A garden wedding

A garden wedding

A garden wedding

~ a modern marriage in a bamboo garden ~

Congratulations to Sarah and Flynn, and little Aiofe, and their private garden wedding on the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Born and raised here, Flynn decided to come home for his garden wedding.  Flynn and Sarah were married by the creek on the property next door to his childhood home.  There were gasps of delight as the Groom and his groomsman appeared from through the bamboo grove and waltzed into the grassy ceremony glade.  Swinging baskets with cheeky grins, they handed flowers around to all the guests, whilst the the strains of Mumford and Sons, singing Winter Winds wafted on the breeze.  The fun had clearly begun!

The Bamboo Grove

Through the green poles of bamboo we could glimpse a white dress, like an ethereal promise appearing between the dense bamboo.  The bride appeared slowly from the bamboo, with her Dad holding little Aiofe in his arms.  They were a trio of smiles.  The musical mood changed with her tune, La Valse de Amelie.  And the wedding ceremony had begun.  We were already in a great mood, relaxed in amongst nature, and quite secluded from the world at large.

And a baby naming too

Sarah and Flynn chose to have fun at their relaxed garden wedding, not too serious, yet with sincere promises.  The entire extended family was there, and their little girl  So they decided to go one step further, and name their little girl with a naming ceremony.

As the wedding ceremony wrapped up, a baby naming ceremony ensued.  Firstly, Aiofe was blessed by her great grandmother, secondly by her grandparents and lastly her parents.  We used water to trickle over her hands and arms, and a little on her face.  We knew water was a favourite.  And she just loved playing with the water!  Squeals of childish delight were a great way to complete a wedding ceremony.

Wedding reception

The reception was held under a stunning nomadic marquee, strung with fairy lights.  Guests partied to the live band and danced out on the grass.  It was a garden wedding with freedom and choice.  A garden of delight.  All the privacy of a private property and all the style of a marquee wedding.  But best of all it was a down to earth, family affair full of laughs, charm and lots of dancing into the night.

Photos by Bonnie Jenkins

married couple amongst the trees at a garden wedding 7
couple married at garden wedding 1
men can wear purple at a garden wedding 6
Groom waiting for the bride at a garden wedding 3
Setting up in a bamboo grove for a garden wedding 2
Celebrant Kari meeting with the bride and groom at
laughing with the bride and groom at garden wedding 5

Read about another wedding in another garden… at Halfmoon Hideaway

Wedding Garden Games

Wedding Garden Games

Garden games for after the Wedding ceremony

So the ceremony is complete, you are feeling radiant, on a cloud of joy.  How did it go so quickly?  Now the photographer wants to whisk you and the bridal party away for a photo shoot.

wedding-this-way

Meanwhile your guests are wandering, mingling and perhaps looking for a little something to do. As a celebrant I often get to see the post ceremony fun organised by a thoughtful couple, and have had the chance to take a few snaps in order to inspire you today.

So, you’ve made your guests comfortable with hats, shade, and other little delights to amuse.

wedding-comfort

Consider wedding garden games to get the party laughing.

Garden games are such fun during the post wedding ceremony time.  Not competitive, fun, yet can be played with a glass in one hand, and a ready giggle when someone misses the mark.  A game of two while sipping a cocktail is very relaxing, and makes for some great candid photographs.  Wedding games using the giant game sets are perfect for a garden wedding.

wedding-games

With vintage themes still a great way to DIY your wedding decor, then vintage games are de rigueur. Try some of these for the wedding guests on your wedding day:

Quoits

A stick and a hand full of rope rings is all you need. Beer in one hand ring in the other, the game gets more fun as the beer lowers. Some people think that the game originated from tossing horse shoes.

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Croquet

The red queen may have used upended flamingos as her croquet mallet, but wooden ones are more the go these days! Originating in France and brought to England as Paille Maille (the latin words for ball & mallet), and possibly played as early as the 1600’s, croquet is not just the dominion of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.  A vintage set of mallets hoops and balls is available at several wedding venues these days, especially the French inspired Clovelly Estate, and the vintage farm Kenilworth Homestead.

wedding-croquet

Giant Jenga

Now here’s one the crafty family member can whip up.  Simply cut equal lengths of pine framing boards. Stack them up on the grass. Then each player has to extract one block and place it on top without upsetting the whole stack. After a while the entire stack is teetering and one person has to be responsible for tumbling the  lot over….to many cheers from onlookers.

