Springfield Elopements: without expense & stress

Wedding Suppliers … when should I book them?

When to book wedding suppliers is an important question for engaged couples. As a Brisbane based Marriage Celebrant, I speak to many couples who disappointed their preferred wedding venue is booked out years in advance. 63 percent of weddings are held on Saturdays. Consequently, Saturdays book out quickly.


My best advice is once you are engaged, book your key wedding suppliers. Decide your preferred date/s. Then book your wedding venue, Marriage Celebrant and wedding photographer.

When should the rest of your wedding suppliers be booked? To help, my Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist can be downloaded free. This Wedding Checklist gives you a great idea of what suppliers you may need so you can book them in a timely manner. I am a full-time Brisbane based Marriage Celebrant and have developed this checklist based on feedback from couples I have married.


If you are looking for an electronic To Do List or App Easy Weddings offers some great free tools. A broad range of wedding professionals’ profiles can be found on their site.

When looking for your wedding suppliers it is wise to seek suppliers who focus on weddings. Be aware that many wedding suppliers are casual or part-time. This is certainly the case with Marriage Celebrants. A small proportion of the thousands of Celebrants are full time. Here are so useful tip when choosing a Marriage Celebrant.

Over the coming months, I’ll be adding my thoughts on wedding venues I’ve conducted weddings at in Brisbane, Mount Tamborine, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Logan and Toowoomba. Look out for future Blog posts. Here’s my first on Mount Tamborine wedding venues.

Most professional wedding photographers work can be readily viewed on their websites, Facebook and Instagram pages. Here are a few great wedding photographers that I enjoy working with. These wedding suppliers are true professionals … check out their work.

Evoke Studios,

Richard Grainger,

Heart and Colour,

Rod Noendeng Photography,

Twig and Fawn Photography.

Kat Cherry Photography

How to Choose a Celebrant

Michael Janz, Brisbane Celebrant, shares 10 tips how to choose a Celebrant.

There are many things to consider in choosing a celebrant. Some people go on first impressions or “gut feelings”. Others choose on price – the least or most expensive.

You only want to get married once… ensure it’s what you want! Remember your celebration can’t be repeated! Apart from 5 sentences that must be stated to cover legal obligations, the rest is what you want. Remember it’s your ceremony not your celebrant’s.

Here are 10 tips to help you decide the best celebrant for you.

Talk to/meet the Celebrant before choosing

The best way to choose a Celebrant is to meet them.

I offer a no obligation meeting to enable us to get to know each other. It’s important I understand your needs. You can make sure I am the right one for you. I am pleased to travel to you. This is all at no obligation/cost for you. Also, I supply a comprehensive wedding kit when we meet.

Check the Celebrant’s availability

Is the celebrant available on the date and time you have in mind? Does the celebrant conduct multiple ceremony a day? Do you want to the Celebrant being delayed at their previous ceremony?

I only conduct 1 wedding per day. I prefer to focus on making your day the best it can possibly be.

Choose the Celebrant’s with the right attitude

Does the celebrant show they’ll deliver a ceremony that meets you needs? How are they going to help to determine what you need? Does the celebrant listen to your needs, ideas and concerns? Is the celebrant keen to ensure they understand what you expect from them? It’s also important to understand what is required of you when you choose a Celebrant.

I believe you are the “stars of the show”. I’m facilitating your show.

Choose the Celebrant with a proven reputation

Does the celebrant have a proven reputation? Take the time to read their reviews/testimonials. Check their website and sites that you can be confident of the validity of. Sometimes social media may not be truly reflective of quality. See if you can observe them performing a ceremony in a video.

Easy Weddings has a rigorous checking process that ensures validity of reviews.

Bride and Groom enjoying the Brisbane Celebrant conducting the wedding
Elise and Olly’s Mount Coot-tha Wedding Ceremony

Choose the Celebrant with the right personality

Does the celebrant have a personality that you find attractive? Above all only you will know when you meet. Alternatively a  phone discussion is a pretty good start in helping to choose a Celebrant.

Choose the Celebrant who demonstrates professionalism

Choose a Celebrant that demonstrates professionalism. Does the celebrant have a professional website? Do they respond in a timely manner? Does the celebrant have appropriate professional equipment. Things such as a PA system, computer and internet facilities, appropriate clothing, a reliable car, signing table etc?

