This past week has been very exciting in the world of secret weddings. It has seen Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux surprise guests with their top secret wedding ceremony in their home in Bel Air.

And I officiated a very special wedding ceremony for Carol & Marc who also surprised their guests that they were getting married.

Surprise wedding (

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For Carol & Marc, who are expats enjoying a holiday in Melbourne, they used the opportunity to invite a group of people who mean the most to them, to join them at the beautiful Tea Rooms at the European Restaurant for a special catch up lunch. Marc used his welcome speech thanking everyone for coming along and to surprise guests by announcing that they had in fact been invited to a wedding.


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Their guests were genuinely delighted and erupted into spontaneous sounds of excitement and delight.

Their ceremony was deeply intimate and a very personal occassion. Their meaningful vows that they made to each other were filled with emotion and honesty resulting in free flowing happy tears from everyone.

Carols vows included “I promise not to take you for granted, and to have honest conversations, even when they are tough conversations”

While Marc promised “I will ask for help when I need it, and offer help to you always”

Tears of joy

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The last 6 months have been a little crazy for Carol & Marc. It has seen them live in separate countries for a number of months and have a jam packed travel schedule for work.

During this busy time, they didn’t had much time to organise wedding rings. To allow them to enjoy the process and choose something that each of them really want, after the wedding they plan to take each other shopping!

In the meantime, the rings that they exchanged during the ceremony were 2 rings that they had made, on a memorable holiday in the Philippines a few years ago.

They were holidaying on an idyllic tropical island where they spent their days diving and disconnecting from the rest of the world. A local man with a reputation as the Island Jeweller made these particular rings for them – Marc’s was ‘hand forged’ out of a 50 cent coin, and Carol’s out of a 20 cent coin.

So even though these wedding rings didn’t have great monetary value, their sentiment was priceless.

Hand forged rings

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This wedding wasn’t a typical wedding for many reasons. But it achieved what Carol & Marc wanted – a memorable, relaxed, intimate and romantic wedding. It certainly maintained the meaning of it being about two people sharing a special day with their closest family and friends – without the expectations or pressure.

Celebrant: Fiona Garrivan
Venue: European Restaurant

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