Wedding with kids

Wedding with kids

~ with Sunshine Coast marriage celebrant, Kari ~

Congratulations Hayley and Wade with their darling children, Charlotte and Kobi, married in the delightful Tiffany’s Chapel.

(Check out the photo which I call “Wrapping the bride!”)

We seek ceremony when there is something profound happening.  We do things in ceremony that are symbols of a deeper meaning in our lives.  Some things are not easy to express every day, as we live it.  Some things  are best expressed by ritual.  A wedding does this.  It creates an opportunity to gather the important people, and to enunciate deep feelings in the form of promises or gifts.

Hayley and Wade’s wedding day was a dream come true.  And it was a wedding about family.  Hayley and Wade believe that family is first, family is everything, family is LIFE.

Often a wedding is not simply about two people.  It is about a wider group of people; community, family, heart families.  This wedding was for everyone there.

A wedding could not alter what they already had, for Hayley and Wade had already built a marriage.  I saw it expressed so well in their dear children, Charlotte and Kobi.  As I spoke with the couple, the kids played with my lego basket. (Yes a relic of my own child rearing.  I LOVE my son’s lego basket, and so do many of the kids who come to me with their parents.)  As they played I noticed how gentle they were with each other and the things they created.  Their parents took small moments to acknowledge what the kids were doing, and kids were very respectful of their parents having a talk.  Impressive parenting at work here!

So this marriage was about a family unit, yet acknowledging of the important relationship that holds the family together, the parents.  For Hayley and Wade wished to give the gift of marriage to each other.  They had already promised forever in their kids, but on their wedding day they showed it to each other.

Charlotte and Kobi, (who are, may I say, the best behaved kids I have ever seen!) were delightful partners to the wedding as flower girl and ring boy.  Kobi was quite emotional watching his parents wed.  Who wouldn’t be?  He could deeply appreciate the strong emotions that were being expressed that day. Check out Charlotte wrapping herself in Mum’s bride dress. I sneeked the ones of the “bridal wrap” while Toni, the photographer, was organising the group picture.  Too delightful to miss!

Wrapping a bride

A key to understanding this was their choice of reading:

The key to love is understanding…
The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word,
but those unspoken gestures,
the little things that say so much by themselves.
The key to love is forgiveness…
to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes,
without forgetting, but with remembering
what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing…
Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together;
both conquering problems, forever searching for ways
to intensify your happiness.

The key to love is giving…
without thought of return,
but with the hope of just a simple smile,
and by giving in but never giving up.

The key to love is respect…
realising that you are two separate people, with different ideas; that you don’t belong to each other,
that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all…
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold;
it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work… but the rewards are more than worth the effort…
and that is the key to love.

Thanks to Photographer Toni Snell for the glorious images.

Hayley&Wade_1Hayley&Wade_2Hayley&Wade_3Hayley&Wade_4Hayley&Wade_5Hayley&Wade_6Hayley&Wade_8Hayley&Wade_9

A Scotsman and a forest nymph marry

A Scotsman and a forest nymph marry

A Mc and a Mac

When McNamara married MacKinnon, there was bound to be somescotsman around somewhere!!!  And what a lovely use of tartan.  And what a choice of place!  Congratulations Sandra and Jason, married at Gardeners Falls, Maleny.  Unique, different, touching, romantic and down to earth, their DIY wedding was simply perfect.

A Scotsman and a Nymph

When Sandra and Jason first met in Canada they recall talking about travelling Australia and the food they both missed.  Jason proceeded to load up the juke box while Sandra picked most of the songs and introduced him to her love for disco.  Not less than two days later Jason had to leave Canada!!  Mere hours before his flight took off they were enjoying their first “date”.  The conversation flowed easily and touched on so many subjects that they would have forgot to order food, if the waitress hadn’t kept reappearing to ask if they were ready to order. Jason’s friends were worried he was cutting it close for time to catch his flight.  There was really no time for eating!

It was not long before they were together again, in Australia.

Sandra describes Jason as her calm in the storm.  Jason describes Sandra as his down to earth rock.  No wonder it threatened to storm on their wedding day.  But come the right time, they stood on a rock mid stream, with not a drop of rain.

They relish each other’s company, laugh at each other’s jokes and make fun happen every day.  These are qualities that will sustain a relationship.  They are also great qualities for planning an extraordinary wedding.