I am a full-time Brisbane Celebrant who takes pride in my professional attributes. Responding to phone calls, texts and emails in a timely manner is very important to me.

Choose a Celebrant who continually develops themselves

Is the celebrant a member of celebrant associations/networks? Has the celebrant done recent training  in celebrancy or workshops held by celebrant associations? Choose a celebrant who is always developing.

I believe in continually improving my approaches with working with couples. I never stop learning.

Choose a Celebrant with the right experience

How much experience does the celebrant have?  Above all try to gauge whether they have spent years using the same old formula. In contrast are they focused on continually learning through experience.

Choosing a Celebrant with 10 years experience doesn’t ensure quality.

Check out the Celebrant’s location

Is the celebrant within reasonable travelling distance to the venue? Do they charge for travel? Choosing a Celebrant who lives around the corner isn’t the best indicator.

I’m a Celebrant living in Brisbane. I enjoy travelling to the Gold Coast, Tamborine, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and Toowoomba. It’s my job.  I’m happy to travel. unless I need to jump on a plane, I don’t charge extra for travel.  I’m happy to fly.

Understand the Celebrant’s fees…

Is the celebrant charging a commensurate fee.  Choose a Celebrant where the fee matches the work/service provide. Do they offer a flat fee or add on extras for  travel and extra meetings?

I offer a flat, all-inclusive fee with no surprises. I’m also happy to provide if required at no extra cost:

  • A portable, professional standard Bose PA and sound system. This ensures all of your guests clearly hear your wedding ceremony ;
  • Recorded music for playing throughout the Ceremony as required;
  • A well-presented table and chair for signing your marriage documentation if required.
Sophie and Giampoalo's Wedding Day at the Bpuevard Gardens Indooroopilly
Sophie and Giampaolo’s Wedding Day

Tamborine wedding venues

Tamborine wedding venues are  so close to Brisbane and the Gold Coast. As a Marriage Celebrant, I really enjoy marrying couples in  these delightful Mount Tamborine wedding venues. With all popular venues, don’t leave your decision too late or you’ll miss your preferred date.

Here’s several venues I enjoy visiting as a Marriage Celebrant at Tamborine:

Tamborine wedding venue: St Bernards over looking spectacular views

Tamborine wedding venue: Cedar Creek Estate Chapel with
Deb and Paulo’s Wedding Day with me, Michael Janz Celebrant

Cedar Creek Estate 

Cedar Creek Estate is a beautiful Tamborine venue for  your wedding ceremony and reception.

Choose a delightful wedding chapel adjacent to a lake or in the manicured gardens or Arbor for your wedding ceremony. There are plenty of perfect garden settings for you to  say, “I do”.

Several reception options are available for intimate celebrations through to up to 120 guests.

You’ll be assisted by a highly experienced wedding coordinator. I’m always happy to help as your Tamborine Wedding Celebrant.

St Bernards Hotel

St Bernards is an historic venue of Tamborine Mountain. Day visitors are impressed by the stunning views.  However, the stunning garden wedding setting is a wonderful surprise.

The hotel is set in beautiful rainforest gardens. The breath-taking views of the hinterland and Gold Coast are a great  backdrop for your wedding ceremony.

Receptions can be held a few steps away from the Ceremony. Choose from  either  The Grand Marquee or Siganto Room.

An experienced wedding coordinator will help your wedding day go off without a hitch. 

I’m always happy to help a no extra charge as your Tamborine Wedding Celebrant.

St Bernards  offers the Bride and bridal party a new luxurious lodge.  Edges has 3 double rooms.  What a great way to  enjoy the night and  your wedding night! Check out Edges.

Tamborine wedding venue: St Bernards over looking spectacular views

Tamborine wedding venue: St Bernards over looking spectacular views

The Old Church

Tamborine wedding venue: The Old Church

Tamborine wedding venue: The Old Church

The Old Church offers both a charming Chapel as well as well-established gardens on a 2 acre property to celebrate your wedding day.


Dating from the early 1900s, the Old Church seats 60 people. It has been kept in excellent condition. The fabulous, well established garden have several options for an outdoor ceremony.


The adjacent Old Church Restaurant can seat 90 guests. I had the pleasure attending a reception as a couple’s Tamborine Wedding Celebrant. The food, service and wines were fabulous.

It is walking distance from several accommodation options.  Mount Tamborine has limited public transport options. As a result its important to pre-plan transport for guest at Tamborine wedding venues.

