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

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.

DIY Wedding

DIY Wedding

DIY Wedding

Jess and Jesse married at Verrierdale Community Hall on the Sunshine Coast. Their DIY wedding was a grand party with loads of laughter.

When Jess met Jesse, it was love almost instantly. Laughs are the hallmark of their love and their life.  And they are the only ones who don’t get the names confused!!! But as a marriage celebrant, it took supreme focus to marry Jess to Jess, without getting my tongue totally tied!!

Their DIY wedding was so much fun.

A Love Story

Eight years ago Jess met Jesse, two happy people recognised something in each other’s smiles. It was instant attraction.

Jess recalls thinking to herself, “I could marry that boy”. Little did she know!

What I noticed as a wedding celebrant, is that these two match.  It was evident from the first instant; their smiles, their bubbly, cheery selves that radiated a relaxed and joyous energy to all around them.  They love to explore, embrace the ocean, surf, swim, walk and run beside it, immerse themselves in it. Jess loves his generous soul, how her man will do anything for anyone. He just loves her, all of her. He appreciates her energetic and strong will. They know that each other is the best friend they could find in this world, feeling completely at ease together.

And that brought them to Verrierdale Hall. It was a time to pause, look back, and smile at all the moments that brought them to their wedding day. And a time to look ahead at all the moments that are still to come.  Marriage does not change what is already there, a strong commitment; a tried and true relationship. It adds another layer of commitment to something already strong and wondrous.  Jess said he wanted to marry because she is a super chilled out chick who loves the ocean and outdoors as much as he.  Their relationship in two words; relaxed.

It could be said that marriage changes everything and nothing.  I know these two did not marry lightly. They have considered what it means to marry, a symbol of deep love, understanding and a promise of a commitment already held. And before they settle and embrace a family of their own they wished to be married, and vow an indefinite future to each other. But more importantly they wanted a huge celebration for all their friends, and family.

Lucky us eh!  Sweet of them to consider all of us so much.

Congratulations to Jess and Jesse, you two are perfect for each other.

“Thank you for an incredible day 😊You were awesome!!! ” Jess Hart

Thanks to Carly and Co Photography for the brilliant images featured in this real Sunshine Coast wedding story

Handfasting wedding ceremonies

Handfasting wedding ceremonies

Handfasting Wedding Rituals

A handfasting wedding ceremony is just one way to say I do.

Handfasting rituals

Since ancient times couples have stood together in the ceremony of marriage. There are many rituals that have lasted centuries, that symbolise a couple’s love and commitment. The handfasting ceremony dates back to the time of the ancient Celts. It was often used to acknowledge the beginning of a trial period of a year and a day during which time a couple were literally bound together – hand fasted. It was, however, a temporary agreement, which could be made permanent after the trial period if both parties agreed.  It is from this wedding tradition that we know of the expression to “tie the knot”, or to “get hitched”.

Handfasting or tie the knot

Nowadays, the handfasting ceremony is used symbolically, as part of the declaration and wedding vows. It is a way of asking your intentions.

Would you like to Tie the Knot?

Today a couple can embrace an age-old marriage tradition, making it your own in a modern day ceremony. In a handfasting wedding ritual, a cord is tied about your hands as you take your vows.

In this handfasting ritual, the couple answer a series of questions. For each question a binding, for each binding a promise.

Once you are all tied up, as your marriage celebrant I can release the cords.  For in fact, it is your promises that bind you not the cords!  But you get to keep the cord … for fun!

Thanks to the wonderful  Luke Going for the beautiful images of this touching moment. His work is unique.

Cate and Dave were married by the lake.  They wanted a relaxed wedding, something a little different, not churchy, but laid back like themselves.  They embraced a Handfasting to express their vows.

How does it work?

Here are some ways to approach a handfasting ceremony.  Of course I am here with many examples at my fingertips, a whole list of vows for you to choose from, and a wealth of creative spirit to write for you.  Let’s mix it up, modernise the sentiments and reference the traditions that you want to hold onto.

Traditional Handfasting vows

handfasting with coloured cords
handfasting ribbons and cords
ribbons for handfasting

The traditional handfasting promises are a series of questions.  They acknowledge that life is not always easy, that relationships sometimes have unintentional outcomes.  But a good intent underlies the love.The classic questions begin like so:

Celebrant to groom: Will you cause her pain?
Groom: I may

Celebrant to groom: Is that your intention?
Groom: No

Celebrant to bride: Will you cause him pain?
Bride: I may

Celebrant to bride: Is that your intention?
Bride: No

Celebrant to both: Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?
Both: Yes

Celebrant to both: Please join your hands.

The first cord is draped across the bride and grooms hands.

Celebrant to bride: Will you share his laughter?
Bride: Yes

Celebrant to groom: Will you share her laughter?
Groom: Yes

Celebrant to both: Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?
Both: Yes

Celebrant: And so the binding is made

Modern handfasting questions

But you can devise modern handfasting promises instead.  Something along the lines of:

Do you vow in your married life together to continually break through your pre-conceived views of each other and see clearly.
Couple: We do

Do you vow to act wisely and compassionately with one another and with all beings.
Couple: We do

In my role as a writer, I can chat with you and then devise a series of questions that suit your very own values and ideals for approaching your relationship.

Romantic Handfastings

Or perhaps you’d prefer something rather romantic.

Will you promise your deepest love, your fullest devotion, your tenderest care, and your faithfulness through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future?

Bruce & Emma: We pledge

Do you promise to be an equal loving partner, in a loving, honest relationship, standing by each other’s side, making a shelter of your heart, a home of your arms, encouraging your partner’s daily endeavours?

Bruce & Emma: We pledge

As you face the future together will you pledge to grow in your love for each other, to nurture the love that already is, honour and cherish each other, being there always?

Bruce & Emma: We pledge 

Handfasting ribbons 

You can get quite creative with the handfasting wedding vow format.  Imagine having a different coloured ribbon for each promise. And each wedding promise sculpted around the meanings of those colours.

Red for passion and love

For example the handfasting could become a statement instead of a question:

I promise to love passionately and unwaveringly with my heart, my body and my soul.

A pink ribbon could symbolise unity, honour, truth, romance, and happiness, with the statement:

I promise you my undying love, honesty and commitment in creating and nourishing our loving equal partnership.

A yellow ribbon would mean charm, confidence, joy, balance

Black could equal strength, wisdom, vision and or success

Green stands for prosperity, health, abundance and fertility

Blue often represents tranquillity, patience, understanding and a safe journey

Of course purple is for power, healing, sanctity and sentimentality.

Wedding Handfasting vows
coloured ribbons for handfasting

Contact me now to chat about your handfasting ceremony.