WELCOME TO BEYOND BEGINNINGS
where I offer loving support for the Celebration of all of
Life’s Precious Moments

linda@beyondbeginnings.com.au     0407 693 331   |   Follow Me On  

Celebrant

Celebrancy is an art and my service and dedication to your special occasion is my gift to you.

There are many ceremony styles and my ceremonies are designed to reflect who you are and what you want to express within your ceremony.

Ceremonies can be Simple with a touch of romance; Romantic where love is in the air; Light-hearted with a touch of humour; Involved and Engaging where optional rituals add depth and family and friends are included; Always heartfelt and warm.

As my commitment to you I offer a service which is of the highest standard, offers meticulous planning, a personal approach, attention to detail, and exceptional professional service. I listen to your ideas and concerns and incorporate these into the creation of a uniquely personal ceremony. No ceremony is too big or too small.

The key point of difference for my business is that I do not charge a set fee, rather the clients determine the value of my service and pay accordingly. I prefer to operate from a gift economy which I believe is more loving and less demanding upon my clients. This is a big risk in today’s climate but one which I believe is more loving. For some ceremonies I do have a base deposit which is required before I proceed with the ceremony – weddings, renewal of vows, commitments.

I believe that everyone deserves a memorable and unique ceremony regardless of their budget and I am happy to discuss ways in which we might work together to honour each other’s unique needs. Call today on 0407 693 331 to discuss your special needs.

Marriage Celebrant

Ceremony is a very personal thing. It can be as colourful and exotic, as vibrant and lively, as conservative and elegant or as distinctive as you want it to be. This is your day!

Ceremony can be celebrated in a religious or traditional vein or in a more unconventional and unique way. It can be simple or elaborate; fun and meaningful; or heart-warming. Or it can be any combination of these. The choice is yours. This is your day. This is your ceremony and celebration, and you are the director of the proceedings. My role is to offer loving support, knowledge and expertise to ensure that your special day is a memorable and magical one.

A wedding ceremony should reflect you as individuals and as a couple and it ought to reflect your values and beliefs. On this, your wedding day, you demonstrate to those you love most, who you really are, what your relationship stands for and what your hopes and dreams are for the future.

As your celebrant I am passionate about creating a unique and beautiful ceremony which perfectly reflects your individual personalities, demonstrates your commitment to each other and enhances your deepening and ongoing relationship.

It would be an honour to co-create and execute a perfect ceremony for you as you take your first steps Beyond the Beginning of your marriage.

The beauty of choosing a Civil Celebrant is that you get to choose the location of your special Celebration. Your options are endless, from a simple affair at my home office to a more elaborate celebration at one of the Gold Coast or Hinterland’s spectacular locations, or anything in between. Parks, gardens, beaches, rivers, streams or your own home are all viable options. You choose the location that best reflects who you are as a couple.
After the initial contact we will arrange for us to meet at a mutually agreeable time and place (usually my office but exceptions can be made in special circumstances).

At this meeting we will get to know each other a little better and begin to map out the kind of ceremony that you would like to have. Together we will review readings, poems, prayers, songs, music and rituals which might best reflect your unique individuality and your loving relationship. We will look at ways to demonstrate your commitment to each other, your story so far and your hopes and dreams for the future. And we will look at the contractual agreement between us as well as the legal requirements for marriage in Australia.

I will also supply you with a selection of resources for you to consider further at home.

Marriage in Australia is a solemn affair and as such there are certain legal obligations which must be attended to. At the initial meeting we will complete the Official Notice of Intention to Marry Form (NOIM) which must be lodged at least one month before the ceremony date.

