Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the end of love

A Wedding dance like no other

This wedding put a smile on every face, and finished with spontaneous dancing, a special kind of wedding dance in the temple!  It was exhilarating and heartwarming, deep and loving,……….and so much fun!

Congratulations to Tracy and Oliver on your perfect wedding held at Awakening Centre in Maleny, on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. And a huge thank you to Marion Jonkers Photography for the images.

Wedding in the temple

It began outside the temple.  Tracy floated down the wooden steps in a sheer and softly falling wedding dress, with her Mum and her Dad, to the sounds of American Indian drumming.

 

Andy and Laurel, the owners of the Awakening Centre, greeted her at the foot of the stairs and the three passed through drummed music, a musical cleansing, on the journey to her groom, Oliver.  He waited patiently with all the guests on the sandstone paving…with an enormous grin on his face.

Bride and Groom had a moment to greet each other.  Celebrant, Kari welcomed the bride’s family reminiscent of village weddings in times gone by.  All the guests were invited to shed their shoes and enter the bright airy temple in the round with huge glass windows onto the rainforest backdrop.

Tracy and Oliver waited outside to enjoy a tiny moment’s space before their ceremony.  Gently the sounds of the crystal singing bowls lifted up, swam around the space and wafted out to call the bride and groom into the temple space.  They floated in on the strains of pure sound.

And thus a wedding ceremony began, in absolute pure happiness.  We did not imagine the wedding dance to come.

 

wedding in the temple

Handfasting vows

Tracy and Oliver chose a handfasting to make their promises to each other. In a modern interpretation of a traditional ritual, we crafted promises into a series of questions.  It was so easy for them to simply respond “I will”.  At the finalé, they added their special messages to each other.  Oliver began, “You are my puzzle, my world, my best friend,”  referring to the pieces of a jigsaw, just like his interlocking puzzle wedding ring.  Tracy, in turn told him, ” You are my life partner, my soul mate, my lover, my best friend. ”

A song for the signing

As the papers were signed, Andy Copeman sang one of the most beautiful love songs I know, written by Ewan MacColl for his future wife Peggy Seeger.  Andy interspersed the verses with a Sufi poem.  It was simply divine

Dance me to the end of love

The first time I ever saw your face

The first time ever I saw your face

I thought the sun rose in your eyes

And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave

To the dark and the endless skies

 

…….And the first time ever I lay with you

I felt your heart so close to mine

And I knew our joy would fill the earth

And last till the end of time my love

And a spontaneous wedding dance

At the completion of the ceremony and signing, Andy chimed in with “Lay lay, lay lay…” and Leonard Cohen’s endlessly evocative song, Dance Me to the End of Love.

The guests, on a true high spontaneously joined hands and danced in a circle…to the end of love!

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
…….
Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We’re both of us beneath our love, we’re both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love
Spontaneous dancing after a wedding ceremony

In their words

This is what Tracy and Oliver said:

“We cannot recommend Kari highly enough. Her beautiful spirit and energy and complete professionalism, together with her attention to detail, made our wedding day perfect. We had a small wedding, and we wanted a ceremony that spoke to who we are, far from traditional. We were not very specific in our first meeting with Kari, we came up with very conceptual ideas and Kari turned them into reality, and made them more beautiful than we could have imagined. Kari is able to read and understand a couple extremely well and is a truly beautiful person, and we cannot thank her enough for her part in making our day stress free and truly magical.” Oliver & Tracy

And then there was drinks on the veranda accompanied by the most original platters of food decorations I have ever seen.  And of course these were made with love by Tracy’s food loving parents.  Yes lots of love was there that day.

So Dance me to the end of love, I say.  Just dance me.

Once again, thank you to Marion Jonkers Photography for the images. And to Andy and Laurel at Awakening Centre.

meeting love stories

meeting love stories

Love Stories

The young girl who shared her love of flowers, the couple who want to marry by a lake for a very interesting reason, the girls with their eye on a beach ceremony, the couple who want something a little different to the norm, the woman who wants simple elegance for her daughter, le couple qui veut se marier au printemps, the guy who proposed under water…and more.  Yesterday was a great day for stories….. Food for my soul.

Meeting you

Meeting people is one of the beautiful aspects of my job as a celebrant. It may sound cliched, but its true.  Getting to know people more intimately, hearing their love stories is actually what makes my job the best in the world. I am eternally grateful for the stories that are shared with me.

Often at wedding events I meet many people seeking inspiration for their wedding.  Marion Jonkers Photography shared the following lovely image, taken as she walked past my stall.  And thank you to Willow Bud Flowers for the inspiring bottles of blooms.  And thanks to all those people who shared their dreams, their wishes, their desires and their love stories.

Kari celebrant at wedding expo hearing love stories

Hearing Your Love Stories

The stories that are shared with me are precious. Some have said, “one day you could write a book…”.  Well actually I don’t need to publish the book.  The stories I tell are for particular occasions for specific people and places; an intimate tale for a ceremony. A wedding, commitment or indeed a funeral or baby naming ceremony are about stories.  Real stories of people’s lives. They are fascinating, deep, layered and unique tales of individual lives.  They tell tales from a particular perspective and experience.  With these shared stories I can weave a ceremony that is a real reflection of real lives.

