Fields of Love

Fields of Love

Fields of love

Congratulations to newly weds, Anna and Jon, wed on a stunning day at the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens.  Their wedding was a true love story, simply full of love and care.  Anna and Jon chose to wed, almost exactly five years from their first date. Five years and one day to be precise!  The photos by Luke Going tell the tale of their wedding day.

Today’s story is about married names.  Anna and Jon came up with a new solution to the traditional bride’s change of name…. they considered how much love abounded in their family union; bucket loads, fields in fact… fields of love.

But allow me to first set the scene for a wedding….

a married couple walk down the grassy aisle under a shower of petals

The Wedding location

The Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens are one of the most delightful natural places for a wedding on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. It’s not quite a set of fields…. However, natural bush is all around, yet there are sculpted gardens for ceremony locations.  A glade of stone sculptures is divine for a wedding backdrop.  The grassy areas are perfect for a wedding picnic or for wedding photos.  During the wedding ceremony there is no traffic or humdrum noise, but simply the sounds of the bush surrounding you.  It is an exquisite retreat from life for a special occasion.  On a more practical level, there is plenty of car parking, amenities and access to a pavilion for wet weather options.

Focus on Love

A great deal of thought and love and attention to detail goes into every wedding day.  Anna and Jon focused on love, as the defining theme around which all the details were designed. It was a joy to witness their attention to the details of how each special guest would feel, and how their role in the day could be made perfect.  Every family member was considered, thought was given to each child or friend and what to do to make them feel comfortable with the wedding day and the combining of two people’s lives in marriage.  Extra special consideration was given to Jon’s daughter; how to make sure she felt comfortable with the marriage of her Dad to Anna.  Standing beside her Dad, she was proud to be the official “groomsmaid”.     Bless these two for their deep thought and care for others on their wedding day.

Weddings are often about more than two people; bringing two or more families together, a community of friends and a wider circle of acquaintances and colleagues.  The way these two negotiated the path towards their wedding day was a delight to behold.  For example, hanging in the trees, a string of bunting created from photos of loved ones who could not be there.  Consider the role of a daughter, the groomsmaid, who strolled with the gals, then stood by her Dad’s side.

Fields of love

It is a western tradition for a bride to celebrate her marriage, by taking a new name, the surname of her husband.  And the law gives modern brides a few options for how she can negotiate this tradition.  Ask me how.

In fact, it is a tradition of many cultures to celebrate many of life’s milestones with a new name, not just in marriage.

On their wedding day both Anna and Jon, chose to celebrate their union by both taking a new surname, in a kind of acknowledgement of equality and indeed in celebration of a new beginning together, and a new future to plan.

The name they chose?  Fields; fields of love, fields of natural beauty, fields of possibilities stretching out before them.  Congratulations Mr and Mrs Fields, you are a great example to us all.

As a marriage celebrant I can guide you through the minefield of name changes and give you the options… plus an extra something to make it even easier.  To follow in Anna and Jon’s footsteps, there is an easy way, if you organise for it early in the wedding planning.  Ask me how.

And they said:

Thank you Kari, for the most beautiful ceremony!  You were there for us every step of the way – providing guidance with a warmth, depth and spirituality that fit with us perfectly.  We could not have asked for more  …  Jon & Anna Fields xo

Thank you to photographer Luke Going for the story in pictures.  He manages to capture the details of the wedding story, in a natural non intrusive fashion.

Here is a glimpse:

Bride getting ready and pitting on her shoes

finger prints on a tree for a wedding memory

photos hanging on a string under the wedding tree

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bride-arrives

Bridal party arriving at the fields of love

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Kari conducts a wedding ceremonythe-couple-under-the-arch

Kari conducts the wedding ceremonya couple walk away under a shower of confetti<a
bride leading her bridesmaids down the aisle
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annajonin-the-tunnel

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first-dance

Yandina Station wedding

Yandina Station wedding

Bride and groom with their dear little son in arms

Married at Yandina Station

Congratulations Adele and Paul, married at Yandina Station between Yandina and Coolum.

Vintage Theme wedding

Using a vintage wedding theme, Adele decorated the homestead with a table of old cameras, old books tied with string, bottles of old fashioned sweets and a vintage typewriter for writing messages.

Historic Yandina Station

Yandina Station was perfect for their theme.  The old homestead still has the original hardwood weather boards, delightfully aged to silver.  The gardens reflect a time gone by, yet retain a relaxed and homely feel, with herbs and flowers.  Old worldy games on the grass were very welcoming, and the sunny day was perfect.

