The cycling bride

With Cara Hodge of Brisbane City Celebrants

What an incredible entrance this was for the wedding of two cycling enthusiasts with bride Emily surprising her groom Christophe by speeding down the aisle on a bike.

cycling bride

In 10+ years of performing wedding ceremonies, this was the first time I’ve ever seen a cycling bride arrival!

The happy couple actually found their wedding venue, Ocean View Estates Winery while exploring the area during bike rides, so Emily thought it was only fitting to make her way down the long aisle on a specially purchased white bicycle, to the complete surprise of her groom.

The arrival was kept top secret, even Emily’s Dad didn’t know what she had planned when she told him she would make her way down the pathway herself, asking him to walk her the remainder of the way to her waiting groom.

When the moment arrived the band played, and the lovely bridesmaids made their way down the long footpath, and took their places. Guests may have wondered for a brief moment why the bride wasn’t following closely behind them. Christophe was attentively watching, waiting for that first glimpse of his beautiful bride, when suddenly at great speed, Emily flew at high speed down and around the footpath, taking his breath away!

Guests wowed and a wave of laughter ensued, followed by cheering as everyone realised what they were witnessing. Then Emily gracefully dismounted with a little help from her bridesmaids, made eye contact with her groom before joining her father to walk her the rest of the way down the aisle.

wedding bike

It was the perfect way for Emily and Christophe to commence their happy and upbeat, love filled ceremony plus the bikes made for some great photos after the ceremony.

Special mention to Barry from Eyes Wide Open Images for capturing these fun moments.

If you enjoyed hearing about this unique wedding and are looking for a Celebrant for your special day. Marriage Celebrant Cara Hodge would love to hear from you.



GUEST BLOG: 10 wedding cake tips

In this guest blog article, highly acclaimed Cake Artist Jo Lawinski from Cake My Day by Jo will discuss her top 10 wedding cake tips to help you choose both the perfect cake and cake artisan for your special day.

Cake Do’s

  1. Do check that your cake artisan is licensed by their council and has public liability insurance.
    It may seem a bit of a silly question to ask but any cake artisan dealing with wedding cakes should be licenced and insured. By asking this question and getting a “Yes” answer you can rest easier knowing that your cake is going to be prepared in a safe environment and is safe for your guests to eat.
  2. Do your research.
    Before you start emailing every cake artisan you follow on social media for prices on cakes, take a moment to do a bit of research into the type of cake you would like to have on your special day and more importantly check that the cake artisan you want; makes the type of cake you want. Not all cake artisan’s work with both fondant and buttercream, and most will specialise in one or the other. You will save yourself a whole lot of time by checking these things first.

Cindy-Lea and Aaron cutting their stunning Cake My Day By Jo masterpiece. Image Cloud Catcher Studio

  1. Do have a budget in mind – and be reasonable.
    Wedding cakes are generally priced according to size, shape, flavour, decorations required, fondant or buttercream, labour etc. Most cake artisans have spent years developing their recipes & techniques so that you can have your dream wedding cake. Everything is made by hand and from scratch and this takes time, it’s also why their cakes taste so good. So, it’s important to value their worth. Be realistic about your budget – don’t expect to pay $300 for a 7-tier cake to feed 300 guests (believe me I’ve had my share of people who expect this). Instead if you are working with a tight budget but really love a particular cake artisan then be upfront about your budget, if you have reasonable expectations then they should be able to work with you to offer alternative suggestions to make the cake of your dreams a reality.
  2. Do have a cake tasting consultation.
    Cake tasting consultations are designed so that you can meet the cake artisan, try their cakes and discuss your wedding and design requirements in person. Most consultations will take approx. 30 -40 minutes depending on the specific cake artisan, but this time will be invaluable for you to get your vision across and ensure you and your artisan are on the same page. You may even get to see a rough design sketch at the end of the consultation, and girls it’s the easiest part of wedding planning to get your partner to happily come along to.
    P.S – Most cake artisans will charge for tastings, however the cost is usually deducted from your order if you order within a certain time frame.
  3. Do give your cake the spotlight it deserves.
    No matter how much you spend on your cake make sure it is placed where your guests can enjoy looking at it before they devour it. Ask your venue to have a flat level, well-lit table for your cake to sit on and take centre stage. Don’t hide it away in a dimly lit corner where nobody can enjoy its beauty – after all it is an edible work of art!Image by She Said Yes Wedding Photography

