Yandina Station wedding

Yandina Station wedding

Bride and groom with their dear little son in arms

Married at Yandina Station

Congratulations Adele and Paul, married at Yandina Station between Yandina and Coolum.

Vintage Theme wedding

Using a vintage wedding theme, Adele decorated the homestead with a table of old cameras, old books tied with string, bottles of old fashioned sweets and a vintage typewriter for writing messages.

Historic Yandina Station

Yandina Station was perfect for their theme.  The old homestead still has the original hardwood weather boards, delightfully aged to silver.  The gardens reflect a time gone by, yet retain a relaxed and homely feel, with herbs and flowers.  Old worldy games on the grass were very welcoming, and the sunny day was perfect.

Kids at a wedding

Their son Mac was a star, carrying the rings on a string around his neck.

Their wedding ceremony

Adele and Paul’s wedding ceremony began: “Unions have been made in this area for millennia.  Today Adele and Paul join the natural scheme of things and wed in this sacred place between Mount Ninderry and Mount Coolum close to Maroochy River.  For 10’s of thousands of years these mountains have been revered and blessed, and honoured for their significance and power.  It is a healing place, a happy place.  In the shadow of these mountains people feel safe and warm and blessed.  To be able to see both Ninderry and Coolum from here makes this place very special.  No wonder Adele and Paul chose this historic property for their special day.  Yandina Station homestead, well over 100 yrs old, and now lovingly restored is the oldest continuously lived in and working farm in the region.  Many pages of history reside here.  And today we add to those pages with a love story.”

Photos by Andrea Sproxton

A garden wedding

A garden wedding

A garden wedding

~ a modern marriage in a bamboo garden ~

Congratulations to Sarah and Flynn, and little Aiofe, and their private garden wedding on the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Born and raised here, Flynn decided to come home for his garden wedding.  Flynn and Sarah were married by the creek on the property next door to his childhood home.  There were gasps of delight as the Groom and his groomsman appeared from through the bamboo grove and waltzed into the grassy ceremony glade.  Swinging baskets with cheeky grins, they handed flowers around to all the guests, whilst the the strains of Mumford and Sons, singing Winter Winds wafted on the breeze.  The fun had clearly begun!

The Bamboo Grove

Through the green poles of bamboo we could glimpse a white dress, like an ethereal promise appearing between the dense bamboo.  The bride appeared slowly from the bamboo, with her Dad holding little Aiofe in his arms.  They were a trio of smiles.  The musical mood changed with her tune, La Valse de Amelie.  And the wedding ceremony had begun.  We were already in a great mood, relaxed in amongst nature, and quite secluded from the world at large.

And a baby naming too

Sarah and Flynn chose to have fun at their relaxed garden wedding, not too serious, yet with sincere promises.  The entire extended family was there, and their little girl  So they decided to go one step further, and name their little girl with a naming ceremony.

As the wedding ceremony wrapped up, a baby naming ceremony ensued.  Firstly, Aiofe was blessed by her great grandmother, secondly by her grandparents and lastly her parents.  We used water to trickle over her hands and arms, and a little on her face.  We knew water was a favourite.  And she just loved playing with the water!  Squeals of childish delight were a great way to complete a wedding ceremony.

Wedding reception

The reception was held under a stunning nomadic marquee, strung with fairy lights.  Guests partied to the live band and danced out on the grass.  It was a garden wedding with freedom and choice.  A garden of delight.  All the privacy of a private property and all the style of a marquee wedding.  But best of all it was a down to earth, family affair full of laughs, charm and lots of dancing into the night.

Photos by Bonnie Jenkins

married couple amongst the trees at a garden wedding 7
couple married at garden wedding 1
men can wear purple at a garden wedding 6
Groom waiting for the bride at a garden wedding 3
Setting up in a bamboo grove for a garden wedding 2
Celebrant Kari meeting with the bride and groom at
laughing with the bride and groom at garden wedding 5

Read about another wedding in another garden… at Halfmoon Hideaway

Jo and Jill

Jo and Jill

On 9th December 2017 it became law in Australia that two people could marry regardless of gender. Love and equality finally prevailed.

On Friday 15th of December something truly beautiful and poignant happened; two people fulfilled a wish of a long time.  A community of strangers; family, friends, photographer, celebrant, magistrate, clerks and registrar pulled together to make this marriage happen in time. It would not be the first same sex ceremony I or others had witnessed in Australia, but possibly the first I had seen recognised by Australian law. It was an emotional moment when I read out the words of the new act; a privilege, an honour, and about time. A sacred moment on a sacred day.

Two words had changed in the Marriage Act, substituting “man a woman”, for “two people”, and for Jo and Jill that changed everything.

