Meet your Celebrant
Featured Image: Courtney Laura Photography
Hi! Meet your celebrant!
It’s been a while since I’ve shared some details about myself, so thought now was as good a time as any!
Whether we have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, or our paths have crossed too briefly, this is for you!
1. I’m a very private person, and love my downtime, but also love being social.
Apparently there’s a personality type described as being an “introverted/ extrovert” – that’s me.
I love being around people, but I don’t like it to be about me. I will ALWAYS make it about YOU as much as I can.
2. I love to chat.
I love hearing stories and sharing stories. I could talk for hours.
In high school, my friends rewrote the words to 500 miles by the Proclaimers to perform a skit on school camp, where they sang “Meriki would talk 500 hours”….
3. I prefer Espresso Martinis, popcorn, chocolate and Netflix in my PJ’s over a big night out.
Though that has only changed since I had kids. I used to LOVE a party, but now I embrace the comfort of a quiet night in.
4. My biggest strengths in school were Performing Arts and Creative Writing.
Math was my absolute worst enemy. Which is hilarious, because I used to work for one of the big 5 accounting companies before I became a celebrant.
5. My kids will always come first. I live for Work/Life flexibility.
I have one kid in the army full time, one who’s a gamer and studying to be a carpenter, and one who wants to be the next Margot Robbie or Olivia Rodrigo. They are all verrrrry different, and while they don’t agree on a whole lot right now, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I want to always be able to be there for them when they need me.
6. I have a love/hate relationship with social media.
I don’t enjoy spending time creating it, but waste soooo much time looking at it! Who’s with me?
I also hugely dislike the idea of trying to “sell myself”, so you’ll find most of my posts are about the couples I marry, and the gorgeous photos they have shared with me!
7. I love animals. Any animals.
I have one giant rescue fur baby at home, Violet, who is a staffy/lab/great dane blend, but I also love cats, and would definitely have one if I could guarantee that Violet wouldn’t eat it.
8. My wedding ceremonies are not “cool/sick/rad” events.
I like to think that kind of vibe should be reserved for 21st’s or bucks nights (are people even still having those?) My style is warm, fun, engaging and classy. No bad jokes. No swearing. No gimmicks. No embarrassing stories to try and make people laugh. Humour will occur organically if it’s meant to, without trying. Most wedding suppliers I work with are the same kind of people too. MOST of them 😉
9. The funeral industry has become a really rewarding pathway for me over the last couple of years.
It’s one that I never intended to get into initially, but did by chance, and find it really special to have a regular opportunity to help others say a beautiful and heartfelt goodbye to their loved one.
A big shout out to all my friends at Le Pine!
10. My favourite colour is Blue, or dusty pink.
But I LOVE white and green at weddings! But also love big doses of COLOUR!
11. Did you guess that I’m a Gemini?
I really do have two very opposing sides. My work side is only half of who I am. Only people who have known me for years have seen the other.
12. I love watching police dramas.
Especially Law + Order SVU. I wanted to join the Police force when I was younger, as I have a very strong sense of justice, and my husband often jokes that if I ever wanted to kill him, I would probably know how to get away with it.
13. I can speak conversational German, with an upper Austrian dialect.
My mother is Austrian, and still has her entire family over there, so I have been over there a few times myself, where I was able to pick up the language. I may not always be grammatically correct, but I can certainly offer a few words of welcome during your wedding ceremony if you have any German speaking guests!
14. I’m a big fan of musical theatre. Or movie musicals.
I used to be a dancer, having completed a full time performing arts course with Tony Bartuccio “back in the day”, and have performed with, and worked as choreographer, with many community theatre groups around Melbourne. I still dip my toes in the industry every now and then, but I’ve pretty much handed the sequins over to my daughter who has discovered a passion for the same industry.
15. And finally, my name is aboriginal.
It means Night Bird, which is pretty apt, as I LOVE staying up late. My surname is Italian though, as is my husbands family, although when I was working in the corporate industry, I had a colleague in Sydney who thought I was Japanese based on my combined name! Does Meriki Comito sound Japanese to you?
So there you have it. Just a few details about me. Do we share any similarities, or am I the “unique” person my mum always said I was 😉
Kids + Pets at Weddings
Kids + Pets at Weddings: Adding a Touch of Playfulness and Love
“Never work with kids or animals” they say. Why not? I love kids and animals!
Weddings are joyous occasions, filled with love and laughter, and couples are increasingly choosing to include children and pets (most commonly dogs) in their special day, to ensure ALL their loved ones are celebrating with them. Especially if they are yours!
When it comes to adorable wedding participants, kids and pets often take the spotlight as Best Man (or Best Boy, or Best Girl!), Flower Girls, Page Boys, or Ring Bearers, bringing an element of innocence, playfulness, and magic to the ceremony.
Flower girls, often leading the way down the aisle, instantly steal hearts and win smiles. Traditionally, young girls scatter flower petals along the aisle, symbolising the pathway to new beginnings, their innocence and youthful charm creating an unforgettable moment at the start of the ceremony.
Of course, this role can also be switched up to a Flower-Boy, Flower-Man, Flower-Lady, Flower-Nanna, Flower-Dog or any other participant that suits your vibe!
Page boys traditionally accompany the bride down the aisle, and often hold a long veil or train at the back so it doesn’t drag along the ground. These days though, the normally young boys, usually walk hand-in-hand with the flower girls, for that “aww” factor, otherwise they can also double up as Flower boy or ringbearer 🙂
Ring bearers take on a special responsibility as they generally carry the wedding rings down the aisle. They typically dress in miniature suits or outfits that match the theme, and can often be presented as the “security” detail on the day. Of course this role can also be given to any guest present at the wedding, regardless of age or gender 🙂
In addition to traditional roles for kids at weddings, older children can also make meaningful contributions by reciting a poem or reading, holding the bride’s bouquet, or distributing flower petals for guests to toss during the conclusion of the ceremony. Just let me know during our planning meeting if you’re interested, and we’ll collaborate to find the ideal role for them!
