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jaya bargwanna civil celebrant newcastle hunter valley port stephens nsw




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Posted on 7 September, 2020 at 7:35 Comments comments (3981)


The whole ‘no dancing at weddings’ rule is such a bummer, right?!

I feel ya. Rewind a couple of years ago and to me a big, fun wedding was synonymous with a boozy dancefloor packed with friends and relo’s; young and old. Enter that filthy C-word (not that one - the other one) and where does that leave us?

Is bumping and grinding to Ginuwine a thing of the past? Who bloody knows! What I can 100% pinky promise you is – FUN WEDDINGS ARE NOT DEAD. It might not be the original party vibe you envisioned but with a little bit of creative thinking, your wedding reception can be an absolute blast.

As a celebrant, I’m constantly surrounded by people in love; in love with weddings, in love with creativity and of course; in love with LOVE. The movers and shakers in the industry, the couples who throw caution to the wind and say f*ck COVID, I’m getting married anyway and all the pals that are along for the ride – THIS ONE IS FOR YOU.

I’ve picked the brains of the top dogs, channeled inspiration from my fav couples, shaken things up a little and voila. Here you have it; a collation of ideas for a KICK ASS COVID WEDDING. Pour yourself a drink and enjoy, lovebugs!


Y’know what’s better than pub trivia? THEMED WEDDING TRIVIA. Yep, it’s a vibe. Think weird and wonderful newlywed questions, a couple of weird-ass wedding tradition questions (coming soon!) and whatever else you’d like to include. Make it short, snappy and mix it in through the night. Have bonus rounds, include extra points for being a Rockstar. Do whatever the hell you like. Guaranteed good time!


Ok, so this one takes a bit of prep (but totally worth it!). Think classic pub ‘heads or tails’ crossed with the ‘shoe game’. It’s fun and EVERYONE gets involved. Every single guest is given a cutout of each of the lovers heads (not creepy, I promise). Then, like ‘heads or tails’ a question is called across the room; eg ‘who was the first to delete tinder’ and your guests hold up the head of their choice. You get it wrong, you’re out. You get it right, you live to see another day. Get it? Hope so!


If you google ‘how to write a wedding speech’ I promise you’ll come across a goldmine of clichés. So, why not make a game of it? At each sitting have a bingo card with a series of words and/or clichés on it. Guests cross them off as they’re mentioned during the speeches. First to cross them off? VICTORY IS YOURS. Want to take it to the next level… FIFTEEN SECONDS OF FAME IS YOUR FRIEND.


Keen to amp up the bingo game? This should do the trick. Every guest gets 15 seconds of fame (yep, use a stopwatch) to make a quick speech, share some sentiments and/or give their two cents of advice. The kicker; cliché bingo is still in action. If you’ve got a competitive bunch, people will be hanging on to every last word. Sounds fun, right?


Heading into the warmer months, why not mix things up completely? Think garden party, long lunch, beach elopement or anything else that may tickle your pickle. Start earlier, wrap it up at golden hour (can’t miss the photo opportunity!) and celebrate into the night with your new husband or wife. What a vibe.

Now that you’re equipped with some inspiration to bring the party vibes to your wedding, I’d love to hear your suggestions too! Weddings might be a little different at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that they’re any less fun, less cool or less awesome. In fact, with the rule books out the window, your wedding might be even more awesome than you ever could have imagined.



Posted on 24 July, 2020 at 22:00 Comments comments (2224)


Being a celebrant and being a hugger go pretty much hand in hand. I speak for 99% of hitchers when I say that we’re a bloody passionate lot. From go to woah we ride the love roller coaster with you and by the time you’ve locked down your love we’re ready for a celebratory snuggle.


BUT since the C-word has come to town (or every town for that matter) you won’t find me all up in your grill. It will hurt. I will pine. Every inch of me will want to squeeze you. I love you, I’m excited for you, BUT I won’t hug you.


What, Why? You ask. And that, my friends is a very good question. Full disclosure, not all of these apply to me personally but they may just hit the nail on the head for you. So, buckle up. Let’s get real.


