Chloe + Mahmoud’s Gardens House Wedding

First meeting

At Phuket airport. Mahmoud tells me he was instantly mesmerised by Chloe’s beauty.
He had just shared a laugh and a hug with one of his friends, before he turned to see Chloe standing there behind him in the customs line, so he promptly broke into a huge smile and asked her if she would like a hug too!

First impressions

They immediately discovered a very similar sense of humour, and bonded over a love of travel and immersing themselves into different cultures, but it was their strong family ties and a love for sports that brought them close together….well, by sports I mean mainly AFL….meaning mainly Carlton….ok so maybe that was just Mahmoud that was obsessed with sport, but either way, it didn’t take long at all for their friendship to develop into the loving bond which led them to marry at the beautiful Gardens House in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens.


After lots of Lebanese family traditions starting the day off for Mahmoud, Chloe made her entrance at Gardens House as a breathtaking figure in custom Craig Braybrook Couture.
She named her handsome groom as “the most beautiful, smart, and generous person I have ever known”. Mahmoud promised to love, cherish and commit his heart + soul to Chloe for as long as he lived.

Mahmoud’s nephew stood up as the cute as button ring bearer, before a first kiss as husband + wife drew highly anticipated cheers and applause from a very festive group of guests!

Congratulations Mr + Mrs M and thank you for allowing me to share a part of your amazing day with you!

Photo credit

The incredibly talented Theo from Loco Photography for the beautiful images – what a superstar x

Gardens House Celebrants

Gardens House Celebrant Meriki Comito

Gardens House Celebrant Meriki Comito

Gardens House Celebrant Meriki Comito

Gardens House Celebrant Meriki Comito

Lebanese Wedding Traditions

Lebanese Wedding Traditions

Lebanese Wedding Traditons

Wedding Entourage

Bride's arrival

Beautiful Wedding Flowers

Page Boys job at the wedding

Here comes the bride

Here comes the bride

Here comes the bride

Gardens House weddings with Meriki Comito Celebrant

Gardens House weddings with Meriki Comito Celebrant

Gardens House weddings with Meriki Comito Celebrant

Gardens House weddings with Meriki Comito Celebrant

Gardens House weddings with Meriki Comito Celebrant

Gardens House weddings with Meriki Comito Celebrant

First kiss as husband and wife

Signing the register

Married!!Bridal party goals

Alone at last

Wedding kisses in the rain

Love in the rain on your wedding day

Wedding dance Lebanese style

Newlywed heaven


Chloe + Mahmoud | 02.11.2018

Photography: Loco Photography
Ceremony Location: Gardens House 
Celebrant: Meriki Comito 
Videography: IMedia Studios
Bridal Gown: Craig Braybrook Couture 
Bride’s Shoes: Valentino
Flowers : Floretta By Grace
Groom’s Cars: Pony Passion Cars
Bride’s Cars: RR Classic Car Hire
Ceremony Music: Four Seasons String Quartet
Reception Location: Metropolis


Ceremony Entrances – Know your options!

Feature photo by Ben Swinnerton

Ceremony entrances, or processionals, are one of the most highly anticipated moments of every wedding, but these days, you have more choices than ever!

Whether you’re a traditional couple, or an unconventional one, there’s a ceremony entrance to suit your style, and I have listed my Top 10 processional options for you here!

What kind of couple are YOU?

1. The Traditional Couple

One person waits at the front whilst the other party makes their way down the aisle (or catwalk, as I like to all it if not in space that has an actual aisle!) on the arm of their father, or mother, or both!

Alternative A: You can also walk down the aisle with your mother, sibling, uncle, aunt, grandparent, children, dog, best friend or anyone else for that matter!

Alternative B: BOTH parties can walk down the aisle separately, each to their own song (think of the options!) They can also both be accompanied by their mum, dad, sibling, grandparent, child, pet, etc.

