With this ring I thee wed

With this ring I thee wed

“With this ring I thee wed…..”

a wedding ring is considered to be a circle with no end, a symbol of the wedding vows.

Many a wedding is not complete without an exchange of wedding rings.

“With this ring I thee wed.”

Do we recall this phrase from old movies?  Many a wedding is not complete without an exchange of wedding rings.  A ring is not technically part of the legal aspect of a wedding ceremony. However, in my celebrant experience 98% of couples choose to enact this traditional ritual, and place a ring on each other’s fingers.  Although, I have had one Bridegroom who chose an earring in his left ear rather than a wedding band on his left hand!  And one couple made their rings from woven fibres.

BUT none that I know, have elected for a ring on the nose like the one chosen from the Piggy-wig by The Owl and the Pussycat.  You can look up that famous poem.

wedding ring with clusters of diamondsdiamond ring by John Bexon
 

a circle with no end…

A ring, as we know is a circle with no end, symbolic of a completeness, or a union with no end, a marriage to last forever; the unbroken circle of love between a husband and wife.   Worn as a reminder of wedding vows made by one to the other, the wedding band holds great importance to most wedded couples.

It can be said at a wedding, “A circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe. In these rings it is the symbol of unity, in which your lives are now joined in one unbroken circle.  Wherever you go, you will always return to one another and to your togetherness.”

The ring may or may not have enormous resale value but becomes absolutely precious to the wearer, an enduring and valuable symbol of promises made on their wedding day.  It takes but a moment to say I love you, it takes a second to place a ring on the finger, but marriage is the promise of forever, and that is why most couples choose a precious metal – gold or platinum, reflective of the preciousness of their rings in their married lives.

Unusual wedding ring with triangle shape and pearl feature

ring by Bold in Gold

I know of many women of my mother’s generation who have never taken their rings off. Their husband first placed them on their third finger of the left hand at the marriage altar.

Some modern women may take their ring off now and again whilst doing jobs that may scratch of damage their wedding ring.  But always it is a ring that one would wear constantly.  Other jewellery may come and go.  Some is  worn for special occasions. However, the wedding ring endures as a timeless treasure.

So given it is something to cherish for many many years, most couples will take their time to choose the perfect ring.  Some even have them custom made.

very unusual wedding ring featuring topaz stone in a gold basket

design by Loretta Bexon

finding the perfect wedding ring…

I’d like to introduce some ideas of where to go to find your perfect wedding ring.

a local jeweller…

Shop local, it is the thing to do. Embrace the idea of the personal touch.  Here on the Sunshine Coast we have several fine jewellers who make bespoke products to fulfil your design wishes.

Take in your inherited jewellery and have it remodelled for your own wedding.  You could have Great Grandmas rings remodelled in a modern style.  Something old, something new? Perhaps you’d prefer order a set of wedding rings to a custom design.  Bring your local craftsperson an idea or a picture and they can make it a reality for you.  Watch them work your piece for you and bask in the warmth of something made locally AND professionally.

close up of jewellers hands filing a wedding ring

His and hers matching pair of wedding rings, hers with a blue stone

Funky modern wedding ring with pearl feature

classic engagement ring with large diamond

Unusual wedding ring with clusters of blue stones

rings by Bexon Jewellers

finding the perfect wedding ring…

A meaningful alternative to mass production, is to have your wedding rings made for you by a local craftsman. These artisans are practising a craft centuries old.  They dedicate their lives to a particular craft, and the skills required to keep their craft up to date.  In an age where we are often disconnected to how our daily things are made, having your wedding ring designed for you especially is a memorable gift, a lasting reminder of your wedding day.  You can even visit your rings and watch their progress.

There are so many wedding venues in and around Montville on the Hinterland Range above the Sunshine Coast.  If this area is your dream wedding location, you may like to visit Bold In Gold in Montville, while you’re planning your wedding day.

Bold in Gold offer you the chance to have your wedding rings individually designed and handcrafted by a team of highly skilled designer-goldsmiths. Their designers ensure your finished  wedding rings represent your individuality in beautifully finished rings in the materials of your choice.

If  you have no firm  idea on your wedding rings, don’t be too concerned,  you can first view many different designs to get the feel for your likes and dislikes and then use the ideas this generates to design your very own unique wedding rings, even unusual, yet always exquisitely hand-crafted.  

The work of Bold in Gold is often different to classic styles, featuring unusual shapes and settings, or a mix of precious metals.  Get a matching pair made. 

Modern engagement ring with long rectangular green stone

matched pair of wedding rings, engagement with large stone, wedding band with row of small diamonds

His and hers wedding rings with two tone gold and diamond features

Unusual wedding band with two tone gold and captured diamond

modern wedding ring with captured pearl and inset diamonds

rings by Bold in Gold

Awwwwhhh it makes want to get married again, just to rediscover the joy of choosing my wedding ring.

Check out some local suppliers that I have worked with.

But wait there’s more. 

If you want to do something really unusual, you can take it a step further and even make your own Wedding Rings!  There are a few artisans who run make your own wedding ring workshops.  These come and go, so search in your locality for a specialist jeweller. Now that would be a truly romantic  experience, spending a day in a goldsmiths workshop making your rings together.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

Now what to say?