I am a celebrant (duh). But let’s break that down. During quieter months (March to December 2020, I’m looking at you) will see me hitching anywhere between 2 and 8 sets of lovebirds. Let’s add an average guest list of 80 people. You’re looking at me being in contact with close to 700 people, per month (outside of my personal life). That’s a lot right?! Now, just now, imagine if any one of those people were carrying the wretched virus. With dormant periods and the potential for asymptomatic carriers - picture the worst case scenario. Just thinking about it is terrifying. That’s why, I love you - but, I won’t hug you.


I am a mother. I have two babies, the youngest is only three months old, the oldest is not yet two. They are vulnerable. I do everything I can to look after them and that means distancing from almost everyone, regardless of the situation. It’s easy at the grocery shops but when the love buzz hits it’s so hard to hold back. That’s why; I love you - but, I won’t hug you.


I am a healthcare worker. A frontline worker. A pharmacist, a midwife, a doctor. Every precaution is taken to avoid transmission, but what if somehow things fall between the cracks? What if I get close to you, then you to an elderly relative? I could never risk it. That’s why; I love you - but, I won’t hug you.


I have a compromised immune system. COVID scares the hell out of me. It might just be an ‘old person’ virus to you but for me it could mean the difference between life and death. I might be public about my illness or maybe it’s something I hold close to my chest. Either way, I’m doing my best to keep my distance. That’s why; I love you – but I won’t hug you.


I am elderly. I am the statistic – you know, the one that you constantly hear in the media. People like me are falling ill; very ill. I am so desperate not to become one of them. That’s why; I love you – but I won’t hug you.


I’m just not comfortable. That’s why; I love you – but I won’t hug you.


In these times it’s so important that we be kind to each other and ourselves. The dreaded C-word has caused chaos in our lives and effed with so many plans. If you’re still planning on a big wedding celebration read on for some practical tips on making your guests feel at ease with the ‘rona


Ever been to a traffic light party? Green means ‘single and ready to mingle’, red means ‘taken’ and orange means… well, I’ve never really understood that one. Before I get side-tracked, what I’m getting at is that having a way to identify which guests are comfortable with close contact is an easy way of reducing awkward interactions between family and friends. Think stickers, wrist bands or whatever else tickles your pickle.


OH+S chat. Yep, we’ve all heard them before. But if I’m delivering your wedding you bet your bottom dollar that I’ll throw a quick one of these in there. Nothing too dire, not too full on. Just enough to make you and your pals feel comfortable and know that everything is being done to maximise party vibes and minimise worries. Ok? – Cool.


Rest assured that while your OH+S chat might be short and not too formal, behind the scenes I have put together a comprehensive COVID safe plan and have been registered as a COVIDsafe business. If you would like help with any ideas or would like to take a squizz just let me know. This isn’t just for my couples, you’re all welcome to take a peek.


Last but not least – now, more than ever it is important that you have your dream team of vendors behind you. When you book someone that you vibe with, you know that they’re on your side. Your vendors are here to support you, to ride out the clusterf*ck and to give you options. Just because your wedding might not look like your original plans doesn’t mean that your dream team can’t knock your socks off. Pick our brains – we’re here to help.


And before I leave you be - if you can, find your silver lining. Look at your lover. They’re your reason. Remember that and know that you love them AND you can hug them.



Posted on 5 June, 2020 at 5:15 Comments comments (1119)


Today was meant to be the day. The day you wiggled your #wedshred bod into your dream dress or your slender-legged suit, shared one too many champagnes with your best buds and rode the rollercoaster of emotion through your wedding ceremony – only, to come out the other side, hugging your favourite people and partying the night away.

But then the world changed and instead you are spending your wedding day, living the ‘new normal’ #isolife. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to feel so many things that you can’t make sense of them anymore.

