Small wedding in Montville

Small wedding packages

As a celebrant I am more and more often approached to conduct weddings with cosy guest lists.
So teaming up with brilliant local wedding photographer, Marion Jonkers and boutique bouquet florist, Noo, we have created a very affordable small wedding package.

The basics are covered; celebrant, photographer, flowers…  other services are available for a specialised package.
Watch out for future stories featuring venues suitable for your small intimate wedding with short guest lists.

1. A Celebrant for your Small Wedding

small wedding sunshine coast celebrant

Every wedding needs a celebrant.  An elopement needs a celebrant who can make it memorable within an intimate setting.  This is not a wedding ceremony to entertain a huge crowd, but a private and deeply personal ceremony for two people and a handful of guests.  The mood has to suit you as a couple, has to be something unique and special for an intimate moment of connection and promise.  AS your celebrant I listen to your story and create a ceremony that interweaves your story and your vibe into a tender ritual.

2. Photography for your Small Wedding

small weddings photographer

Teaming up with Marion Jonkers Photography for a small wedding package shoot, we were able to keep costs low for an intimate wedding party of less than 20 guests.  Marion takes delightful photos of a couple.  But she does so much more than that.  She takes dozens of small detail shots.  It is those intimate details that become treasured images.

3. Flowers for your Small Wedding

Divine and charming flowers from Noo of Blooming Hills Flaxton Florist, completed the package.  Noo complements choice seasonal flowers from floral suppliers with gentle and unique floral details from her own garden.  Give her a colour palette and she will create a bouquet or floral crown and a buttonhole specially for you.

4. Venue for your Small wedding

This week’s spotlight is on The Spotted Chook

small wedding venue

Jac and Paul planned their small wedding all the way from England where they have been living. I was able to help out with a specialised elopement style small wedding package for their marriage.  After several suggestions of places to go they chose The Spotted Chook, for its intimacy, and charming gardens, but also for the many little touches that make it so charming.

Thanks to Photographer, Marion Jonkers for these stunning crisp detail images of The Spotted Chook.

Small Wedding Packages

Small wedding or Elopement Packages start at $700. Call Kari today to find out what is possible for your intimate small wedding.

What they said;

We just wanted to say an extra thank you for helping make our marriage celebration as beautiful and smooth an event as it was. There were so many times when we thought you were the perfect celebrant. And you helped put us in contact with all the right people and arrangements. You made it so easy to plan from England.

Jac and Paul

7 moments a celebrant should be Out of Frame

7 moments a celebrant should be Out of Frame

Framing wedding memories…. When should one step out of frame?

A celebrant should be right there for you during your ceremony. But sometimes your celebrant needs to be out of frame too. As a celebrant myself I always want to appear appropriate for your wedding. Elegantly dressed, well presented… and in some of your photos so you can remember your ceremony.

However, I realise you don’t want me in ALL your wedding photos from the ceremony.  I like to step out of the frame sometimes. There are moments when a celebrant needs to step aside, and allow you to be the only ones in the frame.

When are these moments? Why does a celebrant need to be mindful of the moment?  Being mindful of your memories is part of the role of celebrant.

Shireen and Aaron’s Wedding

Previously I wrote about this gorgeous Spicers Clovelly Estate wedding. Read the back story here.

With the focus on a couple and two children, it was definitely appropriate for me to step out of the frame at several opportune moments.  The question that a celebrant juggles is how can I be supportive and yet not always right in the centre of frame?

When should a celebrant disappear from the wedding photos?  Consider these very personal memories in your wedding ceremony, 7 moments when a celebrant should be out of the frame:

1. Groomsmen only

In my celebrant role, I often hang around with the fellas before the ceremony.  The groomsmen and I work out things like 

  • Where to stand, in relation to the arbour, altar or floral decor.
  • What order they are arranged
  • Are their button hole flowers fixed on right… in a way that is firm, and will not cause a stray pin to spike someone later when hugs are happening.
  • Where to put their hands
  • Are the rings safe
  • When and how to present the rings

Then it is time for me to step aside and allow the photographer to get some shots of the fellas. 

2. When the bride arrives


Chatting with the groom before the ceremony keeps things casual and relaxed. It gives me time to relay some last minute tips, and have a few laughs to break the seriousness of the occasion. There is that poignant moment when a groom sees his bride for the first time.  Suddenly I am not there, as he steps forward to greet her and those accompanying her down the aisle.  Time for hand shakes with Dad or Mum, brother or son.  Time for hugs and delight in seeing the bride for the first time in all her splendour.  Time for taking in the emotion of the moment.  Time to invite the bride into the wedding space. 

I allow time.

 

3. While you say your vows

These words are gifts.  Standing to the side or gently holding your microphone, I slide into the background.  Of course there is a supporting role needed here, and I am right there…..but I make sure to be aware of where the photographer is standing, and adjust myself behind or out of the way.

