No matter how conservative or quirky you and your partner want your ceremony to be, you are spoiled for choice. While I could list lots of rituals available, and describe each one; but, the list is long and let’s face it, you don’t want to read something like an encyclopaedia.
Instead, over time, let me tell you about rituals that have been incorporated into my wedding ceremonies.
The first ritual is a pagan rite to be read before a civil ceremony begins. It’s a calling upon natural powers as was common in many cultures during the Middle Ages circa 500 to 1500AD. It was the period after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. During those feudal times, village life dominated and leaders were landowners and church officials.
This “Calling” was incorporated into a super casual, intimate elopement ceremony (“legals only” format, short and sweet). We met early morning on Tyagarah Beach on 4 June 2023. There were 6 attendees – the bride and groom, their two year old son, their two witnesses and of course me, as their celebrant.
The beach was deserted and the weather so threatening. While it was pouring to the north and south, it was as if Mother Nature, or the powers that be, called a halt to the driving rain that had lashed the beach right up to 10 minutes before the ceremony was scheduled.
Would you believe the couple were actually flying off to Rome two days after their legal Australian marriage, to have the big Catholic wedding in the groom’s place of birth? Fifty of the bride’s family were also flying overseas to see the bride marry her Italian groom.
The bride’s best friend and legal witness read the “Calling of Directions” out loud. She made a genuine call on the forces of nature and the Great Spirit to bless the couple, their feelings for each other and their future together. I have to admit it was a very moving presentation.
Calling of Directions
Blessed be this union with gifts of the East. The place of air, spring, the child, new beginnings. The place of the rising sun. May the dawn wind blow a freshness and light into your love - opening your hearts and minds - bringing adventure, curiosity and deep joy. May the east remind you of the power of each new day and your deep capacity for growth and change together.
Blessed be this union with gifts from the North. The place of Fire, Summer, the mother and father, the sun at the peak of the day. May the north bring passion, energy, abundance and creativity. May it teach you of strength and courage. It is the place where the moon is full and the light in your hearts can guide you through any darkness - for there is no darkness without light and no light without darkness.
Blessed be this union with gifts from the West. The place of water, autumn, the maga and the magus, the setting sun. May the west teach you the power of emotion. It holds the storm clouds, rivers and oceans, teaching you the capacity to feel through tears of sadness and joy. May the west bless you with a sanctuary in one another to be able to delve into the deepest places one can travel to, trusting in each other’s steadfastness.
Blessed be this union with gifts from the South. The place of earth, winter, of grandmothers and grandfathers, of midnight and the darkest moon. May you find gifts of groundedness, wisdom and balance. It is the place of the physical realm where your stillness and inner wisdom reside. Where all dreams begin and intuition is strong. May the south ground your love and provide a haven of deep solidity and peace.
Blessed be this union with gifts from above, below and within. May your internal flames burn bright and true on their own but shine even brighter together. May your journey be blessed by the Great Spirit. Blessed be this couple.
Wedding ceremonies are a special time in the lives of two people who are deeply in love and committed to spending the rest of their lives together. In Northern Rivers in NSW, Australia, there are a wide range of wedding celebrations that you can choose from to make your special day as unique and memorable as possible. Whether you're planning a traditional, religious ceremony or a more contemporary, non-traditional event, you'll find plenty of options to choose from in this beautiful and diverse state.
Traditional Wedding Ceremonies
Traditional wedding ceremonies are a staple in New South Wales, Australia. These celebrations often involve religious rituals and customs that have been passed down through generations, making them a timeless and meaningful way to commemorate the start of a new life together. Whether you're looking for a Catholic, Anglican, Jewish, or Hindu ceremony, you'll find plenty of experienced celebrants who can help you plan and execute a beautiful and meaningful event that reflects your beliefs and values.
Civil Ceremonies (including Legals Only ceremonies)
Civil ceremonies are a popular choice for couples who are looking for a more modern, non-religious wedding celebration. These wedding ceremonies are typically performed by authorised celebrants registered with the Australian federal government; and they offer a more relaxed and informal atmosphere than traditional religious ceremonies. During a civil ceremony, couples can exchange personal vows, rings, and include rituals and other symbols of love and commitment. The end result is a unique, deeply personal and meaningful celebration of their love.
A variation on the civil ceremony is a Legals Only version, which is short, simple and straightforward, rather like a "no frills" ceremony. Interestingly I'm noticing an increasing local trend to legals only streamlined ceremonies, especially for couples who are shy and don't want "over the top".
