Eco Funerals

Eco Funerals

More and more people have the words Eco Funerals and Eco Burials on their lips.  We have heard of eco cemeteries in England. We have heard of the Natural Death Centre in Byron Bay who champion eco funerals.  And we ask are green funeral solutions available on the Sunshine Coast?  The short answer is yes green funerals are available, eco options are around and natural burials will soon be an option.

Engaging your eco values in a funeral for your loved ones is a continuation of life values.

It begins with a holistic approach to the end of life, and continues into the way we say farewell.  Many options are available to families, to make rituals for the end of life more deeply personal and down to earth, and …. green.

Imagine wrapping your dear one in an eco shroud, or an eco coffin.  Imagine using a family car or horse and cart for transport.  Imagine farewelling your loved one in your own garden, on a beach, in the forest.

Imagine a burial ground near forest, that is allowed to return to nature once the graves are buried.  Imagine visiting the site of your dear one, in a leafy forest, and sitting on real ground amongst bird song and breeze.  A place full of natural life and vigour.

What is possible?

When someone dies, it’s natural to be unsure whether you feel shocked, sad, angry, depressed, relieved, guilty, fearful, or all of these at once.  Coping with these feelings while preparing a farewell can be challenging, especially when you think there is a way it all “has to be done”.  You can do things differently. Do things your family way and truly reflect the life you are commemorating.  Sometimes doing something different and taking charge can help.  Sometimes being able to act according to your or their values helps.
Conventional funeral practices work well for many people but may not provide the scope to be as deeply and personally involved as you may need to be. Fortunately, there are other options available with end of life care.  Most people simply aren’t aware that ceremonies, budgets, caring for the dead or even ways of transportation and burial are not set in stone.

Then when it comes to planning a ritual of farewell, you can be involved at every step of the way. AND you can engage your values.

a celebrant for natural funerals and green funerals

A Green Funeral?

Did you know that:

  • A dying wish can be a chance to leave the legacy of a cleaner environment.
  • Green funerals actually do exist.
  • There are a range of eco options for caskets and coffins
  • In Australia we all have the right to be buried in a shroud, a cardboard coffin, a simple wood box or a kaftan if that’s what we want.
  • You can take charge of many of the aspects of a funeral, and not have to pay a business to do everything for you.
  • How do I find out more about Eco Funeral options?

Contact Kari to find out more

Or

Check out what others say about my celebrant services

How to Choose a Celebrant

How to Choose a Celebrant

How do you choose a marriage celebrant. And, what qualities would you look for in a five star celebrant?

Here is a guide to help you choose.

1 or a 5 Diamond Celebrant?

There are no published standards of performance criteria for Celebrants.

However …Dally Messenger, one of Australia’s first celebrants and author of several valuable celebrant texts, wrote the following as a guideline when considering your choice of celebrant:

The No diamond celebrant.

He/she only has a legal view of marriage. The ceremony is not very important. Ceremonies are very short (2-3 minutes). Talks about the law and the forms he has to fill in. — very cheap. Not worth anything really. You’d have to be desperate to book one of these, but, unfortunately, there are plenty of these around.

The One diamond celebrant.

A little bit more humane. Has been known to smile. Does not give clients a real choice (pretends to). Dismisses rehearsals as unnecessary – “waste of your time and mine”. May have one small verse of poetry in a ceremony. Really loves people who say they want something “short and informal” or who start off by saying – “How much do you charge for a wedding?” Many of these are good salesmen and have enough personality to convince you that being one of six weddings in a weekend is fine. When he /she arrives late and dashes out in a mad hurry once the ceremony is over, you become sorry that you hired a cheapie, but then it is too late. There is only one bite at this cherry.

The Two Diamond Celebrant.

Some of my best friends are two diamond celebrants and in certain suburbs they are very popular. They give people a choice (limited). They give a rehearsal of sorts in their lounge room in a quick sort of way. Often they are full of jokes and reassuring banter. They are reasonably interested in the job, but think in terms of numbers i.e how many marriages can they get through in a weekend. If you are not very interested in your wedding ceremony, they are probably good value.

The Three Diamond Celebrant.

They basically have the same mentality as the Two Diamond but provide a better service because they have a PA System. This means that guests hear all the words of the ceremony – a big plus even if the readers are too fast. Music is given some attention but these celebrants do not consider the music to be their responsibility. But you are given a fair choice of ceremony, and a reasonable amount of attention. This celebrant does two or three each weekend.

