An unusual wedding ceremony

An unusual wedding ceremony

Wanting an unusual wedding ceremony?

I have never returned home on more of a high, than at the wedding of Jas and Linton, married at Weddings at Tiffany’s on the Maleny ridge.  I knew when I met this engaged couple, that it would be a splendid ceremony.  They are creative and fun, willing to have a go, and embrace something a little unusual, yet meaningful and heartwarming.  It is wonderful to meet a couple who truly want something bespoke for their wedding ceremony.

Jas and Linton create something unusual.

Tradition can still carry meaning, can be captivating, can be absolutely memorable for the couple and guests.  Jasmine and Linton agreed, and allowed a pretty free rein to design a ceremony that stood out for everyone.  They jumped on the creative bandwagon and prepared something special to set the scene; a video.

How did it begin?

Like this….

A full chapel of guests. But no sign of the bride or the groom!  We could see a movie screen set up at the end of the Chapel.  As their marriage celebrant, I began to explain the absence of a couple to wed. “Before we start today’s wedding ceremony, there is something we need to watch. Fasten your belts and here we go,”

The guests were privy to an elaborate video story of the couple from childhood to now along their courting path.  Photos interwoven with dramatic music wove a humorous story.

guests watch a video at a wedding

Enter bride and groom

Suddenly, just as the out-music played on the screen, the wooden, smokey-glass doors of the delightful Tiffany’s Wedding Chapel burst open and the happy couple entered holding hands.  They walked down the aisle together.  A huge cheer erupted as they walked to the dais, overlooking the Glasshouse mountains behind us.

bride and groom entering the chapel together

When they first met

As we saw in the video, when Linton first met Jasmine, she was a garden gnome!  Jas has since grown into a delightful woman.  Linton is pretty happy about that! As we just saw, unusually for most couples, there is actual footage of their very first encounter on a film set, he the cameraman, she the actor. After the first day of filming was done, Jas told her mum, “There was a lovely cameraman there and if he asked me out for a coffee I would say yes”.

Coffee happened, if some time in the making…..and the long romance began.

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A wedding promise

Jasmine and Linton’s wedding promise was not something new, yet was a confirmation of a commitment to each other and celebration shared with those who have been through the journey with them, and invited as guests of their wedding.

Callie’s photos in the rain reflect their ability to have fun and find creativity whatever happens.  And yes they did get rather wet during the photo shoot.  Wouldn’t you love images like this?  The rain did not deter them at all.  In fact Jasmine had the forethought to bring an alternative “reception” dress to change into.  She looked just as divine after the shoot.

I hope I am around for their 50th wedding anniversary!  Should be a hoot.

Thanks to the photos of Callie Marshell of Florido Weddings.

Unforgettable ceremony

Theirs was a ceremony no-one will ever forget.  Jasmine, the bride,  said afterwards,

“The ceremony was my FAVOURITE part of the day…I am so glad we got to share that with so many of our friends and loved ones…I even feel more connected with everyone after that amazing experience. The warmth, buzz, excitement just exuded from everyone and made the day even better than we could have hoped it to be!”

The Bride’s comments

“After stumbling upon Kari’s website and reading through the information and testimonials, I thought, “This lady seems like our kind of celebrant!” We then met with Kari and instantly knew she was ‘the one’ for us.

From day one we felt completely comfortable with Kari, which was very important for us. Kari is warm, friendly, professional and has a genuine enthusiasm and love for what she does – and it shows. Not knowing where to start, Kari provided fantastic recourses to help us get started. She takes all the stress and uncertainty out of all the legal components and ceremony part of the wedding. Planning the ceremony was a breeze, because Kari did all the hard work! I never once worried about it – which is awesome for a bride, with other things to worry about!

 I had always thought wedding ceremonies were a bit boring and all the ‘same’, but after one meeting with us and talking a bit about ourselves and the type of ceremony we wanted, Kari wrote a beautiful, creative and fun ceremony that was just perfect – and so very us!

