Wedding Blog

Ideas and thoughts on the art of getting married

The Withers Wedding Method

The Withers Wedding Method

I’ve got a very specific and seemingly different way of looking at how to create a wedding, it’s my own little wedding planning method, The Withers Wedding Method. If that was a sexier name I’d probably make a book, but until I get a sexier book title, I’ll drop it here as an episode of The Rebels Guide To Getting Married podcast and vlog.

read more
A whole lotta heart in being your celebrant

A whole lotta heart in being your celebrant

I wanted to share a little bit into the process of being a celebrant, but also in creating your marriage ceremony, and of course, your marriage. The thing is, your marriage matters, your marriage ceremony matters, and I put all of my heart, mind, body, and soul into it. I...

read more

What a traumatic year

2020. What a traumatic year. It’s a miracle that Britt and I are here standing together, holding each other, smiling, at the end of this year. Someone acutely described our situation like this: this year all of us need more than any one of us can give. That’s literally how I...

read more

Melbourne city elopement with Sara and Mike!

Mike and Sara eloped and their elopement has been featured in Polkadot Bride! “Our celebrant Josh was amazing. He recognised early on that we didn’t want the whole spectacle of vows and readings – it was short and sweet! We’re not the kind of couple that likes to be the centre...

read more
Awesome wedding vows, a how-to guide by a celebrant

Awesome wedding vows, a how-to guide by a celebrant

A big part of my job as a wedding celebrant, marriage officiant or what my American followers might call a justice of the peace, is talking about your vows.

Our wedding vows are a response to the person standing opposite to you on your wedding day. You’re welcome to have some fun, crack a joke, cry or get emotional, but it’s a personal occasion, a mano-a-mano moment with your most loved.

read more
Byron Bay Wedding podcast guest appearance!

Byron Bay Wedding podcast guest appearance!

Britt and I were lucky enough to be guests on The Wedcast, a wedding podcast hosted by two friends of mine from the Byron Bay wedding industry, Kiera, the wedding planner behind Creative Weddings and Alex Ouston, makeup artist....

read more
How to spend your wedding budget, a quick Rebels Guide.

How to spend your wedding budget, a quick Rebels Guide.

How to spend your wedding budget, a quick Rebels Guide. Book a wedding planner who doesn’t refer to their clients as brides. Brides don’t get married, couples do. Book a photographer that shares ceremony photos. The ceremony is a place the photographer has no control and no...

read more

About the angry wedding venue staff member

I made a joke about a common wedding venue staff member: the aggressive male staffer who angrily delivers news to wedding vendors and guests that they’re doing it wrong and he’s pretty much disappointed that we exist. The thing is, it’s a trope that rings true. Most wedding...

read more
11 years a celebrant

11 years a celebrant

Tomorrow is my 11th celebrant birthday, 11 years a celebrant, wow, and today I've been thinking about all the funny/stupid things the wedding industry bought into my world over the last 11 years.Here's a few that have been rattling around in my head. It's hilarious how far...

read more

What’s the difference between a wedding and an elopement?

Everyone has a different idea about what a wedding is and what an elopement is. A wedding is a public event that the newlyweds are hosting, and an elopement is a private and intimate event that’s just for them.What is the difference between a wedding and an elopement? A wedding...

read more
How to get a marriage license in Australia

How to get a marriage license in Australia

We’ve seen so much American TV that so many Aussies ask me how to get their marriage license. So here’s my comprehensive guide to applying for, and getting, a marriage license in the Commonwealth of Australia. You don’t need a marriage license in Australia. The way to get one...

read more
Hi

Hi

Hi! I’m Josh 👋🏻 Josh Withers, wedding celebrant from the Gold Coast, and I make fun, intimate, and personal marriage ceremonies. I’m a husband to Britt, a dad to Luna, and a gadget nerd, when I’m not stalking the Foo Fighters. Where I live is super central to...

