When I begin planning a unique ceremony with couples, they often ask what they must do, and what they can do.
Well the answer is that the Australian marriage law is very flexible. There is no compulsion to be in a registered marriage office, as in Europe, nor to mention God in a civil ceremony. There is so much leeway to have the wedding ceremony of your own style and tone.
There are however a set of words that must be said. Some by the celebrant and a sentence by the couple. The marriage vows must include a set of words that could be considered a little dry. Of course you can add any other words of your choice. Have a peek at David and Amber’s Day at Maleny Manor then read on to see how he managed with those words.
Thanks to LM Images for the amazing photos.
Amber and David’s is a love that grew over time, having begun when they first met on the hospital touch football team. As they got to know each other, through social outings with mutual friends and through their work at the hospital, Amber and Dave discovered that touch was just one of the many passions that they had in common. Both being doctors, they have a wealth of education to draw inspiration from.
David is an especially creative soul with words. He managed to take the legal sentence from the marriage vows and turn it into poetry. David promised ……
I call upon the people here today,
To witness these words I’m about to say:
I, David Liu
Take Amber Peckston – you
To be my lawful wedded wife
Starting today for the rest of my life
I will be your partner in all things
No matter what challenges life will bring
I promise to help you cook and clean,
And try my best to stay reasonably lean
I promise I’ll try to stay alive
When I’m hanging out with these 2 guys
(at this point he gestured towards the groomsmen, his partners on adventures of the extreme kind!)
I promise to amend and shake my fist
When people call you a psychologist
You’ll never fight your fights alone
I’ll share your dreams like they are my own
I promise in 50 years I will still say
I love you, as strongly as I did today.
It was a delight to work with Amber and David, in creating their wedding ceremony
What they said of Kari:
David and I would like to sincerely thank you for all of the hard work you put into creating a beautiful ceremony for us. You were always there when we had questions and so prompt with your replies. Your interactions with our guests and your delivery of our ceremony was flawless.
Amber & Dave
And who brings the rings?
There is that moment in a wedding when the marriage celebrant looks up and asks who brings the wedding rings.
Sometimes its grandma. Occasionally a favourite pet or a child with a cushion.
Generally it is the moment for the Best Man to pat every pocket in his suit and pretend he has forgotten the rings. It gets a little laugh, and then he breaks out in a smile and fishes a ring box from his pocket.
I encourage this little game to lighten the mood at a wedding ceremony. The best man has his moment of fame, and everyone is relieved that nothing is going to go wrong. “Just joking”, his smile says!
From the beginning
Jason and April’s wedding began like expected. Jason waited patiently for his bride, accompanied by his groomsmen. As the marriage celebrant I waited with the guys, calming them about late brides & would she arrive.
Held on the shores of Lake Baroon in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, at Secrets On the Lake, we all enjoyed being outside in the warm sun with rainforest all around.
The girls soon arrived, to oohs and aahs, and the wedding ceremony got underway.
It was, so far, what the guests expected; a little emotional, some laughs, a sweet and funny love story.
The ceremony approached the moment to exchange rings.
What if he doesn’t?
But what happens when the best man looks genuinely worried, and gives a meaningful but slight shake to his head, looking back at the celebrant with a “Don’t ask me!” expression on his face.
I continued the charade and asked him to check all his pockets. Fortunately Matt was a good sport, and didn’t mind when we all looked at him expectantly. He just continued to shake his head and look at me, the celebrant, with expectation. Perhaps he might have guessed something was up. Note the groom looking away…..
Enter an eagle
Suddenly everyone felt the air above their heads move, as Soren the eagle swooped down almost touching the hairdos of the entire guestlist.
There were many audible gasps as the wind from his wings lifted spirits in surprise, startled us all and brought an emotional tear even to my eye. At that moment I felt the awe of nature, of the power in one creature, the wonder in life around us. This huge bird swooped over us all, and landed on the arm of Jason, the Groom who by this stage had donned a leather glove for protection.
Soren, the eagle, is specially trained to carry wedding rings. They hang from his tresses on his ankles. Paul, his trainer keeps a nature refuge, a training and conservation centre for wounded animals. Soren is a star of Broadwings Events.
