Spectacular Wedding in the Secret Garden

What a spectacular day at the Sky High ‘secret garden’ at Mount Dandenong.  The sun was shining and the flowers blooming.  Absolutely magnificent couple and stunning location.  I was so privileged to be a part of this special day.

Thank you to Jess and Dan for this very beautiful review.  It was such a special day.


Jessica T. on 30 Dec, 2016

“Lisa was absolutely amazing. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a better celebrant. She made us feel so comfortable and at home from the very first meeting. My now husband and I left the consultation and took one look at each other and said YES we found our celebrant. With Lisa you get some ‘homework’ which was brilliant because it actually helped Lisa to get to know our story and our love for one another. She wrote the most amazing ceremony and included our parents in it which they loved. I even had guests say that Lisa got a little emotional! That was very true, Lisa is such a genuine, down to earth person. She made us so comfortable with the whole process and she definitely hasn’t seen the last of us! We will be recommending her to everyone we know. Thank you for all your hard work and support for our wedding. It was truly magical. Thank you, Daniel and Jessica-Kate Fordham. ❤”


Photo Credit:  Will Chao


Wedding Date : 10 Nov, 2016

Venue:  Secret Garden Category: Marriage Celebrant

Basic Elements of a Wedding

Basic Elements of a Wedding by Lisa Hunt-Wotton

So you are getting married.  Where do you start?

Here are the basic elements in a wedding and the legal requirements along with answers to some of the most asked questions.

These are the legal requirements of an Australian wedding.

These are non negotiable and required by law according to the Marriage Act 1961.

Your wedding must be conducted by a Commonwealth Registered Celebrant and you must have two witnesses who are over the age of 18.

  • At some point in the wedding ceremony we have to use your full name.  The name that is documented on your birth certificate or passport.
    • This can cause some frustration but unfortunately we need to do this to validate your marriage
    • For Example:  If you were born ‘Vasilly Dominique Hibbbert’ but are known by everyone as David.  At some point I need to say your whole name, once is enough, then for the rest of the service we can refer to you as David.  Your full legal name needs to be used on all the legal documents.
  • I need to quote the monitum before the vows.  This states the nature of Marriage in Australia and establishes my authority to officiate your wedding. The following is from section 46(1).
    • “I am duly authorised by law, to solemnise marriage according to the law.  Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses,  I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship you are now about to enter.  Marriage, according to the law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
  • The Marriage Act 1961 also states that each person must say to the other, in the presence of the marriage celebrant and the witnesses, these words – Section 45 (2) :
    • “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I…………….. take thee ………….. to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)”. – or words to that effect.
  • Both parties and witnesses sign the marriage documents.

Beautiful pregnant woman in wedding dress and her husband are holding pretty cheerful daughter in arms at a plank wall background. Concept of happy family.

Basic Building Blocks of a Wedding Ceremony

As mentioned above, to validate your marriage we must fit in the  legal requirements.  After that there are varied wedding rituals and elements of a wedding that people do.

Use this as a guide only.

These elements can be  moved around or omitted  according to the vision or style of your ceremony.  Other rituals or cultural ceremonies can be added into this format.

The Welcome:  

This is the opening of the ceremony and where friends and family are welcomed.

The Presentation of the Bride:

Traditionally this was where the Father would give the Bride away.

Bride and Father Arm in Arm With Groom
Bride and Father Arm in Arm With Groom
These days this is still very popular, it is also okay if it is your mother, children, or you can walk down the aisle by yourself if you like.

Marriage Journey:

This is where the values and views of marriage, love and relationship are mentioined.  It is also the place that we talk about your  relationship journey.  How you met, how you fell in love etc.


This is a good place to acknowledge the love and support of family, children or mentors, and to acknowledge loved ones who are deceased or who cannot make it to the wedding.


This is the monitum as mentioned above in the legal requirements. This must be said before the vows.

Reading (s):

A poem, reading, verse can be read by a family member, friend or the celebrant.

Parental Blessing:

This is often used instead of the traditional giving away of the bride or can be placed before the vows.  It is an opportunity for parents to pledge their support, love and commitment.  A blessing or prayer can be read or the celebrant can ask the parents to stand and ask if they pledge their love and support – they can even answer “We Do”.

The Vows:

These are the personal commitments that the couple make to each other.