Dressed in wedding Tartan

They turned up to their wedding dressed as Scotsman in family tartan (complete with sporan I may add) and forest nymph.  They wanted something quite unique and intimate for their ceremony, and yet grand in meaning.  Choosing Gardeners Falls, a small out of the way place, with running creek and rainforest all around, they created a wonderland.

Wed Over Water

Sandra and Jason asked if they could be wed on the water.  We took off our shoes and stepped onto a rock in the stream.  Guests gathered on a larger rock close by.  They chose a hand binding ceremony to seal their vows.  In this way drawing on Celtic traditions from ancient times, bringing the ceremony into modern day with our own twist on the promises and bindings.  Jason had prepared a strip of tartan for the bindings.  For wedding rings they had special rings created, each a combination of an Australian saphire and two Canadian diamonds.

Tartan sash

At the conclusion of the service,  Jason draped a MacKinnon tartan sash over his new Mrs MacKinnon, and had photos taken in the middle of the running creek.  He carried her across the water.  Later that weekend they continued the fun by taking their own wedding photos, with just tripod and themselves.

Here is a glimpse of their DIY wedding day:

A Mc and a MAC marry
bride lies on her grooms lap, dressed in tartanhe lies with his head in his brides lapWhat they said:

 

Kari was an amazing celebrant.  She was just what we were looking for, she listened to our suggestions, went with our ideas adding her own input when we knew what we wanted but weren’t sure how to do it.

Kari got a good feel for how we were as a couple and what we liked.  She even offered us choices to choose her dress colour for the ceremony and was even willing to go barefoot.

Kari helped a lot making our ceremony just what we wanted and we had an amazing day.  Sandra and Jason MacKinnon

Unusual readings in a marriage ceremony

Unusual readings in a marriage ceremony

Unusual Readings

This story is about readings for your wedding ceremony.  As an example let’s look at the wedding Danielle and Karim, married at Tiffany’s looking out over the Glasshouse Mountains.

But first let’s glimpse their wedding day….

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Meeting your love

It is one of life’s richest surprises when a chance meeting of two people on a stairway leads them to love.  It is one of life’s finest experiences when this love grows into a permanent relationship.  It is a sacred day when these two people realise that they wish to make it forever in a marriage.

And it is joyous day when the wedding arrives and family gather from all over the world to marry on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in the presence of spectacular views from the Maleny Range.

This meeting and this growing are what led to the wedding day for Danielle and Karim, who indeed met by chance five years ago on a stairway in a hostel in Scotland. The pipes may have played for them that day, or the angels sang, for they both knew that they had met someone special. Through being ruthlessly and wonderfully themselves, they fell in love and chose to get married, to begin the journey and ride the waves of life together.

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A wedding ceremony in French

Now being French, Karim wished to make sure his mother could understand the service.  So when this couple came to me it was with a special request, that their ceremony be in English AND French.

I am always happy to include other languages in a ceremony, and indeed speak French and Indonesian.  However I have been known to get training to use other languages in a wedding ceremony.

Readings are often a part of a marriage ceremony.  You can choose to have a close friend or relative to read, or indeed ask your wedding celebrant to read for you.

A reading can expand on your reasons for marriage, or describe the feeling of love in a way we may never be able to find the words to say out loud. A reading is a moment to pause in the ceremony and and reflect.

For this wedding, Karim’s mother, Nelly chose a poem for this special day.  And of course it was in French!  AND of course it is about love (l’amour)!

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A Poem in French

Éloge de l’amour   par Jean de La Fontaine 

Tout l’Univers obéit à l’Amour ;

Belle Psyché, soumettez-lui votre âme.

Les autres dieux à ce dieu font la cour,

Et leur pouvoir est moins doux que sa flamme.

Des jeunes coeurs c’est le suprême bien

Aimez, aimez ; tout le reste n’est rien.

*****

Sans cet Amour, tant d’objets ravissants,

Lambris dorés, bois, jardins, et fontaines,

N’ont point d’appâts qui ne soient languissants,

Et leurs plaisirs sont moins doux que ses peines.

Des jeunes coeurs c’est le suprême bien

Aimez, aimez ; tout le reste n’est rien.

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A Reading from Bob

The second reading they chose is from Bob Marley, in English this time:

Only once in your life, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more.

You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful.

