a Tiffany’s affair

a Tiffany’s affair

married at tiffanys leaving the chapel

A Tiffanys affair

Congratulations Alison and Graham, married at Tiffany’s, on the Sunshine Coast Range.

This is a story about a place really; a place of extraordinary beauty for a wedding. A place that is old and is new, that is borrowed for your wedding day and is blue.  So every bride can fulfil the traditional rhyme for her wedding day.

This is a place to treasure.  A special wedding venue.

[dt_gallery_masonry bwb_columns=”desktop:3|h_tablet:3|v_tablet:3|phone:2″ image_border_radius=”0px” project_icon_border_width=”0px” include=”40374,40410,40411″]

The view of the Glasshouse

Certainly every time I, as a Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant, arrive at Tiffanys Maleny, it takes my breath away.

Whilst the wedding chapel at Tiffany’s may be quite new, the place is ancient.  The spectacle of the Glasshouse Mountains is the backdrop and the main character in this story.  Unions have been made on this ridge for millennia, so it is apt that couples choose this magnificent view as the backdrop to their nuptials. 

The new Tiffany’s wedding chapel frames the view through huge glass panels, as the backdrop to a couple for their wedding ceremony.

Alison and Graham chose this place for their wedding, a place of unusual splendour, and a magical quality to lend to special occasions such as this.

Flowers by Kelly and her team complemented the chapel, with a bright coloured floral scheme chosen by the couple.

[dt_gallery_masonry bwb_columns=”desktop:3|h_tablet:3|v_tablet:3|phone:2″ image_border_radius=”0px” project_icon_border_width=”0px” include=”40348,40349,40383″]

A special area

On a personal level this place is very special to Alison and Graham.

  • Every time they have driven to this area has been a special occasion, a time of personal celebration.
  • They had their first picnic outing together at Mary Cairncross Park just down Mountain View Road along the ridge.
  • They were engaged close by in Montville.

Their wedding day was a day of extra celebration and sharing with the people they loved.  And no-one could be missed out, so they filled the chapel brimful of their friends and family.  Every chair

and pew was filled so they could be married at Tiffanys with their closest.

married at tiffanys leaving the chapel

Tie the knot at Tiffanys

As part of their ceremony they chose to “tie the knot”.

When I asked Alison and Graham their favourite colour they both answered blue.  Then Graham clarified his choice as navy blue, and Alison as ocean blue.  It is very fitting, that whilst they have much in common, the two blues symbolise that two individuals are also different.  Their marriage will be strong from their similarities and gain further strength from their individual differences.

Using two cords, one of navy blue, and one of ocean blue, Alison and Graham tied their lovers knot after the exchange of rings. May their knot never come unravelled.

And that is how they were married, at Tiffanys looking over the magnificent view.

Todays’ story is accompanied not by photos from a professional wedding photographer, but some snaps I took on a glorious day, as they left the Chapel for official photos.

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.”  

[dt_gallery_masonry bwb_columns=”desktop:3|h_tablet:3|v_tablet:3|phone:2″ image_border_radius=”0px” project_icon_border_width=”0px” include=”40057,40054,40051,40055,40056,40058,40053″]

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 truckload of red wheel barrows

A truckload of red wheel barrows

 ~ with Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant Kari ~

What does a truckload of wheel-barrows have to do with ceremony?  Intrigued? read on….

Ritual and ceremony find a place in many different contexts.

Marriage celebrant Kari recently had the opportunity to be a part of an unusual ritual and an extraordinary project in Bali, Indonesia.

Instigator of the endeavour, Kay Parslow had this to say,

Project 50 started as a simple idea to make the working lives of a group of women from the Balinese village of Pennestanan, a little easier, but also to foster friendship and to make connections with another culture.”

In every respect Kay has achieved her goals, with the help of a group of Australians willing to be a part of Project 50.

But to begin at the beginning….

Two years ago whilst basking in her thatched cottage overlooking some Balinese rice fields, it dawned on Kay that she had been watching a line of women carrying tin dishes of bricks, rocks and gravel on their heads; to and fro along a narrow concrete path.  These women carry building materials from the roadside dump point, along narrow paths, to the actual building site in the rice fields, many 100’s of meters away.  They do this all day, every day, as long as there is work.

