The Bridesmaids’ story

The Bridesmaids’ story

wedding party amongst the trees and shadows

The Bridesmaids’ story

Today’s story is about the Bridesmaids.  Lift your glasses for a toast to the Bridesmaids, Steph, Sharna, Vanessa, Alyce and Kristen.

First of all Congratulations to Sam and Jai, married in Byron Bay…but more on them in a later story.

bridesmaids in pink

Bestie to bridesmaid?

Sam, the bride, took great care on planning her wedding, and involving her favourite people.  She began by asking them all in a delightful fashion.  As Kristen said, “We went for Friday after work drinks and Sam gave me a little gift box. Inside the box was a handful of tiny brown paper scrolls.  Each had a different memory of us growing up, and some of the crazy things we did!

The very last scroll read Krisso…. Will you be my bridesmaid?  I’m pretty sure everyone in the bar had a heart attack, I squealed that loudly!”

Will you be my bridesmaid?

Sam had been besties with her Bridesmaids since childhood, so all five girls signed up immediately.

How did you find the bridesmaid dresses?

The six girls, maids and bride, spent a day together seeking the perfect dress for Sam’s relaxed and elegant garden wedding to be held at a quaint farmhouse on the hill looking out over Byron Bay.

from pink to mauve in the bridesmaids dresses

A colour palate not a colour

The Bride did not wish to dictate to her friends, so she pretty much gave them free reign on bridesmaids dress. She did show them a picture of the colour palate she’d prefer; earthy colours, pale dusky pinks, mauves, champagne.  Said Sharna, “Sammy’s idea was for all the dresses to be unique and different but from a similar colour palette. We opted for full length as it was elegant and flattering.” They couldn’t find anything that first day.  So off they went back to their own life schedules and continued seeking on their own. Kristen commented, “The first time we saw the dresses all together was the night before the wedding and they just worked perfectly together!!” PHEW! Check out the pix.

Bought One at a time

It is hard to believe that the dresses were bought one by one, separately by each bridesmaid.

What was the bridesmaids highlight?

What was the highlight of Sam and Jai’s wedding day for you?

Kristen said, “Getting ready back at the hotel and seeing how happy Sammy was. She’s usually a control freak and everything has to be perfect but she was just so relaxed and ready to marry the man of her dreams. Seeing her walk down the aisle was pretty amazing!”

Sharna said, “Hard to say as it was all stunningly beautiful.  Probably milling around after the ceremony and getting our photos taken. Getting our hair and makeup done together was fun too.”

Will you wear your dress again?

“I hope so. I love it!” Here we are having a play in the archway after the service…In the distance is Byron Bay lighthouse and the best surf of the week! Not that we were interested!

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a Tiffany’s affair

a Tiffany’s affair

married at tiffanys leaving the chapel

A Tiffanys affair

Congratulations Alison and Graham, married at Tiffany’s, on the Sunshine Coast Range.

This is a story about a place really; a place of extraordinary beauty for a wedding. A place that is old and is new, that is borrowed for your wedding day and is blue.  So every bride can fulfil the traditional rhyme for her wedding day.

This is a place to treasure.  A special wedding venue.

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The view of the Glasshouse

Certainly every time I, as a Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant, arrive at Tiffanys Maleny, it takes my breath away.

Whilst the wedding chapel at Tiffany’s may be quite new, the place is ancient.  The spectacle of the Glasshouse Mountains is the backdrop and the main character in this story.  Unions have been made on this ridge for millennia, so it is apt that couples choose this magnificent view as the backdrop to their nuptials. 

The new Tiffany’s wedding chapel frames the view through huge glass panels, as the backdrop to a couple for their wedding ceremony.

Alison and Graham chose this place for their wedding, a place of unusual splendour, and a magical quality to lend to special occasions such as this.

Flowers by Kelly and her team complemented the chapel, with a bright coloured floral scheme chosen by the couple.

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A special area

On a personal level this place is very special to Alison and Graham.