Cake Don’ts

  1. Don’t be a people pleaser when it comes to your wedding cake flavour.
    It’s easy to get lost in pleasing everybody else when it comes to wedding planning, but I firmly believe that the wedding cake is the one thing you and your partner can be selfish about. After all it’s the two of you who are going to be taking home the leftovers, so make sure you choose flavours you love.
  2. Don’t forget to consider the weather
    Make sure you know what type of weather conditions your cake can comfortably withstand and listen to your cake artisan’s advice about storage and display options for extreme weather conditions. If you are going to be having a marque wedding in the middle of summer with no air-conditioning, then a butter cream cake is not going to withstand the heat for a long period of time. Consider having the cake stored in the venue’s fridge and brought out shortly before the cutting ceremony. Alternatively, if you are having a fondant cake which will hold up better in hot conditions make sure your venue hasn’t placed the cake table right where the western sun hits in the afternoon – melted chocolate ganache = droopy sad cake!
  3. Don’t forget to top it off.
    A cake without a topper is just simply undressed. There are so many beautiful and unique cake toppers out there now day’s we’re certainly spoilt for choice. Customised acrylic/bamboo toppers are extremely popular now and the variety is only limited to your imagination. Custom figurines are also a popular choice along with adding your fur baby’s. Fresh florals can also be used to top your cake along with drips, chocolate sails, fruits and candy’s. Whichever option you choose make sure it adds that something special to your cake and the design.

Concept by Olive Rose Weddings with styling by Brisbane Wedding Decorators

  1. Don’t forget to eat your cake (no seriously!)
    So many couples say they didn’t have a chance to eat cake on the night as they were tending to their guests. Whilst it’s important to look after everybody, it’s equally as important to remember to eat your desserts. Ask your venue or caterer to put aside a small wine, cheese and cake platter for you and your partner to enjoy as a post-wedding late night snack.
  2. Don’t let freezer burn happen.
    I always cringe when couples ask for an extra tier on their cake so they can eat it on their first anniversary. Freshly made cakes just aren’t meant to be kept that long and even with the best of intentions, super airtight packing measures and an abundance of cling wrap, eating the top tier of your cake on your fist anniversary is more of a romantic notion than a practical one. Freezer burn is a real thing and it will happen to any food stored in a freezer. If you have left over cake, then you can safely keep it wrapped tightly in cling wrap in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. After this time the cake will start to deteriorate in taste, texture and appearance.

Thank you to our wonderful guest blog author and cake extraordinaire – Jo Lawinski the owner of Cake My Day by Jo  for these amazing wedding cake tips.

Jo has been making and decorating cakes for over 10 years and specialises in delicious buttercream creations.

An elegant Lower River Terrace wedding

With Celebrant Jamie Eastgate of Brisbane City Celebrants

At the foot of the soaring Kangaroo Point Cliffs, on the banks of the Brisbane river are the stunning Lower River Terrace wedding lawns, with river view lawns 1 and 2 being the most popular spots, each boasting a stunning river backdrop with the City Botanic Gardens and the sky scrapping CBD visible in the distance.

The couple signed their marriage certificates with Mont Blanc pens provided by Celebrant Jamie Eastgate

Rhonda and Ian thoughtfully created a thoroughly enjoyable day for their guests, even organising a marquee when rain was forecast, so their ceremony could still take place at Lower River Terrace as originally planned. I was so happy to receive the following 5 star review from the happy newlyweds:

“Jamie was very personable and really enthusiastic re our wedding. He delivered a great ceremony and we could tailor it up or down to suit.
Thoroughly recommended.”

Following their ceremony, they made the most of their river side location and joined their guests on board a boat for cocktail hour celebrations with nibbles and drinks, while taking in the spectacular scenery as they cruised the Brisbane river.

The river view sites can be booked through Brisbane City Council, giving you exclusive use of your chosen lawn.

If you enjoyed hearing about this stunning Lower River Terrace wedding with Celebrant Jamie Eastgate and are looking for a Celebrant for your special day, Jamie would love to hear from you. View more Real Weddings with Jamie Eastgate or contact Jamie to confirm availability for your special day.