4. Always, always, always …. during the wedding kiss

Need I say more… this is that moment everyone looks forward to, the seal of a kiss.  Step away celebrant!

 

5. Special rituals

In the story of Shireen and Aaron, we had designed a special vow to the children. So of course this was a photo opportunity for a family moment; united in one name at last.

6. Signing the wedding certificates

The signing is an official aspect of the wedding ceremony.  So of course the celebrant needs to witness every signature.  5 people need to sign; the couple, two witnesses and of course the marriage celebrant too.  And there are three certificates to sign.  So that makes 15 signatures all up…..  

Don’t worry, you don’t need to know beforehand who goes where.  I will indicate to all where they need to place their squiggle.  We want to keep it legal after all. 

However after the last signature is in the bag…. I step aside for your group photo, and help arrange flowers, certificates, rings etc for the closeups.  I always work in with the photographer.

7. Finally back down the aisle

Assisting with timing at this point can help you get the best photos. My celebrant role is not done yet. I help couple and attendants know when is the best moment to walk down the rows of chairs… creating the perfect photo opportunities along the way.

 

But there are of course times when the celebrant needs to be in the picture….not out of frame!!

When to be in the Frame


Thanks to Taylah of Tay and Francis for the stunning images in this story

DIY Wedding

DIY Wedding

DIY Wedding

Jess and Jesse married at Verrierdale Community Hall on the Sunshine Coast. Their DIY wedding was a grand party with loads of laughter.

When Jess met Jesse, it was love almost instantly. Laughs are the hallmark of their love and their life.  And they are the only ones who don’t get the names confused!!! But as a marriage celebrant, it took supreme focus to marry Jess to Jess, without getting my tongue totally tied!!

Their DIY wedding was so much fun.

A Love Story

Eight years ago Jess met Jesse, two happy people recognised something in each other’s smiles. It was instant attraction.

Jess recalls thinking to herself, “I could marry that boy”. Little did she know!

What I noticed as a wedding celebrant, is that these two match.  It was evident from the first instant; their smiles, their bubbly, cheery selves that radiated a relaxed and joyous energy to all around them.  They love to explore, embrace the ocean, surf, swim, walk and run beside it, immerse themselves in it. Jess loves his generous soul, how her man will do anything for anyone. He just loves her, all of her. He appreciates her energetic and strong will. They know that each other is the best friend they could find in this world, feeling completely at ease together.

And that brought them to Verrierdale Hall. It was a time to pause, look back, and smile at all the moments that brought them to their wedding day. And a time to look ahead at all the moments that are still to come.  Marriage does not change what is already there, a strong commitment; a tried and true relationship. It adds another layer of commitment to something already strong and wondrous.  Jess said he wanted to marry because she is a super chilled out chick who loves the ocean and outdoors as much as he.  Their relationship in two words; relaxed.

It could be said that marriage changes everything and nothing.  I know these two did not marry lightly. They have considered what it means to marry, a symbol of deep love, understanding and a promise of a commitment already held. And before they settle and embrace a family of their own they wished to be married, and vow an indefinite future to each other. But more importantly they wanted a huge celebration for all their friends, and family.

Lucky us eh!  Sweet of them to consider all of us so much.

Congratulations to Jess and Jesse, you two are perfect for each other.

“Thank you for an incredible day 😊You were awesome!!! ” Jess Hart

Thanks to Carly and Co Photography for the brilliant images featured in this real Sunshine Coast wedding story

Handfasting wedding ceremonies

Handfasting wedding ceremonies

Handfasting Wedding Rituals

A handfasting wedding ceremony is just one way to say I do.

Handfasting rituals

Since ancient times couples have stood together in the ceremony of marriage. There are many rituals that have lasted centuries, that symbolise a couple’s love and commitment. The handfasting ceremony dates back to the time of the ancient Celts. It was often used to acknowledge the beginning of a trial period of a year and a day during which time a couple were literally bound together – hand fasted. It was, however, a temporary agreement, which could be made permanent after the trial period if both parties agreed.  It is from this wedding tradition that we know of the expression to “tie the knot”, or to “get hitched”.

Handfasting or tie the knot

Nowadays, the handfasting ceremony is used symbolically, as part of the declaration and wedding vows. It is a way of asking your intentions.

Would you like to Tie the Knot?

Today a couple can embrace an age-old marriage tradition, making it your own in a modern day ceremony. In a handfasting wedding ritual, a cord is tied about your hands as you take your vows.

In this handfasting ritual, the couple answer a series of questions. For each question a binding, for each binding a promise.

Once you are all tied up, as your marriage celebrant I can release the cords.  For in fact, it is your promises that bind you not the cords!  But you get to keep the cord … for fun!

Thanks to the wonderful  Luke Going for the beautiful images of this touching moment. His work is unique.