There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life. A phone call during the day always brings a smile to your face.

Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and soul mate, who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they will be part of your life, forever.

There are so many beautiful texts to help illustrate a wedding ceremony.  I keep a folio of ideas and samples for my couples.  I also have several books with unusual readings and quotes.

You may find something from a song lyric, a film script, or written on a graffiti wall that inspires you.

Thank you to Focus Films for the images of Danielle and Karim’s English/French Wedding ceremony.

For other stories on French Weddings:

Something Very French

With a French touch

Totally in French 

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An unusual wedding ceremony

An unusual wedding ceremony

Wanting an unusual wedding ceremony?

I have never returned home on more of a high, than at the wedding of Jas and Linton, married at Weddings at Tiffany’s on the Maleny ridge.  I knew when I met this engaged couple, that it would be a splendid ceremony.  They are creative and fun, willing to have a go, and embrace something a little unusual, yet meaningful and heartwarming.  It is wonderful to meet a couple who truly want something bespoke for their wedding ceremony.

Jas and Linton create something unusual.

Tradition can still carry meaning, can be captivating, can be absolutely memorable for the couple and guests.  Jasmine and Linton agreed, and allowed a pretty free rein to design a ceremony that stood out for everyone.  They jumped on the creative bandwagon and prepared something special to set the scene; a video.

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How did it begin?

Like this….

A full chapel of guests. But no sign of the bride or the groom!  We could see a movie screen set up at the end of the Chapel.  As their marriage celebrant, I began to explain the absence of a couple to wed. “Before we start today’s wedding ceremony, there is something we need to watch. Fasten your belts and here we go,”

The guests were privy to an elaborate video story of the couple from childhood to now along their courting path.  Photos interwoven with dramatic music wove a humorous story.

guests watch a video at a wedding

Enter bride and groom

Suddenly, just as the out-music played on the screen, the wooden, smokey-glass doors of the delightful Tiffany’s Wedding Chapel burst open and the happy couple entered holding hands.  They walked down the aisle together.  A huge cheer erupted as they walked to the dais, overlooking the Glasshouse mountains behind us.

bride and groom entering the chapel together

When they first met

As we saw in the video, when Linton first met Jasmine, she was a garden gnome!  Jas has since grown into a delightful woman.  Linton is pretty happy about that! As we just saw, unusually for most couples, there is actual footage of their very first encounter on a film set, he the cameraman, she the actor. After the first day of filming was done, Jas told her mum, “There was a lovely cameraman there and if he asked me out for a coffee I would say yes”.

Coffee happened, if some time in the making…..and the long romance began.

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A wedding promise

Jasmine and Linton’s wedding promise was not something new, yet was a confirmation of a commitment to each other and celebration shared with those who have been through the journey with them, and invited as guests of their wedding.

Callie’s photos in the rain reflect their ability to have fun and find creativity whatever happens.  And yes they did get rather wet during the photo shoot.  Wouldn’t you love images like this?  The rain did not deter them at all.  In fact Jasmine had the forethought to bring an alternative “reception” dress to change into.  She looked just as divine after the shoot.

I hope I am around for their 50th wedding anniversary!  Should be a hoot.

Thanks to the photos of Callie Marshell of Florido Weddings.

Unforgettable ceremony

Theirs was a ceremony no-one will ever forget.  Jasmine, the bride,  said afterwards,

“The ceremony was my FAVOURITE part of the day…I am so glad we got to share that with so many of our friends and loved ones…I even feel more connected with everyone after that amazing experience. The warmth, buzz, excitement just exuded from everyone and made the day even better than we could have hoped it to be!”

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The Bride’s comments

“After stumbling upon Kari’s website and reading through the information and testimonials, I thought, “This lady seems like our kind of celebrant!” We then met with Kari and instantly knew she was ‘the one’ for us.

From day one we felt completely comfortable with Kari, which was very important for us. Kari is warm, friendly, professional and has a genuine enthusiasm and love for what she does – and it shows. Not knowing where to start, Kari provided fantastic recourses to help us get started. She takes all the stress and uncertainty out of all the legal components and ceremony part of the wedding. Planning the ceremony was a breeze, because Kari did all the hard work! I never once worried about it – which is awesome for a bride, with other things to worry about!