But today, of all days – I want you to do something. Remember this – LOVE IS NOT CANCELLED (or postponed). Yes, your big wedding celebration may be, but the reason behind it – you coupla’ lovebirds is not. So, break out the date-night dress, don your best chinos and crack open the finest tipple you’ve got. It’s time to celebrate baby. And, if you’re looking for some inspo on how to have the best wedding-date-party-for-two, feast your eyes and get ready to drool.

Vow Party

Are you ready to get gin-drunk and mutter sweet nothings to the love of your life? What a perfect occasion to do so. Instead of sharing your most intimate thoughts, feelings and promises in front of your family and friends – make the most of the Covid sitch and write some special ones for your lover’s ears only. No need to worry about making Nan blush or smoke blow out of your father-in-law’s eye sockets – make these as cheeky as you like. Then; flip a coin, play scissor/paper/rock or battle it out on Mario Kart to decide who goes first. Want some help writing your ‘Covid-Vows’? – It might not be your wedding day, but I’m still here ready to help over a virtual vino and a good ol’ fashion Zoom sesh.

Couples that Cook Together Stay Together

Fancy your chances as the next master chef? Why don’t you lovers have an ultimate cooking fest. Pour yourself a red, slither out of your trackies and don your best apron (extra points if you’re riding bare underneath). Cook yourselves the best damn dinner you’ve ever feasted on and leave the cleaning up for the morning…

Cheats tip: Subo, the ultimate in Newcastle fine-dining are currently offering delivery of their three course dinners (with omnivore, vego and vegan options available). There is some cooking and assembly required for each course, so really; you can totally claim it as your own creation, right? Check it out here -

Phone a friend (or all your friends)

Send a quick email/message/pigeon to all your guests prior to your wedding and ask them for some help celebrating your original wedding date. Get each person to film a short segment of them clinking their glasses and sending you some sweet AF wishes for you pair. Watch them together and know how bloody loved the two of you are. Then, why not pull out your laptop, go through old photos and venture down memory lane.

Frock the F*ck Up

This one is pretty self explanatory – pull out the lippy, spray on the cologne and grab your fanciest pants. It’s date night! But, make it all the more special by ordering yourself a batch of perfectly balanced, tongue-tingling, soul-warming cocktails from The Koutestu ( ), put on some swanky AF tunes and imagine you’re out at your favourite small bar. The upside – no taxi lines, no deso, just dessert.

Or, if fine dining tickles your fancy check out the iconic Scratchley’s restaurant ( for the big seafood shebang (yep, from the 24th of April you can indulge in their signature seafood platter at home).

Dance Party at Home

Newy musicians are bringing their gigs to your loungerooms and there’s a good chance your wedding muso is too! Check out your vendors socials for info on their streamed performances. What better way to celebrate your wedding date than sharing those first dance feels with your love? And if you’re keen to keep on partying, pull up youtube and bang out some bangers. It’s karaoke time.

Cheats tip: If you’re feeling super adventurous, why not try your hand at choreographing your first dance together. Or, if you’d like some professional help check out Anne-Marie from YFDC ( and she will have your butts wiggling in sync in no time!


From the team at JBCC HQ (aka my family and I) – sending you both a whole heap of love on your original wedding date. Covid sucks, postponing your wedding sucks BUT the date itself doesn’t. Celebrate YOU, celebrate LOVE and have one helluva time. Holla if you need to chat and know that once these restrictions are lifted your wedding is going to be the freakin PARTY OF A LIFETIME.

Lots of love, cake and boozy good times.

Jaya x



Posted on 5 June, 2020 at 5:15 Comments comments (1791)

Ten names MUCH more fitting than ‘Civil Celebrant’

1. HELL YEAH! Hitcher – getting married is one of the biggest moments of your life, so let’s do it with enthusiasm. Your ceremony should be full of fun, energy and personality. Are you ready to get married? HELL YEAH!

2. Photo dodging NINJA. “What a gorgeous first kiss, but what the heck is that little head doing in the middle”. Nuh-uh, not this celebrant (aka photo dodging ninja!)

3. Legal paperwork whizz. A lot goes on behind the scene to make sure that your marriage is legit. I guarantee with me, it will be. I mean – you don’t want mistakes with this stuff.

