Why Hunter Valley Parks & Gardens are Becoming the Most Romantic Setting for Weddings

The Hunter Valley has long been a favorite region for weddings due to its rich greenery, breathtaking views, stunning wineries and variety of parks and gardens. This is true, not just for those who live in NSW, but throughout Australiaas people travel from all over the country to celebrate their special day here.

Hunter Valley Gardens is a popular choice, offering up many unique locations for wedding ceremonies. Just some of the locations include an ‘oriental’ garden with a Japanese inspired theme, the ‘sunken’ garden with a 10 metre cascading waterfall, a lake and rotunda location and more. With so many different areas throughout the gardens, there are plenty of spectacular spots to capture those ever-important wedding photos.

Kirkton Park Hunter Valley is another wedding hot spot, offering some truly exquisite backdrops that really showcase the beauty of the Hunter Valley. The Manor Garden offers views of the rolling country side and a decorative fountain, ‘Between the Urns’ offers a backdrop of the breathtaking Broken Ranges and ‘Wisteria Walk’ is a perfect in Spring when the vines and flowers are in seasonal bloom.

If you’re looking for something a little more ‘bespoke’, Hanging Tree Wines is one of few venues throughout the Hunter Valley that oozes a relaxed, rustic feel, ideal for the more ‘chilled’ couple. It has an authentic ‘country’ vibe with the inclusion of wineries, rolling hills and a gorgeous pond, teeming with ducks as a spectacular backdrop to your ceremony or photos. You can even have your photos taken at their beautiful, rustic homesteads.

If you are looking for a trusted Celebrant for your wedding, commitment ceremony or renewal of vows, look no further than Phillip Holland, based in the Sydney. Get in touch today!


What to Consider When Planning a Beach Side Wedding

If the idea of saying ‘I do’ to the person you love with a backdrop of the sun setting beyond a vast ocean paints a picture-perfect location to commit to the man or woman of your dreams, then a beach wedding might just be for you! But before you start sending out your invites, there are a few important factors to consider.

Firstly, the time of year you decide to marry will determine how ideal a beach wedding will be. As a rule, winter should be off the table. While the day is all about you and celebrating your truly special commitment, the comfort of your guests should also be a priority. People love to dress up for weddings and sitting on a beach in the dead of winter can be quite uncomfortable, especially when many your guests may be in dresses!

The time of day you choose for the ceremony is important as it affects things like temperature, sun glare, the position of your seating and the quality of your photos. Think about the time of day in relation to the position of the sun. Facing your guests towards the sun will result in a lot of squinting and/or the addition of sunglasses which will show up in your treasured photos.

When it comes to any outdoor wedding, you are at the mercy of the weather which here in Australia, we know can be quite unpredictable. So, make sure you have a backup plan in place if things go south and select a photographer/videographer who is experienced in outdoor weddings, particularly beach wedding as they will understand the intricacies of correct positioning and lighting.

For an experienced and caring celebrant who brings a personal touch to each and every wedding, contact Sydney based civil celebrant, Phillip Holland today.

October’s Finest Flowers Ready for Your Spring Wedding

With so many different varieties, choosing your wedding flowers can be a confusing task. The good news is, if you’re getting married in Spring, it’s the perfect time of year to get your hands on some gorgeous flowers, right when they’re in bloom!

Have you heard of the ‘Blushing Bride’ flower? Even given name, it’s not the most obvious choice of wedding flower so it still gives you that sense of individuality on your special day. It’s cream coloured petals and fluffy, pink centre gives it a real feminine look- perfect for a bride and her bridesmaids.

Daisies are at their most beautiful in Spring and come in a range of different colours so you can match them perfectly with your dresses and colour theme. White daisies are great to mix with other, colourful flowers and are easily incorporated into any bouquet.

Lily of the valley is a simple, classy and elegant flower that reach their peak at the very start October. You can’t go wrong with a simple white flower. Famously used in Kate Middleton’s bouquet, their unique, bell-shaped blooms are a beautiful addition to any wedding.

For a bride who needs flowers that can stand up to a puffy wedding dress, snowball viburnum flowers are perfect! The name is derived from their snowball-like appearance and the volume in a bouquet of viburnum flowers makes it a beautiful addition to a bridal party.

