Your Dream Team: Deborah Wastell – Civil Celebrant

Deborah Wastell Civil CelebrantWhen selecting your wedding suppliers, you’re not just purchasing a service – you’re assembling a Dream Team whose expertise and passion for what they do will ensure that your wedding day will run just as you have planned. In the first of my Dream Team posts, I’d like to introduce you to a very good friend my mine Deborah Wastell. With over 15 years experience in wedding coordinating, Deborah is a Civil Celebrant and here are her thoughts about how to design a truly meaningful and personal wedding ceremony…


Thanks for joining me Deborah, can you tell me about the sort of ceremonies do you enjoy conducting the most?

I love all my ceremonies but I especially love the ones where my couples are clearly interested in the words which are spoken.  You can put all the readings and rituals in your ceremony that you like, however if there is no heartfelt meaning behind the vows and declarations it seems a little hollow. I also really love the ones which the couple have been together a long time and feel the need to make an official commitment as these ones are usually the most emotional.

Tell me about one/some of the ceremonies you’ve conducted which were especially meaningful? What was so special about them?

I’ve conducted lots of ceremonies which have been particularly meaningful. I love when the couple not only perform meaningful vows and declarations between themselves but when they involve their families.  Ceremonies such as the giving away or blessing, a rose ceremony for the mums, a sand ceremony which joins two births places and two individuals together, “tying the knot” where a couples hands are bound and the knot is kept are all beautiful rituals to include in your ceremony. I performed a ceremony between an older couple who didn’t have parents so therefore there wasn’t a “giving” away, however they asked their children for their blessing in the marriage. I also performed another ceremony in port Douglas between a couple who were both born where sand was present. They managed to get sand from where they were both born and sand from Port Douglas and combined it all together in a vase as part of a sand ceremony.

When looking for a celebrant – how can a bride tell when she’s found someone who really understands her vision?

I believe you really need to go with gut feeling. Does the celebrant appear to understand the type of ceremony you are after? Are they forthcoming with ideas that follow a similar path to that which you were wanting?  Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions and interview as many celebrants as you need in order to find the “one”.

What are the new trends or traditions you are seeing in modern wedding ceremonies?

Recently I’ve seen couples have some lovely ideas for their ceremony. Having the boys walk down the aisle before the bride to their own piece of music is great – giving them some limelight just before the girls arrive. I’ve also had grooms walk back down the aisle to “collect the bride” and accompany her back down the aisle, this is especially nice if the bride doesn’t have anyone to “give her away”. Music performed live during the ceremony is also appearing more often, especially during the signing as this is often when the guests are not actively involved in the ceremony.  Having both parents give the bride away is also appearing more often.

Finally – what is the number one piece of advice you have to brides looking for a wedding celebrant?

Even though your ceremony may only be 20-30 minutes of the whole wedding, it’s the whole reason you are there so don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to ensure you have the right one.

Many thanks to Deborah for spending some time with me, I hope you enjoyed this article and got some great tips for your own ceremony. Deborah conducts wedding ceremonies throughout Melbourne and suburbs, you can visit her website.

If there is a particular member of the Dream Team that you’d like to hear from – please leave me a comment or contact me.