Sheryll Prowse JP - Civil Marriage Celebrant - Wagga Wagga, NSW. 

Tips & Advice


 This page contains useful tips and advice for planning your wedding:



Australia Post- Thank you cards/ stamps to your guests

 Australia Post offer a service whereby they will do a special (legal) postage stamp featuring one of your wedding photos. Ph 131318

To advise guests that a wishing well is available, the following poem is suitable:


Wishing Well

In our house we have the things
that living together normally brings

So what do you get for the Bride and Groom
whose house is full in every room?


If finding a gift seems quite hard to do...
then our wishing well is just for you!


A gift of money is placed in the well,
then make a wish but do not tell!


If it is however, a gift you find,
please feel assured - we will not mind.


Don’t go overboard or rob any banks,
your presence alone makes us smile with thanks


Save the date cards:




 10 Garden Wedding Facts

 adapted from article by Denise Fouracre

  1. Provide seats for parents, grandparents and elderly guests. A guide is to provide seating for 30% of guests if required. Allow a good two to three metres between the front row and the point of ceremony. Front row seating is reserved for older guests and family
  2. Point of Ceremony – Your Celebrant and your Photographer can assist with this. Ensure that neither you nor your guests will be facing directly into the sun. Shading from the hot sun is another subject all together.  Layout – as an example: 32 chairs generally consists of 3 rows of five either side of the aisle
  3. Rose Petals look amazing at Garden Weddings but they should be laid just prior to the arrival of the bride – this applies especially to very windy days. Fresh rose petals can disappear in seconds! Choose pastel colours. The stronger shades do stain the dresses and the aisle runners. In lieu of the aisle carpet runners, two buckets of rose petals are sufficient for a light scattering of a 10m aisle. Use them only on grassed areas as they can become quite slippery.
  4. Aisle Organza Sashes and bows are a perfect way to create an elegant aisle.  If in doubt of a suitable colour speak to your florist. Your chosen florist knows both your dress and your floral colours and will make an informed decision to guide you. When in doubt… choose white or ivory. Sashes may be teamed with Lily Heads, Roses or Orchids.
  5. Registry table cloths should be weighted or fitted to avoid lifting off in the wind. Floral décor is not generally required for registry tables – the bride’s bouquet sits front and center during the signing of the official documents.Two chairs are used for the registry table which the celebrant will always re-position accordingly.
  6. Red, Pink and Ivory Carpets make an ideal entrance for the bridal party. For girls with longer gowns, I suggest that you consider a small cross-section for the bridal party to stand on. This also prevents your shoes from making a slow descent into the soft ground. Soiled heals may show up in your photographs. When using lighter carpets, white ribbon should be used to line the aisle from the back to the front row of chairs on each side. This will ensure that the carpet is kept in prestige condition for the arrival of the bridal party.
  7. Bubbles/ rose petals – are a matter of personal choice, they can in fact stain the gowns. Having said that, children love them and this is a great method of keeping them entertained.
  8. PA Systems – may be provided if required.
  9. The layout of your ceremony is vital. Visit the venue at least two weeks prior to your function (or earlier if possible).
  10.  Wet weather contingency plans should be made well in advance. The point of this exercise, (aside from the obvious) is to relieve the additional stress of having to make this decision on the day of the function. Ensure that your function coordinator has been informed of your alternate plans. On the day, nominate a responsible, reliable person to make this decision (generally this is made by the groom – the brides are way too busy by mid-morning on the day of the wedding). They should carry a mobile telephone and this number should be provided to any service provider participating on the day. Be completely happy with the decision that this person makes. 

Remember that they are looking after your best interests. If you move your ceremony inside and the sun does happen to come out, accept the decision… look outside for the rainbows! You have chosen to be married in the gardens.  Remember that the most important thing at the end of the day is that you take the time to enjoy the day Garden Weddings are beautiful in any form. Relax and enjoy your day!