For brides that want a distinctive yet beautiful bouquet, Anemone flowers are just that. Their eye-catching, dark centre create a sense of drama in contrast to their soft, light coloured petals. They are quite simply one of the most stunning Spring flowers available!

Contact Phillip Holland today for a Sydney based civil Celebrant you can count on.

Australia Takes a Closer Step Towards Marriage Equality for Same Sex Couples

Australia has recently taken its first significant step towards legalizing marriage for same-sex couples with the introduction of a postal plebiscite.

While a plebiscite might not have been everyone’s first choice in dealing with this sensitive issue, it’s a step in the right direction and gives every Australian the opportunity to have their say.

The good news is that leading up to the vote so far, many online polls are showing that the majority of Australians are in favor of marriage equality. While we can’t say for sure what will happen, we are hopeful this will be reflected in the votes and Australia can finally catch up with other countries where gay marriage is legal, such as Canada and New Zealand.

As we look towards a future with marriage equality, it’s exciting to imagine just how many same-sex couples will take the leap. Hundreds of thousands of gay couples can finally begin to put plans in place for the wedding they have always dreamed of.

This means picking out dresses and suits, booking venues, hiring photographers, sampling cakes and declaring your love for one another in front of your friends and family, just as opposite-sex couples have been able to enjoy for over 100 years. This will also see the wedding industry boom in Australia which will have a positive effect on our economy. Just another reason to vote ‘yes’ in the upcoming postal vote in case you needed one!

If you are in a same-sex relationship and wish to get married here in Australia once it becomes legal, get in touch with Sydney based Phillip Holland.

Phillip has many years’ experience in both weddings and commitment ceremonies for gay couples and can help your wedding dreams come true on your special day.

Factors to Consider When Planning an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony in Sydney

When planning your dream wedding day, an outdoor ceremony is an increasingly popular option. A little planning will ensure that your day runs seamlessly. Consider the following facts when planning your wedding ceremony in an outdoor setting: 


Although you do not need permission to simply take wedding photographs in a public outdoor area, most councils require a permit for holding a wedding. This includes weddings held at the beach!

The City of Sydney requires a Park / Open Spaces Wedding Ceremony Application to be lodged a minimum of four weeks before the ceremony. A representative will be in touch with you within 10 working days of you lodging the form.

Contact the Council in the local area of your chosen venue for more information.


Consider the typical type of weather at the time of year that you have scheduled your ceremony.Plan accordingly! Always consider the chance of rain, and have an alternative venue available. Ensure that there is shade and shelter near your venue – just in case!


Make sure that you guests know what clothes and shoes are best suited to your ceremony and reception location! Consider your own shoes and your guest’s attire when outdoors – particularly for a garden or beach wedding. It is advisable to let guests know the location of your wedding on the invitation.

The Ceremony

Philip Holland Marriage Celebrant Sydney provides a unique, fun and romantic ceremony for your wedding. With a fantastic people oriented celebrant such as Philip, the day will be one of many pleasant memories.

The Sound System

When organising an outdoor wedding ensure that the sound from your sound system will travel to guests situated furthest from the bride and groom. Take into account factors such as the level of noise at the location – the sound of the sea, for instance. Wattage also needs to be significantly higher at outdoor events as there are no walls to contain the sound.

Philip Holland is a Sydney marriage celebrant who specializes in unique, loving and memorable wedding ceremonies in the Sydney, Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains area. Philip is a very caring and experienced celebrant with a way with words. Contact Philip today.

Classic vs Modern Brides: What Type of Bride Are You?

Do you love all things classic? Or do you like everything to be up to the minute? When deciding which type of wedding theme you would like on your big day there are many terrific options for both types of brides! As a wedding celebrant in the Sydney area, Philip Holland has performed many stunning weddings of both themes

Wedding Dresses

Both modern and classic wedding gowns can have trains, lace, or be strapless. The gowns for both styles may be simple or detailed. Choosing your wedding dress is so romantic, fun and exciting!


Designs are romantic and can be full lace, off the shoulder, full billowing skirt, vintage inspired, country style or v neck. There can be an abundance of lace, satin or both. The classic style wedding gown is elegant, tasteful and beautiful.


Fitted designs, fishtail style, tulle skirts, backless, mermaid style, and pastels and other shades are popular in many of the stunning contemporary gown styles right now. Modern designs are often figure hugging but can be more a casual, flowing beachy style as well.