Exchange of Rings:

Although this is not a legal requirement, it is a ritual that is commonly used world wide.  You do not have to use rings, you can use anything that is symbolic of your love and union.

Signing of the Marriage Documents:

This is where the bridal couple, the two witnesses and the celebrant sign the legal documents.  It is good to have a significant piece of music or reading happen at this stage.


This is the Declaration of the marriage and where the kiss comes in.  In thinking of the declaration, how do you want to be presented, as Mr and Mrs Smith, or as Mr Smith and Mrs Jones or Brad and Caroline?


This is usually where words of congratulations are given, a blessing or maybe a prayer.  This is followed by the recessional.  An upbeat funky piece of music that you walk out to and receive the congratulations of your family and friends.

Happy groom brings the bride in his arms from the registrar's office
Happy groom leaves with the bride in his arms.

Pantone’s 2016 Colours of the Year: Rose Quartz and Serenity

Pantone’s 2016 Colours of the Year: Rose Quartz and Serenity

Pantone Colour's of the Year Rose Quartz and Serenity. Image Pantone

As we say goodbye to Marsala, Pantone’s 2015 Colour of the Year, we now welcome Pantone’s 2016 Colours of the Year which are Rose Quartz and Serenity. These two colours are the perfect pastels for your wedding day colour scheme!

Rose Quartz is a gorgeous pinky rose tone, unlike the deep rich red hue of Marsala, and Serenity is a dreamy and serene soft blue. Together they harmonize and make for a fresh take on two colours which typically don’t mix. These colours are effortlessly ethereal and will work wonders as the colour scheme for a romantic, boho or even beach wedding.

We love these colours so much we’ve sourced some gorgeous wedding inspiration for the Pantone conscious bride! Dream away…


Rose Quartz and Serenity table setting. Image Hilal and Moses


Rose Quartz roses and Serenity hydrangeas make an exquisite centrepiece or floral display. Image: Sarah Haywood
Ralph & Russo serenity coloured gown. Image: Ralph & Russo via Instagram
Rose Quartz braided hairstyle adorned with littl flowers. Image: Dolce & Gabbanna
Rose Quartz sugar flowers. Image: Maggie Austin via Instagram
Rose Quartz bridesmaids dresses are the perfect accent to a pastel colour theme. Image: Damien Furey Photography
Serenity coloured suit for the groom

– See more at: http://www.easyweddings.com.au/blogs/easy-weddings-blog/pantones-2016-colours-year-rose-quartz-serenity/#sthash.3ZhcFJx1.dpuf

2016 wedding trend predictions

2016 wedding trend predictions


Unstructured and natural bouquets

Photo Jenny Jimenez

Unstructured and natural bouquets. Photo: Jenny Jimenez

Florists are noticing many brides requesting this effortlessly beautiful bouquet look, and it appears that this trend will reach its peak in 2016. Unstructured and natural bouquets are not tightly packed like the traditional nosegay style, and the look allows for the flowers to fall in an organic formation. Natural bouquets are made up of various flowers and elements such as green foliage or peppercorn and berries which add dimension and interest to the bouquet, making them a canvas for brides to add their own individual twist and colour theme to their hand-held blooms.

Floral installations

Floral installations. Photo Becca Heuer Photography

2016 will be the year of flowers and perhaps one of the biggest flower trends coming is the insurgence of floral installations. Structures such as hanging centerpieces and strategically placed installations add character to weddings and can also really enhance the theme and mood.

Ethereal glamour

Galia Lahav ethereal wedding gown bridal trends 2016

Image: Galia Lahav via Facebook

Bridal trends for 2016 all reference an ethereal theme, with many bridal designers such as Inbal Dror, Galia LahavBerta BridalZuhair Murad and Marchesa all creating 2016 collections that showcase a whimsical and dreamy element. Details such as see through tulle delicately adorned with crystal beading, strips of chiffon and tulle dripping from the waist, and intricate sleeves and bodices will all be huge in 2016.

Industrial bohemian

Industrial bohemian. Photo: Kate Ignatowski Photography

Industrial bohemian. Photo: Kate Ignatowski Photography

Bohemian has never looked so good, but this year prepare for a bohemian trend with a twist. Bohemian meets industrial with styling trends showcasing soft bohemian elements such as candles, drapery, greenery, mismatched furniture and cutlery, and mixing them with harsher elements such as concrete, timber and metal.

