Wedding Vaccination Requirements
(Feature image of vaccine passport is a predicted sample only)
“Are you fully vaxxed?”
It’s not a question you want to be asking family and friends when planning a wedding, but vaccination requirements are upon us and being vaccinated against COVID-19 will be essential for attendance on your big day.
Couples planning a larger scale wedding will need to take steps to ensure their guests and vendors are double vaccinated, otherwise they will not be able to hold their wedding indoors and their number of guests will have to be reduced to a maximum of 10, (plus celebrant and one photographer).
I am a fully vaccinated authorised worker and under government directives, will be obligated to request proof of vaccination to ensure that all marrying couples, their witnesses, and any attendees whether vendors or guests, are also fully vaccinated on the wedding day, unless a medical exemption applies.
See information regarding reasons for a valid medical exemption
Information and advice relating to compliance obligations in Victoria have not been released at this time, so, as usual, we will need to wait for, and abide by Health Department advice at the time of the event.
However, it has been suggested that once the rules do come into effect, the responsibility for policing vaccination will be placed on individuals, as well as registered businesses.
Whilst official advice relating to compliance obligations in Victoria have not been released at this time, the Victorian Government have confirmed that a valid form of evidence of vaccination, or medical exemption, in the form of digital certification will be required to permit attendance to your wedding or event.
Please click here for information on how to obtain your COVID-19 digital certificate
I would highly recommend that you advise any guests/vendors with a medical exemption to ensure they follow the correct steps to obtain a valid exemption by an authorised official.
Please click here for information on how to obtain a valid exemption
Approaching the question of wedding vaccination requirements with your loved ones can be incredibly daunting as it’s such a sensitive and politically charged topic right now, but it’s better to have the conversation before everyone turns up on the day of your event, to avoid any arguments.
Wedding etiquette experts even suggest including an extra box to tick on your RSVP cards to assist with confirming vaccination statuses along with attendances and dietary requirements!
If you’re struggling to find the right words on how to approach the topic, this article might help!
How to ask Family + Friends if they’re Vaccinated
For more information regarding mandatory vaccinations, please visit the following link.
COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions
You might also like to view my Covid Safe Weddings page for information on how I implement COVID safe wedding practices on your wedding day.
Sarah + Tristan’s Stones of The Yarra Valley Wedding
Sarah and Tristan chose to celebrate their 10 year relationship by saying ‘I do’ during a beautiful Stones of the Yarra Valley Summer wedding.
It was a true celebration of young love that had developed into a deeper connection over time and led two gorgeous souls to declare a lifetime of love and commitment to one another.
Sarah had her gorgeous sister as maid of honour by her side and it was heartwarmingly clear how close the two of them were as they shared such a special day together.
Sarah’s spectacular entrance to the Stones chapel in a stunning off the shoulder, mermaid gown with cathedral length veil, was received with smiles, gasps of appreciation and tears of joy.
Their ceremony reflected on the 10 years they had already spent together, as well as their hopes and dreams for the future, before some beautiful vows and a first kiss as husband + wife gave us all the feels.
A famous Stones petal toss kicked off celebrations immediately after, before guests enjoyed drinks in the dairy whilst the newlyweds took some time to enjoy the just married vibe with a sunset portrait session.
First meeting just after high school at a house party, Sarah and Tristan were two of the last few people to leave and were involved in an intense game of Nintendo Wii.
Tristan thought Sarah was the most stunning woman he had ever seen, and Sarah was completely drawn towards Tristan’s kind and gentle nature.
Being around one another was effortless right from the start, as though they had already known each other for years, and they felt an instant connection.
Tristan loved how loyal, caring and incredibly loving Sarah was, and that every moment spent with her made his day better, so deciding to celebrate 9 wonderful years together with a holiday in Fiji, Tristan secretly packed a beautiful ring in his carry bag before they left.
Sarah loved how unbelievably selfless Tristan was, always going out of his way to help those he cares about, and always putting her first, so when he bent to one knee during a day trip to a private island and asked her to marry him, she didn’t hesitate.
Sarah vowed to “always love and support you through whatever life may bring us…I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.”
Tristan promised to “share in your dreams and support you as you strive to achieve your goals….you are my best friend, my soul mate, and I will love and respect you always.”
After some stunning sunset portraits within the grounds at Stones, Sarah and Tristan chose the celebrate their marriage in the Barn, styled to perfection by Table Art Event Hire, the team at Stones, and with the spectacular floral artistry of Sugar Bee Flowers.
Guests enjoyed music and entertainment supplied by Rutherford Entertainment and cake by Miss Ladybird Cakes, before a spectacular sparkler exit signaled the end of a perfect day.
The Photography + Videography Team
A huge thanks to the superstar team that is Theodore & Co and C2 Films for capturing every moment so beautifully and for allowing me to share their work. What an honour it is to work with these ladies + gentlemen!
