Now loading.
Please wait.

Blog

A Driftwood Wedding – Taylah and Chris

There’s a few wedding venues I get really excited about working at……when an email comes and the venue details say ‘Driftwood Shed‘ I’ll admit, I get a little giddy at the prospect that I get to work at this venue...

Caity and Ryan’s HOTTEST WEDDING EVA

Look, I know the title of this blog may be a little dramatic, but let me put this into context! Caity and Ryan got married in the beautiful seaside town of Gerringong on November 2nd, known to locals as Gezza (not important, but a cool fact to know if holidaying...

Tiara and Scott – Bewong Wedding

I’ve been involved in some stunts in my time on breakfast radio, but giving away a FULL wedding package wasn’t one I had ever thought about, but once approached by Lee from CreativLee Events, I couldn’t wait to jump in and marry a lucky couple. A...

Funeral Blues: See Ya Flanno

You know exactly what a funeral will be like when they giveaway a coaster and not an order of service. That’s exactly what happened today for Shaune Flanagan, a great man and a big hearted bloke. His saying was always ‘Keepin it Simple’ we...

She’s Apples…Casey + Callum

Bloody hell I’m lucky! If it wasn’t for the wonders of technology and Skype calls, multiple FaceTime calls, I’d never have had the chance to met and marry Casey and Callum. What a couple! These guys are just champions and I love em to bits. Casey has...

Funeral Discovery – The Catholic Funeral

Again, I want to stress, I’m a celebrant and in no way am trying to be an ‘expert’, I’m simply intrigued by the customs and traditions in funerals and certainly within religions and that’s why I’m also embarking on discovering more...

Funeral Discovery – What makes a funeral

Let me get one thing straight, I’m not the expert on funerals, there are certainly more qualified people than I am to speak on the subject of funerals, but having been a funeral celebrant for some years now, it always amazes me about the customs and traditions...

#Funeral Blues – What’s Prearranging

#Funeral Blues – What’s Pre arranging? So what IS pre-arranging? As a funeral celebrant, I get it, I truly understand the difficulty is planning a funeral for someone you love, whether that be husband, wife, brother, sister or horribly...

Coping with death

You know I hear it mentioned a lot AFTER I’ve performed a service and even prior to a funeral service that I’ll perform for a family…’I’m struggling to cope’ That’s OK, struggling to cope when someone you love is gone is a...

#StraneysVirtualCoffee – CreativLee Events

G’day again, It’s Thursday, “Coffee Time”, this week exploring yet another great wedding supplier for the Shoalhaven and beyond – CreativLee Weddings and Events and Lee Simeon has brought along her vintage Caravan Bar Sweetie Petitie....

#StraneysVirtualCoffee – TJ Productions

This week I head back to the wedding industry and one of the busiest fellas I know in Trevor Long owner of TJ Productions. They provide DJ’s, MC’s and all forms of production for your big day. I discover a bit more about what makes TJ Productions tic! How...

#WEDnesdaySuperTips – Photographers

YAYYYYYY #Congratulations You’re getting married, we noticed! You smashed us all, everyone you know on Facey, Insta, we get the “picture”, now YOU need to get the pictures….literally! WOW! These are all really bad dad jokes, my kids will be...

Straney’s Virtual Coffee – The Cranky Cook

First thing every Thursday, I’m discovering businesses in the Shoalhaven and finding out more about people and their general business success, kinda getting some love floating around. I believe in supporting great businesses and getting to chat with business...

Wednesday Super Tip – Brides Stress Less

So todays #WednesdaySuperTip is a simple one, it’s about the anxiety that is falsely created around weddings. Brides – Don’t Stress, how will you enjoy the lead up process and the day itself if you’re freakin out about everything?? The Budget...

Straneys Virtual Coffee – Superior Hire Cars

I’ve always believed in giving back in some way, maybe it stems from my upbringing with parents always giving…not just to me but constantly helping others. So, I decided to sit down with people for a quick drink and not only in the industries that I work...

The REAL funeral celebration

Everyday I’m asked the question and it’s a simple one, ‘Can we truly celebrate their life please?’ The response is even easier….’of course we can’, but many people are unsure of how to truly celebrate someone’s life!...

The Love of Mr and Mrs X

So much goes into your wedding day right? Finding that awesome venue, location is everything! Finding a great menu, keeping the guests happy…check! Finding a great planner – if you need one! Grabbing ME and making sure the wedding is SWEEEEEET!...

