Lauren Kay – Civil Celebrant
Every couple has their own unique love story and I believe that it’s an important part of my job as a celebrant to tell your story in a beautiful, unique and personalised way. Your wedding ceremony is a reflection of who you are as a couple, I encourage each of my couples to participate in the creation of their own personalised ceremony. No two wedding ceremonies are ever the same, and I will assist you create a beautiful wedding ceremony that will leave you and your loved ones with treasured memories to last for a lifetime.
As an authorised Civil Celebrant and Member of the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants, I understand the importance of providing each couple with a beautiful and memorable wedding. Your wedding day is truly of the most special celebrations within your life and a day that you will treasure forever. I allow my clients to add their own creative flair to their individualised ceremony, then provide my guidance and meaningful touches that leave you with a truly personalised ceremony that is a true reflection of your lives as a couple.
I personally believe that it is important to provide each couple the highest amount of attention and time as possible when preparing their ceremony. I offer all prospective clients an obligation free meet and greet at a cafe / restaurant or in the comfort of your own home where you can ask all those important questions regarding the legal aspects of marriage and organising your wedding day. Phone or Messanger appointments can also be arranged for those who are unable to travel. All of my bookings include appointments to complete legal marriage documents (which I provide for you) and prepare your personalised wedding ceremony, unlimited phone, email, and sms/messenger contact with me, along with a wedding rehearsal during the week prior to your wedding ceremony. I am contactable at any time during the day with any queries you may have. I strongly encourage the face to face meetings and rehearsals whenever possible, to establish a professional working relationship and build rapport with my clients. With this focus, a well planned and memorable ceremony can be created that is as unique as you are. No two couples are the same, and I endeavor to create a truly memorable wedding ceremony for you.
I am also available for bookings for other important life celebrations including naming days / wiccanings, coming of age ceremonies, commitment ceremonies, renewal of vows, croning ceremonies, crossing the bridge ceremonies, pet blessings and pet memorals. I will work with you to create a memorable ritual to honour any of life’s celebrations that is important and sacred for you. I am also more than happy to preside over traditional or less formal garden weddings. I will work with you to create the ceremony you desire. I also offer Theme Weddings including Medieval Weddings and Traditional Celtic Handfasting Ceremonies, incorporating the spiritual beliefs of all cultures as well as earth centered religions, and support in Marriage Equality in Australia – same sex couples can contact me to celebrate their love too. I’ll work with you to make your day truly one to remember, whether that be a fairytale, or even the theme of your favourite film. No idea is too difficult to incorporate into your wedding day. If you have an idea just ask. I’m more than willing to assist you make your dreams a reality. I am a historical re-enactor and more than happy to dress in costume to fit in with your chosen theme. I also have experience with the quality and accuracy required for a preparing a traditional Medieval Wedding, Traditional Celtic Handfasting or Astaru Ceremony.
I am located in the state of Victoria, although more than happy to travel interstate to conduct any ceremonial service. All ceremonies will be considered upon negotiation with you. I provide an obligation free consultation upon calling 0402497273.
Please do not hesitate to call me with any enquiries. I look forward to creating a personalised and individual ceremony for you.
Lauren is a very friendly and organised wedding celebrant and was so easy to deal with in the lead up to our wedding day. Whilst we sometimes felt completely out of control trying to organise a million things at once, Lauren had an ability to put us at ease. She allowed us to have as much input as we wanted in the writing of our wedding ceremony, and was able to provide us with guidance as to readings, poems, music and even writing our own vows. We appreciated that aside from the legalities involved with a civil wedding ceremony; we could largely do as we pleased on our wedding day and Lauren was happy to go with the flow. We would highly recommend Lauren to other couples. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Tammy and Luke
Thank you Lauren for being our celebrant. We appreciate all the time you spent with us to create out personalized wedding ceremony. We will recommend you to anyone we know who is planning on getting married. Mr & Mrs Keller
We would like to thank Lauren for the amazing job she did with our wedding. Everyone attending our ceremony thought she did a brilliant job, and they will all be recommending her, as will myself and Ben. We can not thank you enough Lauren. Please accept this thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You were so professional and made our ceremony a brilliant one, and a treasured memory. Ben & Belinda
Thanks so much for being our wedding celebrant. The time and attention to detail in preparing our wedding ceremony was greatly appreciated. Nothing was too much trouble for you and we appreciate your no-fuss attitude to our last minute ceremony changes. Our wedding day was perfect and we received many compliments from family and friends on such a lovely ceremony.
