A garden wedding

A garden wedding

A garden wedding

~ a modern marriage in a bamboo garden ~

Congratulations to Sarah and Flynn, and little Aiofe, and their private garden wedding on the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Born and raised here, Flynn decided to come home for his garden wedding.  Flynn and Sarah were married by the creek on the property next door to his childhood home.  There were gasps of delight as the Groom and his groomsman appeared from through the bamboo grove and waltzed into the grassy ceremony glade.  Swinging baskets with cheeky grins, they handed flowers around to all the guests, whilst the the strains of Mumford and Sons, singing Winter Winds wafted on the breeze.  The fun had clearly begun!

The Bamboo Grove

Through the green poles of bamboo we could glimpse a white dress, like an ethereal promise appearing between the dense bamboo.  The bride appeared slowly from the bamboo, with her Dad holding little Aiofe in his arms.  They were a trio of smiles.  The musical mood changed with her tune, La Valse de Amelie.  And the wedding ceremony had begun.  We were already in a great mood, relaxed in amongst nature, and quite secluded from the world at large.

And a baby naming too

Sarah and Flynn chose to have fun at their relaxed garden wedding, not too serious, yet with sincere promises.  The entire extended family was there, and their little girl  So they decided to go one step further, and name their little girl with a naming ceremony.

As the wedding ceremony wrapped up, a baby naming ceremony ensued.  Firstly, Aiofe was blessed by her great grandmother, secondly by her grandparents and lastly her parents.  We used water to trickle over her hands and arms, and a little on her face.  We knew water was a favourite.  And she just loved playing with the water!  Squeals of childish delight were a great way to complete a wedding ceremony.

Wedding reception

The reception was held under a stunning nomadic marquee, strung with fairy lights.  Guests partied to the live band and danced out on the grass.  It was a garden wedding with freedom and choice.  A garden of delight.  All the privacy of a private property and all the style of a marquee wedding.  But best of all it was a down to earth, family affair full of laughs, charm and lots of dancing into the night.

Photos by Bonnie Jenkins

married couple amongst the trees at a garden wedding 7
couple married at garden wedding 1
men can wear purple at a garden wedding 6
Groom waiting for the bride at a garden wedding 3
Setting up in a bamboo grove for a garden wedding 2
Celebrant Kari meeting with the bride and groom at
laughing with the bride and groom at garden wedding 5

Read about another wedding in another garden… at Halfmoon Hideaway

Wedding Garden Games

Wedding Garden Games

Garden games for after the Wedding ceremony

So the ceremony is complete, you are feeling radiant, on a cloud of joy.  How did it go so quickly?  Now the photographer wants to whisk you and the bridal party away for a photo shoot.

wedding-this-way

Meanwhile your guests are wandering, mingling and perhaps looking for a little something to do. As a celebrant I often get to see the post ceremony fun organised by a thoughtful couple, and have had the chance to take a few snaps in order to inspire you today.

So, you’ve made your guests comfortable with hats, shade, and other little delights to amuse.

wedding-comfort

Consider wedding garden games to get the party laughing.

Garden games are such fun during the post wedding ceremony time.  Not competitive, fun, yet can be played with a glass in one hand, and a ready giggle when someone misses the mark.  A game of two while sipping a cocktail is very relaxing, and makes for some great candid photographs.  Wedding games using the giant game sets are perfect for a garden wedding.

wedding-games

With vintage themes still a great way to DIY your wedding decor, then vintage games are de rigueur. Try some of these for the wedding guests on your wedding day:

Quoits

A stick and a hand full of rope rings is all you need. Beer in one hand ring in the other, the game gets more fun as the beer lowers. Some people think that the game originated from tossing horse shoes.

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Croquet

The red queen may have used upended flamingos as her croquet mallet, but wooden ones are more the go these days! Originating in France and brought to England as Paille Maille (the latin words for ball & mallet), and possibly played as early as the 1600’s, croquet is not just the dominion of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.  A vintage set of mallets hoops and balls is available at several wedding venues these days, especially the French inspired Clovelly Estate, and the vintage farm Kenilworth Homestead.

wedding-croquet

Giant Jenga

Now here’s one the crafty family member can whip up.  Simply cut equal lengths of pine framing boards. Stack them up on the grass. Then each player has to extract one block and place it on top without upsetting the whole stack. After a while the entire stack is teetering and one person has to be responsible for tumbling the  lot over….to many cheers from onlookers.