You will need to bring the following documents with you to the initial meeting –

  1. Evidence of your date and place of birth
    • Original Birth Certificate or an official extract of an entry in an official register showing your dates and place of birth
      Or
    • Original Passport  – passport must be current.
      Or
    • A statutory declaration from yourself or your parent (if under 18 yrs of age) stating that it is impossible to obtain an official birth certificate and the reasons why;
      and
    • To the best of the declarant’s knowledge and belief and as accurately as the declarant has been able to ascertain, when and where the party to the declaration was born.
  2. If the documents required are written in a different language you must also supply a translation of the document by an accredited translator.  The NAATI website has a list of accredited translators.
  3. If you have been previously married you must also supply evidence of that marriage and evidence of the dissolution of the marriage – divorce certificate or decree absolute.
  4. You must also supply evidence of any children born to a previous relationship – birth certificates are the most appropriate form of identification here.
  5. I will also need to see photographic evidence of your identity in the form of –
    • Australian driver’s Licence or
    • Proof of Age Card or
    • Australian or overseas passport or
    • Certificate of Australian citizenship along with another form of photographic evidence
I love celebration and ceremony of any kind and I have a deep passion for the written word. Together with my experience as an event coordinator I am able to unite my passions and experience to ensure we co-create a uniquely beautiful ceremony which reflects the heart and soul of your union and your commitment to each other.

As your Celebrant I passionately share with you –

  • Professional experience as an Event Coordinator bringing a flair for creativity and an eye for detail.
  • Professional Experience as a Registered Civil Celebrant fulfilling all legal requirements and all personal requests in a proficient manner.
  • A love of Ceremony and the creation of authentic, individual Celebrations.
  • A passion for the written word as evidenced by the production of proficient, unique and meaningful ceremonies.
  • A commitment to honour your free will and create your ceremony your way
  • As an Australian child migrant I bring an understanding of what it is like to settle in a new country.
  • Toyota Prado for access to remote locations if needed.

I look forward to being of service and sharing my passions with you as together we travel Beyond the Beginning of this special Ceremony.


Funeral Celebrant

What’s the Difference between a Funeral and a Memorial?

A Funeral is generally held shortly after the passing of the deceased and their body is usually present in a casket or a coffin.

A Memorial can be held at any time following the passing of the deceased and generally does not include the presence of the body. A memorial may however include the ashes of the deceased. A Memorial Service may also be more fitting when the person has died tragically; died overseas; or donated their body to medical science.

A Memorial Service can also be held on the anniversary of the passing of a loved one. You are not limited to one celebration.

Some people choose to have a Memorial Service rather than a Funeral as it allows them more time to come to terms with their loss. Occasionally a family will have a small private Funeral with immediate family only and then choose to hold a Memorial Service at a later date to include friends, relatives and the broader community.

There is no right or wrong way to celebrate the life of a loved one.

For some people a full church service is very appropriate, for others a small intimate chapel service at a crematorium or graveside is the most appropriate way to acknowledge this precious life. When my father-in-law Stan passed, we held his Funeral at the local community hall. This was particularly fitting for him as he helped to build the hall forty years previously and had been very active in his local community most of his life. The community hall then felt like ‘home’ for him. We did the same when my brother-in-law (Stan’s son) passed away.

There is no right or wrong way or place to celebrate the life of a loved one. It is your choice and I have found that the services that people remember most clearly are the ones which reflect the true essence of the deceased.

After receiving notification of the passing of your loved one, either from the Funeral Director or a member of the family, I will contact you to arrange a meeting in your home, or other location at your request.

This initial meeting will usually take around two hours but it is not time limited.  We will take as much time as is needed to get to know each other and share stories about the deceased and his/her family, life, loves, passions, skills, and whatever else you would like to share with me.

At this initial interview I will ask several questions and will be guided by you as to the kind of ceremony and celebration that you would like to achieve.

Things I will need to know will include –

  • full name, common name and/or nickname
  • date and place of birth
  • names of parents and siblings
  • schooling and early life
  • qualifications and work life
  • family life, marriage, children
  • characteristics, personality traits, common sayings
  • community work and involvement
  • hobbies and interests – including music, craft, pets
  • sports
  • lasting memories of family and friend
  • circumstances of their death

This information forms the basis of the ceremony that we create together and helps me to gain a deeper understanding of the person whose life we are celebrating.

For many this will be a difficult time and there is no need to rush.

It will greatly assist the process if you already have as much of these details as possible written down before our initial interview.

I will offer some readings, poems, songs and reflections for you to consider. You do not need to make any decisions at this time.

.

My role is to

  • Listen to your tales and stories about your loved one,
  • Offer suggestions for ceremony and ritual which best reflect the essence of the person whose life we are celebrating,
  • Develop and deliver the kind of service that best reflects the deceased’s beliefs, values, life and loves.
  • Be available at any reasonable time in the lead up to the ceremony to discuss your needs and desires and make changes as required.

I am there to support you through this process as best as I can.

Oftentimes this process is difficult and I will be there to act as a sounding board, to listen, to help ease the burden of your grief and ensure that the discussion flows freely and involves everyone present.

I will also be available to

  • Provide information & guidance to all parties to enable them to choose or compose a service that will meet their needs & expectations.
  • Assist with the composition and/or delivery of the eulogy if requested.
  • Respect the privacy & confidentiality of all concerned.
  • Ensure accuracy in the preparation & delivery of documents, e.g. correct names, dates & spellings. I will confirm all details with the appointed contact person.
  • Ensure the return of all personal documents belonging to the parties.
  • Ensure familiarity with electronic and audio visual devices & operations at the service venue.
  • Arrive at the venue at least thirty minutes prior to the service.
  • Meet & reassure the person of contact & family members at the service.
  • Present the family with a copy of the funeral service when offering final condolences.
  • Ensure that a high level of service, which meets your special requirements, is delivered at all times.

I believe that ceremony and ritual have a significant role to play in the healing process as you come to terms with the loss of your loved one. It is my joy to assist in the creation of a ceremony and celebration which will aid the healing process and pay a fitting tribute to the life and true essence of your loved one.

I invite you to journey with me Beyond Beginnings as we instigate the process of recognizing life without the physical presence of your loved one.


Special Occasions

Ceremony is a very personal thing. It can be as colourful and exotic, as vibrant and lively, as conservative and elegant or as distinctive as you want it to be. This is your day!

Ceremony can be celebrated in a spiritual or traditional vein or in a more unconventional and unique way. It can be simple or elaborate; fun and meaningful; or heart-warming. Or it can be any combination of these. The choice is yours. This is your day. This is your ceremony and celebration, and you are the director of the proceedings. My role is to offer loving support, knowledge and expertise to ensure that your special day is a memorable and magical one.

It would be an honour to co-create and execute a perfect ceremony with you.

Ceremony marks the beginning of something new. A Commitment Ceremony marks the official beginning of your life as devoted partners in a lifelong relationship.  It is one of the most wonderful sunrises you will ever experience, one filled with the warmth and the promise of developing a beautiful relationship. It is a time to embark upon a lifelong journey together as you commit to going beyond this beginning as a couple to create a life together that is a reflection of your individuality and your deep connection with each other.

This special Ceremony is not only a time to acknowledge your love for and commitment to each other; it is also a time to celebrate the gift that you are to each other and to recognize the unique contribution each one brings to the relationship.

Ceremony is a way of saying publically that you recognize a missing part of you in the other and that by committing to this relationship you are committing to the growth of your whole soul. You recognize that you are two halves of the same soul and wish to dedicate your lives to discovering the hidden parts of yourself through the love and support of the other, despite whatever challenges you may face in the future.  As an individual you are strong, as a couple you are unstoppable.

Some couples do not resonate with the formality of a wedding ceremony but still want to acknowledge their love for each other.  A Commitment Ceremony can help do this. It can be as formal or as casual as you would like it to be.

Other couples are not yet afforded the privilege of a marriage under Australian Law at this present time (2014). This does not diminish the love that you have for each other nor make your relationship ‘wrong’.  It simply means that your options are currently limited and for now, a Commitment Ceremony is the best way to share your love for each other with the ones you hold most dear.

You are the Sunshine of my Life
by Linda Munster

You are the Sunshine of my Life.
The Light that Guides my Path.
My Soulmate.
My One True Love.

You Challenge Me.
You Respect Me.
You Accept Me as I am.

