Why I Do What I Do

Why I Do What I Do

Why I Do What I Do

As a licensed and fully-qualified celebrant I’m in the uniquely privileged position of being present at some of the most important moments in people’s lives. I’m there when they get married and when they welcome a new baby into the world. I’m also there when they say goodbye to loved ones, too and my presence hopefully offers guidance and comfort to them at this difficult time. And I love a good I do moment!

Kari celebrant and artist with her sculpture Growing to fly

Unique opportunity

There’s something special about helping couples to celebrate marriage, commitment, and families to celebrate birth and also to farewell the lives of those who have passed on. I’m incredibly proud to be able to be a part of these rituals, or these pivotal moments that we share as fellow human beings.  And it’s much more than just helping people to say I do!

Being a Civil Celebrant is no small thing. One walks beside people on a journey through their challenges, joys, heartache, love, despair and anticipation…from the beginning to the end of life. My work accompanies me through every day.

Over the course of my own life I’ve travelled extensively and lived abroad and this has, I feel, helped me to form a wider perspective about humanity. Rather than seeing the differences between people, I see what unites us and this feeling was a big part of my decision to become a celebrant in the first place.

Weddings

Weddings are often described as stressful as well as joyous, especially for the happy couple! I aim to make the ceremony side of things easy and stress free. Tell me your wishes. Allow me to hold your secrets. Trust me to hold your ideas and plans, and to combine it all in a flowing ceremony, taking any “randoms” into account on the day.

Sunshine Coast celebrant for creation of meaningful ceremony, be it wedding, funeral or baby ceremony

Naming Babies

marriage_celebrant_sunshine_coast_GD3Early parenthood can be exhausting as well as stressful, so planning a naming ceremony can be a bridge too far. Welcoming a new child into the family is, after a wedding, one of the happiest occasions life has to offer, so it’s important for couples to have someone they trust to organise and guide them through the celebration. A naming is an opportunity to gather friends and family to reiterate connections, helping each guest to name and resonate with their own special connection to the child.

Farewells

Of course I love celebrating weddings, elopements, commitments and naming ceremonies – who wouldn’t? I’m also very grateful for the chance to be there for the inevitable and sadder rites of passage, like letting go of a loved one.

A funeral, farewell or memorial is like other life rituals in one respect.  They are all about stories; one the story of a partnership, the other a story of an individual life.  All stories are worth telling, and sharing. It can be hard, after a bereavement, to organise a farewell, so I take great pride in being able to relieve some of the burden and smooth things along for friends and families, offering guidance, support and expertise in organising an effective send off, that is also a positive step in a grieving process.

Through assisting others to celebrate and create ritual around those special moments in life, I too maintain resilience, enthusiasm and commitment to the spirit of life and my own community.

I hope to be a celebrant whose words, stories and messages connect people, evoke emotional responses and invite them into treasuring what they really value in life.

I feel part of a “Never Ending Story”. I endeavour at every ceremony, to speak words that contribute to creating an honourable, hopeful and compassionate society.

Thanks to David Peart for the photograph with my art.

Wedding Rings Ritual

Wedding Rings Ritual

wedding ring ritual with a Scottish kilt and bowl

Wedding Rings – a ritual

This is a story of a unique blessing of wedding rings at a Pomodoras wedding.  

For as long as we can remember, lovers have exchanged rings as a token of their wedding vows. 

Wedding bands are of some value in themselves.  Yet they are made so much more precious by our wearing of them, by knowing who placed them on our fingers, on our wedding day.

Kerrie and Andrew’s rings are super special.  It began with their engagement… in Florence!

A ring in Florence

The evocative and artisan city of Florence had always held special memories for them.  While on holidays wandering down a Florentine street they found a ring created by an artist. It was perfect; a unique design akin to two diamond encrusted bridges crossing over… signifying the crossing over of two lives.  

The wedding rings, however, were made locally, by a Maleny artisan Jim Goulton of Maleny Jewellers.  Beautifully crafted to their own design.

On their wedding day, we honoured the significance of their wedding rings with a blessing before they were placed on their hands.

There were several elements that contributed to this unique ritual, each one chosen carefully for the meaning.

into the quaiche we drop some essential oils

Ritual Element One : Water

The plan was to use water, the elixir of life, to pour into the bowl.  

On the wedding day, as bride, Kerrie was preparing herself up in the cottage room before the wedding ceremony.  She looked down over the Obi Obi Creek and had an idea.

