Good to Know
Have a question about eco-friendly stuff, eloping in Perth or getting married in Australia?
Perth eco-wedding FAQ
What is an Earth-friendly, conscious, eco- wedding?
A conscious, Earth-friendly eco-wedding is designed by making considered choices about every element of the event. It’s choosing the best option that serves both you and the planet.
As consumers, every time we spend money we are supporting something. Planning your wedding or elopement is an awesome opportunity to use your buying power to support businesses, companies, products and people who are helping, rather than hurting, our planet.
It will vary from ceremony to ceremony, but some examples of eco-conscious, Earth-friendly elements could be:
reducing waste by only including the people, elements and things that really matter to the two of you
hiring your outfit, or buying one vintage or second-hand
choosing not to have balloons (which may end up choking wildlife in our waterways)
using locally-grown, spray-free flowers instead of flowers that have been grown on the other side of the world
including a tree-planting ritual in your home ceremony
choosing a caterer that uses local organic produce and composts food scraps
decorating with reusable, non-harmful items such as local flowers and cotton bunting
reminding guests to bring their own water bottle or hiring a reusable water dispenser and glasses, to avoid single-use plastic water bottles and cups
repurposing items you already have instead of buying new, eg clean jam jars instead of vases
giving your guests a packet of seeds, a plant or a charity donation as a gift
offset your wedding by planting trees, eg through Greenfleet
How can I make my wedding more eco-friendly?
You can use this free resource by Less Stuff, More Meaning to calculate your wedding's footprint and get ideas of how to reduce and offset any impact.
I'm always happy to discuss your ideas and offer suggestions, and can recommend awesome like-minded local vendors too.
What are you & your business doing to help the planet, Sally?
My home - and home office - use solar-power for most of our electricity.
Any organic waste (fun fact: it takes a LOT of tea and snacks to write a good ceremony!) is fed to my chooks or composted.
Paper use is kept to a minimum, with online digital documents preferred. My couples receive their information in ebook form.
Any necessary printing and paperwork is done on 100% recycled paper.
My meetings are held in local (East Victoria Park area) cafes that support sustainability and social responsibility.
I have a major focus on local couples, families and venues, and support local businesses.
I keep my travel to a minimum and try to walk, ride my bike or use public transport before starting my car.
My car is a hybrid vehicle to minimise emissions, and these emissions are offset with Greenfleet
If travelling out of Perth for a ceremony, I try and rideshare with another vendor (eg with photographer Kat Wray of Red Eclectic) or make it part of a longer getaway.
I have been making regular donations to Greenpeace for over 20 years.
Our home is low-waste and we aim to live single-use plastic-free
I wear a sustainable wardrobe, only use cruelty-free makeup - and my watch is solar-powered!
FAQs about Marriage Ceremonies in Perth
Elopement or Wedding?
An elopement used to be 'running away to get married'. It can still mean that, but more and more couples are eloping in their hometown and are running away from tradition, and all the expectations and 'rules' that can surround a 'wedding'. To elope is to really free yourself from doing anything for anyone else, and really focussing on the two of you and your relationship.
Most of the Perth elopements I've done have had only the couple, the two-legally required witnesses, me as the celebrant and perhaps a photographer (who can also be one of the witnesses). However, some couples have wanted a few of their very best people with them, which is why my Elopement package includes up to 10 guests.
For more than 10 guests, we need a microphone and sound system to make sure everyone can hear! We also have a rehearsal so you have a chance to practice using the microphone and we can walk through the ceremony so everyone knows where it's at. A sound system and a rehearsal are both included in my Wedding package, along with the opportunity to have a longer ceremony with a few extra bits - like me telling your love story - if you wish.
Tiny wedding / micro-wedding / elopement - what's the difference?
There has been a lot of discussion about trying to define words like this lately. I like to keep things simple and only offer two packages - elopement and wedding.
Who can get married in Australia?
