To Civil Marriage Celebrants from the Stepfamily Association

Dear Stepfamily Colleagues


Stepfamily Tip Sheets: less pain – more gain


Stepfamily Association of Victoria Inc (SAVI) has developed a set of 10 Tip Sheets to explain how stepfamilies work differently from nuclear families and sole parent families, and fill a gap in resources that has left many new stepfamilies isolated and struggling for survival.


Single sets are availablefree from SAVI for you and your clients – call 03 9481 1500 . They are also for free download from our website  You may access multiple hard copies for a small charge.  I attach samples and order form for your information.


Stepfamilies are often misunderstood as a deficient form of traditional ‘mum, dad and the kids’ families. In fact they are a very different kind of family. One or both partners come as a ‘package deal’, and virtual strangers are expected to live harmoniously under the one roof - often with children migrating between households.


As Civil Celebrants, you often have the privilege of working with these newly emerging families at a critical stage of their evolution. Everyone involved has to develop a clear and realistic understanding of their new roles and how they all fit together. The Tip Sheets give them all a road map for this new journey.


Many stepfamilies phone us down the track when they 'hit the wall'. Many are not aware how different and challenging this journey may be. They often say " I wish I had known about SAVI/stepfamily realities when we started out." 


Would you please advise clients and colleagues of this resource. We trust you will find them valuable, and would welcome your feedback on this or any issue concerning strengthening stepfamilies.


Development of the Tip Sheets has been made possible by the generosity of Paul Newman’s Own, Sunshine and Bokhara Foundations.


Yours sincerely


Steve Martin


Steve Martin

Executive Officer

Stepfamily Association of Victoria

Stepfamily Helpline 03 9481 1500 Fax 03 9481 1700 -

On page 59 of Ceremonies and Celebrations is a suggestion for including stepchildren and step-parents in the wedding ceremony. There are many ways this can be done.

Books are available from the Celebrants Centre 03 9419 0460