Paul very kindly allowed me to hold Soren for a photo after the ceremony and photos were over. I can assure you there is nothing like holding a powerful bird on your arm, and experiencing a wild creature so close.
Allowing nature in
Many say that the presence of water blesses a marriage like no other. There is plenty of water at Secrets on the Lake, one of the most beautiful wedding venues on the Sunshine Coast. The lake over which the tree houses look is actually the drinking water for this area. It is special water, clean water, and was a very special blessing for this couple. To honour the place and the water, April and Jason chose a finale ritual for their wedding.
The pebble toss…
Guests were invited to participate in a Celtic wedding tradition, that of the Pebble Toss. Stones were handed to each guest at the conclusion of the ceremony. Behind this tradition is the notion that natural things can anchor a thought. It is important that water is involved in the pebble toss. Water is the element that represents emotion and spirit. In a wedding it is about wishing prosperity and flow. The stone is the carrier of wishes and prayers, happy hopes and cheeky thoughts for April and Jason’s future.
Holding their pebble for a moment, each guest waited by the shores of the lake. Imbued with warm thoughts and story the stones were tossed into the water, sending wishes into the ether to come true for April and Jason.
Thanks to Malin from Love Is A Place Photography for the images.
This is what the couple said:
Kari was one of the vital pieces of our wedding that we couldn’t have done without. We are so glad to have chosen her as our celebrant after a lot of careful searching. We were quite lost as what we wanted, but she listened carefully and crafted for us an amazing ceremony which both we and our guests loved. She also helped us keep our “ring delivery” secret a huge surprise from everyone (rings flown in via wedge-tailed eagle). Kari is a fantastic celebrant and also a truly talented lady. I hope many other couples get to experience the same joy she brings to their ceremonies too. April & Jason
See this wedding story in pictures by Malin from Love Is A Place Photography :
Read about another unusual ring bearer:
Unusual Buttonholes for grooms
Even the celebrant received a buttonhole for this particular wedding….. more on that a bit later….
But first – Preparing the bridal party
It can be such fun preparing for your wedding ceremony. Once the reception venue and marriage celebrant are booked, and a few legalities for marriage in Australia taken care of, then the fun of creating your wedding day look begins.
You’ve chosen your bridal party, been shopping for bridesmaid dresses, and selected your bouquets. The girls are set.
Now for the Groomsmen
Attention turns towards the blokes. Hmmm, you have chosen a suit or casual attire, and the shoes, added funky coloured socks or an outrageous tie. Perhaps you’ve added a vintage flair like braces or waistcoats.
Next you turn your attention to the groomsmen’s buttonholes.
Most couple’s would try to match the buttonhole to the girls bouquets.
It can be as simple as a rose pinned on a lapel.
Or something a little more fancy with a leaf curled behind.
And may I say that I have pinned on dozens of groom’s buttonholes.
The pinning process
Could I even consider myself a master of the pinning the buttonhole on the groom? Does it sound like a party game?
Actually, there are ways to make sure the groom’s buttonhole doesn’t flop or droop. And you may ask why do the florists provide two pearl ended pins?
The answer is to stop the droop! One up one down. I
As a celebrant, I have become an expert in pinning buttonholes in a manner to stop the droop.
Did you know there are other buttonhole alternatives! The buttonhole does not have to be flowers.
Renée and Gareth are a funky modern couple, with clever ideas, and a fabulous wit. Their wedding was particularly unique, and will be featured in another story to come. Today we peek at their buttonhole ideas.
They chose lego characters for each of their bridal party, including the bridesmaids who carried them with their flowers. Each lego character is a humorous reflection of the role or person who wears it. Here is a peek at the bridal party all lined up….at the altar.
Check out these on the wedding day:
And for the Groom…..
And for the piece de resistance…..
They even provided one for the celebrant.
Thanks guys form the bottom of my heart.
Thanks for including the celebrant (the ringmaster) in your design. I am humbled.
For another creative look at wedding flowers check out Cherie and Josh’s story: