Let me start with a question I get asked fairly often, “Why did you become a marriage officer?” In 2017, six very close friends (that’s three couples to be clear) asked me if I’d conduct the ceremonies at their weddings. Such a request would cause some mild anxiety, but I had a strong sense that this was something I was always meant to do – that is, hold space for beautiful people and beautiful loves. I trusted that “knowing” and I followed it, becoming a registered marriage officer which essentially means that I still perform ceremonies (my favourite part!) and that I take care of the legal side, too.
More about me: I cannot be trusted within 100 metres of a nursery (I’m obsessed with house plants – if you happen to get legally married in my home, you’ll see). I’m a chickpea fan. Give me all the falafels, hummus, curries. Since I was a young girl, I’ve been a quote hoarder. A few of my favourites: The Invitation (Oriah Mountain Dreamer); The Secret (Denise Levertov); Love After Love (Dereck Walcott – not appropriate for a wedding but so very beautiful); (Sonnet 116 (Shakespeare). I could go on and on. My family’s colour is grey. Harriet and Noosi don’t really have much choice in the matter (being miniature Schnauzers, they sport it day in and day out) and Jess (my wonderful –fiancé) and I have fallen in line with them at least when it comes to pyjamas (don’t worry, we do wear other colours outside the house. Sometimes in it, too). I tend to favour warm colours like reds and maroons for ceremonies. What else can I tell you? I’m an attorney (non-practising), a photographer (practising) and a writer (not practising enough).
Many of my true loves align beautifully with being a marriage officer. How so? In creating ceremonies with couples, I lean on my writing – my ability to convey a story and capture an audience’s attention. I have a library (not a literal one, the plants take up too much space) of quotes and exquisite poems to source readings from. I’ve always loved speaking in public (odd, I know but my father’s a keynote speaker so I guess you could say it’s in my blood). For small intimate weddings, I sometimes double up as a photographer (have a look see, @lara.jess.photography). And most importantly, my deep love for Jess (did I mention how wonderful my fiancé is?) affirms to me what I’ve always known but took a while to practice in my own life: Love, in all its magnificent forms, deserves celebration. It is, after all, truly the best thing in the whole wide world! If it isn’t yet abundantly clear, I support and revere the LGBTQIA+ community. Since I’m registered under the Civil Union Act, I get to marry straight, gay and queer couples. Yay me!