Great photographers have much more than a fancy camera.


So often I hear from brides that they were disappointed with how their photography turned out. Some are utterly devastated.

I’ve seen a lot of weddings, and had one of my own, and there are important things to consider when booking a photographer…

Think beyond their costs, yes a budget is an important element of the process, but so often I see people spend $1800 on a wedding gown, and scrimp on the photography. There’s no point in having the expensive dress if there isn’t someone experienced to capture you in it. Remember that there’s the hours spent with you on your wedding day, and then in most cases there are countless hours spent by your photographer editing each photo, and making them look perfect. You’re paying for much much more than the work you actually see being done.

The day goes by so fast, and trust me when I tell you that there will be many moments that you miss on the day, or over time struggle to remember. Having an experienced and reputable photographer will allow you to reflect back, helping memories stay fresh.

Anyone can buy a DSLR camera, heck I have one and I’m in no way qualified to be a photographer. I’m actually mega shit at it.  I’m 100% for ameture or inexperienced photographers getting out there, and yeah, you won’t pay top dollar for them, but it’s because they are ameture and inexperienced. So don’t be surprised if they miss the exact shot you had hoped they would get.

Excellent photographers think about more than just capturing the expected shots like the first kiss, they think about lighting, colouring, a story, a reflection of who you are. They manage to capture the tiniest details, details that you’ve been up thinking about till midnight in the months leading up to your wedding.

My favourite photographers are ones that work with clients to capture their day in the right vibe for the couple, and also ones that work with your vendors to conspire to make the day you dreamed of. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of Canberra’s most amazing photographers over the years, and the ones that stand out are ones that you barely notice during the ceremony, but still capture every moment exactly as you had hoped.

Make sure you spend some time checking out perspective photographers websites and social media, check that they are posting original work and that they have a good amount of activity on their pages. Read reviews and see if they have much of a following. Some ‘photographers’ post other people’s work as inspiration so make sure you know if the person you’re eyeing off is posting authentic stuff.

Another tip is to have an engagement shoot with your photographer if they offer them. One main reason I encourage clients to do this is because having someone photograph you all day can be awkward AF! An engagement shoot helps you see how the photographer works, and allows them to know what you need to be relaxed and really helps creating a strong rapport between you and the magician behind the lens.

When it’s all said and done, and the white gold is rubbing off your wedding band, you will be thankful that you invested in capturing the day where you wore more makeup than ever before and your husband looks better manicured than any day since.

Here’s a tasty photo of my bae and I at our vow renewal in 2016 as captured by Ash from Silque Photography and Design. We opted to have only videography at our wedding way back in 2012, so when we decided to renew our vows I was excited to get some shots like this.


Bianca’s Favourite ‘not-shit’ wedding readings



Ok, so by the heading of this I realise I can offend people, so I will start with; having stuff YOU like in your wedding ceremony makes it ‘not-shit’ in my books, and I don’t think any reading I have done or heard at a wedding is shit in particular, but below are some of the ones I like. Personally.

I like ceremonies that are unexpected, authentic and an equal balance of romantic and funny. I’m not very traditional, but I think you have gathered that by now.

Ok, some of my faves….

I basically love anything by Pablo Neruda, yep, he is a bit more traditional, but shit, the dude can write. Such as:

Sonnet XVII

“I do not love you as if you were a salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love and solid fragrance, risen from the earth lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this; where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep”

BOOM! thats some intense love.

Sticking with some darker, more gothic tones, I’ve quoted Emily Bronte in a ceremony before;

“I love the ground under his feet, and the air over his head, and everything he touches, and every word he says; I love all his looks, and all his actions, and him entirely and altogether”

continued with…

“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be: and if all else remained and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger”

Miriam and Beau let me surprise them with a quote from the Joker to his Harley Quinn…

“I didn’t know a thing about her, I only knew that when she kissed me, I felt alive again, and my whole world became something different. It was heaven and hell, brought together in my head, my own secret world, and I would burn there”

Ok, now for something completely different…

I once had a request to search for romantic quotes from the Simpsons, my personal favourite is from homer, “Why do I have three kids and no monies, why can’t I have no kids and Three Monies!!!” But thats not wedding related, so this is good too…

“Now what is a wedding? Well, webster dictionary describes a wedding as the process of removing weeds from ones garden”


“I will love you as long as my heart still beats and my brain still brains”

Or better yet

“I need you more than anyone else on this entire planet could possibly ever need you. I need you to take care of me, to put up with me, and most of all I need you to love me, cause I love you”

*insert love heart eyes emoticon* Oh Homer!!!

Looking for some Dr Seuss in your wedding ceremony, how about…

“We are all a little weird, and life a little weird, and when we find someone who’s weirdness is compatible with outs, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

Tonights ceremony had me quoting Winnie the Pooh:

“how do you spell love” asked Piglet, “You don’t spell it, you feel it” replied Pooh.

“If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you imagine, and more loved than you will ever know.  But the most important thing, is even if we are apart, I’ll always be with you”

I’ve used this Bob Marley gold in a few ceremonies too:

“He’s not perfect, you aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least one, cause you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking of you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t analyse, smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had, because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy thats perfect for you”


“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them thins that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more… You can be yourself, and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.”

I spend good many hours a week searching through all the love dribble that is on the internet, and still to this day am yet to find anything that trumps a good old bespoke vow written and spoken from the heart, even if it includes “I knew I loved you since our first date when I vomited”



Taking a bit of a breather


This time three years ago I was patently waiting for my Celebrant registration to come through, thinking ‘I wonder if I’ll ever book any clients that I’m not already friends with?’

My first ever gig was when I was 6 weeks pregnant, I felt like crap, but it was totally amazing and I had my first taste of the Celebrant high I go on and on about. Not only had I found this strange random job that I loved, but it was also something that might have the potential to become my permanent job while having babies.

These past two and a half years have been so freaking awesome. And the strangest thing has happened, I’m actually TOO BUSY!

It’s so so so crazy and unbelievable that I’m at a point where I’ve had to say that I’m fully booked, the allocation is exhausted! It’s a great problem to have, but I’ve found myself having to email brides and grooms back with “unfortunately I’m booked” so I’m here to keep it real and tell you the two main reasons why I’m not taking new clients.

Firstly, I’m a mum, and while running a small business actually keeps me sane a lot of the time, if I take on much more work over these next 18 months I’ll barely see Rob and Delila on the weekend, and let’s face it, I really like them. I’m also trying to sell, buy and renovate a house, which needs a fair bit of my attention, and it falls into that personal life balance people go on and on about.

Secondly and super importantly, my clients are people who have trusted me with one of (if not the) most important aspect of their day, and they deserve my utmost attention. Getting to know my clients is really really important to me as it means I can easily be authentic and not feel like a stranger on their wedding day. Getting to know people takes time, and for this reason I typically only book one wedding per day, and usually no more than 2 weddings per week.

At the moment I’ve got enquiries/bookings for every available weekend till the end of 2016, and a few into 2017, and whilst in the middle of wedding season, for now at least, I need to shut down any further enquiries.

I’m still going to be on social media, sharing exciting stuff about my homies (brides and grooms) and hopefully blogging more about some of the amazing wedding suppliers and vendors that I have the pleasure of dealing with on a regular basis.

Thankfully I know a heap of kick ass Celebrants that can help you out, check out or for some of Australia’s best Celebrants 🙂

So super sorry to disappoint you if you were mad keen on booking me, I want to book everyone, but for the reasons above, I’ve got to take a little breather.

Keeping it real
Bianca xoxox


Your Ceremony has nothing to do with your Celebrant



Yes, having a celebrant (or minister) is essential to having your marriage legalised, and yes, there are certain things we have to say in order for your ceremony to be legal. But outside of what is legally required, the ceremony actually has nothing to do with the celebrant.

I’ve talked about the legal stuff in a previous post here, but this post is about what in my opinion really makes a ceremony.

And the answer is, YOU!Bianca helping Sarah and Rick get through their vows

Your family, friends and loved ones have gathered to witness you and your Fiance get married, not to watch a celebrant waffle on about a bunch of stuff that doesn’t actually reflect you. I consider it my job, as your celebrant, to help you articulate how you feel, or better yet, help you put pen to paper to write something straight from the heart.

Some of my favourite ceremonies happened recently at our Pop-up event in May. Most of the couples had their own vows, my job was to help them get their vows together before hand, make sure their legal vows were slipped in at the right moment, and to witness it.   One couple had written such amazing vows that I handed over the mic, held the brides flowers for her, and got the heck outta the way! The entire ceremony was me saying the Monitum, them speaking directly to each other, and then signing the docs.

Bianca Way Canberra Celebrant moves out of the way

So you love the idea of having this really personal ceremony, but that scares the heck out of you, or you hate public speaking or your just afraid your going to cry your eyes out if you actually say what your heart is feeling at that moment. THIS is why you hire a celebrant.
Not so you have someone standing in the back of your first  kiss shot grinning like a weirdo, and reading out ‘Ceremony 6’ with the 2 readings you chose out of a book. In my opinion its the celebrants job to help make your ceremony authentic.
The best celebrants (totes including me!) will take the time to get to know you both, chat to you heaps to help you feel comfortable and safe to get those emotions flowing. They will of course put a ceremony together that has the right feel that suits you both, assist you in writing vows, and hopefully get the balance of happy tears and laughing just right 🙂

Bride and Groom First Kiss

Images captured by Silque Photography and Design at our Popup Wedding held under the stunning elm tree at Poachers Pantry. Flowers by the amazing Moxom & Whitney , styling by Style My Aisle

Why would I Pop-Up?