 I had always thought wedding ceremonies were a bit boring and all the ‘same’, but after one meeting with us and talking a bit about ourselves and the type of ceremony we wanted, Kari wrote a beautiful, creative and fun ceremony that was just perfect – and so very us!

The ceremony actually ended up being my favourite part of what was the most fabulous day – we had so much fun, it was so special. After our ceremony, we had numerous comments about how wonderful our celebrant was and how much she ‘added’ to our wedding day. We also had people say it was the best ceremony they had ever been to!

We feel very lucky to have had Kari as our celebrant, because our wedding would not have been the same (or as fabulous!) without her!

Thank you Kari… “Jasmine and Linton

midday 12/12/12, a perfect dozen

midday 12/12/12, a perfect dozen

~ with Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant, Kari ~

A row of 12’s looks great on the marriage paperwork.  

So good in fact that I just had to create a special 12/12/12 certificate for them… just for fun.

Congratulations to Sandy and Michael for selecting the perfect dozen for their wedding day.  

Sandy and Michael told me they don’t need trumpets to declare their feelings for one another.  They enjoy the simple things of life.  They came to a point in their lives when sincerity outweighs pomp, and intimacy is appreciated more than fanfare.  Yet they also acknowledged that there are times in ones life when a ceremony or a bit of ritual can describe what is deep within. They chose an intimate elopement, and wanted to share this sacred moment with their supportive friends.

They have known each other for 6 years, and tell me that despite finding a couple of old warts and the occasional nervous twitch, life has been very good to them both and together.  So they selected the most auspicious date for their nuptials, hired a house and together with their friends escaped to the hills of Montville to seal their relationship with a wedding.

At exactly the 12th hour, on the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year of the millenium, Sandy and Michael took their wedding vows.

Enjoy the fabulous photos by Marion Jonkers Photography

We do things in ceremony that are profoundly symbolic. It allows the depth of what we feel to shine through.  Ceremony or ritual is the visible means for honouring that unseen world that we feel within.  I love to create ritual special to each couple.  I often ask couples to bring a food, which nurtures their daily life, and a drink to use for celebration.  In sharing these things you symbolically foster both daily life and special moments together.

When we spoke together I noticed they both called each other ” darling honey”.  So I suggested they use honey as a symbol of their perfect union.

Honey has many sustaining properties.  In many ancient cultures honey is a basic food, and can also be a drink.  It is often considered a delicious treat.  Honey is a symbol of richness and sweetness in all traditions.  In sacred texts, honey flows like a stream through promised lands.  In others considered the drink of the Gods.  In others again, it is equated with the higher self. And we’ve heard of the role New Zealand Manuka honey can play in healing.

We know honey to be natural and sustainable, a gift from nature, needing no further manufacture.  Pure honey straight from bees is ready to eat.  And we also know it to be long lasting.  Honey found in the Pyramids today is still edible.  What better symbol for a marriage.  Sweet, nourishing, long lasting, and a food to enjoy.

I asked them to feed each other some honey, as a symbol of daily nourishment, yet also representative of the sweetness of life together.

What an extraordinary and yet intimate wedding day.

Here’s what Sandy & Michael said:

Getting married and finding the right Celebrant, words and ceremony is certainly not easy, even second time round.  We found Kari’s approach easy and open and felt very comfortable discussing our thoughts for an intimate elopement ceremony. Kari not only listened to our thoughts but, found those little things that really mattered to us both and individually.  Considering our thoughts, Kari provided some excellent suggestions which made it easy to find the right words and ceremony, along with the legal requirements we had to provide and complete prior to getting married.

We wanted something simple, formal, intimate with some involvement by our close friends, Kari achieved this and more, telling our story with some lovely touches, (Honey and passing the Rings) Kari can explain!

All our friends including ourselves felt privileged to be part of our wonderful day, a day and a moment in time we will always treasure.

We thoroughly recommend Kari and her professional Celebrant services.

Regards Michael & Sandy Clark  

Creative writing

Creative writing

creative writing for your wedding

Creative writing

This story will be about a dance, eventually.  But it starts as a story about creative writing, something as a marriage celebrant I do all the time for my couples.  Every wedding ceremony is unique and new written just for two people. Often I seek ways to hone my writing craft.

Creative writing is key to a great wedding ceremony. As your celebrant, I practise writing to hone my skills for your wedding.

Recently I attended a creative writing workshop with marvellous teacher, Glenda O’Sullivan.

