Toni Paget - Wedding Celebrant
Couples Story or Personal Story
What is a "Couples Story" or "Personal Story" and why should you have one?
The story is by far my favourite part of any ceremony, I find it an honour when couples are happy to share their most intimate feelings about each other and it makes me all warm and fuzzy when I read the details about how they met. it gives your guests an insight into some of the aspects of your relationship they may not know. I have a little giggle how often I hear a groom saying "nice to meet you" when certain guests are arriving at their ceremony, I am sure if they haven't met you, they certainly don't know the little things you love about your partner or why you're standing up there marrying them. So I like to tell them! The story is usually to the start of the ceremony to get it rolling with a bit of personality and flair so no one in the audience is thinking "Oh is it over yet?" Is it over ceremonies are not my specialty...
How does it work?
I have a list of questions that I ask the couple to answer, I then create their story with their responses and most times they hear it for the first time on the day! If a couple answers the questions separately and send their responses through, it is often interesting for me to see two different perspectives on how they met and fell in love, but the best part is seeing each others responses on what they love most about their partner. At times this is the way some deliver what they would like to say in personal vows but don't feel as though they could manage. Its a way of still of communicating them to your partner in a public way, just spoken by me instead.
What sort of questions do I ask?
How you met and fell in love, depending on your style of wedding you may want to include some funny stories about you as a couple. The questions I usually ask in order to write the personal story are totally up to you if you would like to answer them, the standard questions I ask are listed below.
How did you first meet?
When did you first fall in love?
What are 5 things you love about your partner?
Why did you decide to have a marriage ceremony? Do you have an interesting proposal story?
Do you have a special reason for deciding on the location or date of the ceremony?
What do your family and friends mean to you?
What challenges have you overcome together? What adventures have you been through?
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
The biggest one I work with is what are 5 things you love about your partner, you might think "oh only 5?" or you might think oh I have to do "5 geez! " I put the figure on there to event he playing field. I used to leave it open and I discovered the brides had a lot more to say than the grooms... I would receive 10 from brides and 2 from grooms and I didn't want the brides to feel disheartened hence the number 5. You can do more, you can do less after all its your story and you share what you feel you would like to!
What does a personal story look like?
Well I have now written hundreds, some short and others long, it all depends on how much content I receive with the question responses. I will usually try and include as many details as I can from what you give to me, if you feel its important enough to give to me then its probably important enough to include in your story.
Below I have added Brad and Danni, they were so comfortable with me that they were happy to share plenty of details about their relationship and they were happy to have those details shared with their closest friends and family. With so much detail, a detailed story was in turn born.
Brad and Danni
So, it seems this has been a long time coming because they actually met while still in high school. Danni very "unstalkerly” like found Brad on Facebook to ask if he would accompany his friend to the movies as his friend didn’t want to be the only guy with a group of girls…. I bet this friend would change his tune now. In case you were wondering they saw the Prince of Persia.
It was from this first day at the movies that Brad says he fell in love but this was well before they were a couple. They were friends for a while doing typical best friends who love each other stuff like picking on each other and messing around. Falling in love wasn’t until a bit later for Danni though, like a whole 2 years later. She says it was a week before they officially started dating, they were both coincidentally in Coffs Harbour, texting back and forth nonstop but it wasn’t just the texting that was nonstop, it was the smiles on their faces too. So much so that Danni’s friend couldn’t help but notice and said to Danni “You really like this guy” to which she first replied “don’t be silly were just friends” until she stopped and had a think about it and she realised in that moment “Holy smokes I really do like him”.
When I asked this couple did, they know for sure at a particular moment that they wanted to be together for ever Brads said he always knew their paths were crossed together for life, he just didn’t know how it would be, he says there was one moment where he realised they just clicked together like 2 jigsaw pieces, they just fit and they always would. He says he can’t imagine spending his life without Danni in it. Danni on the other hand was very sceptical as she had been hurt before. She thought 4 would be a good stretch, then 4 months turned into 6 months which turned into a year, then two and then 4 years in she thought wow he is in it for the long haul! 2 years after that and here we are so he was in it for the long haul for sure.
