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australians ditch the church for the beach

A generation ago nearly every couple went to the altar to get married, but it has emerged that Australian couples today would rather head to the beach than go to the chapel. However, in an interesting twist, there are still a few traditions that couples are holding on to.

With over 1,500 weddings under her belt, Australia’s leading celebrant, Wendy Haynes, has seen it all.

“I have officiated ceremonies that have taken me from the tank of a porpoise pool to a beach headland at sunrise,” Wendy said.

“Fusion of ‘old and new’ is the life force of any modern ceremony.”

“Weddings are a reflection of our community, heritage and lifestyle,” she continued.

“Australians are blending ideas to create personalised services where there has previously been an expectation towards the conventional. Weddings are certainly not what they used to be!”

Wendy’s top 5 trends for Australian weddings:

  • Foot fetish- Barefoot or thongs with the formal suit at the beach is rising in popularity
  • Gnome in your bridal party - Garden ceremonies are moving guests from indoor pews to outdoor benches
  • No more crazy cousin Phil - Many couples are now opting for smaller and more intimate events with only immediate family and friends
  • Back to basics - Many of the ceremony traditions such as being escorted down the aisle, carrying a bouquet and the formal asking are very much a part of today’s weddings. An emerging trend is that couples wish to make the wording and feel of the ceremony unique and personal.
  • Let me…Celebrate with you - Celebrants as officiates are the #1 way Australians get married. ABS research showed that civil celebrants have overseen the majority of marriages since 1999 and the proportion of marriage ceremonies overseen by a civil celebrant increased again to 76.4% of all marriages in 2016.

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what people say

Heidi, Cairns
Hi Wendy, I have been reading through your site and from feeling overwhelmed at the whole wedding planning now feel more relaxed!

Candy & Lincoln, Sydney, NSW
Your book gave us an insight as to what the important aspects of a perfect ceremony are. Had I not read your book I don’t know whether I would have put so much thought into the most memorable part of our wedding.
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