I Love You with Every fibre of my Being
And I cannot Imaging My Life without You in it.
When I think of You, My Heart Smiles.
When I touch You, My Being Leaps.
When I miss You, My Soul Cries.

You are the Sunshine of my Life.
The Light that Guides my Path.
My Soulmate.
My One True Love.

To me, this is the essence of a committed relationship. It is the giving of yourself so completely to another that every fibre of your being feels and acknowledges the other. You want to truly KNOW each other, the real person hidden behind the façade which has been created through the errors in your soul.  You feel safe with each other and know that every secret, every dark part of your soul will be honoured and cherished; protected and nourished as you grow together towards the perfect you that God created. Through this union you are making a conscious choice to work together to uncover the truth of your being, as individuals, and as one soul united in love and truth.

I have been blessed to know such a relationship. And now it is my joy to help you create the kind of ceremony that reflects your unique relationship and commitment to each other. I bring to this task my qualification as a Civil Celebrant and many years’ experience as an Event Coordinator.

It is my desire to assist you, as you go Beyond the Beginning of this Ceremony, to find and acknowledge the special kind of love and connection that you, as a couple, share. My role will be to help you recognize and ignite that exclusive spark that makes your relationship extraordinary. And to share this with your chosen guests through a meaningful and beautiful ceremony which reflects the true essence of your relationship and you as unique individuals.

Celebrations for a Renewal of Vows Ceremony can follow a very similar format to a Wedding or Commitment Ceremony. It can be as elaborate or as simple as you would like it to be.

If possible, it might be a good idea to include your original bridesmaids and groomsmen in this ceremony and possibly include a ritual, a reading or poem or song that was performed at your wedding.

Renewal of Vows also offers an opportunity to include others who are dear to you as a couple – children or grandchildren can play a significant role here.

Or perhaps this is a time to mark your love for and commitment to each other in exactly the way you would have liked initially, but for whatever reason (convention, expectation) you were not able to do so.

Keep it simple or go all out – the choice is yours. My role is to create the kind of ceremony which best reflects your desires and beliefs about your relationship.

Traditionally a Baby naming or Welcoming Ceremony was the domain of the church and is usually called a Baptism or Initiation Ceremony.  It was at this time that a newborn was officially welcomed into the church family and afforded the protection of the parents’ faith.

Over time society has adopted a much broader view of faith and belief and there is a growing acceptance of a wide range of beliefs including non-belief. This has led to a growing acceptance of Civil Ceremony and the increasingly popular participation in a Baby Naming or Welcoming Ceremony. This is a non-denominational Ceremony to welcome a child into a family but it can have a religious or spiritual component to it if the parents so choose.

Naming and Welcoming Ceremonies are traditionally for very young children in their first year of life. After this time, ceremonies tend to be ceremonies of recognition or transition, rather than welcome

This type of Ceremony can be used for a child born into a family or an adopted child and can be tailored to your specific needs and requests.  It is a formal way of saying ‘welcome to our family, we are here to love, honour and support you to be all that you can be’. It is a good idea to include in the ceremony the people who will have the most significant impact upon the life of the child.

Inclusions of others could be:

  • Siblings
    Involving siblings is one way of saying to them you are every bit as important as this new baby. Together we are family.
  • Grandparents
    A grandparent’s involvement in a child’s live is such an important part of family life.  Some parents like to acknowledge this relationship during the ceremony and may wish to present them with a certificate to thank them.
  • Godparents/Guardians
    Godparents or Guardians are chosen to help support the child in their choices in life but they are also a role model and this decision should not be made lightly.  There is usually a strong relationship between the parents and the person/people chosen as godparent/s or Guardian/s.  Acknowledging this friendship at the Name Giving or Welcoming Ceremony of a child can be seen as a great honour.  It is necessary to explain to the Godparent/s or Guardian/s that there is no legal significance in Name Giving/Welcoming and it is just a symbolic gesture. Of course you can formalize this relationship through your solicitor and in your will if you so choose.
  • Others
    Other people can be acknowledged during the ceremony – either living or deceased – as an acknowledgement of the importance of their relationship to the child’s parents. If the person being honoured cannot be there lighting a candle is a nice way to honour that person.
Lighting of Candles – Candles can be lit by the parents, godparent/s or guardian/s and/or grandparents or significant others as an affirmation of their role in the ongoing nurturing of the child. If desired a wish can be made for the child before lighting the candle. There are many variations to the ritual and it can be specifically tailored to your needs.