That little glimmer of light

Nearly everyone has been in some way, shape or form been effected by Cancer. It’s awful, it’s devastating, it’s tragic…end of story! Cancer is Tragic and we all hate it…I’m a funeral celebrant and I do many funerals a week and lots...

Guide to the 2017 Winter Wine Festival

I’m no wine snob, wine expert, or even think I know a good wine….one thing I do know is how to have an awesome time and every year since it started The Shoalhaven Winter Wine Festival has continued to grow and I’ve always had a blast with friends,...

Two Wrongs Make A White

Casting my mind back to the 23rd September 2016 makes me laugh, it was the day that Dean White married his beautiful Ela. These guys are the most chilled, relaxed people ever, a great couple, full of positivity, laughs and smiles…an absolute joy to have met and...

The Larrikin Everybody Loved

Saying goodbye to someone is hard enough, but when that someone is just 18, it’s even harder and worse still, he truly was ‘The Larrikin Everybody Loved’. This larrikin is a young man with the world ahead of him, dreams of following his brother in...

Guide to Charity Day 2017

This Saturday 7th January marks the 30th year of The Shoalhaven Heads Hotel Fishing Club’s Charity Day and over the last 30 years, the fishing club have raised over $370,000 and in 2016 the cause raised $23,000 Remember it’s for Charity and this year the...

What Nuclear Disaster

It happens every single year and usually at Christmas time. THE FRANTIC PANIC! People go mad at the shops don’t they? We carry on as if someone has said ‘They’ve pressed the GO button the nuclear codes’…people buy shit they never need or...

How much is your wedding worth

I hear it all the time, prices of venues and couples stressing about what it will cost per head to have guests ‘wined and dined’ at their expense. It seems all that is changing in 2016, I mean if you can charge your friends for not being there after...

Fathers Day Memorial Service

So on Sunday, I officiated at the annual Fathers Day Memorial Service for families that have lost any male/father figure in their family over the past twelve months. It was an incredible honour to be asked to do this by Olsens Funerals and hosted by Woronora Memorial...

The Great love of Don and Erin

You get to meet a lot of people being a celebrant…and I mean A LOT! Some come into your life purely to get married and drift out of your life again after some time, others will becomes friends and I will see them often and get to be a part of their lives in an...

Six of the most FILTHY things

Let’s be honest, you’ve all seen something that annoys you and you think is just down right filthy. I was driving a bit during the fortnight to and from home to Sydney and gee wizz, ya see a bit on that trip! So, I thought what are the MOST filthy things...

Remember that time ‘I Got Loose’

It happens all the time at weddings, it’s a party atmosphere right? But there’s always those few that just love the open bar a little too much! The ones that get way too loose for a respectful wedding ceremony. So here’s a few tips for those people...

Have the coffee snobs moved?

It’s long been held that Berry have been the cool, hip and trendy place to head for coffee, what with their eleven Cafes like – The Burrows, Berry Sourdough or even The Emporium Food Co. but it seems there’s a change in the aroma in the air! Nowra...

Kids and Funerals – Yes or No

Possibly one of the most pleasing parts of being a celebrant is doing funerals on a daily basis. People often say ‘you do funerals, that must be terrible?’ Actually, it’s quite the opposite! It’s fulfilling with instant gratification from...

Welcome…The Ganoushi’s

When i first got an email from Paul Sullivan back in August of 2015, I knew there was something different about this bloke…..clinical, efficient and to the point, Mr Straight Shooter. Paul was probably the ‘first’ of MANY grooms to do the talking, I...

The 10 Gems of The Shoalhaven Wedding Industry

If you’re anything like me and my family, our heater has been going gangbusters for the last few weeks now…the jumpers and trackies, they just don’t cut it! That being said, the great news is – the colder it gets now, the closer we are to your...

What’s a Funeral all about?

One of the things that I really enjoy about being a funeral celebrant is “the story”. The Story that families are willing and truly grateful to be able to tell. When I talk to friends about being a celebrant and they say ‘oh weddings are fun’,...

Let’s hear it for the boys

In my short time as a male celebrant in what is generally a female dominated occupation, I want to give the boys a real chest beating ‘thumbs up’. You see it’s the generalisation of weddings that, there are ‘rules’ to weddings; When to...

Two little sweethearts – Jess and Kieron

Often a wedding request will come by way of a recommendation from someone…and that’s always nice, they say nice things about you, refer you to friends and say, he’s a good guy… that’s what they say about ‘other’ celebrants,...

