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BABY NAMING CEREMONY

A Naming Ceremony is an important ritual in a child’s life and a wonderful way of introducing your child to your extended family and friends. It is also a means of celebrating your transition to parenthood.

Unlike a wedding, there are no legal requirements at a Naming Ceremony, which is probably just as well, because anything can happen where children are involved.
This makes the occasion wonderful and the unexpected often occurs. I will supply you with sample ceremonies and readings; however, if you wish to write your own ceremony, I can suggest wording and ideas to make it a memorable day.

It is a lovely idea to honour the grandparents by having a “Grandparents’ Dedication” where they choose a reading, or even write one to express the unconditional love they have for their grandchild. You may wish to appoint godparents or mentors for your child, or you can even appoint everyone at the ceremony to be your child’s “guardian family.”

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THE DIFFERENCE

COMMITMENT CEREMONY

Sometimes people are in love, but just don’t want to get married. There could be very personal reasons for this. Maybe an unpleasant first marriage and a bitter break up. It could be cultural or religious difference. It could be a couple who have previously been married, and have families.

Sometimes the legalities and Will complications can be overwhelming, so they make the decision not to marry. However, they want their family and friends to know that they are committed to each other. A Commitment Ceremony is also appropriate for a gay couple, who wish to make a public acknowledgment of their relationship.

The format of a Commitment Ceremony is similar to that of a Wedding, but it is not a legal ceremony and this must be stated by the Celebrant. If you both have children, a Commitment is a lovely way of uniting your two families by involving them in your ceremony.

Unlike a wedding, a commitment ceremony gives two people the freedom to choose to honour the traditional customs of a classic marriage without having to sign a marriage licence. Some couples choose to follow the wedding ceremony ritual, others prefer to invent their own rituals. There are no legal rules and limitations that apply to the commitment celebration and even the couple’s close friend can officiate the commitment ceremony.

The format of a Commitment Ceremony is similar to that of a Wedding, but it is not a legal ceremony and this must be stated by the Celebrant. If you both have children, a Commitment is a lovely way of uniting your two families by involving them in your ceremony.

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SO YOU WANT TO ELOPE

Eloping is a wonderful way to avoid the stress and expense that usually accompanies a large wedding. Take a day or two off work and run away to the hills together or even with a few of your closest friends.

Is eloping for you? So many times in the wedding process, a frazzled bride will exclaim “We should just elope!” But few actually go through with it.

Given the high cost of a wedding, and the prominence of celebrities eloping, this might be an option worth considering.

There’s always a feeling of romantic rebellion when eloping is mentioned. It can be a good way to save money, but you should keep in mind the pros and cons of eloping. Although it might be a good idea at the time, will you regret not having a wedding in the years to come? You might want to keep in mind a few of these things:

PROS

It’s cheap – eloping is significantly cheaper than the traditional wedding. Would you rather spend money on the reception or on plane tickets to the Caribbean? Of course, there is the cost of the rings and the honeymoon, but these last beyond the few hours that the average wedding ceremony and reception go for.

You may also be avoiding family arguments, especially if one partner’s parents disapprove of their choice of spouse, or if a divorced set of parents can’t stand to be in the same room together.

It’s simpler – you don’t have to spend a year on wedding planning.

The style – you can marry whenever and wherever you like.

It’s fast – If a fast wedding is what you are looking for, eloping might be the way to go. Note: In Australia eloping is not like Las Vegas – you must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage one calendar month before the date.

CONS

It only happens once – your wedding day will be one you will remember for the rest of your life.

Regret – will you look back on it and regret not having your friends and family there with you to share this special day?

Memories- although eloping might be a good idea, will you miss not having the memories of a wedding day in the years to come?

Friends and family – there will be disappointment among family and friends when they’ve learned you eloped. Your parents will almost certainly regret never being there when you get married. If your parents’ wishes are a concern, you may want to think twice before eloping. Mothers of the bride especially tend to have hurt feelings when they find out that their daughters didn’t invite them to their wedding. If your parents already don’t approve of your fiancé , this might be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, and your new husband may never have a good relationship with the family.

On the other hand, to avoid parental disappointment, you could invite your parents as your only guests or as witnesses.

If you and your fiancé decide that eloping is the right option for you, consider these variations that might avoid some of the pitfalls of eloping:

Have a ceremony that’s just the two of you, but throw a reception afterward for all your friends and family.

Hire a professional photographer to come with you to your ceremony, then send out great pictures of the event with your wedding announcement.

Invite your parents and best friends to come with you – the small group can go out for a celebratory dinner afterward.