Container of Wishes – Each guest is asked to write a wish for the child and the wishes can be read out at the ceremony. This can be limited to selected guests who will play an ongoing and significant role in the child’s life.  These wishes can then be kept in a baby record book.


Jewellery – another nice idea is to invite everyone present to contribute to making a gift for the child (this is particularly relevant to girls). You can set up a few tables with bright coloured beads and invite guests – often in family or friendship groups – to design a piece of jewellery for the child.  This can be as simple or as elaborate as you like and there are many stores which now specialize in supplying beads etc. for this kind of activity.


Time Capsule – This is a lovely way to honour the child.  Various items are placed into a box which is then sealed during the ceremony and opened at a significant point in the child’s life.  Depending on your family traditions appropriate ages might be 13, 16, 18 or 21.

You can include a variety of objects in the ‘time capsule’ which tell a story about the time and place in which they were born –

  • A newspaper of the day he/she was born or of the day of the ceremony.
  • Your favourite magazine of the time.
  • Coins or notes from that year.
  • Wishes from the guests, a poem or letter from the parents and/or grandparents and/or godparents/guardians.
  • A special poem that has significance for the parents.
  • The outfit that he/she came home from hospital in.
  • Their first pair of socks/booties etc. their birth stone and/or pressed flower.
  • Some people like to put in a bottle of red wine or port from the year the child was born.
  • Objects that represent the child’s heritage might also be significant.
  • Photographs, toys, books might also be significant.

You are limited here only by your imagination.


Balloon Release – releasing a bunch of biodegradable helium balloons is a way of acknowledging that your child is a gift from God and that he/she is free to follow their heart’s desires and not be weighed down by the parents/grandparents fears and expectations.


Tree planting – this can be a tree of significance but is most commonly a fruit or nut tree that the child can continue to enjoy throughout his/her life. The tree symbolizes growth and abundance, and it can also symbolize strength, shade, flexibility etc.


Origin of the Baby’s Name – its traditional meaning and why the parents chose that name for this child.


Star Sign – some people place a lot of significance in astrology and this can be incorporated into the ceremony if desired.


Music – any type of music is appropriate here as long as it has some significance for the parents which they want to pass onto the child.


Art – if the parents are artistic they might like to invite the guests to participate in creating an abstract work of art for baby’s room.  This can be done on a canvas which can be brought cheaply at craft stores.  If you intend to do this type of activity it might be helpful to have one person as the artistic director.


Readings and Poems – a wide selection of suitable readings and poems are available online.  I am happy to personalize any that you like or assist you to create a unique poem or reading that will suite the child that is being honoured as well as you and your family.


Family Heritage – I’m happy to work with you to incorporate a ritual that has a unique and significant meaning which honours your families’ heritage.

These are all just suggestions and all can be modified and personalized to meet your specific needs.

Ceremony really knows no limitation.  Any precious moment that touches your heart can be celebrated in one way or another, the choice is yours.

Some popular ceremonies include but are not limited to –

Divorce

It may seem a bit disturbing to be celebrating a divorce, and for many this is a time for commiseration rather than celebration. But divorce marks the end of one chapter in your life and the beginning of another. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the divorce it may, in time, be appropriate to celebrate a divorce with ceremony to acknowledge how much you have grown through the process and to put the past behind you and welcome in the future.

Ceremony can be empowering and provide context for the grieving process. Ceremony is not about trashing your ex, it is about admitting that in life people change and not always in the same direction. Ceremony is about acknowledging that neither of you were perfect in the relationship and that you are willing to forgive and move on.

Through ceremony you declare your independence and say to the world – ‘I am free and willing to start again. I am moving forward with my life and reinventing me as an individual’.

