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.

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

Wedding Rings Ritual

Wedding Rings Ritual

wedding ring ritual with a Scottish kilt and bowl

Wedding Rings – a ritual

This is a story of a unique blessing of wedding rings at a Pomodoras wedding.  

For as long as we can remember, lovers have exchanged rings as a token of their wedding vows. 

Wedding bands are of some value in themselves.  Yet they are made so much more precious by our wearing of them, by knowing who placed them on our fingers, on our wedding day.

Kerrie and Andrew’s rings are super special.  It began with their engagement… in Florence!

A ring in Florence

The evocative and artisan city of Florence had always held special memories for them.  While on holidays wandering down a Florentine street they found a ring created by an artist. It was perfect; a unique design akin to two diamond encrusted bridges crossing over… signifying the crossing over of two lives.  

The wedding rings, however, were made locally, by a Maleny artisan Jim Goulton of Maleny Jewellers.  Beautifully crafted to their own design.

On their wedding day, we honoured the significance of their wedding rings with a blessing before they were placed on their hands.

There were several elements that contributed to this unique ritual, each one chosen carefully for the meaning.

into the quaiche we drop some essential oils

Ritual Element One : Water

The plan was to use water, the elixir of life, to pour into the bowl.  

On the wedding day, as bride, Kerrie was preparing herself up in the cottage room before the wedding ceremony.  She looked down over the Obi Obi Creek and had an idea.

Voila! There was the water for their wedding ring ritual, made extra special because it was collected from right behind the ceremony platform.

a traditional Scottish quaich - a silver inlaid vowlRitual Element Two : Vessel

They needed a vessel, a bowl to place rose petals….. Andrew had decided to go the full Scottish, and be married in his family tartan.  At the kilt shop, he spied a silver bowl, a celtic quaich (pronounced Kwek). A quaich is a Scottish welcome bowl, crafted by artisans and intricately decorated with celtic curls and swirls.  Imagine arriving to a household in Scotland, coming in out of the freezing cold and being offered a silver bowl with a dram of warm Whiskey to warm body and soul. On the wedding day the sliver bowl welcomed the warmth of a wedding promise.

the scottish quaiche bowl for the wedding ring ritual

Ritual Element Three : Rose Petals

To celebrate their union, Kerrie and Andrew had planted a Montville Rose in their garden. It was the first thing they had planted together, and held great meaning for them.  Recalling that occasion of humble celebration of their union, on their wedding day in honour of that rose and the French tradition of roses in weddings, they added handfuls of petals to the Quaich.    

Ritual Element Four : Essential oils

Essential oils have long been used for sacred ceremony. Once more Kerrie and Andrew found their own meaning, as the ring ritual evolved a step further.  A special friend is a massage therapist.  Her basket of essential oils contained much more than traditional Frankincense and Myrrh; oils for joy and valour, for humility and compassion, for spice and passion….

Ritual Element Five : Friends

Into the bowl went much love and the best wishes of all the guests there.  Each guest had previously taken a moment to hold and bless the rings.  They arrived at the ring ceremony well warmed with love.

Using this water we blessed the rings, washing them and making them fragrant for ceremony.
It was a truly joyous and fun ceremony.

bottles of essential oils for a wedding ring ritual

Thank you Kerrie and Andrew for giving us such inspiration to personalise a wedding ceremony.  This is what Kerrie said afterwards:

“A HUGE thank you for your amazing wondrous delightful joyful gentle and experienced handling of our wedding celebration.” Kerrie

Thanks especially to the gorgeous Marion Jonkers Photography for the wedding photos.

Soren the eagle brings the wedding rings

Soren the eagle brings the wedding rings

And who brings the rings?

There is that moment in a wedding when the marriage celebrant looks up and asks who brings the wedding rings.

Sometimes its grandma. Occasionally a favourite pet or a child with a cushion.

