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Author name: Lisa Cockington

A Wedding Like No Other: Unique and Meaningful Wedding Ideas for Lasting Impact

Discover fun, romantic, and uniquely creative wedding ideas that are not only highly personalized but for people who also want to make a difference in the world

Creating Your Unique Wedding

Your wedding will be one of the pinnacle moments in your life.  It celebrates who you both are as individuals, who you create as a unified couple, and your unique love story.  It’s one of the rare times that you will have the majority of your family and friends in the one place, just for you. It should be all that you imagine; filled with love, hope, fun, romanticism and friendships.  You should sip the champagne, reflect, laugh, remember great times and create new ones.  It should be uniquely you.  

Like many other celebrants, when I’m the Celebrant/MC I like to harness my creativity to craft a personalized ceremony that reflects what’s important and meaningful to you, while infusing it with unforgettable moments that mirror your unique, fun, wild, and romantic sides. 

Your bespoke wedding may be:

    • Simple or epic
      Traditional and timeless
    • Themed to reflect your personalities
    • Have an element of adventure
    • Or even be a destination wedding – taking you to your favourite part of the world.

    Whatever or wherever it is, it should be unforgettable.  

    Enhancing Your Wedding Experience With Things You Value

    It’s also the perfect opportunity elevate the experience to something of deeper significance that goes beyond the day and the two of you. It doesn’t take much, but there are many small things that you can do to weave the values you hold close to your heart into your planning, preparation and actions on the day. For couples who desire to be the change they want to see in the world, I’ll give you a range of options that you can seamlessly incorporate into your day.

    Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas

    For couples who desire to make a difference, there are numerous eco-friendly ideas to incorporate into your wedding. These can contribute to reducing climate change and improving sustainability, making your special day not only beautiful but also beneficial for the environment. You can read more about eco-friendly ideas here

    Cultural Inclusiveness in Weddings

    Embracing diverse cultures and inclusiveness in your wedding plans can add a rich, meaningful layer to your celebration. Ideas that reflect inclusiveness ensure that everyone feels valued and a part of your special day.

    Building Deeper Social Connectedness

    Personalizing your guests’ experiences is more than just a trend; it’s about creating deeper social connections. From unique guest activities to personalized tokens of appreciation, there are myriad ways to make each guest feel special and connected.

    Supporting Causes Close to Your Heart

    Your wedding can also be a platform to support causes that are important to you. Instead of traditional wedding expenses, consider opportunities to contribute to these causes, making your celebration a vehicle for change and impact.

    Your Lasting Legacy

    Imagine this:

    “It’s the end of your perfect wedding day, you’re tired, elated, exhausted, exhilarated.  But it’s all over now, all the planning, all the expense, it’s done and dusted, it’s behind you.  Except it’s not.  You also planted seeds of change, you may have inspired others to act or change their thinking about what’s important in life.  You’ve reached out to many and made them feel welcome and valued. You’ve shown up and shared with family and friends what you stand for.  You’ve made a difference.  No matter how small, it doesn’t matter.  A stone at a time, we can move mountains.  Armed with this knowledge, your wedding take aways are more than just memories, they have an ongoing lifespan and provide you with a  deeper level of contentment.  

    On your wedding day, you, were authentically you,”

    Double the “I Do”: Why Aussies Should Wed in Australia Before Their Dream Bali Ceremony

    Bali as a Wedding Destination

    Australian is well known for its love affair with Bali as a perfect holiday destination.  It’s on the affordable side of travel, it has Australia’s perfect climate all year around, and is full of beaches, stunning tropical rainforests, retreats and fun activities.

    People love visiting there so much that it’s seen as the perfect location for a wedding.  A destination wedding has that “extra” feel of excitement, potentially taking your wedding to a whole new level.  Destination weddings tend to be a little smaller, a little bit more intimate, but they open the opportunity for a group holiday – where the celebration can go beyond the single day.

    But before you race in to all your planning – there are a few things you should know.

    The good news.   Yes, if you are legally married in Bali – the marriage is also recognised in Australia

    The not so good news:   But it is probably going to be much harder than you think…

    Bali is a deeply religious country and because of this, the legal requirements are that you much have two weddings – a religious one and a civil one.  There are no exceptions to these rules – anyone marrying in Bali must have both to be considered legally wed.

