A wedding celebrant dishes his secrets.

The words ‘I do’ mean nothing legally and other secrets that a wedding celebrant thinks you should know (or at least I’m dishing his secrets out).

I spoke to wedding celebrant, Joshua Withers and asked him to tell me everything we don’t know about weddings.

He told me that no wedding was normal or weird – it all depended on the person and their needs. But he did spill on some things that we don’t realise happen in a wedding ceremony (behind the scenes). He also told me about certain traditions that he believes to be outdated.

The most interesting thing he told me (that he was slightly worried about saying) is that the worst wedding guests are mothers.

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“Mothers of the bride, mothers of the groom... They’re the worst because they have this belief of what a wedding should look like. And secondly, it's because they didn’t have their perfect wedding and they want their son or daughter to have the perfect wedding – and that’s such a stress to put someone under," he told The Motherish.

"I love them, god bless them – because there are heaps of amazing mothers of the bride and mothers of the groom, he says, but they're the worst guests."

The Gold Coast based celebrant also tells me that grooms definitely cry far more than brides.

“You know why? As big and strong and bold as we all are, us boys are still blown away by the fact that this girl really wants to hang out with us for the rest of our lives…Like we don’t want to hang out with us – so what are you – it’s kinda weird," he says.

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And although the men get happy tears at the thought of spending the rest of their lives with someone - most of the couples Withers marries have already been together for five to 10 years.

"And they have probably done the no clothes dance already," he says.

Withers believes that this changes the whole idea of marriage. He believes that the most archaic part of a wedding ceremony (and his least favourite part) is the father walking the bride down the aisle and handing her over.


“The whole walking the bride down the aisle. What an archaic tradition to adhere to. That an older guy would be like, ‘hey, I made this human 20 years ago here she is for you.’ It’s such an anti-feminist point of view," he says.

Joshua Withers. Image supplied.

Withers also admits that sadly many couples have a wedding to have just that - a wedding - not a marriage.

“I’ve had quite a few couples stand in front of me and I feel that they weren’t celebrating a marriage but they were having a wedding, which are two completely different things. There are so many girls that want to have a wedding. They want the Cinderella wedding," he says.

In saying that he also tells me that out of the 180 weddings he's a celebrant for each year, no one has ever not turned up. He said statistically it's bound to happen - but it seems that mostly brides and grooms are turning up for their big day (even if it is just to have their own Cinderella story).

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The wedding ceremonies that people are turning up for vary immensely - hence why Withers believes no one can call a wedding 'weird' because all of them are unique and different.

He says that there's five types of weddings: "The stock standard: 3pm on a Saturday….I’m booked out at 3pm on a Saturday two years in advance…There’s the week night…There’s the Saturday night , which is the ultimate party…There’s the weekend morning for those who love their Eggs Benedict…And then the fifth one would have to be the pop up wedding – a style that my wife and I invented, where we do a number of wedding ceremonies on the same day – they’re little elopement style marriages," he says.

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But ultimately the wedding celebrant says the day is about celebrating - not just two people but all the people involved in the ceremony and reception. He says it is an honour to be able to celebrate the love of two people and he loves what he does.

What about you, any interesting wedding stories that you've experienced?

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