Generally it is the moment for the Best Man to pat every pocket in his suit and pretend he has forgotten the rings. It gets a little laugh, and then he breaks out in a smile and fishes a ring box from his pocket.

I encourage this little game to lighten the mood at a wedding ceremony. The best man has his moment of fame, and everyone is relieved that nothing is going to go wrong. “Just joking”, his smile says!

Wedding_with_an_eagle01

From the beginning

Jason and April’s wedding began like expected.  Jason waited patiently for his bride, accompanied by his groomsmen. As the marriage celebrant I waited with the guys, calming them about late brides & would she arrive.

Held on the shores of Lake Baroon in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, at Secrets On the Lake, we all enjoyed being outside in the warm sun with rainforest all around.

The girls soon arrived, to oohs and aahs, and the wedding ceremony got underway.

It was, so far, what the guests expected; a little emotional, some laughs, a sweet and funny love story.

The ceremony approached the moment to exchange rings.

Wedding_with_an_eagle6

What if he doesn’t?

But what happens when the best man looks genuinely worried, and gives a meaningful but slight shake to his head, looking back at the celebrant with a “Don’t ask me!” expression on his face.

I continued the charade and asked him to check all his pockets.  Fortunately Matt was a good sport, and didn’t mind when we all looked at him expectantly.    He just continued to shake his head and look at me, the celebrant, with expectation.  Perhaps he might have guessed something was up.  Note the groom looking away…..

Enter an eagle

Wedding_with_an_eagle7

Suddenly everyone felt the air above their heads move, as Soren the eagle swooped down almost touching the hairdos of the entire guestlist.

There were many audible gasps as the wind from his wings lifted spirits in surprise, startled us all and brought an emotional tear even to my eye.  At that moment I felt the awe of nature, of the power in one creature, the wonder in life around us.  This huge bird swooped over us all, and landed on the arm of Jason, the Groom who by this stage had donned a leather glove for protection.

Wedding_with_an_eagle8

Soren

Soren, the eagle, is specially trained to carry wedding rings.  They hang from his tresses on his ankles.  Paul, his trainer keeps a nature refuge, a training and conservation centre for wounded animals.  Soren is a star of Broadwings Events.

Paul very kindly allowed me to hold Soren for a photo after the ceremony and photos were over. I can assure you there is  nothing like holding a powerful bird on your arm, and experiencing a wild creature so close.Wedding_with_an_eagle18

Wedding_with_an_eagle17Wedding_with_an_eagle19

Allowing nature in

Many say that the presence of water blesses a marriage like no other.  There is plenty of water at Secrets on the Lake, one of the most beautiful wedding venues on the Sunshine Coast.  The lake over which the tree houses look is actually the drinking water for this area.  It is special water, clean water, and was a very special blessing for this couple.  To honour the place and the water, April and Jason chose a finale ritual for their wedding.

The pebble toss…

Wedding_with_an_eagle16

Guests were invited  to participate in a Celtic wedding tradition, that of the Pebble Toss.  Stones were handed  to each guest at the conclusion of the ceremony.  Behind this tradition is the notion that natural things can anchor a thought.  It is important that water is involved in the pebble toss.  Water is the element that represents emotion and spirit. In a wedding it is about wishing prosperity and flow.  The stone is the carrier of  wishes and prayers, happy hopes and cheeky thoughts for April and Jason’s future.

Holding their pebble for a moment, each guest waited by the shores of the lake.  Imbued with warm thoughts and story the stones were tossed into the water, sending wishes into the ether to come true for April and Jason.

Thanks to Malin from Love Is A Place Photography for the images.

This is what the couple said:

Kari was one of the vital pieces of our wedding that we couldn’t have done without.  We are so glad to have chosen her as our celebrant after a lot of careful searching.  We were quite lost as what we wanted, but she listened carefully and crafted for us an amazing ceremony which both we and our guests loved.  She also helped us keep our “ring delivery” secret a huge surprise from everyone (rings flown in via wedge-tailed eagle).   Kari is a fantastic celebrant and also a truly talented lady.  I hope many other couples get to experience the same joy she brings to their ceremonies too.  April & Jason

See this wedding story in pictures by Malin from Love Is A Place Photography :

Read about another unusual ring bearer:

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

and who brings the rings?

and who brings the rings?

