Getting to know you… Ketrina Coffey Civil Celebrant

For a lot of couples, getting married in a Church is really not their kind of thing and while The Vintage and Handmade Bride does love a good old country church wedding, it’s not for everyone. So what do you do if you don’t want a church wedding? What if you want a civil ceremony instead, one that you can personalise to be completely unique.

That’s where you need a celebrant, and not just any celebrant, you need the perfect celebrant. After all, maybe you want your guests to participate in the ceremony by singing you down the aisle, or maybe you want to involve your children in the vows, or maybe you want a themed wedding and need a celebrant that’s able to play the role of ringmaster; whatever it is, finding the perfect celebrant is a must. So with that in mind, we chatted to a super lovely celebrant Ketrina. For all those lucky people who have tickets to the 2012 Showcase, you’ll get to meet her there as well!

Image by Sloan Photographers

Hi Ketrina! We’re so happy that you’re here, we have a bunch of questions for you!! For starters, can you tell us a bit about being a celebrant?

Being a celebrant is a wonderful privileged. To be part of life’s celebrations and to see so many smiling faces is such joyous and rewarding job.
I love the whole journey; Meeting with the couple, chatting through ideas, making the ceremony their own. Then weeks before the wedding, there’s usually a rehearsal where I’ll meet with the Bridal Party and often have a giggle. The journey concluding with the Bride and Groom saying ‘I do’. When I finally introduce them as ‘Mr and Mrs’ and the newlyweds disappear into a shower of congratulations from their nearest and dearest, I have a great sense of satisfaction. I fade into the background often thinking to myself ‘My work here is done’.

Where are you based and do you travel for weddings and events?

Being based in Lutwyche, inner-North Brisbane, is very convenient not only for the city but for easy access to all the highways. I travel north, south, The Bay and west, including both the Sunny & Gold Coast, and their Hinterlands. Holding ceremonies at all the gorgeous locations and venues is another perk of my job!

Image by One Love Photography

What advice do you have for couples when choosing a celebrant?

It’s really important for both the couple and the celebrant to ‘click’. Everything just flows so much easier when you’re on the ‘same page’. Check out the celebrant’s website, and Facebook page if they have one, get a feel for their personality and if it matches your own you’re on the right track. Call them, have a chat, bounce ideas. And as with anything with your wedding… you’ll know if they are right for you.

How early should couples book with you?

Paperwork determines when the couple needs to book. A ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ form (which is just that) is required to be lodged at least a month before the wedding. Celebrants can take bookings years in advance, and it all comes down to their availability. Spring and Autumn are busy times for weddings as we know, so if you’re planning a wedding during these seasons it’s advisable to book as soon as you’ve set a date.


What’s your favourite wedding story?

There are so many.. but if I had to choose then it would have to be my sisters! Civil Weddings are amazing for giving the couple the freedom to hold their wedding exactly how they wish. With only a few legal obligations the Bride and Groom are able to hold a wedding of their own dreams, and my sister’s wedding was a great example of this. Of course, I was thrilled to be able to marry my sister and (now) my brother-in-law, but it was how we did it that made it so special. She wanted minimal guests (my sister is quite shy), on the beach, something simple, meaningful and enjoyable. Sadly our father has passed away, so my husband (who she sees as her brother), gave her away. The Brides four year nephew lead the procession and was the ring bearer. The Groom surprised the Bride with a comical reading. Close friends acted as witnesses. There were nine of us all together, held on Belongil beach near Byron, with not a soul around.. it was just beautiful!! It just goes to show the flexibility of holding a civil wedding; there’s no dictation, no formal traditions to abide by, there’s no regimented ‘order of service’. Just the both of you and your ideals and wishes, and I can help make your wedding day all you dreamed of.

What do you think are the upcoming trends for 2012/2013 weddings?

Vintage, vintage, vintage!! Absolutely!! Ever since I can remember I’ve been an ‘in the closet’ admirer of vintage.. style, music, theming, décor. I just didn’t think it was ‘trendy’. So you can imagine my excitement of late.  I’ve been blown away over this past year as to how the Vintage trend has come in, especially for weddings. And hey, isn’t it just gorgeous. I love the whole concept, the look, the feel.. there are so many styles and themes to choose from, and it’s so relaxed. Go Vintage I say!

Check out Ketrina’s website for more info!