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.

DIY wedding at the family property

DIY wedding at the family property

with Sunshine Coast marriage celebrant – Kari

So much love, so much love, so much love.  Wow what a wedding ceremony to remember!

Here on the Sunshine Coast, there are many perfect places for a wedding.  But none seems quite more perfect for a family wedding than the property where one grew up, played by the creek, planted trees, and created memories.  This wedding day created new loving memories for Renee and Brendan on the family farm.

The marriage ceremony was held down by the creek, in an idyllic grassy glade surrounded by forest and the sounds of whip birds and tusked frogs.  A group of friends and family had created a magical haven.  Let’s wander in and have a peek before the guests arrive…..

A stump by the entry was garlanded with festoons of newly blossomed jasmine and the welcome sign.

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Daisies were tucked into the bark of trees, at the foot of saplings or behind ears.

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A circle of hay surrounded by white roses and daisies tucked into the ground formed a magic fairy circle for a sacred ceremony.

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Hay bales were arranged in arcs for seating.  More hay was sprinkled underfoot for an aisle.

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Local musician, Lee Hardisty played pied piper and led the guests to the ceremony, along by the creek.  His pure sax sound drifted over the forest, gently encouraging a meander to the forest glade.

Enter the Bride and Groom.  Groom softly greeted the guests.  Kari –  the celebrant sent hime for a wander with his mates while she briefed the guests on a surprise ending for the ceremony.

And, the bridal entourage arrived on the trailer of the tractor.  Daughter, Peaches and her cousin walked down the aisle, to Daddy.

Renee walked down the aisle on her father’s arm to the exquisite sounds of thumb piano sweetly played by Lee.

Renee and Brendan could not have been more in love.

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As a marriage celebrant on the Sunshine Coast hinterland, I witness many marriage vows; all heartfelt and meaningful. But on this wedding day, Renee’s vows to her beloved Sav nearly brought me to tears.

Amongst other things she promised to “love you beyond fear, judgement, expectations and anger….. I promise to love you so hard it changes the world…. I promise to hold you when your heart weeps, to plant trees with you and watch them grow, to help you know your own power.”

After the ceremony, guests followed the music back to the farm shed, replete with hanging floral garland, tables of colour, and taste.DIY_wedding_ceremony_venue12

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DIY wedding decor

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And they partied on in the moonlight, starlight and radiance of their family, friends and love.

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Thanks to Maggie Buckle for some of the professional images.  Instagram #@maggijeann

The early ones are my own, irresistibly taken while waiting for the guests.

This is what they said about Kari’s celebrant service:

Kari is a beautiful, warm, kind and connected woman with a sophisticated confidence that makes one feel safe in her presence. Although we had only met her in person once before our wedding day, we knew that she would understand our love and sincerely appreciate the magic that abides in such a ceremony. Her creative heart and generous demeanour left a mark on our hearts at such a special moment in our journey. Thank you Kari.”   Renee & Brendan

60’s wedding theme

60’s wedding theme

with Kari – theme dressed, Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant

Themed Wedding

Congratulations to Anna and Bryn, who chose a 60’s beach  theme for their wedding day.

Wedding _celebrant_60's_wedding_theme8Whenever I met up with Anna and Bryn, they seemed to have just come from some amazing fitness activity.  I was impressed by their approach to organising their wedding, too.  Casual, down to earth, and real.

Married at the Beach

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They did wish to marry at the beach, Point Cartwright in fact.  They chose this particular headland for the memories of their first date there. But also for the connection to place, for the intimacy that we felt gathered in a group, looking out over a beautiful and vast ocean, looking far into the distance. And I guess it is a perfect metaphor for marriage.  We are also looking into the far distance, the distant future of two peoples lives, a life chosen to spend together, with a shared vision of future.

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When I first met Anna and Bryn, they both described the other as fun but strong willed. They also described the adventurous spirit they both share. They love to seek new experiences. On this, their wedding day, they chose a theme to help everyone have fun, and get into the spirit.

Surfboard Signing Table

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When they talked about their wedding theme, beach 60’s, I immediately asked if they had considered a surfboard for a signing table.  They instantly took this idea on board. (!!!).

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Ceremony reading

I appreciated their choice of ceremony reading, The Desiderata.  Reading it now one would never believe it was written in 1927, by Max Ehrmann

It counsels:

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Wedding _celebrant_60's_wedding_theme7This is what they said;

Kari is a truly special person and made our ceremony very special too. Her choice of words, and affinity with nature and the ocean are unique and was exactly what we were looking for. Working with Kari pre-ceremony was a lovely experience. She is thorough and competent but relaxed with never a stressful moment. We cannot recommend Kari enough. Many of our guests came up and specially complimented us on Kari’s service asking for her details. We feel extremely lucky than we found Kari – she is just brilliant.  

Anna and Bryn

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A Russian Wedding tradition

A Russian Wedding tradition

We do not live by bread alone, and we cannot survive without salt. In Russia there is a wedding tradition….

But first a story.

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I remember from childhood a story about three sisters, the daughters of a king.  He asked of them, “How much do you love me?”

One replied, “Father I love you like all the diamonds in your crown.”

Another said, “Daddy, I love you as much as all the gold in your vault.”

The third thoughtfully and simply said, “Dad, I love you like salt”.