So I should be folding washing as the couch in my bedroom seems as if it’s suffocating under the epic pile of clothes that have lived there for a few days (maybe more like a week) but instead, like usual, my mind is on weddings.

Late last year I came across Josh Withers’ Facebook page, he is a super prominent Celebrant and I instantly wanted to learn from him. Within the same half hour I found the site. The Pop-Up Wedding is the brain child of Josh’s fabulous wife Britt. I read all about it and thought, “this belongs in Canberra.”

I approached Ash from Silque Photography and Design, who I’ve worked with before and always admired her photographic eye, to see if she would be keen to do a Pop-up in Canberra, like me she was all over the idea, so the next step was chatting with Britt.

What happened over the next few days felt like one of those explosion montages you see in brainwashing movies. What you got were four profoundly passionate wedding professionals, with the same sense of humour, the same work ethic, and the same drive to bring this amazing concept to the nation’s capital. And with that, Pop-Up Canberra started.

Since launching I’ve been asked a heap of questions from Canberrans about what the heck is this Pop-Up thing? And I’m going to send you straight to the source for all the info ( . But in its essence it is a fancy elopement. The ACT and Tasmania are the only two states (slash territories) that do not have any form of registry marriage set up, and for us the closest registry wedding is in Sydney, and that will set you back $507 for a weekend wedding. Which is in a nicely set up back room… With no pretties, and for me, there has to be some form of pretty something on one of the most significant days of your life.

So Pop-Up handles the pretty. We tirelessly sourced incredible local vendors like Style My Aisle and Moxom and Whitney, we booked our first venue at the stunning Poachers Pantry, I hook up couples with all the legal whizzbangary, and Ash takes incredible images of the Bride and Groom for them to keep forever and ever. Each couple gets an hour, up to 20 guests, and a no fuss, exceptionally beautiful wedding.

Would I Pop-Up?

Yes, 100%.

I got married in 2012, at the ripe age of 24, at a stunning ceremony and reception in the southern highlands, before I was a celebrant, and before I had any idea what a wedding would or should involve. We had 109 of our nearest and dearest, we had a freakin’ amazing and beautiful traditional-ish wedding (ish because our vows were a bit offbeat and each guest was served butterbeer at the reception).
Now, in hindsight, I’d do it a little differently.

I’m completely enamoured with the idea of having a ceremony that only Rob and I and two witnesses were there for, because my memory of my wedding ceremony was only that. All I remember is Rob. Each day of our marriage, at the end of the day, Rob is the only one there (aside from Delila who is usually spread out in the middle of our bed.) One day we will grow old together, and it will just be him and I.

While having our family there was an important element of the day, most of the extended family would have loved and appreciated however we chose to get married. They never asked for the amazing chefs hat meal and the best drinks package, they only want Rob and I to be happy, and in love forever.

The cost of a wedding can be huge, and totally worth it if it’s all you have ever dreamed of, but had we done it smaller, we would have a deck now and not a large weed filled space out our back door.

My rings, my ceremony, my photos and my video are my precious keepsakes of the day. The gifts, the party and the hangover will be remembered by all who were there, but realistically no one would have been mad had we skipped all that.

With any wedding it’s crucial to remember why you are there, it’s not for your great Aunt Milly to finally see someone walk down the aisle in the family heirloom wedding gown, it’s for you, and your almost husband, to promise that no matter what you will be there at the end of the day together. When the party is over and the toilet lid is left open once again, you will still love each other, hold hands and grow old together.

If a fancy elopement sounds right up your alley (heck let’s do it in an alley (as in get married not whatever else you’re thinking of)) check out the site for more details.




Rituals aren’t just for ‘hippies’


I often ask couples if they want to include any rituals as part of their ceremony, and I usually get a questionable stink face in return. You know the one where you lift one side of your top lip towards your nose and frown a little. (if you are sitting there practicing your stink face, excellent)

But most people don’t realise that a wedding IS a ritual. Human beings have been developing traditions and customs for centuries, it is the essence of a wedding ceremony, and the legal side of it is the most recent addition to the process. So it’s worth considering what is out there, and what fits you as a couple when considering what to include in your wedding ceremony.

I’m not religious, but marriage is a ritual performed by nearly all religions. Yes there is the legal meaning of marriage, but it is in its essence about love, promise, commitment and the joining of two people. Who ever they may be or whatever they may believe.

