums as it takes between an hour and a half and two hours for each person.

The guys normally arrive at the wedding venue at about 2.30pm as do the guests.

Most Brisbane Weddings start at 3pm.

You allow about 30 minutes for the ceremony and 30 minutes for group and family photos.

Your photographer then normally takes the bridal party away for one and a half hours for photos whilst the guests have drinks and canapes to keep them occupied.

The bridal party usually arrive back and go to a chill out room and have some drinks and nibbles a half hour before the reception proper begins.

The guests are usually ushered into the room to be seated 10 or 15 minutes prior to the entry of the bridal party.

The Master of Ceremonies introduces the bridal party, the bride and groom and then announces the housekeeping items.

The entree and main courses are served and then the speeches begin.

Depending upon the number of speeches this can be 20 to 30 minutes.

Dessert is then normally served.

The bride and groom cut the cake and have their first dance and the party kicks into gear.

Thirty minutes prior to leaving they do the bouquet and garter toss, then form the circle, go around and say their goodbyes and then run out through the tunnel to their waiting limousine.

The guests gather up their things and everyone else goes home.


How do you choose a Brisbane Marriage Celebrant?

Neal Foster The Marriage Celebrant D and E

How do you choose a Brisbane Wedding Celebrant?

The results of the Govt survey of Australian celebrants in January 2017:

9% of Australian celebrants stated that they have performed no marriage ceremonies in the last 12 months, 

55% of Australian celebrants have performed between 1 and 9 ceremonies in the last 12 months, 

31% of Australian celebrants have performed between 10 and 50 ceremonies in the last 12 months, 

and only 5% of Australian celebrants stated that they had performed more than 50 in the last 12 months, .

Do you want someone experimenting at your wedding ceremony?

Go with an experienced professional Brisbane Wedding Celebrant to ensure that things go smoothly and stress free.


Wedding Traditions

Neal Foster The Marriage Celebrant Bavarian Wedding Gardens

Australian Wedding Traditions

Ever wondered why the bride walks on the left hand side of her father?

Because in olden days he needed to be able to access his sword to fend off potential attackers or suitors!

This is the same reason why a handfasting involves the groom's left hand and the bride's right hand.

Why does a bride wear white?

Obvious I hear you say – to symbolize virginity – well if that is your answer you would be wrong!

When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840 she wore a white dress and she started the trend that still continues today.

Did you know that in ancient times the wedding cake was broken over the brides head?

Fortunately that doesn't happen anymore.

The wedding cake symbolises good fortune.

Why do the bride and groom feed each other cake?

This is to symbolize their promise to provide for each other.

Ever wondered why the bride throws the bouquet?

In olden times it was thrown into the crowd as a distraction so that the bride and groom could run off to their honeymoon suite.

Is it good luck if you catch the bouquet or the garter?

The woman who catches the bouquet is supposed to be the next one to marry and the same applies to the guy who catches the garter.

Is it really good luck if it rains on your wedding day?


It is believed that it represents cleansing, renewal, unity and fertility. 

How do you choose a Brisbane wedding photographer?

Neal Foster The Marriage Celebrant Glengariff Estate Winery

How do you choose a Brisbane Wedding Photographer?

What would I know about this?

Well as a highly experienced Brisbane Wedding Celebrant I have worked with and watched hundreds of them and received feedback from hundreds of brides.

It’s easy you say – just look at their photos – that is very true but there is more to consider.

I have seen a number of professional wedding photographers stand up the back and talk to the wedding co - ordinator throughout the entire wedding ceremony and take no photos of the ceremony at all = no rings, no signing, no kiss.

If the ceremony is important to you then look at not only at the photographer’s style but also at the shots they take of each wedding.


If you have a large bridal party you could be starting hair and makeup at 7am and if the photographer is shooting the entire day they can be with you until 11pm so it is important that you like them more so than anyone else including the celebrant.

So it’s very important to go and meet your photographer.

There are some fantastic professional wedding photographers out there who are not only great at taking photos but are also fun and great to be around which will ensure you have a very enjoyable day.




Do I really need to hire a professional wedding photographer?

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Do I really need to hire a professional wedding photographer for my Brisbane Wedding?

I get asked this question a lot and the answer is YES.

“My friend has a really good camera” is ok if it is a slightly overcast day = ideal conditions.

But if it happens to be a very sunny shiny day or worse a black thunderous day look out you are in trouble.