4. Walking-talking-wedding-directory. – As a celebrant, we meet so many cool wedding people. Florists, bakers + photo takers – need a recommendation? I’m your gal.

5. Vows to WOW your lover assistant. Got a whole heap of cute stuff to say, but can’t find the right words? Have no fear – together we create vows to put a tear in even the driest of eyes.

6. Ruler of Run Sheets. No worrying about what happens next when you book with this hitcher. Before the big day, you’ll be given the low-down on where to be, when. Easy, right?

7. Group-shot hustler. Have you ever tried to put trousers on an octopus? Well that’s what it’s like organising a group shot without a hustler sporting a damn fine PA. Trust me on this one.

8. Human-Chill-Pill. Channel your inner RELAX by ‘Frankie Goes to Hollywood’ (the song in Zoolander). This human-chill-pill will make you feel totally at ease and ready to enjoy what’s about to happen.

9. Ya Best Mate. When I MARRY you, I want to know all about you. What makes you laugh, cry and sing with joy. We might start as strangers, but by the time you’re married, we will be good friends!

10. Gin-Slingin’ Maestro. My special gin-mixin’ magic is sure to make a delicious touch to your ceremony. Add a little sugar, spice and something nice and we create a keepsake to keep the love-buzz going.



Posted on 5 June, 2020 at 5:10 Comments comments (2869)

Myth: wedding ceremony = snoozefest

BUSTED: Your wedding ceremony will be lively, inclusive and a whole lotta’ fun. Packed full of stories and anecdotes, your ceremony will capture the essence of your love story and have both you and your guests all buzzed up on your love stuff. The warm and fuzzies from your ceremony are a guaranteed party starter – so throw away the eye-masks, there’s no snoozing through one of these bad boys.

Myth: your ceremony must include religious elements

BUSTED: If you book a CIVIL celebrant (like me – just saying); religious elements are not a necessary component of your ceremony. In fact, besides the legal stuff, your ceremony can contain whatever you want. Up for a shot of whisky mid-ceremony, burning sage as a sign of new beginnings, or just after the legal minimum? We can create a ceremony to match your vibe.

Myth: your celebrant must have graduated at the same time as your grandma

BUSTED: I’m not even in the same realm as your grandmother, or even your parents (unless you were born when they were 10). I’m a young(ish), married, mother of one and I ‘get you’. Having been exactly where you are a couple of years ago, I have a fair idea of wedding trends, cool vendors and what soon-to-be newlyweds want. If you’re after something relaxed, lighthearted, personal and just down-right lovely – I’m your girl.

Myth: celebrants only work for a couple of hours on the weekend (so why do they cost so much?!)

BUSTED: There’s a helluva lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that your hitching goes off without a hitch (oh, and also that it’s legal). At JBCC HQ, each ceremony is written from scratch, to capture your love story, and tell it in the way you want it to be told. From crafting the perfect ‘SPILL THE BEANS’ couples questionnaire to nailing the structure of your ceremony and adding in the legal paperwork too – there’s plenty of love, time and energy that goes in to creating your bespoke wedding ceremony.

Myth: all celebrants are the same

BUSTED: When you picture your typical marriage celebrant, what do you see? Trust me, we’re not all the same.




Posted on 5 June, 2020 at 5:10 Comments comments (2687)

1. The entry

Who is walking you/your partner down the aisle? Is anyone even walking down the aisle? Gone are the days where bridal processions were (unofficially) compulsory. Your entry is your guests first impression of the entire wedding. I can help you make it memorable.

2. Personalised vows

Yes, we must include the monitum (aka legal vows) in your ceremony, but after that, the sky’s the limit! Your vows can be funny, they can make you cry, heck – I’ve seen a groom compile his entire set of vows from Disney movies. With unlimited support from yours truly, get ready to wow your partner and your guests with truly memorable vows.


3. Story Telling or readings

Was it love at first sight, a mutual ‘swipe right’ or did one party require a little persuasion? Do you have a funny story to share? Years of special memories? Or a moment that simply blows your mind? What makes you as a couple unique? Let’s tell that story.


