Rainbow happiness

Rainbow happiness

same sex weddings australia

Rainbow weddings

Same sex marriages are here to stay in Australia.

Rainbow happiness is everywhere. I feel frivolous and you can’t wipe the grin from my face.

I am available for your wedding whoever you are, whatever kind of ceremony you want. In fact I was the first celebrant in Australia to officially conduct a legal same sex marriage.

LGBTIQ marriage austrsalia votes yesYes

Today was inevitable, but important. Australia voted yes to equality. Legislation will follow in the fullness of time. LGBTIQ couples will have the right to marry, to express their love in a wedding ceremony to seal their marriage in the eyes of their friends, family AND the law. Australia will celebrate in a rainbow of colours.

wedding celebrant

I would love to be your marriage celebrant, to assist you in designing the perfect ceremony for you.You may have no idea where to begin. But I do.

It begins with a fresh canvas. We talk, we laugh, reminisce, smile at memories, tear up over touching tales, share stories. Then I begin to have ideas, throw some scenarios into the mix. We flesh out ideas, bringing in other characters, and discussing who might be involved. Then I begin to write, to navigate through all the ideas and possibilities. And send it to you for feedback. and that’s just the first steps towards your amazing and unique wedding ceremony…. no matter who you are.

But right here I wish to indulge is some thematic fun. Today’s story is a pictures story of rainbow happiness.

A winning wedding in Maleny

A winning wedding in Maleny

Maleny Wedding

Congratulations to Karla and Matt. Theirs was a winning Maleny wedding.
This wedding was nominated as one of only five weddings shortlisted for “Wedding of the Year” by Junebug Weddings.

A story

Most importantly, their day appeared as if out of a storybook. It was a fairytale come true at Maleny Retreat, which is one of Australia’s most breath taking wedding locations. Maleny Retreat offers you freedom. That is to say, you get to design your own wedding.  You are free to create your own style on a blank canvas. For a wedding in Maleny area, it is delightful choice.

Maleny Retreat is a sumptuous canvas to which you can add your detailing and style.

Looking out over the Glass House Mountains, Karla and Matt’s wedding ceremony looked picture perfect. The vista takes in the serene Tibrogargan, and his family of mountain peeks. Guests arrived to drop their gear in luxury tent style accommodation. The party began before the wedding even started!

A sultry sky provided an awesome and dreamy backdrop for the photos taken by the awesome Bec of Ash and Stone Photography.

Take a peek at the storyboard of their ceremony:

maleny-retreat-celebrant_1

maleny-retreat-celebrant_2

maleny-retreat-celebrant_3

maleny-retreat-celebrant_4

maleny-retreat-celebrant_5

maleny-retreat-celebrant_6

maleny-retreat-celebrant_7

maleny-retreat-celebrant_8

maleny-retreat-celebrant_9

maleny-retreat-celebrant_10

maleny-retreat-celebrant_11

maleny-retreat-celebrant_12

maleny-retreat-celebrant_13

maleny-retreat-celebrant_14

maleny-retreat-celebrant_15

maleny-retreat-celebrant_16

maleny-retreat-celebrant_17

maleny-retreat-celebrant_18

maleny-retreat-celebrant_19

maleny-retreat-celebrant_20

maleny-retreat-celebrant_21

maleny-retreat-celebrant_22

maleny-retreat-celebrant_23

maleny-retreat-celebrant_24

maleny-retreat-celebrant_25

maleny-retreat-celebrant_26

maleny-retreat-celebrant_27

maleny-retreat-celebrant_28

maleny-retreat-celebrant_29

maleny-retreat-celebrant_30

maleny-retreat-celebrant_31

maleny-retreat-celebrant_33

maleny-retreat-celebrant_32

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.

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.

AlexScott0123

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.

AlexScott0368_fav

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)

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