The ceremony actually ended up being my favourite part of what was the most fabulous day – we had so much fun, it was so special. After our ceremony, we had numerous comments about how wonderful our celebrant was and how much she ‘added’ to our wedding day. We also had people say it was the best ceremony they had ever been to!

We feel very lucky to have had Kari as our celebrant, because our wedding would not have been the same (or as fabulous!) without her!

Thank you Kari… “Jasmine and Linton

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 writing

Creative writing

creative writing for your wedding

Creative writing

This story will be about a dance, eventually.  But it starts as a story about creative writing, something as a marriage celebrant I do all the time for my couples.  Every wedding ceremony is unique and new written just for two people. Often I seek ways to hone my writing craft.

Creative writing is key to a great wedding ceremony. As your celebrant, I practise writing to hone my skills for your wedding.

Recently I attended a creative writing workshop with marvellous teacher, Glenda O’Sullivan.

Writing Workshop

A few months ago, a dear friend of mine and an inspiring workshop queen, ran a creative writing day.  Glenda invited several budding writers to gather.  She invited us to open our minds and let loose our pens.

I don’t usually call myself a writer.  Perhaps I imagined one has to be pumping out novels, or contracted to a magazine to claim that title.  Of course there are many more writers in the world than one would imagine.

On reflection, I realised I do write.  Every day in fact.  I write this.  A blog, a collection of stories really.

I write wedding ceremonies. I write eulogies.  I write for couples.  I write for families.  I write for people.  

Yes, I write every day.

So, with a little trepidation, I went along.  

The gift of writing

Glenda gave the group a wonderful gift that day.  She took us along the road to writing creatively.  She began with simple tasks to get our pens sliding over the paper.  Then she upped the ante, interrupting our train of thoughts with unusual stimuli; a gesture, a flower, or a compulsory word or two.  As the day progressed we played word games, wrote lists, turned the lists into prose, the prose into poetry, and back again.  Each time we had  to produce a piece of writing on the spot, on paper, and on time!

I’d like to present some of the pieces I wrote that day.

Word Games

We played a word game.  The game produced a list of words.

Write, she said, using all the words on your list    … and she gave us 10 minutes…. Speed writing is very creative writing!

So I wrote.

my darling, my darling, my love

A necklace for your sanity … my darling, my darling

Your neck will just surrender … my love

Relegate sizing to your tailor … my darling, my darling

Measure your team of suitors … my love

__

I salivate with surprise … my darling, my darling

Your tears send a sinuous shiver … my love

Lean to my sincerity … my darling, my darling

Tenuous yet necessary … my love

__

Undulate, manipulate .. my darling, my darling

Ululate the timing … my love

Sing your man a lullaby … my darling, my darling

Be my eager minstral … my love

__

 

Round and round the duckpond … my darling, my darling

Mad as a team of yabbies … my love

Eat my words on Sunday … my darling, my darling

And tell me that you love me … my love

*****

writing creatively for your wedding helps your story lift off the page

 

Writing wedding ceremonies

Some couples might wonder just how I create unique wedding ceremonies.  I draw on creative writing skills to achieve a perfect marriage ceremony for you.  I chat with you and we laugh.  I get to know you.  We talk about life, meaning and wedding wishes; about family and feelings.  You tell me your stories. I tell you mine.  You get to know me, and feel comfortable with me as the person who will conduct the ceremony on your wedding day.

From all this I weave a tapestry about you, your love story and  your  wedding day.  You also get chances to alter and change, delete and add.

a story lifts off the creative writing page

Creative writing workshop

The poem above, is by no means part of a marriage ceremony.  It was written within a different context; a creative writing workshop.

If your wedding celebrant can write creatively, you know you can expect a truly unique ceremony, all about you, and your ideas on your marriage.  Not just any old ceremony with your names slotted into the gaps.

You want something that is a reflection of you.

Something meaningful, to you.

Something memorable for your family and friends.

Something just a little different, pitched right.  Your style in words.

Contact me if you’d like a ceremony written just for you.

And to finish this article, here is another piece I wrote under time pressure that day…. about the dance.