Let me write and tell your love story.

I look forward to helping tell the stories of some couples who I met at a recent wedding expo. The glimpses had were enough to entice me to want to explore these stories more deeply.

The stories I mentioned briefly, well these are the stories that make my job the best in the world.

Well that and sipping champagne in the bath! (Thanks to Marion Jonkers for this image as well!)

toasting a wedding from the bathroom - a cheeky moment
Fields of Love

Fields of Love

Fields of love

Congratulations to newly weds, Anna and Jon, wed on a stunning day at the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens.  Their wedding was a true love story, simply full of love and care.  Anna and Jon chose to wed, almost exactly five years from their first date. Five years and one day to be precise!  The photos by Luke Going tell the tale of their wedding day.

Today’s story is about married names.  Anna and Jon came up with a new solution to the traditional bride’s change of name…. they considered how much love abounded in their family union; bucket loads, fields in fact… fields of love.

But allow me to first set the scene for a wedding….

a married couple walk down the grassy aisle under a shower of petals

The Wedding location

The Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens are one of the most delightful natural places for a wedding on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. It’s not quite a set of fields…. However, natural bush is all around, yet there are sculpted gardens for ceremony locations.  A glade of stone sculptures is divine for a wedding backdrop.  The grassy areas are perfect for a wedding picnic or for wedding photos.  During the wedding ceremony there is no traffic or humdrum noise, but simply the sounds of the bush surrounding you.  It is an exquisite retreat from life for a special occasion.  On a more practical level, there is plenty of car parking, amenities and access to a pavilion for wet weather options.

Focus on Love

A great deal of thought and love and attention to detail goes into every wedding day.  Anna and Jon focused on love, as the defining theme around which all the details were designed. It was a joy to witness their attention to the details of how each special guest would feel, and how their role in the day could be made perfect.  Every family member was considered, thought was given to each child or friend and what to do to make them feel comfortable with the wedding day and the combining of two people’s lives in marriage.  Extra special consideration was given to Jon’s daughter; how to make sure she felt comfortable with the marriage of her Dad to Anna.  Standing beside her Dad, she was proud to be the official “groomsmaid”.     Bless these two for their deep thought and care for others on their wedding day.

Weddings are often about more than two people; bringing two or more families together, a community of friends and a wider circle of acquaintances and colleagues.  The way these two negotiated the path towards their wedding day was a delight to behold.  For example, hanging in the trees, a string of bunting created from photos of loved ones who could not be there.  Consider the role of a daughter, the groomsmaid, who strolled with the gals, then stood by her Dad’s side.

Fields of love

It is a western tradition for a bride to celebrate her marriage, by taking a new name, the surname of her husband.  And the law gives modern brides a few options for how she can negotiate this tradition.  Ask me how.

In fact, it is a tradition of many cultures to celebrate many of life’s milestones with a new name, not just in marriage.

On their wedding day both Anna and Jon, chose to celebrate their union by both taking a new surname, in a kind of acknowledgement of equality and indeed in celebration of a new beginning together, and a new future to plan.

The name they chose?  Fields; fields of love, fields of natural beauty, fields of possibilities stretching out before them.  Congratulations Mr and Mrs Fields, you are a great example to us all.

As a marriage celebrant I can guide you through the minefield of name changes and give you the options… plus an extra something to make it even easier.  To follow in Anna and Jon’s footsteps, there is an easy way, if you organise for it early in the wedding planning.  Ask me how.

And they said:

Thank you Kari, for the most beautiful ceremony!  You were there for us every step of the way – providing guidance with a warmth, depth and spirituality that fit with us perfectly.  We could not have asked for more  …  Jon & Anna Fields xo

Thank you to photographer Luke Going for the story in pictures.  He manages to capture the details of the wedding story, in a natural non intrusive fashion.

Here is a glimpse:

Bride getting ready and pitting on her shoes

finger prints on a tree for a wedding memory

photos hanging on a string under the wedding tree

petals-in-the-aisle

bride-arrives

Bridal party arriving at the fields of love

annajon3

 

Kari conducts a wedding ceremonythe-couple-under-the-arch

Kari conducts the wedding ceremonya couple walk away under a shower of confetti<a
bride leading her bridesmaids down the aisle
annajonlove

annajonin-the-tunnel

annajonlove2

first-dance

Woodford Festival celebrant

Woodford Festival celebrant

Woodford Festival wedding celebrant

Considering getting married at the Woodford Folk Festival? Many couples do.  They all need a wedding celebrant.

Imagine having an extraordinary, and I mean….Extra Ordinary, array of options for wedding ceremony location, restaurant reception options AND even entertainment options for your celebration afterwards.

The festival is a place of ritual and celebration.  It is the energetic home of these things.  A more unique place to marry, exists not on this earth!