Wedding Invitations

Invitations set the mood for the day – yours as well as the guests!


Traditional, and generally white and silver or white and gold, the classic style wedding invitation isstill very popular. Quality paper is used withelegant writing in a script style. Classic wedding invitations are quiteformal, often engraved and have a very classy look and feel.


Modern style wedding invites come in bright colours, and different shapes and designs. They are great for a more casual wedding, a theme or a beach wedding. More vibrant than the classic style they really stand out.

The Ceremony

As a popular and experiencedSydney marriage celebrant Philip Hollandperforms both classic and modern ceremonies at any location that you choose including the Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains and surrounds. It is your day and the ceremony will be in keeping with your style.


Ceremonies in churches and gardens are very popular in classic style weddings.


Simple, detailed, informal, beach-style, and beach style, as well as church weddings, are some of the choices that modern brides select.

Floral Arrangements

Always consult with your florist and go with what you love!


Lots of romantic soft pastels, pinks, and whites are used in a classic wedding theme, sometimes with another colour thrown in such as a bright pink or a red.


Modern floral arrangements can be anything from elegant to trendy. Standout bright blooms, and one off never seen before bouquets are popular. Interesting colours, shapes, accessories, and ribbons can be added for a contemporary unique look.

With these factors taken into consideration, have you decided what type of bride you are?  For an amazing wedding ceremony, whether classic or modern, contact Philip Holland Marriage Celebrant Sydney.

What to Look for When Selecting the Perfect Spring Wedding Venue in the Hunter Valley

Spring is a popular time of year for weddings with not too hot or cold conditions, lush greenery and blooming flowers. Choosing a venue can be a tough decision but with many beautiful locations around the Hunter Valley, you’re never short of options.

The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s major wine regions, known for its stunning wineries and vineyards with the added extra of breathtaking views. Many wineries come with the option of either indoor or outdoor location, or even both! You can choose to have the ceremony outside amongst the backdrop of rolling hills and grapevines and the reception inside and it’s this versatility makes choosing a winery in the Hunter Valley a great venue option.

If you decide to go with an outdoor wedding, there are some important factors to consider. Does the location come with access to facilities like bathrooms and toilets? Is it easy to get to and from with the bride and guests in heels and dresses? What about parking and wedding car access? It is not uncommon for couples to choose and book a location, only to find out later that the limo doesn’t have adequate access.

For indoor locations, make sure the venue is big enough to accommodate your guests. Also, keep in mind that guests attending the wedding who have come from interstate or overseas may wish to book accommodation at the venue so check the availability. To ensure the day runs smoothly, it’s also a good idea to check that there are rooms for the bridal party to get ready before the ceremony and change afterward if need be. Always read reviews and be thorough with your research before making your booking.

For the best Civil Marriage Celebrant in Sydney, contact Philip Holland today!

Five Factors to Consider When Selecting a Civil Marriage Celebrant in Sydney

When selecting a Civil Marriage Celebrant for your special day, it’s important to ensure your celebrant is the right fit for your unique and special love, to help bring together your perfect and unforgettable wedding ceremony. Here are 5 factors to consider when selecting your Celebrant.

  1. Flexibility

Your special day should be as individual as you are and a good Marriage Celebrant should be flexible, willing to listen to your requests and open to personalizing your ceremony the way you would like it. Choosing a Civil Celebrant gives you the freedom to be creative as they are not heavily focused on the religious aspects of the union, yet still allow you to add those touches if you wish.

  1. Personality

Choosing a Celebrant is, more often than not, determined by how well you get along and interact. When your personalities mesh, working together to create your dream day becomes a breeze!

  1. Dress Code

Always make sure you find out what your celebrant plans to wear on your wedding day! A good Civil Celebrant will ensure their outfit ties in perfectly with your theme so that everything looks seamless.

  1. Vows

An experienced Civil Celebrant such as Philip Holland will take the time to get to know you so that you can work together to create touching and unique vows that truly reflect your special love story. Your celebrant should listen to your input as well as assist you to create the perfect vows.

  1. Get In Early

Don’t leave booking your Civil Celebrant to the last minute, many Celebrants are booked up in advance so make sure you get in early to ensure your Celebrant is available on your special day.

If you would like to speak to Philip Holland about his quality Civil Celebrant service based in Sydney, feel free to visit our contact page and get in touch today!