SPECIAL SERVICES: Civil celebrant Gwen Simpson has married more than 1000 couples.
SPECIAL SERVICES: Civil celebrant Gwen Simpson has married more than 1000 couples. Allan Reinikka Rokacelebra

Gwen’s 1000-marriage milestone

GWEN Simpson has heard the words "I do" more than 1000 times.

She's attended 100 weddings in a year, 20 weddings in a month, six weddings in one day and is living proof that you can in fact do four weddings and a funeral, plus a naming ceremony.

So it wasn't surprising to Gwen, a local civil marriage celebrant, when she reached her 1000th wedding last month.

Gwen, 76, has been a celebrant in Rockhampton for the past 20 years after being appointed in 1995.

"It all started because my niece didn't want to get married at the court house so she suggested that I become a marriage celebrant," she said.

"I was the chairperson of the Rockhampton Hospital at the time and knew I could do the weddings on the weekend so I went for it. Unfortunately the process took a while so I didn't get to marry my niece but I did marry my granddaughter a few years ago which was very special.

"I just love bringing two people together and those people putting their trust in me. I've seen more men cry at weddings than women."

Gwen realised it was her 1000th wedding last month when she filled out her tenth wedding logbook.

"Every time I conduct a wedding I have to record it down in these books," she said.

"I've got 10 books each with 100 entries in them. On each wedding page I write a nice little note about the couple to remind me of them; it's kind of like my photo album of weddings but without the photos.

"Although all weddings are different and each couple is different, I've found that there's one common thread at every wedding and that's the desire for love to last."

Gwen is still conducting wedding ceremonies around the region.

Her daughter has also become a marriage celebrant in the area, making them the only mother and daughter celebrants in Queensland.


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