Pethers Rainforest Retreat

Pethers Rainforest Retreat is set in a superb rainforest setting. This is an ideal setting for elopement style or intimate weddings of up to 70 people.
There are 10 individual and private tree houses.

The balcony of a private treehouse can be an intimate setting for an elopement style wedding ceremony. It is gorgeous and private Tamborine wedding venue.


The newly created Wedding Garden features a manicured lawn and wedding gazebo.  It comes complete with red carpet and white fold out chairs. This area is enveloped by a rainforest.  It is a perfect place for your wedding ceremony with a larger group of guests. Other ceremony options include the balcony of the Main Lodge or beside their pond and water fountain.


The stunning restaurant can cater for a reception up to 70 people banquet style or up to 100 people cocktail style.


The onsite Event Manager can assist you celebrate your wedding.

Other Mount Tamborine wedding venues worth checking out:

Albert River Wines nestled at the base of Tamborine Mountain. It has multiple ceremony venues and 3 reception venues. 

Cedar Creek Lodges can host your ceremony, reception, wedding party and guest accommodation in one rainforest Tamborine wedding venue. 

Hampton Estate Wines(previously Heritage Wines) is surrounded  by beauty of the landscape, mountain views,and the history of its majestic old building.

Tamborine Mountain Garden Weddings is home to magical gardens, comfortable cottage accommodation, stunning reception centres and friendly staff.

There are many more terrific Mountain Wedding venues, feel free to share the details.
If you’re looking for a Tamborine Marriage Celebrant, contact me, Michael Janz Celebrant.

8 Helpful Tips for a Stress Free Wedding

Here are 8 Tips for a Stress Free Wedding. Follow these to  maximise the enjoyment and reduce possible stress. Your wedding day should be one of enjoying one of the most important days of your life… not stress! 

1. Keep yourself hydrated and nourished

Sometimes couples get so wrapped up in making the day perfect, they forget to eat and drink. They become de-hydrated and their blood sugar levels can drop, making them dizzy and feeling faint. Mix that with a hot day and nerves, and you could end up with a wedding ceremony that is aired on Funniest Home Videos (but won’t be so funny to you).

2.Hair and makeup tips for a stress free wedding

When arranging your appointments with hairdressers and makeup artists,  ensure that you as the bride get done first. Have your own transport in case you have to leave before the bridesmaids are finished. This will ensure that you will be dressed and ready when the photographer and/or videographer arrive.

If you are having makeup professionally done, ask them for a sample of the product you are using. Most places have samples and are happy to give them to you. They are a convenient size to put in a small bag to re-apply as needed after the ceremony and throughout the reception.

3. Flower tips for a stress free wedding

Only put the flowers in the fridge if you are getting married in winter or where the outside temperature is quite cool. Flowers don’t take kindly to be thrust into a furnace after they have sat undisturbed for some hours.

Queensland brides should leave the flowers wrapped in wet paper towels (around the stalk end) at room temperature. This prevents the flowers go into ‘shock’ when they go outside.

4.Groom’s arrival tips for a stress free wedding

Both the groom and his attendants should be on site at least a half hour before the ceremony start time to be able to greet the guests, and to be ready for the photographer.

5. Bride’s arrival tips for a stress free wedding

Contrary to popular belief, it is no longer fashionable for the bride to be late. This may have been the case in a time when churches or venues only booked one wedding per day.  These days sites can be booked for another wedding, and you don’t want to be hurried along by the arrival of the next bride and groom.

Also, late arrival of the bride can cause undue stress for the groom and his attendants, and your guests; especially the elderly and young children.  These people have already been ‘standing around’ for some time, and tend to become tired and unsettled. In the interests of all concerned, you should aim to be on time.

6. Transport to the wedding venue tips for a stress free wedding

Close to your wedding date and at approximately the same time and day as the wedding, have a practice run from where you are getting dressed to the venue.  This will cater for about the same type of traffic conditions. Obeying all traffic lights, directions, speed limits etc, note the time it took to get there, then add 15 minutes to it. Use this practice run to calculate the time the bride should be in the car and on her way, taking into account that you may need to allow an extra 10-15 minutes on arrival at the venue for the photographer.  This extra time ensures that she will be able to be taken around any traffic diversions, accidents, RBTs and so on, so that you arrive cool, calm and collected.

