Meet Hannah Porter of Alare Weddings. As a Wedding Planner and Marriage Celebrant, Hannah is an organiser, a stress-reliever and a crafter of ceremonies.
I believe love is the best feeling ever, and I have always loved weddings
I've even got photos of me dressed up as a bride when I was a kid. I studied Marketing and Public Relations and did a lot of volunteer work in Event Management, which led me to start Alare in 2012. I am an organisation freak and combined with my love of weddings, wedding planning just seemed a natural fit. I've also got a bit of a theatre background and public speaking is totally my thing, so becoming a celebrant just seemed like the perfect addition.
There are two pivotal moments which brought me down this road
In February 2012 I married the wonderful Richard. (As well as being married to a great guy, the whole process didn't leave me hating weddings, which seemed like quite a bonus!). In July that same year, my Grandad passed away. Our whole extended family was together for his funeral and when we got to talking about jobs and careers I realised wasn't feeling satisfied with my role. Once I began talking about my dream to build a business as a wedding planner, everyone was really supportive, encouraging me to go for it; ten days later I had a registered company and the rest is history!
Learning lessons and building my business
I've learnt to stick to what I'm good at and do it well. There have been other elements of my business over the last 5 years (including a hire range) but I was spread too thin rather than concentrating on my expertise. I now focus on the two things I do best ... removing stress by organising on your behalf, and creating a ceremony that is perfect for you as a couple. I love it.
A great Celebrant is a Valuable Asset
A lot of people don't realise the value of a celebrant. It's not unusual for a couple to spend money on a venue, flowers, alcohol etc, but have trouble spending $500 - $700 on a celebrant. Without a good celebrant, you're just having a really expensive party. Not only does a celebrant make your big day legal, we bring experience and spend hours crafting a ceremony to suit you as a couple which sets the tone for your day. So invest in the right celebrant for the two of you.
Your Wedding Planner can be your Secret Weapon
A professional Wedding Planner is there to see to it everything comes together as you have planned on your wedding day. We are basically your Personal Assistant; to do all the things you don't want to do, to set up so you don't have to have your friends and family do it, and to make the day run so seamlessly you just relax and enjoy every moment.
I'm grateful to work with brilliant couples.
I've never had a bridezilla, and never had any major wedding disasters. A cake collapsed once and the bride was completely chill about it. I've done ceremonies in the pouring rain, and the couple were just stoked to be getting married. I feel very lucky to have met so many amazing people along the way, and so many who are just so truly in love and grateful for their relationship that nothing else matters. They're my favourite kind of couples.
Some unique touches I've seen woven into wedding days
One couple incorporated a version of The Unbreakable Vow from Harry Potter. It was similar to the European tradition of handfasting but totally different from the norm and very cool! I've had a dog bring up the wedding rings (and he did so brilliantly!). Lord of the Rings themed weddings at Hobbiton are pretty special and unique too!
An overarching theme or source of inspiration/motivation in your life
I genuinely want to make the whole process as stress-free as possible for couples. From the ceremony through to all the details, I want them to enjoy it and not stress out. And I really want their wedding to feel like them ... make it personal, quirky, traditional or relaxed. Whatever feels right for them is what I want to do.
Besides work, I'm a Mum
My two young boys, Regan (almost 3) and Hadley (17 months) keep me on my toes. I am of the belief that parenting is easier with wine, trashy romance novels and trashy TV (yes, I love The Bachelor & Love Island!).