  • Every time they have driven to this area has been a special occasion, a time of personal celebration.
  • They had their first picnic outing together at Mary Cairncross Park just down Mountain View Road along the ridge.
  • They were engaged close by in Montville.

Their wedding day was a day of extra celebration and sharing with the people they loved.  And no-one could be missed out, so they filled the chapel brimful of their friends and family.  Every chair

and pew was filled so they could be married at Tiffanys with their closest.

married at tiffanys leaving the chapel

Tie the knot at Tiffanys

As part of their ceremony they chose to “tie the knot”.

When I asked Alison and Graham their favourite colour they both answered blue.  Then Graham clarified his choice as navy blue, and Alison as ocean blue.  It is very fitting, that whilst they have much in common, the two blues symbolise that two individuals are also different.  Their marriage will be strong from their similarities and gain further strength from their individual differences.

Using two cords, one of navy blue, and one of ocean blue, Alison and Graham tied their lovers knot after the exchange of rings. May their knot never come unravelled.

And that is how they were married, at Tiffanys looking over the magnificent view.

Todays’ story is accompanied not by photos from a professional wedding photographer, but some snaps I took on a glorious day, as they left the Chapel for official photos.

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Creative wedding decor

Creative wedding decor

Wedding decor with coconut fronds

Creative Wedding Decor

Decorating your wedding day can be such fun.  There are ideas for special themes, colours or designs.

Sometimes it is helpful to have a specialist help you, sometimes you just want to DIY the entire day.  At a recent wedding at Kenilworth Homestead, Jess co-opted her female family and friends, and they did it all themselves.  From bunting to cocktails, through to vintage teapots full of cottage garden flowers, and hand picked crockery from op-shops.  Read about Jess inspiration.

wedding decor with woven coconut fronds

Something rather different

Here is a totally unique and environmentally friendly solution, not yet seen in any Bridal mag, from local cane, coconut frond and festival artist, Kris Martin.

His new wedding and event decoration business called Artisean was recently launched at a wedding on Stradbroke Island.

The business, based in Mapleton in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, uses natural materials such as bamboo, coconut palm leaf and vines top create fabulous wedding arches, aisles and arbours.

Coconut frond wedding decor

Kris Martin, artist and founder of this creative endeavour is excited to bring some of the magic of the festival and event work that he has been doing for over ten years, to the wedding industry.

Along with his partner Alex, and a team of artists, they have been recognised for their dedication to environmental arts through winning the Glossies award in 2012 (for ‘Ship of Fools’ Project, Floating Land, 2011) and 2011 (for ‘Kabi Canoes’ Project, Woodford, 2010).

Here’s a peek at some of the current designs being developed.  But Kris will design something all new for you too, made to order.  Check out Artisean.

wedding decor with woven coconut fronds and white flowers
wedding decor with florals on woven vines

Something elegant in wedding decor

Carly Laczko runs a gorgeous decorating and wedding planning business, CL Weddings & Events, creating beautiful weddings using simple ingredients that together make that ‘wow’ feeling when guests walk into a room.

elegant table setting for wedding reception

Wedding Styling

Wedding styling can be so variant, from sparkling prettiness to elegant dark shades or charcoals and rich red over to fun vibrant colours that pop with personality. The main aim of styling, Carly espouses, is to ensure it reflects the couple and your personalities together as a couple.

Styling themes

Cl Events’ style is so broad, there really isn’t a certain theme that they don’t like!  And they specialise in creating a theme with the couples name on it, rather than a ‘modern vintage’ or ‘rustic’ tag. Sometimes the best styles are when they get to make a mix of themes to create unique look.

Carly says: “The décor on your day should be handled much like the way you dress, it should fit you.”  

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DIY Wedding Decor

But if it’s DIY you’re into, then check out Jessica and Joel’s wedding decor.

DIY vintage wedding table settings with op shop crockery and florals in teapots

The girls, did it all.  Mum, Aunties, Gran and the bridesmaids all chipped in making all the decor.

It came together over a fun evening the night before the wedding, when the bridal party  went to town in a rustic old Barn.