read more
The naughty T word: tradition

The naughty T word: tradition

A word we’re sure to hear more than once a day in the wedding industry is ‘tradition’. Either something is or isn’t traditional. People are or aren’t following tradition. We're doing something because it's tradition, we're not doing it for the same reason. We're dropping...

read more
A celebrant has to be an amazing public speaker

A celebrant has to be an amazing public speaker

I spend a lot of time thinking about the art of ceremony. What it takes to create an epic ceremony. The kind of ceremony that people would be so immersed in that it could go on for days and you wouldn't notice. The kind of ceremony that leaves an impression on people. The kind...

read more
I’m a guest on the Wedded Podcast

I’m a guest on the Wedded Podcast

I'm a sucker for a good podcast, especially when I'm asked to be a guest on one, so it'd be remiss of me to not tell you sternly to listen to Steve and Jenn's Wedded Podcast. I think I might have scared them off with my frank Australian-ness (is that a thing?) so have a good...

read more
Choose a wedding team over a wedding date

Choose a wedding team over a wedding date

My goal for 2020 is to convince the world that your entire wedding will be better if you choose your team before you choose your date. Here's eight reasons why: The humans you invite to create your wedding, from the celebrant and the photographer through to the venue...

read more
Here’s an example of a good planning checklist

Here’s an example of a good planning checklist

I see so many couples stressed out over unnecessary stresses at their wedding. Expectations set by family, friends, wedding magazines and the wedding industry. Scrap it all, throw away your old wedding checklist and get a real one. I might have over simplified the process, but...

read more
The rebel’s guide to wedding planning checklists!

The rebel’s guide to wedding planning checklists!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Feplz7KXTM8&t=41s https://anchor.fm/therebelsguide/episodes/The-wedding-checklist-e343tu The second that you tell someone that you're getting married, everyone has an opportunity to say this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and I am...

read more
How to get a free honeymoon on Qantas points

How to get a free honeymoon on Qantas points

Qantas just emailed me with with an offer to refer people to the American Express deal I'm on, and it got me thinking ... there's a free honeymoon in this deal. So here's how it works: applying for this American Express (before October 9) and spending $3000 on it within three...

read more
I’m a guest on the Wedded Podcast

I’m a guest on the Wedded Podcast

Jenn and Steve Van Elk invited me onto their podcast, Wedded, a conversation about getting married and being married. We talked about a subject that I'm far too passionate about: getting married your way. Enjoy!

read more
Emma and San at Milton Park, Bowral

Emma and San at Milton Park, Bowral

My favourite part of your wedding is the ceremony of course, but then outside of the actual day you get married, my favourite is seeing how you felt about it all afterward. I was Emma and Sam’s wedding celebrant, but also their reception MC and their DJ! Check out their review...

read more
To the wedding guests, a guide on how to attend a wedding

To the wedding guests, a guide on how to attend a wedding

Hey, wedding guests, I’m talking to you today. There are two people getting married and you’re invited to celebrate with them. I know what you’re thinking, gosh, another bloody wedding but this is no ordinary wedding, this is their wedding, and it’s a miracle that they are even...

read more
What are weddings for?

What are weddings for?

What is a wedding for? Is it for getting married? Surely it’s more than that, because the legal simple act of getting married only requires 120 words and five signatures.

read more
Totally splurge on these things at your wedding

Totally splurge on these things at your wedding

There’s a thousand articles spread across this fine establishment we are lucky enough to publish on called the Internet that list in great number all the things you can save money on at your wedding. I’m going to try and turn the tide a little and encourage you to empty your wallet on a few select products or services if only because a wedding is a luxury.

read more

Keeping that guest list low

Weddings are getting smaller and smaller, and it's actually quite nice. I was interviewed for Mozo's blog recently: “I attribute this to the cost of catering and wait staff ever increasing, the growing value of intimate marriage celebrations over “keeping up with the Joneses”...

read more
The big guide on getting married overseas with a celebrant

The big guide on getting married overseas with a celebrant

Anyone tuned into my socials would see that Britt and I spend one to three months a year in countries without a Waltzing Matilda or a koala in sight, for weddings and elopements. Whether it’s a Bali wedding, a New Zealand elopement, or a Canadian marriage ceremony, we’ve got you covered.