Wedding Planner

by Karen Horne

12 months before
Arrange parents to meet
Decide on a date, venue
Set your budget
Book venue ceremony and celebrant
Compile an approximate guest list to determine a head count
Select a wedding theme, colour or style

6-9 months before
Choose your bridal party
Shop for your gown
Choose bridal party's attire
Enrol in a gift registry
Book photographer and /or videographer
Hire a florist
Book musicians/DJ
Select a caterer- if not provided at ceremony venue
Advise family and friends of date ( some people send keep the date magnets)

4-6 months before
Order wedding stationery
Order wedding gown
Order cake
Arrange transportation
Book beauty professionals
Finalise guest list
Book honeymoon
Decide on an MC and make arrangements with him/her about the event

2-4 months before
Discuss details of menu with caterer
Purchase wedding rings
Choose music in more detail- discuss with DJ
Buy thank you gifts for bridal party
Select bomboniere and favors for guests
Arrange a rehearsal time
Book wedding night accommodation

The last 8 weeks
Mail  invitations
Do a hair and make-up trial
Finalise seating plan for reception
Write any toasts and speeches to be made
Organise fees and payments

Double check all bookings- venue, caterer, celebrant, florist etc.
Get last minute items
Pack for honeymoon
Don't Stress!!!! 


Responsibilities of the Bridal Party

 by Kate Millett (The Wedding Tailor)

Choose matron-of-honour, bridesmaids and flower girls.
· Organise the decorations for the church/ceremony and reception.
· Appoint a florist.
· Choose wedding gown, accessories and going away outfit.
· Buy gift for groom.
· Buy gifts for matron-of-honour and bridesmaids.
· Organise hairdresser, beautician and make-up artist.
· Organise change of name documentation, passport, driver’s license etc. 


Choose best man, groomsmen and ushers.
· Buy engagement and wedding rings.
· May pay fees and expenses at the church/ceremony or best man can do this.
· Make out wedding list with parents and give it to the bride’s mother.
· Choose suit, accessories and going away outfit.
· Buy gifts for best man and groomsmen.
· Buy gift for bride.
· Organises transport for himself, best man and groomsmen to church/ceremony.
· Arrange and pay for honeymoon.
· If leaving the country for honeymoon, check passports, visas, traveller's cheques etc

Bride And Groom
· Announce engagement.
· Introduce both families.
· Select date of wedding, type of church/ceremony and vows.
· Book venue and hire a caterer.
· Organise seating arrangements at reception.

· Engage celebrant, photographer and videographer.
· Select and order wedding stationery.
· Organise music and entertainment.
· Select and order cake.
· Select and book type of transport.
· Organise hotel for night of wedding.
· Begin to search for rental home or house to live in after honeymoon.


Maid/Matron Of Honour
Usually the bride’s best friend, sister or close female relative.
· Help the bride throughout the wedding day.
· Assist bride and her mother with wedding preparations.
· Help the bride organise fittings and rehearsals.
· Organise hens night and kitchen tea party.
· Help the bride dress.
· Hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony.
· Ensure bride’s hair, make-up, veil and accessories are in place throughout the day.
· May take a make-up bag, spare stockings and sewing kit for the bride.
· Witness and sign the marriage certificate.
· Sit at the bridal table next to the bride.
· Help the bride dress after the wedding.
· Organise the return of the hired dress and any accessories.
· Help take any wedding gifts back to the bride’s home.
· Organise wedding cake to be sent to family and friends who were unable to attend the wedding.


Best Man
Usually the groom’s best friend, brother or close male relative.
· In charge of the groomsmen and ushers.
· Organise bucks party.
· Pay the church/ceremony fees on the groom’s behalf.
· Check that buttonholes have been ordered.
· Ensure groomsmen collect and return hired suits.
· Ensure groom’s going away clothes are taken to the reception.
· Arrange delivery of the bride’s and groom’s luggage to the reception or hotel.
· Make sure the groom’s clothes are ready for the day.
· Help the groom get dressed.
· Ensure groom gets to the church/ceremony on time.
· Stand next to the groom.
· Take charge of wedding rings.
· Witness and sign the marriage certificate.
· Escort the chief bridesmaid or matron-of-honour.
· Sit at the bridal table next to the groom.
· May act as a Master of Ceremonies.
· Read any telegrams or faxes.
· Toast the bridesmaids.
· May organise speeches and cutting of the cake.
· See the couple to their car for their departure.
· Help to collect and transport the wedding presents to the home of the bride’s parents.
· Return groom’s suit and accessories.
· Ensure all is going to plan at all times.