The first I knew of their love was a phone call on Thursday from Cittamani palliative care telling me a tale of Jo, a woman with a rare cancer, who wished to finally legally marry her beloved Jill.  It was Jo’s persistence that had kept the idea alive. Jill was unsure how it could be achieved. She had read about the one month waiting period. But how could it happen in their own home at short notice? Cittamani nurses decided to ring me and pose the question. As a celebrant I am aware that under exceptional circumstances a shortening of time can be granted by the Registrar.

I met with Jill Thursday afternoon at the courthouse. She had tried to get all the paperwork sorted, signed, witnessed and lodged with the Magistrate. It just wasn’t possible that afternoon, we needed Jo’s signature, and it was 4.30pm.

I met Jo Thursday evening. Evenings are good for her. She had energy. And her bright blue eyes and delightful smile told me all I needed to know about their resolve to be married. Witnessing Jill and Jo together was a love story, quite convincingly profound. I was taken with the dozens of photos on the wall from their 2013 commitment ceremony – a day of promise, filled with family and friends. A true wedding day. I realised I had met two amazingly beautiful women, with a deep connection and strong commitment to each other.

Jill was firm in her wish that the marriage happen, but was feeling torn. Going back to the courthouse the next day was tricky.  She wanted to stay and care for Jo.  This marriage was important. So I offered to go instead. At 8.30 am the next day, Friday, I was outside the Nambour Courthouse at opening time. The local magistrate understood immediately and faxed the application direct to Brisbane, following it up with a phone call to convey the urgency.

On the other end, the Queensland Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages recognised the importance of this request, and sped through the process.

Within the half hour, the stamped approval came back. I could prepare the marriage papers right away: new formats, fresh from the Attorney General, and those important new words, “two people”. I was ecstatic. Jo and Jill were going to be married that afternoon! They were ecstatic.

Several more emails arrived from Births, Deaths and Marriages. They wished to offer a free registered marriage certificate and what’s more they would do it immediately. This is a process that usually takes weeks. I was so delighted by their care and understanding that I offered to hand deliver the papers to the Brisbane office first thing Monday morning, to help out the process. They made a better suggestion, and we made a plan.

I phoned a colleague and asked if she’d be willing to be photographer at this special event in a couple of hours. I knew she’d say yes.  Thanks to Marion Jonkers for the professional photos of this auspicious day.

A garden lovingly created by Jo and Jill as a shared passion, provided the perfect setting for a wedding; beds of herbs, flowers, rock seats and wooden doorways.  Jo’s namesake rose was in bloom. The herbs were fragrant. Everything looked divine for their wedding.

Jo’s friend cancelled all her clients, and turned up with her hair and makeup skills.  “Do what you can!” said Jo, always in good humour. Jo’s Mum and husband were there. Jill’s sister too.  They had come at a moment’s notice.

We sat in the cool of the garden.  I read from Leunig, and spoke of ceremony, love and choosing. With profound tears in my eyes I proudly read the new marriage statement.  They reiterated their vows from years ago, adding the sentence from the new marriage act.  They exchanged wedding rings, held hands and gaze. Their broad smiles were all that was needed to express a deep and sincere joy at finally being married, wife and wife.  “Hey Mrs”.

We embrace ceremony and ritual when something truly profound is happening in our lives. We do this because we need to make a space, in time and place, to honour the unseen world that we carry within us. Ceremony takes a moment away from the usual hum of life, to contemplate and warmly acknowledge an emotional world. Inner feelings become front and centre for the day. A marriage acknowledges this. It is always a special ceremony. This wedding was extremely special and sacred.

After the vows, I enacted the plan to deliver the certificates immediately.  Births Deaths and Marriages Queensland wished to honour this special occasion by delivering the registered marriage certificate that very day. The Principal Project Officer drove north from the Brisbane office.  And I drove south from the northern beaches.  We met at a roadside station, sat at a truckies’ table and exchanged the precious paperwork.

I then drove back to join the reception and hand deliver their certificate.  Jo and Jill had been approved, married and registered within one day!

When Jill was asked how long have you and Jo been together she responded, “a lifetime; and yet not long enough.”

Jo’s Mum told me, “Today is the happiest day of my life.  On the day I married my own true love, I thought that was the happiest day of my life, and I thought I couldn’t get any happier.  But actually today, I am happier, witnessing my daughter able to fulfil her wish to marry her own beloved.”

Jo’s touching speech recognised a day of love and compassion from a community made up of people she had just met, or had never met, and may never get to meet at all. The day was made possible by the goodwill of a community of all kinds of people with different roles and different commitments and different lives, wanting these two to be married in time.