4. Tradition and Heritage

Did you know; In Mexico, once vows are made, the couple are tied together using a lasso? Or, that during some Celtic ceremonies, the bride and groom each take a shot of whisky.Or, that in Congo, the bride is not allowed to smile during the ceremony (it means they’re not serious about marriage). Why not include some traditional ceremonial elements in your ceremony? (*smiling recommended) Ask me how… and we can have you and your guests talking about it for years to come!


5. Readings

Traditional, religious, a snippet from your favourite book or movie. Maybe even a diary entry or a passage of text messages. There are no limits on your options for a reading to be used in your ceremony. Just make sure that it tells your story or means something special to you.

6. Include friends and family

Your wedding ceremony is a celebration of your love, in front of all your friends and family. So, why not include them too? Have you considered walking down the aisle with your whole family? Or having a ‘witness ballot’? There are no rules on who, or how many people you include in your ceremony and there are hundreds of ways we can make it happen!

7. The kiss

Are you thinking a graceful lift, a spin in the air, straight-out-of-a-90s rom-com first kiss? Is your partner thinking a straightforward peck? Avoid the awkward confusion and plan the perfect first kiss. It doesn’t need to be rehearsed, just make sure you two are on the same page and make your first kiss as a married couple one to remember!

8. Music

So, you love Ed Sheeran – perfect (double entendre intended)! But if he’s not quite your fit, no need to worry. Your wedding music should reflect you, as a couple. Our wedding songs were chosen from the first gig we attended as a couple and an old school song we jokingly used to boogie to. Years later, our friends still talk about how they just had to dance along as we walked down the aisle. Make your song choices all about you, after all – the rest of your ceremony is.

9. The exit

Make it fun - do it your way. Would you like a confetti toss? Your nearest and dearest toasting you into married life or a good old boogie down the aisle? Throw away the rule book and own your exit. After all, it's your official walk as a married couple!

10. BONUS: Have a kick-ass ceremony created by yours truly.



Posted on 5 June, 2020 at 4:55 Comments comments (1309)

So, you want to write your own wedding vows. Amazing! There is nothing more beautiful than hearing your lover declare their most personal and heartfelt promises to you. Oh, are you a little squeamish about perfecting yours? Have no fear – together, we will nail this. Your soon-to-be (and all your guests) will experience all the warm’n’fuzzy love tingles as you deliver the most breathtakingly wonderful vows.

Where to start? Grab a glass of wine (or your poison of choice, except if it’s before midday on a Monday – then coffee may be your preference) and relax. Or, it’s the day before your wedding – in that case, grab a 4 pack of redbull and get cracking, there’s no time left for relaxing!


1. Let your personality shine through – your fiancé isn’t marrying Shakespeare (which would be illegal, since he’s dead) – they’re marrying YOU! So, just be yourself. Trust me, anything you write will be perfect.

2. After a more traditional structure? Easy - pack it all into a delicious sandwich – you want to make sure you’ve got something to hold and a delectable filling in the middle. Ideas for the sandwich board;

a. Introduce who your partner is to you (pet name, my love, partner in crime)

Matt – my love;

b. Declare love – when or why did you realise they were the one? What do you love about them?

From the time you leant me a jacket when I was inappropriately dressed in the middle of winter – I developed a crazy crush on you. From that moment you were kind, fun and a little bit cheeky.

Because of you, my life is brighter, happier and infinitely better.

c. Make some promises – I promise to always warm up your side of the bed/not to hog the sheets / always give you the bigger glass of wine

I promise that I will laugh with you, play with you and support you in everything you do.

I promise that with every challenge that you face, I will be by your side.

I promise to always warm up your side of the bed, to make sure that there’s enough hot water left for you to shower and to order my own fries instead of eating yours.

And I promise that I’ll always share my trackies with you.

d. Make a comment about your partner on the wedding day

I’ve loved you for many many years, but never more than I do right now. While I can’t be certain of what the future will bring – I can promise you this; a life full of excitement, good wines and plenty of love.

e. Declare love, one more time.

