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by Paula Towers
posted 17/10/2019

Love Me Do: The Celebrant for Ceremonies from Sydney to the Hunter

From Star Wars, medieval or 1920s themed weddings to end-of-life ceremonies and baby naming, Marina Lee-Warner helps people celebrate and commemorate life’s significant occasions.

There are many ceremonies at which a celebrant can officiate. “A growing number of people are now choosing that option,” Marina has observed.

A variety of often interesting requests mean celebrants also need to be open to client ideas.

When she was qualifying, Marina was asked to commit, if required, to wearing fancy dress or going up in a hot air balloon – and readily agreed: ‘Yes, I’d definitely do both!’ she enthused. “I’m absolutely open to anything.”

Such challenges appeal to Marina’s theatrical flair and background which also qualifies her as an accomplished MC – as well as a celebrant who also brings great organisational skills to events.

She officiates at all ceremony types from traditional to quiet, simple ones taking place in a family garden or park. Working from the Hunter Valley down to Sydney, from the northern beaches to the eastern suburbs, Marina has a colleague with an aviation company.

“He’s happy to help – we’re planning to do weddings up in the air if people want to get married in a plane. The sky is (literally) the limit!”

Indeed, people are really only limited by their imagination. “I think people want to make special occasions into a very memorable day so if it’s by doing something a little different, that’s fine,” Marina says. She’s more than happy to help make that happen, especially for marriages.

“A wedding is one of life’s defining moments; it’s great to be a part of it, to walk beside people and help them plan the day they’ve dreamed of,” Marina says.

“People have often given a lot of thought to it so it’s really important that you assist them to have the ceremony and wedding of which they have dreamed.”

Being flexible is also important in this type of work, Marina recognises. “You have to take in things that go wrong on the day, including the weather and other unpredictable issues – it’s about flexibility, I think,” she opines.

“Being a celebrant is certainly a wonderful, worthwhile thing to be able to do for people.”

A focus on community is also a good fit with local radio and Marina has been an Eastside listener for years: “I believe in the concept of community radio – I think it’s great. (Station Manager) Tony has been absolutely fantastic and really supportive.”

With a history of helping people commemorate their special day, prior to being a registered celebrant Marina performed commitment ceremonies, one famously being dressed as her beloved character Fatima the Belly Dancer on the sand of the northern beaches: “It was a lot of fun.”

And recently she performed a naming ceremony. Done mainly at home, it is an alternative to Christenings and increasing in popularity. “I work with parents to obtain some background about the child, siblings and grandparents. In the last one she performed: “The (baby’s) great-grandmother was there which was lovely. We had a wonderful ceremony and acknowledged his godparents and the other significant people in his life. It was beautiful.”

Another beautiful ceremony is for End of Life which often includes the scattering of ashes or flower petals and a ceremony at a beach, park or somewhere that was meaningful to the person who’s passed.

To mark life’s significant events – reflecting the personality and style of you, your partner and/or family, contact Marina on 0428 289 383 or at www.lovemedoceremonies.com.au to ensure your occasion is the special one it deserves to be.

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