In this article just wanted to lay out really simply how the legal side of getting married overseas works when I’m your marriage celebrant.

read more

Seven things you should actually splurge on for your wedding.

There are thousands of articles spread across the internet which list, in great numbers, all the things you can save money on at your wedding. This article is not one of them. I’m going to try and turn the tide a little and encourage you to empty your wallet on a few select...

read more
Missing Dave

Missing Dave

My favourite thing about weddings is that they're a rare sanctioned time for all of us to be real with each other. We say things we don't normally say and talk about things we don't normally talk about. We're encouraging, honest, and again, real. So it is with today, just us as...

read more
A Duchess’s Dillemma: the aisle

A Duchess’s Dillemma: the aisle

Over my long career creating wedding ceremonies there have been numerous occasions where a parent, or parents couldn’t attend their child’s wedding. At our own wedding it was because some weren’t invited, at others their parents could not be present on the day because of...

read more
Is social media destroying weddings?

Is social media destroying weddings?

Instant apologies for the clickbait headline, but lets be honest, if I'd used my original headline "The internet isn't having your wedding, only you are" there was a 50% less of a chance of you getting this far into the piece. And luckily for all of us, that is pretty much the...

read more
The importance of inclusiveness

The importance of inclusiveness

We've all been on the outside before. We've been the person not picked for the sports team, the friend not invited to dinner, the person not thanked in the shopping list of thank yous. It sucks. I hear it from my couples every day, they tell me about how their family is this...

read more
Disgustingly awesome wedding vows

Disgustingly awesome wedding vows

If you're wondering what awesome and personal wedding vows look like then you need to put the rest of the world on hold for four minutes, click play, and get disgusted by Josh and Emma's marriage ceremony at White Chapel Kalbar. The other photos in this blog post are by their...

read more
A new language for the wedding industry

A new language for the wedding industry

Our words matter, they make our world, and explain where our heart is. That’s always been at the heart of my work and what I create, and we’ve always been deliberate with our words in this business. You might notice that we don’t use words like “Bride and Groom” or we don’t...

read more
How wedding planning by algorithm is like using sat nav

How wedding planning by algorithm is like using sat nav

Driving around California this week following Google Maps’ directions I can see a similarity between satellite navigation and wedding planning. Locals driving around Los Angeles always know where to go, and they know all the major highways and routes. They've done this before,...

read more
A podcast for celebrants by celebrants

A podcast for celebrants by celebrants

This blog has a about a 60/40 split readership of couples getting married, and people that create events where people get married. If you're a couple getting married this will probably bore you to death, so feel free to skip it. But if you're a celebrant – or someone in the...

read more
Religion, the church, faith, and celebrating marriage

Religion, the church, faith, and celebrating marriage

Ana recently asked me to write a blog post about interfaith and interracial marriage ceremonies. What a loaded topic! I didn't know what to write, until I realised that the topic was fairly well covered recently by an email from a local high school student who asked of me an...

read more
A checklist for your pre-wedding checklist

A checklist for your pre-wedding checklist

WeddingWire have given me an idea to write about something that is right down my alley, and something I wish I could talk to everyone about: the pre-pre-wedding checklist. Having a wedding checklist like this one from my friends at WeddingWire is key to staying on track during...

read more
Swap wedding speeches for on the spot quizzes

Swap wedding speeches for on the spot quizzes

Everyone has an opinion on wedding speeches, personally, when they're encouraging and engaging I love them. And so many people asked to make a speech spend the whole wedding flipping out over the fear of making one. Here's an easy and fun way to replace boring, long, and...

read more
How much does an Australian wedding cost?

How much does an Australian wedding cost?