Matt, I promise to love you, day in and day out, for the rest of my time.

3. Find a couple of key words – Try describing your partner in three words (good words, please!). Now, the same for your relationship. Use these words throughout your vows – it will keep them authentic.


4. Make sure you’re in a good mood – Relax, think about why you’re getting married. Got ‘writers block’ you wonderful wordsmith? Take a break. Jot down some ideas and come back to it when you’re ready. If you’re like me, you’ll do your best work in the shower.


5. What do you love doing together? – You spend all week looking forward to red wine in your trackies on a Friday night (can I get an AMEN!) – include it in your vows. Promise to continue making time to do your favourite things together. The more personal, the better,


6. Read it over, out loud. Check that it makes sense, it feels natural and you like the sound of it. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to creating your own vows. There’s only ‘feelin’ it’ or ‘not feelin’ it’.


7. Use me – When you choose me as your celebrant, you’re signing up for round the clock support, help with vows and any other element of your ceremony you would like to chat about! Need someone to bounce ideas off? I’m your girl. And, I’m always happy to include a vow-writing session as part of our meetings.

Think this was helpful? Wait til you see the guide with ALL the suggestions to get you feeling inspired. 



Posted on 7 December, 2019 at 3:30 Comments comments (1117)

How did you first meet?

Matt and I met at the field of dreams (aka Lydon oval). At the time, my younger brother Raj, was playing in the under 19s team. Matt was one of the scary first grade boys. Middle of winter, dressed in a short dress, I was freezing my butt off while watching Raj play. A cute guy came over, offered me a jacket (which I graciously accepted) and then walked away. I later found out that it was a toss up between offering me that jacket, or the ‘stripper blanket’ as a laugh for the boys. If he chose the blanket, I don’t think I’d be filling this out.

Was it LOVE at first site? - Or did someone need a little persuasion?

So far from it! I mean, I thought he was cute – but he didn’t even say two peeps to me. For about 6 months there was the occasional ‘Hi’, ‘Bye’ or ‘been surfin’ lately?’ but that’s it. Then, fast forward another 6 months, there was a cheeky ‘add friend on fb’, then, a few months later we started bumping into each other at different pubs and our chats evolved to more than just ‘hi and bye’. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

What did you do for your FIRST DATE?

I don’t really know when things went from being pals to a first date. The first time we hung out, we went and got a coffee and watched Surfest. It was pissing down rain and I nearly bailed, but my mum convinced me to go and boy am I glad I did. From there, we caught up for a stroll along the beach (not sunset, don’t worry) and watched Surfest again. A huge storm came over so I offered to drive Matt back to his car, we sat there for ages, talking about anything and everything. Then, just like that, he slapped me on the shoulder, said ‘See ya mate’ and got out of the car. Friendzoned.

One of our first date-dates was at New Shanghai. I have no idea what I ordered, but Matt got crab. He had only ever had soft shell crab before so had no clue what he was doing. Anyway, long story short, he ate a big chunk of the shell, and swallowed it, because he was trying to impress. Unfortunately for him, his mate told me anyway.

Where was your FIRST SMOOCH?

On the front step of my grandmother’s house, where I was living at the time. I was out with my friends, and Matt with his. Yet, all of a sudden, his mates had all gone home and he was there alone. I was ready to head home and he asked if he could catch a cab with me and then get his mum to pick him up from my place. I guess you could say we’re still waiting for his mum to come and get him.

When did you realise / what made you realise that they were THE ONE?

A couple of weeks before we started hanging out, I started my pharmacy degree and I remember saying to some friends – I am definitely going to stay single, I’m way too busy for someone at the moment. Well, then enters Matt. From our first hang I knew that I liked his company. He was an instant best friend. But, there was so much more to him. There was no single ah-huh moment for me. I just couldn’t get enough of his company and I still can’t.

Proposal story - please!

