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What name do you use to sign your marriage certificate?

So you’ve done some paperwork and said some words, nice ones maybe, legal ones definitely and now you’re sitting down after your wedding ceremony ready to sign your new name on your marriage certificate..

BZZZZZ!

I’m afraid that is not the case, and its something that a lot of people get confused about when it comes to get married.

Really, its quite simple.

On the actual day of your ceremony, you sign all three documents with the same name/signature that you used in all the pre-ceremony paperwork that you completed.
So if your name was Mr John Smith and you were planning to take your partner’s name after marriage – you would still sign the marriage certificate as Mr John Smith.
After you are married – if you plan to take your partners name, it’s take a little bit of effort and a bit of running around.
Straight up, no one has to take anyones name legally. Its not a required thing, it comes down to your own personal choice.

If you decide to take your partner’s name or they are taking yours here’s what happens

    1. You apply to BDM in the state that you got married for your Marriage Certificate. This will be mailed to you and is a document that shows the details of your marriage and also has the Registration Number of your marriage in the top right corner.
    2. Using your BDM marriage certificate you present that document at the RTA ( or State Equivalent), Banks, Medicare Office etc and ask them to change your name to your newly married name – its like slipping it on. Once you have enough ID (identifying documents) in your new name, then that is your name.

But what about a legal name change?
This is different to taking a name due to marriage. When you legally change your name – you surrender your birth certificate and are issued a new birth certificate in your new name.

Think of it this way – when you change your name from marriage – you are assuming a new name from the point of marriage – when you legally change your name , you are changing your name from the point of your birth.

What about name change kits?
In my humble, but loud, opinion these are a waste of time. Name change kits still require you to get your BDM marriage certificate and are essentially a mail merge to help you write the appropriate letters to send to organisations along with a certified copy of your BDM marriage certificates. If you want to be $30 plus dollars for something you could easily do yourself, well that’s up to you. But all you are saving is a small amount of time.
In Australia, every single government department (Tax Office, Medicare, Centrelink etc) will require you to provide the appropriate documents (BDM Marriage Certificate) in person to change your name in their database, as will banks, supernnuation, and some utilities.

Things to note:
You can change your passport into your new married name within the first 12 months after your marriage for free, as long as you have more than two years before your passport expires but you still have to put in a new passport application and provide photos. You will also have to surrender your old passport – so keep that in mind if you are planning a honeymoon

You should book your honeymoon in your maiden name (name before marriage) if you are planning to travel immediately after your wedding.

Also the passport office doesn’t love it, if you go ahead and change your drivers license, tax information, gas bill etc and keep your passport in your pre-marriage name. if you are going to go to the effort of changing your name, make sure you include your passport in that list.

A example of place where you will need to change your name is included below:

  • Driver’s License
  • Doctor’s surgery or anywhere that has your medical records
  • Insurance companies
  • Electricity, gas and water providers
  • Passport
  • Tax office
  • Bank
  • Your place of work
  • Your mortgage provider
  • Landlord
  • Mobile phone provider
  • Internet provider
  • Any store cards you may have
  • Breakdown cover (RACQ etc.)
  • Local service providers (hairdressers, dry cleaners, mechanic etc.)
  • Vets
  • Subscriptions (magazines, Netflix etc.)
  • Memberships (such as the gym etc.)

This is not the most important day of your life

…but it could be the most fun.

I know it’s hard to believe right now, in the middle of all your planning for your special day, that is ONE day is not actually going to be the biggest or most important of your life.
But I’m going to tell you some hard, true facts – that in the end might actually help you have a more amazing time on your wedding day.

If you are putting all your energy into having a “perfect” day you are wasting your time, and most certainly not going to enjoy yourself.

I’ve seen it happen. Couples fretting over flower arrangements that aren’t perfectly centered or a random strand of hair bringing girls to tears because it just won’t do as its told (or sprayed!)

In truth, as celebrant who as performed over 600 ceremonies, I can speak with some authority. The most fun, most enjoyable and most “perfect” weddings are the ones that are focused on having a good time ,a great day and getting married.