Here is their story:

Married by the beach

Married by the beach

Beach wedding

Congratulations Kylie and Todd Peters, married in view of their favourite surf break.

Why the beach?

When I met with Kylie and Todd they told me that they had to have a large wedding, as they simply could not exclude anyone from the guest list.  So a large wedding it was, with family and friends gathered outside by the beach to accommodate all.

We have heard the traditional wedding phrase, “we gather here today…”

So let’s ask why?

The beach has always held a special place in Kylie and Todd’s lives. They surf, fish and live by the beach, enjoy the outdoor life. A lifestyle around water is intrinsic to, and a significant part of who they are, so it is very appropriate that they chose an ocean view for their marriage ceremony.

In View of the surf

They chose one of their favourite surf breaks, Point Cartwright.  Which was possibly a dangerous choice, as the surf was quite divine that day. Might there have been a temptation to delay the wedding and hit the break?  The guests had politely left their boards back in the carpark, I imagine, as there were no board shorts in evidence as the ceremony began!

Todd resisted every wave temptation, as the temptation of his bride was far more important.  Kylie was more than gorgeous in her pure silk, filmy wedding dress by Elizabeth de Varga.  Her red shoes gave a delightful splash of colour as she strolled down the path on the arm of her Dad, negotiating high heels and the grassy park, with panache.

I’m beginning to know the extended family quite well, as I have now done a few weddings within this circle of family and friends. It puts me in the wider picture, of generations.

Three generations of women

One of the beautiful things about weddings is the evidence of the continuum of life through the generations.  At the occasion of milestones, we witness the extent of families.  Parents, grandparents, children are all present.  It is a time to remember other weddings, in the near or distant past.  It is a time for children to know their place in a wider family.

A favourite photo that I could not resist taking, is of Kylie with Mum and Grandma, three happy, strong, down-to-earth matriarchs.  Kylie’s Grandma is a Great Gran many times over.  And she still practices yoga!  I’m sure Kylie gets some of her gentle and quiet strength and determination from her Grandma’s legacy.

The view was a guest

Todd and Kylie wanted a simple wedding ceremony; not too long, but not too short either.  Something reflective of who they are. Given I write each ceremony from a fresh canvas, all their wishes were accommodated.  The view was a guest at the wedding, the weather was perfect, and the guests could relax in the park setting, watching the perfect rollers in the background.

Photos by Karen Buckle, and a couple of my own.

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Arrive with panache to your wedding

Arrive with panache to your wedding

wedding arbour and bridal party

Arrive with panache to your wedding

…just like Jo and Len did to their wedding ceremony along the riverfront at  Noosaville.

Congratulations to newly weds, Jo and Len, your wedding was such fun.

Here is how their wedding began….

Before the wedding began, guests were a little surprised when the Groom unbuttoned his shirt. Dressed in just singlet and rolled up pants, he wandered away from the wedding canopy (by Splash Events) set up by the banks of the Noosa River.  His purple shirt hung on the canopy and he disappeared!

Grroms shirt hanging on the wedding arbour

How the groom arrived to the wedding

To our surprise he returned a little while later from the water, paddling a canoe with energetic young Best Man, Ben. Cheers greeted them as they beached the canoe and redressed in their handsome finery. Was purple going to be a colour theme today?

Groom arrives paddling a canoe to his wedding

How the bride arrived to the wedding

But where was the bride?

Guests were invited to step this way and wander over to the roadside.  Bemused looks, puzzled questions ensued.

It all became clear when the bride arrived on the arm of her dashing son, Max, and with her bridesmaids.  Several girls stepped onto the zebra crossing and held up all traffic for the bridal party to cross over.

Abbey Road

Reminiscences of Abbey Road, more cheers ….. and tears, and laughter.  And the ceremony had not begun yet!

bride arriving ala Abbey Road to her wedding

Back to the wedding

Returning to the bridal canopy, the guests were in for another surprise, as indeed was the bride. Len took up a microphone and sung to his bride as she walked down the aisle.  We forgave her tears.  We all cried.  It was too beautiful.