Shhhh Why can’t we talk about the S word!

The S Word! The one we can’t talk about! Not Salesman, not Sadness, not Sacrifice….the word it seems that we still can’t come to grips with talking about is Suicide! Why though? I’m extremely proud of my very small involvement in SSPAN...

Slide it On – The Marriage of Kel and Daniel

I’ve said before that as a celebrant you remember things very differently about the wedding day than everyone else. The smell in the air, the excitable look of the groom, the first glance between bride and groom, the tear of a loving mother! I remember them all,...

New Years Shindig for Trotsy and KP

Couples are keen to bring in the new year with a BANG! That’s exactly what Dave and Kristen did, they brought in 2016 with a huge bang! It’s taken me some time to write this blog, because often you get clients that really make you think! Think about who...

Wedding Traffic

It’s one of those funny things, a bride puts on her invitation…..’our wedding will start at 3pm’. These days people actually turn up right on 3! What’s with that people? They’ve given you the honour of being at their wedding and you...

Farewell Frank

Every now and then when I meet a family, I feel truly blessed to have met them in one of the most horrible times of their lives. Last week, I met the Scicluna family, sitting with Natalie after the loss of her husband Frank was a sad, yet it was a wonderful...

The King gets his Queen.

Excitement is one of the biggest keys to your wedding day, most brides call or text me suggesting they can’t sleep just one to five days out from their wedding, mainly due to excitement…and nerves…and anxiety…but sometimes, just plain insomnia!...

Much love for Jezza and Karena

It’s quite an honour to marry a couple, but when it’s for a friend, you just know it’s ‘gunna be great fun’. So, when I heard from an old mate of mine Jeremy Sutton, I knew I’d have a good time. Jezza is a builder, a bloody good one, but he’s chilled…so chilled...

Catch ya on the flip side Marcus

It’s so sad to lose a loved one, but when we lose them in tragic circumstances so young it is even more heart breaking. Marcus was just that, young, seemingly happy and just 19. As a young man finding himself and struggling with his own inner demons, life become...

Goodbye Mammy

There’s nothing quite like a funeral. Nowadays, families are increasingly after ‘a celebration’ rather than the old somber mood of a funeral, they encourage laughter, clapping and all the joy of the way their loved ones lived. They wish to highlight...

HG! We beat you, my wife wins!

About 9 months ago, I started writing a blog about HG to raise a little awareness about what HG is… Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a complication of pregnancy characterized by intractable nausea, vomiting, and dehydration and is estimated to affect 0.5–2.0% of...

Beauty and The Bald Bloke

I’ve known David Simister for years, he’s a great guy – started Men4Life group, is an amazing Welfare Officer and just an all round bloody good bloke. David is the bloke who appeared in the local Yellow Pages – on the front cover for all the...

The REAL Bachelor

Yeah, Yeah, I know there’s a TV show using the same name. I met a lady today who really was a special person. I arranged a funeral for a fella – name withheld – today who was 77 years old, the thing that struck me was he was 77 and...

The isolation of death.

I recently met with two great young people, A and K, one 28, the other just 21. Both wonderful young people, good jobs, well spoken and living in a nice area of Sydney – everything going for them as brother and sister. I met with them for about 90 minutes and I...

You want me to do WHAT?!

So wedding season 2015/16 is certainly upon us and like so many other excited peeps, you’re probably attending a wedding this weekend! I think I just used the word ‘peeps’, I’m so ashamed at my attempt at cool. It is the season for excitement,...

STOP Already with the Crazy Names!

Addison, Finnegan…..they’re the two names our children have been given. Sure, we thought they were pretty cool – well, so we thought! Addison – Originally a last name derived from the name Adam, meaning ‘son of Adam’, it has become...

The Superhero that will make you cry

I remember being single, it was awesome! You could work and then play, you had good times with mates and really didn’t think much about ‘the bigger picture’. I had those times and remember them fondly…..now I’m a father, I still have good...

The Unmarry-able gets Married

OK OK OK, I know, it’s the old radio brekkie jock coming out in me, but this is a bit of a big deal. I don’t normally post stuff about celebrity and crap like that, but this time it’s different, the gal they said was always going to be a bridesmaid...

The Surprise Wedding of Mr and Mrs White

3pm Saturday 8 August 2015 – Kiama, New South Wales 18 degrees. What a day, the scene is set! Guests were invited to a Housewarming for Stephen and Jo, a fair mob turned up too, about 60 people to see their wonderful home on the picturesque seaside town of Kiama...