Sarah + Tristan | 18.01.2020
Venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley
Photography: Theodore & Co
Videography: C2 Films
Ceremony: Meriki Comito
Florals: Sugar Bee Flowers
Bridal Gown: Annette of Melbourne
Brides Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaids Dresses: Bariano Australia
Make Up: Katie Winkler Makeup
Hair: Pearly Hairstylist
Grooms Attire: Joe Black
Groomsmen Attire: Joe Black
Ceremony String Trio: Stringspace
Cars: Triple R Cars
Tableware: Table Art Event Hire
Cake: Miss Ladybird Cakes
MC: Sam Muscat
Reception Entertainment: Rutherford Entertainment
Best Outdoor Wedding Venues + Locations in Melbourne
With the new Spring/Summer wedding season almost upon us, couples are once again searching for the perfect wedding venue, so I have created a list of some of the best outdoor wedding venues + locations in Melbourne, plus a few of my favourites a little further out!
There are so many stunning gardens and estates to choose from, so I have made the search a little easier by listing a HUGE selection of some of the best outside wedding locations (in alphabetical order), AS WELL AS some amazing wedding venues that have beautiful outdoor wedding spaces too!
If you are looking for a garden wedding option in one of Melbourne’s beautiful public garden spaces, please visit my Public Garden Wedding Locations page, which also features some great rotundas + undercover options for wet weather contingencies 🙂
Please remember that although many outdoor wedding venues + locations in Melbourne are public spaces, you will still need to obtain a permit from local council in order to marry there. Private venues will of course welcome all enquiries for weddings that take place on their premises independently.
And, as always with outdoor wedding venues + locations in Melbourne, be sure to consider all possible weather predictions, providing shelter for both a 40ºC day, or a surprise downpour!
Your guests (and celebrant!) will appreciate it immensely.
To view the best outdoor wedding venues + locations in Melbourne and surrounds, you can either scroll ahead and view locations in alphabetical order, or visit locations by area using the following links.
Best outdoor wedding venues + locations in Melbourne;
Patricia + Samuel’s Werribee Mansion Wedding
Patricia and Sam began their day with a traditional Tea Ceremony at home. This allowed them to honour their families’ Chinese/Malaysian heritage with traditional elements.
Their Werribee Mansion Wedding continued on with the same amount of elegance, grace, humour and fun that these two embodied.
This wedding had everything. Incredible styling, amazing florals, brilliant sunshine, and a perfect sparkler exit.
A truly beautiful, kind and fun-loving couple certainly deserved such magical day.
A marriage nine years in the making, it took the first two years of sitting next to each other in med school for Sam to muster up enough courage to ask Patricia out on a date.
Unfortunately for Sam, Patricia declined his first invite. His subsequent persistence paid off though and resulted in an official date soon after!
They supported each other through all the stressful study times that followed and bonded over a mutual love of Gelato. A love which consequently supported their decision to hire a gelato cart for the big day!
Sam decided to propose on Christmas Day. He thought it would be hilarious to throw Patricia off with a multi layered wrapped present containing romantic letters and cards, revealing an ugly Christmas jumper at the end. The prank backfired though as Patricia was overjoyed with the jumper! So Samuel quickly bent to one knee and revealed the much more valuable and sparkly present from his pocket!
Patricia vowed to cook Sam’s favourite chicken rice more often than once every 3 years and promised to “choose you every day, a million times over, not because I have to, but because I want to.”
Sam declared Patricia as the most “charming, beautiful, intelligent and graceful” woman he knew (we all agree!), promised to always bring her ice-cream, and ended with AA Milnes’ “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you”.
The Wedding Details
Patricia and Sam secured the services of wedding planner Sarah Wang, from Blooming Love Events to help create their special day alongside Bursaria the Refectory. Enlisting the services of Ivy & Eve, Dann Event Hire and a team of other fabulous suppliers, Sarah produced the most incredible setting for Patricia and Sam to say their I Do’s!
Patricia and Sam chose the amazingly talented Jesse Hiscoe to capture all the details, and I thank him for allowing me to share his beautiful images with you! The smiles he captured say it all!
Contact Meriki to discuss your special day HERE!
Patricia + Samuel | 22.02.2020
Photography: Jesse Hiscoe
Ceremony Location: Werribee Mansion
Reception: Bursaria The Refectory
Videography: Lovely Day Films
Marriage Celebrant: Meriki Comito
Bridal Gown: Enzoani | Eternal Bridal
Planning/Styling: Blooming Love Events
Florals: Ivy & Eve
Ceremony seating: Dann Event Hire
Ceremony Music: Stringspace
Cake: Nobody Hates Cake
Larissa + Paul’s Greenfields Albert Park Wedding
Initially planning to marry at an outdoor location, strong weather warnings led Larissa + Paul to make a very wise, last minute decision, to move their ceremony to the indoor sanctuary of their reception venue, and have a Greenfields Albert Park wedding.
The staff at Greenfields Albert Park, together with the amazing Tori Allen Events team, were absolute superstars in setting up a beautifully elegant ceremony area indoors, where guests and vendors alike gathered gratefully within the welcoming, warm and light filled space.
Acoustic artist, Emma, from Top Dog Entertainment provided the perfect start to proceedings, as Larissa made her way down the aisle, in a stunning Suzanne Harward creation, to stand beside her clearly smitten Paul.
