Saturday, October 21, 2017

What's Your Favourite Wedding Gift?

It looks like I'm coming to the end of an era.

This morning I got up, and as usual went to the kitchen to make a pot of tea. I rinsed out the teapot, picked up the tea caddy, and expertly pushing down the lever prepared to deliver three scoops of tea leaves. (Yes, I'm going ot be the last person on the planet to transfer to tea bags)

Instead of the three  measured scoops of tea leaves, the  mechanism jammed and out came a stream of tea leaves. Before I finished I had a mountain of tea leaves in the pot, on the sink and on the floor.

As I considered the possibility that the tea caddy might be ready to retire, I realised that of all the weddings gifts that I received more than fifty years ago, there are only two that are still with me; and still a meaningful part of my life.

One is a crockery biscuit barrel (I have an idea it was from my husband's Manchester-born Quaker-lady grandmother). The other is the tea caddy which was from someone's aunt.

I've always found the barrel attractive, and retain it even though it has acquired a chip. On the other hand I didn't find the tea caddy attractive on my wedding day, and I don't consider it a thing of beauty now. However, it was a very thoughtful and progressive gift. Plastic was just beginning to make it's way to the market, and look at the convenience of just pushing in the little thingy down the bottom, and out comes exactly the amount of tea you need!

At least half a house-moves later, these two gifts are still with me, prominently displayed in my kitchen, and still used regularly.

On my wedding day I would hardly have thought that they would be the most treasured and useful gifts of them all.

What's your favourite wedding gift?

Let's Connect

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Networking at Weddings

One of the best places to impress possible clients is at the ceremonies you perform. If you are a marriage celebrant you will learn, in preparing the legal documents, not only the clients’ names but also those of their parents. But in all ceremonies, it is more than likely that other persons, apart from your clients, will be involved in the ceremony. Make an effort to learn the names before you get to the ceremony and try to make a point of seeing and speaking to these people. Don’t think of the time before or after the ceremony as wasted time. Rather use this time to get to know as many people as you can by speaking to them.

To make your contact with people effective, make the conversation less a few minutes of pretending to listen, and genuinely listen. If you don’t understand what the conversation is about, ask. If you hold a conversation with someone long enough, you will probably arrive at a subject in which both of you can find interest.

Don’t allow you client, or whoever is looking after you, to introduce you to a group of people with, ‘This is John, this is Mary, this is..’. It is unlikely that you will remember any of them, and worse, you will be too backward in asking the names of the people individually, and thus lose a valuable time in finding out where each of these people fit.

Instead, suggest that you will introduce yourself - and do it. Spend enough time with each person to find out their name, their connection to the client and something of interest about the person concerned. Ask for their business card if you find someone whose services you might use, or whom you want to contact for further information, and offer yours if he asks for it. Carry the cards in a neat little box or wallet that you can carry easily any place you go.

As far as maintaining conversation is concerned, ask questions in a way which will give the person an opportunity to give you a reply of a few sentences instead of just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Whether speaking or listening, don’t ask for clarifications of details which are not important for the overall picture. Look for the message and not the detours.

We are becoming an ageing population so recognise this when talking to groups of people. Make an effort to speak clearly and loudly if you know from experience that people are finding you difficult to understand. Similarly, if you’re having difficulty in hearing, make it a bit of a joke that every since you turned forty or fifty or whatever, your hearing isn’t what it used to be.

Some people do tend to speak very softly, especially in a social situation, and unless you encourage them to speak up, the conversation can keep you uncomfortable and fearful that you’re about to be asked a question and you have absolutely no idea what reply to make. Inaudibility, like bad breath, is a subject that nobody wants to raise, but which will make for much happier interaction when it is raised.

Never forget, that celebrancy is a people thing. Everyone needs people, and in particular, celebrants whose business is people.

Excerpt from 'How to be a Profitable Celebrant'

Monday, September 4, 2017

Own your Wedding Ceremony

Whether this is your first marriage, or you're trying again. Whether it's just the two of you, or your wedding ceremony will include your children, you'll find the right words to create a Perfect Wedding Ceremony.

From the Wedding March to the conclusion of the ceremony, 'Wedding Words' has clear and simple steps to help you create a Wedding Ceremony that is truly yours.

Let's Connect

Friday, September 1, 2017

Celebrate Father's Day

There’s a saying that everyday is a children’s day, consequently two days of the year have been named as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The concept of honouring parents was initially the honouring of the mother who was traditionally the carer of children. Only subsequently was it decided that fathers also play a part in their children’s welfare. 