    On top of this – for the religious ceremony – you must provide evidence of your religious affiliation to one of only a few religions, (Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Islam or Protestant) and you must both be of the same religion.

    Mmmm – re-thinking the feasibility of getting married in Bali?   After all – you want this to be simple and fun, and right now you might be thinking that this is sounding impossible….

    The better news:

    There is a work around to this.

    Get legally married in Australia first – in a small legals only ceremony.  You can do this in a registry office but for pretty much the same price to can book a celebrant to still make this an intimate, warm ceremony.  

    Then head to Bali with your family and friends for your dream Balinese ceremony minus the legalities.

    Cultural Considerations

    So you’ve decided to head off to Bali after a legal ceremony in Australia.  Often with destination weddings, your celebrant can also plan and attend/run your non-legal event at your favourite location.  In the case of Bali though it’s a little more delicate.  Bali has significant eco tourism needs and require celebrants to obtain a work visa to do so.  They are also rarely approved as the visiting celebrant is taking away work from the locals.   So for that dream ceremony – its best to engage a celebrant and/or planner in Bali to make this happen.

    You should also work with your local Balinese vendors to ensure that what you plan, does so with respect to Bali; the country, the people and their religious culture.  A good rule of thumb is to plan to leave Bali a better place for you having been there.

    Where to start?  You can head to this balinese wedding website to help you find vendors.  A couple of things to note – it suggests you have much more freedom than Australia as to where you get married (beach, hilltop etc) – this isn’t correct – you can do all of this here!  Yay for beautiful flexible Australian weddings!

    Summary

    1. Getting married in Bali is difficult for Australian’s to achieve due to the nature of the two separate weddings that are required, and religious requirements.
    2. Couples can still have their dream ceremony in Bali – but not a legal one.
    3. A small legals only celebration is best done in Australia before heading to Bali.
    4. You should engage Balinese wedding professionals to plan and run your wedding.

    From the editor:
    I’m always happy to talk through the process with couples and support them where I can, including providing the legal component here in Australia.  You can contact me/see my packages at https://lovecelebrationsbylisa.au/elopement

    Enchanting Wedding Ceremonies: Embracing Themed Weddings for a Day Like No Other!

    Hello, fabulous couples of Australia! As you embark on your wedding planning journey, have you considered making your day even more unforgettable with a themed wedding? Themed weddings are not just about extravagance; they’re a canvas for your creativity, a reflection of your shared passions, and a unique way to tell your love story. From the whimsical to the nostalgic, a theme can transform your celebration into something truly personal and extraordinary. 

    The Allure of Themed Weddings

    Imagine a wedding day that’s not just a ceremony but a journey into a world that you adore. A themed wedding allows you to step out of the traditional mould and into a space that’s wholly yours. Whether it’s a based on your favourite book, movie, era, or a cherished memory, a themed wedding weaves your unique story into every detail of the day. 

    One of the factors that makes an event truly memorable (see my article on creating special moments), is to elevate the experience above an every day script, and break the “normal social expectations” for a period of time.  It’s like transporting your guests to another world for just a few hours.  Set up correctly, people are happy to discard phones, change the way they act and even dress differently to be a part of something different.  How “far” you transport them is up to you, but it’s likely to never be forgotten.

    Can’t imagine how this would look?  Let’s consider Harry Potter as a theme.

    Why Harry Potter?

    The Harry Potter series is more than just popular literature; it’s a cultural phenomenon that resonates with people of all ages. It symbolizes adventure, love, and the belief in something greater. By choosing a Harry Potter-themed wedding, you’re not just selecting a theme; you’re inviting your guests into a beloved and magical world, offering a unique experience that everyone can connect with and enjoy.  

    Creating the Wizarding World

    Visualize walking into your venue, now transformed into the iconic Great Hall of Hogwarts, or an outdoor space reminiscent of the school’s mystical grounds. This level of thematic immersion is what sets themed weddings apart. The attention to detail, from floating candles to house banners, creates an atmosphere that is both magical and deeply personal.

