Recently the Courier Mails ‘Best of Brisbane 2020’ series asked Brisbane’s general public to nominate who they thought Brisbane’s Best Marriage Celebrant was. Well, doesn’t that pose a few questions!

What makes a celebrant a good celebrant?

What makes a celebrant a better celebrant nay the best marriage celebrant?! It’s all a matter of opinion, isn’t it? As a full time professional marriage celebrant, my one and only concern is only ever making all my weddings a wild and amazing success for each and every one of my engaged couples. Do I want to make their families happy? Sure, but as generous as they may or may not be when it comes to footing the bill are the parents, are they my clients? Nup.

Should every guest be enjoying themselves?

At a marriage ceremony I’m officiating, I sincerely hope so. Although over the last six years or so I’ve come to learn that people have all kinds of expectations of what they think should happen at a wedding, right down to what they think a celebrant should say/do/sound like/wea. And it’s impossible to make everyone happy. I know I’m not everyone’s preferred glass of prosecco. And if you think my outfits are too loud and I swear too much, that is totally cool.

What matters to me is that the lovers who engaged my services love my vibe (the fucking glorious sequins, spontaneous singing and all!). A few months ago on a Monday morning, I received an email from a Mrs Bleh (*name has been changed for privacy reasons).  Her email went like this..


“Hi, Alana,

My friend and I  were at the wedding ceremony you did for ——- and ——– last Saturday at ————— and although senior citizens, and understand that wedding ceremonies are different today, we feel that your spoiled it by using “bloody” as one of your adjectives when describing things. There are other adjectives you could use.

Instead of saying it was bloody fantastic that we were all early, you could have just said is was fantastic or really fantastic (just suggestions).

I just thought you might like some feedback so you can grow your business as I have always believed in complaining to the boss and not just talking about it to everyone else.

Kind regards”

Now clearly I was not Mrs Bleh’s glass of prosecco or cup of tea. She was not a fan and although her email did not fill me with rainbows and stars, that were her opinion and I thanked her for reaching out. I reflected on my performance and wondered if my couple was unhappy with me too.

I thought that my couple and I had really hit it off. We had fun together collaborating and all my sassy banter and joking was based on info they had supplied me with. I was pretty confident that I had provided them with exactly the kind of fun wedding they had asked me for. But I still felt a little nervous.

Later that week…

I received a package in the post. With much hesitation, I opened it. It was full of personal gifts from the bride and groom I’d just married! Trinkets that I found hilarious and jewellery that was so my style. There was a card too. It spoke of how much fun they had at their wedding and how personal and brilliantly clever my jokes were and how that they both felt like I had been a friend of theirs for years even though we’d only met a few months earlier.

Their opinion was that theirs had been the best wedding ever and that I was the best celebrant they could have ever hoped for. I didn’t tell them about Mrs Bleh and her feedback.

I’m not sure how many nominations were submitted with my name in it for the Brisbane’s Best Celebrant Competition but I did see loads come through and I had tonnes of past clients reach out and tell me they had nominated me. I made the final shortlist which meant I’d be included in the top 20 celebrants the public could vote for. Already I felt like a winner!

The types of celebrants that were included were varied to say the least. They caterered for all sorts of weddings from cheap and cheerful, to midrange and cute, to the top end and practically Insta famous. How do you call a winner out of that?! There was no judging criteria, so basically the person who had performed the greatest volume of successful weddings could win if all their couples voted. Or maybe the celebrant who had been marrying folk the longest could win? Or maybe a combination of both!

The cool thing that I loved the most was that in the eyes of the voter, the person that had been the marriage celebrant they thought was the best in Brisbane. Think of all the lucky ducks out there who thought that their very own wedding was the best ever!

If you are wondering, I didn’t score enough votes to win the whole thing. Some super rad musio bloke who used to own a record shop took out first place (I can’t compete with that! Heck I’d vote for him too, lol).  But by being warm, relatable, experienced, creative and devoted A.F. to my clients, my couples named me their BEST Marriage Celebrant EVER and I’m “bloody” stoked with that!!!