For some couples, the idea of a traditional wedding celebration just doesn't feel like the right fit. If you're looking for a more intimate and spontaneous way to tie the knot, an elopement ceremony in Northern Rivers New South Wales, Australia might be the perfect solution.
Elopement ceremonies are a growing trend in the wedding industry, and they offer a relaxed and intimate alternative to traditional wedding celebrations. With an elopement, you can exchange your vows in a stunning location, surrounded by only your closest friends and family members. This makes the event a deeply personal and meaningful celebration of your love and commitment to each other.
Besides the above approaches, there are also more casual forms of wedding celebrations for people who want a much simpler approach in order to reflect their preferences, really celebrate without breaking the bank, in front of the most important people in your life.
Northern Rivers New South Wales is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, and many couples choose to exchange their vows on these sun-kissed shores. Whether you're looking for a quiet, intimate beach ceremony or a grand, elegant event, you'll find plenty of options to choose from in this stunning part of the world. With the sand, surf and sun as the perfect backdrop, a beach wedding in New South Wales is a truly unforgettable experience that you and your guests will cherish for years to come.
For couples who are looking for a lush and romantic setting for their wedding ceremony, garden celebrations are a fantastic choice. New South Wales is home to some of the most beautiful gardens in Australia, and many of these stunning locations offer the perfect setting for an intimate and unforgettable wedding celebration. Whether you're looking for a traditional, formal garden ceremony or a more relaxed, boho-chic event, you'll find plenty of options to choose from in this beautiful part of the world. Even your own backyard can be an option!
Northern Rivers New South Wales, which includes the Byron Bay region, is a popular choice for destination weddings, and it's easy to see why. With its breathtaking scenery, diverse cultural offerings, and world-class restaurants, this part of the state offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a romantic and intimate wedding celebration in the heart of the city, or a grand and elegant event in a stunning coastal setting, you'll find plenty of options to choose from in this beautiful part of the world.
No matter what kind of wedding celebration you're looking for, Northern Rivers New South Wales, Australia offers a wide range of options to choose from. Whether you want a traditional religious ceremony, a modern civil ceremony, or a destination wedding in one of the region's many beautiful and diverse locations, you'll find everything you need to make your special day as memorable and meaningful as possible. So why not start planning your dream wedding today, and begin the next chapter of your life in the beautiful Northern Rivers? Speak to us about the available options based on your preference.
When it comes to wedding destinations, Northern Rivers has some of the best in New South Wales. As a celebrant, I've had the pleasure of being a part of weddings at many different venues in the area, and I thought it might be helpful to share some of my favorite indoor and outdoor venues located close to my location. There are plenty more I could recommend further afield as well.
Mixed Indoor and Outdoor Venues
The Clydesdale Motel is a historic property that's been painstakingly restored, and The Barn is a beautiful private event space that's perfect for weddings. It's located in Casino, and because it has accommodation available, out of town wedding guests, especially, will have the benefit and convenience of being able to access anywhere in the area with ease. The informal, relaxed atmosphere is ideal for couples wanting a carefree ceremony with all the details worked out.
Deux Belettes: This gorgeous venue is located in the Byron Bay hinterland at Dalwood and offers both indoor and outdoor spaces for your ceremony and reception. The beautiful established gardens are perfect for an outdoor ceremony, and the stone barn makes for a stunning backdrop for your reception. Built like a French manor from rock collected entirely from the property, even if the weather is wet, there are amazingly picturesque spots available for your ceremony.
Summerland Farm: Located just outside Alstonville, Summerland Farm is a working farm that offers three unique event spaces for weddings. Their 100-year-old tobacco shed has been beautifully renovated and makes for a stunning reception space, while their lush gardens are perfect for an outdoor ceremony. But better still, there is a rotunda that is a brilliant raised structure for the wedding ceremony. Privately located in the grounds, it is complemented by established trees, plenty of dappled shade and wonderful visibility for the guests.
If you're looking for an indoor-only venue, with the flexibility of available outdoor green (overflow) space, the following local venues are surely worth considering:
Since retiring and moving to the best part of Australia, I've been fortunate to meet so many happy couples wishing to tie the knot. Because every couple is uniquely different, each ceremony script is written only for them. Having been married for 48 years, I understand how important it is to start your marriage the way you want; and I believe my job is to make it happen with ease.