A Marriage Celebrant at the Woodford Folk Festival

get married at Woodford copyEvery wedding needs a marriage celebrant. Kari has years of experience, both in weddings AND at the festival.  Having conducted numerous weddings at Woodfordia, both at festival time and otherwise, she knows the Woodfordia site like a second home.
Whats more …… Kari will be at the festival.  No need to pay for entry or travel or even accommodation.
However you will need to lodge paperwork with your celebrant at least one month prior to your wedding date.
Contact Kari for more information.

Woodfordia – A place to marry

There are many pathways to your wedding. Spiritual pathways, emotional journeys, long roads, short stays…..

There are many places to marry. Festival streets, hilltop grassy glades, shady trees, cosy corners, outrageous outdoors.

A heart gateway to the sacred labyrinth at WoodfordiaThe Sacred Labyrinth

The Sacred Labyrinth is a magical space where anyone can walk a path to the heart and connect more deeply with themselves.  It can also be a place for your own wedding.

The Labyrinth is especially designed for couples to celebrate their connection through a marriage ceremony, a hand fasting or a special ritual of honouring.  There are also other ceremonies that take place in the Labyrinth. In any of these rituals the woman enters on the left and the man on the right. The couple meets at the top after making their solo journey and setting whatever intention is appropriate. They can then walk together into the centre for the ceremony.  Ceremony engages some moments in deep connection or exchange.  At the completion of the rituals they leave through the archways together and out into the world to celebrate with friends and family.


Woodfordia sacred Labyrinth for weddings

Woodford Festival Installations

Installations of art and lighting abound in the festival streets, creating wonderlands of locations to have your festival wedding.

Woodfordia candlelit creek

Woodfordia umbrella venue
woodfordia woven caveMusic and fun

The choice of music is endless. Simply approach your favourite band for the perfect music at your wedding.

Or here’s some ideas for your festival wedding…..

Find a ritual dancer.

Have your hands decorated with henna.

Order a wreath of flowers for your hair.

Find an original steam punk costume or festive hat.

Go Woodfordian.

Wedding-henna-hands at Woodfordia

Woodfordia wedding couple

Woodfordia ritual bubbles

Unique Wedding traditions

Unique Wedding traditions

Wedding traditions

Wedding traditions can be a part of your wedding ceremony.  They can come from any culture or heritage. Different traditions can make your wedding quite unique.  You can draw from your own culture or heritage. Or you can be inspired by other wedding traditions. Together we can craft them to suit you, who you are and what you want your wedding day to feel like.

A real wedding

Mateja and Jason approached me with a delightful and unique wedding tradition from her cultural background.  Coming from Croatia, Mateja knew that there was some fun to be had.  She wanted to gently integrate a Croatian family wedding tradition into her Australian wedding.  We discussed how to help the guests feel included.  She wanted to create some fun and acknowledge her cultural heritage at the same time.

The Bridal Switch

The Bride Switch is one of the most amusing customs in Croatia. Traditionally the groom arrives with his guests in front of the bride’s house and asks for his bride. A male family member from the bride’s family opens the door. However the family are not giving the bride away so easily. They want to make sure the groom really wants her.

The bride’s family try to “cheat” the groom and his best man by giving him a false bride. This can include all kinds of tricks.  They offer a doll dressed in a veil, a baby clothed in white, a little girl with flowers.  They try to give the groom a straw broom dressed in lace, a bloke in a frock, or the grandmother veiled and smiling, or even one of the young bridesmaids.

After being jokingly hoodwinked a few times, the groom finally gets to see his bride and then both parties unite and leave for the church. 

How did it work

In honour of Mateja’s cultural background, on her wedding day at The Rocks by the Maroochy River, we embraced this Croatian Wedding tradition. I sent Jason away for a moment to explain it to the guests.  They smiled as they detected some fun to be had.  I enlisted their help to call out and object each time a false bride was offered.  They were encouraged to shout hints, heckle and advise the groom not to accept someone less than his gorgeous bride.  

Jason’s best man, John, helped us out on behalf of the bride’s family.  As we waited for the bride, I asked John to go and see if she was ready.  He returned with a doll dressed in a long white wedding veil.

Wedding tradition the bride switch4There were wild calls of wrong choice and Jason blankly refused to be duped.  He said he wanted a real person to marry.So John tried again and returned with a sweet boy dressed in white.  

Again the guests loudly objected on Jason’s behalf.  And he just stood shaking his head… with a smile on his face.  He said, no my bride is a beautiful woman.

John tried one more time, returning with the beautiful bridesmaid, Beatriz, escorting her down the aisle.  Surely the groom would be happy with what he had asked for?

Jason told him firmly that he is very close, but insists that Mateja is his bride no other will be acceptable.

The music started and Mateja appeared at the top of the stairs, elegantly walking down the aisle on the arm of her Dad, Mladen.

 

And so the wedding began, honouring a fun and engaging Croation wedding tradition, and establishing the mood of the day… absolute fun.

Congratulations and thank you for sharing your wedding tradition with your guests. Here’s what Mateja and Jason had to say.

Thanks to brother Sam for the amazing photographs capturing the fun of the day, and to Michelle and the amazing team at The Rocks Yandina for the wonderful support, and sublime decor in yellow and white.

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