*****

creative writing with a lily behnd the ear for a tango piece

Tango Lily

The floor is smooth.  Wooden floor boards polished by feet.  Slide together after every step.  Bring the left together with the right, across the boards.  Smooth the timber.  Caress the wood.  Foot does not leave floor.  Slide… together…slide … together. Ready for whatever may come. There is no past. No future.  Just now.  Just this moment. Just this step. Then that step.  That’s Tango.

 She tucked a lily behind her left ear.  Not the right ear.  It would get in the way.  She wore a flower on the right once.  Never do that again.  Well it was a fake rose anyway.  But it tickled and scratched his face when he took her into the close embrace.  He fluffed and blew it.  She had to throw it away; out of her hair, onto a chair, to dance.

The flower was on the left.  A lily; simple, plain, a tiny bit jaunty. Like the tango.  She was the lily.  And the lily was the dance. Subtle but with intent.  

This year I have begun to learn Tango.  I may never finish learning Tango.  I relish the opportunity to let go of control; to release, to stop helping, to simply allow someone else to lead the way.  To follow the lead, to rest my head on a shoulder and allow my steps to follow.

and who brings the rings?

and who brings the rings?

Wedding rings brought by Ruby the black labrador

Who shall be the ring bearer?

At your wedding, who do you choose to be the ring bearer? A charming little nephew?  An eagle? The Best Man? The Best Woman? Mum? Or your pet? Congratulations Diane and Patrick,  for choosing Ruby. They married in the charming pergola at Tiffany’s, looking out over the Glass House Mountains from the Maleny Ridge.  They wanted a creative, fun and relaxed wedding. They chose Tiffany’s for the view, for the incredible feeling you get when gazing out over the vista of the Glass House Mountains. What an extraordinary place on the edge of the ridge, what a splendid sunny day. AND what a charming ring bearer!  More of her later….

Planning a memorable wedding

Diane and Patrick wanted their wedding to be memorable, unforgettable in fact, and a bit of fun for their guests.   All they wrote on the wedding invite was a date, a time and ‘surprise location’. The guests had no idea where they were going and what to expect.  A bus collected them all, to take them to Tiffany’s.  The bus was there again to continue the adventure to Clovelly Estate for a classy reception banquet.  What fun!  Everyone arrived at the ceremony full of intrigue and with smiles already on their faces.

 

Bide arrives in the red kombi with her parents

Diane arrived in retro style in the divine Red Kombi. Just bride and her parents. A gentle and relaxed bride, Diane just glowed on the way to meet her Patrick.  She arrived on the arms of both her parents, one on each arm.  It is a tradition that is very heartwarming, when a parent accompanies their daughter to her wedding day.  In these modern days of equality we still have room to remember an ancient custom, that of a bride being accompanying to her wedding.

Diane chose to arrive with both her parents.  In this way we know that father and mother are supportive of the bride and groom and their decision to embrace marriage.  And indeed there is room too to thank the parents for the Groom for all they have done to bring their son to his wedding day too.  Diane and her parents brought a charming tradition into the modern world. But what about Ruby?  The other important family member.

Bride arrives with both her parents

Ruby the ring bearer

Ruby the black labrador dressed for the wedding Diane and Patrick wanted their special family, Ruby, a black Labrador, to be part of their special day and found a a way to include her in the ceremony. Their dear Ruby was a feature guest for the day.  Sporting a ribbon on her neck, most of the guests just thought she was there for the ride.  She was the perfect ring bearer.

Ever thought you’d be able to have your pets at your wedding?

At this wedding, it was the Ruby the ring bearer who stole the show.  When the wedding bands were called for, Ruby bounded down the aisle towards her favourite people to deliver the rings.  She happily sat while Patrick took the rings from her neck, to place on the finger of his bride. Patrick retrieves the rings from Ruby the ringbearer

Ruby stuck around for photos and I’m sure would have enjoyed the canapés, but she had other treats in store.

