The Bridesmaids’ story

The Bridesmaids’ story

wedding party amongst the trees and shadows

The Bridesmaids’ story

Today’s story is about the Bridesmaids.  Lift your glasses for a toast to the Bridesmaids, Steph, Sharna, Vanessa, Alyce and Kristen.

First of all Congratulations to Sam and Jai, married in Byron Bay…but more on them in a later story.

bridesmaids in pink

Bestie to bridesmaid?

Sam, the bride, took great care on planning her wedding, and involving her favourite people.  She began by asking them all in a delightful fashion.  As Kristen said, “We went for Friday after work drinks and Sam gave me a little gift box. Inside the box was a handful of tiny brown paper scrolls.  Each had a different memory of us growing up, and some of the crazy things we did!

The very last scroll read Krisso…. Will you be my bridesmaid?  I’m pretty sure everyone in the bar had a heart attack, I squealed that loudly!”

Will you be my bridesmaid?

Sam had been besties with her Bridesmaids since childhood, so all five girls signed up immediately.

How did you find the bridesmaid dresses?

The six girls, maids and bride, spent a day together seeking the perfect dress for Sam’s relaxed and elegant garden wedding to be held at a quaint farmhouse on the hill looking out over Byron Bay.

from pink to mauve in the bridesmaids dresses

A colour palate not a colour

The Bride did not wish to dictate to her friends, so she pretty much gave them free reign on bridesmaids dress. She did show them a picture of the colour palate she’d prefer; earthy colours, pale dusky pinks, mauves, champagne.  Said Sharna, “Sammy’s idea was for all the dresses to be unique and different but from a similar colour palette. We opted for full length as it was elegant and flattering.” They couldn’t find anything that first day.  So off they went back to their own life schedules and continued seeking on their own. Kristen commented, “The first time we saw the dresses all together was the night before the wedding and they just worked perfectly together!!” PHEW! Check out the pix.

Bought One at a time

It is hard to believe that the dresses were bought one by one, separately by each bridesmaid.

What was the bridesmaids highlight?

What was the highlight of Sam and Jai’s wedding day for you?

Kristen said, “Getting ready back at the hotel and seeing how happy Sammy was. She’s usually a control freak and everything has to be perfect but she was just so relaxed and ready to marry the man of her dreams. Seeing her walk down the aisle was pretty amazing!”

Sharna said, “Hard to say as it was all stunningly beautiful.  Probably milling around after the ceremony and getting our photos taken. Getting our hair and makeup done together was fun too.”

Will you wear your dress again?

“I hope so. I love it!” Here we are having a play in the archway after the service…In the distance is Byron Bay lighthouse and the best surf of the week! Not that we were interested!

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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

An unusual wedding ceremony

An unusual wedding ceremony

Wanting an unusual wedding ceremony?

I have never returned home on more of a high, than at the wedding of Jas and Linton, married at Weddings at Tiffany’s on the Maleny ridge.  I knew when I met this engaged couple, that it would be a splendid ceremony.  They are creative and fun, willing to have a go, and embrace something a little unusual, yet meaningful and heartwarming.  It is wonderful to meet a couple who truly want something bespoke for their wedding ceremony.

Jas and Linton create something unusual.

Tradition can still carry meaning, can be captivating, can be absolutely memorable for the couple and guests.  Jasmine and Linton agreed, and allowed a pretty free rein to design a ceremony that stood out for everyone.  They jumped on the creative bandwagon and prepared something special to set the scene; a video.

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How did it begin?

Like this….

A full chapel of guests. But no sign of the bride or the groom!  We could see a movie screen set up at the end of the Chapel.  As their marriage celebrant, I began to explain the absence of a couple to wed. “Before we start today’s wedding ceremony, there is something we need to watch. Fasten your belts and here we go,”

The guests were privy to an elaborate video story of the couple from childhood to now along their courting path.  Photos interwoven with dramatic music wove a humorous story.

guests watch a video at a wedding

Enter bride and groom

Suddenly, just as the out-music played on the screen, the wooden, smokey-glass doors of the delightful Tiffany’s Wedding Chapel burst open and the happy couple entered holding hands.  They walked down the aisle together.  A huge cheer erupted as they walked to the dais, overlooking the Glasshouse mountains behind us.

bride and groom entering the chapel together

When they first met

As we saw in the video, when Linton first met Jasmine, she was a garden gnome!  Jas has since grown into a delightful woman.  Linton is pretty happy about that! As we just saw, unusually for most couples, there is actual footage of their very first encounter on a film set, he the cameraman, she the actor. After the first day of filming was done, Jas told her mum, “There was a lovely cameraman there and if he asked me out for a coffee I would say yes”.

Coffee happened, if some time in the making…..and the long romance began.

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A wedding promise

Jasmine and Linton’s wedding promise was not something new, yet was a confirmation of a commitment to each other and celebration shared with those who have been through the journey with them, and invited as guests of their wedding.