If using limousines or hire vehicles, contact the company a few days before the wedding date and go over all transport requirements, particularly timings of arrival at the bride’s home, departure from there and arrival time at the wedding venue, allowing for the photographer who may take up to 15 minutes to take shots of your arrival.  Ensure that the driver will know the location and directions to the wedding venue.

In the event of any accident, flat tyre or vehicle breakdown, it is a good idea for the bride (or father of the bride, if in the same car) has at least $40-50 so that if worst case scenario means that you have to call a cab, you have the money to pay for the fare.  Do not wait for help.

7. During the ceremony

While you are standing for the ceremony, you should never stand continuously on the balls of your feet, as this can close off part of the circulation and result in an eventual faint. Equally, never stand entirely on the front of your feet. This may be a little hard for brides with high heels, but the best way to avoid cutting off circulation is to discretely rock back and forwards, or wiggle your toes. No-one will see!

8. More tips for a stress free wedding

Tips for grooms

  • Buttonhole flowers are worn on the left lapel, with the flower facing up. Flowers are usually worn by the groom and his attendants, plus the fathers of the bride and groom.
  • The pleats in cummerbunds are worn facing up.
  • For best photographic results, shave 2-3 days before the wedding and then wait until the morning of the wedding to shave again.

Tips for brides

  • Pack an ‘emergency kit’. Ask a friend to look after it until needed. Include things like lipstick, make up touch ups, nail varnish (to fix a run in stockings). Also include safety pins and/or needle and thread, aspirin, spare hanky or tissues, band aids.
  • Consider packing some comfy shoes that you can change into after the photos and formalities are over.
  • If you are spray tanning for your wedding, trial the product or professional service first. Be certain you are going to like the end result. A bad spray tan can look tragic, whereas a good one looks fabulous.
  • Do not apply any hair removal creams or waxes within a day or two of your wedding unless you are certain that you won’t have a reaction to it.
  • Clean your engagement ring  so that it will match your shiny new wedding ring.
  • If you are wearing a strapless gown, take your bra off at least three hours before the photographer’s arrival on your wedding day. Bra strap marks stay embedded in the skin for a long time.

For more wedding tips and ideas, check out :https://www.michaeljanzcelebrant.com.au/faqs/

Changing your name through marriage in Australia

So, you are now married, and you would like to change your last name … what do you do?

Many people choose to use their spouse’s family name once they are married—it’s a custom and not the law.

If you were married in Australia, you don’t need to apply formally for a change of name with Births, Deaths or Marriages in your local State.

Usually personal documentation, such as your driver licence and passport, can be changed to your married name when you provide a standard marriage certificate. This is not the Certificate provided at your wedding. A standard marriage certificate must be applied for through Births, Deaths or Marriages in the State where you were married.

When I marry a couple, I ask if they would like me to request a standard marriage certificate when I register the wedding.

How to change your name through marriage

If you choose to change your name when you get married, you’ll need to tell various government agencies, banks, utility suppliers and other businesses your new married name.

You may be asked to:

  • send a letter or email
  • complete a change request form (online or one they send out to you)
  • visit an office in person.

Organisations will also have different requirements on what proof they need, some may want:

  • to see your standard marriage certificate
  • a certified photocopy of your standard marriage certificate for your account file with them
  • evidence of updated photo ID
  • a combination of identity documents

For more information go to: https://www.qld.gov.au/law/births-deaths-marriages-and-divorces/changing-your-name/changing-your-name-through-marriage or Births, Deaths or Marriages in the State where you were married.

Are you planning a video of your wedding?

Remember your special day with a wedding video. Have a look at some examples https://www.michaeljanzcelebrant.com.au/video-gallery/

Seventeen gems of advice on marriage

1. Manage your Expectations

“My parents always say relationships are all about communication and expectations.”

2. Never Assume, Ask

“My dad told me, ‘never assume.’ You will never really know what your partner wants unless you communicate”

3. Remember To Always Say “I Love You” and “Thank You”

“I’ve been married 21 years and we got married young — at 19 and 20. A couple things I think have helped us. Anytime we say goodbye, we always say, ‘I love you’; and we make sure to thank the other for all the things we do. Like if he takes out the trash, I say ‘thank you.’ If I wash the dishes, he says ‘thank you.’ It just makes sure you never take the other for granted and they know it.”

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