Unfortunately the king did not appreciate this sentiment, and banished his daughter from his kingdom.

Many years later, during his travels as an ageing man, he stumbled across another far away kingdom, and was welcomed by the royal family.  Not recognising his long lost daughter at the head of the family, she served up a banquet with no salt.  The food was tasteless and terrible, and he spat out the food saying it was inedible.

So she brought to the table a bowl of salt and asked if he wished to add this to the food. “Father, I still love you like salt. I meant that life is not only tasteless without you, I can not live without you.”

There is a Russian wedding tradition of bread and salt.  And it is Alex and Scott who introduced me to this tradition.

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So in love

So congratulations to Alex and Scott married with such joy at Maleny Manor.

Alex and Scott were a delight from day one.  They are so in love, and out to have fun, yet are very comfortable with their respective heritage.IMG_2704

In recognition of Alex’s Russian background she chose to honour a tradition passed down the line of women in her family. And what women!  Her Mother and Auntie came out from Germany and Russia to make it happen!

       Bread and Salt

There is a Russian wedding tradition of Bread and Salt.

“Bread is the head of everything”. This Russian proverb explains the importance of bread in Russia for many centuries.

Bread is life and bread is hospitality.

Salt is a symbol of wealth and prosperity.

The night before the wedding day, Alex’s Mum, Marina and Aunt Ira baked a special bread with salt in the centre.  At the completion of their wedding ceremony, Alex and Scott broke the bread, dipped it in salt and shared this gift of food with each other.  It was a touching moment, a nod to family and a sweet (or should I say tasty) completion to a ceremony.

This tradition symbolises that they’ll never be without the necessities of life and they will always take care of each other.  And I trust that in this case they always will.

This is what they said:

From the very first meeting we were sure that our ceremony was in good hands with Kari.

We felt an instant connection and understanding by her of who we are and what our relationship is all about. The writing of the ceremony was painless, easy and just wonderful, including many personal touches and a great flow. Communication was effortless and we had the most wonderful ceremony reflecting who we truly are. We received many compliments from our family and friends on our ceremony and it will be a treasured part of our magical wedding day.

Thank you Kari! You are all that we ever wished for and more!

Alexandra & Scott

Thank you to Talitha and James from Artography for the wonderful images.

Married on Mapleton ridge

Married on Mapleton ridge

Married on Mapleton Ridge

Seeking a Mapleton celebrant

Rebecca and Justin didn’t actively look for a celebrant.

They simply picked up a flyer one day and intuitively knew Kari was the right celebrant for them.  They were looking for a  non-traditional, creative, free-thinking, down to earth, grounded but a lively person for their wedding at Coolabine Ridge Estate.

Couple have a cosy laugh while Kari celebrant looks on

Coolabine Ridge Estate in Mapleton

This property is magnificent, looking down towards the Kenilworth plateau and the Conondale Mountain Range beyond.  And for a wedding it is the perfect outdoor setting.

In fact Coolabine RIdge has many settings. Bec and Justin chose the secluded view peeping through the forest, the outdoor glade, with the trees all around.

Peeping out from the treeline towards Conondale ranges
Guest wait at the wedding at Coolabine Ridge Estate

But who is getting married?

Guests gathered near the spectacular view at this ridge top retreat.  However there was no sight of either bride or groom!

The guests asked me……vintage sweets bike

….but I didn’t let on.

Instead, I encouraged everyone to have a guess.

There were suggestions of a vintage car or horse drawn cart…..perhaps a vintage bicycle.

Arriving to the wedding by Helicopter

No-one guessed they would arrive by helicopter, especially given the tree cover.  An expert pilot, manoeuvred his giant chopper in through a gap in the trees and settled on the grass.

And the harp started to play…. Kim Kirkman strummed his strings and the ceremony began.

Harpist plays for the wedding on Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Coolabine Ridge Estate

This estate on Mapleton ridge seemed perfect for Bec and Justin, with the relaxed outdoors feel, the incredible bushland surrounding them, and the availability of cabins for guests to stay, a pavilion for a reception dance floor, and plenty of grassy areas for marquees and partying.

A love story for a wedding

We celebrated a unique love story that day.  Justin told their story.

When some people meet there are instant sparks, but for Rebecca and Justin, it took 5 years of friendship before the romance was set ablaze.

It begs the question, Is it fate that brings two people together?  Do their stars align in such a way that Universal Forces draw one person to another, like a magnet?

Well, one thing is for sure, nothing was going to stop Rebecca and Justin from forming a union, as one. Not even they could stop it!!!

You see, Rebecca and Justin were friends for years before something clicked and the romance began.  They met in a meditation class in 2002. A group of friends from the class would regularly meet for brunch and a friendship between the two grew from this.

As fate would have it, sometimes the brunches would end up just being the two of them together, as friends.  They found they had much in common and their bond grew strong and heartfelt. It was a close connection that resembled being with your life partner, except….not.  Everyone else could see the writing on the wall but them.

Then one night the winds of fate took over. Destiny was knocking at the door, acting very impatiently “if these two can’t wake up and see they are meant to be together, then we will have to wake them up and knock some sense into them!!

Justin took a brave plunge, bringing us eventually to this happy wedding day.

Thanks to AA Photography for these images.  (Sadly AA Photography have closed their doors)