The Four Diamond Celebrant.

You are now among the professionals. This person has gained qualifications. They take responsibility for all aspects of the ceremony. You have a full choice of ceremony. You get resources and suggestions. There is a productive dialogue about all aspects of your ceremony. They have the attitude that they don’t know it all, and learn something new every ceremony. The onsite rehearsal (unhurried) is a must. Attention is given to readers and slowing them down and making sure they practise. Liaises with musicians and photographers. Musicians are organised close to the wedding party. If CD music is the go, they make sure that a decent CD player with good sound quality is organised. The personal story and the introductions to the readings are well written and personal. You get the full eleven point standard wedding done well. The celebrant is well equipped with good quality PA system. He/ she is impeccably and appropriately dressed. Would never dream of doing more than two weddings in a weekend – but usually one. She makes you feel (and can make you feel) that yours is the most important wedding ever.

The Five Diamond Celebrant.

This is getting hard now. This is about being everything the 4 Diamond status requires. But it is also about being an incurable romantic and loving the job. It is about extra attention to that level of detail, which makes all the difference. It is about the X factor, natural flair, ceremonial skills, sense of humour, sense of dramatic pause. It is about personality AND skill. It’s about beauty in creative writing for speaking, and yes, it is about education – a deep and wide knowledge of what to suggest to you about poetry, music, choreography, ritual and symbolism. Fee? This celebrant is priceless.

A Final note

PS. Some celebrants are good at friendly personality, some are good at marketing, the one you are after may have these qualities – but the one you want should be good at ceremony. A bit like choosing a doctor – the good bedside manner or the one who is expert at diagnosis and operating. It is good if you can find both.

Dally Messenger

International College of Celebrancy

Contact Kari for a 5 diamond celebrant service with care and attention to details, but more importantly for nurturing you towards the best possible ceremony for you.

Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the end of love

A Wedding dance like no other

This wedding put a smile on every face, and finished with spontaneous dancing, a special kind of wedding dance in the temple!  It was exhilarating and heartwarming, deep and loving,……….and so much fun!

Congratulations to Tracy and Oliver on your perfect wedding held at Awakening Centre in Maleny, on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. And a huge thank you to Marion Jonkers Photography for the images.

Wedding in the temple

It began outside the temple.  Tracy floated down the wooden steps in a sheer and softly falling wedding dress, with her Mum and her Dad, to the sounds of American Indian drumming.

 

Andy and Laurel, the owners of the Awakening Centre, greeted her at the foot of the stairs and the three passed through drummed music, a musical cleansing, on the journey to her groom, Oliver.  He waited patiently with all the guests on the sandstone paving…with an enormous grin on his face.

Bride and Groom had a moment to greet each other.  Celebrant, Kari welcomed the bride’s family reminiscent of village weddings in times gone by.  All the guests were invited to shed their shoes and enter the bright airy temple in the round with huge glass windows onto the rainforest backdrop.

Tracy and Oliver waited outside to enjoy a tiny moment’s space before their ceremony.  Gently the sounds of the crystal singing bowls lifted up, swam around the space and wafted out to call the bride and groom into the temple space.  They floated in on the strains of pure sound.

And thus a wedding ceremony began, in absolute pure happiness.  We did not imagine the wedding dance to come.

 

wedding in the temple

Handfasting vows

Tracy and Oliver chose a handfasting to make their promises to each other. In a modern interpretation of a traditional ritual, we crafted promises into a series of questions.  It was so easy for them to simply respond “I will”.  At the finalé, they added their special messages to each other.  Oliver began, “You are my puzzle, my world, my best friend,”  referring to the pieces of a jigsaw, just like his interlocking puzzle wedding ring.  Tracy, in turn told him, ” You are my life partner, my soul mate, my lover, my best friend. ”

A song for the signing

As the papers were signed, Andy Copeman sang one of the most beautiful love songs I know, written by Ewan MacColl for his future wife Peggy Seeger.  Andy interspersed the verses with a Sufi poem.  It was simply divine

Dance me to the end of love

The first time I ever saw your face

The first time ever I saw your face

I thought the sun rose in your eyes

And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave

To the dark and the endless skies

 

…….And the first time ever I lay with you

I felt your heart so close to mine

And I knew our joy would fill the earth

And last till the end of time my love

And a spontaneous wedding dance

At the completion of the ceremony and signing, Andy chimed in with “Lay lay, lay lay…” and Leonard Cohen’s endlessly evocative song, Dance Me to the End of Love.

