Luke & Paul

What an amazing wedding with an Awesome couple. Paul & Luke officially very happily married in Noosa’s Hidden Grove. With the closest of family and friends they celebrated the afternoon away at Ricky’s Bar & Grill Noosa Heads. My Heartfelt thanks to this amazing couple for choosing me as their Celebrant and their Go To, for the most important day of their lives.  Paul & Luke … It was an honour and absolute pleasure. BUT, more so, so much fun with laughter, tears, smiles, applause, excitement, and above all LOVE. So humbled to receive such beautiful words from this very special couple, who are now an amazingly happy and very married couple and Partners for Life. Fantastic words of thanks from Luke ………….. Luke Tush reviewed Toni Collett – Celebrant — Toni performed an amazing ceremony for myself and my husband on Saturday. Her friendly, bubbly personality helped put us at ease and even though we were from interstate and only met Toni 3 days before the wedding, she put together a very personal ceremony that suited us perfectly and fitted us to a tea. We could not have asked for a better celebrant or ceremony. Toni delivered a fun and interesting ceremony in a very professional way. She went above and beyond to make sure everything was perfect for our big day. My partner and I both believe that Toni’s rates were extremely cheap when we look at all she did for us and the service she provided to us. Our guests have all commented on what a brilliant job Toni did with our ceremony and they all... read more

Bec & Ben – Ceremony 17 Feb 2018

Hi Toni, We are back from our honeymoon and now able to sit down and start writing our thank you notes. I do not know where to begin – you delivered the most beautiful, personal and elegant ceremony. Every time I think back to our day, I just remember feeling so grateful to you for not just the amazing ceremony, but all the planning that went into making it run so smoothly. You put us both at ease not just on the day but throughout the whole process. I don’t know how to put into my words my utmost gratitude to you. I also want to thank your husband for organising the music for us on the day too. I have already done a review on ABIA but will make sure to do so on google, FB and your website. I have already been putting your name out there to the girls on the Brisbane bride’s page on FB. You were just amazing and I sincerely hope you do well during the awards. The marriage certificate arrived in the mail this morning – very exciting! I can now start the process for changing my name. Thank you for sending through all the details to make the process easier. And finally, thank you for sending though our Presentation copy of the Ceremony. The day was such a blur and so lovely to be able to read through the amazing service you provided again. Thank you again for making our day so amazing. I am so grateful to you. Kind Regards Rebecca &... read more

Perfect Favours for Your Big Day

One of the more enjoyable parts of planning your wedding is choosing your favours. It’s a light-hearted gesture, as favours are fun and no matter what they are, people will appreciate them and probably keep them as a memento of your day. You could go trad and have sugared almonds in a taffeta bag, or you could go a bit off-piste to create a talking point; here’s some great – and unusual ideas – for perfect wedding favours. A personalised CD for each of your guests These CDs could be personalised for each guest – maybe the big hits of their birth year – or they could all feature the same tracks, handpicked by and important to you and your groom. A jar of spices for everyone Pick the fanciest small jars you can find and fill them with spices – cinnamon, ras-el hanout, saffron, cardamom pods or gingerbread mix, for example – according to each guest’s favourite flavours. Temporary tattoo kits You can choose more grown-up, sophisticated designs for the adults and fun, quirky ones for the kids. It’s not a permanent reminder, like a real tattoo, but if you get a few great photos of grandad with a glittery bindi on his forehead… Fortune cookies with personalised messages inside These are a relatively cheap option and if you can find some way to make up your own messages and slip them into each cookie, then that’s even better! A bag or box of wildflower seeds This is a lovely idea as people can take the seeds home and plant them, making a long-term reminder of your special... read more