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Badminton

An oldie but goodie, badminton can look lovely in your garden wedding. Take two tent poles and peg them out.  String a set of bunting flags between the poles for your “net”. Cute!

wedding-badminton

Skittles/ Kubb /Finska

Another ball and tumbling game.  Who can bowl the skittles over on grass?

And for games hire… contact the lovely Nathan at Sunshine Coast Games Hire for a no fuss delivery option.

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Photobooth

And finally, you could make your own Photobooth. Provide a basket of silly costume pieces, hats, glasses and a picture frame. Set up a camera on a tripod.  Guests take turns in photographing each other. They won’t want to leave for the reception!!! And you will have a camera full of great memories of your guests, and an insight into what they got up to in your absence!!!

wedding-photobooth

Hope there’s something there to inspire your post ceremony wedding fun and games.

See you at a wedding soon.  xx Kari – the celebrant.

Flaxton Gardens wedding

Flaxton Gardens wedding

A Flaxton Gardens Wedding

This is the story of a fun wedding at Flaxton Gardens, dedicated wedding and events venue on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

Gosh I loved the spirit of this couple.  We laughed.  They danced. We high fived. Bec and Mitch had the most fun they could at their wedding.  So, congratulations to Bec and Mitch on their stunning Flaxton Gardens Wedding.  It was a picture perfect day with celebrant – Kari.

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

How did their wedding begin?

Of course it began a long time ago.  These two were set up by a friend who, after spending weeks trying to convince Bec to meet him, decided the only way it was going to happen was by tricking her into it. Mitch on the other hand took no convincing, as he knew she was blond and that was all he needed to know!

After spending just one evening together, where they both brought out their competitive sides; playing pool and discussing the merits of the “bunny suicides”, they were both smitten.

I loved working with these two.  They simply have fun together… all of the time. Best friends and companions in many, many ways.  Mitch says, “Iggy has been my whole world for over 7 years.”  Bec adores that they have the same sense of humour, and make each other laugh so much.

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

A large wedding in the garden

Flaxton Gardens is a stunning venue for a large gathering in beautiful gardens with the most amazing view of the Sunshine Coastline.  And now that restrictions have lifted, large weddings are on again. Hoorah!

Fun ceremony

When planning their ceremony we decided that it was about fun. A bit of jiving down the aisle, a few high Fives, lots of laughs and not too serious.  But loads of love and friendship.  And who says only the bride gets to walk down the aisle?

Modern day couples are all about equality in their relationships, so why not reflect that in a marriage ceremony too.  We discussed how we could even things up and make the ceremony all about two people, and fun of course.  Mitch chose a theme song for the boys, so Mitch and his three groomsmen, Gab, Liam and Dylan had their moment in the limelight before the girls arrived.  We admired the view while Bec arrived in the car, and readied herself for the big arrival.

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Arrival of the Bride

Before we glimpsed Bec coming out from the magnificent winery building doors, the girls had their moments before Kasia and Tiana walked down the aisle.  Then she arrived on the arms of Dad.  It was hard to stop the tears of joy.

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Wedding Ceremony

And so the ceremony began…. all tears and smiles mixed in together.  So natural, so authentic, so much fun.

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrant Flaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrant

And then they were wed

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrantThanks to Luke for capturing the wedding fun with his awesome photographs.

Photo Credit @lukemiddlemissphotography

 

 

 

a wedding at Parliament House

a wedding at Parliament House

A Wedding at Parliament House

A wedding of stately grandeur in Parliament House?  Not possible!

Well yes it is…but you need to know the right person.

Congratulations to Bec and Gary, who did indeed know the right person.  Actually their parents did!

Bec and Gary contacted me from England, where they were living.  Bec’s parents, here in Brisbane, were eagerly awaiting their daughter’s return for her wedding to her English beau Gary.  While they waited Mum searched for the perfect place for the wedding ceremony and reception; somewhere stately, somewhere resonant of England and Australia.  Who would have thought Parliament House would be available?  The building is old and very grand.  The rooms are stately and bedecked in resplendent furniture, lamps and trimmings with the lushness of a state’s rooms and a bygone era.

a kiss outside parliament house

Brisbane Parliament House

Brisbane Parliament House is a regal building. There are two parliamentary chambers.  One is not used for government any more.

The Legislative Chambers are a beautiful set of rooms, with no modern computers and such to impede the magnificence of the room.