· Pay for their own wedding clothes.
· Arrange own transport to bride’s house.
· Check the bride’s gown and veil before she enters the church/ceremony.
· May walk up ahead of the bride.
· Help bride with train.
· Assist the junior attendants.
· Stand at the bride’s side during the ceremony and are usually seated at the bridal table.
· When the wedding cake is cut serve it to the guests.


Attend and help organise the bucks night.
· Dress and help the groom get ready.
· Arrive with the groom at the church/ceremony.
· Stand next to the best man during the ceremony.
· Help stage the photographs.
· Escort bridesmaids partner at the ceremony and reception.
· Take part in catching the garter.


Flower Girls
· Precede the bride walking up the aisle.
· May throw flower petals in front of bride (ensure the bride doesn’t slip).
· Please note, best choice of age between 4 and 8 years.

Page Boys
· Page boy may follow the bride and help with the train.
· May be the ring bearer and carry a cushion with wedding rings sewn onto it or the actual wedding rings tied to it.


Bride’s Mother
· Key person in all wedding arrangements.
· Keep record of replies and refusals to the wedding.
· Advise groom’s mother of length and colour scheme of their outfits.
· Should be the last person seated before the ceremony starts.
· Sit in front pew.
· After service walk out of the church/ceremony on the arm of the groom’s father.
· May organise a dinner with groom’s parents to discuss wedding.

Bride’s Father
· Escort the bride to church/ceremony.
· Walk up the aisle with the bride on his right arm.
· At the chancel steps he stands at her left.
· Give the bride away.
· After the vows he takes a seat in the front pew next to bride’s mother.
· Make a speech at the reception to welcome the new son into the family and toast the future happiness of the bride and groom.


Groom’s Parents
They are honoured guests and sit in the front pew.
· May like to help in some of the arrangements.

Usually relations or close friends.
· Welcome guests to the wedding ceremony and show them to their seats.
· Hand out Order of Service at church/ceremony.
· Ensure all guests have transport from the church/ceremony to the reception.
· Show guests to their seats at reception.
· Announce guests if there is a receiving line.
· Please allow one usher per 40-50 guests.


The MC
Make any necessary announcements at ceremony venue
. Greet celebrant, musicians and oversee organisations at ceremony venue
. May announce bride, groom and wedding party on arrival to reception.
· Organise all speeches at the reception.
· Organise cutting of the cake.
· Announce throwing of bridal bouquet and garter.
· Announce departure of bride and groom


 Who Pays for What?

by Cassandra Marshall



The Bride

Groom's wedding ring
Gifts for the groom and bridal Party.
Bonbonniere, Wedding Favour

The Groom
The bride's wedding ring.
A wedding gift for the bride.
Gifts for the best man and groomsmen.
Suit hire for himself
Bride's & bridesmaid's bouquets,
the corsages & boutonnieres.
Celebrant & ceremony fees
The honeymoon

The Bride's Family
Newspaper announcement
The Reception
Bridal Gown & accessories
A wedding gift for the bride and groom.
Wedding invitations
Ceremony & Reception

Flowers for ceremony & reception
Wedding cake

The Groom's Family
Wedding gift for the bride and groom.
Any general expenses they may wish to contribute.

The Wedding Party
Bride's maids dresses
Hens night given by maid of honour or bridesmaids.
Bucks night given by best man or groomsmen.

The Bride and Groom
Gifts of appreciation for those who helped with your wedding.



The Bride and Groom

Bride and Groom's wedding ring
Gifts for the bridal attendants.
Gifts for the best man and groomsmen.
Suit hire for the groom
Bride's & bridesmaid's bouquets, the corsages & boutonnieres.
Celebrant & ceremony fees
Wedding invitations
Wedding cake
Gifts of appreciation
Wedding Cars
Bonbonniere, wedding favour
Bridal Gown & accessories
The honeymoon

The Bride's Family
Newspaper announcement
The Reception Venue andFood
Ceremony & Reception flowers

The Groom's Family
Wedding gift for the bride and groom.
The Reception Beverages
Any general expenses they may wish to contribute.

