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What is a co-pilot ceremony?

Grafton marriage celebrant performing fun and relaxed co-pilot wedding ceremony

The absolute best part about choosing a civil celebrant for your wedding day is having the flexibility to do things your way. When people ask me about my favourite weddings, I always say "it's like choosing a favourite child, I love them all equally, just in different ways." But there are a few stand-outs.

One of those was Sav and Tim's beautiful garden wedding. They had been guests at a wedding I had done at Goonoo Goonoo Station in Tamworth the year before and already knew I was the right fit for them. We spent 40 minutes on the phone spit-balling ideas for their ceremony - they had a clear vision for something fun, festive and unconventional, and from that very first phone call to their very special day, I guided Sav and Tim to craft a ceremony that was just so them.

The heart and soul of any Save The Date Celebration wedding is the love story, but for Sav and Tim, they wanted this to come from two people who had known and loved them much longer than I had - Tim's brother, Sam, and their very dear friend, Maddy. And so, they became my trusty co-pilots...

How does it work?

Sav and Tim completed my questionnaires as usual and put me in touch with Sam and Maddy. I sent through Sav and Tim's questionnaires, a scaffold for crafting the perfect love story and we organised a time to catch-up over Zoom. We chatted through my usual process and some of the fun, quirky and adorable aspects of Sav and Tim's relationship to include in their love story.

Sam and Maddy used Sav and Tim's questionnaires and their own anecdotes about Sav and Tim's relationship to create the perfect love story x maid of honour's speech x best man's speech in a shared Google Doc.

Throughout the process, I offered Sam and Maddy suggestions to improve the flow - especially the back-and-forth between them - and prompts to expand upon their stories.

What does it look like on the day?

On the day of the wedding, I met Maddy and Sam in real life before the ceremony and had their love story prepped and ready on my iPad, with different colours for each speaker.

I began the ceremony with housekeeping and a very warm Guyra welcome before handing over to Sam and Maddy for arguably the best part of the entire ceremony. Sav, Tim and all of their guests laughed, cried and cheered - it was an absolute hit.

After the love story, I took over for the 'legal bits', including Sav and Tim's vows, before pronouncing them husband and wife!

Who would a co-pilot ceremony work for?

Co-pilot ceremonies are great for couples who want to laugh, have fun and try something different. It's also fabulous for couples who have a particularly funny or charismatic friend or family member who would like to be actively involved in the ceremony... without the time, energy or expense of becoming an authorised marriage celebrant.


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