DIY wedding at the family property

DIY wedding at the family property

with Sunshine Coast marriage celebrant – Kari

So much love, so much love, so much love.  Wow what a wedding ceremony to remember!

Here on the Sunshine Coast, there are many perfect places for a wedding.  But none seems quite more perfect for a family wedding than the property where one grew up, played by the creek, planted trees, and created memories.  This wedding day created new loving memories for Renee and Brendan on the family farm.

The marriage ceremony was held down by the creek, in an idyllic grassy glade surrounded by forest and the sounds of whip birds and tusked frogs.  A group of friends and family had created a magical haven.  Let’s wander in and have a peek before the guests arrive…..

A stump by the entry was garlanded with festoons of newly blossomed jasmine and the welcome sign.

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Daisies were tucked into the bark of trees, at the foot of saplings or behind ears.

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DIY_wedding_ceremony_venue

A circle of hay surrounded by white roses and daisies tucked into the ground formed a magic fairy circle for a sacred ceremony.

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Hay bales were arranged in arcs for seating.  More hay was sprinkled underfoot for an aisle.

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Local musician, Lee Hardisty played pied piper and led the guests to the ceremony, along by the creek.  His pure sax sound drifted over the forest, gently encouraging a meander to the forest glade.

Enter the Bride and Groom.  Groom softly greeted the guests.  Kari –  the celebrant sent hime for a wander with his mates while she briefed the guests on a surprise ending for the ceremony.

And, the bridal entourage arrived on the trailer of the tractor.  Daughter, Peaches and her cousin walked down the aisle, to Daddy.

Renee walked down the aisle on her father’s arm to the exquisite sounds of thumb piano sweetly played by Lee.

Renee and Brendan could not have been more in love.

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As a marriage celebrant on the Sunshine Coast hinterland, I witness many marriage vows; all heartfelt and meaningful. But on this wedding day, Renee’s vows to her beloved Sav nearly brought me to tears.

Amongst other things she promised to “love you beyond fear, judgement, expectations and anger….. I promise to love you so hard it changes the world…. I promise to hold you when your heart weeps, to plant trees with you and watch them grow, to help you know your own power.”

After the ceremony, guests followed the music back to the farm shed, replete with hanging floral garland, tables of colour, and taste.DIY_wedding_ceremony_venue12

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DIY wedding decor

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And they partied on in the moonlight, starlight and radiance of their family, friends and love.

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Thanks to Maggie Buckle for some of the professional images.  Instagram #@maggijeann

The early ones are my own, irresistibly taken while waiting for the guests.

This is what they said about Kari’s celebrant service:

Kari is a beautiful, warm, kind and connected woman with a sophisticated confidence that makes one feel safe in her presence. Although we had only met her in person once before our wedding day, we knew that she would understand our love and sincerely appreciate the magic that abides in such a ceremony. Her creative heart and generous demeanour left a mark on our hearts at such a special moment in our journey. Thank you Kari.”   Renee & Brendan

A Scotsman and a forest nymph marry

A Scotsman and a forest nymph marry

A Mc and a Mac

When McNamara married MacKinnon, there was bound to be somescotsman around somewhere!!!  And what a lovely use of tartan.  And what a choice of place!  Congratulations Sandra and Jason, married at Gardeners Falls, Maleny.  Unique, different, touching, romantic and down to earth, their DIY wedding was simply perfect.

A Scotsman and a Nymph

When Sandra and Jason first met in Canada they recall talking about travelling Australia and the food they both missed.  Jason proceeded to load up the juke box while Sandra picked most of the songs and introduced him to her love for disco.  Not less than two days later Jason had to leave Canada!!  Mere hours before his flight took off they were enjoying their first “date”.  The conversation flowed easily and touched on so many subjects that they would have forgot to order food, if the waitress hadn’t kept reappearing to ask if they were ready to order. Jason’s friends were worried he was cutting it close for time to catch his flight.  There was really no time for eating!

It was not long before they were together again, in Australia.

