I’m a registered civil marriage celebrant. After 25 years in public life as a TV & radio broadcaster, writer and MC, the idea of creating happy, life-affirming celebrations of love and life is a really positive and uplifting way to use my skills and experience. It’s a good fit!
“It was funny, moving, beautiful and 100% the perfect wedding. Tracee has an uncanny knack of "getting" the beauty and truth of your story. She has told it to our friends and family in the most entertaining and engaging way, reflecting the love and ceremony of the occasion. It was quite amazing... "
Megan Spencer & Oliver Budack - married Redesdale, Victoria, March 2011.
Chrissy Amphlett & Charley Drayton
“Tracee was an amazing celebrant, she was a gentle overseer – finding words and creating an order of service that were right for my mum and our family. She sensitively listened to each speech, reassuring each speaker and giving them confidence. From selecting music to the meeting and welcoming of the mourners Tracee totally supported us.
Tracee has taken her skills as a communicator and journalist and married them to creating a very personal event that will change with every individual and every family. She helped my family find its voice, discover the stories and honour our mum so that everyone felt very close to her on the day of her funeral. Holding our hands, Tracee eased our grief as we said goodbye to Norma Dorothy Swain.”
Pam Swain, February 2010
Congratulations! You’ve found The One!
And you’ve decided to make it legal and Get Married.
This is your moment to tell your friends, family – and each other – this is it!
You’re signing on with each other for life – and it’s a very big deal.
Weddings are exciting. You get to dress up for a start.
They’re also romantic, joyful, inspiring and life-affirming.
They can be funny, happy and sad – all at once.
But weddings can also be nerve-wracking.
And they have some quite serious and solemn moments.
Feeling happy and confident and in control of Your Day is incredibly important.
So you need a fabulous, vibrant, empathetic celebrant to help you make it happen.
A great ceremony means a great celebration afterwards!!
With 25 years experience as a TV & radio broadcaster, writer and MC, I’ll help you create a celebration of the love and commitment you share – tailor-made for you. I want your wedding to be a wonderfully happy day and I’ll do all that I can to make it everything you want it to be!
I’ve outlined some things you’ll need to do and think about before The Day.
It should help you join The Wedding Dots.
But it’s just a guide – It’s Your Wedding.
You get to decide what you want and how you want it.
Except the legal bits – like the Monitum and the Vows - you have to have those.
But the legal bits are the bits that say ‘It’s a Wedding’. And they’re pretty cool.
And I’ll be right there with you when you Tie the Knot.
Proudly announcing You May Kiss!
So here’s how we get down to the Marrying Business.
THE FIRST STEP
First we have a meeting – my place or yours - whatever suits you.
It’s a bit like a first date – although with very different objectives.
I will give you a basic outline of how I work.
THINGS I NEED TO KNOW
I’ll need some basic details – the Who, What, Where and When.
The how and why you got together and why you want to make it Legal!
And I’ll explain the legal requirement and must have parts of the ceremony
- The Notice of Intention to Marry (NIM), the Monitum and The Vows.
WHAT TO BRING
ID: Birth certificates (Australian citizens), passports (overseas nationals)
Decree absoluts (divorce papers – if you’ve done it before!)
Your ideas about what you’ve got in mind.
NOTICE OF INTENTION TO MARRY (NIM)
The NIM must be completed and signed at least one month and one day before your wedding day. I will need to see proof of identity to witness and sign off on the NIM.
If you're born in Australia you'll need to have a certified copy of your birth certificate. If you're an overseas national, a passport is sufficient.
I’ll write up an individually tailored ceremony based on what we’ve talked about – and then I’ll send it to you so you can play with it and send it back to me. Or if you’d prefer to write something yourself I’ll give you the basics to include.
My job is to make sure you have a great time at your wedding!
But I also have to make sure your marriage is Legal.
There are a few things that have to happen:
- NIM (Notice of Intention to Marry): Completed and signed at least one month and one day before your wedding day.
- The Declaration: Signed just prior to the wedding.
- Reciting the Monitum and the Vows and signing the certificates on The Day!
I’ll be there at least 30 minutes beforehand to run through any details and paperwork.
THE ARRIVAL, THE MUSIC, THE TONE
Even if you want the simplest of ceremonies you have to arrive somehow.
You can arrive together, as a bridal group, the bride can arrive with her Dad or her Mum and a couple of bridesmaids, the groom might want to make his own entrance if he likes.
Music is a huge part of setting the tone for the day – and whatever you choose should mean something special to you. Seems obvious, but it all helps make you feel like you're in the moment and can really enjoy the Day.