Garden Ceremony Entrances with Melbourne Celebrant Meriki

Photo by Memory Box Studio

2. The Independent Couple

One person waits at the front and the other enters solo – and totally OWNS that entrance!

Alternative A: Same as above, but then the couple can meet half way to walk hand in hand together to the front.

Alternative B: The couple can each walk in solo one after the other. They can even scrap the aisle idea completely and instead walk down opposite sides of their guests to meet at the front.

Celebrity Wedding Celebrant Melbourne Meriki Comito

Photo courtesy ABC News

3. The Blended Family Couple

One person waits at the front and the other walks down the aisle with their father AND step father on each arm!

Alternative: The bride/groom enters the ceremony space with their step father, then changes over to their birth father half way (say at the end of the seating) to approach the front together. Or Vise Versa f course!

4. The Inclusive Couple

The couple include their guests in the processional

Option A: Guests are provided with single flowers upon arrival, so that as one, or both parties make their way down the aisle, the flowers are collected to form the wedding bouquet(s). 

Option B: One, or both parties would like guests to sing, cheer + clap, or high five them as they walk down the aisle.

Creative Melbourne Celebrant Meriki Comito

Photo courtesy of Levinine

5. The Sharing-is-Caring Couple

The couple enters the ceremony space hand in hand, enjoying the moment together.

Alternative: No alternative for the couple really, but they might like to have their wedding party attendants walk in two by two as well, if they’re having any!

6. The Party Couple

A great alternative for cocktail style weddings, where the guests arrive early for drinks before the ceremony starts! The couple don’t want to miss a single opportunity to party with their guests, so they choose to arrive at the same time to kick off celebrations before official proceedings commence.

Same Sex Melbourne Wedding Celebrant Meriki Comito

Photo by It’s Beautiful Here

7. The Surprise Couple

Family and friends are invited to an engagement party, where one or both parties slip away for a quick costume change before a big surprise wedding is announced!

8. The Boss Couple

The couple enter the ceremony space together first, with guests following behind them.

Option: The couple can be lead by a musician, say a bagpiper, drummer or violinist.

Cultural Weddings with Melbourne Celebrant Meriki Comito

Photo by Christophe Viseux

9. The Entertaining Couple

The couple enter the ceremony in a semi choreographed dance routine with all their wedding attendants.

Option: Guests join in too….and the celebrant as well if they want. Just saying.

10. The Free-Spirited Couple

The couple chooses an entrance that’s totally their own style just for fun, because they can. They may want clapping and cheering, bells rung, whistles blown, drums played, flags waved, or songs sung. They may even want to arrive via parachute, on a camel or a Harley Davidson, and to any style of music that makes them happy.

Laid Back Melbourne Celebrant Meriki Comito

Photo by Candid Captures Photography

As I tell every couple I meet, you can arrive at your wedding ceremony anyway you choose.
It’s your day, so go for it.
Choose your own entrance, be excited about it, and start your celebration off exactly how you want the rest of the day to go!

Rain on Your Wedding Day – Do you have a plan B?

Feature Image by Ben Swinnerton 

Whats the weather forecast?

Nothing sets off the fear in many a brides heart more than the thought of rain on their wedding day. Weather is the one element you have no control over, but as long as you have a “Plan B”, you can rest easy it will still be a perfect day.

Have the conversation

The first point of conversation at all my planning meetings with couples who have chosen to marry outside, is what they plan to do if it pours with rain.

Most brides will have an alternative location already in place, which is amazing, but for those of you who are living out their planning days either crossing your fingers that it won’t rain, or attempting to use the power of prayer, voodoo, positive thinking or threats on someone’s life to prevent it from raining, I can tell you now with absolute certainty, that Melbourne weather is ridiculously unpredictable. It doesn’t care how desperately you want that beautiful sunshiny garden wedding and can totally ruin every one of those HOURS you have spent planning and preparing for that one big day.