Kids at a wedding

Their son Mac was a star, carrying the rings on a string around his neck.

Their wedding ceremony

Adele and Paul’s wedding ceremony began: “Unions have been made in this area for millennia.  Today Adele and Paul join the natural scheme of things and wed in this sacred place between Mount Ninderry and Mount Coolum close to Maroochy River.  For 10’s of thousands of years these mountains have been revered and blessed, and honoured for their significance and power.  It is a healing place, a happy place.  In the shadow of these mountains people feel safe and warm and blessed.  To be able to see both Ninderry and Coolum from here makes this place very special.  No wonder Adele and Paul chose this historic property for their special day.  Yandina Station homestead, well over 100 yrs old, and now lovingly restored is the oldest continuously lived in and working farm in the region.  Many pages of history reside here.  And today we add to those pages with a love story.”

Photos by Andrea Sproxton

Valentine Love is in the air

Valentine Love is in the air

Valentine Love

Valentine Love is the focus of Valentine’s Day, and it is just around the corner. February 14th has become special for lovers.  Yet the risk is that red roses and hallmark cards are stealing the show.  When, in fact a day for love, could be just that… A Valentine Day for love, love and more love.  As John Lennon said, “Love is all you need.”  What’s more it is all we seek, all we want, all we strive for, and that is to love and to be loved.

Love is in the air

Love is really what we have come to appreciate most of all since Covid 19 engulfed our awareness and changed our plans.  But it does give us a pause in the traffic to refocus on love.  Love for self, for kids, for family, for animals, for trees, for land and culture, for the earth.

Valentine’s Day

A Day for Valentines gives us the extra special opportunity to feel and to give love for one’s significant other. That is, the love we feel deep inside every day, not just on one day, Valentine’s Day.  This day gives us pause to acknowledge something we carry inside on all days.  I am reminded of a quote from one of Rumi’s poems,

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
they’re in each other all along.” 

Rumi (13th Century Persian Poet)

A Valentine's Day heart for February 14th

A Valentine Marriage Proposal

Of course many couple’s turn to each other on this day and dare to say, will you marry me?  And that is a romantic gesture like no other, the question which precede’s a life promise.  And for that I am reminded of another more modern English author’s words, those of Neil Gaiman, who said, as part of a speech;

The world out there is complicated,
and there are beasts in the night, and delight and pain,
and the only thing that makes it okay, sometimes,
is to reach out a hand in the darkness and find another hand to squeeze,
and not to be alone.
It’s not the kisses, or never just the kisses: it’s what they mean.
Somebody’s got your back.
Somebody knows your worst self and somehow doesn’t want to rescue you
or send for the army to rescue them.
It’s not two broken halves becoming one.
It’s the light from a distant lighthouse bringing you both safely home
because home is wherever you are both together.
Because there are things you cannot know before you experience them.
Because no study can prepare you for the joys or the trials.
Because nobody else’s love, nobody else’s marriage, is like yours,
and it’s a road you can only learn by walking it,
a dance you cannot be taught,
a song that did not exist before you began, together, to sing.
And because in the darkness you will reach out a hand,
not knowing for certain if someone else is even there.
Your hands will meet, 
and then neither of you will ever need to be alone again.
That’s all I know about love.
Neil Gaiman

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day folks. May your day and your days be filled with love.
Call me after the proposal, and I promise I can help make your Wedding Day even more extraordinary, but oh so real and natural.  Grow a heart tree for your wedding; a love tree, a tree of love, a life of love.

A garden wedding

A garden wedding

A garden wedding

~ a modern marriage in a bamboo garden ~

Congratulations to Sarah and Flynn, and little Aiofe, and their private garden wedding on the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Born and raised here, Flynn decided to come home for his garden wedding.  Flynn and Sarah were married by the creek on the property next door to his childhood home.  There were gasps of delight as the Groom and his groomsman appeared from through the bamboo grove and waltzed into the grassy ceremony glade.  Swinging baskets with cheeky grins, they handed flowers around to all the guests, whilst the the strains of Mumford and Sons, singing Winter Winds wafted on the breeze.  The fun had clearly begun!

The Bamboo Grove

Through the green poles of bamboo we could glimpse a white dress, like an ethereal promise appearing between the dense bamboo.  The bride appeared slowly from the bamboo, with her Dad holding little Aiofe in his arms.  They were a trio of smiles.  The musical mood changed with her tune, La Valse de Amelie.  And the wedding ceremony had begun.  We were already in a great mood, relaxed in amongst nature, and quite secluded from the world at large.

