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What I will not do
SHORT VERSION:
Because I am a full-time professional celebrant, knowledgeable, skilled and  experienced (1,000+ unique ceremonies created over the past 9 years), you can be confident that I will not do anything that
  • is illegal
  • is unethical
  • causes you unnecessary trouble or expense
  • results in inconvenience to you on ceremony day (I don't overbook)
  • compromises my capacity to deliver the ceremony of your dreams
  • is self-indulgent
  • is cringe-worthy, or humiliates or embarrasses you or your guests
LONG VERSION:
As an Authorised Marriage Celebrant appointed by the Australian Government there are a number of things that I am not legally able to do:
  • Perform a surprise wedding where the person being surprised is the bride or groom (it is legal to surprise your guests and I've conducted many happy surprise weddings in such circumstances. The secrets to success include what you tell people beforehand, and how the surprise is sprung, both things I can help you with).
  • Change the amount of notice required to be given (though I can assist you to apply for a Shortening of Time where there is a legitimate reason, such as the terminal illness of the bride, groom or close family member)
  • Perform a marriage ceremony where you have not shown me original copies (i.e. as issued by the relevant government authority) of all the required documents.
  • Perform a marriage ceremony where there is doubt that either the bride or groom's consent is real consent.
  • Mislead guests as to the nature of the ceremony, so I can't pretend the ceremony is a legal marriage when it is not (eg where you are already married but haven't told anyone, or where you are not, for various reasons, able to marry legally)
There are things which I believe are unethical and therefore:
  • I do not accept invitations to enter into an arrangement with a venue that commits me to work under the direction of the venue management, events organiser, or venue staff in order to continue to receive work through that venue.  My loyalty is 100% to you.
  • I do not pay for referrals from venues or related ceremony service providers, such as photographers or decorators.
  • I will not include religious material or references in your ceremony unless you specifically ask me to do so
  • I do not perform ceremonies of any type at any venue that refuses to accept bookings from same-sex couples
  • I include nothing that perpetuates outdated gender stereotypes in ceremonies - this means no "obey" in the vows for weddings, reaffirmations or commitment ceremonies, for example.
  • I write my own material, so have no need to illegally use the work of other celebrants or material copied from the web and pass it off as my own work (not only is that an infringement of copyright, but your guests will probably have heard those words before and will be bored by them).
There are also things which I do not do from personal choice, so, while I will go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that your ceremony is very personal,  conducted in a warm and friendly manner, engages the guests, and is as stress-free for you as possible, I will not
  • Perform ceremonies aboard vessels that are under way aboard aeroplanes, helicopters, or hot air balloons in flight (I get seasick and airsick) or on the top of the Story Bridge
  • Perform ceremonies on surf beaches or where a long hike over rough terrain is required (never a good experience for guests)
  • Participate in Extreme Weddings (I leave those to more macho celebrants)
  • Perform ceremonies on Moreton, Stradbroke, Fraser or other islands ( I get seasick and traveling to the islands is impracticable for me as  travel time and constraints on travel imposed by the ferry schedules requires devoting a whole day to a single ceremony and charging you accordingly). I suggest you use a celebrant who is based on the relevant island.
  • Perform a ceremony in the nude (Trust me, you want your wedding photos to be fantastic, but not OMG un-be-lievable)
And you can relax and know that, because I am experienced and confident I don't need to use your ceremony as a vehicle for experimentation or victim-based learning.

You can also be sure that
  • I won't talk about myself in your ceremony (in fact, the only "I" statements you'll hear coming out of my mouth will be those I'm legally required to make in weddings: I am required to declare to you that I, Jennifer Cram, am duly authorised by law.... and  Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you .... Three I's, that's it.)
  • I won't be self-indulgent in any way, which means
    • I keep your guests focused on you, rather than me (for a significant proportion of the ceremony I make sure I'm the voice-over, not the centre of attention)
    • I won't inflict a stand-up routine on anyone
    • I don't wear clothing or jewellery that attracts attention
    • I don't try to relive my own wedding through yours or drone on about my own marriage
    • I won't impose my beliefs on you (the clear demarcation between civil and religous celebrants has been removed so some civil celebrants impose their beliefs through their ceremonies and this might be without prior warning)
    • I won't take selfies or insist you pose for a selfie with me
  • I won't do anything that's cringe-worthy, humiliating, or embarrassing, which means
    • no off-colour jokes
    • no tarty clothing or clothing that is culturally offensive to you or your guests
    • no forcing you to use flowery language when that is not you
  • I won't inconvenience you by overbooking. I allow plenty of time between ceremonies to allow for unforeseen delays in traffic.
  • Because I understand the requirements of the Marriage Act in detail and in depth, I know what has to be done and how it has to be done, so I won't, through ignorance or arrogance, demand that you go to unnecessary trouble or expense in fulfilling the legal requirements for your marriage