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Woke AF


Last week I did a social media challenge with one of the millinery groups I belong to on Facebook. We had some daily homework which, by the end of the week came together into planner so than many weeks of social media promotions were planned out in advance.


Obviously, I’m not selling my hats (yet) so I was focusing on promoting my celebrant work. One of the hashtags I put forward on day three to help draw people to my posts was #WokeWeddings. The milliners immediately wanted to know what I meant and that was the most educational aspect for me because I made several points to illustrate the concept for them and these will now begin appearing every so often on my socials.


One of the things I enjoyed the most when preparing my ceremony scripts for my Cert IV assessments was being able to deviate from the expected traditions and put a modern twist on old practices. One of my “couples” didn’t exchange wedding rings, they bought naming rights to a newly discovered star (this is ceremonial not scientific, but the Sydney Observatory does it to raise funds). Another couple brought the daughter of one of the brides into the service and participated in a 3-way handfasting ceremony while her grandmother in Ireland read a poem via video link.

My favourite was the feminist who asked me to stress the point within the ceremony that her father was not “giving” her to her future husband. This couple walked up the aisle together, arm in arm and then involved parents and friends in other ways throughout the service. You’re probably going to want to pay your respects and give thanks to whomever brought you up but there are ways to do this that don’t diminish a woman’s intrinsic value….. imho.


Of course, these celebrations came out of my own imagination based on the criteria supplied by my training organization. I can’t wait to be doing innovative and interesting weddings for real.


To name a few other things that I think make a #wokewedding:

  • One of the Queen’s granddaughters upcycled granny’s dress for her wedding –vintage gowns are exquisite from a family member or op-shop.

  • Begin your ceremony by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land.

  • Don’t deliver the bride like a gift from one man to another.

  • Have the marrying couple take turns to “go first” with each ceremonial element.

  • If you don’t want to wear a ring that brands you as married, you don’t have to.

  • The terms “Bride” and “Groom” are optional now, as are “husband” and “wife”. You can be spouses or partners in marriage thanks to the 2017 Amendment to the Act which introduced marriage equality.

  • Consider your carbon footprint when planning the reception with regard to travel and catering.

  • Purchase decorative items second hand, there are dozens of fb pages where bridal décor is recycled.

  • Give your guests sustainable, eco-friendly party favours.

  • The wedding cake can actually be the dessert.

  • Have your wishing well go towards a charity.

When I was married, 35 years ago, there were church weddings or the registry office and we had little choice in how it was conducted. Since then Australia has led the world in the training and authorizing of independent Civil Marriage Celebrants and as a result, with the exception of a few lines that are compulsory to make the union legal, couples today really can have the wedding of their dreams.

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