Marriage Celebrant Joshua Withers Recalls His Whackiest Weddings

Author: Edmond Wells   Date Posted:24 July 2014 

Australia's Marriage Celebrant, Joshua Withers, Is Known for Encouraging Whacky Wedding Ceremonies

Image Credit: Edmond Wells, CC BY-ND 2.0  (file image)

Alt Text: a fun wedding moment

Caption: Fun and whacky moments can make for an unforgettable wedding.

Many marriage celebrants might have been performing ceremonies the traditional way, but not 32-year old Joshua Withers from Australia, who has been part of numerous types of wedding, including the Star Wars-themed wedding of Ryan and Meika Smith at the Glengariif Historic Estate, north east of Brisbane.

Withers has been officiating wedding ceremonies for five years now and is known to be one of the youngest and wildest member of professional individuals authorised to solemnise marriage. He believes that a wedding ceremony is not an occasion to be scared about; in fact, it's a celebration that ought to be fun.

He said, “Marriage isn't dying, but how we celebrate is changing - there are people out there who can help you have a really awesome and cool wedding.” He added, “You don't have to have a bad wedding, that's my message.”

The vibrant and funny young man encourages creativity and innovation in ceremonies in his bid to challenge traditional notions. For him, apart from having the legal requirements of getting married, it should be celebrated in the weirdest and craziest ways people's minds can imagine.

Another couple, Ray and Linda, chose to be a witch and warlock when they tied the knot last year. The Halloween-themed wedding, complete with event decorations, was celebrated by no other than Withers, who was dressed as a monk himself. Guests were also clueless they’re attending such event, not until the announcement was made on the same night.

In yet another fun wedding officiated by Withers, a couple, who wanted the celebration to go on for more than a day, decided to invite family and friends to sail down the River Brisbane aboard a P&O cruise ship for an intimate week of revelry.

Furry Friend for a Ring Bearer

One of the most charming ceremonies on his list was the one with a dog as the ring bearer. “No one at the wedding saw the dog until the best man did the classic pat of the pockets when the groom asked for the rings. He (the best man) whistled and the dog came running with the rings,” according to Withers. The couple loves their pet so much that they considered him their child, and for them, making him part of their wedding is just apt.

When asked why this is the path he took, Withers narrated about attending the wedding of his aunt seven years ago and said it didn't have the spirit of fun weddings should have. For him, such events are supposed to be unique and full of surprises.

“The wedding industry is set up for the one kind of wedding. That's the basis of me becoming a celebrant,” he said.

Withers also talked about the significant changes in weddings with people choosing to hold ceremonies in their gardens back home and inviting only a small group of friends and family. He also emphasised on the rising popularity of surprise weddings where couples exclude other people in planning. What makes it more entertaining are seeing the guests with surprised faces.

At his own wedding, only 40 close friends and family members were invited. Reception was held over at his in-laws after a botanical gardens ceremony.

Withers is also scheduled to solemnise marriage of a couple any day soon at the Sea World, with the ceremony expected to be another whacky celebration.

“People are crazy, especially in love, it's a form of insanity,” he said.




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