The couples wedding vendors included:

FLORALS: Maison Fleur Floral Design
STYLING: The Styled Group
CELEBRANT: Jamie Eastgate Jamie & Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants 
DRESS: Angela Osagie Bridal
HAIR & MAKEUP: Aneez Aslam 

CAR: Classic Jaguar Hire
BOAT: Brisbane Star Cruises 

Brisbane City Celebrants 10 year celebrations

With Jamie and Cara Brisbane City Celebrants

Being Celebrants we love nothing more than a great celebration, so when ‘Brisbane City Celebrants’ turned 10, we took the opportunity to throw a party and celebrate alongside an amazing bunch of wedding professionals, and thank them for being so supportive of our business over the years.

We decided to become Celebrants after our own wedding in 2008, when we realised the modern, upbeat style of ceremony we would have liked, simply wasn’t available. So with backgrounds in public speaking and a passion to start creating seriously enjoyable ceremonies, we became the change we wanted to see in the wedding industry.

We never expected our Celebrant style to have so much demand, and our little Celebrant business to grow to where it is today.

Reflecting back on what was initially a part-time weekend passion around our office jobs, we still pinch ourselves that we were able to quit our day time jobs to do what we love full-time – celebrate love!

We picked The Orchard function space at Victoria Park for our celebrations as we loved it’s summer vibe, ambient lighting and cheerful yellow theming. Tolix style bar tables and stools from Brisbane Wedding Decorators created a cocktail setting perfectly suited for attendees to mingle, and we loved that guests were greeted on arrival with mojito cocktails.

Brisbane City Celebrants 10 year celebrations wouldn’t be complete without a prize draw, the winner taking home a bottle of 2008 vintage MOET rose, a favourite drop of ours, reflecting the year our business was founded.

We would like to say a really big thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years, from all our amazing clients who trust us for such an important part of their special day, to all the talented wedding industry professionals who we simply love working alongside at weddings. Thanks to all of you we get to do what we love!

Here’s cheers to 10 years! Thank you to all of those who joined us for celebrations including our fellow Celebrants from Brisbane Celebrants Directory & Blog and a special thank you to the following suppliers for being a part of our event.

Photos by Dreamlife Photography

Cocktail Furniture and photo backdrop Brisbane Wedding Decorators

Singer Brett Whitmore

Cookies and Cake Confetti Cake Co

Venue Victoria Park Functions


If you enjoyed this post and Jamie and Cara sound like the kind of Celebrants you are looking for, they would love to hear from you. Head to Jamie and Cara Brisbane City Celebrants website for more information.


How weddings have changed over the past 10 years

How weddings have changed over the past 10 years

By Jamie and Cara of Brisbane City Celebrants

As we celebrate 10 years as Celebrants, this is an opportune time for us to reflect on how the wedding industry has changed over the past decade, how many marriages are taking place, and what weddings look like now compared to 10 years ago.Image by Dreamlife Photography



In 2007 63% of weddings that took place were civil weddings (as opposed to church/ religious weddings)

This percentage has increased slightly every year over the past decade reaching 78% in 2017.

While there are likely a number of reasons for this increase, perhaps couples like the increased flexibility of location and ceremony customisation that come with civil weddings.

We have personally had the pleasure of marrying couples that are of different religions and have opted for a civil wedding as a neutral comprise to a religious ceremony.


In 2017 116,322 marriages took place in Australia, this figure increased fractionally every year until 2013 with a decrease of approximately 5,000 marriages compared to the previous year.

Could this be somewhat related to suspicions around the number 13?

By 2015 the total number of marriages that took place in Australia was just 113,595, and while this jumped up to 118,401 in 2016, 112,954 marriages took place in 2017, which is approximately 5,000 less than the previous year.

In summary, 3,368 less marriages took place in Australia in 2017 than 2007, when you factor in population growth, this suggest a higher percentage of people are choosing not to marry.


When we attended our first OPD training back in 2009, we were told the average age of Marriage Celebrants was 67 years old. While this stat is no longer reported, it’s safe to say becoming a Marriage Celebrant is no longer for those looking for a retirement job, with Celebrants of all age groups now available.


