I’m speaking at the Wedding Business CEO Summit

Registration is officially open for the Wedding Business CEO Summit!

This summit is hosted by, and created by my friend Heidi, to help wedding business owners go from overwhelmed & overworked to streamlined & more profitable than ever.

I’m speaking along with 24 other incredible speakers with topics ranging from finances, pricing, integration, going full-time and everything in between. I’m talking about creating a meaningful and fun customer journey!

The summit kicks off on Australia Day and it’s going to be 5 action-packed days that you won’t want to miss!

Click through my short link to learn more and get your free ticket!

the difference between a wedding and an elopement and why that’s important

Call me biased, but I’m really proud of what Britt has created in The Elopement Collective. Not just because she’s my wife or because I’m her celebrant for her elopements.

I’m proud of what she creates because it has heart, soul, and purpose. Tune in below for a hot take on elopements.

2020’s really been the year for eloping, and I’ve watched on as everyone in the wedding industry has a go. It’s been interesting seeing what people have made, and how couples have gotten married.

Here is the thing. An elopement is purely and only about two people getting married. It’s not a small wedding, it’s not a micro wedding, it’s not a pop up wedding. Elopements aren’t a photo shoot with a ceremony at the start, they aren’t a styled shoot with some vows, they aren’t about catering, styling, furniture, photos, film, florals, dresses, or venues. An elopement can have witnesses, but it’s not about them, it’s not about entertaining them, feeding them, occupying them, or hosting them.

An elopement is 100% and only about two people transitioning into marriage. If someone sees it, that’s cream. If it happens somewhere lovey, that looks pretty, what a bonus. If we get a photo or two, and a film, we’re in luck.

A wedding is about your guests, family and friends. An elopement is about the two of you.

I’ll selfishly and proudly say that because The Elopement Collective was born out of a strong belief in the power of marriage and ceremony, we make the best elopements.

I’m proud of you Britt, you’re my rockstar.

I’m forecasting that within 12 months the remaining non-greys will be turned to the grey-side as we embark upon what will be our busiest and most taxing year ever. 2021 sees Britt and I with a newborn, a toddler, new 2021 weddings and elopements, and also most of 2020’s couples.

My friend Geoff at Motion Art Cinema said we should take before and after photos to see how 2021 ages us.

Bring it on 2021!

Whatever your wedding photographer is charging you, Luna will beat their packages by 10%.

Wedding has to start after her midday nap and she’ll need a never ending supply of Smarties.

What do I actually do?

I lead my whole life in preparation to be your celebrant. Living the joy in my own marriage, leading my family, enjoying my friendships, travelling, living, drinking, sleeping, and eating, preparing for this succinct and breathtaking moment in your wedding. We’ll have meetings, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, coffees and beers. We email, talk, text, and DM, over months and years.

You walk down this aisle, everyone cheers, and then the crowd hushes.

You’re standing here, holding hands, and everyone waits for me to start talking.

What do I say? How do I say it? What vibe do I leave? How long do I speak for? Will it be too long or too short? Do I say and pronounce your name correctly? Will my PA speaker system actually work? How will everyone feel? Will I do anything awkward or weird? Do you trust me? What kind of marriage are we talking about?

It all comes down to that moment where I bring the microphone to my mouth and starting dropping syllables.

Someone watching me create a ceremony recently said that I just “ad-libbed” the ceremony because I didn’t read from a script. It’s so much more than that. I have to stand there confident about what I’m going to say after asking myself all those questions I just mentioned, and do it with a calm and happy demeanour, without burying my face and voice in a script.

I arrive an hour or more early, and I wait while you’re late, then stay around after to help with group photos or to help your Nanna to the reception.

I live an entire life preparing for these 18-minute-long moments we call a marriage ceremony. And it’s amazing, I’m so grateful I get to be that guy. Thank you for inviting me in.

The 2019 marriage statistics have been released and there’s been a bit of a drop ...

The latest Australian marriage statistics have been released, strap in for some nerdiness! Thanks to my Celebrant Institute colleague, Sarah for her help deciphering these numbers.

Saturday October 19, 2019 - that was the most popular day to be married in Australia last year. In the most popular season, whilst March was the most popular month, and all marriages were down 4.5% from 2018 to 2019.

