Whats your name and the business you run? And tell us a bit more about your part in it.
Sommer Saunder Celebrancy. I am a registered marriage celebrant and sole trader. I also now own and operate the Sunshine Coast Wedding Expo and am setting up an elopement business at a stunning venue in the hinterland as we speak. Yah! Never a dull moment haha! I am obsessed with this industry and all of my vendor friends that make it AMAZING!
How long have you been in business?
I became registered on 4.07.2018 and married my first couple 4 weeks later who were my two female best friends, who had a commitment ceremony in Hawaii 5 years earlier and wished to legalise it here. It was so relaxing, beautiful and perfect.
Do you have a story about how it all started?
I think many of us stumble through life, happy with what we are doing for a while to then change careers over and over, feeling a little less than fulfilled along the way. This was me. I began at McDonalds – a place I credit my incredible ability to remember names, to accommodation services in many luxury 5 start Hotels. It’s here I credit my luxury customer service skillset and the ability to always go that extra mile. Management in retail assisted with my efficiency and working for Virgin as a Customer Service Manager had me all over managing teams, being a gun at admin, and helping people with stress or how to deal with high-pressure situations. I have always loved creative writing and going to Switzerland and back to tell a story, so becoming a celebrant was really a lightbulb moment for me in 2017. I just thought why not and then acted really fast in making it happen. From there, I have not stopped hustling, and even with a global pandemic, have had a bigger year with each passing year, marrying happy couples and helping them make amazing memories along the way. I probably can’t go at this speed forever, as this year was a lot… but I can and will do it again in 2022 as I have some pretty big goals for 2023/24 to slow a bit and focus on (elopement biz).
What is your perfect day on the Sunshine Coast?
Taking the family, our labradoodle, and sausage dog to the river with our SUP, some snacks, and the footy
Best place to eat on the Sunshine Coast? Raw & Rice
Favourite Treat? Clinkers Haha
Dream holiday destination? Thailand
Best wedding day advice for couples?
Take moments! Before you know it, your wedding day will be yesterday and you don’t want any regrets on not connecting and taking little snippets of quiet moments for just the two of you. I always tell my couples to sneak away and go for a walk just before the first dance with a glass of bubbles for about 10 minutes.
How do you relax after a wedding?
A glass of red and snuggles on my couch with my boys.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve been? Midtown NYC Eeeeeep
What random skill would you like to learn? How to play the Guitar!
Why did you decide to do the work you are doing now?
I worked on Makepeace Island and saw many weddings come and the celebrants do their thing. They were all so different! I thought I could do that, then this one day Kath Tilly officiated and she was beautiful enough to give me time after I picked her brain about the role!
Funny wedding day story?
Oh gosh, I have so many! Which one to pick? As a celebrant (or anyone in the wedding industry for that matter) we know there is no room for error. So now, I have a plan A, B, C & D if anything goes wrong. However, before this… way before this, I officiated a ceremony back in my hometown of Port Macquarie at Sails Resort. We had to move the ceremony around the back of the resort due to strong winds, but the wind was still so strong. 10 minutes before the guests were due to arrive, I opened my marriage register to quickly check the paperwork. In that next second, the marriage certificate blew right out of the folder (it was bull dog clipped in wtf…) over an embankment, down about 5 meters, and 8 rocks landing into a muddy creek. It had actually landed across two rocks so wasn’t in the water just yet. I asked the male wedding coordinator to help me and he was like ’nup, no way mate’ so… I took off my heels, unzipped my jump-suit to loosen my arms in order to climb down the embankment. It was seriously a life or death situation! But, I retrieved it, to then be a muddy sweaty mess of course. Much later, when the bride opened the register to see her certificate with mud streaks across it, I just had to laugh and tell her “it’s actually the most amazing story” and rolled with it. The couple thought it was hilarious. I MC’d for them too, so made a lot of fun of myself through the night for a few laughs. Safe to say, I now carry a ’spare blank certificate’ with me!
Do you have a client review you could share? I have many many on my Website, Facebook and Google! My couples are very good to me x
GET IN TOUCH:
Facebook: Sommer Saunder Celebrancy
Contact number 0424195158