There were 6000 Celebrants in Australia in 2007. 10 years later, in 2017 there are now around 9,000 an increase of 50%

The average Australian Marriage Celebrant officiates 10 marriages every year.

The median age at marriage for males in 2017 was 32.years, and the median age at marriage for females in 2017 was 30 years, in 2017, the majority of brides (80.9%) and grooms (79.3%) had not been married before.

Looking at QLD specifically

In QLD 2007 there were 26,000 weddings in QLD in 2017 there were 22,500 a reduction of 3,500 annual weddings.

81% of weddings in QLD are civil weddings performed by Celebrants


If you found this article interesting and you are looking for a Celebrant for your special day, Jamie and Cara of Brisbane City Celebrants would love to hear from you.

View more of their blog posts on the Brisbane Celebrants Directory & Blog, and contact them to confirm availability for your special day.

Michael and Philip’s Sunshine Coast Wedding

Michael and Philip’s Sunshine Coast wedding with Celebrant Jamie Eastgate of Brisbane City Celebrants was everything dreams are made of!

With groom Michael well known and acclaimed within the Brisbane Wedding community for planning luxurious events, naturally every detail was thoughtfully planned and designed, resulting in a truly beautiful day full of love, happiness and laughter.

This gorgeous wedding was so special to us. Not only was Jamie given the honour of being the Celebrant for the happy couple, as friends of the two grooms we are invited to stay and celebrate as guests.


Michael and Philip worked with Jamie to design a ceremony that celebrated their love and shared the story of their 13 years together.

Balancing their humour and zest with a meaningful sincere celebration, both the grooms and their guests were laughing out loud one minute, then shedding happy tears the next. Very much the same emotions the guests continued to have later when the epic speeches were delivered over lunch.


One simple point of difference that contributed to the success of the day, was opting for a morning wedding ceremony, followed directly by a lunch time reception.

The two grooms opted for a mid morning ceremony on a week day which took place at Noosa’s Hidden Grove on the foreshore of Noosa beach. Following the ceremony, instead of the guests being separated from the couple for photos, everyone took a short stroll along the beach to the reception at Sails Noosa where the celebrations began with flowing drinks, canapes and even an oyster bar before guests were seated on long tables decorated with soft pink flowers.


To the guests surprise they were invited to choose their own entrees and main from the menu. Everyone was in awe at how delicious every dish was! The service from Sails Restaurant was equally exceptional with glasses always staying topped up with champagne.


After lunch the band began to play and the dance floor instantly filled, with Michael stealing the show (and the mic) to present his own surprise rendition of Nicki Minaj.



The fun didn’t stop there, when the long lunch reception wrapped up at 4pm, the guests headed off to a nearby venue for the optional after party to continue the celebrations, while the grooms made the most of the golden afternoon light heading off to a quiet beach with their Photographer and Cinematographer for sunset shots with their bridesmaids.

same_sex_wedding_Brisbane.jpgWedding_photography_noosa.jpgWhat an amazing way to begin your journey in to married life and what a huge honour to be a part of and share in this long awaited very special day.

Congratulations on your marriage Michael and Philip, and to repeat what the grooms said in their speech “Thank you for voting YES”.

If you enjoyed hearing about this stunning Sunshine Coast wedding with Celebrant Jamie Eastgate and are looking for a Celebrant for your special day, Jamie would love to hear from you. View more Real Weddings with Jamie Eastgate or contact Jamie to confirm availability for your special day.

Michael & Philip’s Wedding from Forever Features on Vimeo.

Michael and Philips vendor dream team

Wedding Planning and Concept Design: Michael Taylor Public Relations

Photography: Liz Soda Wedding Photography

Cinematography: Tyrone Forever Features

Marriage Celebrant: Jamie Eastgate Brisbane City Celebrants

Ceremony Location: Hidden Grove, Noosa

Reception Location: Sails Noosa

Ceremony and reception band: Rush Entertainment

Make up: KM Makeup Studios

Suits: Wil Valor

Bridesmaid Dresses: White Runway

Event Styling: Main Event Weddings

Tableware: The Supper Club

Invitations and Menus: September Creative

Accommodation: Fairshore Noosa