It was here that Bec’s father walked his daughter, the bride,  down the aisle to a waiting groom, Gary.

Bride’s Song

I love the lyrics from the song Rebecca chose for her arrival into the Parliament House chambers.

Home – is where I want to be
But I guess I’m already there
I come home she lifted up her wings
Guess that this must be the place
I can’t tell one from the other
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time before we were born
If someone asks, this is where I’ll be . . . where I’ll be

Song Lyrics for a Parliament wedding

These words describe how Rebecca and Gary feel about each other…they feel like they have found home. They had travelled and worked away for some time.
Home is in each other, not where they reside.  Gary had realised he’d go anywhere to be with Bec, to make sure she didn’t get away!

*****

Wedding Reception at Parliament House

The reception was held in the impressive dining room with all the tableware of the house; heavy linen cloths, splendid silverware, gorgeous crockery and vases.   This is vintage with absolute class and quality.  Let your vintage heart go wild!  The silver was polished to perfection, the china gleaming and with gold rims and crests.  Simple and elegant, regal almost. The kind of absolutely matching dinner set any bride could dream of. every table alike yet with understated elegance.  Bec and Gary put their touches on it all with sprigs of herbs, and the names of their fav pubs.

Table names – English Pubs

This is what I truly loved – the names of the wedding tables. Bec and Gary named each table after a pub in London they had visited.  Each pub had a special memory for them; the first drink together, the first kiss, the first birthday….

Just the names of English Pubs are evocative of weddings; The Star and Garter for example or perhaps The Five Bells.  However Bec and Gary revisited their courtship through the names of their very own special drinking holes of London when they lived there together.

Thanks to Elisabeth Harvey for the magnificent images:

Check out her blog too.

Married in a green dress

Married in a green dress

Married in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant Kari

Married in a green Wedding Dress

Do I have to be married in white, you ask?

Of course not. Queen Victoria started the white wedding trend by deciding not to wear the classic royal wedding colour of silver.  She preferred white.  before that the ordinary folk simply married in their best clothes. Whatever colour they were.

So how about a green wedding dress?  The outcome was stunning.

Congratulations to Alicia and Carlo, married on a stunning day in August at the Spotted Chook in Montville in the hinterland range.

bride in a green dress with her groom against the rays of the setting sun in the Sunshine Coast hinterland

The green dress

Alicia stunned everyone with her beautiful green wedding dress.  But most of all, for her gentle groom, Carlo, she was absolutely beautiful.  She was an elegant picture in soft green on her wedding day.  The green bride dress in soft silk with elegant and understated lace trims was stunning. Her decision to be married in green was a great choice. Married in green is sublime against the forest backdrop.

A bride ready in a green silk dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant Kari

Spotted Chook Wedding venue

This couple wanted a time to be together with their family, not just for the moments of a ceremony, but for a whole weekend away, in the hinterland. They chose the Spotted Chook, because of the intimacy of the surroundings and the ability to have a retreat weekend with the entire guest list.  The French provincial themed Spotted Chook has rooms decorated in every colour and a little hideaway cottage for the wedded couple.

The Spotted Chook wedding pavilion with Sunshine Coast celebrant Kari

Their love story

When Alicia met Carlo, she was planning to leave the UK and return to Australia.  As a result of this meeting, she stayed three more years! Carlo knew he had found a true partner, someone who matched him.  Alicia and Carlo had already been committed to each other for quite a while when I met them. They describe marriage to me as a meeting of independent souls.

The family

On their wedding day so many people were included.  Several couples and groups walked down the aisle to the ceremony in the gazebo looking over the sloping lawns and gardens.  It is not only the bridal party who can walk down the aisle.  There was Mum, some important family, the bridesmaid, and then the breath taking Bride on the arm of her father.

Wedding Dress not white

I congratulate Alicia on standing her ground for a wedding dress that was not white.  Not easy in the face of the bridal industry, who would wish white on every bride.  She looked more than stunning in a glorious shade of green.  And certainly took my breath away.  So girls, take Alicia’s example, and choose your own coloured wedding dress, the one just for you.

The cutest kids with cheeky grins dressed in wedding suits for the wedding photos

Cute wedding kids

And check out the cute wedding kids…. adorable!

Photos by Mandy and Jason of AWPP Photography.

Watch the unfolding story of their ceremony in pictures

Married in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant KariMarried in a green dress with Sunshine Coast celebrant Kari

If you liked this colour story, try one about a purple wedding dress

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.