Image result for 20090526172347_wedding-rain.jpg

Your guests should remember your wedding for the RIGHT reasons..

No bride or groom ever dreams of arriving at the ceremony looking spectacular, only to get out of the car and get completely soaked whilst they sink into the soggy ground down the aisle. And let’s not forget about your guests and husband to be, who have been waiting that 15-30 minutes prior to your arrival, miserably clutching an umbrella, or huddling under the nearest tree. In my experience, guests will often refuse to come and take a seat in the rain, preferring the shelter of a tree over witnessing the beautiful ceremony and vows you have spent months perfecting.

Melbourne Celebrants
Photo by LJM Photography

On a personal note

Oh, and just from my perspective as a celebrant, standing in the rain is not an ideal situation for us either. It’s rather difficult to balance our ceremony script folder or device, as well as a microphone and an umbrella all at the same time. And even in the cases of a light shower, our sound systems and legal documents don’t tend to do very well when they get wet either, so without the kind offer of bridal party members or guests to stand up and hold up umbrellas, you may be without sound or have a soggy marriage certificate as a keepsake!

Melbourne Marriage Celebrants
Image by Joseph Koprek Photography

An easy, budget friendly plan sometimes isn’t enough

Some couples will arrange for shelter  in the form of market umbrellas or gazebos. These are perfect for the days when there’s just some light rain or drizzle, but you will still need to be prepared for the case of heavier rain, as those options will not make any difference when the rain is coming in sideways!

Melbourne Celebrants
Image by Gerard Assi

Many brides are totally against a plan B, as they think its not going to be the ceremony of their dreams if they have to resort to it, but trust me when I say that unless dancing in the rain is your thing (and rainy day wedding photos can of course be absolutely magical!),  getting completely soaked during the legal parts and having grumpy, wet guests arriving at your reception afterwards is by no way going to contribute to that idea of a perfect day.

Talk to your reception venue

A lot of venues have some beautiful wet weather options, and if you’re lucky enough to book a venue that provides exclusivity, you can normally select which option you would prefer to go with, only a few hours in advance!

Melbourne Celebrants
Image by Meriki Comito

In other cases, if your venue is not able to provide an alternative rainy day option, they will most likely allow you to move your ceremony into the space you have booked for your reception.

In short, putting a solid wet weather contingency in place, will provide you with absolute peace of mind that no matter what the weather, you will be guaranteed a truly beautiful Plan B that can actually leave your guests thinking it was the Plan A all along! All it needs is a little organising in advance, so that every one of your suppliers can make sure it happens!

Melbourne Celebrants
Image by Jerome Cole Photography

In the end

But the most important point to remember is that at the end of the day, regardless of the fact that you have no control over the weather, you will be married to the person you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with, and that’s something the weather will make no difference to!

So if you’re planning an outside ceremony, and you don’t have a wet weather contingency, the following fabulous suppliers can help you to lock in your dream Plan B!
Otherwise just ask your humble celebrant. I’m pretty certain they’ll be able to send you in the right direction. Just for peace of mind x


Dann Event Hire
Harry The Hirer
The Style Co
Weddings of Distinction
0417 394 792

Ellen + Lachy’s Yarra Valley Wedding

First Meeting

First meeting at ‘Electric Lady Land’ on Chapel Street, Lachy thought Ellen looked hot and seemed fun to talk to.
Ellen found Lachy to be kind of quiet, but she liked the way he ran his fingers through is hair, so after discovering a mutual appreciation of good food & wine, they bonded over the fact that they had both worked at wineries, both shared a love of animals, and both enjoyed each other’s company immensely.

Ceremony vibes

In a laughter filled ceremony at one of Yarra Valley’s newer wedding venues, The Farm Yarra Valley, Ellen and Lachy became husband and wife.

