Feature Friday #3 – Brisbane Wedding Celebrant: Josh Withers

I remember when I first met Josh. I had just moved up to Brisbane and was trying to get my name out in the wedding industry (after establishing my business in Newcastle, it was like starting from scratch!) I was asked at the last minute to photograph an inspiration shoot on the Gold Coast, with a bunch of talented vendors I had never met, in a location I had never photographed. Looking back, I remember how nervous I was. I remember driving all the way down to the shoot (it was about 2 hours away) and pulling into the carpark and just sitting there, talking myself into getting out “you can do this, this will be fun, get out of the car Kylie!” Total crazy person right!

So… I finally mustered up enough courage to get out of the car and walk up to the big group of vendors that had now started to gather… they were all busy preparing of course, there were flowers being perfected, makeup being applied, ties being straightened. The whole deal. Now, naturally i’m not the most outgoing – “hello – I’m here!!!!!” type person, so imagine my relief when this down to earth, funny guy started chatting to me about life and immediately, I felt more at ease. You see, thats one of the things that Josh is so damn good at – putting people at ease. Couples joke with me all the time, about how I would choose a wedding photographer when Nick & I get married, and honestly, it would be hard… but when it comes down to the person actually doing the marrying… I don’t even have to think about who I would ask – it would be Josh.

Here are some photos from that first Inspiration Shoot a few years back and Josh at work:


I wanted to share with you a few tips from Josh himself, about how to personalise your wedding ceremony and make it your own!

1. Involve your nearest & dearest.

Seriously, make your wedding ceremony a community event. Ask your friends and family to do readings, take you through your vows, sing a song, read a poem. Use this opportunity to honour them and the support they have given you up to this point… and will continue to give you as husband & wife.

2. Have your guests sit or stand in a circle around you while your getting married.

I LOVE this! I have photographed so many weddings, where guests are too polite to come forward and sit on any spare chairs at the front of the ceremony… and that means that the ceremony is missing out on some of that love. That excitement. Why? Because the people that love you the most and that are most excited about this time in your lives, are standing too far away. Gather them around, let them be a part of your ceremony, not just observe it.

3. Have a ring warming…

What’s a ring warming you ask? There are different versions of this, but generally the rings are placed in a small bag and are passed around to each guest prior to the ring exchange. Each guest blesses the rings or says a prayer… how nice to think that every guest has held your rings and thought good thoughts! It might be the sentimental part of me, but I love the thought of this!

4. Write your own vows.

There is no wrong thing to say here. Write how you feel and personalise what you want to say to your beloved. These words will be something you look back on in the years to come and hold onto dearly!

5. Second guess everything!

Look at everything you’re doing on your wedding day and if you can’t find a good reason, throw it out! This goes for everything from timing, to having a bridal party, releasing doves, throwing the bouquet, etc. Find a reason for it or throw it!

If you want to chat to Josh about your wedding day (or life in general), please use the links below:
Here are some photos of Josh putting others at ease… during their wedding ceremony:
Toowoomba-Gabbinbar Homestead-Wedding-Photography

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