Voila! There was the water for their wedding ring ritual, made extra special because it was collected from right behind the ceremony platform.

a traditional Scottish quaich - a silver inlaid vowlRitual Element Two : Vessel

They needed a vessel, a bowl to place rose petals….. Andrew had decided to go the full Scottish, and be married in his family tartan.  At the kilt shop, he spied a silver bowl, a celtic quaich (pronounced Kwek). A quaich is a Scottish welcome bowl, crafted by artisans and intricately decorated with celtic curls and swirls.  Imagine arriving to a household in Scotland, coming in out of the freezing cold and being offered a silver bowl with a dram of warm Whiskey to warm body and soul. On the wedding day the sliver bowl welcomed the warmth of a wedding promise.

the scottish quaiche bowl for the wedding ring ritual

Ritual Element Three : Rose Petals

To celebrate their union, Kerrie and Andrew had planted a Montville Rose in their garden. It was the first thing they had planted together, and held great meaning for them.  Recalling that occasion of humble celebration of their union, on their wedding day in honour of that rose and the French tradition of roses in weddings, they added handfuls of petals to the Quaich.    

Ritual Element Four : Essential oils

Essential oils have long been used for sacred ceremony. Once more Kerrie and Andrew found their own meaning, as the ring ritual evolved a step further.  A special friend is a massage therapist.  Her basket of essential oils contained much more than traditional Frankincense and Myrrh; oils for joy and valour, for humility and compassion, for spice and passion….

Ritual Element Five : Friends

Into the bowl went much love and the best wishes of all the guests there.  Each guest had previously taken a moment to hold and bless the rings.  They arrived at the ring ceremony well warmed with love.

Using this water we blessed the rings, washing them and making them fragrant for ceremony.
It was a truly joyous and fun ceremony.

bottles of essential oils for a wedding ring ritual

Thank you Kerrie and Andrew for giving us such inspiration to personalise a wedding ceremony.  This is what Kerrie said afterwards:

“A HUGE thank you for your amazing wondrous delightful joyful gentle and experienced handling of our wedding celebration.” Kerrie

Thanks especially to the gorgeous Marion Jonkers Photography for the wedding photos.

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Elopement at Clovelly Estate

Elopement at Clovelly Estate

glass wedding chandelierAshley and Chris couldn’t wait to marry one and other so they escaped to Spicers Clovelly Estate in Montville and eloped in a romantic and intimate ceremony.

This video was created by Marion Jonkers, their delightful wedding photographer.  Marion does such a personable job with her wedding clients.  She is always cheery and fun to be with, and manages to bring out the best smiles, and create  a story with pictures.

Being an elopement, Ashley did not have a bridesmaid to help her.  This is when as a celebrant, I love to step in and help.  Here I am tying up the bride… in the best way!

Check her out on Marion Jonkers Photography

And watch this delightful Montville elopement love story:

Valentine’s Day Love

Valentine’s Day Love

Happy Valentine’s Day from Sunshine Coast marriage celebrant – Kari

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

hearts for Valentines Day

hearts for Valentines Day

Today’s post need not be long, for love needs few words.

Love requires actions and looks, touches and listening ears, understanding and acceptance.

Rumi, the thirteenth century poet, expressed it in few words, and to this day, we draw on his words at wedding ceremonies.

Valentines Day gives us that opportunity to look to our dear love,

and say with words or gesture,

with smiles or surprises,

I choose you, dear one, to be by my side.

I accept you, my love, for who you are.

I hear you, I trust you, I adore you.

I …….. love you.

Today I simply offer this image from Pieces of My Own Heart.

Made from ceramic, they are part of a collection of 1000 hearts.  Made in love.

May your Valentine’s Day be full of love of all kinds.

And if you’re considering a wedding proposal, then congratulations.  May the answer be yes.

Contact me if you would like to talk about a unique wedding ceremony, perhaps for Valentine’s Day next year.

A poignant wedding reading

A poignant wedding reading

I woke this morning thinking about a particular poem. It would make a particularly poignant reading at your wedding.

SONY DSC

Photo: Shemple On the Lake by Ross Annels and Kari

 

The poem that occupied my thoughts, is one that impressed me many years ago.  I had it on the bathroom wall for years.

Many people commented on it.  Lots had opinions. Several agreed, others added more comments to the initial poem.

It was a great conversation opener.  It required contemplation.

The woman who wrote the poem is Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

She is, in her own words,”first and foremost a story-teller, a lover of words and symbols and the stories that lift our spirits, open our hearts and offer us ways to see patterns and create meaning in our lives.”

The poem comes to me as a poignant set of thoughts to contemplate when one is considering what to say in the wedding vows.

On the surface, it would seem to be questions one might ask of one’s partner.

But to me it is a series of questions I would rather ask myself.

This is why I had it on the wall, a place I could read it every day, and ask myself if I measured up to my own expectation.  Was I asking myself the right questions?  What is important to me? Was I being the best person I wanted to be? If I want a wonderful person in my life, was I enough to match them first?

Here is the poem:

The Invitation ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It does not interest me what you do for a living.  I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.  I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.  I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been open to life’s betrayals, or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with the wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.  I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself, if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when its not pretty every day, and if you source your life from its presence.

I want to now if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver moon, “YES”.

It doesn’t interest me who you know, or how you came to be here.  I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else fades away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Today I thought of the poem again, and contemplated what else is possible for my own self.

What do you think?