When I asked this couple what they loved most about each other, if it wasn’t clear already, it certainly was now that they absolutely adore each other. Brad says he loves Danni’s giggle and who wouldn’t it’s her most adorable feature. He says he loves the way she makes him a better man. He loves her strength and her kindness. He loves her passion and he loves her courage. Most importantly though he loves her every positive, her every negative, everything aspect to her, every day in every moment. Danni says she loves the fact that she never has to finish a thought because he already knows what she is trying to say. She loves that he makes her smile everyday even if she doesn’t want to like when she is trying to be mad at him for not taking the rubbish out. She loves how safe his arms make her feel when he hugs her. She loves how even when they do fight, they are always able to talk it out and understand exactly where the other is coming from. I think you’ve perfected marriage already by the sound of things. She loves that he always has a smile and a positive outlook no matter what hardships come his way. She loves how his crazy matches her crazy. But most of all she loves how kind, compassionate, caring, loving and annoyingly good looking he is, she says he is her person and she couldn’t imagine loving anyone else as truly and as deeply as she loves him.
It was all of these aspects that they love about each other that led to Brad deciding to propose to Danni in the Sydney Botanical gardens. Danni Says that day was probably the most gullible she has ever been in her whole life. Bard had planned their whole week around wanting to propose there and when he said to Danni that he wanted to take cute photos there because “that’s just what you do in gardens right?” and she wasn’t even suspicious. Brad put the camera on record and captured the whole thing. Danni says this pushed forward her life timeline because she had planned on getting engaged at 25, married at 27 and kids at 28. But I guess she was ok with the plan shake up because she obviously said yes.
A yes that led us all here to their wedding ceremony today which they say they wanted to spend with all their friends and family who they say mean everything to them. A yes that has started their futures together while reminiscing on the amazing past that has led them to today. A past that has faced ups and downs, the ups consisting mostly of food adventures, going out to see great plays or films and designing their first home and many many adventures. Danni says that everyday seems like a new adventure with Brad and she thinks this is super corny for her to say but I think it’s the perfect thing to say. And then they think of their future which consists of plans that are simple and heartfelt. They hope to maintain their relationship together through anything thick and thin. Danni hopes to show Brad the world that she has travelled. Brad says he wants to continue how they have been for so many great years but now instead as husband and wife and hopefully one day as mother and father to their- to quote Danni- Beautiful blue-eyed children. They want live young, live free and be happy till the end of time. With all of those beautiful memories behind them and such a hopeful perfect future on the horizon for them, let’s get the next chapter of their story started and get this ceremony under way.
Below I'll add a shorter version, Simon and Tanya, but just because its shorter doesn't mean it didn't add a massive impact to the flow of their ceremony, Simon talks about how he loves Tanya's booty so no boring ceremony here...
Tanya and Simon-
Simon and Tanya first met at a Summerfield days festival some 8 years ago. Tanya went out that night with her best friend Meg, it was late on in the night when the girls passed a group of boys who were her little brothers friends and they got to talking…. And talking…. And talking and ended up talking the whole rest of the night! I asked Simon and Tanya when they knew it was love, they both gave me the same answer… straight away… although Tanya says she didn’t want to admit it till a little later on. Tanya says marriage was not something she ever believed in but Simon certainly changed her outlook and they both say it just felt right.
When I asked the couple what they love most about their partner Simon gave me a pretty typical male response as to what he loves most about Tanya…. Her booty… of course he also tells me he loves her eyes, her personality and how smart she is… even though sometimes it is annoying how she knows everything. Tanya says what she loves most about Simon is his kind and caring nature, how he always puts everyone first and… he is pretty funny.
So… the proposal story! I’m sure you’ve all heard it because it’s amazing. On their 7th Anniversary Simon hired out a HELICOPTER!! and took a ride with Tanya over south Stradbroke island where he proposed, Tanya says she had no idea it was coming. And from that proposal came today, 2 days after their 8th anniversary because they wanted to keep it close to their original date, where they have invited you all here, their friends and family who they say mean the world to them. They say without you today would not have been possible and they love you all so much.
Tanya and Simon say their hopes for the future are to be the best parents they can be to Nathan, to keep growing together and for their love to never fade.
I hope if you have made it this far through my jibba jabba I hope you can see the difference a story can make. If you feel you can answer a few questions it can make the world of difference to your ceremony and make it a more memorable, personal occasion for all attending :)