Wedding rings brought by Ruby the black labrador

Who shall be the ring bearer?

At your wedding, who do you choose to be the ring bearer? A charming little nephew?  An eagle? The Best Man? The Best Woman? Mum? Or your pet? Congratulations Diane and Patrick,  for choosing Ruby. They married in the charming pergola at Tiffany’s, looking out over the Glass House Mountains from the Maleny Ridge.  They wanted a creative, fun and relaxed wedding. They chose Tiffany’s for the view, for the incredible feeling you get when gazing out over the vista of the Glass House Mountains. What an extraordinary place on the edge of the ridge, what a splendid sunny day. AND what a charming ring bearer!  More of her later….

Planning a memorable wedding

Diane and Patrick wanted their wedding to be memorable, unforgettable in fact, and a bit of fun for their guests.   All they wrote on the wedding invite was a date, a time and ‘surprise location’. The guests had no idea where they were going and what to expect.  A bus collected them all, to take them to Tiffany’s.  The bus was there again to continue the adventure to Clovelly Estate for a classy reception banquet.  What fun!  Everyone arrived at the ceremony full of intrigue and with smiles already on their faces.

 

Bide arrives in the red kombi with her parents

Diane arrived in retro style in the divine Red Kombi. Just bride and her parents. A gentle and relaxed bride, Diane just glowed on the way to meet her Patrick.  She arrived on the arms of both her parents, one on each arm.  It is a tradition that is very heartwarming, when a parent accompanies their daughter to her wedding day.  In these modern days of equality we still have room to remember an ancient custom, that of a bride being accompanying to her wedding.

Diane chose to arrive with both her parents.  In this way we know that father and mother are supportive of the bride and groom and their decision to embrace marriage.  And indeed there is room too to thank the parents for the Groom for all they have done to bring their son to his wedding day too.  Diane and her parents brought a charming tradition into the modern world. But what about Ruby?  The other important family member.

Bride arrives with both her parents

Ruby the ring bearer

Ruby the black labrador dressed for the wedding Diane and Patrick wanted their special family, Ruby, a black Labrador, to be part of their special day and found a a way to include her in the ceremony. Their dear Ruby was a feature guest for the day.  Sporting a ribbon on her neck, most of the guests just thought she was there for the ride.  She was the perfect ring bearer.

Ever thought you’d be able to have your pets at your wedding?

At this wedding, it was the Ruby the ring bearer who stole the show.  When the wedding bands were called for, Ruby bounded down the aisle towards her favourite people to deliver the rings.  She happily sat while Patrick took the rings from her neck, to place on the finger of his bride. Patrick retrieves the rings from Ruby the ringbearer

Ruby stuck around for photos and I’m sure would have enjoyed the canapés, but she had other treats in store.

Kylie from Lovable Pets arrived in chic sporting attire.  Ruby was whisked away for a long walk on the beach and a sleep over at Kylie’s.  Lucky Ruby. To top off a beautiful afternoon, Di and Patrick invited their guests to the divine and classy  Spicers Clovelly Estate for a three course banquet around a continuous table. Beautiful plant arrangements by A Sculpted Leaf, the boughs of the Jacaranda tree hanging down beside the pavilion, and an array of sumptuous food from the Clovelly French styled chefs.  You may think Ruby was wondering who got the best deal.  She didn’t even know, as she frolicked on the beach with Kylie, or perhaps by now she was snoring on a large cushion.  It was an important day for Ruby, delivering the rings to the ceremony on cue!  She deserved her rest. Peek into other moments from their wedding day. Photos by Tania Stanley.