A colour filled wedding at Cupo Venue

With Celebrant Cara Hodge of Jamie + Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants

What an incredible day it was celebrating Gemma and Chris’s colour filled wedding at Cupo Venue.

5 STARS “Thank you so much for everything leading up to and on the day! Definitely 5 out of 5 from us. We had so much fun, thank you again” Gemma + Chris

Cupo venue wedding celebrant

When I first met with Gemma and Chris to start planning and designing their wedding ceremony, I remember how excited they were as they shared all the details of their upcoming wedding at Cupo Venue, a funky function space in Fortitude Valley.

At the time Cupo Venue was a new venue to the Brisbane wedding scene and this was my first wedding at this venue which added to my excitement of the day.

Gemma told me how the venue was very much a blank canvas that they could decorate and set up however they wished. In keeping with the ceremony vibe of a happy celebratory day, the flower brief to her Florist was for bright and colourful seasonal arrangements. They also created low chill out seating and picnic areas, for guests to gather and chill in a relaxed way.

The venues pallet backdrop wall was beautifully decorated with flowers by Garden Graffiti and twinkling lights.

While there weren’t too many surprises with this modern wedding, with Chris having seen the dress and pink shoes Gemma had picked to wear, long before the day, the happy couple did decide to share surprise vows with each other which they shared for the first time during the ceremony.

It always amazes me when I see the similarities couples include in their surprise vows to each other. Amongst their beautiful heartfelt words to each other, Chris said:

“I look forward to all the memories we are going to make together, the Sundays spent on the couch and the trips to Kmart for “just one thing”.

And alluding to the same thing, Gemma said to Chris:

“I can’t promise that I won’t buy all the cushions from Kmart, but I can promise to support you in your never-ending quest to own all the sneakers.”

Needless to say their words were a huge hit to each other!

cupo venue wedding vows

Their wedding was captured by Terry from Soul Bridge Media, a long term friend of Chris which added to the relaxed enjoyable vibe of the day. They laughed and cried happy tears and their ceremony was truly perfect in every way.

wedding Celebrant Brisbane

wedding at Cupo Venue Brisbane

wedding decorations Cupo Venue

After they exchanged rings they were introduced as husband and wife and their guests cheered loudly!weddings at Cupo Venue Brisbane

wedding Cupo Venue

After the ceremony drinks circulated and while the group photo took place, the venue speedily turned the room around converting the ceremony area, to a long wedding reception table, filled with beautiful bright florals.

Wedding reception Brisbane

Wedding ceremony and reception venue Brisbane

Congratulations to the happy newlyweds and thank you for choosing me as your Celebrant for your wedding at Cupo Venue.

Cara Hodge – Jamie + Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants

Photography:  Soulbridge Media

Venue: Cupo Concept Venue Brisbane

Florist Garden Graffiti

If you enjoyed this post and you are looking for a Celebrant for your wedding at Cupo Venue or elsewhere in Brisbane, Cara would love to hear from you. Contact Cara now for more information and to start planning your special ceremony.

How Wedding Celebrants are adapting to wedding restrictions from COVID-19

With Jamie + Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants

What a ride it has been for many couples and also for the wedding industry including Celebrants with wedding restrictions from COVID-19. Following the announcement in late March, that weddings are subject to new restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The current restrictions allow a maximum of 5 people to be present for the ceremony, which includes the couple, the Celebrant and the 2 witnesses. Celebrations after the ceremony may also be limited due to social distancing rules.

Since this restriction came in to effect, we had a huge couple of weeks working with many of our couples whose weddings were due to take place soon, to assist them in postponing to new dates. Many couple shave opted to have a small and intimate elopement followed by a celebration with guests at a later date when the restrictions have eased.

Celebrants adapting to restrictions elopement

What precautions are we taking to ensure a safe environment for our couples?

It is so important to us that we adhere to the restrictions to assist the community and the wedding industry in moving out of the COVID-19 restrictions phase. Here are some of the processes we have implemented in line with the guidelines to ensure a safe environment and reduce any potential spread.


  • Online meetings are now also available for local couples (in addition to our interstate and overseas based couples) we offer our clients a choice of video conferencing methods.
  • If or when an ‘in person’ meeting is necessary, we advise clients before the meeting that we will be adhering to social distancing practices and that we will be unable to shake their hand. The response to this has always been received very positively.
  • We ask couples to advise us if they haven’t been feeling well or have arrived from overseas within the last 2 weeks, so ‘in person’ meetings can instead take place on line.
  • We have antibacterial gel available, and we continue to wash and sanitise our own hands before, after and between every meeting.
  • We use antibacterial wipes to clean tables and chairs that are used for the ‘in person’ meeting, both before and after the meeting takes place.
  • We use antibacterial wipes to clean the pens used during the meeting.


  • If using a microphone, we sanitise this before and after use.
  • We have hand sanitiser available for use, and we personally use this frequently.
  • Before the wedding commences, we include a pre-wedding announcement to remind guests of social distancing requirements and advise them that the couple have requested they avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
  • We respectfully aren’t shaking hands or hugging clients.
  • We request the full legal names of the 2 witnesses, so they can be printed on the marriage certificates, minimising the time they are in contact with the marriage paperwork.
  • We take a new signing pen out of a packet for the couple to use, and allow them to keep this (while using a different pen ourselves).
  • Tablecloths from signing tables are hot washed after every ceremony.
  • If there is not a Photographer stepping in after we leave, we will offer to take some photos for the couple on our own phone, to then send to them.

If our clients have any further requests that are in accordance and support the health regulations for COVID-10, we are very happy to oblige.

Elope in Brisbane

We hope you found this post helpful. If you are looking for a Celebrant for your special day, elopement or legals only wedding, Jamie + Cara are currently still performing weddings within the current restrictions and  would love to hear from you. Contact Jamie + Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants now for more information.

Elopement image 1 via Brisbane Wedding Decorators

Loving the dog ring bearer

With Celebrant Jamie Eastgate – Brisbane City Celebrants

What a fantastic surprise it was having the couples much loved dog Sasha make a very special appearance and be a part of their special day as the dog ring bearer!

The groom organised for the couples dog to be the surprise ring bearer, and when the Best Man pretended to forget the rings, to everyone’s surprise, the groom whistled and their beautiful dog Sasha appeared from around the corner, and with a little help, made her way down the aisle with the rings.


 “Jamie was a great Celebrant for our wedding!

He made personalising our ceremony easy, was super flexible, and offered great advice and support for vow writing.
We had a fun, relaxed ceremony, with lots of laughs which was just perfect.
Jamie was even in on a surprise my husband organised for me, to include our dog in the ceremony, which is one of my favourite memories.
Our guests commented on how good the ceremony was and said it was a real reflection of us as a couple…thanks to Jamie.

Alana and Brett – Sunset Glade, Roma Street Parklands





What a fantastic surprise it was having the couples much loved dog Sasha make a very special appearance and be a part of their special day… almost stealing the show!

Wishing the happy newlyweds a future reflective of their wedding ceremony; full of love and laughter and happily ever after!

Photography: Kate Cornfoot Photography

Wedding Ceremony Set Up – Brisbane Wedding Decorators

Bride and grooms fur baby – Sasha

Thank you for choosing me to be your Marriage Celebrant for your Roma Street Parklands Wedding and also for taking the time to write such a fantastic review and also for sharing your wedding photos with us, particularly the ones of Sasha the dog ring bearer.

If you enjoyed this post and are a dog loving human, looking for a Celebrant for your special day Jamie Eastgate Brisbane City Celebrants would love to hear form you.

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