The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Lots of love to bring to role

- BY SARAH MATTHEWS

Aromantic at heart, Donna Winfield first thought about becoming a marriage celebrant about two decades ago.

But life was busy and she was preoccupie­d forging a career in the media industry, combining marketing roles with time behind the microphone, emceeing events such as fashion parades, sporting occasions and galas. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. While for many, the pandemic has brought nothing but difficulti­es, others are appreciati­ng the gift of time it has afforded them.

“COVID allowed me to sit back and assess what I am passionate about,” Ms Winfield said.

“I love people and I love being able to bring people together to share special times with all their favourite people. “That’s what really drives me. “I also thoroughly enjoy public speaking and with my background in media and marketing, I think it’s a really good combinatio­n for a marriage celebrant.

“I’d really love to contribute to couples’ weddings and help create a really special day for them.

“Every couple deserves a little magic and I think I’m the kind of person who can give that to them.”

Ms Winfield has completed her Certificat­e IV in Celebrancy and is now an authorised marriage celebrant.

“I had to go through the process of being accepted by the Attorney-general and complete my registrati­on,” she said.

“There is also ongoing personal developmen­t every year to ensure you remain up to speed with anything new and to keep abreast of any trends.”

Ms Winfield, from Horsham and living between the Wimmera capital and Ballarat, will officiate weddings throughout the Wimmera, Grampians and Ballarat district. “I’m also happy to travel,” she said. “I really enjoy speaking with couples planning their special day and I’m looking forward to helping guide couples through everything from the legal paperwork to crafting their vows. I’m also happy to help with ceremony styling and other ideas to ensure everything is smooth sailing and couples enjoy every minute of their day.”

Ms Winfield officiated her first wedding in June, at Halls Gap.

“I married Josh and Amy Iredell, who decided to elope,” she said.

“It was a wonderful day and I loved being a part of it.”

Change in focus

Ms Winfield said many couples planning a wedding amid a pandemic were struggling with the uncertaint­y of what restrictio­ns – if any – would affect their celebratio­ns.

“I lot of couples are choosing more intimate weddings compared with what we would have considered to be your ‘typical wedding’ in the past,” she said.

“I have a fair few weddings coming up and a lot of them are quite intimate.

“Some couples are just keen to get married and have a party with all their family and friends later on, when there aren’t so many restrictio­ns happening.

“Elopements and small weddings can still be epic and exciting.

“I love secrets and I’m happy to keep them until it’s time to tell the rest of the world.”

Along with weddings, Ms Winfield offers a range of services including baby naming ceremonies, commitment ceremonies and vow renewals.

“I hope to offer funerals as well,” she said.

“It is a difficult and tragic or challengin­g time for families who are grieving, but I believe my caring, friendly, profession­al nature means I will be able to celebrate a deceased person’s life in a respectful and dignified manner.”

Ms Winfield is also available for emcee services, an add-on to her celebrancy role.

“I’ve had a lot of experience hosting events and when it comes to weddings, a lot of people get stuck on who to ask to be their emcee,” she said.

“I can make sure couples get what they want and help their wedding to flow, then once the dance floor is full, sneak away without any fuss.

“At the end of the day, I love love and I’m so excited to actually be doing something I’ve dreamed of for the past 18 years.”

 ??  ?? ROMANTIC AT HEART: Donna Winfield has turned a dream into reality, becoming an authorised marriage celebrant. She is pictured officiatin­g the elopement of Horsham couple Josh and Amy Iredell at Halls Gap. Picture: GRETA WOOD CREATIVE
ROMANTIC AT HEART: Donna Winfield has turned a dream into reality, becoming an authorised marriage celebrant. She is pictured officiatin­g the elopement of Horsham couple Josh and Amy Iredell at Halls Gap. Picture: GRETA WOOD CREATIVE

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