On the 3rd of March I received a phonecall wondering if I might be available at the last minute to officiate at a handfasting ceremony for these two lovely people. I was, and we met that afternoon to talk about their plans.

It turned out they had planned a major celebration, with some of Brandon’s family flying over from Canada especially to attend. All the details were sorted out – catering, dress, cake, musicians – they even had a bunch of guys in their backyard erecting a decking for them to stand on during the ceremony. Only one thing missing – a ceremony!! I was very glad they had called me and that I was available at short notice to help them out of a tight spot…

Photos of Michelle & Brandon's handfasting ceremony in Hamilton Hill, March 2009


Michelle and Brandon were very clear that they were not interested in having the blessing of either the church or the state on their union. For them, it was the witness and blessing of their family and friends that was most important. We were able to put together a lovely ceremony, including the ritual of handfasting, in which the couple’s hands are ceremonially bound together with a ribbon. It was important to them to include Michelle’s son Omali in the ceremony, and so, in addition to making their promises to each other, they also pledged to love and care for Omali as an important member of their new family.

On the Saturday afternoon when I arrived the place was bussling with energy. The ceremony went off very smoothly, and afterwards both Brandon’s step-mother and Michelle’s step-father remarked how happy they were that Michelle had found me and how pleased they were with the result.

Overall it was a very satisfying experience to be able to use my expertise to help put the final touch on a very special day in the lives of this very devoted young couple and their families.

Ishara de Garis
Civil Marriage Celebrant
Fremantle, Western Australia

Commitment ceremony wedding for a couple who chose not to marry legally