Wedding at Pepper & Salt Kingscliff, New South Wales

How thrilled am I to receive multiple Facebook reviews for the same amazing Wedding…. Chris Dillon reviewed Toni Collett – Celebrant — 5 star I recently flew 2000km to attend the wedding of some close friends. Apart from witnessing the union and being part of the wonderful time had by all present one of the standout memories of the day for me was the uniquely beautiful approach taken by the celebrant, Toni Collett, who had obviously taken a lot of time to get to know the bride and groom well. With the knowledge and understanding she had clearly acquired Toni was able to tell the beautiful and moving story of how the special couple had met, courted, and ultimately come to be together on their special day. Toni clearly ‘touched’ all the members of the wedding party and a good number of the guests. It was a touching and unique element of a truly memorable event. Thank you Toni for making my friends great day even better. Lara Brennan reviewed Toni Collett – Celebrant — 5 star If there was more stars, Toni would get them!She did an amazing ceremony for my dad and his lovely wife 2 weeks ago. Not only was it done to the highest of standards but you could see the time, effort and detail that was spent to make it personal and unique to both the bride and groom’s personality and style. If I was getting married I’d certainly be flying Toni to Ireland to do the ceremony. Sue Svenning reviewed Toni Collett – Celebrant — 5 star On 9 December 2017 at Kingscliff... read more

Wedding Trends for 2018

As 2017 draws to a close, everyone who’s planning to get married in 2018 will be wondering how to create an occasion that’s timely and on-point. Every year has its own distinctive set of looks, themes and feelings, so here’s what you should be looking at for 2018. It’s all gone a bit industrial Yep, you heard right. The last couple of years have been all about barns and farms, but now we’re moving into the Industrial Age. Weddings and receptions are increasingly being held in warehouses, decommissioned factories and even big sheds are the venues of choice. If you can’t manage an industrial venue, you can choose bare iron and wood furniture. Send the balloon up Out go the flower walls and in come the inflatables. Balloons of all types – big ones, transparent-and-filled-with-glitter ones, clusters, singletons, light-up or matte – are where it’s at next year. You can make them into arches, table centrepieces or even have your bridesmaids carry them instead of bouquets if you want. Magenta and turquoise Rose gold and copper are fading into the background now (in a good way) and bolder hues are moving forward. It seems that vibrant pink or magenta and turquoise are the best colours to go for now. A good old-fashioned A good old-fashioned what? Just that; it’s the name of a classic cocktail and it’s something you could serve at your reception rather than the over-engineered sugary pink lemonade and cranberry Martini slush-style drinks that have been popular recently. Think pared-down drinks from 1940s films – no frills, no fancy fruit combos. Forget the mini cupcakes We’re... read more

Choosing the Right Friend to Speak at Your Wedding

Of course, you’ll have the best man doing a speech, as well as the father of the bride and the groom himself – that’s traditional. It’s a bit man-heavy, though, isn’t it? If you’re thinking about redressing the gender balance a bit, what better way to do this than to have one of your girlfriends deliver a speech as well, or even instead of? The thing is, you’re going outside of the box a bit here – the best man, the groom and the bride’s dad are dictated by tradition so no-one will think there’s any favouritism; similarly, if the groom’s not a great public speaker, no-one’s going to expect the Gettysburg Address. Choosing someone extra is making a bit of a statement, so it’s got to be done right and by the right person. Here are the qualities you should look for when selecting this speaker. She should be confident This goes without saying, really. Of course, some people are quite shy until they have all eyes on them and then they just rise to the occasion, but realistically, you need to pick someone who’s not going to be crippled with nerves right up until the moment they stand up. Choose reliable. She shouldn’t take herself too seriously Let’s face it, she’s putting herself in the public eye in what’s considered a man’s role. There may be some heckling and so she must be able to handle herself – but with humour and diplomacy – no bra-burning at the top table, thank you. Your friend should also know you well This doesn’t necessarily mean your friend from kindy... read more

Your Autumn Wedding

While it’s true that spring and summer are the most popular seasons for weddings, autumn can be the ideal time too, for many reasons. Let’s take a quick look at why you should tie the knot in the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness… It’s cooler You’re no longer restricted by the blazing heat of summer; the weather is cooling, of course, but it’s cooling into warm, not chilly. The days are also still long enough to enjoy an evening reception and you have more choice over your dress than you would in the summer. You can spend more time outdoors As the temperatures are a bit more moderate, you can spend longer outdoors. Autumn is a lovely time for an outdoor wedding as the leaves are starting to turn, which gives any occasion and setting that amazing warm autumnal glow. Whatever your backdrop – and Australia has lots of landscapes and environments to choose from – having that golden-red tint will make it even more magical. Distinctive bouquets This time of year means you can have a striking red and orange colour scheme for your bouquet and other floral arrangements. There’s also plenty of gorgeous flowers to pick from, like poppies, native Australian species, lilies and, of course, those stunning autumn leaves. In many ways, you’re more spoiled for choice in autumn than you are at any other time of year. Lots of sumptuous fresh produce After the summer comes all the lovely autumn fruit and vegetables – pears, pomegranates, figs and, obviously, fat glowing pumpkins. You can use pumpkins for soup and for table centrepieces; what’s not... read more