 

In an endeavour to give back to the community she was staying with, Kay bought some new tin dishes for the women.  It soon transpired that there were many more women than one woman could help.

On her return to Australia she hatched a plan to connect a group of working women in Australia with a group of working women in Bali.  She garnered support from 50 Australians, each one donating a small sum of money to a pool of funds.  These funds were initially used to buy new tin dishes, new hats, shoes, shirts and cement to repair the bumpy path, but in the back of her mind, Kay was thinking wheel barrows.  It may be OK to carry vegies from the market on one’s head as per centuries of tradition, but rocks and bricks were ‘breaking the camels’ backs’.

Recently I had the opportunity to take Project 50 funds to Bali with husband Stephen and father Peter.  As a donor, I was keen to make sure that our assistance did not have any negative impacts on the local community.  This recent experience taught me that it is not as easy as it sounds to donate equipment to a community.  The gift could be fraught with concerns of creating imbalance, or false need, or upsetting local systems.

To overcome these fears and potential problems it was important to talk,….lots of talk, and give opportunity for the women themselves to speak.  Having fluency in the Indonesian language as one of my skills was crucial to this aspect of the project.

My first task was to have a round table dicussion with the women on their working lives and how they could benefit from extra assistance.  The conversation began gently; I clarified, that the donors were working women of Australia who wished to help working women of Bali.  They too had jobs, families and husbands.  Perhaps I rolled my eyes at this point, but it seemed to break the ice, and much laughter ensued.  Suddenly the stories were flowing.  Children, husbands, families; we realised we had so much in common, and the cultural barriers dropped.  It was now a conversation amongst women of the world.

It transpired that they had already started using wheel-barrows; borrowed and begged from building sites.  Yes they would love to own their own working tools.  The message was clear.

Funds were used to buy 28 wheel-barrows and pairs of rubberised gloves.  Thanks to last minute donors, my parents , for pitching just as our funds were running out, in to buy the final barrow to complete the groups needs.

*****

The celebrant in me wondered if ritual was appropriate at the hand over moment.  Checking this idea with my wise friends and local facilitators of Project 50, brother and sister team Made Yus and Wayan Murda, it was decided to be a great idea.  These two Balinese have been generous and willing locals in facilitating the Project 50 goals.  We are very grateful for their wisdom, guidance and warm friendship.

*****

 

The truck arrived laden with red barrows, and the women gathered.  With Dad on documentation duty and Made Yus and Wayan Murda standing by we began our humble but poignant ceremony.   A blessing was created, encompassing the donors and the recipients; a kind of prayer from Australian working women to Balinese working women.

Using water from the rice fields, in a locally made ceramic pot, adorned by the face of Barong who keeps the good spirits around and the bad spirits at bay, scented with drops of lavendar oil, each woman and barrow was blessed, one by one; water poured over their hands and barrows.  We wiped our faces and chests with the moisture, bringing the blessing deep into our hearts, and washing ourselves with intent.  It is very Balinese, but alo connects with rituals held the world over.  It was a solemn moment ripe with promise. It was a deeply felt moment full of friendship.

I gave this belssing to the women, their families, their barrows and the families who would benefit from their work.  In a country where ritual is part of everyday life, this moment was appreciated and respected.  Each woman felt she had received more than simply a tool for work.  She felt the energy of Project 50, and the dream of Kay, who commented, “this is where I think ceremony plays such an integral part….in making heartfelt connections and formalising relationships…giving context to form and garnering respect between parties. I love that the Project ended with a ceremony….. completed the circle making strong connections with another culture”.

*****

For the following week, myself, my father and husband had a string of friendly greetings each time we walked the paths.  “Halo, halo”.

From each and every woman, we received 100’s of genuine, heartwarming and grateful thanks.  No gift that I have ever given has been more appreciated.

We carry these messages to the donors.

On our final day, we came home to find a pile of fruit on our doorstep, a return gift from the women of Project 50.  This project had ceased to be about the comparatively wealthy giving to the poor, but now an exchange, of friendship.  I felt the Project had come full circle.