Ellen was so on trend in a fabulous Amaline Vitale Bridal & Couture gown (with pockets – always a win in my mind!) as she stood hand in hand with her handsome groom before a giant steel + floral Ceremony Circle by Sassafras Flower Design.

After receiving the best wishes of each and every guest, we were treated to two awesome readings by close friends, before Ellen and Lachy exchanged vows declaring “It is your heart that moves me, your spirit that inspires me, your humour that delights me, and your hand I want to hold for all of our days”

Their first kiss brought thunderous cheers and applause before squeals of excitement when I announced that the newlyweds had organized an Easter Egg hunt immediately after!
So much fun!!

Photo credit

Beautiful images by Anitra Wells / Photographer who is always so fabulous work with!

Yarra Valley Celebrants

Melbourne/ Yarra valley Wedding Venue

Ellen + Lachy | 15.04.2017

Photography: Anitra Wells
Ceremony & Reception Location: The Farm Yarra Valley
Celebrant: Meriki Comito 
Flowers + Ceremony Circle: Sassafras Flowers
Bridal Gown: Amaline Vitale
Cheese Wheel Cake: The Farm Yarra Valley

My Top 10 Most Asked Questions!

“I’ve never done this before, so I have no idea where to start”

Every new couple I meet with, even those who have been married previously, have questions regarding the marriage ceremony and what they need to factor into their planning. Just about every couple I have “worked” with, will know that I take at least 15-20 minutes at the beginning of our initial meeting to establish what to expect during their wedding ceremony planning journey, but I will ALWAYS allow for a question/answer time, (once we have discussed all the important things like whether or not they have found their dream wedding dress!) as I know at least one of these following questions will pop up!
Main Photo Credit: Loco Photography

Let’s start at #10 and work our way through to the #1 most popular question.


I believe this is very similar to asking someone what, in their opinion, makes a great holiday?
A great wedding is one that is absolutely perfect for you.
Every couple is different, so the more of yourselves you put into it, the more likely your ceremony will be everything you’re hoping for!
It should reflect not only who you are, but also what you love, and what you consider to be most important in life.
It should be fun, romantic, sweet, hilarious, serious, formal, casual, lighthearted, traditional, totally random, or all of the above, but most of all, it should be meaningful to you, should be memorable for all the right reasons and should create all the feels you would like to see shine through in your photos  – your memories of that one big moment you will come back to for the rest of your life.
Finding a marriage celebrant who understands you, can offer you ideas that inspire you, and with whom you feel confident can create this magical moment with you is SO very important, so please take the time to get to know a few of us!

       Photo Credit: Candid Captures

9. “WHAT DO YOU (as a celebrant) NORMALLY WEAR?”

Whatever you would like me to!
This is something I will always discuss with every couple, to ensure I complement their colour scheme and dress code on the big day. In fact I wouldn’t mind at all if you requested a specific colour dress that I didn’t already have in my wardrobe – any excuse to buy a new frock is a great one in my opinion! But don’t worry, unless it is specifically requested, I will NEVER wear white, in any form – that is for the bride and the bride only!

Melbourne Civil Celebrants       Photo Credit: Ben Differding


Absolutely! It means, in many cases, that you will have a much better quality sound for your wedding video, and I’m all for working with your suppliers to ensure you receive the best outcome in every aspect of your planning!
You are also welcome to pass on my details to them so they can contact me in the lead up to the big day to discuss any connection requirements.

Melbourne Wedding Celebrants       Photo Credit: Gerard Assi


In short, no, as long as your two official witnesses are close enough to hear you state your legal intentions.
The long answer is, your family and friends have all come along to hear you make a lifelong promise to one another and are so excited to be able to witness such an important moment in your lives, so unless you prefer that they sit and wonder what on earth it was that was said to make you smile, laugh, cry or all of the above, then yes, microphones are always a good idea, but I promise I won’t make you hold it yourself, i fact I’m happiest holding the microphone for you so you can concentrate on sharing the beautiful words you have written for each other!