Dogs (or any other pet)
For couples who adore their fur babies, having a dog in the wedding can be an beautiful inclusion. Dogs as ring bearers, flower girls, best boys, or honorary guests, create heart-melting moments and complete any family photos!
While they may not understand the formalities of the event, they understand they are being included, and their presence provides comfort and joy to their owners.
It is important, however, to prepare pets well in advance, to ensure a stress-free experience for everyone involved.
Tips for Including Kids and Pets in Wedding Ceremonies:
- Communication and clarity with parents and pet owners: Make sure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities, ensuring a smooth and stress-free process.
- Include the kids in the planning process. Let them wear their outfit in the lead up to the day, or hold the rings etc.
- Rehearse: Practice with the children and pets leading up to the big day to familiarise them with their roles and the venue. This helps minimize unexpected surprises. Though I recommend that you should always expect the unexpected wherever kids or pets are involved – especially if under five!
- Choose age-appropriate tasks: Consider the abilities and temperament of the children and dogs involved and assign tasks accordingly.
- Take precautions: Ensure the safety and comfort of the children and pets by providing suitable clothing, toys, and treats.
- Consider hiring and event nanny, or pet sitter and can highly recommend the following businesses!
For human children
A Magical Inclusion
The inclusion of kids and Pets in weddings brings an element of purity, joy, and unconditional love to the ceremony. Their presence not only warms the hearts of the couple but also the guests, leaving behind cherished memories.
With proper preparation and guidance, kids and dogs can contribute to a fun and unforgettable wedding experience. So celebrate your love by making your special day even more magical!
Signing the Register
The Signing of the Marriage Register usually takes place after a couple have exchanged their vows, have shared their first kiss as a married couple and can finally relax, take a deep breath and say “we did it!” before signing all the legal documents.
You can do this as soon as you have shared your first kiss as a married couple, or right at the very end of the ceremony before you walk out, or even in private after all of your guests have exited the ceremony space! As long as you have declared your legal declaration first, you are welcome to sign the register at any time you choose.
Sitting down to sign the register also gives the couple a moment to finally breathe normally again and get a high five from me for keeping it all together and doing a brilliant job in getting through all those nerves!
It’s also a great time to debrief and discuss the sometimes funny unfolding of events of the ceremony, and where 99% of couples almost always say “that went so fast!”.
Yes, after all the planning, waiting, and exciting lead up to the big day, it really does go incredibly fast, so my biggest piece of advice is to BE PRESENT.
Really take notice of every moment as it happens.
Don’t think about someone you saw in the third row, don’t think about whether the sky is changing, and don’t think about that first glass of champagne you’re really looking forward to.
Be present and ENJOY EVERY MOMENT.
Contribute spontaneously in any way that feels right, notice the tears, the emotion, the glint of mischief and love in your partner’s eyes as you exchange vows, and enjoy that blissfully joyous first kiss to claps and cheers from your family + friends.
Sign the register, smile for photos and take a big breath as you step forward for the first time as a legally married couple! Then enjoy the memories you made forever. x
Oh, and to answer to the number one question I get asked by most couples “what name do I sign on the marriage certificate?” Your usual name that you have always gone by!
You have to actually sign the certificates before you can be considered legally married and eligible for a change of name!
You may wish to see some more of my Top 10 most asked questions HERE!
Stephen & Leigh’s Colourful Manadala Wines Wedding
Stephen and Leigh chose the beautiful Mandala Wines in the Yarra Valley for the location of their colourful winery wedding, and added lots of bright flags, flowers and lego to make it distinctly theirs!
When Stephen first laid eyes on Leigh at a friend’s BBQ about four years ago, he thought she was way out of his league, but went on to impress her with his polite nature and perfect manners, so the pair soon struck up a friendship, bonding over a mutual love of movies, cocktails, ‘phat’ beats and the great outdoors.
They both grew to love the unconditional love they both provided the other with, as well as the freedom of being able to be completely who they truly were. It was fun, and comfortable, and felt so right, that marriage had definitely become an option for the future.
It was during a two-week road trip through New Zealand that Stephen entertained the idea of a perfect proposal, but after waiting for that perfect moment to present itself, it became apparent that he was struggling to keep his big secret, and after three failed attempts to work up the courage, finally asked Leigh to marry him on the final night of their adventure.
It may have been a huge source of anxiety for Stephen, but according to Leigh, it was private, and personal, and absolutely perfect.
In a stunning lace Marianna Hardwick gown, Leigh quietly declared to her handsome groom that “you love me even when I don’t love myself” (before quoting Beyonce!), after which Stephen told Leigh “your beaming smile can brighten my darkest days, and your beautiful laugh brings me more happiness than anything.”
It was an absolute pleasure to share this moment with Stephen & Leigh and I hope they achieve all their dreams of travelling the world together, starting a family of their own and enjoying all the adventures that life will bring x
A huge shout out to the super talented Zosia from Aparat Photography for these stunning images!!
Stephen & Leigh | 16.04.2016
Celebrant: Meriki Comito
Ceremony & Reception Location: Mandala Wines
Photography: Aparat Photography
Ceremony Arch & Bunting: Created by the clever Groom!
Bridal Gown: Marianna Hardwick
Bridesmaids Dresses: Rodeo Show
Flowergirl Dress: H&M
Groom’s Attire: Joe Black
Bouquet’s, Boutonniere’s and Flower Crown: Debbie O’Neill
Cake & Bomboniere: The Bride’s own creations