The couples that see the wedding as a moment to celebrate but not THE END ALL MOMENT.

So here are my tops tips as to how to make your wedding day less stressful, more awesome.

  1. Accept that you are not a God and you cannot control the weather. Rain Happens. Plan for it and be happy to use that plan B if you need to
  2. You almost certainly will not be able to time everything so you are walking down the aisle to that particular lyric in the particular part of the song you want, so don’t try. Be happy music is playing and be focused on the person who is waiting for you at the end of that aisle. Even if music isn’t playing – you are still just about to get married.
  3. Only one person in the audience will care/notice if the people wearing suits in the bridal party don’t have their buttons done the same way.
  4. You DO You. Seriously. In all your planning if your main focus is staying true to yourselves as a couple, and not what you saw on instagram your ceremony/ day will totally rock. (Sidebar: ***k everyone elses opinions, choices, comments !)

Finally, Love overcomes any mishaps. If the two of your are saying beautiful words and looking at each other like there is nothing else that matters in the world – no one will give a rats ass what you’re wearing, how your hair looks, the venue, the flowers, the music, even the celebrant (!!!) Love has this amazing ability to take you and all your guests on an emotional rollercoaster of a ride.

Be in love, be happy to get married and your day will be perfect, I promise you!

 

What does a celebrant cost?

Look – there’s an elephant. In a dress.
Maybe we should ad-dress the elephant. See what I did there?
Let’s talk about what Celebrants cost 💵💵💵 or really how much does it cost to get married?

Look the truth be told talking about money is generally seen to be a bit of a taboo and talking about what other celebrants charge is (I believe) generally none of my business – but I can tell you what I charge and I can tell you why.

I became a celebrant in 2009 – and at that time I was charging around the $450 mark to perform a wedding. I was fresh, I was inexperienced and that seemed about right for the market at the time.

Now if we were just dealing with a normal inflation rate of 2.2 perfect in 2017 I would have been charging around $535 to perform a ceremony in 2017.
In actual fact I was charge $800 to perform ceremonies in 2017, and from 2018 and beyond my price starts from $850.

So why the big leap?

Well a number of things but the most important thing of all was I started to value my skill set as a celebrant.
In the (almost) 10 years I have been doing weddings, sure my expenses have increased as I gathered equipment, marketed my business , designed my website etc but you know what else increased?

My confidence ✅ my experience ✅ and my knowledge of what to do in any situation ✅ literally ANY situation…
from the “my mum just had a mental breakdown about our surprise wedding that I didn’t tell her about” to the “my two year old flower girl just pooped her pants walking down the aisle” 💩💩💩💩💩💩 (True story)

Not to mention the “my chief bridesmaid just split her dress” to the oh no moment of “woops I forgot to bring my passport can we please still get married today?*”
See, that’s what I bring and make no mistake it is a skill – pretty much nothing has thrown me when performing a wedding (and I’ve seen a bride naked!)

I can rock up on your day and roll with whatever last minute changes have to happen because its YOUR day – not mine. I don’t tell you how to run it and I don’t freak or say no when you tell me your Aunt wants to do a last minute poem. I just write down her name and slot her in where I can.
You might not think I’m worth what I charge, and that is fine. Don’t book me. You have that choice, find your awesome at your price – there are lots of celebrants out there and they all charge differently.

But I have a pretty good wrap sheet – in fact my facebook/google ratings tell the story.

I’m like the Loreal of celebrants…. The Fifth Harmony if you will… Baby I’m worth it 😉

*to which of course the answer was no, but we can have a commitment ceremony instead and do the marrying when you show me your passport.

The Wedding Rings

All your engaged ladies, all you engaged ladies, and men, and those whose sexual orientation and/or gender identity varies, those who may not self-identify as LGBT, basically every single person in this colourful universe that wants to have some sort of wedding ceremony.

I’m going to say something that may shock you. Be prepared.

Beyonce is a liar.

There I said it, and it is true.

Because even if you do like it. You do NOT have to put a ring on it.

 

What does a marriage celebrant do?