Raining on Your Wedding Day but Not on Your Parade

Chances are that it won’t rain, but it’s always a good idea to have a wet weather contingency or two. After all, you’ve been planning your wedding for months and it’d be a shame if the rain affected some or all of your big day. Expect the worst Assume it’s going to rain and work your plans from there. If you rely on ifs and maybes then you’ll fall foul of at least one of them. So, if your wedding has outdoor-based portions, make sure you have some gazebos, umbrellas and wellington boots. This is your big day, so make sure you use everything to your advantage. Take advice from your vendors Your suppliers will have seen a few weddings that have been affected by rain, so ask them for their ideas. You never know, your photographer might actually like taking snaps in the rain because of the unique light conditions. Meanwhile, your caterer will know just how to keep your food dry and your entertainers will already have a damp weather routine to keep the kids happy. Singing in the rain So what it rains? It’s your day and it’s unique. Rain doesn’t have to be a bad thing, especially if it’s warm. It’ll be a day to remember, with added umbrellas and splashes! It could be magical There’s a reason why photographers like rainy days; the light can be amazing and the actual raindrops landing on various surfaces make for some interesting close-ups. Sunny days can produce a flat sort of light that, while vibrant, can be a bit one-dimensional. Plus, you might get a rainbow! A... read more

What to Expect from Your Maid of Honour

One of the most important figures at your wedding (apart from you and your intended, of course) is your Maid of Honour. You’ll already know what your MoH is, but you might not know exactly what her role is and what your expectations of her should be. She’s your right-hand…errr…chick Your MoH will organise your hen night and your bridal shower, as well as oversee anything else your bridesmaids are in charge of. She’ll also be your shoulder to cry on and the person to tell you that having that Cradle of Filth tribute act as your wedding band isn’t a great idea. Your MoH is also there to keep problematic family members in line. She takes care of all the small stuff You don’t choose your MoH out of a hat. She’s an old and trusted friend who has always been the one carrying the after-sun lotion on picnic trips. She’s also the one with the sewing kit, the plasters and the bug repellent. She spots niggles before they grow into problems and sorts them right out without a fuss. Your MoH will see you’re getting dehydrated during your reception and will appear, armed with mineral water and a straw, before heading back off to help Grandma to understand the sushi bar. She’s a logistics whizz Keeping in contact with all your bridesmaids, ushers, suppliers and the parents of your flower-girls can get a bit much, so some of this will be handled by your MoH. When it comes to organising your spa day and pamper session, or buying gifts for the flower-girls, she’ll do most of this... read more

Get Your Seating Plan Right

One of the biggest pain points in planning your wedding is the seating plan. You have to keep old rivals apart without making it obvious, keep both families happy, keep old university chums together… It’s hard work, so use these tips to make your logistical load easier. Start planning at once Once the invitations are out, start planning. You can take names off the list as and when people decline. Don’t print up your plan until the last moment, though, as things can often change. When you do print, go large so people can see from a distance rather than crowding around a sheet of A4. Use table names, not numbers If you have tricky families, numbers can spell (as it were) hierarchy. Be ready to be flexible Don’t get hung up on just one layout, as things evolve and change. If the wedding is a small affair, then you might not even need a firm, structured seating plan. Stupid Cupid If you seat singles next to one another, they won’t like it. Period. Remember the kids Younger children need to be with their parents, but older children will love having their own table, complete with activity packs. Cater for all ages If you have older people at your wedding, make sure they have easy access to exits and bathrooms. You need to think about pregnant women, wheelchair users and anyone else who may need extra help. Your top table If having a top table is problematic, then just don’t do it. Alternating genders If this won’t work well, then ditch the tradition. Hive mind Keep people in their... read more