The brilliance of booking a civil celebrant is that you can pick and choose what you want to include, so I’ve compiled a bit of a list of some of the rituals out there.

This is an ancient Celtic tradition where the two parties hands are fastened together with ribbon or rope. It is designed to symbolise the joining of the two people as one in marriage.

Broom Jumping
An African tradition, the jumping of the broom is to symbolise sweeping the old negativity away and starting as a new beginning. Sweep, then jump.

This is an ancient Shamanic/Native American wedding ritual where the officiant burns a smudging stick for the purpose of cleansing and purifying the marriage.

Sand pouring
This is getting more more popularity in Australia, essentially the bride and groom each pour sand of different colours into one primary vase. The grains of sand symbolise the blending of two people’s lives and as the grains of sand can never be separated, it also is a symbol of unity.

Below is available from Etsy

Hand/foot washing
More formally known as a Purification ritual, the mothers come forward and wash their child’s hands (or feet) as a symbol of a fresh start for their marriage.

Planting a tree
In love this idea, even though with our track record we would probably have killed one by now! As part of your ceremony you plant a little tree and it will grow with you as time passes.

Tieing a knot
I’ve had a couple do this and it was super cute, depending on the knot used (typically a fishermans knot) as it is tied it strengthens under pressure, which is a lovely sentiment about Marriage.

Fight box
No, it’s not a secret club (rule #1 we do not talk about fight box) it’s where together you place items into a box that you know will represent how you feel for eachother the day of your wedding, should you ever experience hardship, you open the box.

This box is also available from Etsy

This is just a selection of rituals out there, if you’re thinking about adding something in that is a little off beat, let me know as I love researching this stuff.

Out with the old and in with the New!


Late last night, I was laying in bed and I decided that I wanted to change how I ran my business. My role as a celebrant is an important role which carries some weighty responsibilities that I take very seriously. But my business doesn’t have to be something that is too serious. Because, well, I’m not.

From this day forward, I won’t be sending out ceremony examples to any new clients, this isn’t to ‘protect’ my words, but because I feel that the bride and groom are the only ones that can own their ceremony. And thats the same reson why all new clients and I are going to work from scratch, each and every time.

I have lots of readings and poetry in my database, which we can chat about, I have lots of nice fluffy things to add in about Marriage and how awesome it is, but I want to make sure my clients are approaching their ceremony nice and fresh.

One of the tricky things about ceremony writing is that not many people know what they want to include, do they write their own vows? What order should everything go in? Is there stuff you have to say?

There are a few hard and fast rules.

You have to say your full names, I have a dorky middle name and no matter how much I hate it, I had to say it for my marriage to be legal.

I HAVE to say the Monitum:

My name is Bianca Way and I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Bride and Groom before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence ofthese witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage according to the law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

You HAVE to say these vows:

I call upon persons here present to witness that I, (Groom Groomy Groom), take you, (Bride Bridey Bride) to be my lawful wedded wife


I call upon persons here present to witness that I, (Bride Bridey Bride) take you, (Groom Groomy Groom) to be my lawful wedded husband

Do you have to write more vows of your own? Not technically, but gee it is nice 🙂

Do you have to give rings? No, not if you don’t want to

Do you have to be ‘given away’? Nope, not unless you want to

Is there a specific order? No, but I do have a basic format that I use, depending on what you would like included.

Do I really have to say the Monitum? YES and I’ll explain why in another post.

Your ceremony is yours, my job is to help it be everything you want, and to make sure its legal. One of the best parts of my job is trawling through the internet finding new and unusual rituals, traditions, song lyrics, movie quotes and of course writing as much as I can myself.

I throw around the word ‘Organic” when I am chatting to clients, because I feel that you, your guests, and I need to feel like everything that is being said is true, real and organic to ourselves. Aside from the above few sentences, its all yours.


The photo above was one of my most unique ceremonies, Rene and Alex had their puppy in their bridal party and I was 8 months pregnant at the time! They also had the poem “Falling in love is like owning a dog”

“Falling in love is like owning a dog,”

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
 So think long and hard before deciding on love. On cold winter nights, love is warm. It lies between you and lives and breathes and makes funny noises. Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs. It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

 Love doesn’t like being left alone for long. But come home and love is always happy to see you. It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life, but you can never be mad at love for long.

 Love makes messes. Love leaves you little surprises here and there. Love needs lots of cleaning up after. Sometimes you just want to get love fixed. Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper and swat love on the nose, not so much to cause pain, just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!

 Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk, because love loves exercise. It runs you around the block and leaves you panting. It pulls you in several different directions at once, or winds around and around you until you’re all wound up and can’t move.

 Throw things away and love will bring them back, again, and again, and again. But most of all, love needs love, lots of it. And in return, love loves you and never stops”.