With love, Mr & Mrs Gray.
Thank you got making our wedding day as special as it was. Even though the ceremony was small and intimate, it was everything we wanted to be and more. We received many compliments from our family and friends on how lovely our wedding ceremony was, and we would like to pass this on to you. Thank you again, Julie and Michael
We wish to send you a letter to express our heartfelt thanks to you for making our big day such a memorable occasion. The ceremony you created especially for us was beautiful, and we received many compliments from our guests. Thank you for your assistance throughout the planning process, as choosing you as our celebrant was one of the least stressful aspects for us. Your friendly and approachable nature, and advice was greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Jasmine and Ian
Thank you Lauren, for being our wedding celebrant. We were both extremely happy with your service and would not hesitate to recommend you to other couples. Due to unexpected plans it did not leave us much time to organise our big day, but throughout you remained supportive and optimistic, with a warm and friendly nature. Thank you for making our wedding day a treasured memory. Sara and Paul
Thank you for making our wedding day such a special occasion. We knew as soon as we met you that you were the one we wanted to choose to be our wedding celebrant. We asked you for a relaxed, short and sweet ceremony and you did not disappoint us. Our ceremony was relaxed and fun yet did not exclude the serious commitment that we were making to each other. We loved the fact that you let us be involved with the ceremony writing process and we could contact you at any time when we became overwhelmed, and you were happy to reassure us in person when we requested a last minute meeting. Our guests approached us to express how much they enjoyed out ceremony and that it was different from the traditional weddings they had been to in the past. Your help and assistance was invaluable.
Louise & Mark
Hi Lauren, we just wanted to email you and say thank you so much for everything you did for our wedding!!! We can’t thank you enough. Your service fittted us perfectly and everyone who attended our wedding commented how much our ceremony suited us as a couple. I hope that you are keeping busy with many more weddings and we would recommend you to others who are getting married. Thanks again, Kimberley and Joel
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Planning our wedding – what do we need to do first?
Congratulations on your Engagement! Once you have your chosen wedding date it is important to contact wedding service providers / venues as soon as possible. As a wedding celebrant I am often fully booked during the Spring and Summer months, since this is peek wedding season. I am currently taking bookings a year or two in advance so that couples can secure their wedding date.
The next step is to arrange an obligation free meet and greet appointment to discuss the planning your wedding ceremony. I usually organise to meet you for a chat and a coffee at a cafe. Alternately, I am more than happy to meet you at your own home. I can also organise a time for a telephone consultation for those couples who do not reside in Ballarat or from interstate.
At this initial appointment, we can organise a date to complete your Notice of Intended Marriage. The Notice of Intended Marriage form needs to be completed no less than 30 days prior to your wedding date, but no more than 18 months prior to your wedding date. I will happily provide this form for you and assist you to complete it.
How do we book you as a celebrant?
It’s as simple as calling me on 0402497273, and make an appointment. I require a $100 non-refundable booking fee to book your wedding date. As soon as your booking fee has been received I will confirm your booking with you, and provide you with a receipt – easy!
What areas do you service?
I am situated in central Victoria, although I am more than happy to travel to assist you plan your dream wedding day. I am even happy to travel interstate upon negotiation. Travel costs to a location over 90 minutes travel time or 100km will be discussed on an enquiry basis.
Do you offer a payment plan?
Yes of course. I know all too well how expensive weddings can be. All I require is a $100 booking fee to confirm your wedding. We can organise an individualised payment plan that suits you, with all payments to be complete in the fortnight prior to your wedding. Payment options include cash, bank deposit or credit card.
Can we choose where we would like to be married?
Yes, it is entirely your decision as to the location and the time of your wedding ceremony. There are many beautiful locations throughout Victoria (or Australia) where you could be married. Some of these include Botanical Gardens, Parks, Art Galleries, Historical Trust buildings / homes, wineries, beaches, chapels, specialised wedding venues at hotels / restaurants, private gardens, or even in the garden of a family member or friend.
Do we need a Plan B?