🤔What does a marriage celebrant do?🤔
That’s a good question. Marriage celebrants marry people.

.

.

.

.

Ok, I won’t just stop there.😛
Marriage celebrants are appointed (not anointed although who doesn’t love a good dowsing with some petuli oil!?!🌺) by the Attorney General’s Office to perform marriage ceremonies in Australia, there’s a whole bunch of stuff already written on this here: https://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarri…/…/Pages/default.aspx

I’m not going to go into the history of it, because, quite frankly I have no interest in history and gave it up as soon as humanly possible in High School preferring to study Italian and media studies (I obviously desired to stay unemployed for my entire 20’s)

So we know what marriage celebrants do, how do they actually do it

1. Paperwork – not too much of it, but there is some. I’ll go into this in my next blog (Whats that you say, a sequel???!!)

2. The Marriage Ceremony – that’s the purpose of this blog. To explain what legally has to be said during the marriage ceremony.

Marriage ceremonies, the legal parts, are actually super short. In fact the least amount of time to get married would be around 2 minutes if you only did the parts you HAD to do.🕑

(So the next time you are at a wedding and an 1 hour and 45 minutes in feel free to stand up, “Boo!” and chuck rotten tomatoes.🍅🍅🍅)

So what you do have to say:

1. Both the parties full names, including the embarrassing middle names that everyone avoids using. Yep – even those have to be said. Either by the celebrant, or by you. Somewhere, sometime in the marriage ceremony before or part of the legal vows. You have to use the two peoples full name.

2. The celebrant has to explain marriage to the two people getting married. This is called the Monitum – this is the bit that used to say “man and woman” but now says “two people” because the government finally realised its 2018 and they were so far behind the majority of Australians and the rest of their world in their archaic thinking. 👭👬👫

3. Legal vows. Not lovey dovey 💕 ones but an actual legal statement that is laid out in the marriage act. Each person say the same line putting in their own name in the own name bit, and their partners name in the partners name bit. It goes like this I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband, or spouse).

That’s it. That’s all the words that have to be in marriage ceremony.
🛑No “I do’s” not legally required,
🛑No “Who objects”or “who gives this woman” and certainly
🛑No mentions of God . He / She/ It does NOT have to appear at your wedding, in ANY way shape or form and if you are being told that by your celebrant, you are being told a lie!
🛑 No “love is patient, love is kind”
🛑 No readings of any kind,
🛑 No obey,
🛑 No bird throwing,
🛑 No Jennifer lopez wedding movie BS.

That doesn’t mean you cant have it if you want, but it means that you don’t have to feel the pressure to do ANYTHING other that what you are legally required to do.

Your wedding is yours to shape, own and express your love in a way that suits you. Tick the legal boxes and then have fun with the other stuff.

Wedding vows … or wedding vowels

Wedding Vows… or as some people call them “Wedding Vowels” which is technically in some sense correct because I find wedding vows are much more enjoyable and understandable when you use as many vowels as possible. 😂

So lets dispel some myths…and answer some questions that you might have.

How long can wedding vows be

🙋As long or as short as you like.

Can you read your wedding vows

🙋Sure can. You can read them off a piece of paper, an iPad, a little booklet (if you can be bothered). You can have them read to you by your celebrant or you can try and remember them (but let the celebrant have a copy anyway in case you get all the feels and forget what you wanted to say)

Who says wedding vows first

🙋Whoever wants to go first the most (normally the person most in fear of crying)

What are wedding vows supposed to say

🙋Whatever the hell you like. Its your wedding and these are YOU vows (remember we are not talking about the legal requirements of a wedding – we are talking about your vows)

What are good wedding vows

🙋No such thing as “good wedding vows” in a one fits all scenario. Wedding vows should suit your personality, your relationship and your wedding.

Are wedding vows legally binding

🙋Suuuure they are. (Again not talking about the legal requirements of a marriage ). And the wedding police 👮 will come and take you away if you promise to make your partner a coffee every morning and missed a day. – Im being sarcastic.

