How to piece together a knock-out wedding ceremony

We interviewed one of Byron Bay’s most popular celebrants and wedding aficionados to find out exactly what it takes to create a spectacular ceremony for your special day. Ben Carlyle gives us some stellar tips on how to keep the nerves calm and your vows authentic…

What is the benefit of having an earlier ceremony?
The best benefit of having an earlier ceremony means there’s more time to celebrate at your chosen venue. More time to soak in the views and surrounds of the venues, whilst hanging with your crew of VIP’s. Don’t stick to the 3pm ceremony, if you want to spend more time drinking cocktails and enjoying the post ceremony vibes with your guests. Plus the biggest bonus is more time to carve up the dance floor – there’s never enough time for dancing. Some of my favourite wedding experiences have been morning ceremonies, with a long lunch to follow. Your guests will love this unique experience and you can always take the dance party into town later in the evening!

Choosing the perfect marriage celebrant for you!
Your marriage celebrant is key in kick-starting your wedding experience, so it’s crucial that you connect with them on all levels! In one of the more nerve wracking moments of your life, you want to trust that your celebrant can confidently hold this space and create the vibes that you are seeking. You can check out your celebrant’s style and language in their social media posts, then when you meet with them in person, see if it all stacks up. It helps if your celebrant has a bunch of videos for you to watch and connect with, including testimonials from couples they have married too. Make sure your celebrant kicks all your legal goals, has an awesome PA, dresses well and has enough experience to be able to deal with unique scenarios that may arise on your day. Allow at least $1500.00 in your budget for a quality celebrant.

How to calm your nerves those moments before and throughout your ceremony…
Having a relaxed morning on your wedding day, eating well and hopefully not recovering from a big night are all important factors for keeping calm on your wedding day. It all gets very real for the groom when your guests arrive and the bride’s all dressed and ready to roll. The nervous energy can hit the fan if you let it, but having an A Team of wedding ninjas around you is essential to the next part of the experience. I love gathering the guests into place, grabbing hold of all the nervous energy and smashing it out of the park! I’m a ‘Wedding Fluffer’ and love to get the good vibes bubbling in those few minutes of limbo before the bride arrives. In my ceremonies there’s no nervous silence, it’s me and the groom chatting, music playing and the guests having a good old chin wag. This sets the precedent of nerves for the whole ceremony. During the ceremony, a great celebrant will ad-lib to keep the vibes in the right place, so you don’t emotionally exhaust yourself at the start of your big day!

Ben’s top tip’s for writing your vows:
Here’s a rare moment in life that you can wear your heart on your sleeve and tell us exactly why you want to marry your partner.

Where the hell do I start!!!? Ben, I’m freaking out!!!

Yes, you’ve heard terrible vows at other weddings – that’s because the celebrant gave them an average and out-dated resource for inspiration. I’m here to tell you to keep it REAL. The key to creating GREAT VOWS is to speak in your own language! We want to hear authentic, honest and real vows. For you that might be writing a love letter, being funny or gushing with romance. You might list a bunch of promises or create a poem. Hopefully you’ll just Tell It How It Is. We’re all so uniquely different as humans and so our vows should be unique. THERE IS NO RIGHT AND WRONG. Keep it sweet. Find that right equilibrium in time; don’t drag the vows out and don’t make them too short. There’s really no rules to the length of your vows but remember on the day, emotion runs high and a longer version could be harder to get through. DO NOT GOOGLE YOUR VOWS – THEY WILL BE AVERAGE!

What are some of the most unique ceremony set-ups you have witnessed in your time?
I’ve married couples out in the surf, at the bottom of waterfalls, in luxury mansions and on white sandy beaches. It sounds cheesy but I think each and every experience is unique, as is the couple that are getting married! Each experience, location, venue, style and music always has me buzzing in the best kind of way!

Find out more about Ben Carlyle on Our Tribe –

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