A large part of why we love each and every wedding we plan and coordinate are the amazing vendors and suppliers that we work with on a week-to-week basis. We work with some unbelievably talented people (some are the best in their game) in our production and love to showcase them here for our readers to get to know. These people make our job better, more elevated and unbelievably unique.
We met Michelle Shannon several years ago at Fig Tree Restaurant for her first official ceremony as a celebrant and we immediately found her passion for love and weddings infectious. Being a romantic at heart, Michelle creates collaborative, exciting and seriously heart felt ceremonies which we absolutely adore.
Some words from Michelle:
Tell us about yourself?
I grew up in Mullumbimby, just down the road from ByronÂ – Moved to Sydney in my late teens and then travelled the world for the next 20 years with my working roles in the travel industry.Â I was living and working in Brisbane when my sister Deb set me up on a blind date with myÂ husband Mark…Â Little did I know after our first date thatÂ I would be living back in the area – just down the road from the rest of the family – We have one daughter Georgia who is 9 and I have three step-children all in their late 20’s now.
Where did your love of weddings originate?
I have always been a bit of romantic at heart and around 12 years ago I went to quite a few long, drawn out ceremonies (Yawn, Yawn) and then one day I went to one in Perth and the celebrant made us all feel welcome, happy and part of such a special moment as the guestsâ€¦ that was the moment I knew I was going to be a Celebrant.
How did you get started as a celebrant?
When I moved back to Byron and had my daughter I started to studyÂ Celebancy and worked closely with a couple of local celebrants who were very helpful… my first official wedding was held at the Fig Tree in 2008
What is your favourite thing about being a wedding celebrant in Byron Bay?
The great couples I meet, hearing their love stories, sharing in one of the best days of their lifeÂ – And working with such a great group of professionals in the area – itÂ really is like working with your family – makes it fun to go to work.
What is the most rewarding part about your job?
Every ceremony is different and every couple are differentâ€¦this year alone I have worked with a Minister in Maui for an Hawaiian Wedding, we have done all sorts of additional ceremonies/ family/ petsÂ / traditions and moreÂ and soon I will be working with two Rabbi’s for a Jewish combination ceremony. The laughter, happy tears and smilesâ€¦very rewarding.
How can a couple avoid a terribly boring and impersonal ceremony?
Do a little research, have a good think about the kind of ceremony/ dayÂ you want, who you wish to involveÂ and most importantlyÂ keep it real!
Do you have any advice for couples writing their weddingÂ vows?
The world is your oyster you can say as little or as much as you like – and this is your one chance to really say it from the heart.Â Go online, see what is out there that may inspire you and just think about your life together and what promises/ vows and sentiments you wish to say to one another..
A line as simple asÂ Â “I promise to love, protect and adore you for the rest of my life”Â can be very powerful when said straight from the heart.
Can you describe your typical (wedding) day?
Prior to the ceremony we will have had a rehearsal, which I think is a very valuableÂ thing to calm your nerves for the big day. On the day itself, I start getting ready a few hours before the ceremony, making sure all of the legal documents are in order for the ceremony, getting dressed for a wedding and rehearsing the script so that I can make the bride and groom and the guests all feel more relaxed – like I am a friend presenting -Â I arrive 1/2 hour prior to the ceremony to set up my PA – say hi to the families and the Bride and Groom – present the ceremony – sign all the official documents – a last hug and kiss before I leave the happy couple to celebrate and then I come home to register and file all the legal documents online and in the mail (and maybe a celebratory Champs to end the day).
Alex & Dan // byronviewfarm
Photography by Joseph Willis
Melissa & Jack // Fig Tree Restaurant
Photography by Van Middleton
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