DIY wedding at the family property

DIY wedding at the family property

with Sunshine Coast marriage celebrant – Kari

So much love, so much love, so much love.  Wow what a wedding ceremony to remember!

Here on the Sunshine Coast, there are many perfect places for a wedding.  But none seems quite more perfect for a family wedding than the property where one grew up, played by the creek, planted trees, and created memories.  This wedding day created new loving memories for Renee and Brendan on the family farm.

The marriage ceremony was held down by the creek, in an idyllic grassy glade surrounded by forest and the sounds of whip birds and tusked frogs.  A group of friends and family had created a magical haven.  Let’s wander in and have a peek before the guests arrive…..

A stump by the entry was garlanded with festoons of newly blossomed jasmine and the welcome sign.

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Daisies were tucked into the bark of trees, at the foot of saplings or behind ears.

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A circle of hay surrounded by white roses and daisies tucked into the ground formed a magic fairy circle for a sacred ceremony.

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Hay bales were arranged in arcs for seating.  More hay was sprinkled underfoot for an aisle.

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Local musician, Lee Hardisty played pied piper and led the guests to the ceremony, along by the creek.  His pure sax sound drifted over the forest, gently encouraging a meander to the forest glade.

Enter the Bride and Groom.  Groom softly greeted the guests.  Kari –  the celebrant sent hime for a wander with his mates while she briefed the guests on a surprise ending for the ceremony.

And, the bridal entourage arrived on the trailer of the tractor.  Daughter, Peaches and her cousin walked down the aisle, to Daddy.

Renee walked down the aisle on her father’s arm to the exquisite sounds of thumb piano sweetly played by Lee.

Renee and Brendan could not have been more in love.

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As a marriage celebrant on the Sunshine Coast hinterland, I witness many marriage vows; all heartfelt and meaningful. But on this wedding day, Renee’s vows to her beloved Sav nearly brought me to tears.

Amongst other things she promised to “love you beyond fear, judgement, expectations and anger….. I promise to love you so hard it changes the world…. I promise to hold you when your heart weeps, to plant trees with you and watch them grow, to help you know your own power.”

After the ceremony, guests followed the music back to the farm shed, replete with hanging floral garland, tables of colour, and taste.DIY_wedding_ceremony_venue12

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DIY wedding decor

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And they partied on in the moonlight, starlight and radiance of their family, friends and love.

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Thanks to Maggie Buckle for some of the professional images.  Instagram #@maggijeann

The early ones are my own, irresistibly taken while waiting for the guests.

This is what they said about Kari’s celebrant service:

Kari is a beautiful, warm, kind and connected woman with a sophisticated confidence that makes one feel safe in her presence. Although we had only met her in person once before our wedding day, we knew that she would understand our love and sincerely appreciate the magic that abides in such a ceremony. Her creative heart and generous demeanour left a mark on our hearts at such a special moment in our journey. Thank you Kari.”   Renee & Brendan

Together at last – wedding organised by email

Together at last – wedding organised by email

Together at last

Congratulations Linda & Rob, married at last at House of Laurels in Maleny, after months working overseas.  It was so exciting when we finally met in person just before the wedding.  The entire ceremony had been organised over the internet.  Via censored army email and registered post, and via a combined willingness to embrace the online medium and go with it.  We found common evenings when we could chat via email. Zapping emails back and forth, we nutted out the ceremony and all the logistics.  Voila!

Organised via email

Linda first contacted me via email …  from ..wait for it… Afghanistan, where Rob and herself were deployed at the time.  “Could we organise the wedding over the net?” she asked, as she and Rob would not get back to Australia until just before the wedding.  Of course, it is all possible.

Linda and I shared many an email conversation.  Despite the time differences we seemed to be on our computers at the same moment, and organised everything via the typed word.  Worked a treat.  They may have been deployed in the same country but it was rare they were in the same base, and due to army censorship and safety protocols, they did not even know where each other was at any moment.  It was a risky time.  They just crossed their fingers they would both make it back to Australia safely.

And they did!

A Joyous wedding

Their wedding was joyous yet meaningful.  A true celebration of their loving union.  No one knew we had never met until the days before the wedding.  Most thought e had been pals for ages.  Well we had indeed been wedding pen pals.

He loves her smile; she has taught him how to open up and share his thoughts.  She loves his patience, his sense of humour.  He knows how to make her laugh.  Yet she says he has taught her how to love and how to be loved.  They know how to laugh. And when asked what is their favourite colour, they both replied without hesitation – black!  But Linda wore white for the day, and a huge smile! 

They said

“From the very first email, Kari was helpful, warm and kind. We knew instantly from her response that she would be the one. We were struggling with writing our own vows but Kari gave us the tools to find our own words. She was with us every step of the way and went above and beyond in arranging our ceremony. We planned 90% of it from a computer in Afghanistan! How impressive is that!

The ceremony was better than we could have hoped for. Kari’s delivery was perfect. She helped create a relaxed and loving atmosphere. All my guests had commented that they had never been to such a loving ceremony and I know Kari had a lot to do with that.

We highly recommend Kari for anyone who is looking for a dedicated, professional, warm and kind celebrant who takes all stress away!!! She is a master at her craft,”
Linda & Rob

Wedding Photos

Thanks for photos by Calli B Photography

Alice in Wonderland theme wedding

Alice in Wonderland theme wedding

What a wedding. What a happiness. What a lovely couple.