Callie’s photos in the rain reflect their ability to have fun and find creativity whatever happens.  And yes they did get rather wet during the photo shoot.  Wouldn’t you love images like this?  The rain did not deter them at all.  In fact Jasmine had the forethought to bring an alternative “reception” dress to change into.  She looked just as divine after the shoot.

I hope I am around for their 50th wedding anniversary!  Should be a hoot.

Thanks to the photos of Callie Marshell of Florido Weddings.

Unforgettable ceremony

Theirs was a ceremony no-one will ever forget.  Jasmine, the bride,  said afterwards,

“The ceremony was my FAVOURITE part of the day…I am so glad we got to share that with so many of our friends and loved ones…I even feel more connected with everyone after that amazing experience. The warmth, buzz, excitement just exuded from everyone and made the day even better than we could have hoped it to be!”

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The Bride’s comments

“After stumbling upon Kari’s website and reading through the information and testimonials, I thought, “This lady seems like our kind of celebrant!” We then met with Kari and instantly knew she was ‘the one’ for us.

From day one we felt completely comfortable with Kari, which was very important for us. Kari is warm, friendly, professional and has a genuine enthusiasm and love for what she does – and it shows. Not knowing where to start, Kari provided fantastic recourses to help us get started. She takes all the stress and uncertainty out of all the legal components and ceremony part of the wedding. Planning the ceremony was a breeze, because Kari did all the hard work! I never once worried about it – which is awesome for a bride, with other things to worry about!

 I had always thought wedding ceremonies were a bit boring and all the ‘same’, but after one meeting with us and talking a bit about ourselves and the type of ceremony we wanted, Kari wrote a beautiful, creative and fun ceremony that was just perfect – and so very us!

The ceremony actually ended up being my favourite part of what was the most fabulous day – we had so much fun, it was so special. After our ceremony, we had numerous comments about how wonderful our celebrant was and how much she ‘added’ to our wedding day. We also had people say it was the best ceremony they had ever been to!

We feel very lucky to have had Kari as our celebrant, because our wedding would not have been the same (or as fabulous!) without her!

Thank you Kari… “Jasmine and Linton

midday 12/12/12, a perfect dozen

midday 12/12/12, a perfect dozen

~ with Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant, Kari ~

A row of 12’s looks great on the marriage paperwork.  

So good in fact that I just had to create a special 12/12/12 certificate for them… just for fun.

Congratulations to Sandy and Michael for selecting the perfect dozen for their wedding day.  

Sandy and Michael told me they don’t need trumpets to declare their feelings for one another.  They enjoy the simple things of life.  They came to a point in their lives when sincerity outweighs pomp, and intimacy is appreciated more than fanfare.  Yet they also acknowledged that there are times in ones life when a ceremony or a bit of ritual can describe what is deep within. They chose an intimate elopement, and wanted to share this sacred moment with their supportive friends.

They have known each other for 6 years, and tell me that despite finding a couple of old warts and the occasional nervous twitch, life has been very good to them both and together.  So they selected the most auspicious date for their nuptials, hired a house and together with their friends escaped to the hills of Montville to seal their relationship with a wedding.

At exactly the 12th hour, on the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year of the millenium, Sandy and Michael took their wedding vows.

Enjoy the fabulous photos by Marion Jonkers Photography

We do things in ceremony that are profoundly symbolic. It allows the depth of what we feel to shine through.  Ceremony or ritual is the visible means for honouring that unseen world that we feel within.  I love to create ritual special to each couple.  I often ask couples to bring a food, which nurtures their daily life, and a drink to use for celebration.  In sharing these things you symbolically foster both daily life and special moments together.

When we spoke together I noticed they both called each other ” darling honey”.  So I suggested they use honey as a symbol of their perfect union.

Honey has many sustaining properties.  In many ancient cultures honey is a basic food, and can also be a drink.  It is often considered a delicious treat.  Honey is a symbol of richness and sweetness in all traditions.  In sacred texts, honey flows like a stream through promised lands.  In others considered the drink of the Gods.  In others again, it is equated with the higher self. And we’ve heard of the role New Zealand Manuka honey can play in healing.

We know honey to be natural and sustainable, a gift from nature, needing no further manufacture.  Pure honey straight from bees is ready to eat.  And we also know it to be long lasting.  Honey found in the Pyramids today is still edible.  What better symbol for a marriage.  Sweet, nourishing, long lasting, and a food to enjoy.

I asked them to feed each other some honey, as a symbol of daily nourishment, yet also representative of the sweetness of life together.

What an extraordinary and yet intimate wedding day.

Here’s what Sandy & Michael said:

Getting married and finding the right Celebrant, words and ceremony is certainly not easy, even second time round.  We found Kari’s approach easy and open and felt very comfortable discussing our thoughts for an intimate elopement ceremony. Kari not only listened to our thoughts but, found those little things that really mattered to us both and individually.  Considering our thoughts, Kari provided some excellent suggestions which made it easy to find the right words and ceremony, along with the legal requirements we had to provide and complete prior to getting married.

We wanted something simple, formal, intimate with some involvement by our close friends, Kari achieved this and more, telling our story with some lovely touches, (Honey and passing the Rings) Kari can explain!