Elope now, but make plans to have a blowout five year anniversary party. You might even include a cheeky note with your wedding announcements saying something like “Our wedding day was just the two of us, but we hope you’ll come celebrate when we make it to five years on ………. ”

If you do decide to elope, be sure to not act too quickly. Consider carefully where you want to marry, and look into the marriage license laws of Australia.

Step 1: The first step is deciding to elope and forgoing the joys of arranging long-lost relatives peaceably around tables. Eloping isn’t for everyone, but for some, there’s endless appeal in taking your vows in a vacation-like setting. And when you choose to elope over planning an elaborate wedding, you’re guaranteed to free yourself from an enormous amount of organisational stress.

Step 2: Determine your budget When you combine a marriage ceremony with a honeymoon location, elopements can be a bargain compared with the cost of conventional weddings. A honeymoon elopement can save money and instead of having to pay for 250 guests to enjoy the wedding buffet you could have the honeymoon of your dreams. If you have an elopement wedding, your guest list will be cut in half – or more. Less people means less food, less drink, less chairs… Also, with a beautiful setting such as a beach or country setting, you will not need to shell out money on decorations like you might otherwise.

Step 3: Facility rental, invitations, expensive dresses & tuxedos for the wedding party are just a few of the expenses one can eliminate by traveling to another location. An elopement wedding and honeymoon costs in the neighbourhood of $5,000. Many hotels offer elope packages or even smaller wedding packages. You could honeymoon at the best hotels, enjoy luxury dining, see the world through a unique perspective, and return home with enough left over to throw a small intimate reception with immediate family & friends. While there are not official statistics on the average cost of an elopement, elopement packages including a hotel for a week, the Celebrant, photographer and album, ceremony site, cake, and musical selection tend to range between $2,000 to $8,000.

Step 4: A Notice of Intended Marriage – must be completed and lodged with the person who is performing the ceremony (proposed celebrant) at least one calendar month, but no more than 18 months, before the preferred date of marriage. The notice form is obtained from the proposed celebrant or can be downloaded from the Attorney General’s site.

Step 5: Choose where to elope and honeymoon There are many wondrous places in Victoria to have a wedding – from a beach wedding to a winery lunch in the Yarra Valley to a country retreat in Warburton. Whether it’s in the registry office in Melbourne or in a charming homestead, getting married in an out-of-town setting can add to the enjoyment of the day and create memories to treasure through the years.

Step 6: Choose your elopement ceremony – details like location, time, Celebrant , vows, rings, dress, flowers, photographer, attendants, music etc. Decide what traditional parts you want at your wedding – do you want to carry a bouquet, do you want father or mother to give you away?

Step 7: Decide if it will be just the two of you eloping or whether you’ll invite your closest friends and family to attend. Figure out when to tell everyone, i.e. will it be a post elopement announcement or a pre elopement one?

Step 8: Once you have returned from your elopement and honeymoon send out announcements to your family and friends to proclaim your good news. Use a favourite picture from your ceremony or honeymoon and break the news on stationary fashioned as an announcement card. Decide if you are going to have a post elopement party with your family and friends that were not present to celebrate your wedding when you return home. Wear your wedding clothes and display pictures of the event and your guests will feel like they were there.

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RENEWAL CEREMONY

Renewing your Wedding Vows can be a very emotional and rewarding experience, sometimes more so, than the original ceremony. Maybe your Wedding ceremony was not quite what you wanted. You may have been pressured by family members to do it their way, or perhaps you were so nervous on the day, that now you can’t remember the day at all.

Now is your chance to do it all again—your way. You may want your Renewal Day to coincide with your Wedding Anniversary, or maybe you would rather it be a totally separate occasion.

A Renewal can be adapted from a Wedding ceremony, however the celebrant must make it quite clear to your guests that it is a Renewal and not a Marriage.

When planning your ceremony with the celebrant, reflect on your time together–the highlights: buying your first house, the birth of your children, work promotions and salary increases, family holidays and perhaps celebrations of your children’s achievements.

There could be some sad times to recall also, and although you don’t want to have your guests in tears, it may be appropriate to mention the hard times , and how you supported each other and got through those difficult times, which in turn strengthened your relationship. I have found through experience, that a Renewal Ceremony can be more enriching than a Wedding Ceremony for some people, and often guests have come up to me after the ceremony, full of ideas and inspirations for their own ceremony.

Perhaps you have a significant anniversary not far away and your children are at a loss as to how to help you celebrate it, and what to give you as a way of remembering it. Why not suggest they give you a Renewal of Vows ceremony! What a wonderful and lasting gift. You can invite people who were guests at your wedding; maybe even the best man and bridesmaid, and it will be an unforgettable experience!