There is no minimum residency requirement to get married in Australia.
To be legally married, a person must:
• not be married to someone else
• not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or sibling
• be at least eighteen years old
• understand what marriage means and freely consent to marrying
• use specific words during the ceremony
• give written notice of their intention to marry to their celebrant, within the required time frame.
Required time frame?! Eeek! How long before the wedding should I contact you?
As soon as you can! If you already have a date for your ceremony, it's good to have it locked in to my calendar so no one else books me for your date. If you don't have a date yet, we can still meet up and chat about your plans.
The Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) is a legal document that must be completed and lodged with your celebrant at least one month prior to the ceremony date. There are some ID and information requirements for this document to be prepared, so to avoid the stress of time pressure, make sure you leave time for this by contacting me ASAP. Once lodged, it's valid for 18 months, so even if you're not sure of your exact date yet we can still get the legal side of things started!
What is an Acknowledgement of Country and why do you include it in all your ceremonies?
As a Celebrant I value the importance of ceremony.
It’s pretty amazing to remember that people have been holding ceremonies on the land on which your ceremony will be held for more than sixty thousand years, and it’s important to me to honour this by paying my respects.
An Acknowledgement of Country is an opportunity for anyone to show respect for Traditional Custodians and the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country. It can be given by both non-Indigenous people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
I include an Acknowledgement of Country at the beginning of all my ceremonies by saying something like (this example is for a Perth ceremony): “As we join here in this beautiful celebration of marriage, we follow in the footsteps of all those who have held ceremonies on this land, going back to ancient times. We recognise the Whadjuk Nyoongar people as the traditional custodians of this land, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.”
Do we need a rehearsal?
It depends whether you've booked my Elopement or Wedding package.
An elopement are so relaxed, with no PA system and minimal guests, that no rehearsal is necessary.
However, my Wedding package includes a rehearsal. This gives a chance to get together before the day, have a walk-through of the ceremony, and plan all the staging elements like where we will be standing, entrances and exits, etc.
A rehearsal also gives you the opportunity to have a practice on my microphone so when it comes to saying your words on the day you don't get bad karaoke flashbacks. Remember that as well as a celebrant I'm also a professional actor who is an old hand at rehearsals. We'll have fun, and get it done.
What's the deal with witnesses?
The minimum number of people who can be at any marriage is five - that is, the marrying couple, the celebrant, and two legally-required witnesses.
The only rules are that the witnesses need to appear to be over 18, and need to be able to hear and understand the ceremony. They will sign the marriage certificates in their capacity as witnesses to your marriage. Your photographer can be a witness, but the celebrant cannot.
Dogs at weddings?
For me, the answer is always YES! Dogs are family and should be there if it's important to you. The only exception is if your pup would be stressed by the event, or you're marrying in a National Park or venue where dogs are prohibited.
If you have concerns about your pup's behaviour at the wedding, consider involving a dog trainer in the leadup to the event. And always make sure there is a person who the dog is comfortable with who will be the pup's caretaker, and that they have water for pup to drink - and poo bags!
If you're eloping, then it's not so much of an 'event' and doggo can just be around you as you say your vows, perhaps at the park or your backyard.
Of course, you know your dog best, and if being at the wedding would be stressful for them, you can always show them the photos later.
Need help planning your day?
You might be interested in the Mindfully Wed e-Guide. If you're feeling like mainstream wedding mags are not for you, this ebook explores the eco-ethical ceremony space like no other. In their words:
This guide will feed your inner rebel, nourish your sense of purpose, and ignite a passion for moving forward in your married life with intention. Our goal is that you go about your wedding planning, confirmed in your desire to tread lightly, celebrating something bigger than ourselves, all in the name of love!
Check it out for yourself - and for the planet!
Wedding Footprint Calculator
Check out this great resource by Less Stuff, More Meaning! A simple tool to calculate the carbon footprint of your wedding, to enable you to offset or reduce your impact.