Larissa and Paul told me they felt an instant attraction from the the first moment they laid eyes on each other, but once they started working together, the chemistry between them was undeniable and they bonded very quickly over their shared values, similar sense of humour, a deep love for family + friends, and passion for good food, great wine and a desire to travel the world.
In her vows, Larissa told Paul that she knew from their first date that he was the one she wanted to spend her life with, and that he was the most amazing person she had ever known.
And Paul told Larissa that he had loved her from the first moment they met and that she made his life better in every way.
The lovely and talented Amanda Alessi and Suzie from Lovely Day Films were there to capture all the details of the day and I thank Amanda and the new Mr + Mrs A for allowing me to share their incredible images!
Contact Meriki to discuss your special day HERE!
Larissa + Paul | 15.02.2020
Photography: Amanda Alessi Photography
Ceremony Location: Greenfields Albert Park
Videography: Lovely Day Films
Celebrant: Meriki Comito
Bridal Gown: Suzanne Harward
Styling: Tori Allen Events
Music: Top Dog Entertainment
Kylie + Duncan’s stunning Luminare Wedding
Kylie + Duncan’s Melbourne city wedding was not only about celebrating the love of a super fun and incredibly kind couple at one of my favourite venues, Luminare, but was made next level amazing when their adorable fur babies joined them down the aisle too!
When Kylie and Duncan first met, Kylie knew Duncan was special when she noticed that he had just finished cooking and was cleaning up after himself in the kitchen!
Duncan saw Kylie as a cute + smart, dog loving, lawyer, who liked to play Xbox and had free VIP tickets to music festivals.
Kylie loved that Duncan shared her sense of humour and got as excited over dogs as she did.
Duncan loved the free music festival tickets.
Duncan gave Kylie a grape-flavoured ‘ring pop’ during one of their first trips away together (which she still has!), but realised that he wanted to marry her for real when he realised that Kylie could build pre-packaged Ikea furniture faster than he could.
The adoption of Holly, Charlie and Mac confirmed their commitment to one another and after a hilariously chaotic proposal that involved all three crazy fur babies, Kylie agreed to marry Duncan and their #kyliejoinsthejoiners Melbourne wedding was born!
The Wedding details
Apart from some heartfelt and hilarious Vows, there was a Donut Wall, a Gin Bar, a Fly-away Veil, a Champagne Tower, a Sparkler Exit and of course the three fur babies – thanks to superstar Melbourne wedding dog handlers Katie + Mark from Heads + Tails! What a celebration!
The fabulous Jenna Fahey White captured their amazing day, together with the brilliant team from
Film My Wedding, and I thank them and the new Mr + Mrs J for allowing me to share their amazing images + footage!
Check out the awesome highlights film by Film my Wedding
Kylie + Duncan | 16.06.2018
Chloe + Mahmoud’s Gardens House Wedding
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!
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!
The incredibly talented Theo from Loco Photography for the beautiful images – what a superstar x
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, most commonly referred to as the processional, are one of the most highly anticipated moments of every wedding, and 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 here!
1. The Traditional Couple
One person waits at the front whilst the other makes their way down the aisle on the arm of their father.
Alternative A: You can also walk down the aisle with your mother, or both parents, step parents, a 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.
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.
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.
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 with a drink before official proceedings commence.
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, if required, 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.
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 Harley Davidson, a horse or a camel! And to any style of music that makes them happy.
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!
**If you liked this post, you may also like “Rain on your wedding day – Do you have a Plan B?
Rainy Day Weddings – Do you have a plan B?
Feature Image by Ben Swinnerton
Is it going to rain on my wedding day?
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 perfect “Plan B”, you can still have a perfect rainy day wedding!
Have the conversation
One of the first points of discussion at all my planning meetings with couples who have chosen to marry outdoors, 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 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 sunny garden wedding and can totally ruin every one of those HOURS you have spent planning and preparing for that one big day.
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 to shelter under a tree rather than sit on a wet chair and be close enough to hear the beautiful vows you have spent weeks perfecting.
On a personal note
Oh, and just from my perspective as a celebrant, outdoor rainy day weddings do not provide an ideal situation for us either. It’s rather difficult to stand in the rain holding an umbrella, and balancing a ceremony script folder, or device, and microphone all at the same time. 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, so you may find yourself without sound, or a soggy marriage certificate as a keepsake!
An easy, budget friendly plan sometimes isn’t enough
Some couples will arrange for shelter in the form of market umbrellas or gazebos in the event of a rainy day wedding. 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!
Many brides are totally against a plan B, as they are determined to have their outdoor wedding rain, hail or shine, 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 your idea of a perfect day.
Talk to your reception venue
A lot of venues have some beautiful rainy day wedding 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!
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!
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
For more Wedding Day planning tips + ideas, have a look at “Do I need a Wedding Videographer?
0417 394 792
Ellen + Lachy’s The Farm Yarra Valley Wedding
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.
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!!
Beautiful images by Anitra Wells / Photographer who is always so fabulous work with!
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