Marriage Celebrants Melbourne       
Photo Credit: Vlad Savin


Babies cry. It’s a fact. If you have young children, the best thing to do is NOT assume that it will be a magical day where they won’t cry at all. The best thing to do is to accept that they probably will, so be prepared for that, and always have a nominated carer on hand to keep an eye on them at all times so you don’t have to!
I have conducted many ceremonies where young children are involved and I find it all works out for the best when you simply follow their lead and go with whatever happens on the day.
If they want to be held by one of you for the entire ceremony, then let them. Their squishy little face between you when you share your first kiss as a married couple will be captured by your photographer and will provide you all with the best memory in the years to come.
If they want to sit on the ground at your feet and play with the flowers/dirt/sand/grass/ shoelaces/ empty ring box/ cracks between the floorboards or anything else that amuses them, then let them.
If they want to be held by you one minute, then your mum the next, or the bridesmaid or groomsman, or any other random guests that captures their attention, then let them.
And if they want to grab my microphone and say hello with a big cheesy (and sometimes dribbly) grin, then believe me, I will let them do that too 🙂
Don’t worry if they get dirty. Don’t worry if they don’t want to smile perfectly for the camera. Don’t worry if they rip off their flower crown/boutonniere/vest/jacket/ shoes before they’ve even made it down the aisle. And don’t worry if they want to stand up the front and pull faces at you, at your guests, at your photographer, or at me – it will be really funny (about a week later for you maybe), and everyone will look really happy in all your photos! Trust me.

       Photo Credit: Kate Deagan Photography


Well, if they can’t walk down the aisle themselves, most would consider them too young.
Unless a parent carrying their child down the aisle adds significant meaning to your day, I would advise against it, as the parent can sometimes appear embarrassed, leading to a rather awkward start to the ceremony….

        Photo Credit: Nicole Taranto Photography


Long enough to a) Watch you receive lots of congratulatory hugs + kisses from your family + friends,
b) Pass your marriage certificate on to a nominated person of your choice (that you have already decided on in the lead up to the big day), c) Pack up all my equipment, and d) Give you a hug goodbye with my very best wishes for a fabulous celebration!
Oh, and if there is champagne going around, I may make a quick toast to your future as a new Mr + Mrs!

       Photo Credit: ProShot Photography


No problem at all! That’s what I am there for!
I will always discuss ceremony details at our final meeting leading up to the big day, to ensure that I understand your brief exactly regarding every moment of how you would like the ceremony to run.
I will meet you when you arrive and will discuss your entrance with your venue co-ordinator to ensure it runs smoothly. If you don’t have a venue coordinator, I will assist you with your arrival and your entrance.
I will show your bridesmaids where to stand after they walk down the aisle to ensure they are nice and symmetrical to the groomsmen. But if your bridal party is uneven, I will work with numbers to ensure you are all still positioned perfectly for photos.
I will guide you through every aspect of the ceremony from start to finish and will ensure both you and anyone else involved directly in the ceremony knows what they are doing and are confident in their individual roles. You won’t need to worry about a thing!

       Photo Credit: Blumenthal


Again, try not to overthink this part.
In most cases, you have never done anything like this before, so how can you possibly imagine how you are going to feel and react? You can’t. So don’t even try. Just go with it, and like with everything else, be prepared for anything.
But know that I will always be there to help you through those ridiculously unpredictable emotions.
Trust me, I’ve done this a few times now and I’m pretty good at keeping those words flowing and turning sobs into smiles, but I will always let the tears with the feels fall if it means that your partner (and all your family and friends) can see just how much you mean to each other x

       Photo Credit: Doux Wedding Corp

And the number one question most brides ask……..


Your usual name! You have to actually sign the marriage certificate before you can be considered legally married and eligible for a change of name!

