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

7 moments a celebrant should be Out of Frame

7 moments a celebrant should be Out of Frame

Framing wedding memories…. When should one step out of frame?

A celebrant should be right there for you during your ceremony. But sometimes your celebrant needs to be out of frame too. As a celebrant myself I always want to appear appropriate for your wedding. Elegantly dressed, well presented… and in some of your photos so you can remember your ceremony.

However, I realise you don’t want me in ALL your wedding photos from the ceremony.  I like to step out of the frame sometimes. There are moments when a celebrant needs to step aside, and allow you to be the only ones in the frame.

When are these moments? Why does a celebrant need to be mindful of the moment?  Being mindful of your memories is part of the role of celebrant.

Shireen and Aaron’s Wedding

Previously I wrote about this gorgeous Spicers Clovelly Estate wedding. Read the back story here.

With the focus on a couple and two children, it was definitely appropriate for me to step out of the frame at several opportune moments.  The question that a celebrant juggles is how can I be supportive and yet not always right in the centre of frame?

When should a celebrant disappear from the wedding photos?  Consider these very personal memories in your wedding ceremony, 7 moments when a celebrant should be out of the frame:

1. Groomsmen only

In my celebrant role, I often hang around with the fellas before the ceremony.  The groomsmen and I work out things like 

  • Where to stand, in relation to the arbour, altar or floral decor.
  • What order they are arranged
  • Are their button hole flowers fixed on right… in a way that is firm, and will not cause a stray pin to spike someone later when hugs are happening.
  • Where to put their hands
  • Are the rings safe
  • When and how to present the rings

Then it is time for me to step aside and allow the photographer to get some shots of the fellas. 

2. When the bride arrives


Chatting with the groom before the ceremony keeps things casual and relaxed. It gives me time to relay some last minute tips, and have a few laughs to break the seriousness of the occasion. There is that poignant moment when a groom sees his bride for the first time.  Suddenly I am not there, as he steps forward to greet her and those accompanying her down the aisle.  Time for hand shakes with Dad or Mum, brother or son.  Time for hugs and delight in seeing the bride for the first time in all her splendour.  Time for taking in the emotion of the moment.  Time to invite the bride into the wedding space. 

I allow time.

 

3. While you say your vows

These words are gifts.  Standing to the side or gently holding your microphone, I slide into the background.  Of course there is a supporting role needed here, and I am right there…..but I make sure to be aware of where the photographer is standing, and adjust myself behind or out of the way.

4. Always, always, always …. during the wedding kiss

Need I say more… this is that moment everyone looks forward to, the seal of a kiss.  Step away celebrant!

 

5. Special rituals

In the story of Shireen and Aaron, we had designed a special vow to the children. So of course this was a photo opportunity for a family moment; united in one name at last.

6. Signing the wedding certificates

The signing is an official aspect of the wedding ceremony.  So of course the celebrant needs to witness every signature.  5 people need to sign; the couple, two witnesses and of course the marriage celebrant too.  And there are three certificates to sign.  So that makes 15 signatures all up…..  

Don’t worry, you don’t need to know beforehand who goes where.  I will indicate to all where they need to place their squiggle.  We want to keep it legal after all. 

However after the last signature is in the bag…. I step aside for your group photo, and help arrange flowers, certificates, rings etc for the closeups.  I always work in with the photographer.

7. Finally back down the aisle

Assisting with timing at this point can help you get the best photos. My celebrant role is not done yet. I help couple and attendants know when is the best moment to walk down the rows of chairs… creating the perfect photo opportunities along the way.

 

But there are of course times when the celebrant needs to be in the picture….not out of frame!!

When to be in the Frame


Thanks to Taylah of Tay and Francis for the stunning images in this story

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.