The Wedding Party
Bride’s maids dresses, shoes etc
Groomsmen’s Suits, shoes etc
Hens night given by maid of honour or bridesmaids.
Bucks night given by best man or groomsmen.

Order of Wedding Toasts

Keeping in mind cultural differences and today´s flexibility, the following is a traditional approach:

  • Toast to the Bride & Groom by close friend or relative
  • Response, expressions of thanks, toast to Bridal Party by the Groom/Bride. "Here we have a table of some very special people, let me tell you why..." (Interesting snippet on each of them).
  • Response on behalf of Bridal Party by Best Man
  • Toast to Bride´s Parents by close friend or relative
  • Response by the Bride´s Father
  • Toast to the Groom´s Parents by close friend or relative
  • Response by the Groom´s Father
  • Reading of emails/messages. (Optional. Vet any that may offend)
Duties of the Master of Ceremonies

The MC will coordinate the order of affairs at the reception without intruding or taking over. Here is a list of the MC´s duties:

  • Liaise with Celebrant (at ceremony),caterers and band/D.J.
  • Direct guests to refreshments area.
  • Guests seated.
  • Welcome guests on behalf of the Bride & Groom.
  • Introduce the Wedding Party.
  • Announce dinner.
  • Call upon each person giving a speech.
  • Announce cutting of the cake.
  • Announce bridal waltz.
  • Announce Bridal Party and Parents to join the Bride & Groom on the dance floor.
  • Invite the other guests to join the dancing.
  • Announce tossing of bouquet.
  • Announce Farewell Circle/Guard of Honour.
  • Announce departure of Bride & Groom.
  • Wedding favours are also known as bomboniere, and you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to selecting the right gifts. Remember that the amount you spent on the gift is not as important as the meaning and thought behind it.



    Here are some tips to help you save when it comes to shopping for bomboniere.

    •  Sometimes, gifts that are already wrapped up can cost extra. Why not wrap up your gifts yourself. Use ribbon and tulle for a touch of elegance.

    •  Prices will vary from place to place, so make sure you ask around. You will be surprised how much you can save by just shopping around.

    •  If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider giving one gift for each couple. This could even enable you to select a gift that is a little more expensive, while still making a saving.

    •  Bomboniere doesn't have to be impersonal. You can personalise each gift by writing a message, poem or phrase to your guests.

    •  An elegant, yet simple gift is to simply have a small piece of chocolate or something similar on each guest's plate. You can co-ordinate these to match the theme and colours of your wedding.

    •  For a different sort of bomboniere gift, consider the bulb of a flower such as tulip. Flowers represent hope, fertility and potential. Jazz them up by wrapping them in some ribbon and your guests will have a reminder of your wedding for years to come.

    •  Provide your guests with favours that can be used at the reception. Gifts such as sparklers or bubble bottles are ideal.

    Bomboniere Checklist

    1. You should aim to have all your bomboniere ready at least one week before the wedding. This ensures that should any problems arise, you will have plenty of time to rectify the situation.

    2. Always order a couple extra bomboniere gifts. You never know who might RSVP at the last minute, or there might be a few spoilt or damaged gifts on the day. Be prepared.

    3. Don't forget to keep a bomboniere gift for yourself! You will have a token and memento of your special day to look at and remember.

    Other Bomboniere suggestions

    As far as traditional gifts go, sugared almonds have always been a popular gift. Tradition states that the almonds are presented in either lots of 3 or lots of 5. Three almonds represent the bride, the groom, and their future baby. Five almonds represent happiness, health, wealth, fertility and longevity.

    • Decorate small sachets or bags of potpourri in your wedding colours

    • Give scented candles that match your wedding theme.

    • Small boxes for trinkets in the shape of hearts will add a lovely touch to the reception tables

    • Why not view your wedding through the eyes of your guests by giving them disposable cameras?

    • A nice personal gift could be a short poem written by yourself and/or your partner

    • Music CD containing the couple's favourite romantic songs. Add a label with a photo of the couple & date of wedding.

    • Small picture frames will allow your guests to not only have a token from your wedding day, but a place to store a nice wedding photo of the two of you








Contact Details
Sheryll Prowse
Inglewood Rd Wagga Wagga, NSW
Phone : 02 69227712
Email : [email protected]