Father’s day is celebrated on the second Sunday in September. The day is thought to be fitting for the family to get together. Often, it is also the time when a daughter or a son might bring their partner to introduce to their parents. The celebration can become quite gargantuan when families begin to join up with their predecessors and their families. Inevitably sons and daughters, especially of the teenage verity, begin to rebel against having to spend a day with old and unknown uncles and aunts, and even great, great uncles and aunts.

In order to avoid this friction it is usual for the immediate family to celebrate the occasion by a breakfast in bed for dad. If breakfast in bed does not appeal - and this is true for many parents - the next best thing is to allow him to sleep the morning through, with a late breakfast for all when the parent eventually gets up.

The older Father, with his  brothers and sisters, may then celebrate the Day with his own parents and great parents by taking them out to lunch or have a family barbecue or morning or afternoon tea. In the meantime, their own teenage or grown-up children can do their own thing. 

Gifts become harder the older parents get. Those living in small spaces may find it hard to accommodate large gifts, and appreciate those that are wholly practical or symbolic of the family unity. For the father there might be his very own, extra comfortable chair, or even paid golf lessons at his local club. For the older parent there might be tickets for a short trip to a place he has always wanted to go and has not been able to afford.

The cake usually provided for Father’s day is anything the parents enjoy, but is often decorated like a birthday cake with an appropriate message. If one of the children is currently engaged the invited guest might consider bringing a special cake for the parents as a recognition that he or she is in the process of becoming a member of the family.

These and other celebrations can be found in 'Celebrating Love's Special Moments' found on  Amazon and Smashwords,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

15 Traits of an Evenful Wedding Day

Recently I attended a wedding which was thoughtfully and meaningfully put together; and here are the traits which made the wedding meaningful to the couple and eventful to the guests.

1. After viewing numerous venues for their wedding ceremony, and deciding it was all too same-same, the couple chose natural beauty of Qld University grounds.  Not only for the stunning landscape but because this was where they first met as students.

2. All floral arrangements and bouquets used native flowers and foliage, Created by the couple's friends, they reflected the natural setting.

3. All stationery created by a talented friend was uniquely personal, with an imaginative flair; and a real keepsake for those who attended.

4. The bride looked stunning in a personally designed dress of white lace and an off-white underskirt. Unlike the current trend, where we see all too much of the front, this bride decided on a modest front, and an exposed back.

5. For her head ornament, going with her natural setting, the bride wore a hand-woven thin circlet of native flowers; and so did her bridesmaids.

6. All bridal attendants were chosen by the close relationship they had with the couple for most of their lives.

7. Similarly, the Best Man had been a school friend to the Groom and the Maid of Honour a best friend of the Bride.

8.  Part of the Wedding Ceremony included readings which were meaningful to the couple's relationship as individuals and partners.

9. At the conclusion of the  Wedding Ceremony two people were called out to be the witnesses to the legal documents which had to be signed. Neither was aware that they had been chosen until that moment. Both had been close friends of the couple since their school years, and have kept in touch ever since.

10. The Reception venue was Red Room a student Bar and Grill hangout well-known to the Bride and Groom from their student days.

11. Seating was easy, with long tables and seats where guests could move from place to place at will.

12. Catering was just as easy, and food plentiful. While guests walked to the bar to choose their poison, the food itself was carried around by the staff throughout the night.

13. In between eating guests could, and did, entertain themselves at pool tables.

14. Backgrounding the whole shebang was a band that belted out music from Television Themes which most guests recognised and to which many danced to with gusto and much laughter.

15. Apart from the obligatory speeches, the couple decided to add their own thanks by taking turns to thank various people for their contribution to the wedding planning.

Everyone attending left with the feeling that this was the best wedding they had ever attended.

Here are some Perfect Wedding Vows and to find the rest of the words for your Wedding Ceremony look out for my next book, Wedding Ceremony:  Perfect Words’ by Celebrant, Vlady M Peters, coming soon to Amazon and Smashwords

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I Do or I Will

Planning a wedding ceremony? In my forthcoming book, ‘Wedding Ceremony: Perfect Words’ you will find wedding ceremony samples that include bride and groom's special situations, such as:

·   marrying for the first time

·   a second marriage

·   marriage with children

·  marriage involving parents of the couple

Aspects of the wedding ceremony includes

·   meaningful wedding rituals

·  wedding vows personalised or with a wedding theme

·  exchanging of wedding rings

·  wedding readings including love poems, and readings with a theme

·  wedding ceremony introductions

·  wedding ceremony conclusions

Also included is the wording for such visual symbolic rituals as:-

§     handfasting

§     rose ceremony

§     candle lighting

§     sharing a drink

§     tree planting

§     blessing of the hands