Kylie from Lovable Pets arrived in chic sporting attire.  Ruby was whisked away for a long walk on the beach and a sleep over at Kylie’s.  Lucky Ruby. To top off a beautiful afternoon, Di and Patrick invited their guests to the divine and classy  Spicers Clovelly Estate for a three course banquet around a continuous table. Beautiful plant arrangements by A Sculpted Leaf, the boughs of the Jacaranda tree hanging down beside the pavilion, and an array of sumptuous food from the Clovelly French styled chefs.  You may think Ruby was wondering who got the best deal.  She didn’t even know, as she frolicked on the beach with Kylie, or perhaps by now she was snoring on a large cushion.  It was an important day for Ruby, delivering the rings to the ceremony on cue!  She deserved her rest. Peek into other moments from their wedding day. Photos by Tania Stanley.

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:

something very French

something very French

Something very French

How about something very French for your wedding ceremony.

You may be French.  

You may want a little something French for the sheer chic of it.

You may simply wish to toast your love with champagne.

Whatever the reason there are many French marriage traditions that are delightful.  And of course others that you don’t want your friends to find out too!

As a Sunshine Coast Hinterland wedding celebrant I am always seeking new ways to create ritual within ceremony; finding ways to show something, rather than say something.  And there are so many multicultural rituals to draw from, and rework to fit two people getting married, like Lucy and Neil did.

Lucy and Neil had spent a long and memorable holiday in France.  They remembered it as a very special time in their relationship; in their burgeoning love.

So when they decided to marry they wished to include something a little French in their marriage ceremony.  In fact they had brought some special Champagne back from France, from the real Champagne region where they make the only true Champagne.  (Everywhere else produces sparkling wine did you know?)

Champagne and roses

Now in the region of France where champagne is created, the traditional vineyards often cultivate roses at the ends of each row of grape vines.  They look wonderful, yes, and smell fabulous when in flower, but it is not for the romance that the grape growers plant the roses.

Why the roses in French vineyards?

The rose plays a special and important role in the production of the grapes.  Being extremely sensitive to changes in the soil, reacting quickly to disease or invasion, they are the canary in the vineyard.  The same diseases attack the grape vines, but the rose gives an early warning that something is amiss.  The grower gets a head start in making the necessary changes.    If the blooms are beautiful and abundant, then everything is fine.  Should the rose wither or wilt, grow mould or develop leaf curl then the growers know something is amiss and they take action before their grapes are affected.  The rose works for its keep!

A partnership between rose and grape

We have therefore a partnership between the rose and the grape.  What does this have to do with wedding ritual?  We’re getting there….. and read on.

The Rose de Reims biscuits

In the district of Champagne France, there is another culinary tradition.  In a typical French style where food is closely linked to every aspect of life, the rose petals are used to flavour special biscuits, les biscuits rose de reims – a crisp sweet treat that melts in the mouth. It is not your usual Sunday afternoon tea cookie. The Biscuits Rose de Reims are twice baked and become crisp and not crumbly, delightfully crunchy without falling apart.

A tradition used to celebrate special occasions is the partnering of the les Biscuits Rose de Reims and real Champagne.

Imagine the crossroads of bubbles and roses.

On a special occasion the biscuits are dipped into glasses of champagne and eaten with the celebratory drink.

Individually they are unique and very special, Rose de Reims and Champagne.

But put them together and WOW! What a pair.

What a pair

Is this the kind of symbol you could have to celebrate your union in marriage?

So having decided on something a little French, where else to be wed than the Spotted Chook Ferme Auberge, a French provincial styled country Inn in Montville on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Range.

Congratulations to Lucy and Neil, married in Montville, with Champagne and Les Biscuits Rose de Reims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kari is a special person with a beautiful spirit and a unique gift of putting people at ease. She was so adaptable and knew when to step in to help us and offer some creative and fabulous ideas; however, she also knew when to listen to what we wanted. We were a little nervous about the whole process but Kari made us feel comfortable and excited about our ceremony. On the day, Kari created a loving and relaxed atmosphere amongst all of our friends and family and our ceremony was a dream. Both my husband Neil and I agree that the ceremony was the most special part of our day. We are so happy that we worked with Kari as we now have beautiful memories that last a lifetime. Thanks, Kari. Lucy and Neil

Photos by AWPP of Montville

Read another story about a French wedding