Regal headpieces

Royal inspired headpieces. Photo: Victoria Novak via Facebook

Regal headpieces. Photo: Victoria Novak via Facebook

2016 is going to get a little fancy with the trend of regal inspired headwear and headpieces being worn by brides on their big day. Some of the trending pieces range from Grecian inspired styles to gold and silver crowns.

Unique engagement rings

Unique engagement rings. Image Heidi Gibson via Facebook

Unique engagement rings. Photo: Heidi Gibson via Facebook

2016 will see a fresh new take on unique engagement and wedding rings, with styles encompassing a bohemian look and a modern take on vintage shapes and designs. In particular, rose gold rings will be popular and many designs will incorporate geometric shapes and intricate patterns.

Mixed metallics and shimmer

Mixed metallics and shimmers for wedding trends in 2016

Image: Marissa Moss

Expect to see an insurgence of all things shimmery in 2016!  Warm rose golds, coppers, gold and silver, will all be prominent colours in wedding elements such as stamped and foil-pressed lettering in wedding stationery, table styling accents and even sequined bridesmaids dresses. The best part about this trend is that you can mix your sparkly elements to create a unique look for your special day!

Foodies taking it up a notch

foodies taking it up a notch wedding trend predictions for 2016

Image: Trufflepig Catering & Events

In 2016 wedding food and drinks will be taken to a whole new level with couples opting to provide their guests with tasty meals and innovative ways of serving food and beverages. Food truck culture will  filter into wedding trends and things like taco stands or waffle stations will be popular among ‘foodie’ couples, especially for those who may choose to stick to a ‘food theme’ for their special day.

Concept such as drink stations, and oyster bars will be executed with pizzazz, with guests having the opportunity to watch their food or drinks being prepared in front of them.

Last but not least, wedding ins 2016 will see more comfort food being served in a well-presented manner, think gourmet burgers and fries neatly packaged on silver trays. In contrast to this, there will also be an emphasis on fresh, organic and locally sourced foods being served in rustic styles.

Photography trends in social media

Wedding photo trends for 2016 styled photo booths and selfie stations

Image: Special snaps

Social media worthy wedding photos will be the focus in 2016 with the concept of ‘Selfie Stations’ making a bold entrance into the wedding sphere. Photo booths will still remain a wedding reception staple however expect to see them styled according to a theme!  There is a growing emphasis on couples and guests snapping pics that will do numbers on Instagram, so the wedding hashtag trend will hold steadfast throughout 2016 too.

Marble textures

Marble textures. Photo Bliss and Bone

Marble isn’t going anywhere in 2016, and this look has filtered its way from interior design and home-wares into wedding stationery and even cake design too! Be prepared to see marble everything, from marble place cards to invitations and even bombonierre.

– See more at: http://www.easyweddings.com.au/blogs/easy-weddings-blog/fashion-easy-weddings-blog/2016-wedding-trend-predictions/#sthash.tEz5jzc8.dpuf

Performance Artists

Have you ever thought about hiring a performance artist for your next event?

I’ve been working with artists for decades in all types of events.  They add an exquisite sense of wonder and peace to your special  event.  Art captures the moment and mood like nothing else can.

Whether its a wedding, a baby naming day, a special ritual or a funeral.  One of my performance artists can help capture that special moment forever in a unique and original work of art.  Each artist works to portray your vision, colors and thought for the event.

Let me introduce you to two of the artist.

Liezel van der Linde is a stunning artist specialising in fine arts and illustration.  Liezel  grew up as the daughter of a South African artist, teacher and potter. After completing school Liezel studied at the University of Pretoria in South Africa completing her Bachelors in Art.

Specialising in oil on mixed media, her work has been exhibited in South Africa during two exhibitions in 2010. Liezel moved to Melbourne Australia in 2010 where she has since been part of various exhibitions and art related events.  Her work can be seen in private collections in South Africa and Australia.

Gabby Willmott is a beautiful artist who crafts thoughtful pieces and loves to work live in special events.

“I am continually reminded at what an amazing tool making art can be for reflection and self awareness. The process that I use when making art is intuitive; being drawn to certain ideas, imagery, colours, compositions, and textures.

When I stand back and look at what I am making, sometimes I think ‘Oh, so THAT is how I have been feeling!’ Then I am free to pause and consider what ‘that’ means. I have heard it said that one of the hardest tasks is to bring what is in our hearts into our minds”.