And a baby naming too

Sarah and Flynn chose to have fun at their relaxed garden wedding, not too serious, yet with sincere promises.  The entire extended family was there, and their little girl  So they decided to go one step further, and name their little girl with a naming ceremony.

As the wedding ceremony wrapped up, a baby naming ceremony ensued.  Firstly, Aiofe was blessed by her great grandmother, secondly by her grandparents and lastly her parents.  We used water to trickle over her hands and arms, and a little on her face.  We knew water was a favourite.  And she just loved playing with the water!  Squeals of childish delight were a great way to complete a wedding ceremony.

Wedding reception

The reception was held under a stunning nomadic marquee, strung with fairy lights.  Guests partied to the live band and danced out on the grass.  It was a garden wedding with freedom and choice.  A garden of delight.  All the privacy of a private property and all the style of a marquee wedding.  But best of all it was a down to earth, family affair full of laughs, charm and lots of dancing into the night.

Photos by Bonnie Jenkins

married couple amongst the trees at a garden wedding 7
couple married at garden wedding 1
men can wear purple at a garden wedding 6
Groom waiting for the bride at a garden wedding 3
Setting up in a bamboo grove for a garden wedding 2
Celebrant Kari meeting with the bride and groom at
laughing with the bride and groom at garden wedding 5

Read about another wedding in another garden… at Halfmoon Hideaway

Wedding Garden Games

Wedding Garden Games

Garden games for after the Wedding ceremony

So the ceremony is complete, you are feeling radiant, on a cloud of joy.  How did it go so quickly?  Now the photographer wants to whisk you and the bridal party away for a photo shoot.

wedding-this-way

Meanwhile your guests are wandering, mingling and perhaps looking for a little something to do. As a celebrant I often get to see the post ceremony fun organised by a thoughtful couple, and have had the chance to take a few snaps in order to inspire you today.

So, you’ve made your guests comfortable with hats, shade, and other little delights to amuse.

wedding-comfort

Consider wedding garden games to get the party laughing.

Garden games are such fun during the post wedding ceremony time.  Not competitive, fun, yet can be played with a glass in one hand, and a ready giggle when someone misses the mark.  A game of two while sipping a cocktail is very relaxing, and makes for some great candid photographs.  Wedding games using the giant game sets are perfect for a garden wedding.

wedding-games

With vintage themes still a great way to DIY your wedding decor, then vintage games are de rigueur. Try some of these for the wedding guests on your wedding day:

Quoits

A stick and a hand full of rope rings is all you need. Beer in one hand ring in the other, the game gets more fun as the beer lowers. Some people think that the game originated from tossing horse shoes.

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Croquet

The red queen may have used upended flamingos as her croquet mallet, but wooden ones are more the go these days! Originating in France and brought to England as Paille Maille (the latin words for ball & mallet), and possibly played as early as the 1600’s, croquet is not just the dominion of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.  A vintage set of mallets hoops and balls is available at several wedding venues these days, especially the French inspired Clovelly Estate, and the vintage farm Kenilworth Homestead.

wedding-croquet

Giant Jenga

Now here’s one the crafty family member can whip up.  Simply cut equal lengths of pine framing boards. Stack them up on the grass. Then each player has to extract one block and place it on top without upsetting the whole stack. After a while the entire stack is teetering and one person has to be responsible for tumbling the  lot over….to many cheers from onlookers.

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Badminton

An oldie but goodie, badminton can look lovely in your garden wedding. Take two tent poles and peg them out.  String a set of bunting flags between the poles for your “net”. Cute!

wedding-badminton

Skittles/ Kubb /Finska

Another ball and tumbling game.  Who can bowl the skittles over on grass?

And for games hire… contact the lovely Nathan at Sunshine Coast Games Hire for a no fuss delivery option.

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Photobooth

And finally, you could make your own Photobooth. Provide a basket of silly costume pieces, hats, glasses and a picture frame. Set up a camera on a tripod.  Guests take turns in photographing each other. They won’t want to leave for the reception!!! And you will have a camera full of great memories of your guests, and an insight into what they got up to in your absence!!!

wedding-photobooth

Hope there’s something there to inspire your post ceremony wedding fun and games.

See you at a wedding soon.  xx Kari – the celebrant.