Emma and Jake 6 January 2018

Emma and Jake educate and inspire each other.
Their ceremony on the grounds of the Manor House at Kirkton Park Hotel Hunter Valley​ was a hot one… but still fun and enjoyable. Congrats to my first “married” couple of 2018.

🏠 Venue: Kirkton Park Hotel Hunter Valley
📸 Photographer: JPannowitz Photography
💍 Celebrant: Wed By Kez

 

Ten Ways to Impress Your Celebrant

1. Be in ? – nothing gets a celebrant’s creative juices flowing like a couple who openly and honestly dig each other to the max.

2. Be inspiring ?– do some research, have some ideas to bring to the table, or better yet have a list of things you DON’T want too. This will help steer your celebrant as to how to best write your ceremony.

3. Be honest – Don’t say you like something they have written if you don’t. You don’t have to yell “THAT’S THE WORST PILE OF ? I’VE EVER READ!” but telling your celebrant “We’re not really happy with… blah” will again help them make the right changes so you get a ceremony you love.

4. Be yourselves – Talk about what drives you, what you are passionate about, what you do on the weekends, who you are as individuals and why you work as a couple. Those creative juices that were previously flowing will now be gushing like a teen at a Bieber concert. ??

5. Be willing to bend your budget. ? Some great celebrants don’t charge a lot. Some great celebrants charge more. If you have found the celebrant of your dreams then be prepared to pay what they ask.

6. Be aware that you may not be the only wedding a celebrant performs on that day. Keep your celebrant updated with your schedule ?? and tell them immediately if any of your details change.

7. Be flexible. A lot can be done over skype/facetime/phone and email. ?️? Face to face meetings are great but not always possible , you know celebrants have a personal life too.

8. Be open to suggestions and ideas. ? An experience celebrant has a lot to offer in terms of advice and nifty ideas, and not just to do with the ceremony but across the day.

9. Be trusting. You’ve hired the right celebrant – on the day have faith that they will do brilliantly for you.? They will. So why stress about it?

10. Be thankful – leave great feedback, tell your friends. Nothing warms a celebrants heart more than feeling they have given their all to a couple and it has been appreciated.???

Image Source Ben Howland

I’ll be a b*tch for you

See this?

Rina and Lucas captured by Barefott & Bearded

This takes a whole of this…

Kez being a bossy b*tch. Image source: Barefoot and Bearded

And that’s me. Being a b*tch. But in a nice way.

Directly after the ceremony I don’t let your guests get wander around like a bunch of lost sheep.
No when you tell me you want an awesome group shot, or all the confetti/rose petals feels I make it my mission to get THAT photo. And to make it take less than 5 minutes.

We’ve all been to weddings where the after photos take ages because Uncle Mick went to the loo, no one can find Nanna and there are about 1,000,000 cousins who can’t get their sh*t together. Having a group shot has become a DON’T DO IT thing for that reason. But if you want a group shot – you should have it! And it should only take a few minutes to organise

IF

You have a Kez. A celebrant who is prepared to help, loud and bossy enough to get it done.

April Werz (Photographer Extraordinaire) called me Mrs Whiplash. Funnily enough that’s my other job (*WINK*) because I don’t put up with any nonsense in that crucial time post ceremony – pre reception.

I’ll let Hannah and Dave, one of my couples tell their story

Kez was able to make our whole ceremony and transition into photos super easy!

She sternly but with a big smile warned my uncle that if he didn’t put away his camera for our unplugged ceremony that she simply wouldn’t start marrying us!

We’d made it clear to her that we didn’t want photos of our guests with a camera or phone in front of their faces and she made sure this was upheld throughout the ceremony!
We’d also discussed getting a big group shot straight after the ceremony and she very quickly ushered everyone into line for us so we could get the photo done for everyone to then go and enjoy canapés and drinks.
I’ve been to many other weddings where the group photo simply doesn’t happen or takes up 30 minutes trying to get everyone organised. Kez made it super easy and quick for us!”

In short, its not just in the ceremony where you’re choice of celebrant makes a big difference.
Let’s chat shall we and make your marriage experience amazing!

Wed By Kez

#professional #fun #modern #young #wedbykez #celebrant