That was simply the beginning to a delightful wedding ceremony by the river, …..

and finishing as the sun was sinking over the still water, on the top deck of the Boathouse floating restaurant.

Ah …. it doesn’t get better than this!

Photos by Andrea Thompson.

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A Hindu wedding ceremony

A Hindu wedding ceremony

~ with Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant – Kari.

You are thought and I am sound. 
I am the words and you are the melody. 
I am the melody and you are the words.”
 

Congratulations Belinda & Biju, married in an Australian Hindu wedding ceremony on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.  

Belinda and Biju came to me requesting an unusual wedding ceremony.  Biju comes from India and wished to include several Hindu elements into the ceremony.  Belinda is Australian and wanted a wedding ceremony that reflected this land and the traditions of Australia. And so we wove a truly multicultural ceremony, an occasion to honour both cultures.

The Golden statue was centre of the setting; an altar to Ganesha.  Around the statue were placed several ceremonial objects; a candle, flowers and fruit in offering to Ganesh.  The theme colours were vibrant and alive; deep pink, bold red, fragrant yellow and burnt orange.  Gerberas in all these flame colours were placed around Ganesh.

And for the fun of colour and festive atmosphere, paper lanterns in deep orange and pink were hung in the branches of the centuries old fig tree; an ancient witness to the sacredness of the celebration.

Biju was very confident when he asked me, the celebrant, to sing the essential incantations in the Sanskrit language.  For who else would do it, he asked.  And so I did!  His trust helped me to learn the appropriate blessings, and the role they played in the ceremony.  And I sang for this lovely couple, to bless their married lives.

Photos by Darren Frankish of Kish Photography

In any culture marriage is a sacred and treasured union.  According to Hinduism, marriage between two persons is a sacred relationship that is not limited to this life alone.  It extends across seven or more lives, during which the couple help each other progress spiritually.  The adage that marriages are made in heaven is very much true in the case of Hinduism.  Two souls come together and marry because their karmas are intertwined and they have to resolve many things together upon earth in order to ensure their mutual salvation.

In an ancient Hindu text it is said that when the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man, the angels abandon heaven and go sit with the couple and sing for joy.  Just looking around the guests we could see the angels present.

In Hinduism every auspicious occasion begins with an invocation to Lord Ganesha. Blessings are sought for a ceremony that will be free from impediments and for a marriage free from all hardships and obstacles.  Ganesha’s grace is invoked for the health, happiness, prosperity, and peace of the bride and groom and their families. The offerings included flowers for beauty, coconut for fertility, rice for sustenance, and sweets to ensure a sweet life! 

The ceremony included many traditions and customs from a Hindu Wedding in India, involving the family, water and fire, and song and walking circles around Ganesha and the altar.

A special moment is when the bride and groom take seven steps; steps towards their lives together, a set of wedding vows,

On the first step;       Together we shall cherish each other in sickness and health, in happiness and sorrow

On the second step;       Together we shall be lifelong friends

On the third step;       Together we shall share each other’s ideals

On the fourth step;       Together we shall nurture each other’s strengths, talents, and aspirations

On the fifth step;       Together we shall make each other happy

On the sixth step;       Together we shall love, provide and care for our children and our families

On the seventh step;       Together we will look forward to the mysteries of the future with awe, open-mindedness, and inspiration

We have taken the seven steps.  You have become mine forever.  Yes, we have become partners.  I have become yours.  Hereafter, I cannot live without you.  Do not live without me.  Let us share the joys.  We are word and meaning, united.  You are thought and I am sound.  I am the words and you are the melody.  I am the melody and you are the words.

These vows are poignant and poetic.  They are not dissimilar to vows from an Australian ceremony. Walking around the altar added an extra poetry to the steps of marriage they undertook.  I congratulate Belinda and Biju on blending their two cultures seemlessly and with great love and patience.

As a marriage celebrant I am often requested to accommodate the unusual.  This is my specialty.  I have sung in sanskrit, read in Afrikaans, waxed poetic in French, and played my wooden flute or lap harp.  Just ask me, you never know what I will agree to!