Hearing couple’s love stories gives Surry Hills marriage celebrant Melissa Soncini “goosebumps.” She explains more to Lachlan Colquhoun.

After being a marriage celebrant for just on ten years, Melissa Soncini recently conducted her first same sex marriage.

“When I had to say that marriage is between two people I couldn’t continue speaking because there was such a huge roar in the room,” she says.

“It was such a party and it was very special to be a part of it. It was a Tiki/Hawaiian/Love Beat theme, and the mood was so happy and electric.”

Soncini says the couple she married on this day have a similar story to many couples who are now contacting her.

“So many of them say they have been with their partner for 15 years, or 30 years, and now the law has caught up them and they want to get married,” she says.

“I am just so pleased that we can now celebrate everybody’s love.”

Soncini originally had a career in finance, but decided to leave that behind after she had small children and had a “light bulb moment.”

“Part of my finance job was in training and I came to love public speaking,” she says.

“And then my husband is in the wedding industry, so now I get to combine two things that I really love. It’s the best thing I have done in my life and I’ve never looked back.”

No two weddings are the same, she says. There is “no template.”

“Its not like I turn up and speak for an hour then grab a glass of champagne and go,” says Soncini.

“I meet with couples at least three times so I can understand their relationship and their story.

“There is a lot of time in writing the ceremony, and we always have a dress rehearsal, usually on site, to calm the nerves.”

Many of these initial meetings take place in local Surry Hills cafes or over a glass of wine at the “Cloffice” (her name for the Clock Hotel because its an extension of her office) or at the Dolphin further down Crown Street.

“I just love what I do,” she says.

“One of the best feelings is looking out and seeing former couples I have married at other people’s weddings.

“And then I love bumping into people and meeting their babies, its just so exciting to be a part of their story.”