Joanne and Ed were married in love and laughter at Maleny Manor.  This was a wedding full of joy and laughs, full of story and tradition, but never lost the lighter side of life.  As a wedding celebrant it is pure joy to come across a couple who laugh as much as they love.

The fun began as the bridal party, both groomsmen and bridesmaids, entered in ones or twos to their own themed music.  Each pair or individual had worked on an aisle routine, dancing across the grass to lift spirits of all there.  By the time the bride arrived, everyone was laughing. We knew we were in for a GREAT time.

This wedding honoured several traditions.  There were of course the marriage traditions that we all know and love, an exchange of rings, a bride in white, a groom handsomely dressed, bridesmaids walking down the aisle, and a reading or two.

But this wedding was so much more. Jo wanted to pay tribute to her Filipino heritage, so we included several traditions from her heritage. Allow me to look at some of these traditions.  For ritual makes a ceremony so riveting and deeply personal.

Candle Ritual

It is a wonderful tradition to light a candle at a wedding; taking the lights of two individual personalities and together igniting a common future, a common pathway into that future and a light to walk together by.  On this day it was a Filipino one.  The candle symbolises the light of their marriage.  It reminds them to always keep it happy and bright, to keep the flame alive. In the Filipino tradition family light this candle for the couple.

 Veil Ritual

A veil is draped over the couple’s heads, drawing them both together.  It symbolises protection and being clothed as one, it is about the shelter marriage provides the couple.

Cord Ritual

A cord is then draped over the veil, in a ring over each head, like simple wedding crowns.  The cord symbolises eternity and union.

Coin Ritual

The Groom gives coins to his bride symbolising that he promises to provide and support this marriage.  She accepts the coins promising also to support this marriage.

Now whilst I can’t show you these rituals in images, I can show you how they decorated their tables.  The reception room at Maleny Manor looked splendiferous, and like the Cheshire cat, I was beaming as I took these photos. 

This is what they said;

Kari was absolutely professional from start to finish. We had a destination wedding, and planned the whole event from Cairns. Through emails and phone calls, Kari has created a lovely and very personal bespoke ceremony for us. She was very patient throughout the planning process, and even helped me out with my vows at 5am the morning of our wedding. She included my Filipino background throughout the ceremony, and it was a really special touch.

 On our wedding day, she turned up in professional lovely outfit that complimented our ceremony. She made sure the music was ready, and that the bridal party was set. She was amazing throughout the ceremony that we felt at ease, and loved every minute of it.

Thank you so much Kari for the amazing day! Edward and Joanne

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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…

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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 simple yet meaningful wedding

a simple yet meaningful wedding

Congratulations to Tom and Ben finally wed in Australia, so they could be together.

Simple with no unnecessary frills

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Tom and Ben needed no frills to show they love each other; no huge flowers, fancy clothes or other frilly stuff to declare their commitment to each other.  Their wedding was a simple ceremony to declare what is deep and meaningful in a natural way amongst the big trees and forest sounds.

They found each other many years ago actually, in New York at a youth Democratic Education conference.  They have since traveled across the world to see and be with each other in their respective countries.

Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens

This year they were able to wed in the glorious Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens with the sounds of the birds and animals as the backdrop, and their close family around them.

Kari, the celebrant gathered the family in the Mossy Log Grove under the canopy of the trees.

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We all cooo-eeed to call the couple.  And the birds above answered us too!!

Tom and Ben walked in along the garden path, already hand in hand already joined in spirit, and so happy to be together at last.

And the ceremony began.

Tom&Ben_a_simple_wedding6But the rings!

Oops, the rings had been left in the car.

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No problem, a friend was despatched with the car keys, and he came running back in plenty of time for the vows and the exchange of rings to seal the promises made.

A wedding does not have to cost the earth.  Ben was keen to make sure it cost very little, if anything.  He was most miffed when he had to pay for a haircut to fix the one he had insisted his mother do!

The family made delicious and healthy decorative picnic fare to share after the ceremony.  The gardens are open to the public every day.  The couple even chose their wedding clothes from the op shop.  Ben found a local artisan to craft rings from reclaimed silver cutlery.  And Mum crafted the lovely floral headpiece for the bride from garden flowers.

Friends and family, and even grandma gathered to enjoy the gardens.  A teensy early mist of rain meant the gardens were private just for us that day!!!

It was a day about joining two people, not about spending money.  A day to celebrate two people in love, who simply want to be together.  And they are so happy!

It was a true and simple joy to be there.

Tom said afterwards:

We actually never had to look for a celebrant, the universe just pointed to you. I can remember one year ago Ben was telling me on the phone he met our celebrant and set up a date and place for our wedding. It felt so distant to me… Being on the other side of the globe, not even ready to apply for a visa let alone see it approved. It all sounded like a dream.. Or more like some kind of a rough plan.  But still from that point on we were one step closer towards being able to live together.  What I find amazing is that I couldn’t imagine us finding anyone else taking your part. I think most celebrants out there wouldn’t relate or able to understand as well as you did. The way we wanted to keep it all simple (but still meaningful). Both of us just felt so happy with it. Thank you so much!

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