Writing Workshop

A few months ago, a dear friend of mine and an inspiring workshop queen, ran a creative writing day.  Glenda invited several budding writers to gather.  She invited us to open our minds and let loose our pens.

I don’t usually call myself a writer.  Perhaps I imagined one has to be pumping out novels, or contracted to a magazine to claim that title.  Of course there are many more writers in the world than one would imagine.

On reflection, I realised I do write.  Every day in fact.  I write this.  A blog, a collection of stories really.

I write wedding ceremonies. I write eulogies.  I write for couples.  I write for families.  I write for people.  

Yes, I write every day.

So, with a little trepidation, I went along.  

The gift of writing

Glenda gave the group a wonderful gift that day.  She took us along the road to writing creatively.  She began with simple tasks to get our pens sliding over the paper.  Then she upped the ante, interrupting our train of thoughts with unusual stimuli; a gesture, a flower, or a compulsory word or two.  As the day progressed we played word games, wrote lists, turned the lists into prose, the prose into poetry, and back again.  Each time we had  to produce a piece of writing on the spot, on paper, and on time!

I’d like to present some of the pieces I wrote that day.

Word Games

We played a word game.  The game produced a list of words.

Write, she said, using all the words on your list    … and she gave us 10 minutes…. Speed writing is very creative writing!

So I wrote.

my darling, my darling, my love

A necklace for your sanity … my darling, my darling

Your neck will just surrender … my love

Relegate sizing to your tailor … my darling, my darling

Measure your team of suitors … my love

__

I salivate with surprise … my darling, my darling

Your tears send a sinuous shiver … my love

Lean to my sincerity … my darling, my darling

Tenuous yet necessary … my love

__

Undulate, manipulate .. my darling, my darling

Ululate the timing … my love

Sing your man a lullaby … my darling, my darling

Be my eager minstral … my love

__

 

Round and round the duckpond … my darling, my darling

Mad as a team of yabbies … my love

Eat my words on Sunday … my darling, my darling

And tell me that you love me … my love

*****

writing creatively for your wedding helps your story lift off the page

 

Writing wedding ceremonies

Some couples might wonder just how I create unique wedding ceremonies.  I draw on creative writing skills to achieve a perfect marriage ceremony for you.  I chat with you and we laugh.  I get to know you.  We talk about life, meaning and wedding wishes; about family and feelings.  You tell me your stories. I tell you mine.  You get to know me, and feel comfortable with me as the person who will conduct the ceremony on your wedding day.

From all this I weave a tapestry about you, your love story and  your  wedding day.  You also get chances to alter and change, delete and add.

a story lifts off the creative writing page

Creative writing workshop

The poem above, is by no means part of a marriage ceremony.  It was written within a different context; a creative writing workshop.

If your wedding celebrant can write creatively, you know you can expect a truly unique ceremony, all about you, and your ideas on your marriage.  Not just any old ceremony with your names slotted into the gaps.

You want something that is a reflection of you.

Something meaningful, to you.

Something memorable for your family and friends.

Something just a little different, pitched right.  Your style in words.

Contact me if you’d like a ceremony written just for you.

And to finish this article, here is another piece I wrote under time pressure that day…. about the dance.

*****

creative writing with a lily behnd the ear for a tango piece

Tango Lily

The floor is smooth.  Wooden floor boards polished by feet.  Slide together after every step.  Bring the left together with the right, across the boards.  Smooth the timber.  Caress the wood.  Foot does not leave floor.  Slide… together…slide … together. Ready for whatever may come. There is no past. No future.  Just now.  Just this moment. Just this step. Then that step.  That’s Tango.

 She tucked a lily behind her left ear.  Not the right ear.  It would get in the way.  She wore a flower on the right once.  Never do that again.  Well it was a fake rose anyway.  But it tickled and scratched his face when he took her into the close embrace.  He fluffed and blew it.  She had to throw it away; out of her hair, onto a chair, to dance.

The flower was on the left.  A lily; simple, plain, a tiny bit jaunty. Like the tango.  She was the lily.  And the lily was the dance. Subtle but with intent.  

This year I have begun to learn Tango.  I may never finish learning Tango.  I relish the opportunity to let go of control; to release, to stop helping, to simply allow someone else to lead the way.  To follow the lead, to rest my head on a shoulder and allow my steps to follow.