making poetry of legal wedding vow

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

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

Felt flowers wedding bouquet

Felt flowers wedding bouquet

Have you considered felt flowers for your wedding bouquet? Here is a story of a couple who did…. and how they sourced these amazing flowers for a wedding bouquet that reflected their exact choice of blooms.

Congratulations to Cherie and Josh on their stunning wedding on the Mooloolaba Spit Parklands.

Would it rain, would it not???  A teensy drop of drizzle chased all the beach-goers away, and left the whole beach and parklands to Cherie and Josh for their wedding.  Thank you sky.  Thanks for the cooling blessing of a drop of water, AND for a rain free wedding ceremony.

Rain and Retro

However today’s story is not of rain blessings, nor of beach and delightful parks for a wedding.

Nor is it even about their choice of retro styling their wedding, nor arrival in the heritage red kombi van from Deluxe Kombis. Although I must admit I did appreciate the beautiful restored ruby kombi parked next to my own retro car, a pt cruiser… However I divert myself.

Felt Flowers

Cherie and Josh inspired me with their choice of flowers.  Flowers in the glass bulbs hanging in trees, flowers at the belt of the flower girls, in lapels of groomsmen and in the hands of bridesmaids and bride. But all made from felt.

Cherie found them on Etsy, from a gorgeous maker in Albania called Livija Kandele, who showcases her felted creations on her daughter’s Etsy shop.  By the time wedding flower styles and colours had been negotiated, they were firm friends.  Cherie tells me she will miss her weekly online chat with her new friend, the felter.  Livija, a craftswoman from Albania, wove her creativity into new realms with the design of new flowers especially for this Australian wedding by the beach.

Cherie said: “She had never made wedding flowers before, but sells hand and needle felted brooches, toys and various homeware items, on her daughter’s Etsy store- Liga Kandele.  I actually began talking with Liga initially who coordinated with her mother, and took professional photos of the work to send me as her mother progressed.  Livija agreed that she would be happy to give wedding flowers a try, and I ended up speaking back and forth with both mother and daughter about the detail of the flowers quite regularly.  They were both amazing, and so extremely helpful and accommodating to my very specific requests!”

Cherie and Josh had clear ideas on the colour scheme for their wedding.  In line with their retro theming, and using a classic autumn colour palette, they chose browns and oranges and yellows and cream.  The flowers were quite symbolic too.

They selected Australian yellow wattle for their home country,

English roses for the long time they spent living in England,

North American russet red spotted tiger lily flowers for their time in Canada, and creamy citrus blossoms, traditional for weddings in times gone by.

The combinations were just stunning.

Cherie told me,” The dark orange flower is an orange spotted tiger lily.  This flower was actually the main reason why I started looking into getting flowers made in the first place! I had a Sesame Street “Little Golden Book” when I was little, where big bird walked around the neighbourhood with flowers giving them to different people – describing the different types of flowers as he went.  I always had a fascination and love for the orange spotted tiger lily in the book – it had stuck in my brain all this time! I noticed over the years that I’d never seen a tiger lily quite like that in Australia – they look different here.  So I started researching it for the wedding and found that these type of flowers mostly come from North America.  We had just moved back from living in North America (Canada), so I thought why not include that, plus a flower from England, and one from Australia – the three places Josh and I had lived together 🙂

To set off the flowers and their colours, the boys dressed in browns and carried brown umbrellas.  Very classy!

And the girls dressed in individual retro dresses in mustard yellows, and carried brown polka dot umbrellas.  The overall effect was simply gorgeous, set under the she oak trees in the park.

Photos by Kari – the celebrant!

 

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Married in a white chapel with a bit of French

Married in a white chapel with a bit of French

~ with Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant Kari ~

Congratulations to Douglas and Melissa, a gorgeous and fun loving couple, married at The Little White Wedding Church in Maleny.

Both Melissa and her parents are from Paris, and key wedding guests were coming from France especially for this divine wedding.  So they sought a celebrant who might be able to weave in a little French to make all the guests feel at home.

What they didn’t know at the time was that even some French ritual could also be woven into the ceremony.  So when I suggested the white ribbon ritual, Melissa jumped at the chance for some fun in her ceremony.

In France it is a tradition for a town’s children to stretch white ribbons across the road down which the bride travels.  She must cut the ribbons to make a path.

These are symbolic obstacles created for them to overcome together and thus pave a common path in their new life together.

On her wedding day in honour of Melissa’s background we stretched white ribbons across the aisle before she entered the church following the Bridesmaids.
As she strolled down the aisle, she had to cut her way through the “obstacles” to get to her guy. She laughed as she commented that she’d do anything to get to the altar where he was waiting. We hoped she had scissors with her tucked into that bouquet!

And she did.

And what story about a french wedding would be complete without some French Poetry;

Read by her sister and bridesmaid, Savita.  Durant l’hiver by Célia Germinario

Durant l’hiver on s’est rencontré,                        
Amour, gentillesse, beauté à mes yeux tu es,
Mon coeur, mon corps et mon âme je t’ai donné,
Il ne peut rien t’arriver,
Eternellement prêt de toi je serai,
Nos coeurs sont mêlés à jamai
During the winter we met,
You are Love, kindness, beauty to my eyes,
my heart, my body and my soul I have given thee,
there is no more life can bring
Eternally ready for thee I will be,
our hearts mingled forever
 

What a fun day it was.  Thank you to the delightful and subtle Matt Rowe for the images.  He is everywhere and nowhere at the same time, capturing each moment, each smile.  Thanks Matt.  And checkout his new cover image!!!

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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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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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