I met Courtney and Hayden one morning for their initial wedding meeting and they proceeded to tell me that they were having an engagement party that would turn into a surprise wedding. When I mention surprise weddings people’s initial thoughts are that the groom or the bride are surprising their partners. This is illegal and impossible with the paperwork that precedes a wedding. Their wedding was a secret from their guests. The only people that knew what was happening was the bridal party, the MC, myself and the grandparents as they didn’t want any sudden shocks for the elderly.

I was excited about the prospect of being involved and was so pleased to be chosen as their wedding celebrant. Being in Adelaide, I couldn’t mention their names to anyone as we know this city only has a few degrees of separation. They were having their wedding photos taken during the day, arriving at the engagement dressed in other clothes and then disappearing for 10 minutes an hour into their party to get back into their wedding attire. As a celebrant, I need to be there at least half an hour before the ceremony to set up my PA system. My dilemma was who was I and why was I setting up equipment. So I came up with a fake name and a story describing me as the teacher Courtney had just completed her teaching placement with who happened to have a PA system for the evening’s speeches. Not a soul asked me who I was, very disappointed. I did, however, have the opportunity to see Courtney and Hayden’s slideshow. They had known each other since high school and it was beautiful seeing their relationship grow and develop from the photos they had chosen.

So the time came for the MC to start the speeches. He said that the first thing people ask a couple at their engagement is when are they getting married. “Well guess what, it’s right now” was what followed as the processional music started and the bridal party assembled either side of me. Everyone seemed genuinely surprised and elated.

Thank you to you both for choosing me as your celebrant, I had a wonderful time being part of your secret.



As an avid supporter of Triple J I have chosen my 10 favourite processional wedding songs for those brides and grooms who are also grateful for the alternative to commercial radio stations in Adelaide.

  1. Jack Garrett – Weathered

A gorgeous song about eternal youth and the friendships that shape who you become along the way. Appropriate choice for those couples who have been childhood sweethearts.

  1. London Grammar – Rooting for you

Hannah Reid’s emotive voice is spine tingling. If, however, you’re using this in Adelaide or the rest of Australia as your wedding song the title may seem inappropriate. Rest assured, the English connotation is quite different.

  1. XX – Shelter

I knew little of this English band until just recently but have become a huge fan which is why they get two songs in my top 10.

  1. XX – Angels

This was the debut single for the release of their second album, ‘Coexist’. Their first album was hugely successful and bought them international acclaim through it’s coverage on numerous TV series and world sporting events. Beautiful lyrics as always.

  1. Nick Cave and the Badseeds – Into Your Arms

One of Australia’s favourite son’s of music. This haunting song with its beautiful lyrics has the perfect tempo for a walk down the wedding aisle. That it was used for Michael Hutchence’s funeral, has the saddest film clip that always brings tears to my eyes and that it’s said to be written about Nick Caves personal loss of a relationship may however sway those who are slightly superstitious.

  1. Jack Johnson – Better Together

One of my favourite artists, I’ve personally been to 2 of his concerts in Adelaide. At his live shows he talks adoringly about his wife and children which stops me lusting over him but makes me love him more.

  1. Vance Joy – Fire and Flood

Number 16 in Triple J’s 2015 Hottest 100. My nephew and his wife chose this one for their amazing day at one of Adelaide’s most beautiful wedding venues, Maggie Beer’s. This song will always make me think of that perfect day.

  1. Milky Chance – Stolen Dance

The German folk group that I loved from the moment I first heard this tune. It’s now cemented in my memory as my goddaughter’s background music in her precious video recording. After months of organising such an important event as a wedding they exemplified exactly how relaxed and joyous a bride and groom should be when the big day arrives.

  1. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Same Love

As a big fan of these artists, who are normally zany and delivering catchy tunes, here is a beautiful song about love and acceptance. How apt to choose this song for the start of your wedding ceremony.

  1. Disclosure featuring Sam Smith (acoustic version)

My niece and her husband walked down the aisle to this song in Adelaide last year. Thank you darling girl for your input with music and introducing me to artists that make my heart sing.


I hope whatever music you choose for your important day brings you that same joy you felt on your wedding day every time you hear it.


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