Here’s 8 things to say when exchanging wedding rings

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

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 handfasting ceremony

A handfasting ceremony

Handfasting wedding ceremony

DIY vintage wedding with handfasting ritual to tie the knot

Vintage wedding down at the homestead

…and here comes the beautiful and totally happy bride, Jessica, to her wedding ceremony.  The story continues.

Jess and Joel are a relaxed couple who planned their DIY wedding at Kenilworth Homestead on the Mary River.  There was plenty of space down on the farm to feel like the rest of the world had melted away.    The homestead grounds could accommodate the entire guest list, with onsite cabins, cottages and a long river flat for tents if necessary.  But the centre piece for this wedding was the old rustic barn, with weathered boards, old farm features, transformed by this creative couple into a vintage paradise for an evening of fun, games and rock’n’rollin.

Vintage wedding decor with DIY table decor and loop s of fairy lights

Arriving at the wedding

But I digress, first the ceremony.

Under the huge tree they met to wed.

Jessica arrived on the arms of a proud Mum and Dad.  She needed them there so she wouldn’t bolt too fast to her darling Joel.  The guests watched with glee as she strolled across from the cottages to the altar under the tree

bride arrives with her parents on her arms

Another name for tie the knot

Jess and Joel had told me that they have a very tight knit group of friends, and that family is really important to them.  They describe family as a mixture of unconditional acceptance, lots and lots of love and happy chaos; a delightful combination!

So their wedding was planned as a retreat for everyone, not simply a honeymoon for two, although I’m sure they’ll find time for that too!

Since ancient times couples have stood together in a ceremony of marriage. For Jess and Joel’s ceremony they also decided to embrace an age old tradition, with a rope! I rewrote what is sometimes called a handfasting ceremony, in which a cord is tied about a couple’s  hands as they take their vows.  It is from this tradition that we know of the expression to “tie the knot”.  Making it  uniquely their own handfasting, we played with words, and wove their vow sentiments into the handfasting format.

Kari celebrant conducts a handfasting wedding

Handfasting

During the ceremony under the large tree, I wound the cord slowly about their hands as they made their promises to each other.   For each line a binding, for each binding a promise, and as the hands were bound together, a set of promises bound their lives and their futures.  But once done, the bindings can be unwound for the promises they have made will keep them together, no rope is needed!

Photos by Brisbane & Melbourne based photographer, Elleni Toumpas and a couple by myself!

If you enjoyed this story, you may like the first chapter of Jess and Joel’s DIY vintage themed wedding, down on the farm, by the Mary River.

silhouetted couple at Kenilworth Homestead DIY wedding
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

And the story continues with more photos in the next chapter

A Wedding in French and English

A Wedding in French and English

He carried his bride over the threshold

~ with Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant Kari ~

Congratulations to Fanny & Tommi married in both French and English at Flaxton Gardens in brilliant sunshine.

Fanny contacted me to request a marriage ceremony on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Range, that both her family and Tommi’s family could understand.  In fact they wanted the entire ceremony in both languages!  Now there’s a challenge I love.

I always offer to create bespoke ceremonies to suit each couple, so that part was not difficult.  For Fanny and Tommi, I simply had to translate the custom ceremony into French as well.  Now whilst I converse in passable French, I will admit to seeking guidance from my dear French friends, to ensure the grammar was all correct.

The outcome was a delightful ceremony ….read twice, as French & English took turn about during the ceremony!  On top of the usual wedding day nerves, both bride and groom made their promises to each other, first in their love’s language, then in their own.  It is not an easy task when one of those languages is not your mother tongue.  The guests were particularly encouraging, and warmly congratulated them for their efforts.  It made for amusing times as half the guests would laugh then moments later the other half got the joke!  As long as everyone understood, in the long run.

the red kombi arroives at Flaxton Gardens for a wedding

Fanny surprised us all arriving in a retro red Kombi with her two beautiful sisters and her charming father, all of whom had travelled from France to be here for Fanny’s day.  She walked down the aisle on the arm of her Dad, under brilliant blue skies to her waiting groom, Tommi.  Their ceremony was not complicated; simple and chic, elegant yet relaxed, with some laughs and I noticed some tears of emotion too.

Tommi and Fanny I wish you well in your future lives together and congratulate on including both your mother tongues in your wedding ceremony.  Thank you for the opportunity to use your poetic and musical sounding language.

One of the specialities I can offer couples, is a ceremony with other languages.  Some of the requests I have fulfilled are a French poem,  a prayer in Afrikaans, and a blessing in Sanskrit, to name a few.  My background as a musician means I have a trained ear for catching sounds.  So even when I do not speak the language, I will learn something in your tongue for you.  I’ll try anything, and with a bit of practice I have delivered so far.

However two languages are my specialty.  I speak fluent Indonesian, having lived there for years in my youth, and Fanny says my French was perfect. Well at least her family who flew out from France for the wedding day could understand the whole ceremony, and not feel at all left out.

It simply helps to know that a wedding in Australia can encompass whatever tradition or culture you wish to include.  Languages are no barrier, and I welcome customs from other traditions.

Photos by Alan Hughes

“Thanks Kari for everything you have done.  We had a great day and the ceremony was amazing; your french was perfect 😉 Thanks again” Fanny