All our friends including ourselves felt privileged to be part of our wonderful day, a day and a moment in time we will always treasure.

We thoroughly recommend Kari and her professional Celebrant services.

Regards Michael & Sandy Clark  

Creative writing

Creative writing

creative writing for your wedding

Creative writing

This story will be about a dance, eventually.  But it starts as a story about creative writing, something as a marriage celebrant I do all the time for my couples.  Every wedding ceremony is unique and new written just for two people. Often I seek ways to hone my writing craft.

Creative writing is key to a great wedding ceremony. As your celebrant, I practise writing to hone my skills for your wedding.

Recently I attended a creative writing workshop with marvellous teacher, Glenda O’Sullivan.

Writing Workshop

A few months ago, a dear friend of mine and an inspiring workshop queen, ran a creative writing day.  Glenda invited several budding writers to gather.  She invited us to open our minds and let loose our pens.

I don’t usually call myself a writer.  Perhaps I imagined one has to be pumping out novels, or contracted to a magazine to claim that title.  Of course there are many more writers in the world than one would imagine.

On reflection, I realised I do write.  Every day in fact.  I write this.  A blog, a collection of stories really.

I write wedding ceremonies. I write eulogies.  I write for couples.  I write for families.  I write for people.  

Yes, I write every day.

So, with a little trepidation, I went along.  

The gift of writing

Glenda gave the group a wonderful gift that day.  She took us along the road to writing creatively.  She began with simple tasks to get our pens sliding over the paper.  Then she upped the ante, interrupting our train of thoughts with unusual stimuli; a gesture, a flower, or a compulsory word or two.  As the day progressed we played word games, wrote lists, turned the lists into prose, the prose into poetry, and back again.  Each time we had  to produce a piece of writing on the spot, on paper, and on time!

I’d like to present some of the pieces I wrote that day.

Word Games

We played a word game.  The game produced a list of words.

Write, she said, using all the words on your list    … and she gave us 10 minutes…. Speed writing is very creative writing!

So I wrote.

my darling, my darling, my love

A necklace for your sanity … my darling, my darling

Your neck will just surrender … my love

Relegate sizing to your tailor … my darling, my darling

Measure your team of suitors … my love

__

I salivate with surprise … my darling, my darling

Your tears send a sinuous shiver … my love

Lean to my sincerity … my darling, my darling

Tenuous yet necessary … my love

__

Undulate, manipulate .. my darling, my darling

Ululate the timing … my love

Sing your man a lullaby … my darling, my darling

Be my eager minstral … my love

__

 

Round and round the duckpond … my darling, my darling

Mad as a team of yabbies … my love

Eat my words on Sunday … my darling, my darling

And tell me that you love me … my love

*****

writing creatively for your wedding helps your story lift off the page

 

Writing wedding ceremonies

Some couples might wonder just how I create unique wedding ceremonies.  I draw on creative writing skills to achieve a perfect marriage ceremony for you.  I chat with you and we laugh.  I get to know you.  We talk about life, meaning and wedding wishes; about family and feelings.  You tell me your stories. I tell you mine.  You get to know me, and feel comfortable with me as the person who will conduct the ceremony on your wedding day.

From all this I weave a tapestry about you, your love story and  your  wedding day.  You also get chances to alter and change, delete and add.

a story lifts off the creative writing page

Creative writing workshop

The poem above, is by no means part of a marriage ceremony.  It was written within a different context; a creative writing workshop.

If your wedding celebrant can write creatively, you know you can expect a truly unique ceremony, all about you, and your ideas on your marriage.  Not just any old ceremony with your names slotted into the gaps.

You want something that is a reflection of you.

Something meaningful, to you.

Something memorable for your family and friends.

Something just a little different, pitched right.  Your style in words.

Contact me if you’d like a ceremony written just for you.

And to finish this article, here is another piece I wrote under time pressure that day…. about the dance.

*****

creative writing with a lily behnd the ear for a tango piece

Tango Lily

The floor is smooth.  Wooden floor boards polished by feet.  Slide together after every step.  Bring the left together with the right, across the boards.  Smooth the timber.  Caress the wood.  Foot does not leave floor.  Slide… together…slide … together. Ready for whatever may come. There is no past. No future.  Just now.  Just this moment. Just this step. Then that step.  That’s Tango.

 She tucked a lily behind her left ear.  Not the right ear.  It would get in the way.  She wore a flower on the right once.  Never do that again.  Well it was a fake rose anyway.  But it tickled and scratched his face when he took her into the close embrace.  He fluffed and blew it.  She had to throw it away; out of her hair, onto a chair, to dance.

The flower was on the left.  A lily; simple, plain, a tiny bit jaunty. Like the tango.  She was the lily.  And the lily was the dance. Subtle but with intent.  

This year I have begun to learn Tango.  I may never finish learning Tango.  I relish the opportunity to let go of control; to release, to stop helping, to simply allow someone else to lead the way.  To follow the lead, to rest my head on a shoulder and allow my steps to follow.