How to Write the Perfect Invitations

We’re a long way past the days when all wedding invitations were written on heavy white or cream-coloured card – all copperplate script and stuffy formal phrasing. These days invitations are a part of the wedding experience in themselves – they can be fun, quirky, individualised and even a bit cheeky. If you go for this sort of style then you can be a bit more freeform, but if you do want some formality, then you should follow this tried and tested format. the invitations should be in the third person; place the time and date before the venue; the invitees’ names should be written separately from the rest of the invitation text, as should the venues of the ceremony and he reception; you should use formal language, like “request the pleasure of your presence” etc, and your parents’ names should be included too. If your wedding is child-friendly… Make sure the venues are able to cope with them – changing facilities, quiet rooms, areas for older children to play and so on. When you’re writing the invitations, mention the children by name or be very clear about the invitation being for the entire family. Your gift registry Your wishing well (or gift list if you do want one) should be on a separate piece of paper to the invitation (but still in the same envelope). Make it clear that there’s no obligation to give money or gift cards, though. You should also include a list of potential present ideas for older or more traditional people who would prefer to buy a gift, like some fancy baking equipment or... read more

How to Have a No-theme Wedding

For the last few years, everyone’s had a theme at their wedding. Themes can be great – they add interest to an event, they can spark conversations between strangers and make for amazing photos. However, not everyone wants to be like the others, so if you fancy a theme-less wedding, you should go for it. You still need some help and advice from the pros, though. Use your venue for inspo Most often your venue will guide your styling. Some places don’t need much doing to them other than a bit of personalisation, or else you risk over-egging your pudding. The venue is where your styling begins, no matter what your theme (or lack of), so if you’re going theme-less, think about a mood instead. You could take some ideas from home, too. If your home has a particular look or colour scheme, then why not extend it to your wedding as well? Here’s the main elements you need to style to create a feeling or mood for your theme-free wedding. The tables Do you want your tables to all be the same? Or is this too theme-y? One good idea, depending on the number of tables, is to have different colours, different ethnic pieces or different continents. Work this styling into place-cards, table linen and so on. The flowers Your flowers are one of the biggest parts of your wedding, so you need to get them right. Spend some time finding a florist you like, or who others recommend and then talk about how you can use your floral displays to express yourself. The menu With the food... read more

Modern-day Wedding Etiquette

The times are changing, and so is wedding etiquette. If you’re about to attend a wedding soon, you may be wondering what the protocol is these days; have some cast-iron rules fallen by the wayside? What about smartphones and Instagram? Let’s have a look. Can you wear black? You used to not be able to, but you can now as long as it’s done with style – team it up with interesting shoes or fun jewellery. If you’re planning to wear a black dress, keep it gauzy and shapely (it can be done). You can’t wear white or ivory, though. You just can’t. Can you take photos on your phone? It’s OK to take a few photos, and some couples encourage it, but make sure you know what the social media policy is before you even think about uploading anything. If you’re not sure, don’t post anything, as you could make a photo public before the bride does, and that’s not on! Also, don’t get in the way of the professional photographer. Or tag the bride in an unflattering photo… Can you RSVP by email? It depends. If you receive the invitation by email, with a request to respond by the same medium, then yes. However, if you receive it on some lovely stationery, you should respond in kind, as someone’s collating those response cards to work out numbers. Whatever the format is, hollering “We’ll see ya there, no worries!” is really not done. Can you avoid some traditions if you don’t like them? A contentious tradition is the throwing of the bouquet. Some women love it, others feel... read more

