Together at last – wedding organised by email

Together at last – wedding organised by email

Together at last

Congratulations Linda & Rob, married at last at House of Laurels in Maleny, after months working overseas.  It was so exciting when we finally met in person just before the wedding.  The entire ceremony had been organised over the internet.  Via censored army email and registered post, and via a combined willingness to embrace the online medium and go with it.  We found common evenings when we could chat via email. Zapping emails back and forth, we nutted out the ceremony and all the logistics.  Voila!

Organised via email

Linda first contacted me via email …  from ..wait for it… Afghanistan, where Rob and herself were deployed at the time.  “Could we organise the wedding over the net?” she asked, as she and Rob would not get back to Australia until just before the wedding.  Of course, it is all possible.

Linda and I shared many an email conversation.  Despite the time differences we seemed to be on our computers at the same moment, and organised everything via the typed word.  Worked a treat.  They may have been deployed in the same country but it was rare they were in the same base, and due to army censorship and safety protocols, they did not even know where each other was at any moment.  It was a risky time.  They just crossed their fingers they would both make it back to Australia safely.

And they did!

A Joyous wedding

Their wedding was joyous yet meaningful.  A true celebration of their loving union.  No one knew we had never met until the days before the wedding.  Most thought e had been pals for ages.  Well we had indeed been wedding pen pals.

He loves her smile; she has taught him how to open up and share his thoughts.  She loves his patience, his sense of humour.  He knows how to make her laugh.  Yet she says he has taught her how to love and how to be loved.  They know how to laugh. And when asked what is their favourite colour, they both replied without hesitation – black!  But Linda wore white for the day, and a huge smile! 

They said

“From the very first email, Kari was helpful, warm and kind. We knew instantly from her response that she would be the one. We were struggling with writing our own vows but Kari gave us the tools to find our own words. She was with us every step of the way and went above and beyond in arranging our ceremony. We planned 90% of it from a computer in Afghanistan! How impressive is that!

The ceremony was better than we could have hoped for. Kari’s delivery was perfect. She helped create a relaxed and loving atmosphere. All my guests had commented that they had never been to such a loving ceremony and I know Kari had a lot to do with that.

We highly recommend Kari for anyone who is looking for a dedicated, professional, warm and kind celebrant who takes all stress away!!! She is a master at her craft,”
Linda & Rob

Wedding Photos

Thanks for photos by Calli B Photography

Alice in Wonderland theme wedding

Alice in Wonderland theme wedding

What a wedding. What a happiness. What a lovely couple.

Joanne and Ed were married in love and laughter at Maleny Manor.  This was a wedding full of joy and laughs, full of story and tradition, but never lost the lighter side of life.  As a wedding celebrant it is pure joy to come across a couple who laugh as much as they love.

The fun began as the bridal party, both groomsmen and bridesmaids, entered in ones or twos to their own themed music.  Each pair or individual had worked on an aisle routine, dancing across the grass to lift spirits of all there.  By the time the bride arrived, everyone was laughing. We knew we were in for a GREAT time.

This wedding honoured several traditions.  There were of course the marriage traditions that we all know and love, an exchange of rings, a bride in white, a groom handsomely dressed, bridesmaids walking down the aisle, and a reading or two.

But this wedding was so much more. Jo wanted to pay tribute to her Filipino heritage, so we included several traditions from her heritage. Allow me to look at some of these traditions.  For ritual makes a ceremony so riveting and deeply personal.

Candle Ritual

It is a wonderful tradition to light a candle at a wedding; taking the lights of two individual personalities and together igniting a common future, a common pathway into that future and a light to walk together by.  On this day it was a Filipino one.  The candle symbolises the light of their marriage.  It reminds them to always keep it happy and bright, to keep the flame alive. In the Filipino tradition family light this candle for the couple.

 Veil Ritual

A veil is draped over the couple’s heads, drawing them both together.  It symbolises protection and being clothed as one, it is about the shelter marriage provides the couple.

Cord Ritual

A cord is then draped over the veil, in a ring over each head, like simple wedding crowns.  The cord symbolises eternity and union.

Coin Ritual

The Groom gives coins to his bride symbolising that he promises to provide and support this marriage.  She accepts the coins promising also to support this marriage.

Now whilst I can’t show you these rituals in images, I can show you how they decorated their tables.  The reception room at Maleny Manor looked splendiferous, and like the Cheshire cat, I was beaming as I took these photos. 

This is what they said;

Kari was absolutely professional from start to finish. We had a destination wedding, and planned the whole event from Cairns. Through emails and phone calls, Kari has created a lovely and very personal bespoke ceremony for us. She was very patient throughout the planning process, and even helped me out with my vows at 5am the morning of our wedding. She included my Filipino background throughout the ceremony, and it was a really special touch.

 On our wedding day, she turned up in professional lovely outfit that complimented our ceremony. She made sure the music was ready, and that the bridal party was set. She was amazing throughout the ceremony that we felt at ease, and loved every minute of it.

Thank you so much Kari for the amazing day! Edward and Joanne

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a naughty wedding veil

a naughty wedding veil

A marriage celebrant well might ask, “What does one do with a naughty wedding veil during a wedding ceremony?” Hmmmm….

Congratulations to Gayle and Keith who were married on top of the hill at Ruffles Lodge on the Gold Coast Hinterland.

married on thelawn

But my story gets ahead of itself.  Let’s back track a little….
With spectacular views down to the coast, the exclusive mountain retreat is simply gorgeous.  Gayle and Keith chose this place so their family and friends could all join the retreat and have some time away from the hum of life in a relaxed and luxurious location.

So the groom and his blokes are waiting on the lawn, the guests are assembled.

Beautiful Gayle arrives on the arm of her Dad, her long bridal veil trailing behind.

Here Comes the Bride

The ceremony begins, and the breeze picks up a little. Not looking too naughty yet!

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Slowly the naughty wedding veil starts to make an entrance.

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The wedding veil wafts romantically around, then starts to assert itself more strongly until a moment is made
behind which a bride and groom could steal a kiss!

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We laugh, and finally a Bridesmaid catches the cheeky veil and tames it a little for the rest of the ceremony.

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the first wedding kiss

the first wedding kiss

That’s what bridesmaids are for!  Just one of the many jobs a bridesmaid takes in her stride on her friend’s wedding day!
Thanks girls.

Check out the amazing purple and lilac.  What glorious colours!!!

And thank you to Justin from Bush Turkey Studio for the photos.

“Kari, Thank you for your help for our ceremony in October, it was everything we were looking for. You were fantastic!” Gayle & Keith

bridesmaids dressed in purple who tamed the naughty wedding veil
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 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

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