If you’ve got a friend or family who can sing or play then lucky you – or you can channel the talents of Elvis or Nina or Etta or ol’ Blue Eyes through a CD player. If you choose recorded music just check on the timing – nothing worse than the music running out before you’ve made it into position…
Essentially this is your story – how you met, what you love about each other and why you want to be married, based on what we’ve talked about together. By this stage we’ll have finessed the ceremony so there won’t be any surprises – just a lovely, funny, warm, wonderful story about the two of you.
This is usually a reading by a friend or a family member – it could be a poem or an excerpt from your favorite book. You might prefer another song at this point – especially if you have musicians on hand. It’s a lovely touch.
WHO GIVES THIS...
In a traditional wedding, a parent (usually the Dad) is often asked; “Who gives this woman to marry this man”. This can be a really powerful, touching moment and can be asked of a single parent or parents of both the bride and groom if you wish.
But it might not work for you – for a whole range of reasons.
A more contemporary version of the ‘Who gives…' question might include both sets of parents or a broader family & friends question to avoid any awkward politics.
The asking isn’t required by law, the vows are, but it’s a lovely moment before the nuptials actually take place and are a series of questions that I ask you, before you make your vows to each other.
Here's an example:
Do you XXXX take YYYY to be your lifelong partner
Do you promise make the daily effort to nurture your relationship
Do you promise to be loving, generous and supportive
And unconditionally committed to the life you're building together?
According to the Marriage Act, 1961, I have to say:
Now I, Tracee Hutchison, a civil celebrant, am duly authorised by law to solemnize this, your marriage, according to Australian law.
Before you XXXX and you YYYY are joined in marriage in my presence, and in the presence of these your family and friends, I am bound, as you know, to remind you publicly of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are about to enter.
Marriage, according to Australian law, is the union of a man to a woman and a woman to a man, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
This is followed by your vows to each other.
According to the Marriage Act, 1961, you have to say:
I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, XXXX, take you, YYYY, to be my lawful wedded wife/husband/life partner.
Here's an example:
1/ "I pledge my love to you - unconditionally and without reservation.
I want to be with you as your loving husband.
And share my life with you in marriage.
I promise to respect you and love you as you are
And honour this pledge for as long as I live."
The giving or exchanging of rings is the one tangible and visible remembrance of the ceremony and your declaration to each other. The ring bearer is a lovely honour to bestow on a friend or family member – it doesn’t have to be the best man or bridesmaid.
This is a powerful symbolic moment in the ceremony and the wedding ritual so you will probably want to write something very specific to each other here.
Here's an example:
XXXX, I give you this ring as a symbol of our eternal love
Wear it with the knowledge I am with you always
As your loving partner.
This is the big theatre moment. The moment I officially declare you husband and wife and it can sometimes feel like you’re on a movie set.
This is moment I get to say: You May Kiss!
It’s a great moment for the two of you – so make the most of it! At some point shortly after this I will sit you down at a strategically placed table nearby so you can sign the paperwork – the flowery marriage certificate and the official records to make it legal and then I’ll present you – as a married couple – to your guests!
The rest is up to you!
TRACEE HUTCHISON © - 2010
Every funeral is profoundly personal.
They are always very sad, very challenging and deeply reflective services.
This is an important moment to honour and remember your loved one.
To pause, reflect and honour them. It is also a wonderful celebration of the life and legacy of the deceased person.
I am happy to consult with you to help plan your or your loved one’s funeral.
I can also write and perform these services should you wish.
I work carefully, gently and compassionately to create wonderful celebrations.
I will work closely with you to ensure your service is exactly as you wish.
Here is a very basic structure to consider.
This is a basic welcome and thanks-giving.
Family, friend or celebrant
This should include:
- Birthplace – names of parents, early life – primary school, teens/secondary life
- Family life - marriage, children, significant partner or relationships
- Qualifications – including community service/community activities
- Hobbies/Interests/Politics/love of nature/pets
- Favourite quotations/songs?
SPEAKERS - RECOLLECTIONS
SILENT REFLECTION/OR PRAYER (music works well here).
MUSIC (A closing piece of music)
“Tracee was an amazing celebrant, she was a gentle overseer – finding words and creating an order of service that were right for my mum and our family. She sensitively listened to each speech, reassuring each speaker and giving them confidence. From selecting music to the meeting and welcoming of the mourners Tracee totally supported us. Tracee has taken her skills as a communicator and journalist and married them to creating a very personal event that will change with every individual and every family. She helped my family find its voice, discover the stories and honour our mum so that everyone felt very close to her on the day of her funeral. Holding our hands, Tracee eased our grief as we said goodbye to Norma Dorothy Swain.”
Pam Swain, February 2010
|Megan Spencer and Oliver Budack wedding
Pic: James Courtney