Here's a simple truth: an Australian wedding costs what an Australian wedding costs. Your budget is going to be unique to you, and ours was unique to us, but let me lay down what I think some averages are. If you're an industry rep, email me if you think some of these budgets...

read more
2017 weddings by the numbers

2017 weddings by the numbers

In other posts I've written I've had a lot of fun with wedding predictions, just last week my 2017 wedding trends post went live on Yahoo7 Be, but this post is pure numbers. Numbers can mean everything/or nothing, so here's my explanation of the nothing that is three years of...

read more
16 for 2016

16 for 2016

A little blog post throwback for year that was 2016 in the world of Josh and Britt.

Spoiler alert: it was awesome.

Note: There were 365 days of awesome in this year, to boil that down to 16 points was hard, so at least 349 people, elopements, weddings, events, and celebrations are missing, sorry!

read more
Wedding mistakes you didn’t know existed

Wedding mistakes you didn’t know existed

Yahoo7 Be asked me to help their readers save their wedding by not making traditional mistakes, I list six things you can ditch, here's one: Ditch the rehearsal: The wedding rehearsal exists either because we needed something to name the "before the wedding dinner", or because...

read more
Marriage Amnesty day 2016 in photos

Marriage Amnesty day 2016 in photos

September 24 2016 saw Newtown brewery, Young Henry's, filled with couples being married. For the full explanation, visit the original blog post. I could prattle on about the day for ever, but the photos tell the story better. Morgan Roberts and Elle Dawson-Scott volunteered...

read more
Why marry? (or, what are the legal ties of marriage?)

Why marry? (or, what are the legal ties of marriage?)

Teegan asks: What does it actually mean to be legally married — in terms of finances, assets, what it means for both people if one does something wrong legally, etc — it seems a lot of people fall into these traps that they don't even know exist which leads to breakdowns. Being...

read more
Joel and Liezl partied at Sirromet!

Joel and Liezl partied at Sirromet!

Joel and Liezl were dead set on not having just another wedding, but on celebrating the creation of their own marriage. They wanted something real, and meaningful. It happened! Involving myself, Sydney's Hannah Blackmore photography, Newcastle's Light Noise Films, Brisbane's...

read more
Casual at casuarina

Casual at casuarina

Kirsten and Scott are two of those disgusting high school sweethearts that just ooze love and affection. I'd love for you to meet them! So I sat down and asked them a bunch of questions about creating their wedding, the whys, the hows, the whats, and thought you'd love it as a...

read more
A riverside delight

A riverside delight

Simone stood on the banks of the Brisbane River outside of Northshore Harbour Cafe and made the commitment to "fill our home with good food, entertain you with endless impersonations, and to continue our adventures together" and to"be patient when you show me annoying videos...

read more
Where there’s a will there’s a pun about getting a will

Where there’s a will there’s a pun about getting a will

Regular attendees to the sideshow that is this blog will know that I'm on a crazy, under-appreciated, and never really totally understood journey to burrow to the bottom of the wedding universe and see if there's any meaning left at the bottom of it. The good news is that there...

read more
Weddings: not as important as marriages

Weddings: not as important as marriages

If you spend a few moments in a  glossy wedding magazine, or reading some stupid article about weddings from the mainstream media within the first few moments you're often provided the timely reminder that a wedding is either: the most important day of your life, the best day...

read more
Can wedding dresses stop being a thing?

Can wedding dresses stop being a thing?