Tips for Table-planning

Pinning down your table-plan is important as your wedding meal is two or three hours long, so it’s a big part of the day. Once you’ve sorted it, that’s one sigh of relief you can breathe… Start early You can start planning even before the RSVPs come in. Start with your entire invitations list and winnow out the people who won’t be able to make it. Don’t leave it too late as it can turn into a rushed nightmare. Check out the venue Make sure the venue is large enough for the size, shape and number of your tables. You need to leave everyone enough room to get up and move around without feeling packed in and claustrophobic. Mix up friends and family It’s a hard balance to achieve, but avoid filling entire tables with family as no-one will be able to mingle properly. You shouldn’t put all strangers on one table either, though, as it can easily go wrong. Think about ages and interests. The singles’ corner Always seat partners together and don’t ever be tempted to match-make (at least, don’t do it obviously…). Don’t ever have a singles’ table. Just don’t. Even Stevens (and Stephanies) Try to have an even-ish number of men and women at each table so there’s a god flow of conversation and good behaviour. Can you imagine being the only guy at a table of drunk women? Place cards Make sure place cards are clear and visible. You could have themed table names, which is fun, a conversation-starter and avoids hierarchical table numbers. Try tables rather than seats You don’t have to pin... read more

Dealing With Pre-wedding Nerves

Everyone gets nervous before their wedding, whether it kicks in several months before or on the day itself. Thankfully, it’s easy to combat these jitters with a few positive thoughts and clever tricks. Make a list of your main concerns and worries Some are bigger concerns, some are just silly, some involve things you can control and some are things you can’t do anything about so you have to let the worries go. Hang around with positive people There’s always going to be a few people who are a downer about everything or who try to impose their own agenda on you and your wedding. Try to avoid them and bring in more positive friends and families. Share your worries Don’t bottle things up or you’ll blow them out of proportion. Sometimes by sharing a concern you realise how silly they are, or you might find a way to work through more valid worries. Concentrate on breathing Of course, it happens by reflex! However, stress and anxiety can cause your breathing to become shallower, which can make you feel even more stressed. Learn to breathe from your diaphragm and to “exhale” your tension. Spend a few minutes each day practising your calming breathing so that you can switch into it when the nerves start up. You should also work on your posture, as stress can cause you to scrunch down and lower your eyes, which in turn makes you feel even more timid. Stand up, shoulders back, big smile… Let yourself be supported It’s your wedding, but it’s not just your responsibility. You can relax and delegate some jobs... read more

Doing Your Own Make-up

If you’re planning to do your own make-up on the big day, you’ll need some special tips to get it right. After all, it’s not just another day at the office, is it? Practice makes perfect Once you’ve chosen a look, you should practice it a few times, tweaking and adjusting until it’s perfect for you. Investing this time a few weeks before the wedding takes a lot of the worry out of it when it comes to the real thing. Have some facials You should, if you can, have two or three facials in the months leading up to your wedding so your complexion is as good a canvas as it can be. Make sure you have a quiet place to do your make-up You’ll need time and, more importantly, space to do this. If you’re milling around in the same room as your bridesmaids, then it can get a bit hectic, so ask for some privacy. Find your perfect foundation Take some professional advice here and take your time. You need the right shade for your skin and your outfit, as well as the right formulation for your skin type. Be patient. Don’t use anything with an SPF or sparkles in Many SPFs use titanium and zinc oxides, which, as soon as a flash hits them, make you look ghostly white. The same advice applies to very sparkly eyeshadow or highlighter, as well as white or pale finishing powder. You don’t want a clown mask, do you? Work on your brows Brows define your face and so you need to get them right. It’s another case of... read more

Planning an Autumn 2018 Wedding

Autumn is probably the second-most popular season to get married in – the intense heat of the summer has receded but the temperatures are still mostly comfortable and there’s still quite a bit of daylight. Not only is the climate a bit more forgiving, but there’s some interesting and varied seasonal elements that you can incorporate into your ceremony and the reception. True, there’s some precautions you need to take to keep things running along smoothly, but it’s all good fun. Eyes down for an autumnal wedding checklist… Give your flower girls pumpkins This doesn’t mean they’ll be pumpkin girls instead! Carve and scoop out some pumpkins, create two holes in the sides and thread ribbons through to create baskets – then fill them with flowers! Make sure your bridesmaids stay warm Sometimes autumn nights can feel a little chilly, so why not give your bridesmaids a pashmina each as one of your gifts to them? The look gorgeous and serve a practical function as well. Bring in the space heaters It’s tempting to have an open-air ceremony and reception in autumn as the night skies can be very clear. Clear skies can mean chilly air, though, so have an area that’s warmed by space heaters for people to gather. Have a dramatic colour scheme Autumn is a great excuse for an intense palette. You can team up reds, oranges and yellows with rich dark purples, burgundies and even black. Try amber or cream-coloured candles White candles are more suited to summer weddings, whereas cream, golden yellow or amber candles give off a warmer, gentler glow. You can also... read more