Wedding Celebrants Melbourne        Photo Credit: Luke Lornie Photography


As I said, these are only MY top 10, but if you have any other questions in regards to your wedding ceremony (and there is absolutely no such thing as a silly one!) please feel free to contact me at any time!


A Marriage Celebrant in Melbourne

Melbourne Celebrant | Jo & Andrew's Eastern Hill Wedding | Photo: www.ninniephotography.comWelcome to my blog!

I have to admit that I was initially quite averse to the idea of blogging, mainly because I naively didn’t think anyone actually read them and wasn’t sure I’d actually have the time to update mine on a regular basis even if they did, but I have since discovered that the world of blogging is a LOT bigger than what I had assumed and have therefore decided that I might need to be a part of it all.

So here I am.

I am a fully authorised marriage celebrant in Melbourne and believe, without a doubt, that I have the best job in the world!

I have always loved weddings and still, in a bottom draw with tons of other random memorabilia from my childhood, have a diary full of wedding ideas, pictures of bridal gowns cut from my mums magazines, photos of the “type” of husband I thought I would marry one day and a bunch of those games I used to play with my friends to find out the name of my future husband – you know, the one where you take the first letter of your favourite colour and the 2nd letter of the suburb where you would like to live etc……..

Here’s a more tech savvy predictor quiz for you…. DO THE QUIZ

ANYWAY, when I finally became engaged over 15 years ago, I put a lot of effort and planning into our special day, carrying out 99.9% of the organising myself. I didn’t have a PC at home and while I did try to sneak in some online searching via the yellow pages into work each day, I pretty much spent every weekend driving around from shop to shop to source suppliers. And I had an absolute ball.

18 months later, I finally married my wonderful husband during one of the best days of our life and then, whilst on our honeymoon, I took to my banana lounge, cocktail in hand and pondered how I could ever re live that most incredible day. “I could become a wedding planner! Of course! I could do all the planning for other couples! Perfect!” And then I fell pregnant with our first child.

Lucky enough to be able to take on my new role as a permanent stay at home mum, thoughts of work took a backseat while I raised my son, realising very quickly that I would most likely never be able to commit to the amount of time I imagined it would take to be a wedding planner!

Melbourne Celebrant Meriki Comito Melbourne Celebrant Meriki Comito

Melbourne Celebrant Meriki Comito


So while planning weddings was now off my list of possible careers, I knew I still wanted to work in the wedding industry and was keeping my options open, when, whilst pregnant with my second son, I was browsing the HeraldSun classifieds when I came across an ad asking me if I would like to become a marriage celebrant.

“Well yes, I think I would! I think that would be an absolutely perfect job for me!”

But it took me another couple of years of raising child number two, until I finally completed my course and received the Attorney Generals tick of approval to become a registered marriage celebrant.

That was four years ago, and apart from now having THREE children (we have a beautiful princess now too!), I conduct about 60 ceremonies a year and couldn’t be happier.

Every ceremony is an absolute joy to be a part of and I absolutely LOVE the diversity of the couples I meet and the ceremonies I help them to create. The life of a celebrant is pretty special.

Melbourne Celebrant | Sandra & Matt's Alowyn Gardens Wedding | Photo: Melbourne Celebrant Meriki Comito

Melbourne Celebrant | Hoa & David's Melbourne Museum Wedding | Photo:


And so, via this blog, I look forward to sharing my experiences as a celebrant with you, including all the laughter, tears, style, romance, and most importantly love, that I am so very privileged to be a part of.

And hopefully, somewhere along the way, I will provide some insight, some inspiration or just some simple browsing enjoyment for any of you who choose to join me on this magical journey.

In Life & Love always ~

Meriki x


Celebrant: Meriki Comito | Simply Celebrant

Photos courtesy of Ninnie Photography, Tiny Sparrows Photography, LJM Photography, Doux Wedding Corp

Locations: Eastern Hill Dining Hall, Werribee Mansion, Williamstown Pier, Alowyn Gardens, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Museum