The guests, on a true high spontaneously joined hands and danced in a circle…to the end of love!

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
…….
Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We’re both of us beneath our love, we’re both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love
Spontaneous dancing after a wedding ceremony

In their words

This is what Tracy and Oliver said:

“We cannot recommend Kari highly enough. Her beautiful spirit and energy and complete professionalism, together with her attention to detail, made our wedding day perfect. We had a small wedding, and we wanted a ceremony that spoke to who we are, far from traditional. We were not very specific in our first meeting with Kari, we came up with very conceptual ideas and Kari turned them into reality, and made them more beautiful than we could have imagined. Kari is able to read and understand a couple extremely well and is a truly beautiful person, and we cannot thank her enough for her part in making our day stress free and truly magical.” Oliver & Tracy

And then there was drinks on the veranda accompanied by the most original platters of food decorations I have ever seen.  And of course these were made with love by Tracy’s food loving parents.  Yes lots of love was there that day.

So Dance me to the end of love, I say.  Just dance me.

Once again, thank you to Marion Jonkers Photography for the images. And to Andy and Laurel at Awakening Centre.

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A French wedding on the beach

A French wedding on the beach

French Wedding in Australia

Aurélie and John are adventurers, so of course they chose a wedding ceremony on a wild Australian beach, with French attitude.  It was the ultimate French Australian wedding on the beach!!

Married on the beach

The clouds and rain in the morning worried us a little.  However the bold Australian sun came out, the clouds cleared away, and the sky became a brilliant blue for their wedding on the beach.
It was not your usual French wedding for sure.  It was not the standard Australian beach wedding either.  It was a combination of who Aurelie and John are, and the adventure they embrace in marriage.

Their ceremony was designed just for them, with fun French traditions, relaxed Australian vibe, and became quite an experience for the French family.  Weddings in France are quite different.

french wedding on the beach, combining Australian relaxed and French attitude

Touches of French

Aurélie is French and John is Australian, so they embraced a bilingual wedding ceremony.  They chose a sublime combination of French poetry for their French wedding ceremony and bare foot in the sand on Mudjimba Beach, on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland for that authentic Australian touch.

During their ceremony, Aurélie and John embraced a French celebratory tradition.  Imagine the crossroads of fragrant roses and bubbles of champagne.  For details on that tradition read this story on Rose de Reims and Champagne

Aurélies’ family and indeed two of her bridesmaids had come over from France only weeks before the beach wedding. To help them feel very welcome and quite at home, the entire ceremony was conducted in both English and in French.  This is something I can do for you too.  Ceremonies n French or tapping into some French cultural traditions is a specialty for my celebrant services.

Check out the story in these awesome photos by Luke Middlemiss.

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And here we leave them, enjoying their reception in the Tipis at Twin Waters Resort.

Thanks and credits to:

Luke Middlemiss for the generous use of his awesome photographs.  Luke is a champion photographer, capturing all the great moments.

Heavenly Blooms for the truly heavenly flowers.  I loved the flower crowns, which worked so well in the beach breeze.

Blush weddings and Events for the styling. Elisha and her team were troopers carrying the decor down the beach, and creating a magical wedding ceremonial place.

The Stylist Collective helped create  Aurelie and the girls’ blushingly beautiful  hair and make-up.

Twin Waters for the beautiful tipis at reception held on the sand by the pond

With this ring I thee wed

With this ring I thee wed

“With this ring I thee wed…..”

a wedding ring is considered to be a circle with no end, a symbol of the wedding vows.

Many a wedding is not complete without an exchange of wedding rings.

“With this ring I thee wed.”

Do we recall this phrase from old movies?  Many a wedding is not complete without an exchange of wedding rings.  A ring is not technically part of the legal aspect of a wedding ceremony. However, in my celebrant experience 98% of couples choose to enact this traditional ritual, and place a ring on each other’s fingers.  Although, I have had one Bridegroom who chose an earring in his left ear rather than a wedding band on his left hand!  And one couple made their rings from woven fibres.