Matt had these incredible plans to do it while we were surfing in Coolangatta. But, for the first time in the dozens that we had been up there, it was 4ft and there was no romantic mal riding to be done. So, he went for a spur of the moment alternative. Let’s not go into detail on this one. It was very ‘Matt’ and I loved it.


Nearly seven years in the making. In this time, we have done so much together. Here’s a couple of highlights; graduated and got my first real job, moved in together, moved house, travelled a shit-load, quit our jobs and travelled the world, new jobs, got married, had the most beautiful daughter with another one on the way and we’ve both got plenty of premature grey hairs (him, more than me – but when we started dating neither of us had any!). But the most remarkable thing, in that time; our love has only gotten bigger and better.

What do you LOVE most about your partner?

How do I choose just one thing? He’s my biggest support and my best pal. He can make me laugh even when I’m furious (but don’t tell him that).

What's your partner's most annoying habit? (only one - no lists please hehe).

He steals all the blankets. All the time.

What would your partner say is YOUR WORST habit?

If he has a pimple or a blackhead, I will find it and I will pop it. I even have a popping face and sometimes make sound effects.

What's your partner's BEST PHYSICAL feature? (ok, you can have a list here)

Have you seen his eyes? And that smile. And the way his smile lights up his whole face, and his eyes. He’s pretty easy on the eyes.

What are your pet names for each other?

99% of the time I’ll call him Bargy (but so do lots of people) – then, there’s Barget, Jamon, Bargy bear, Honey, Bunny, Booface, Honey Bunny Booface or whatever comes to mind at the time.

Do you have a FUNNY story I can share?

When we first started dating, way back when, we tried to keep it a secret because Matt played soccer with my brother and we wanted to be discreet just in case we didn’t like each other all that much. After a few months, we got spotted leaving a pub together and rumours started circulating. But, once it came out that we had been dating for a while nobody gave my brother a hard time. I guess that’s not really a ‘haha’ funny story, more of a wow, that’s kind of strange/funny story to think back on.

Describe your LOVER in three words.

Loyal, fun, compassionate

Describe YOURSELF in three words.

Energetic, loving, hilarious

Describe your RELATIONSHIP in three words.

The best, ever.

How do you feel MARRIAGE will change your relationship?

We’ve been married for nearly three years now (time flies!) but at the time, I was just so damn excited to be sharing the same last name. I had always felt the commitment, but marriage felt like a step towards becoming a grown up. Spoiler alert - totally don’t feel like a grown up, since being married.

What are your favourite things to do together?

Before we had our little one, we bought a van – created a little home on wheels and travelled up and down the coast surfing, camping and having a good ol’ time. We love surfing, playing soccer (up the thistles!) and if someone was to stalk us, we consistently frequent the same watering holes.

Since our baby girl Mali, we love our morning walks, coffee dates, hanging at the beach and family adventure dates.

Where was your first / best HOLIDAY together?

Our first holiday was to Coolongatta, and together we’ve been there upwards of twenty times since. We’ve surfed in the Philippines, watched Barcelona play in Barcelona, Hiked through Hawaii on our honeymoon and sipped cocktails in Melbourne. But, our best holiday (yet) was in 2016 when we travelled around Europe for nearly four months. We started out in Greece and Croatia – sunning ourselves and drinking way too much, followed by 6 weeks driving through Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. We then spent time surfing in Hossegor before making way over to Iceland. We spent 101 days living in each others pockets and didn’t go a single day sober. It was one of the best time of our lives.

Do you have seedlings? - tell me ALL about them.

We have a crazy, energetic and super-sweet firecracker of a daughter – Mali. She is 15 months, going on 13. We have so much fun as a family and our days are spent at the beach, drinking copious amounts of caffeine (because what’s sleep) and having dance-offs around the house. We are expecting our second Bargwanna junior sometime around March/April (aka peak wedding season) this year.

How about FUR (feather / scaled / finned) children?

Sadly, none.

What's your favourite SNACK?

I love a good gin and tonic. Or a dry martini – that comes with an olive garnish, so that’s a snack, right? But, I guess you could throw in a cheese plate and that would do quite nicely.

