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wendy haynes

celebrant, speaker, and author

mindfulness and nonviolent communication facilitator

quote marksI have been passionate about celebrancy since I was appointed in 1995. I celebrated my 25th anniversary of appointment in March 2020.

It's been an inspiring and rewarding journey working side by side with many couples and families creating personal, unique and heartwarming ceremonies that have touched not only the couple but everyone present.

Even though we need to 'stay at home' and cannot hug and kiss our dearest friends and family we can come together online, with a quality of deep presence, attention and care to honour the 'touchpoints' in our lives.

It's a time for deep listening, stepping into the new to affirm our connection, and hold close our vulnerability and courage.

We can do this together!

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Create your own inspiring Wedding Ceremony by Wendy Haynes


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I acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the lands on which I live, work and play, Gumbayngiirr Country in northern NSW. I pay my respect to Indigenous Elders past, present and emerging. 

celebrating this one precious life



As the world emerges from the pandemic many of us have found new ways of being - working, playing, socialising and importantly, honouring life's celebrations and ceremonies.

In this new paradigm, we've opened to possibilities and reimagined ways of honouring life and death supporting families and community members to grieve and celebrate together. During the pandemic I was joined by over 140 guests including celebrants, funeral directors and community members from Australia and New Zealand in a project to role play six online funeral ceremonies using the platform Zoom.

Overwhelmingly, the feedback from participants attending the role play funeral ceremonies is that together we created a space where there was a tangible sense of connection, community and belonging. Whilst there was clear structure and guidance the online ceremonies are essentially like being in a circle where people can share stories, laughter and tears and connect with each other in an engaged way. While the platform has its limitations, many that participated viewed the experience positively. Dr David Straton, Psychiatrist, who attended as a guest at one of the role plays wrote, 'What touched me was a sense of a collection of individuals, rather than a crowd, which one sees in a live funeral.

While the need for online funeral funerals is changing as restrictions are lifting in most countries the guide can offer support for those who still wish to set up the online platform to allow those who cannot travel to attend the ceremony.

The outcome of the role plays? Two online videos of the role plays that were recorded are now freely available as is the accompanying Comprehensive Guide to Online Funeral and Memorial Ceremonies. The guide provides practical support for celebrants for conducting online meetings and funeral ceremonies. It includes a step by step layout for creating and conducting an online ceremony, comprehensive checklists and an example ceremony. There are also ideas on how to encourage people to take care of themselves during the ceremony, how to connect with others online, and how to best receive and offer support before, during and after the ceremony and a lot more. 

To download this free guide >>


The two recordings can be viewed on YouTube - the role-play of Bill's funeral here and the role-play of Olivia's funeral here.

Many of the skills and ideas utilised in the video and guide are transferable to other celebrations. Please contact me for support and ideas on how to conduct an online and engaged ceremony.

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Mindfulness with Wendy and Lisa

We invite you to be a part of an ongoing, online meditation community each Tuesday from 7pm to 8pm (AEDT NSW, Australia). The meditations will be led by Wendy and Lisa, qualified practitioners offering practical meditation skills to support you during these challenging times, drawing on a range of traditions including Insight meditation, yoga and compassionate communication. The practices are offered freely however you are welcome to make a donation here to support our work. To join us, please download the free Zoom program and follow this link each week

Be safe, well and happy everyone in these challenging times. 


MINDFULNESS MEDITATION recorded 14.7.20 Free download

MOUNTAIN MEDITATION - FREE DOWNLOAD (written by Jon Kabat-Zinn, read by Wendy Haynes)


We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us, that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet' Yeats.

Read Wendy's Latest Blog Post

Do I want to marry this couple?

MEMORIES OF WEDDINGS PAST - I remember being quite alarmed when I met this couple for the first time. When I opened my front door and welcomed them into my home the groom was holding their beautiful new born baby. The baby looked a little treasure fast asleep. I acknowledged their baby and the groom said, 'yeah, the little ##@!! didn't sleep last night'.  ... read more





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Create your own inspiring Wedding Ceremony by Wendy Haynes


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Investment and contributions

During this time of great change, and social distancing there are many challenges that arise within us, personally and globally. Our opportunity to connect is vital especially in times of loss and grief and also in times of celebration. If you are in need of a celebrant yet are unable to meet this cost then please feel free to email to discuss your ceremony and my availability.

If you would like to invest in projects and ceremonies that are dedicated to creating connection, compassion, care and presence, please contribute below.

Your contribution will support families unable to afford the cost of a celebrant, the actors (for the ceremony role play), IT Support, technical staff and administration staff who are part of my dedicated team. Thank you.