The big change was that marriages by civil celebrants continue to increase, with 80.3% of all marriage ceremonies in 2019 created by a civil celebrant.

And the early data from the ABS shows an almost 32% drop in marriages for the first half of this year.

When comparing counts of marriages between April and June with averages for the same period over the past five years (2015-2019), in 2020 marriages were down 62%.

Quick side note, queer marriages were thought to have boomed in 2018 and settled down in number in 2019, but they’ve stayed about the same, from 5.5% in 2018 to 4.9% in 2019.

This is Olly and Emily and me in Port Macquarie on the 19th of October 2019, photographed by Mitch Pohl and you really ought to see their li’l motion picture by Bottle Brush Films

Someone asked me recently what my personal brand strategy was.

I just see go to places, see cool things, make photos of them, and post the photos online where they get 2-3 likes.

I’m not very good at being strategically cool.

Scrolling through our wedding photos and remembered a time when people had pocket computers with physical keyboards …

“How many fingers am I holding up?” Before every ceremony I conduct a quick and easy eyesight with your guests. It’s all part of the #marriedbyjosh service.

Me at Alex and Laura’s wedding in Adelaide, photographed by Mike Hemus.

As a wedding celebrant, this is my 2020 email template:

Hi! We start the email with factual text that sucks because COVID is ruining more wedding plans. But then conclude with a sentence ending with an exclamation mark & a smiley face so we still seem like nice people! :)

”A crisis doesn’t have to be a negative event. A wedding is a crisis–one ceremony, one day, over and done. All eyes, all attention, all on this moment. That’s why we do it–even though the chronic condition of the marriage itself is always more important.”

Seth Godin, on a useful crisis

On the off chance that there are people that can’t make it to your wedding, I stream your wedding with epic video and audio quality, so everyone feels like they’re right there … even though they’re at home.

Video streaming is included for free for everyone that books me!

It’s really good that one of our local Brisbane wedding venues can host your little footy final this afternoon, Melbourne.

We’re glad to help any time you need.

Lots of love,

Josh, Queensland.

Anyone else struggling getting their head in a good and peaceful place at the moment?

Luke Fletcher just sent me this pic of Luna from this time last year when we were in New York together for an elopement with The Elopement Collective.

My brain is in a constant state of change, one minute thinking about how nice it is to be at home and to pick Luna up from kindy, next minute I’m thinking about the 44 of our couples who have booked us but don’t have a new date yet and the 180 movements our couples have made to their wedding and elopement plans around the globe, then my mind wanders to the administrative nightmare that is my computer and my inbox and how I should probably accidentally drop the MacBook into a pond to save me cleaning up the files on the desktop, and before long my mind wanders to the reality of our 2020 and where we were supposed to be have been right now, and how a little virus has changed all that. From there it’s not long before I start thinking about the government policies around it all, and what that means for the state of our society and how our futures will all be dramatically different.

I feel such an emotional burden for our couples, for the people contacting me about new wedding plans, and so many of my friends that are battling the same burdens.

Like my own personal antenna in my mind is tuning into everything going on everywhere, so much noise, chaos, and pure humanity. It’s beautiful, and strange, and chaotic, and weird.

It’s a weird 2020, and I feel like it’s going to be a weird 2021, I’m not sure my head will ever be in a peaceful place again.

Shout out to Rob Bell for his podcast about our antennas. It was a weird embrace to acknowledge where my head is at today.

It’s a strange time to be a guy who stands in the middle of your marriage ceremony and breathes your marriage to life.

The most friction in my life this year is my longing desire to see the sun finally set on 2020, whilst also acknowledging my deep desire to be present today, to be aware of what I am learning as running a wedding business becomes ever harder, how I am developing as I attend court mediations on the phone or have hard conversations with people, what weaknesses are being exposed when it all becomes too much, and which relationships really matter when you decide who to call or text about what’s going on, through this pandemic.

Not that the actual illness has affected me, I’m healthy apart from bloody hay fever, but in protecting ourselves and our community from the virus, we’ve lost so much else.

It’s a weird situation. Every day I see people commenting about Covid policies, and I can’t help but feel that if we stopped and took a deep breath that we might draw closer together as a community through this instead of forming deeper divisions between us depending on which politician you think is better.