Buddhist Marriages

Thank you for your enquiry and interest,

The most important thing to know about the marriages I perform is that they are registered as Buddhist Marriages and will be noted that way on all the documentation.

Couples must comfortable with this fact --- I am not a civil celebrant.

Beyond this, we need to have the paper work completed at least 1 month and 1 day before the marriage to comply with the law. It would be nice to have this all in place long before this time as it gets too stressful for all involved when things are rushed.

The most important things for me about the ceremony's I perform, is to try and make them meaningful and beautiful. My intention is that the memory of the ceremony will be this way for you. My hope is that it will leave a deep mark on your mind, to allow you to remember the pledges and commitments that you make. This is important, especially into the future when the memory may need to be recalled as a skillful means, to help, in the times when it may be needed.

To this end the form of the ceremony needs to be designed by you. I will certainly give you the benefit of the experience I have had with all types of ceremonies, but it remains true that you can have a big input. The Cascade above labelled "Readings" allows you to browse many different readings that you may find suitable to give your ceremony the theme you are looking for. There is also a cascade labelled "Designing Ceremony" that gives list of many different ceremonial things you can do to give your ceremony the form you would like. 

The responsibility for the pledges will be even more in your hands. The cascade above labelled "Pledges" allows you to view many examples of pledges from which you can cut & paste, or adjust to suit or indeed design in a totally new way. The only thing required is that there are words to the effect that the intention of the marriage is life-long. This is a legal requirement in Australia. My marriages can be done at a venue of your choice. Beaches, Rivers, Parks and Backyards are all standard.




The Buddhist Centre in Perth can be used and the Monks and Nuns, if they are available will participate. It is up to you to arrange this though. Weddings with the monks in attendance are usually centered around meal times and are in the main, held at the Buddhist Centre. This can be flexible though, as Ajahn Brahm has been with me in some pretty unusual places.

The weddings that I do with the Monks or Nuns are usually held in the morning before the meal time, because the couple usually take the opportunity after to offer the Dana.  This is not always the case however, and our Sangha are usually open to attend weddings at a place and time to the suit the couple's desire.

My role as celebrant, when the Sangha is in attendance focuses more on the legal aspects with any oratory I make deferring more to the monks. We work as a team with everyone working to make the ceremony great.

The responsibility for organizing the events along with making the ceremony flow in a meaningful way, still falls to me. As mentioned the celebrant also needs to have everything organised before the day. The documents and registers etc.


One last important thing to discuss is Marriage Preparation.

I have an accreditation with the Prepare/Enrich organisation to do this marriage preparation. When I first started to do this celebrancy work, I researched many proprietary courses, mostly offered by the different churches, and ended up with the Wesley Central Missions standard called "Prepare". It is an inventory worked out by a Californian Psychiatrist called David Olsen. I like it because it had a good "Family of Origin" component to it, which to some extent can mirror the Buddhist idea of karma. The family of origin component shows the conditioning that has come from each of the parties own families, especially in the formative years.

Couples can also see how they relate with things such as Communication, Conflict resolution, Personalities, Finances, Sex and Children, it also looks at Expectations, Role relationships, Leisure, and Spirituality.

This preparation is all about raising awareness of each parties views and opinions of what marriage should be and will highlight where there will be harmony and where there may be tension arising. As mentioned it also looks at the Families that both parties are drawn from and helps to identify areas that will bring strength's and areas that may require some awareness and work.

The marriage preparation is great fun to do and is strongly recommended. Most of my marriage couples do it. It also gives the added bonus that the process allows us all to get to know each other well and makes for an even more intimate and beautiful ceremony. Participation in the Prepare is not compulsory but we strongly recommend it. You can see a video about Prepare-Enrich here:  

I have traditionally provided this work as a service to the Buddhist Society, and have charged only for the marriage preparation, as it costs me a fee for each one I do. Over the years, the Government has introduced  various fees including compulsory PD and charges for materials. As a result, we now do need to make a charge for the marriages performed. Fees and Charges are set out in the appropriate drop down menu.

Dennis Sheppard

Official Celebrant (A2005)



02 Aug 2020 : Understanding Fungible Consciousness

(‘How it creates & How it lets go’) --- (‘How it begins & How it Ends’)Consciousness is a condition. We can know this because it can be objectified. We can make an object of it. We can get above it, below it, and see all ...

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02 Aug 2020 : Eternity

Is eternity a desirable state to try and cultivate? What does eternity mean? In this piece I would like to look at the way this question might resolve itself for a meditator on the Buddhist path. Buddhist practice is usually a gradual inclination toward ...

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01 Aug 2020 : Release

ReleaseThe naturalness of ‘Letting-Go’ Buddhist practitioners (like me) often lament the difficulty of letting go. How do we let go? Any serious meditator who practices to ‘experience’ what the Buddha was pointing to will ...

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Contact Dennis

To ask Dennis a question or comment on a blog, please use the contact form.



24 Mar 2018 : A New Poem --- Letting Go of Life

I have just finished writing a blog that hits the spot for me. It is called "The Hero's Journey". (See my blog spot above.) This poem was written concurrently and addresses my fears and grief in letting go of life.(Click Here)

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05 Jun 2017 : New Poem "Perceptions & the Switch"

This new poem has been gestating for some time, and following a recent discussion with our Monday night Meditation group at the Cambodian Buddhist Society, (CBSWA) the time had come for it to be written.I think this poem is an important poem for ...

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09 Oct 2016 : New Poetry with a theme

There is a new poem called Fearing the Moment which is now listed in the cascade above. It is poem highlighting the depth into truth that our minds can see along with the joy of practice, but is also pointing to the subtle fear ...

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06 May 2015 : Hypnosis and Past Life Workshop

"Hypnosis and Past Life Workshop" added under "Public Talks" drop down.

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10 Apr 2014 : You Tube Poetry

I have added a new section to the cascade area to highlight some of my poetry that I have read and performed on You Tube. Doing this has enabled me to speak directly about the poems context. The first two poems are new. I hope you like them.

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04 Dec 2013 : 2 New Poems. Death the theme.

Two poems added.Death and the Brightening MindMeditation on Death

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29 Nov 2013 : 3 NEW POEMS Stillness the theme

Three new poems addedThe Subtlest EnergyThe Right Side of StillnessThe Burden of Stillness

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