Friday, June 22, 2018

Guest Spotlight and Giveaway with author Susan Murphy, Aloha Love

Guest Post
 from the lovely Susan Murphy
I set out to write a fun romantic travel piece for this post, but in my usual style, I’ve managed to drag it into a true story about a wedding that I did on board a cruise ship. If you’re not familiar with me or my writing, I write romantic comedy mostly. My first two book were a series called Confetti Confidential which were based around the hilarious antics of a marriage celebrant who gets herself into all sorts of strife both professionally and personally (not like me at all!).
In my real life I’m a marriage and funeral celebrant, so as you can imagine that provides me with a constant flow of sometimes cringe-worthy, sometimes sweet and romantic storylines. And for funerals, well that’s a whole other book!

So, when I got the call through a friend of a friend about doing a wedding on board a P&O Cruise ship in Brisbane, Australia, I was shaking in my heels with excitement (I’m actually hopeless in heels, but in my flats doesn’t sound nearly as good). I literally pulled out every move on this couple to make sure they booked me for the gig and it worked, in no time I was planning my trip. Sadly, I wasn’t going to set sail with them, but I would get to board and spend the day on the ship to look around and relax, before conducting the ceremony and disembarking. I’d done weddings all over Australia, and even a ceremony in Thailand, but this was to be my first cruise ship.

Plans were made and permissions sought and soon enough we set off for sunny Brisbane (My husband decided to tag along and make a weekend of the opportunity to have a short break).


On the day of the ceremony, the wharf was packed with hundreds of passengers eagerly waiting to go through customs and board the ship. I wondered if I’d ever get on until one of the crew came charging through the crowd waving at me, yelling “come with me, I’ll take you straight through to the priority boarding entrance.” (I would have felt quite privileged if not for the death stares I was getting from the people, impatiently waiting in the exceptionally long and pushy line, as I breezed on through).

I was taken to the magnificent lounge area and provided coffee and cake while I waited for the couple and their family to get ready, all the while, my mouth gaping at how gorgeous it was. For half an hour or so I sat, thinking about the bride in her cabin, nervous and excited and knowing that her groom was just down the hall also getting ready. I also thought about my insane jealousy and how I was wondering if my husband would go for a renewal of vows ceremony so we could do the same. (Unlikely)

Susan Murphy Gallina's photo.

One of the most romantic moments of a wedding ceremony is not the vows or the first kiss or the moment they say I Do. The most emotive and important moment, I believe, is that moment that the bride come into view and the couple lock eyes. From my position, standing right beside the groom, facing his bride, I see her come into view and I hear him breathe in and hold it there. That’s when I always turn and 99% of the time, there’s a tear (sometimes there’s even full crying. I always carry tissues just in case).

Back to the ship! It was time to go down to the Captains private meeting room, where the ceremony was to take place and lay out the documents for the wedding. Guests were beginning to arrive and the groom entered looking nervous, as they usually do.

The view from the very front room of the ship was breathtaking as the groom took his position, and the bride entered, along with their two small boys. Of course, he pulled in that breath and wiped at the tears. (I was loving it at this point!)

Photo         Susan Murphy Gallina's photo.

When the ceremony was finished, I had some time to say congratulations and share a toast before I was escorted off the ship. From the dock I watched it set sail for a seven day cruise, wishing I’d thought to hide in a cupboard.

From what I heard the reception was amazing and the cruise even more so. Sometimes I pinch myself at how lucky I am to get to do this for a job!

We spent the next three days in Brisbane, enjoying the warm weather and all the interesting things the city had to offer as well as catching up with family.

With any luck, I’ll be invited to do another one someday!

Stories like this are what set me on the path to writing both the Confetti Confidential series and Aloha Love. All three of my books are filled with wedding stories, but not all go as smoothly as this one did! I have a few of those horror stories too, but I’ll save that for another post!

Thanks so much for having me


 Thank you so much for joining us Susan, that is an amazing story!  What a great job!  Lucky you!
Make sure to come back and visit soon with many more amazing stories!
Susan   Murphy
A little about Susan
Susan Murphy is a Civil Marriage Celebrant based in South Australia. With over 8 years experience, she’s had the pleasure and blessing of conducting ceremonies all over the country including weddings, baby naming’s, commitment ceremonies, funerals and anything else that has been requested by a client. The stranger the better!
With a passion for words and a determination to one day (even if it was from the nursing home) become a writer, she made a fateful decision to attend a Masterclass with the amazing Fiona McIntosh, and from there 'Confetti Confidential' was born.
"Writing about weddings came naturally to me. I'd been a part of that world for so long and seen everything there was to see – good and bad. But there had to be humour. Coming from a large Irish family there was no way I could write without the laughs. I drove my family nuts giggling away to myself while writing this book.
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