Do what you wanna do, be what you wanna be yeaaahhhhh!

The more and more creative, unique and expressive weddings are getting, the bigger push there is for wedding suppliers to ‘tell their story’ through social media so we can attract the right kind of clientele.
With over 8,000 Celebrants out there, that’s a lot of 'story telling’ floating around the interwebs and I can easily see how overwhelming it can be to differentiate yourself. So to help you see which perks you love about the Celebrancy I got the fab Kim Coffey (check her out here) to draw a picture of a super cute Celebrant... It may just inspire you to create a few posts around why, how and what you love about the job!

I LOVE that this job involves travel! I love finding myself in new gardens, on the balconies of funky bars and out there amongst the grape vines.
I LOVE that I can get all nerdy with my business stats and record keeping. I thrive off reaching my KPI’s, monitoring my bounce rate, increasing my reviews and … (insert other businessy lingo here)  Haha
I LOVE that I get to meet strangers all the time and learn new stuff! My couples come from all walks of life and I love finding out about their occupations, what they do to have fun and what they think about pop culture like Bachie!!
I LOVE getting all dressed up! There is nothing quite like getting spruced up on a Friday arvo after a long week of wearing house clothes. Yay for fun earrings, stretchy dresses and lipstick!
I LOVE being around LOVE! 
I LOVE networking and making new friends in the wedding world. 
I love social media and how I can run my business through it! Posting photos! Hashtagging suppliers till the cows come home. It's good fun.
I love driving! (I actually do!) Country weddings are my jam. I find the transit therapeutic.
I love WRITING!  I love letting my creative juices flow into beautiful scripts, couple stories, online blogs and anywhere else I can get a word in. 
I love the work life balance. There’s such a lovely mix of home life and work life with this gig! I dig it :)
I love the hours of this job. No one needs me in the morning, I get to call my own shots, be my own boss.

Do any of these LOVES resonate with you? Then post about it girlfriend!! :) Haha.


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A Wedding, some lies and two annoying Poodles.

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Yeah you read it right. Once upon a time, about 5 years ago I had a fake wedding to do for a couple that were already married. Long story short, both sets of parents wanted to see them get married and were unaware they already were!
The Bride's parents were visiting from China and apparently wouldn’t fly back home until they got to see a wedding! Talk about pushy parents!!
So after explaining to them that it will strictly be a commitment ceremony and I can’t lead anyone to believe that it is a real marriage, they agreed and said they will deal with the consequences later.
Alrighty I said. I quoted them my commitment ceremony fee plus an extra $250 to travel to Sale and off I went! Stupidly I forgot to bring snacks for the long drive and arrived famished! Famished is such a good word.
So I get there and it was all VERY AWKWARD. The couple were getting photos in the loungeroom with the photographer and the parents were standing there, trying to make chit chat which of course was difficult given the whole Chinese thing. Haha.
I bounce on in and try make everyone laugh and then I notice two small poodles in the kitchen. CUTE. THEN I find out it wasn’t the Groom’s home at all, it was his parent’s home. The Bride and Groom live in Box Hill. WHY DIDN’T WE DO THE FRIGGEN WEDDING IN BOX HILL!!!
The Groom’s parents insisted the wedding take place at their home in Sale because….. the poodles couldn’t be alone for more than a few hours and they don’t like travelling in the car.
I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty annoyed. I drove ALL THE WAY TO SALE for two Poodles, the Bride and Groom were already married, the whole experience was completely awkward and I was HUNGRY!
As soon as the ceremony was done I was outta there! Definitely wasn't interested in any more small talk with the now very disappointed parentals.
As I drove back home wondering where on earth the closest Maccas was, I thought well at least those two bloody poodles were happy! My goodness, never again.

Wedding Lingo that kind of drives me BONKERS!

To all the Wedding Professionals out there.... Does this sound familiar?

  • "Those Wedding Feels!"
  • "Swooning over these bridesmaid dresses!"
  • "Crushing hard on these blooms!"

