Meet Team Less – Julia Handford possibly the happiest celebrant in Melbourne

Meet Team Less – Julia Handford possibly the happiest celebrant in Melbourne
February 14, 2020 Sandra Henri


Welcome to a new series where we get to know our Team Less community members. This Valentines Day we get to know the effervescent Julia Handford of Julia’s Celebrant Agency, who is possibly Melbourne’s happiest wedding celebrant!


Hi Julia, your huge bright smile speaks 1000 words…you are exactly this bright and bubbly in real life! How would you bring this to your work?

Why thank you! If I’m being completely honest, I actually dont even realise how bubbly I am until I’m paired with someone with equal bubbliness! Haha

It definitely comes naturally to me and I love how I can just be myself at a wedding and share the joy and enthusiasm with my clients when they are experiencing such a special milestone in their lives.



What is it that you love about getting people hitched?

I really love finding out the quirks of each couple and seeing how their differences, strengths and weird similarities complement each other. I’ve always been fascinated in attraction and behaviour and getting to work with all sorts of couples lets me enjoy this in a very fun and light hearted way. I really dig finding out what people love about each other and also what their passions are outside in the real world. I think it’s so cool how there is a job for everyone and also how there is a perfect person for everyone.



What is the deeper meaning of a wedding ceremony for you?

Love this question!

For me, ceremony gets a bit lost in our modern ‘busy’ lives and I find real gratitude in being able to help couples celebrate their love and create a ceremony that is meaningful for them. I firmly believe we don’t celebrate the small things enough, nor do we take the time to use ceremony as a way of celebration! (Hence the rise in people just signing the papers and having a party!).

To me, giving people that opportunity to take a moment and see the beauty in bringing people together to tell stories and develop connections is really really special. Ceremony, love & celebration go beautifully hand in hand.


Image by Wedding Shots


What is your advice to couples looking for a celebrant?

Because there are a gazillion of us out there, save yourself the hours of research and meetings and just go with someone that feels right and who sends you the right vibe. They’ll handle all the important things and ensure you have a great time in the process.

How do you help couples overcome things such as stage fright, or pressure around writing the perfect vows?

Lots of little tricks but most importantly it’s letting the couple know that they actually don’t have to be infront of a lot of people nor do they have to write the perfect vows. ‘You do you!!’ 😊😊

(also I can secretly write you amazing vows and no one needs to know)


Image by To Have and To Hold Photography


You have an amazing new innovation…tell us about ‘living funerals’.

Ahhhh Living funerals. It is exactly as it sounds. Bringing people together to celebrate your life with you before you die. I’ve called this new little business ‘My Living Funeral‘ and my beautiful business partner Lauren is a talented photographer and looks after taking all the special family portraits and candid photos whilst I help facilitate the ceremony and get everyone involved to make it a really meaningful occasion, whatever this may look like for the client. The funeral industry is in need of a shake up and I am excited to show people that funerals can be colourful, personal, intimate, full of music, good food…the options are abundant!


Image by Lauren Murphy Photography 


What has been the nicest feedback you’ve received for your work?

You can’t go past a good old recommendation. Nothing beats a past couple speaking highly of me and telling all their friends and family. In one family I have helped marry 3 of the 6 siblings and countless friends. It’s such a beautiful compliment.


Image by Michael Briggs Photography


What’s been your most heartfelt wedding experience?

Is it cheeky to say my own? Haha. I had ALL the beautiful things happen at my own wedding ceremony (which calls for its own separate interview for sure!) However the best recent heartfelt experience was when I learnt about 20 sentences in Auslan (Australian sign language) for a particular ceremony and it was a surprise for the Bride’s mother who was deaf. I practised for months leading up to the wedding and the look of complete happiness on the mother’s face when I could see that she understood me made it all so worth it.


Image by Finder Seeker Photography


Whats your top advice for couples getting married?

Relax. Uninstall Pinterest from your phone and stop comparing your wedding to others you’ve been to before or ones you can’t afford. Do what’s right for you. Focus on the main things that are important to you and then forget about the rest. People aren’t going to remember your wedding bonbonnierie or if the invitations matched the place settings, they just want to have a great time. Enjoy it!

Julia of Julia’s Celebrant Agency.


Image by Kerryn Lee Photography.

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