Melissa & Brendan – Married 22 April 2017

Being this beautiful couples Celebrant and MC for their Dream Day was such an honour and privilege. I loved every minute of my time with Melissa & Brendan. Being a part of their planning from the beginning … Brendan and I still laugh about our first meeting at the first Expo. I wore a beautiful orange scarf that he loved and wanted to keep.  We chatted for ages about the theme and their plans. That day I became their Celebrant and MC.   We meet a further 4-5 times, had wine, laughed and planned more.    Their photographer/videographer and I worked really hard and well together to capture their special day. Hence the great memories! And I got to keep my scarf!!   Images & Video curtesy: White Images Wedding Photography & Myfilm… Toni Collett Celebrant Here is a few hints from them for your Dream Day.. Melissa and I are two lucky people. We encourage and support each other, joke, laugh and yes cry together.  Melissa is my best friend, my confidant and at the risk of sounding cheesy my soul mate.  It is a privilege to share this brief glimpse of our lives with others and we both hope that our story can inspire and help others. Picking the theme: Melissa and I set out with our wedding in mind from the moment we were engaged.  We started out by imagining what our wedding would be like, who would we invite, where would it be, what we thought it may cost and when the big day was going to be.  We decided to have an outdoor wedding on the Sunshine... read more

Why Choose a Wedding Celebrant

Increasingly, people are leading a secular lifestyle and so they’re choosing to get married outside of the church. They may be secular, or the couple may be from different cultures and so they’ve decided to find a third way that bypasses religion altogether. As well as cultural reasons, there are other great reasons for choosing a celebrant to guide you and your guests through your wedding. Here are the best ones… You can get married pretty much anywhere you want Having a celebrant to lead your wedding means you can choose almost anywhere to get married. You’re not restricted to a registry office or a place of worship, or even to set times of day. If you want to get married on a farm, or in a botanical garden, a Sami tent or on a beach, then you can. You need to make sure that it’s legal to get married there, of course, but once that’s for sure, you can crack on with the planning. You can make your wedding ceremony as personal as you like You don’t have to follow the more traditional wedding ceremony script if you don’t want to. You can write your own vows and your celebrant can get your own unique story out there for everyone to enjoy. You can have a few rehearsals Your celebrant can advise you on the best seating arrangements, timings, music and your PA system. You can also run through the proceedings to make sure that you haven’t left anything out and that all your plans work. Your celebrant is dedicated to you Celebrants tend to only perform one... read more

Tips for a Beach Wedding

Many brides dream of a beach wedding; after all, they look great and we’ve all seen some stunning photoshoots, right? One mistake that people can make when they think about a beach wedding is that planning it involves exactly the same things as a regular wedding that’s not based on sand. There are special things you need to take into account when you’re getting ready to tie the knot by the sea. Don’t do the big dress Wearing a big dress on a beach can be a disaster – it’ll get drenched by the sea, it’ll blow about, it’ll be hot… Additionally, if there’s any lace involved, it’ll collect sand and other beach debris, so think lightweight, tight-woven fabrics. Keep it simple Beach weddings can be harder to hear and follow than ones held in enclosed spaces, so limit the length of the ceremony and any speeches as the sea breeze can whip the words out of people’s mouths. Forget about heels High heels and sand isn’t a great mix, as you can imagine. You could wear satin flatties, or flip-flops or even go barefoot. Stay sun-aware It should be a long day, so don’t forget about that sun! Make sure everyone has enough sunscreen, especially the kids. You don’t want to look like lobsters in your reception photos. The blokes can go casual as well If you’re opting for lightweight fabrics, then the guys should be able to do that too. Forget the black woollen tuxes and let them wear light-coloured linen suits or even shirts and Bermuda shorts! Make sure there’s enough shade Provide at least one... read more

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