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 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.”  

[dt_gallery_masonry bwb_columns=”desktop:3|h_tablet:3|v_tablet:3|phone:2″ image_border_radius=”0px” project_icon_border_width=”0px” include=”40057,40054,40051,40055,40056,40058,40053″]

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:

A handfasting ceremony

A handfasting ceremony

Handfasting wedding ceremony

DIY vintage wedding with handfasting ritual to tie the knot

Vintage wedding down at the homestead

…and here comes the beautiful and totally happy bride, Jessica, to her wedding ceremony.  The story continues.

Jess and Joel are a relaxed couple who planned their DIY wedding at Kenilworth Homestead on the Mary River.  There was plenty of space down on the farm to feel like the rest of the world had melted away.    The homestead grounds could accommodate the entire guest list, with onsite cabins, cottages and a long river flat for tents if necessary.  But the centre piece for this wedding was the old rustic barn, with weathered boards, old farm features, transformed by this creative couple into a vintage paradise for an evening of fun, games and rock’n’rollin.

Vintage wedding decor with DIY table decor and loop s of fairy lights

Arriving at the wedding

But I digress, first the ceremony.

Under the huge tree they met to wed.

Jessica arrived on the arms of a proud Mum and Dad.  She needed them there so she wouldn’t bolt too fast to her darling Joel.  The guests watched with glee as she strolled across from the cottages to the altar under the tree

bride arrives with her parents on her arms

Another name for tie the knot

Jess and Joel had told me that they have a very tight knit group of friends, and that family is really important to them.  They describe family as a mixture of unconditional acceptance, lots and lots of love and happy chaos; a delightful combination!

So their wedding was planned as a retreat for everyone, not simply a honeymoon for two, although I’m sure they’ll find time for that too!

Since ancient times couples have stood together in a ceremony of marriage. For Jess and Joel’s ceremony they also decided to embrace an age old tradition, with a rope! I rewrote what is sometimes called a handfasting ceremony, in which a cord is tied about a couple’s  hands as they take their vows.  It is from this tradition that we know of the expression to “tie the knot”.  Making it  uniquely their own handfasting, we played with words, and wove their vow sentiments into the handfasting format.

Kari celebrant conducts a handfasting wedding

Handfasting

During the ceremony under the large tree, I wound the cord slowly about their hands as they made their promises to each other.   For each line a binding, for each binding a promise, and as the hands were bound together, a set of promises bound their lives and their futures.  But once done, the bindings can be unwound for the promises they have made will keep them together, no rope is needed!

Photos by Brisbane & Melbourne based photographer, Elleni Toumpas and a couple by myself!

If you enjoyed this story, you may like the first chapter of Jess and Joel’s DIY vintage themed wedding, down on the farm, by the Mary River.

silhouetted couple at Kenilworth Homestead DIY wedding
[dt_gallery_masonry bwb_columns=”desktop:3|h_tablet:3|v_tablet:3|phone:2″ image_border_radius=”0px” project_icon_border_width=”0px” include=”39705,39706,39707,39708,39710,39711,39712,39714,39715,39716,39718,39720″]
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.

[dt_gallery_masonry bwb_columns=”desktop:3|h_tablet:3|v_tablet:3|phone:2″ image_border_radius=”0px” project_icon_border_width=”0px” include=”39806,39805,39804,39808,39803,39807,39802,39811,39812,39815,39814,39816,39813,39817″]
A Wedding in French and English

A Wedding in French and English

He carried his bride over the threshold

~ with Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant Kari ~

Congratulations to Fanny & Tommi married in both French and English at Flaxton Gardens in brilliant sunshine.

Fanny contacted me to request a marriage ceremony on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Range, that both her family and Tommi’s family could understand.  In fact they wanted the entire ceremony in both languages!  Now there’s a challenge I love.

I always offer to create bespoke ceremonies to suit each couple, so that part was not difficult.  For Fanny and Tommi, I simply had to translate the custom ceremony into French as well.  Now whilst I converse in passable French, I will admit to seeking guidance from my dear French friends, to ensure the grammar was all correct.

The outcome was a delightful ceremony ….read twice, as French & English took turn about during the ceremony!  On top of the usual wedding day nerves, both bride and groom made their promises to each other, first in their love’s language, then in their own.  It is not an easy task when one of those languages is not your mother tongue.  The guests were particularly encouraging, and warmly congratulated them for their efforts.  It made for amusing times as half the guests would laugh then moments later the other half got the joke!  As long as everyone understood, in the long run.

the red kombi arroives at Flaxton Gardens for a wedding

Fanny surprised us all arriving in a retro red Kombi with her two beautiful sisters and her charming father, all of whom had travelled from France to be here for Fanny’s day.  She walked down the aisle on the arm of her Dad, under brilliant blue skies to her waiting groom, Tommi.  Their ceremony was not complicated; simple and chic, elegant yet relaxed, with some laughs and I noticed some tears of emotion too.

Tommi and Fanny I wish you well in your future lives together and congratulate on including both your mother tongues in your wedding ceremony.  Thank you for the opportunity to use your poetic and musical sounding language.

One of the specialities I can offer couples, is a ceremony with other languages.  Some of the requests I have fulfilled are a French poem,  a prayer in Afrikaans, and a blessing in Sanskrit, to name a few.  My background as a musician means I have a trained ear for catching sounds.  So even when I do not speak the language, I will learn something in your tongue for you.  I’ll try anything, and with a bit of practice I have delivered so far.

However two languages are my specialty.  I speak fluent Indonesian, having lived there for years in my youth, and Fanny says my French was perfect. Well at least her family who flew out from France for the wedding day could understand the whole ceremony, and not feel at all left out.

It simply helps to know that a wedding in Australia can encompass whatever tradition or culture you wish to include.  Languages are no barrier, and I welcome customs from other traditions.

Photos by Alan Hughes

“Thanks Kari for everything you have done.  We had a great day and the ceremony was amazing; your french was perfect 😉 Thanks again” Fanny

[dt_gallery_masonry bwb_columns=”desktop:3|h_tablet:3|v_tablet:3|phone:2″ image_border_radius=”0px” project_icon_border_width=”0px” include=”40021,40017,40018,40015,40016,40022,40023,40029,40019,40020,40024,40025,40026,40027,40028,40030,40031,40032,40014″]
Leap Year proposal

Leap Year proposal

Leap into marriage

It’s a leap year.  And whilst you may consider yourself a modern woman, you may like to adopt a vintage marriage tradition this year.

It’s the girl’s turn

In a leap year, traditionally a woman may propose marriage to her man.  The leap year marriage tradition was introduced centuries ago. According to folk lore, the leap day was an invented day to fix a discrepancy in the calendar.  It was not considered a “real” day; it had no cultural status.  Thus, the reasoning goes, social customs also had different reality status on that day too.

Leap Year Wedding proposals

Given the leap day was to fix a glitch, women thought they could fix an unjust glitch in social custom, freeing them up to pop the question to the man they adored.

How did the leap year marriage proposal begin?

The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland supposedly passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year. Tradition states they also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in a leap year must also pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss, to a silk dress or a pair of gloves.  Now this wedding celebrant thinks that’s a win win situation!

So for women who tire of waiting for the bloke to ask for their hand in marriage, the leap year gives them a legitimate occasion to propose, to leap into their own power.

Or does your wardrobe need a few more frocks?  Propose away girls.

[dt_gallery_masonry bwb_columns=”desktop:3|h_tablet:3|v_tablet:3|phone:2″ image_border_radius=”0px” project_icon_border_width=”0px” include=”40251,40254,40252,40253,40255,40256″]