    Magical Touches

    In a themed wedding, every element, from attire to decor, contributes to the narrative. For a Harry Potter wedding, think of bridal party robes reflecting Hogwarts houses, or a cake that would make the halls of Hogwarts proud. Your menu, entertainment, and even your invitations can mirror elements from the wizarding world, creating an immersive experience for you and your guests.

    The Lasting Impact

    The beauty of a themed wedding, especially one as rich as Harry Potter, is that it leaves a lasting impression. It’s not just about the visual spectacle; it’s about creating a day that is a true reflection of you as a couple. Whether it’s through the shared love of a story or the incorporation of elements that mean the most to you, a themed wedding like this becomes more than a celebration; it’s a memorable journey into your own magical love story.

    Conclusion

    Themed weddings open up a world of possibilities, allowing you to celebrate your union in a way that is as unique as your relationship. Whether it’s the enchanting world of Harry Potter or any other theme that resonates with your story, the key is to create a day that embodies your shared passions and love. So, let your imagination run wild and craft a wedding day that’s not just a ceremony, but a celebration of your own extraordinary tale!

    Editors note:

    You can have an idea in mind, and not be creative or have any idea as to the “how”.  Work with a celebrant who embraces themed weddings, can inspire you with ideas, “plot” plan and support you,  and can also weave the appropriate wording into your ceremony.  If you’d like to hear of a real life example – try this article of a Harry Potter wedding I did last October.

    Why Your Wedding Can Say More Than Just ‘I Do’: The Unseen Benefits of an Aboriginal Acknowledgement of Country

    I always ask couples whether they would like to include an Aboriginal Acknowledgement of Country in their ceremony, with mixed responses. And sometimes it’s just a blank bewildered stare. I wonder if people understand what it’s actually about, so here’s a quick run down from my perspective as to the value of including one.

    Lisaxx

    Marriage is a momentous journey, often marked by extensive preparation and celebration. So much time, effort, and money goes into this one day that it’s worthwhile to think beyond what the wedding can do for you and consider how it could positively impact the world in the future. In Australia, the beauty of outdoor weddings, set in locales like wineries, beaches, and outback properties, offers a unique opportunity to honour the land and its traditional custodians, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    What is an Aboriginal Acknowledgement of Country?

    An Aboriginal Acknowledgement of Country (AOC) is a respectful recognition of the original owners of the land. It typically involves one or two sentences acknowledging the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the land’s traditional custodians. This can be personalised to fit the voice and tone of your ceremony. It doesn’t necessarily have to be done by Aboriginal people and is typically performed by the celebrant in a wedding ceremony.

    Why Include an AOC in Your Wedding?

    In the context of a wedding ceremony, an AOC is small and simple, but in the broader context of promoting acceptance regardless of race, color, or creed, it’s a significant step towards reconciliation and creating a unified Australia. It reflects respect for diversity and acknowledges the significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Adding cultural acknowledgements such as this speaks of who you are as individuals and what you believe in. Additionally, it sets a precedent for guests, potentially inspiring them to adopt similar practices in their events.

    The Role of the Celebrant

    Typically, the wedding celebrant undertakes the responsibility of delivering the Acknowledgement of Country. The celebrant can guide couples on how to include an AOC and what to consider when crafting the message. The celebrant can help personalize the AOC if you wish. This involves researching the specific indigenous groups of the wedding location and potentially adding personal touches that resonate with the couple’s connection to the land. If desired, the celebrant can also suggest ways to incorporate traditional Aboriginal elements into the ceremony, such as music, art, or inviting an indigenous elder to participate. Through these efforts, the celebrant helps ensure that the AOC is a respectful, informed, and integral part of the wedding, contributing to a greater understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

    Inclusivity in Wedding Ceremonies

    Though the AOC primarily focuses on the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians, couples can also consider acknowledging other cultures present in their ceremony. This may involve symbolically including cultures related to your own identity, or ones that are important to you. Inclusion fosters stronger personal relationships and demonstrates a commitment to cultural awareness and inclusivity.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, an Aboriginal Acknowledgement of Country in a wedding ceremony is a small but powerful gesture towards creating a more respectful, inclusive, and unified Australia. It encourages a broader societal shift towards recognizing and honoring the country’s rich cultural heritage.