BUT none that I know, have elected for a ring on the nose like the one chosen from the Piggy-wig by The Owl and the Pussycat.  You can look up that famous poem.

wedding ring with clusters of diamondsdiamond ring by John Bexon
 

a circle with no end…

A ring, as we know is a circle with no end, symbolic of a completeness, or a union with no end, a marriage to last forever; the unbroken circle of love between a husband and wife.   Worn as a reminder of wedding vows made by one to the other, the wedding band holds great importance to most wedded couples.

It can be said at a wedding, “A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe. In these rings it is the symbol of unity, in which your lives are now joined in one unbroken circle.  Wherever you go, you will always return to one another and to your togetherness.”

The ring may or may not have enormous resale value but becomes absolutely precious to the wearer, an enduring and valuable symbol of promises made on their wedding day.  It takes but a moment to say I love you, it takes a second to place a ring on the finger, but marriage is the promise of forever, and that is why most couples choose a precious metal – gold or platinum, reflective of the preciousness of their rings in their married lives.

Unusual wedding ring with triangle shape and pearl feature

ring by Bold in Gold

I know of many women of my mother’s generation who have never taken their rings off. Their husband first placed them on their third finger of the left hand at the marriage altar.

Some modern women may take their ring off now and again whilst doing jobs that may scratch of damage their wedding ring.  But always it is a ring that one would wear constantly.  Other jewellery may come and go.  Some is  worn for special occasions. However, the wedding ring endures as a timeless treasure.

So given it is something to cherish for many many years, most couples will take their time to choose the perfect ring.  Some even have them custom made.

very unusual wedding ring featuring topaz stone in a gold basket

design by Loretta Bexon

finding the perfect wedding ring…

I’d like to introduce some ideas of where to go to find your perfect wedding ring.

a local jeweller…

Shop local, it is the thing to do. Embrace the idea of the personal touch.  Here on the Sunshine Coast we have several fine jewellers who make bespoke products to fulfil your design wishes.

Take in your inherited jewellery and have it remodelled for your own wedding.  You could have Great Grandmas rings remodelled in a modern style.  Something old, something new? Perhaps you’d prefer order a set of wedding rings to a custom design.  Bring your local craftsperson an idea or a picture and they can make it a reality for you.  Watch them work your piece for you and bask in the warmth of something made locally AND professionally.

close up of jewellers hands filing a wedding ring

His and hers matching pair of wedding rings, hers with a blue stone

Funky modern wedding ring with pearl feature

classic engagement ring with large diamond

Unusual wedding ring with clusters of blue stones

rings by Bexon Jewellers

finding the perfect wedding ring…

A meaningful alternative to mass production, is to have your wedding rings made for you by a local craftsman. These artisans are practising a craft centuries old.  They dedicate their lives to a particular craft, and the skills required to keep their craft up to date.  In an age where we are often disconnected to how our daily things are made, having your wedding ring designed for you especially is a memorable gift, a lasting reminder of your wedding day.  You can even visit your rings and watch their progress.

There are so many wedding venues in and around Montville on the Hinterland Range above the Sunshine Coast.  If this area is your dream wedding location, you may like to visit Bold In Gold in Montville, while you’re planning your wedding day.

Bold in Gold offer you the chance to have your wedding rings individually designed and handcrafted by a team of highly skilled designer-goldsmiths. Their designers ensure your finished  wedding rings represent your individuality in beautifully finished rings in the materials of your choice.

If  you have no firm  idea on your wedding rings, don’t be too concerned,  you can first view many different designs to get the feel for your likes and dislikes and then use the ideas this generates to design your very own unique wedding rings, even unusual, yet always exquisitely hand-crafted.  

The work of Bold in Gold is often different to classic styles, featuring unusual shapes and settings, or a mix of precious metals.  Get a matching pair made. 

Modern engagement ring with long rectangular green stone

matched pair of wedding rings, engagement with large stone, wedding band with row of small diamonds

His and hers wedding rings with two tone gold and diamond features

Unusual wedding band with two tone gold and captured diamond

modern wedding ring with captured pearl and inset diamonds

rings by Bold in Gold

Awwwwhhh it makes want to get married again, just to rediscover the joy of choosing my wedding ring.

Check out some local suppliers that I have worked with.

But wait there’s more. 

If you want to do something really unusual, you can take it a step further and even make your own Wedding Rings!  There are a few artisans who run make your own wedding ring workshops.  These come and go, so search in your locality for a specialist jeweller. Now that would be a truly romantic  experience, spending a day in a goldsmiths workshop making your rings together.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

Now what to say?

Here’s 8 things to say when exchanging wedding rings