“The piece above  shows a sense of freedom and joy as we pursue our passion- the colours we reveal as we push on even through difficulty- could symbolize our flight as we commit and connect through love”.


“I am drawn to old, worn looking things that give a sense of history and story. I love to express the depths of emotion through whatever I am creating. Birds have been a symbol for me of vulnerability, fragility, hope, searching and freedom” (Gabby).

If you would like to have an artist paint live during your event or maybe commission a piece of work to display at your special event, contact me and I will chat with you about the type of work that you are after.  I will then match you up with an artist, style and price that suits your event.  I currently work with four artists experience in this field.

Love Lisa

Hand Fasting Ceremony

Example of Hand Fasting Ceremony

by Lisa Hunt-Wotton

Today we will be performing a hand fasting ceremony.

For those of you who don’t know, hand fasting is a Celtic marriage rite that began in the Middle Ages.  At that time when people got married they were usually unable to afford a  GOLD ring to signify their love or a clergyman to hear their vows or, so they began the ritual of hand fasting.

David and Sarah:  This is where I ask you to turn and face each other and hold hands.

(bridesmaid takes the bouquet off the bride)

This ceremony was usually done outdoors in a field, garden or town square so it’s very appropriate that we are standing here now in this beautiful forest.









The modern expressions, “tying the knot,” and “hand in marriage” all come from this ancient tradition of wrapping the wrists with braided cords, grasses or vines.

Today David and Sarah have thoughtfully chosen golden cords to represent values that mean the most to them as a couple.

(Or you can use a cloth, strip of the wedding gown or piece of fabric that holds some meaning.  It may be embroidered or painted).  

David and Sarah clasp hands together.

This is just an example but  you add your personal version of what you would like to say.

Lisa:  David and Sarah are you willing now and always to make this commitment  of LOVE to each other?

David and Sarah:  We are.

I drape the first cord over their united hands.

Lisa:  Will you stand side by side and support each other for the rest of your days together?

David and Sarah:  We will.

I drape the second cord over their united hands.

Lisa:  Will you bring fun, laughter, joy and happiness to your relationship?

David and Sarah:  We will.

I drape the third cord over their united hands.

Lisa:  Are you committed to a relationship of honesty and integrity?

David and Sarah:  We are.

I drape the fourth cord over their united hands.

Lisa:  “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves and multiple cords cannot be easily broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12

I knot the cords together under their hands.

And now as your hands are bound together, I ask you to declare your vows to each other.




It is in this spirit of love and commitment, that David and Sarah stand before us now.  Two unique individuals bound together with vows of love and devotion.

David would you please repeat after me: 

(Bits in black Bold we have to have legally)

I call upon the persons gathered here to witness 

That I David, take thee Sarah, 

To be my lawful wedded wife.

Personal Vows:  

This is just an example but  you add your personal version of what you would like to say.

Sarah I take you to be my wife, to join with you and to share all that is to come, to give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to love and respect you, and in all our life together to be loyal to you with all my being.

I love you with all of my heart and am so grateful that you will be my life partner.


This is just an example but  you add your personal version of what you would like to say.

David I take you to be my husband, to join with you and to share all that this life holds, to give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to love and respect you; and in all our life together to be loyal to you with all my being.

David I love you will all of my heart.  I feel safe with you and feel so blessed to have you in my life. 

So with these promises held in my heart 

I too call upon the persons gathered here to witness 

That I, Sarah, 

Take thee David 

To be my lawful wedded husband.

(Bits in black Bold we have to have legally)

Take the Hand Fasting off their wrists


Rings on a ring holder
Wedding rings on a ring holder made of wood slices

May I please have the rings 

  • Jeremy Taylor wrote that the marriage ring signifies both the union of the hands and hearts. 

The celebrant holds the rings in her hand up high before the guests so that they can see the rings.  

From the earliest of days, rings have been given as a symbol of everlasting and eternal love an embrace with no beginning, no end.

You can now exchange these rings.

David repeat after me.

David:  Sarah, I give you this ring as a symbol of my eternal love for you.

Sarah repeat after me:

Sarah:  David, I give you this ring as a symbol of the peace and eternal love that we share.

  • *Put the rings on each others ring fingers.