There are many ways to acknowledge a divorce and move forward with your life. Contact me to discuss the many options and rituals available to help you move on in a positive direction. Call Linda on 0407 693 331 or email linda@beyondbeginnings.com.au

Graduation

Graduation marks a special time in a person’s life – whether it is graduating from school or university. It marks the end of one cycle in your life and the beginning of another.

Most institutions offer their own generic celebration or graduation ceremony but if you would like to have a unique celebration then I am here to help. Call Linda on 0407 693 331 or email linda@beyondbeginnings.com.au to discuss the endless possibilities.

House Warming Ceremony

A Housewarming Ceremony says to your guests “this is our new home – welcome, you belong here anytime”. It tells them that they are a part of your lives and their friendship and love make your house a home. It tells your family and friends that they light your internal fires, and they make you and your house warm.

Ceremony adds depth and focus to your House Warming Celebration through the use of ritual and story. Together we will devise a Ceremony which reflects the hopes and dreams you have for this new chapter in your lives and share relevant parts of your story so far.

Some rituals which may be relevant to you and your new home include but are not limited to the following – tree planting; candle lighting or candle making; cutting and sharing a cake; blessing and sharing a meal; a short blessing, poem or prayer; sharing wine; creating a time capsule, a box full of wishes and many more. Call Linda today to discuss your unique needs 0407 693 331 or email linda@beyondbeginnings.com.au

Anniversaries

Anniversaries are a time to acknowledge the journey you have been on together, the things you have learnt and shared together; the ways you have grown as individuals and as a couple.

Your celebration can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like it to be and it can include appropriate readings, poems or songs that are meaningful to you – perhaps something from your wedding would be appropriate; or perhaps something that has grown with you as a couple.
The choice is yours.

My role is to ensure that your special anniversary is a memorable and meaningful one. Call Linda today to discuss your special needs 0407 693 331 or email linda@beyondbeginnings.com.au

Other Ceremonies

could include but are not limited to
Pet Funerals;
Living Eulogies where you share your life story at a significant birthday celebration – why let someone else tell your story! Your life is a gift and has touched the lives of many people so why not share the lessons, achievements, love and joy that you have experienced with the ones you love while you still can;
Job Promotions or change;
Retirement;

Call Linda today to discuss your special needs 0407 693 331 or email linda@beyondbeginnings.com.au

After the initial contact we will arrange for us to meet at a mutually agreeable time and place (usually my office but exceptions can be made in special circumstances).

At this meeting we will get to know each other a little better and begin to map out the kind of ceremony that you would like to have. Together we will review readings, poems, prayers, songs, music and rituals which might best reflect your unique individuality and your loving relationship. We will look at ways to demonstrate your commitment to each other, your story so far and your hopes and dreams for the future. We will also look at the contractual agreement between us. And I will also supply you with a selection of resources for you to consider further at home.

I am a caring and compassionate person who will always honour your free will and deliver the kind of ceremony you desire. I am here to serve you.

I love celebration and ceremony of any kind and I have a deep passion for the written word. Together with my experience as an event co-ordinator I am able to unite my passions and experience to ensure we co-create a uniquely beautiful ceremony which reflects the specialness of the occasion being celebrated.

As your Celebrant I passionately share with you –

  • Professional experience as an Event Coordinator bringing a flair for creativity and an eye for detail.
  • Professional Experience as a Registered Civil Celebrant fulfilling all personal and legal requirements and requests in a proficient manner.
  • A love of Ceremony and the creation of authentic, individual Celebrations which reflect your hopes and desires.
  • A passion for the written word as evidenced by the production of proficient, unique and meaningful ceremonies and enhanced through several creative writing courses and ongoing professional development.
  • The ability to listen and accurately interpret your story in a way that reflects the essence of who you are and what you would like to share with your guests.
  • A kind and compassionate nature offering suggestions and resources while honouring your choices and decisions at all times.

I look forward to being of service and sharing my passions with you – call today to arrange a no-obligation introductory chat to discuss your specific needs 0407 693 331 or email linda@beyondbeginnings.com.au