This is when the pros well and truly earn their money.

A professional photographer will know all of the shots to get and where and how  to get them and they will have a number of plan B’s up their sleeve just in case the worst should happen.

You cannot recapture the emotions of the day so it is crucial to capture them as they happen.

People have a glow about them on their wedding day that they probably will never have again except on the day of the birth of a child so It is really important to capture these moments.

The wedding photos are the only thing you have left after the wedding day and they help you to relive the memories for years to come.

What are readings and why should I include them in my Brisbane wedding ceremony?

Neal Foster The Marriage Celebrant Captain Burke Park

What are readings and why should I include them in my Brisbane wedding Ceremony?

Readings whilst they can be religious, most are just nice poems about how you should live your lives.

Involving other people in your wedding ceremony adds colour and flavour to the day and are a great way to involve other people in your special day.

It makes the people doing the readings feel special and a part of your day and they also get their photo taken.

Please bear in mind the copyright issues related to wedding ceremonies addressed in a previous blog post.

Here is an example of a reading read at a wedding ceremony:

The Apache Marriage Blessing by an Unkown author

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be the shelter for each other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth for the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before. Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your life together. And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship - as they threaten all relationships at one time or another - remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives - remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

Unplugged Wedding Ceremonies

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Unplugged Brisbane Wedding Ceremonies

More and more couples are requesting their guests to put away the phones. ipads and cameras at their Brisbane wedding ceremonies these days.

They want to be the first to upload photos and also want to control what gets put up onto social media.

You pay a lot of money to get a professional photographer to capture the special moments and if you have lots of people with ipads trying to stand in the aisle during your wedding ceremony (and it does happen often these days) it makes it very difficult for them to do the job you hired them to do.

Don’t feel guilty, take control and get your Brisbane wedding celebrant to say put them away.

Everyone will actually enjoy your wedding ceremony more if they are actually watching rather than trying to film or take photos.

10 things that can go wrong at Brisbane wedding ceremonies

Neal Foster The Marriage Celebrant Joncia Gardens

Ten things that can go wrong at Brisbane Wedding Ceremonies

1.       Guests arriving late – happens 90% of the time = expect it

2.       The bride arrives late – if you are late you cut into your photo time so you actually pay the price

3.       Parents and grandparents are late and arrive after the bride – causes unnecessary stress for the bride because we are unable to start

4.       People involved in the ceremony arriving late including the best man and people doing readings (yes it happens)

5.       Little children not wanting to take part and screaming – it happens more often than not – if you expect them not to like big crowds you will not be disappointed

6.       Rain – doesn’t happen often but it pays to have a good plan B

7.       Babies crying – not much you can do

8.       Family members wanting to making themselves feel important on your day and telling venue staff, celebrant, photographer, limo driver and guests what to do – yes it happens often – if you have a family member likely to do this tell them not to meddle and leave it to the professionals – we have all done this more often than they have

9.       The CD doesn’t work – make sure the player is charged and test it in the player prior to the day

10.   People forget rings, flowers, sand, envelopes, candles – have a check list, check it a couple of nights before, put everything involved in the ceremony in a big box next to the kitchen bench so that the groom cannot forget to bring everything

Brides changing their surname after they are married

Neal Foster The Marriage Celebrant Newstead park

Brisbane brides changing their names after they are married

If you say the legal words in front of two witnesses, your Brisbane celebrant says the required words and you sign the required legal documents on the day, you are then legally married.

Whilst many women choose to take their husband’s surname after they are married, it is not mandatory – it is optional – it is not a legal requirement in this country so if you don't want to you don't have to do anything.

If you choose to do so, government departments such as Medicare and Department of Transport will require a certified copy of the marriage certificate.

The decorative certificate you receive on your wedding day is not deemed to be sufficient for the purpose of changing your name by law.

You can apply for the certified copy of the marriage certificate on line or your celebrant can supply you with the form you need to fill out and it is advisable to do it sooner rather than later..

So do it asap after your wedding ceremony.

Births Deaths and Marriages Brisbane suggest you do it after your wedding and you allow 4 to 6 weeks after you have lodged for this to be processed and sent out to you in the mail.

Once you have received the certified copy of the marriage certificate, you take the document plus (for example) your Medicare card to Medicare and tell them you have been married and would like to change your name – they will ask what you want it changed to eg Jones or Jones – Smith and they will update their records and organise to issue a new card.

Same for drivers licence, passport and so on.