Sandra describes Jason as her calm in the storm.  Jason describes Sandra as his down to earth rock.  No wonder it threatened to storm on their wedding day.  But come the right time, they stood on a rock mid stream, with not a drop of rain.

They relish each other’s company, laugh at each other’s jokes and make fun happen every day.  These are qualities that will sustain a relationship.  They are also great qualities for planning an extraordinary wedding.

Dressed in wedding Tartan

They turned up to their wedding dressed as Scotsman in family tartan (complete with sporan I may add) and forest nymph.  They wanted something quite unique and intimate for their ceremony, and yet grand in meaning.  Choosing Gardeners Falls, a small out of the way place, with running creek and rainforest all around, they created a wonderland.

Wed Over Water

Sandra and Jason asked if they could be wed on the water.  We took off our shoes and stepped onto a rock in the stream.  Guests gathered on a larger rock close by.  They chose a hand binding ceremony to seal their vows.  In this way drawing on Celtic traditions from ancient times, bringing the ceremony into modern day with our own twist on the promises and bindings.  Jason had prepared a strip of tartan for the bindings.  For wedding rings they had special rings created, each a combination of an Australian saphire and two Canadian diamonds.

Tartan sash

At the conclusion of the service,  Jason draped a MacKinnon tartan sash over his new Mrs MacKinnon, and had photos taken in the middle of the running creek.  He carried her across the water.  Later that weekend they continued the fun by taking their own wedding photos, with just tripod and themselves.

Here is a glimpse of their DIY wedding day:

A Mc and a MAC marry
bride lies on her grooms lap, dressed in tartanhe lies with his head in his brides lapWhat they said:

 

Kari was an amazing celebrant.  She was just what we were looking for, she listened to our suggestions, went with our ideas adding her own input when we knew what we wanted but weren’t sure how to do it.

Kari got a good feel for how we were as a couple and what we liked.  She even offered us choices to choose her dress colour for the ceremony and was even willing to go barefoot.

Kari helped a lot making our ceremony just what we wanted and we had an amazing day.  Sandra and Jason MacKinnon

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:

Vintage wedding at the homestead

Vintage wedding at the homestead

Vintage wedding at the homestead

Thank you Jessica and Joel for your inspiration, and congratulations on your marriage.  Where does one start with such a delightful vintage style wedding?

Kenilworth Homestead

Kenlilworth Homestead veranda with DIY bunting

Shall I begin with the choice of venue?

Kenilworth Homestead provides a classic farmyard or vintage wedding, with rolling paddocks of horses and animals, a classic barn, a huge tree for the ceremony, a relaxed river for guests camping ground, cabins to stay in, and plenty of vintage farm relics for photo opportunities galore.

Kenilworth Homestead

DIY vintage wedding decor details bunting and blackboard

DIY vintage wedding elements

Or does one begin with the vintage wedding DIY components; hours of shopping, sourcing, and making with aunties and mums and friends?
DIY vintage wedding with handfasting ritual to tie the knot
Handfasting wedding ritual

Or does one concentrate on a unique handfasting ritual which was part of their wedding ceremony?

It is simply not possible to cover everything in one story. So today I’ll lead you into the tale with a look at where we found ourselves the day after the storm the night before, on a glorious sunny day out in the country.

Setting the stage for a wedding retreat weekend, we begin at Kenilworth Homestead, by the Mary River, on the Sunshine Coast hinterland, a gorgeous farm setting for a wedding.

Jessica had spent hours with Mum and aunties and friends, sourcing country style fabrics and making bunting.  Bunting was strung up around the old barn and garden verandas.  Then there were blackboards with handwritten menus, directions for the guests, an enticing cocktail list, and lawn games.

Then a wander inside the rustic barn itself brought oohs and aahs.  Hours had been spent sourcing vintage crockery for the table settings, and old enamel teapots for the flower arrangements on the tables.  Each table was named for the colour of its teapot!  Outside were lawn games; croquet, badminton…and an old enamel bath! And of course the horses.  The yard was a playground full of delights, and the stage complete for the entry of a bride.

Photos by Kari with a couple from Elleni Toumpas

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And the story continues with more photos in the next chapter

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.

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