Cate and Dave were married by the lake.  They wanted a relaxed wedding, something a little different, not churchy, but laid back like themselves.  They embraced a Handfasting to express their vows.

How does it work?

Here are some ways to approach a handfasting ceremony.  Of course I am here with many examples at my fingertips, a whole list of vows for you to choose from, and a wealth of creative spirit to write for you.  Let’s mix it up, modernise the sentiments and reference the traditions that you want to hold onto.

Traditional Handfasting vows

handfasting with coloured cords
handfasting ribbons and cords
ribbons for handfasting

The traditional handfasting promises are a series of questions.  They acknowledge that life is not always easy, that relationships sometimes have unintentional outcomes.  But a good intent underlies the love.The classic questions begin like so:

Celebrant to groom: Will you cause her pain?
Groom: I may

Celebrant to groom: Is that your intention?
Groom: No

Celebrant to bride: Will you cause him pain?
Bride: I may

Celebrant to bride: Is that your intention?
Bride: No

Celebrant to both: Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?
Both: Yes

Celebrant to both: Please join your hands.

The first cord is draped across the bride and grooms hands.

Celebrant to bride: Will you share his laughter?
Bride: Yes

Celebrant to groom: Will you share her laughter?
Groom: Yes

Celebrant to both: Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?
Both: Yes

Celebrant: And so the binding is made

Modern handfasting questions

But you can devise modern handfasting promises instead.  Something along the lines of:

Do you vow in your married life together to continually break through your pre-conceived views of each other and see clearly.
Couple: We do

Do you vow to act wisely and compassionately with one another and with all beings.
Couple: We do

In my role as a writer, I can chat with you and then devise a series of questions that suit your very own values and ideals for approaching your relationship.

Romantic Handfastings

Or perhaps you’d prefer something rather romantic.

Will you promise your deepest love, your fullest devotion, your tenderest care, and your faithfulness through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future?

Bruce & Emma: We pledge

Do you promise to be an equal loving partner, in a loving, honest relationship, standing by each other’s side, making a shelter of your heart, a home of your arms, encouraging your partner’s daily endeavours?

Bruce & Emma: We pledge

As you face the future together will you pledge to grow in your love for each other, to nurture the love that already is, honour and cherish each other, being there always?

Bruce & Emma: We pledge 

Handfasting ribbons 

You can get quite creative with the handfasting wedding vow format.  Imagine having a different coloured ribbon for each promise. And each wedding promise sculpted around the meanings of those colours.

Red for passion and love

For example the handfasting could become a statement instead of a question:

I promise to love passionately and unwaveringly with my heart, my body and my soul.

A pink ribbon could symbolise unity, honour, truth, romance, and happiness, with the statement:

I promise you my undying love, honesty and commitment in creating and nourishing our loving equal partnership.

A yellow ribbon would mean charm, confidence, joy, balance

Black could equal strength, wisdom, vision and or success

Green stands for prosperity, health, abundance and fertility

Blue often represents tranquillity, patience, understanding and a safe journey

Of course purple is for power, healing, sanctity and sentimentality.

Wedding Handfasting vows
coloured ribbons for handfasting

Contact me now to chat about your handfasting ceremony.

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.

Lovebirds married in Byron

Lovebirds married in Byron

The lovebirds

One of the most memorable weddings I have ever had the privilege to attend was that of “the lovebirds”.  Married at dawn in a stunning and emotional ceremony, Alicia and Jimmy had been nicknamed the lovebirds for quite a while. They asked if I would travel to Byron Bay for a wedding.  “Of course,” I answered. “Would you be prepared to conduct the ceremony at dawn came the next question.”  “OF COURSE!!!” How exciting.  How magnificent. What a privilege it was working for these two, who did everything with such joy and enthusiasm and complete openness to love.

Dawn ceremony

I was the first person on the beach that day.. actually it was still night as I needed to arrive before dawn to be ready.  In darkness I walked on the beach mapping out where we would stand, and where the lapping waves came to… trying to work out exactly which direction the sun would rise in. Luckily we had walked through everything the day before. As a completion of the ceremony, they walked into the gentle sea and sang to each other. Then wrapped their arms around each other and fell into the ocean’s sweet bliss.  A baptism of new beginnings from a love long held true. Words cannot come close to describing the joy of this ceremony, the laughter, the wrap around love from close family. But this video prepared by Jimmy may help to explain:

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere  –  they’re in each other all along,

Rumi

This is what they said…..

Please show others how magical you are and how magnificent love can be!!!

We are both truly blessed to have lived that day and to remember what a wonderful gift you gave us, 

……being the beautiful celebrant that you are allowing us to freely show our true wholesome love, completely being in the moment and just rolling with it….Utterly remarkable 

Love, love love ❤️ 

The Love Birds x x x