 *****

As Kay says, “The women have benefited on a material level with new hats, shoes, shirts, cement to repair some of their paths, aluminium tins and the recently purchased wheelbarrows. There is a hope that their lives, as well as ours, have been enriched in other ways by the experience.

Buying wheelbarrows was the first idea that came to mind so in a sense it feels like the Project has come to completion. It was impossible to imagine that two years on our actions have actually resulted in the women keeping their jobs, as now having a wheelbarrow, is a prerequisite to employment.

I feel many lives have been enriched, certainly mine, by a very humbling experience.  I return home full of appreciation for what those women gave to me.  It was a teary farewell, as they urged us to come back soon.

Photos by Peter Strickland

Arrive with panache to your wedding

Arrive with panache to your wedding

wedding arbour and bridal party

Arrive with panache to your wedding

…just like Jo and Len did to their wedding ceremony along the riverfront at  Noosaville.

Congratulations to newly weds, Jo and Len, your wedding was such fun.

Here is how their wedding began….

Before the wedding began, guests were a little surprised when the Groom unbuttoned his shirt. Dressed in just singlet and rolled up pants, he wandered away from the wedding canopy (by Splash Events) set up by the banks of the Noosa River.  His purple shirt hung on the canopy and he disappeared!

Grroms shirt hanging on the wedding arbour

How the groom arrived to the wedding

To our surprise he returned a little while later from the water, paddling a canoe with energetic young Best Man, Ben. Cheers greeted them as they beached the canoe and redressed in their handsome finery. Was purple going to be a colour theme today?

Groom arrives paddling a canoe to his wedding

How the bride arrived to the wedding

But where was the bride?

Guests were invited to step this way and wander over to the roadside.  Bemused looks, puzzled questions ensued.

It all became clear when the bride arrived on the arm of her dashing son, Max, and with her bridesmaids.  Several girls stepped onto the zebra crossing and held up all traffic for the bridal party to cross over.

Abbey Road

Reminiscences of Abbey Road, more cheers ….. and tears, and laughter.  And the ceremony had not begun yet!

bride arriving ala Abbey Road to her wedding

Back to the wedding

Returning to the bridal canopy, the guests were in for another surprise, as indeed was the bride. Len took up a microphone and sung to his bride as she walked down the aisle.  We forgave her tears.  We all cried.  It was too beautiful.

That was simply the beginning to a delightful wedding ceremony by the river, …..

and finishing as the sun was sinking over the still water, on the top deck of the Boathouse floating restaurant.

Ah …. it doesn’t get better than this!

Photos by Andrea Thompson.

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

A surf styled wedding

~ with Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant Kari ~

Ever dreamed of being married at your favourite surf break?  Congratulations to Rob and Beck who chose just that.

Rob wanted to be able to see his two favourite girls on his wedding day; Beck in the foreground, and his favourite Caloundra surfbreak in the background.  Beck is easy going and loves the outdoors.  When looking for a celebrant they sought “relaxed and laid back”, to suit their style, and their desire for a casual and simple wedding, just a fun day for them and their guests to enjoy.

Many a wedding day on the Sunshine Coast is celebrated by the beach.  We are a beach culture after all.  And on this special day of your life it is natural to wish to join the natural scheme of life with a wedding on the beach. In this case, in view of Rob’s favourite surf spot at Dicky Beach; a place which also reflected their favourite colours; green for Rob, and blue for Beck.

The park was a casual place which suited their love for outdoors, a place perfect for their union. I would not have been surprised if we had all been requested to kick off our shoes in honour of the informal nature of this wedding.  And what a day.  It had rained solidly all night, but cleared up totally in time for the wedding ceremony, with blue skies and warm air.

What surprised us all was when the groom and his best man turned up to the blaring sound track of Eagle Rock, carrying a surfboard!  Hmm …  had we got the date wrong?

Rob proceeded to create a signing table from the board and board stands.  A perfect wedding altar!  Suitably sacred, yet a place to rest the wedding certificates, and high enough for all to witness the signing and need no chairs.

So a surf themed wedding is possible.  I’m even happy to wed you on your boards if that is your perfect wedding!  But I think Rob and Beck found the perfect balance; finishing on a high five, and photos with the board…then off home for a BBQ with the wedding party.

Photos by their friends.