In true Ben and Marie style… welcome to the sneaky and secretive commitment ceremony where Ben and Marie shared in front of their faves and their very bestest of friends – their love, commitment and devotion to each other.
It was a surprise commitment ceremony held at Tangalooma on Moreton Island. The sun was shining, the turquoise waters were beaming in the background and I was then fortunate enough to marry them in a legals only ceremony 20 days later in my backyard under my gorgeous tree.
You can read all about Ben and Marie’s ceremony below, but firstly, let me share with you their tips and advice on how to have the surprise wedding you've always dreamt of.
What were your hopes and dreams for your wedding ceremony?
Beautiful celebration with family and friends
What were you worried about or didn't know when planning your ceremony?
What are you thankful for?
The support of our loved ones
How would you describe the feel of your ceremony?
Where did you get your vow writing inspiration?
Our kids helped me
Did you keep them secret from each other or did you share?
Would you change anything about your vows?
What are the things you would never change?
Relaxed, together with our faves
What was your highlight/must-have at the reception?
Photos! Music! Champagne!
What would you change if you had your day over again? If anything.
We would have loved more friends and family to be with us but, COVID.
Top 3 tips
Prioritise time with your partner
Pick the music together
Don’t stress the small stuff
Anything else you would like to share to other couples?
Make sure you get a family photo!
Who were your vendors?
No vendors - we self-catered
How would you describe your vendors?
How did you choose your vendors?
We couldn’t have vendors cause - covid lol
Do you recommend your vendors?
Absolutely - we did a great bbq :)
How would you describe Kerri Watkins Celebrant to other couples
Amazingly supportive and accommodating. Lots of laughs and lots of love!
Due to the C word, Ben and Marie couldn’t have everyone they wanted with them on their day. But they did share that the friends that were with them on the day, were the family they have handpicked and the people they want their kids to grow up with. Their rocks, the people they rely on day in and day out – the people who make their lives what they are.
Ben and Marie really missed their mums and their dads and wish that they could have shared their day with them including their aunties, uncles, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews and their friends - they would have loved the surprise! But Ben and Marie did promise to throw a huge party when the borders opened again.
Marie and her girls walked toward Ben to “Hold My Girl” by George Ezra, and I still remember the goosebumps and tears welling in my eyes (and Ben’s), such a beautiful moment that I know they will all treasure for all their years together.
“Ben and Marie both agreed that being married is being loved and loving someone forever. It is making a lifelong commitment to each other. It is never giving up on each other through the good and the bad. It is safety, happiness and trust and being each other’s best friend. It is teamwork and never-ending laughter and fun. It is listening to the smooth lullaby that is Jack Johnson. It is watching Game of Thrones with a bottle of wine (or three) and food that has been delivered while the girls are asleep and clean sheets await.”
What I love about this beautiful, relaxed and easy-going couple was the absolute love and adoration that Ben and Marie have for each other and their girls. The day truly was about THEM. They were blessed to share with those that could be there (thanks COVID). There was laughter, lots of laughter, and heart - an abundance of heart! Truly memorable (even when the just married sign fell down and hit me on the head haha).
It was Ben and Marie declaring to each other their love and commitment to each other, their girls and their future together. It was champagne toasts and dancing with their girls and magical sunset photos.
When Ben and Marie first met with me to lodge their notice of intent, they excitedly told me to check out their “wedding fund”, it was their new 4wd that they could share adventures and travels in. They had my heart right then. Ben and Marie chose love, adventure and fun over the traditional wedding.
This amazing couple also gifted me a very special bottle of port, because they remembered the story of my and hubby’s 10-year vow renewal (too many bottles of port by the fire in our favourite camping spot) and wanted me to have a new bottle to share at my next anniversary where I could celebrate them too! Nawwww!!!
Ben and Marie, thank you for entrusting me with your day x 2! I did think of you both as Pauly and I cracked that bottle of port, and we reminisced about love and adventure and all the things.
Cheers to a lifetime of love and adventure!