It all sounds a little silly to me. Do you actually 'crush hard on blooms'??
Now I LOVE flowers (I did grow up on a flower farm after all!!) And yet I don't feel at all like i'm 'crushing hard on them'.

I guess the message I would like to make here is this: Don't feel like you have to give into this unusual wedding talk just to sound like everyone else. Talk like you normally would. That is what makes you YOU and that should be what you are trying to project. YOU! Your current clients like you! Your future clients want to know more about YOU! So just be yourself :)

So instead of swooning, crushing, melting and getting all the wedding feels over a picture that is intended to send me off to a far away wedding land of dreamy make believe, I'm going to continue using my own Julia language like 'SO EXCITED!" "Super LOVELY!" and Oh my GOODNESS!!!

What's your kind of lingo? :)

Celebrate Yo' Self!

Pretty party picture by pixie rouge photography

Pretty party picture by pixie rouge photography

So, you probably know by now that I love to celebrate. 

I think it's the fundamental reason why I became a Celebrant. 

I actually can't stand a lot of wedding talk (Similar to how I feel about general baby talk.) so I'm definitely not the person you'd go running to if you wanted to chat about the pretty finer details of a wedding like the dress, the invites, the matching cufflinks etc. What I DO relish in however, is finding out what people LOVE to do to celebrate themselves, their loved ones, their life! 

So you love exotic animals and you've chosen to share your vows in the jungle? THAT'S AWESOME!
So you fricken' love doughnuts so you thought you'd spend up big and treat everyone you know to the best doughnut party ever!!??? Good for you!!! (Haha this was totally me!)

My friend Jacqui recently celebrated her 30th and she told me she hired a photographer for the party. "That's awesome!" I said. "It is so nice having professional photos of more casual events and you've achieved a great deal in your 30 years so why not treat yourself to some photos". 
She then said thank you because I was the only person to make her feel good about her decision for hiring a photographer, everyone else kind of expressed that they thought it was a bit over the top.
I find this SO sad. What's a few hundred bucks if it's going to create some long lasting happiness? :) You know what? Those people are too scared to celebrate themselves! 
Life is too short people!
I celebrate myself daily. I am BIG on self care, taking the time to make myself feel good and I always celebrate the little wins. Being a firm believer of celebration I think it's a shame that some only celebrate themselves once a year on their birthday. Some people don't even like celebrating their birthday! I just don't understand these people.
We work damn hard, we are always doing things for others whilst trying to get ahead and better ourselves in the process, we DESERVE ongoing celebration!
I've had many people roll their eyes and scoff at some of the things I have chosen to do to celebrate my life and I don't care in the slightest. Hiring a masseuse for a party to celebrate motherhood and friendship sounds wonderful to me! Hiring a BIG jumping castle so all my friends with kids can relax a bit more at my party just sounds smart to me. Next year I'm going overseas for a couple weeks to celebrate a milestone of 10 years in the biz and leaving the kids behind. This sounds perfectly acceptable... AND 1000% more relaxing!
Small business owners, parents, people who look after their parents, hell EVERYONE deserves to treat themselves for trying to be a decent person and we shouldn't make people feel bad for doing so.
Book in that massage people! Go on that camping trip! Sign up to that online course! Say no to that awkward catch up you'd rather not go to and instead take a nap. Do what it takes to make you feel wonderful! 
If my clients are celebrating their marriage in a way that makes them feel awesome, then I'd consider my job well done :)


If Wedding Photography wasn't a thing.

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If Wedding Photography wasn’t a thing, can you imagine how relaxed weddings would be?
Don’t get me wrong I love Wedding Photographers. I love the way they see the world, how much effort and passion they put into their businesses. I find many of them to be very inspiring, dedicated and interesting people.
However with the way that photography is becoming such a focus of the day, I can’t help but wonder how much more fun, simple and stress free weddings would be if photography just wasn’t even on people’s minds.
I’ve come up with some dot points.