If you plan an outdoor venue for your wedding, it’s a good idea to have a Plan B organised. We can never tell what the weather will be like on the day of your wedding. You may have rain or extreme heat; both are valid reasons to move to an indoor or undercover location. It may be as simple as organising an outdoor venue with an indoor location or undercover area such as a rotunda, or hiring a marquee in case of rain. The last thing you want is for you, your bridal party and guests to be standing in the heat or rain. Plus my PA system is unable to function outdoors in the rain..
What information do I need to provide to the Wedding Celebrant?
To complete your Notice of Intended Marriage correctly you will need an original copy of both of your Birth Certificates. If you do not have a copy you can easily obtain one from the Offices of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your state of birth. Birth Certificates can be ordered online or by attending the Births, Deaths and Marriages Office in person. You need to bring your original birth certificates with you to your first meeting to be viewed by myself ( a registered wedding celebrant must see the original copies before you are able to be married).
If you were born overseas your birth certificate is accepted in Australia as proof of birth for marriage documents. If you are unable to obtain a copy of your birth certificate after an attempt to obtain one, a statutory declaration can be used in some circumstances. Please ask if you have any concerns.
A piece of photo ID is also required. A driver’s licence is a popular option. You could also use a passport or proof of age card.
If either of you have been previously married, a divorce certificate or death certificate must be presented to prove that the previous marriage is no longer valid. If you need to obtain documentation of your divorce, your Decree Absolute (certificate of divorce) can be obtained from the Family Law Court in the state in which the marriage was dissolved. If your divorce was finalised before 1975, the Decree of Absolute can be obtained from the Supreme Court in the state where the marriage was dissolved.
If either you or your partner has had a name change, you must provide your certificate of change of name, unless it was changed by a previous marriage.
A photocopy of the original documents will not be accepted for completion of your marriage documents.
Can we include spiritual / religious wording in our ceremony?
Yes, of course you can. The inclusion of your spiritual beliefs does not need to be excluded because you choose to have a civil wedding ceremony. A civil wedding ceremony is a beautiful way to combine the spiritual / religious beliefs of two cultures / spiritual backgrounds within the one ceremony. I am more than happy to assist you with incorporating your beliefs into your wedding. This could be a reading, poem, or blessing for example.
When can we be married?
You can be married any day, date or time. There are no limitations set by wedding celebrants. Most weddings are scheduled on a Saturday afternoon, but I am more than happy to accommodate for Weekday or Sunday weddings; mornings, afternoons or evenings. I am also more than happy to travel interstate to perform your wedding ceremony, or cater for interstate couples wishing to be married in a Victorian venue; please feel welcome to contact me to discuss your options. Also please consider that if you are having an outdoor wedding later in the day; please choose an appropriate time to ensure sufficient light for your photographer.
Who can we choose as our 2 witnesses?
Anyone can be a witness to your wedding as long as they are over 18 years old. Usually this is 2 people from the wedding party, but could also be two guests or even your siblings or parents who are attending the wedding.
Do we need to attend pre-marital counselling?
It is not a requirement for couples planning a civil wedding ceremony to attend pre-marital counselling. If you wish to receive information regarding this service, please ask. I have information that may be of assistance before and after your wedding.
Can we have a friend or family member included in our ceremony?
Yes, of course. There are many options, including a friend or family member could be the reading of a poem, playing an instrument during the entrance of the bridal party / certificate signing, singing a song, presenting the rings.
How long will the ceremony be?
I offer the option of different ceremonies. On average a short and sweet ceremony lasts approx. 20 minutes, whilst a traditional / modern ceremony lasts approx. 35 minutes. Elopement ceremonies (with minimal legal wording) are shorter than 10 minutes and available on request.
What services do you provide as a celebrant?
Obligation free meet and greet appointment at a cafe. Appointments to complete your legal marriage documents and assist plan your wedding ceremony. Unlimited phone or, messenger or email contact leading up to your wedding day. Completion and submission of all legal marriage documents. I can provide a PA system with microphone & music function, a table with 2 chairs, and decorative pen for certificate signing if required. And a presentation certificate completed by a professional calligrapher. I can also assist you with the paperwork to obtain your official wedding certificate from Births, Deaths and Marriages if requested. I am able to provide you with suggestions for other aspects of planning your wedding upon request, but I do not organise these services for you.
