Dee Brinsmead - aka “Marry Me Dee” - is a witty, interesting and quirky Marriage Celebrant based in Melbourne, Victoria. The demand for Dee’s services is so great though that she also travels nationally to officiate the love between two people in all corners of Australia. So if you’re are looking for someone who thinks outside the box, becomes an integral part of your day rather than just being your celebrant and can come to you - then you need to meet Dee! Take it away Dee…
“I’ve given a lot of thought as to what makes the perfect ceremony and it comes down to the celebrant and who would best represent you as a couple, many of whom have evolved over the years into the cool cats you see hanging out at hipster bars. Another big point is how you perceive the ceremony, if you consider it the necessary boring part of the day…stop reading now and starting googling for a beige celebrant. If you want beige, then I’m not for you and that’s okay because I’m the first to say that I won’t be everyone’s preferred drop of wine - I like to describe myself as a rare variety for specific tastes!
I like to think of the ceremony as the prelude to the party, something to kick your guests into 4th gear, getting them D-floor ready.
“My style is relaxed and fun, with all the beautiful bits woven into the ceremony. My presentation is natural, but also energetic with a little theatre involved as I consider movement, pause and timing. I’m cautious the ceremony doesn't become overly staged, so I sometimes go off script depending on what’s going on at the time. I like to refer to myself as the narrator.
“The words ‘personalised ceremony’ are often used loosely in my world. Creating a PERSONAL ceremony can only be achieved in collaboration. For me, it’s about being the couples new best friend, having great listening and interviewing skills to get the best information to generate something creative and unpredictable. For the couple, it’s about getting intimate with a stranger, being flexible and open to explore options beyond everyone’s expectations…I loosen you up first with a beverage (preferably the alcoholic variety) and before you know it, I know the colour of your undies…what?!
“Here are my 5 top tips to achieve the best ceremony:
- Make it personal. The ceremony needs to reflect the couple in every way possible, their life, their family and friends right down to the smallest detail. I do have a couple of lines that make their way into most ceremonies… because they're proven goodies, however, I write every ceremony from scratch, after we’re BFF’s and I know all the details.
- The ceremony has to be engaging. You need to have the audience/guests in the palm of your hand from the beginning. Everyone loves a little performance, with character and witty charm, so I always make my first line a doozy! It’s all about working the room and making everyone feel the magnitude and be a part of the moment, which becomes a lasting memory. There’s nothing better than watching the audience tear up, listening to their laughter and it’s not unusual for both to happen simultaneously. Equally, it’s also about knowing when to turn it down a notch, get out of the way and be aware of your surroundings.
- Music. Music is powerful, brings out emotions and retains memories. While there’s nothing wrong with music from a device…I’m telling you there is nothing better than live music!
- Song sing along. Seriously I’m one of very few celebrants that do this, in fact it’s kinda my thing and there’s nothing better than involving everyone in a good ole sing-a-long (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it). I’ve seen this bring ceremonies up to another level and it works best when you have live musicians. Imagine 90 people squished into a tiny barn singing ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros…MIND BLOWING!!!! Or 140 people in a converted bluestone church singing ‘I Love You Baby’ by Frankie Valli…FREAKING KICK ARSE!!!
- Give your guests a welcome drink on arrival. They will appreciate it after arriving 30 mins before starting time and then waiting another 15 minutes for the late groom. Don’t let venue coordinators change your mind, your guests are adults and are not going to get legless before the ceremony!
“For good measure, my 8 step guide to a transparent process as a celebrant is just like dating all over again!
- After initial enquires about my services and fee, we coordinate a meeting to see that we have a connection.
- First meeting. I explain myself and my services in detail so the couple know exactly what they’re getting. I go through a simple ceremony structure to understand what the couple wants and they understand how I do things. I throw a shit load of ideas at them to think about. Did you know there are two small legal elements that are compulsory for the validity of the marriage? All the other bits are up to us to create!
- The couple decide to make a booking.
- Second meeting. This normally takes place a couple of months before the ceremony date. We complete the first legal document at this stage, however the real aim of this meeting is to extract as much information about the couple as humanly possible over a two hour period which normally takes place at a bar somewhere!
- Over the next month I create a very personal ceremony script, in draft form for review. The couple have the last say on the script, making any changes they might like to make!
- Within the week leading up to the ceremony we will have a rehearsal (optional) mostly for logistics and choreography. I don't read the script at this point.
- On the wedding day I arrive an hour early to make sure everything is ready…you’d be surprised at some of the things I’ve had to do on the day, things my newlyweds will never know! The stories I could tell!
- After the wedding I send a follow up email or phone call so that you can tell me how awesome your day was and I confess my love for you. We become real best friends and I get to watch you achieve many more milestones from afar on social media, or maybe over another drink sometime.
“If I receive any of the following feedback, ‘that was so them’; ‘I’ve never seen anything like it, it was fabulous’; ‘makes me want to get married again’, or; ‘they didn’t have anything like this in our day, it was terrific’, I know I’ve done my job and nailed another wedding. All I really need though, is a huge hug from the couple (and maybe any ridiculously good looking straight groomsmen).”
So, what are you waiting for? Let Dee marry the shit out of you!
CONTACT MARRY ME DEE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALLI OUGHTRED PHOTOGRAPHY
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