What is ‘The perfect age to Marry’?

You’re young, you’re nervous and you wanna get married. Cool! Congrats on making the biggest step EVER, apart from kids, buying a new home, juggling a busy household, maybe running your own business, planning holidays away…..but yeah, it’s a...

She woke up…in the COFFIN!

It’s been a fear for a lot of people, declared dead on the operating table only to wake up in a box…your coffin! Can this happen? Yes it can! I guess the answer really is in 2015…NO! It shouldn’t! I guess that’s why they invented...

Saving sex with science

Loads of people say it ‘thank God for the ABC’, this time it’s Local radio ABC Illawarra 97.3FM. I’ve just read this online article and I’m sure loads of people will get excited – pardon the pun! It seems UOW – produced condom...

The Do’s and Don’ts for Summer Weddings

Soooooo, you’ve been invited to a wedding at the end of this year, early 2016. Well done, they must like you! Do you wear that slutty little white number? Should you blog the entire wedding on Facey for those that didn’t get the invite? Should I seek a...

Themed Weddings! What about Themed Funerals

It’s been a massive trend for years to do a themed wedding, but recently in London, a deceased persons family went….one….step….further! Lorna Johnson was just 56 and died of lung cancer , so her family threw her a ‘Halloween...

Don’t Be Afraid of The Fire

It’s interesting that in the year 2015, so many of us are caught up in our own little worlds. We become more narcissistic as every day goes bye, thinking of ourselves and how to better ourselves and get ahead of other people . Many, not all, but many think...

No Pressure Lads for that Perfect Rock

It’s a beautiful sunny spring afternoon, all your friends have gathered to see you ‘finally’ get married to him. The weather is perfect, your friends are all saying the right things, nobody has argued about sitting this person with that...

Keeping your wedding guests happy!

I often say to people, I love my job! Having the opportunity to marry great couples that really do WANT to spend the rest of their lives together. That’s what LOVE is all about, and why I favour Same Sex Marriage, everyone should have that opportunity to marry...

Is THAT really a funeral song?

As an civil celebrant doing naming days, weddings and funerals, I deal with a lot of requests for music. Having spent close to twenty years in commercial radio, I reckon I’ve heard some great songs and some weeeeeell, not so great songs! At a funeral service,...

That perfect wedding location

So being a celebrant on the South Coast of NSW I’m a little bias when it comes to amazing wedding photo locations. You see the South Coast has the best of both worlds, beach AND bush. I know, you want it all!! Get you the sparkle of the glistening sands of Hyams...

The Best Farewell

On Friday I was lucky enough to have the privilege of conducting a funeral service for a lovely family. Every family is different when it comes to what they’d like in a funeral service for their loved one, but one thing always stays the same. They want the...

Which Grammy star will sing at your wedding?

Lots of brides and grooms mull over hours and hours of music, it doesn’t need to be that way, simply hire a Grammy Award winner! Wait! What? That’s exactly what “lovebirds” Sunitha and Sridhar Reddy had John Legend do, yep! JOHN LEGEND sang at...

We’ve already had her funeral.

As a civil celebrant, I get to meet some amazing people.  Often, it’s a couple awaiting the biggest step of their lives! Committing the rest of their lives to one another.  OR It’s a family telling me about an amazing individual that has past on....

HG……you suck, the next chapter.

If you’ve read HG….you suck Part II, you’re up to date.  Life hasn’t changed much. 10 and a half weeks, whatever, the fuck that means? To me it’s just another 189 days of the following shit!!  Sunday April 12 7:25 What a week,...

HG, you suck……Part II

OK! Now where was I with this bloody HG thing! Oh yeah, that’s right……..Tanya still has her head in a bucket. Just check in? Welcome, here’s a quick recap. Late February 2015 – Pregnant YAY! Expecting is awesome! YAY! March 16 –...

The Easter Grind – Kids will be kids

Kids will be kids they say…..but at 3am? Finnegan, cmon little man! Cute as a button and a sharp wit with the cutest dimple. How could ya not be happy with this kid?   But seriously you little ratbag! 3AM, it’s early man! I get that you wee ya pants...

HG you suck!

So my wife Tanya and I have the amazing news that we are pregnant again! YAY US! However it comes with a catch, HG, what’s HG you ask? Here’s what the doctor says “Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a complication of...