Can we write our own vows or have input into planning our wedding ceremony?
Yes, you can write your own vows, and I encourage you to do so. I want you to celebrate your wedding day in the way that you choose, and your wedding vows are an important part of the ceremony. No two of my ceremonies are ever the same and I encourage all couples to have input into the creation of their individualised ceremony telling their love story. I can happily provide you with some examples if required.
Who gives the Bride away?
Traditionally it was the father of the bride who would give the bride away. In modern wedding ceremonies, the bride may choose to continue with tradition, or choose another person to give her away. This may be her mother, brother, a child, or a friend. Some brides choose not to be given away, and enter the ceremony alone, or in the company of a pet dog for example. It’s entirely your choice. You also have to option of including step-parents or parents of the Groom in the ceremony if you wish.
Is it okay for the bride and groom to arrive at the ceremony together?
Yes, this is fine. It’s your wedding day so you can decide how the ceremony is conducted. I have even been asked by a couple for their guests to enter the venue with the bridal party there to welcome them. Remember – it’s your wedding day, and in a civil ceremony you call the shots!
How many poems / readings / songs can we choose?
Including a poem or reading in your wedding ceremony adds a nice touch, to the celebration. You can choose which reading/s you would like to include. I suggest you choose at least 3-4 songs for your ceremony – one song for the entrance of the bridal party, and at least 2 songs for the signing of marriage certificates. Some couples choose to have an exit song for the bridal party at the conclusion of the ceremony. You can choose between instrumental, traditional or modern song choices. If you are having trouble deciding, please feel welcome to ask for some ideas.
Is there anything that we can’t change?
There are a couple of things that must be included in your ceremony such as the momentum and legal vows. Other than this you can plan your ceremony as you wish – whether it be modern or more traditional themes.
What if we have to change our Wedding Date or Postpone our Wedding?
This is no problem for me at all. I do not charge a change of date/ time fee if you notify me of the changes more than 90 days prior to your original wedding booking. I allow for one change of date or time per couple if required post payment of your deposit. If you require a postponement to your wedding day your Notice of Intended Marriage form is valid for 18 months from the day of signing, so as long as I am available on your new date, we can make a date change without any issues, and without you paying any extra costs.
Is it traditional for the bride to be late?
You may have heard that it’s tradition for the bride to be late to the wedding ceremony. Well this is not entirely the case. Please consider your guests, especially if they are elderly; or you are having an outdoor ceremony, and your guests are standing. The celebrant may also have other commitments on the day, or be travelling a distance to marry you. Normally I do not book two weddings on the same day for this reason. Sometimes minor delays are unavoidable, but please notify the celebrant or a family member attending the wedding ceremony if something unexpected occurs on the day. Please ensure you do provide some chairs for guests who may not be able to stand for extended periods. Also, please remember that if your wedding ceremony starts late, so will your reception and your photography sessions.
What name does the Bride sign on marriage documents?
The bride must sign her maiden name on all marriage documents
Do you attend any Wedding Celebrations?
No, I do not attend your wedding celebrations. I will leave shortly after the completion of the wedding ceremony, allowing you to continue celebrating with your family and friends.
What happens if you are unable to perform the ceremony?
If I am unable to perform your ceremony due to illness I will assist to organise a replacement celebrant for you, following a discussion with both you and other available celebrants.
We are stressed over the thought of planning a lavish wedding day – do we have other options?
Planning a wedding does not need to be a lavish or stressful affair. If you would rather an intimate ceremony at home or elopement ceremony with just your witnesses present, I am more than happy to assist you with this. Please feel welcome to enquire.
We are thinking about getting married at our engagement party to surprise our guests – can we do this?
Sure you can, in fact many couples chose this option. As long as you complete your Notice of Intended Marriage 30 days prior to your engagement party date, you can celebrate your marriage on this date also. Remember that you will have to let your two witnesses know about your surprise beforehand.
Do you conduct other ceremonies too?
Yes, I conduct ceremonies for many different life celebrations including renewal of vows, commitment ceremonies, naming ceremonies, coming of age ceremonies, Handfasting ceremonies, croning ceremonies and crossing the bridge ceremonies.