Endings depend on where one leaves the story.  The tale always continues. We rest here with the newly weds, Jill and Jo, for marriage according to the law of Australia is the full commitment or union of two people.

Kari

Friday 15th December 2017

(with editing assistance by Glenda and Jessi)

Photos by Marion Jonkers Photographer 

Thanks to Cittamani Hospice, Nambour Courthouse, Queensland Births, Deaths and Marriages, Russell, Marion, Tracey and Emily.

Jo & Jill -5same sex celebrant Kari Marion Jonkers Photographer

Jo & Jill -34same sex celebrant Kari Marion Jonkers Photographer

Jo & Jill -48same sex celebrant Kari Marion Jonkers Photographer

Jo & Jill -208same sex celebrant Kari Marion Jonkers Photographer

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.”  

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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 Hindu wedding ceremony

A Hindu wedding ceremony

~ with Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant – Kari.

You are thought and I am sound. 
I am the words and you are the melody. 
I am the melody and you are the words.”
 

Congratulations Belinda & Biju, married in an Australian Hindu wedding ceremony on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.  

Belinda and Biju came to me requesting an unusual wedding ceremony.  Biju comes from India and wished to include several Hindu elements into the ceremony.  Belinda is Australian and wanted a wedding ceremony that reflected this land and the traditions of Australia. And so we wove a truly multicultural ceremony, an occasion to honour both cultures.

The Golden statue was centre of the setting; an altar to Ganesha.  Around the statue were placed several ceremonial objects; a candle, flowers and fruit in offering to Ganesh.  The theme colours were vibrant and alive; deep pink, bold red, fragrant yellow and burnt orange.  Gerberas in all these flame colours were placed around Ganesh.

And for the fun of colour and festive atmosphere, paper lanterns in deep orange and pink were hung in the branches of the centuries old fig tree; an ancient witness to the sacredness of the celebration.

Biju was very confident when he asked me, the celebrant, to sing the essential incantations in the Sanskrit language.  For who else would do it, he asked.  And so I did!  His trust helped me to learn the appropriate blessings, and the role they played in the ceremony.  And I sang for this lovely couple, to bless their married lives.

Photos by Darren Frankish of Kish Photography

In any culture marriage is a sacred and treasured union.  According to Hinduism, marriage between two persons is a sacred relationship that is not limited to this life alone.  It extends across seven or more lives, during which the couple help each other progress spiritually.  The adage that marriages are made in heaven is very much true in the case of Hinduism.  Two souls come together and marry because their karmas are intertwined and they have to resolve many things together upon earth in order to ensure their mutual salvation.

In an ancient Hindu text it is said that when the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man, the angels abandon heaven and go sit with the couple and sing for joy.  Just looking around the guests we could see the angels present.

In Hinduism every auspicious occasion begins with an invocation to Lord Ganesha. Blessings are sought for a ceremony that will be free from impediments and for a marriage free from all hardships and obstacles.  Ganesha’s grace is invoked for the health, happiness, prosperity, and peace of the bride and groom and their families. The offerings included flowers for beauty, coconut for fertility, rice for sustenance, and sweets to ensure a sweet life! 

The ceremony included many traditions and customs from a Hindu Wedding in India, involving the family, water and fire, and song and walking circles around Ganesha and the altar.

A special moment is when the bride and groom take seven steps; steps towards their lives together, a set of wedding vows,

On the first step;       Together we shall cherish each other in sickness and health, in happiness and sorrow

On the second step;       Together we shall be lifelong friends

On the third step;       Together we shall share each other’s ideals

On the fourth step;       Together we shall nurture each other’s strengths, talents, and aspirations

On the fifth step;       Together we shall make each other happy

On the sixth step;       Together we shall love, provide and care for our children and our families

On the seventh step;       Together we will look forward to the mysteries of the future with awe, open-mindedness, and inspiration

We have taken the seven steps.  You have become mine forever.  Yes, we have become partners.  I have become yours.  Hereafter, I cannot live without you.  Do not live without me.  Let us share the joys.  We are word and meaning, united.  You are thought and I am sound.  I am the words and you are the melody.  I am the melody and you are the words.

These vows are poignant and poetic.  They are not dissimilar to vows from an Australian ceremony. Walking around the altar added an extra poetry to the steps of marriage they undertook.  I congratulate Belinda and Biju on blending their two cultures seemlessly and with great love and patience.

As a marriage celebrant I am often requested to accommodate the unusual.  This is my specialty.  I have sung in sanskrit, read in Afrikaans, waxed poetic in French, and played my wooden flute or lap harp.  Just ask me, you never know what I will agree to!