I’m sorry. The headline was designed to  make you feel something. Designed to get you into the article, I really wanted you to read it! In the media world this kind of thing is called clickbait, but this article isn’t. There’s not even a top 10 list! The headline is an actual...

read more
Thinking about wedding creation differently

Thinking about wedding creation differently

Creating and running an event is a skill worthy of a university degree. Seriously, people go to university for four years to learn the skills that you’re trying to enact in creating your own wedding. So apart from really good advice along the lines of “hire a wedding planner for the love of God and your own sanity”, I thought I’d put some thoughts of my own into a blog post about how you could take your wedding planning in a personal and intimate direction.

read more
Creative ways to finance your wedding

Creative ways to finance your wedding

As most wedding blog posts start, things aren’t as they used to be with more and more couples paying for their wedding on their own. Traditionally parents would pay the $30,000-60,000 bill but that came with all the negative aspects of your parents having far too much control...

read more
Who Cares Wins – Brisbane workshop

Who Cares Wins – Brisbane workshop

Full day workshop on Sunday, July 3, 2016 in Teneriffe, Brisbane This is a workshop for people that are in the business of care. It's not a celebrants workshop, it's not even really a wedding industry workshop, although if you're in the wedding business you'll love it! I firmly...

read more
The wedding tax: how to avoid it

The wedding tax: how to avoid it

At a recent wedding industry event someone was telling me about the “wedding tax” that she had encountered in planning her own wedding. Let me help you avoid it today.

read more
What’s left over

What’s left over

After the big budget day, the stress and the drinks, all of the things that make up a wedding day, what have you got left over? That's the thought in my mind as I'm planning most things, like blog posts, or workshops, or events or date nights. How will it all end. Where will we...

read more
Questions to ask yourself for your vows

Questions to ask yourself for your vows

Stuck writing vows? Instead of trying to construct sentences, print out this blog post and answer these questions. From the answers you'll have, I think you'll have a pretty good foundation for creating some vows. What are the purpose of YOUR wedding vows? Why are you getting...

read more
How driverless cars will positively impact marriage

How driverless cars will positively impact marriage

I'm the hopeless romantic/cheerleader for marriage. I see so much good come from it, I am lucky enough to enjoy one myself, I think better marriages make for a better society. I reckon life is really good when you hook up with an awesome person. So as I was reading Thomas...

read more
A notice of intended same sex marriage

A notice of intended same sex marriage

Tomorrow, in their eyes, and the eyes of their friends and family, I am marrying Amy and Te Ana. At this stage, the Australian marriage laws don't really match up with their understanding of marriage, so we can't sign any official marriage paperwork, but we can sign this: a...

read more
What is it like to hire Josh?

What is it like to hire Josh?

I go to great lengths to try and tell everyone all about me before they ever hire me, so there's no surprises. So when Will emailed me after Sarah and his wedding I thought his feedback was not only encouraging and helpful internally, it might actually be useful to people that...

read more
When it’s ok to cancel me

When it’s ok to cancel me

Not many people would advocate for people to cancel their services, and I'm probably not going to make a habit out of it, but when a couple contacted me this week letting me know that they were cancelling me, and it was my fault, it has been on my mind ever since I opened the...

read more
The demise of the bridal party

The demise of the bridal party

Bridal parties exist because of the historical threat of real actual demons attacking weddings. True story. Our ancestors used to be stressed about demons attacking the good things in life, like marriage ceremonies. Now I’m not going to be the guy to downplay the threat of...

read more
Weddings in 2030

Weddings in 2030

Josh takes a look at the current wedding audience and wonders what if anyone would even attend a wedding in the future?

read more
Things almost everyone gets wrong on their NOIM

Things almost everyone gets wrong on their NOIM

Things almost everyone gets wrong on their NOIM When I'm marrying couples I need the paperwork to be spot-on. It just saves messaging back and forth between myself, the couple, and the births, deaths, and marriages department. To be married in Australia, you need to have a...

read more
Business Workshop: Who Cares Wins

Business Workshop: Who Cares Wins

Full day workshop on Sunday, May 22, 2016 in Sydney I firmly believe that the only thing I really have to give to my clients, my customers, the people that invite me into their weddings, is my care. Sure I've been gifted an authority to marry people, and I might have a good...

read more
The other end of the aisle

The other end of the aisle

Photographer and friend, Kristina Childs, posed this question on Facebook today, and I wanted to answer it in a blog post: What are you supposed to do at the end of the ceremony? So, here's 20 things you can do at the end of the aisle after your ceremony, according to the...

read more
I’m interviewed on Luke & Susie’s radio show!

