Not Quite 27 Dresses

The major thing I’ve learned, the five times I’ve taken on the important role of bridesmaid is, you have to accept whatever the bride and groom throw at you. If the bride wants you to wear a yellow taffeta fufu skirt with a purple polkadot bikini top, and a mariachi hat, then that my friend is exactly what you will wear - no matter what the season, it’s about them not you.

So when I started thinking about what my point of difference would be within an extremely saturated wedding market I thought ‘why not let the bride and groom decide what I wear’. I don’t want to clash with the bride, the bridesmaids, the groom, groomsmen or even the mother of the bride for that matter. I want my couples to feel absolutely at ease in every aspect of their wedding ceremony and, what better way than to have total transparency. Now, I like to keep some surprises within the words of the wedding ceremony but what I wear doesn’t have to be.

Think of me as your very own live celebrant barbie. If you want me to wear the Lovebird maxi, with the leopard print boots, and my Nana's beautiful black and white scarf tied around my head, so be it! If you say, ‘Vic, I want you to wear a hessian bag and gumboots, but I can see you don’t have that listed, is it possible?’ Hell yes it is! I will literally wear whatever you want me to. If however, you’re thinking ‘OMG, another thing to think about!’. Again, no drama - you just tell me your colours, and I’ll work around that.

There are currently 15 dresses on offer across multiple styles. My top picks are (in no preferred order):

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Hotel Paradiso

I missed out on purchasing this dress twice. When it was released the first time, and then when they released it again in one of Spell’s Unicorn Tears launches.

I was gutted.

I had the dress in the online cart, then I was distracted by someone at work (yes, I was online shopping during work hours!) then when I went to check-out, it was sold out! Luckily for me, my friend found this at one of the warehouse sales. It was $200 cheaper than the earlier releases because it has a very minor fault. If you can find the fault, I’ll take $50 off your overall fee.

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Sirocco

This is my newest dress, purchased recently from Sheike. If you loosen the straps it can have a slightly sexier look to it, but I’d only do that if I was wearing this one out on a date with my honey. When I’m celebrating your love, I’ll tighten the straps right up so we don’t have a wardrobe malfunction Janet Jackson super-bowl style.

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Italiano

When my cousin married her true love back in 2012, in Lake Como, Italy. We had these amazingly fitted, blue lace dresses. They were stunning and the dress complemented the landscape perfectly.

When I went to try the dress on again, back when I was planning my Style Me collection, I was devastated it didn’t fit anymore. Luckily I found this one online, the blue lace is so elegant and classic - the perfect celebrant dress.

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The Love Bird

So aptly named, this dress is the perfect balance between a bright colour, and classiness. The fabric is beautiful, and has a swishy swish swish to it as I walk.

If you look really closely there are birds printed on the fabric, it’s just so beautiful. I sometimes wish I could wear this dress everyday!

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Elysian

I was walking past Arnhem in Byron Bay just as the girls were putting this dress in the window for the first time. I instantly fell in love with it.

There was a lady in there who was also trying on the white version. She ended buying it for her daughter’s wedding for which they were in Byron Bay from Melbourne celebrating across the weekend. We got talking and she agreed, this one was the perfect dress to celebrant in.

Head over to my Style Me page to check out all the dresses currently on offer and style me anyway you wish, hair up or hair down; big, small, gold, silver, or no earrings all; jacket or no jacket; heels or boots - it’s up to you!

Your style is my style. Have some fun with it!

Victoria Armstrong
Licence to Wed

Exactly two years ago, in December 2016, I tagged along with a group of girls from Ballina and Lennox Head, and headed out to The Brunswick Hotel to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Electrik Lemonade were playing and we hired the ever reliable Todd’s Transfers for the return trip. The sun was shining and the drinks were chilled - a perfect Sunday session.

During the afternoon I met some amazing women, and at one point I sat next to a girl called Kirsty, she had short blond rocker girl hair, and had a really nice aura about her. At the time I was craving a change, something different than the 9-5 boredom I was tolerating everyday. Kirsty told me she was a marriage celebrant and loved her job. I was a little taken aback - I’d never actually met a marriage celebrant socially before and especially one that looked as awesome as her. I had so many questions that ignited a passion within me I hadn’t felt for a really long time.

I told her how much I loved love, romance and absolutely adored learning about everybody’s love story. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my days, being surrounded by love every day, what a wonderful job. She simply said “well, why don’t you?”. At that point a guy bumped into the back of my chair and my love-heart shaped sunnies fell from the top of my head and landed in place on my nose. She laughed and said “you really have to become a wedding celebrant”. I was gobsmacked, I’d never even thought about it, a job where you lived love all the time, go to weddings, kick off the party - what a perfect life!

The world famous Cape Byron Lighthouse, built at the turn of the 19th century to protect ships passing along our magnificent coastline.

The world famous Cape Byron Lighthouse, built at the turn of the 19th century to protect ships passing along our magnificent coastline.

Now me being me, I got really excited about the whole concept and immediately started looking into it. I learned that the Byron Bay region was a mecca for weddings. With well over 30 wedding venues, incorporating hundreds of vendors and suppliers from florists to caterers, photo booths, live music, DJs, beauty therapists, photographers, and kombis for hire. Not bad for a little laid back hippy surf town conceived on marijuana.

It was January when I finally signed up for the course with Australian Celebrations. I’m a risky chick but luckily my partner in life isn’t, I call him Captain Careful, he often pulls me back to ensure I think things through properly - we’re a perfect match.

The course wasn’t easy and it took me a while to get through the assessments. Mainly because I was starstruck by a network marketing company during that time too (a decision that slipped through Captain Careful - whoops! Thanks for that little test Mama Universe), but once I found momentum of becoming a marriage celebrant there was no stopping me.

I designed this myself with pen and paper, and then had an amazing designer bring it to life.

I designed this myself with pen and paper, and then had an amazing designer bring it to life.

Over the course of the last 2 years, I’ve bounced around numerous names for my business starting with Byron Bay Rainbow Celebrant - which I did buy the URL and business name for. I was convinced this was it until my friend of 30 years told me bluntly “it just isn’t you Vic!”. Then it was, Over The Rainbow Ceremonies, Cherished Ceremonies, The Party Celebrant. But then I settled on Love for Life Ceremonies, and Love for Life Celebrant. The meaning behind the brand is simple - Love and Life represent an encompassing message - you can’t have one without the other: you need love to give life, and life to give love. They are, and always have been, connected and will remain so until the end of time. My mate of 30 years says, “that’s perfectly you, Vic”. Bingo!

So, I’m now Licenced to Wed, I literally have the power vested in me to officiate weddings. I’m so incredibly excited about this next chapter in my life and can’t wait to meet all my wonderful couples, to hear all about your ‘how we met’ story, and kick off your happily ever after. One thing guaranteed with me is a stress-free-fun-packed kickstart to your celebration of love.

Let’s do this!

Victoria Armstrong