  1. Social media for weddings would be vastly different. Wedding guests and suppliers would actually resort to using some good vocab to describe how the wedding was.
  2. Word of mouth advertising would shoot through the roof! People would go back to handing out business cards and not relying on suppliers and clients to tag, photograph and link in their work to get the word out.
  3. There would be so much less pressure for new industry suppliers starting out. Your newsfeeds wont be bursting through the seams with picture perfect weddings, giving you the constant reminder that you need to be seen, be posting, be promoting, be present and looking successful/ busy. I imagine your work and successes will grow naturally (and probably a bit slower).

Side note:  Think of an Accountant starting out running their own business. I doubt they would rely on photos of beautiful spreadsheets and selfies with happy customers to make their businesses blossom. They would rely on hard work and over time their efforts would be rewarded, well, you'd hope!

4. How much more chilled would the couple be! There'd be less worrying about how grand the flowers are or how decadent the cake will be as they will be enjoyed for what they are, not for how they will look on Instagram. You probably wont even bother getting a ‘Welcome to the wedding of…’ sign either because no one will photograph it. I’m sure the function staff will point the guests in the right direction if you didn’t order a pretty sign.

5. There will probably be much more relaxed and unique dress codes! No last minute online shopping trying to get matching floral Bridesmaid Dressing Gowns and no one would be too concerned if the Groomsmen wore slightly different shades of navy. Things like this would become much less important.

6. Wedding guests in general would be more present, taking in the details of the ceremony and the day. More people would wear comfortable foot ware and more mismatched jackets and cardigans and waaaaaaaay less money and time would be spent on hair and makeup.

 As much as the above can sound like an ideal wedding situation for many, I can’t see photography loosing it’s oomph in the industry. Photography has definitely gone beyond just capturing a memory, it’s a way of life.  The little hippy in me says bring back the old school weddings, yet here I am taking selfies under breathtaking floral arches and marveling at exquisite calligraphied place cards that simply need to be photographed.

(I repeat, I do really like Wedding Photographers, please don't hate me! :))

The Cashed Up Baby Sitting Celebrant!

This is a story about my first ever wedding enquiry! Oh what a laugh!

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I was a freshly registered Celebrant at 20 years old and thought ok, now what!!?? I need a website! Thanks to a basic website template and a bottle of Frangelico given to the photographer who took a head shot of me, a website was born.

3 weeks later I thought, oh shit!! How do I check my emails?? I jumped onto my email hosting website, found my login, got directed to some strange 'squirrel mail' and boom! I found my inbox! Low and behold there was A WEDDING ENQUIRY!! A REAL ONE! How did they even find me? Who ARE these people? The email was 2 weeks old and I nearly fell off my bed! Holy frick i've left it too late! Shit Julia! I quickly emailed them back saying I was available on the 21st of March, 2009 and I would LOVE to be there celebrant. The next day I got a reply. They wanted to meet me. I was SO fricken happy!
A few days later I dressed up for a proper interview (black pencil skirt, blue cardigan and black heels) I put together the most vaguest ceremony outline and then I brought along the NOIM. They didn't want to look at my silly attempt of an info pack. They just said they want something simple and handed me a wad of $500 cash. 
As I was sitting there stunned and ridiculously happy, they asked what I was doing after the wedding..... I said 'just going home' They then asked 'would you be happy to babysit our kid after the wedding in our hotel? He will already be asleep and you can help yourself to the mini bar.' 'SURE' I said.
'How much do you want?' '$50 per hour thanks!'
I remember walking back to my car a whole 20 minutes later with a completed NOIM, $500 in cold hard cash and a hilarious baby sitting gig!
You can imagine that my Mum thought it was the funniest thing ever and still goes on about it.

What's the point of this story? Well it's just kind of shows how uncommon these enquiries are nowadays. Today's couples will hardly wait a few days let alone a few weeks for you to reply to them. They are tech savvy (they certainly would much rather 'tap and go' then hand you a wad of cash) and they are MUCH more discerning about what kind of suppliers they want at their wedding. 

So much has changed with how I like to run my business but i'm not going to lie, I still love being given cash! Haha :)