What I Won't Do, Don't Do, or Can't Legally Do


Short Version

Because I am a full-time professional celebrant, knowledgeable, skilled and  experienced (1100+ unique ceremonies created over the past 14 years, 12 as an authorised marriage celebrant), you can be confident that I will not do anything that
  • is illegal
  • is unethical
  • is self-indulgent
  • is cringe-worthy, or humiliates or embarrasses you or your guests
  • causes you unnecessary trouble or expense
  • results in inconvenience to you on ceremony day (I don't overbook)
  • compromises my capacity to deliver the ceremony of your dreams

Long Version

As an Authorised Marriage Celebrant appointed by the Australian Government there are a number of things that I am not legally allowed to do:
  • Perform a surprise wedding where the person being surprised is one of the marrying couple. It is, however, legal to surprise your guests and I've conducted many happy surprise weddings in such circumstances. The secret to success includes what you tell people beforehand and how the surprise is sprung, both things I can help you with.
  • Change the amount of notice required to be given, though I can assist you to apply for a Shortening of Time where there is a legitimate reason, such as the terminal illness of either of the marrying couple or of a close family member.
  • Perform a marriage ceremony where you have not shown me original copies, that is as issued by the relevant government authority, of all the required documents.
  • Perform a marriage ceremony where there is doubt that the consent of one or both of the marrying parties  is real consent.
  • Mislead guests as to the nature of the ceremony, so I can't pretend the ceremony is a legal marriage when it is not, for example where you are already married but haven't told anyone, or where you are not, for various reasons, able to marry legally.
  • Marry couples overseas or in international waters.

There are things which I believe are unethical and therefore:

  • I do not accept invitations to enter into an arrangement with a venue that commits me to work under the direction of the venue management, events organiser, or staff in order to continue to receive work through that venue.  My loyalty is 100% to you.
  • I do not pay for referrals from venues or related ceremony service providers, such as photographers or decorators.
  • I will not include religious material or references in your ceremony unless you specifically ask me to do so
  • I do not perform ceremonies of any type at any venue that refuses to accept bookings from same-sex couples
  • I include nothing that perpetuate outdated gender stereotypes in ceremonies - this means no "obey" in the vows for weddings, reaffirmations, or commitment ceremonies
  • I write my own material, so have no need to illegally use the work of other celebrants or material copied from the web and pass it off as my own work.

There are also things which I do not do from personal choice, so, while I will go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that your ceremony is very personal,  conducted in a warm and friendly manner, engages the guests, and is as stress-free for you as possible, I will not

  • Perform ceremonies aboard vessels that are under way, or aboard trains, trams, aeroplanes, helicopters, or hot air balloons in flight (I get motion sick) or on the top of the Story Bridge
  • Perform ceremonies on Moreton, Stradbroke, Fraser or other islands ( I get seasick and travelling to the islands is impracticable). I suggest you use a celebrant who is based on the relevant island.
  • Perform ceremonies on surf beaches or where a long hike over rough terrain is required (never a good experience for guests)
  • Participate in Extreme Weddings (I leave those to more macho celebrants)
  • Perform a ceremony in the nude (Trust me, you want your wedding photos to be fantastic, but not unbelievable).

Because I am experienced and confident, I don't need to use your ceremony as a vehicle for experimentation, so you can be sure that

  • I won't be self-indulgent in any way, which means
    • I won't talk about myself in your ceremony (in fact, the only "I" statements you'll hear coming out of my mouth will be those I'm legally required to make in weddings: I am required to declare to you that I, Jennifer Cram, am duly authorised by law.... and  Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you .... Three I's, that's it.)
    • I keep your guests focussed on you, rather than me (for a significant proportion of the ceremony I make sure I'm the voice-over, not the centre of attention)
    • I won't inflict a stand-up routine on anyone
    • I don't wear clothing or jewellery that attracts attention (no bright colours, outrageous headware, or jangly bits)
    • I don't try to relive my own wedding through yours
    • I won't impose my beliefs on you
  • I won't do anything that's cringe-worthy, humiliating, or embarrassing, which means
    • no off-colour jokes
    • no tarty clothing or clothing that is culturally offensive to you or your guests
    • no forcing you to use flowery language when its not you
  • I won't inconvenience you by overbooking. I allow plenty of time between ceremonies to allow for unforeseen delays in traffic.
  • I won't cause you any unnecessary trouble or expense -I understand the requirements of the Marriage Act in detail and in depth, and therefore, you can be sure that I know what has to be done and how it has to be done, so I won't, through ignorance or arrogance, demand that you go to unnecessary trouble or expense in fulfilling the legal requirements for your marriage
  • I do nothing that may compromise my capacity to deliver the ceremony of your dreams