Laura from Next Chapter Ceremonies has a modern approach to ceremonies where there are no barriers about the content provided it tells your story and showcases you love for each other, and of course is fun!
Having listened to many people over the years and what kind of ceremonies people wanted, Laura Batchelor decided that it was time to launch a new, exciting and business that allows people to celebrate all of life’s events in a fresh new way thus Next Chapter Ceremonies was born.
This is based on personal experience and the desire to help people celebrate their big day in the way that reflects what is important to them.
A little bit about Laura:
Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Laura Batchelor and I’m the founding director of Next Chapter Ceremonies. My name is Laura, I am 30 something!! I live on the amazing Sunshine Coast with my fiancé and our two babies.
I was born in the UK and moved to Aussie about 6 years ago after coming here to my sister’s wedding and realizing the UK kind of sucks and its cold! It was the best decision I ever made, I love where I live now.
During my working career I have done everything from waitressing in a café to singing on a cruise ship! All have been so different and challenging but always included people! I guess you could say I am a people person!
Why, and when did you start your Business?
My passion for weddings began when I was lucky enough to work as an event/wedding planner pretty much straight from school and have attended many many weddings since then! All of them different and unique but there was one thing that kept being similar – the ceremony! Some of them where amazing, some of them slightly dull!!
It’s funny, I used to watch the family and friends awkwardly looking around, looking at their watches, looking for the bar!!!! They all seemed a little bored! So I thought, maybe there is another way to do this!! Maybe it can be fun, interactive with guests, tailored to the couple and an exciting way to kick off the big day rather than the “Have to do” part of the day!
So I became a celebrant and it turns out guess what…………………….it doesn’t have to be long, boring and repetitive, you can have a laugh and have fun and be romantic and sentimental all at the same time, in fact you can make it exactly how you want!
How do couples benefit from your service?
My business is about changing the way people like you and I celebrate and commemorate landmarks in our lives. Customers have told me they want the freedom to celebrate in their own way and I’m embracing that change, providing choice, making a difference.
I keep in regular contact with my couples and they have the final say on everything to do with their wedding day, I don’t take over and I am not pushy. I am there to help and advise them as it can sometimes get a little overwhelming planning a wedding!
What do you love most about your work?
Ooooooh that’s a hard question. It’s one I am asked a lot and if I am totally honest there isn’t one specific thing I like I love it all. I love the planning, the writing of the ceremony. I love sitting and chatting my couples and finding out bits about them and how they met and their love story.
I suppose if I have to choose I would say I love the day the most when I see all their hard work and preparation come together, their family and friends enjoying everything they have planned for their big day. I love that moment when the couples see’s each other for the first time, it’s so special and you can see the love for each other, I’m very privileged to witness that moment and then to be able to say the for the first time ever I can announce you as Husband and Wife……now kiss your bride!!! It’s an awesome and rewarding experience and honor that never gets old!!
What will couples get for their money? How do you work?
I am here to make your life easy. I will ensure that every i is dotted and every t is crossed. I’m always easily contactable via phone, email, text or Facebook.
The first stage is to meet up and discuss ideas for the ceremony, whatever that is and go through all the legalities and how it works.
There’s no set format, I can come to you, or vice-versa. Then you meet me and obviously want to book then and there to not lose out on my awesomeness!!!!
Now comes the best bit. You can sit down and relax while I do the work! All I ask if you both to answer a little questionnaire in secret from each of you so I can get some great wording and ideas to include in the ceremony that makes it totally unique to you both! I then create the first draft of their ceremony.
I will then send it, and you have the chance to review it or add in new ideas, I can give advice for content such as poetry or readings, candle lighting, hand fasting etc. if wanted.
We then finalize the ceremony when all the appropriate information has been collated.
There is no legal requirement for a wedding rehearsal that is completely up to you, but we generally have a meeting in the week prior to finalise details, sign a final legal declaration and discuss any updates, changes etc.
Then it’s the big day. You just relax and get yourselves dolled up and I shall take care of the legalities and presenting your beautiful ceremony for your family and friends to witness!
How creative can couples be with their wedding?
I encourage my couples to be creative when it comes to their wedding day and ceremony. You can be as creative and as innovative as you like, the possibilities really are endless. For example, I have a couple who are pinky promising their vows to each other (as this is something they always do) or when we ask the I do’s I often ask everyone who is in attendance the ‘I do’ question to answer with a cheer, so that everyone is part of the celebration and they all get to interact rather than just watch and be bored!
If you could offer one piece of advice to a couple, what would it be?
Be yourselves! Stay true to what you want and who you both are. You will get lots of advice and tips from everyone about what to do, what to say, what to wear etc. etc. however IT’S YOUR DAY!!!! Do what you want to do!
What’s your greatest achievement?
Before setting up this business I was a very successful events manager, it was a well-paid, a senior job, which I loved, but decided to take the brave step to start out on my own. So starting my own business is definitely my greatest achievement and to top it off winning so many awards in my second year of business just is the cherry on the icing!
What do you see as the future of your Business?
Being the best celebrant in the WORLD!!! Ha-ha!
Seriously though I just want to make lots of couples happy! I want them to remember their ceremony as a fun, true and loving reflection of them. So when they look at the pictures they get a wonderful sense of joy remembering their special day, that I helped make a little bit more special!