Favourite FLICK?

I actually don’t enjoy movies. I have the attention span of a small child. On the rare occasion, you’ll catch me watching a sit-com or tv show – but it’s generally limited to one episode, maybe two – but only if they’re short.

Best MEMORY together.

It’s impossible to pick just one. The morning of our wedding was pretty special. We spent the night before, at home, just the two of us (and champagne). In the morning we headed to the beach – we were planning on surfing, but I hurt my neck in the surf the day before so thought a swim was a good option instead. I loved the anticipation that we were about to get married.

Then, of course, the first moment we held our daughter together. There’s no words for that kind of thing.

Anything else you'd like to SHARE? (PS. if you've haven't realised I LOVE stories)

I’m a hopeless romantic (which is why I’m totally suited in indulging in other people’s love stories) and Matt is about as cool as they come. He’s the salt to my pepper and together we have one hell of a time. Oh, also, I could count the number of fights we’ve had on one hand.



Posted on 13 June, 2019 at 5:05 Comments comments (33487)

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1. Your wedding, your rules. Get married however the hell you want (I'll just make sure it's legit). Pictured - my (then - now; current) very-soon-to-be hubby and I, about to be walked down the aisle together by our nearest and dearest. Who says you have to follow tradition.

2. You can get married in front of two people, two thousand people, or somewhere in between. The choice is YOURs.

3. Every LOVE story is beautiful, unique and deserves to be celebrated. Love IS love, baby!

4. Your wedding ceremony can be individually crafted, just for you - or, you can choose to have 'no-nonsense-nuptials' and be hitched in a heartbeat. Both are beautiful.

5. You only every marry your 'HAPPILY EVER AFTER' once, so make it bloody perfect.

Now, read all the words in CAPITAL LETTERS. Tell me you didn't smile. Ready to get married? I know a celebrant :P


kids at weddings

young celebrant, newcastle celebrant, hunter valley celebrant, modern celebrant, fun celebrant, wedding, marriage

Kids at Weddings

Photo: Keegan Cronin

If I had a cent for every time I got asked for my two cents on kids at weddings I would be slightly less poor. But in all seriousness, this is SUCH a personal decision. Four years ago, when I was in the height of wedding planning the answer was an easy no. Fast forward to the now and the tables have turned.

It’s not an easy decision, or one that should be made for any other reason except the preference of the people getting married (but hey, that’s my stance of 99% of wedding related things).

But, what I have done is broken down some of the considerations, tips and tricks to help you make an informed decision and also a little bit of a guide of things you can do to make it easier on yourselves.

Before we jump in, I want to preface this with; just because you welcome kids to a ceremony doesn’t mean you have to include them for the reception and vice versa. Your day, your way.

It’s a NO from me – or five reasons why kids at your wedding might not be your jam.

1. The idea of kids screaming or running around during your vows makes your skin crawl

2. If you invited everyone’s kids to your wedding, you’d be way over budget

3. Your wedding isn’t a child-friendly affair – champagne, candles, drunk guests and a banging d-floor might not make the perfect mix for little ones hanging around

4. You’d like your friends and family to have a night off and give them the opportunity to let their hair down

5. You simply don’t want children there. There’s no single reason, you just don’t want it.

… on the flip side …

I can’t imagine getting married without the little loves – or five reasons why kids at weddings rule

1. There’s nothing cuter than watching the little ones in your life break it down on the d-floor.

2. Photos. See above.

3. Those unscripted moments. The innocent comments, the ooooh’s and aaaah’s. These inbetweeners than add to the magic of the moment.

4. You just simply can’t imagine celebrating such a milestone without some of your favourite little people.

5. Have you ever seen the excitement on a child’s face during a first dance? For them, it’s a real life fairytale and all their dreams come true.

6. You don’t need a reason. If you’d like the little ones there, invite them along. Then, it’s up to the individual parents to decide if they want to bring them.

Next week on the blog;

Ok, so we’ve decided to include kids on our guest list – what can we do to keep them entertained AND make sure we/their parents have a kick-ass time.