I’m interviewed on Luke & Susie’s radio show!

I was a guest on Luke & Susie's national radio show about faith, family and culture and fun things like that! It just aired this week so you might have heard me on air, but if you missed it, click the play button below or follow the link to listen on their website!...

read more
First look photos: the express train to Calm Town

First look photos: the express train to Calm Town

Photos before the ceremony If you're looking for the simplest, easiest, and most meaningful way to introduce some peace and calm into your wedding day, here's a solution that has been just sitting there waiting for you. 45-90 minutes before the ceremony, as everyone else is...

read more
Vu and Kailah’s Mount Tamborine wedding

Vu and Kailah’s Mount Tamborine wedding

My daily effort is to try and think of new and awesome ways to create meaningful, purposeful and enjoyable experiences that we call wedding ceremonies. So, getting this email from Kailah and Vu really made my day, not only because of their kind words, but because they got it,...

read more
2015: Oh what a year

2015: Oh what a year

When you're "in the trenches" of life, that is, doing the work that you're called to do you can sometimes have a restricted view. I know that for many times this year my view was restricted to that last disaster or problem or issue, and stretched as forward to "the next big...

read more
My chat on ABC Queensland local radio with Terri Begley

My chat on ABC Queensland local radio with Terri Begley

Ahead of the Star Wars premiere this week an Australian couple are being married outside of the theatre, which lead Terri Begley and I into a discussion on ABC 612 Brisbane, and statewide on ABC Local Radio, about weird weddings - and all of my weddings are weird it turns out....

read more
How to make Daniel & Toni’s wedding

How to make Daniel & Toni’s wedding

Daniel and Toni became husband and wife on Slingsby's Dairy Farm in Beechmont this November, and I really wanted everyone to hear their wedding planning story so I convinced them to share it via an Instagram takeover! You can follow along on the...

read more
I’m on Hans’ podcast

I’m on Hans’ podcast

Han, a celebrant in North Carolina, hosts a podcast about celebrating things, which is something I spend most of my life doing, so he invited me onto his show to talk about why I do what I do, how I do it in part one. We talk about same-sex marriage and marriage law in...

read more
A wedding that smells like Christmas

A wedding that smells like Christmas

Rob, Courtney, and I hung out this week to dream big about their wedding and Courtney said something that really resonated with Britt and I. She wants their wedding to feel like Christmas. Don't get confused now, she doesn't want tinsel over the arbour and all the wedding...

read more
Top 10 things that can go wrong at your wedding

Top 10 things that can go wrong at your wedding

The Daily Mail newspaper asked me to think back over the past year of weddings and name the top ten things that could go wrong at your wedding. The article is live here but I thought I’d share my answers in verbose here for my bloggies!

read more
Have some fun at your wedding

Have some fun at your wedding

Last week Steph and Drew were #marriedbyjosh at Sandgate, and I was lucky enough to be their celebrant! The man taking photos on the day calls himself Ben Clark, well at least that's what he told the Daily Mail when they covered this story about this photo. Well he took...

read more
Why are we all so passionate about unplugged weddings?

Why are we all so passionate about unplugged weddings?

You might have noticed the same thing I’ve noticed lately while scrolling around Facebook. Or maybe you haven’t because you’re not friends with as many wedding photographers or videographers as I am. Everyone in the wedding industry is pushing for unplugged weddings.

read more
I’ve been awarded a WIPA three diamond award!

I’ve been awarded a WIPA three diamond award!

I’m a very lucky boy, I’m the first marriage celebrant in Australia to be awarded a WIPA Three Diamond award! What’s WIPA? It’s the “Wedding Industry Professionals of Australia” awards ran by the very excellent WEOA! What’s WEOA? WEOA stands for “Weddings and Events of Australia” and it’s an industry body that represents the professional end of the wedding industry.

read more