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Badminton

An oldie but goodie, badminton can look lovely in your garden wedding. Take two tent poles and peg them out.  String a set of bunting flags between the poles for your “net”. Cute!

wedding-badminton

Skittles/ Kubb /Finska

Another ball and tumbling game.  Who can bowl the skittles over on grass?

And for games hire… contact the lovely Nathan at Sunshine Coast Games Hire for a no fuss delivery option.

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Photobooth

And finally, you could make your own Photobooth. Provide a basket of silly costume pieces, hats, glasses and a picture frame. Set up a camera on a tripod.  Guests take turns in photographing each other. They won’t want to leave for the reception!!! And you will have a camera full of great memories of your guests, and an insight into what they got up to in your absence!!!

wedding-photobooth

Hope there’s something there to inspire your post ceremony wedding fun and games.

See you at a wedding soon.  xx Kari – the celebrant.

Flaxton Gardens wedding

Flaxton Gardens wedding

A Flaxton Gardens Wedding

This is the story of a fun wedding at Flaxton Gardens, dedicated wedding and events venue on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

Gosh I loved the spirit of this couple.  We laughed.  They danced. We high fived. Bec and Mitch had the most fun they could at their wedding.  So, congratulations to Bec and Mitch on their stunning Flaxton Gardens Wedding.  It was a picture perfect day with celebrant – Kari.

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

How did their wedding begin?

Of course it began a long time ago.  These two were set up by a friend who, after spending weeks trying to convince Bec to meet him, decided the only way it was going to happen was by tricking her into it. Mitch on the other hand took no convincing, as he knew she was blond and that was all he needed to know!

After spending just one evening together, where they both brought out their competitive sides; playing pool and discussing the merits of the “bunny suicides”, they were both smitten.

I loved working with these two.  They simply have fun together… all of the time. Best friends and companions in many, many ways.  Mitch says, “Iggy has been my whole world for over 7 years.”  Bec adores that they have the same sense of humour, and make each other laugh so much.

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

A large wedding in the garden

Flaxton Gardens is a stunning venue for a large gathering in beautiful gardens with the most amazing view of the Sunshine Coastline.  And now that restrictions have lifted, large weddings are on again. Hoorah!

Fun ceremony

When planning their ceremony we decided that it was about fun. A bit of jiving down the aisle, a few high Fives, lots of laughs and not too serious.  But loads of love and friendship.  And who says only the bride gets to walk down the aisle?

Modern day couples are all about equality in their relationships, so why not reflect that in a marriage ceremony too.  We discussed how we could even things up and make the ceremony all about two people, and fun of course.  Mitch chose a theme song for the boys, so Mitch and his three groomsmen, Gab, Liam and Dylan had their moment in the limelight before the girls arrived.  We admired the view while Bec arrived in the car, and readied herself for the big arrival.

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Arrival of the Bride

Before we glimpsed Bec coming out from the magnificent winery building doors, the girls had their moments before Kasia and Tiana walked down the aisle.  Then she arrived on the arms of Dad.  It was hard to stop the tears of joy.

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Wedding Ceremony

And so the ceremony began…. all tears and smiles mixed in together.  So natural, so authentic, so much fun.

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrant Flaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrant

And then they were wed

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrant

Flaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrantFlaxton gardens wedding celebrantThanks to Luke for capturing the wedding fun with his awesome photographs.

Photo Credit @lukemiddlemissphotography

 

 

 

Maroochy Botanic Gardens wedding

Maroochy Botanic Gardens wedding

Maroochy Botanic Gardens for an elegant picnic wedding …

Congratulations Gabby and Damon, and little Dominic.

Gabby is like a niece to me.  So when she asked me to assist with her Sunshine Coast wedding I was over the moon.

Not sure what you want for a garden wedding?

Gabby wasn’t quite sure what they wanted for a wedding, so we jumped in the car and went for a drive.

She wished for an outdoor wedding, a beautiful place with stunning gardens, a parkland for a wedding picnic, and a simply gorgeous place for a marriage ceremony.  So I suggested a Maroochy Botanic Gardens wedding, a perfect place in which to marry.

A Love Story

Gabby and Damon first met at a blind date set up by friends.  As soon as they saw each other, there was an instant attraction.  Something clicked.  She took his hand, to lead him to the buffet.  It was a gesture he will always remember; a gesture of kindness and caring, a sign of her friendliness.

A child

Little Dominic, their sweet young son, just loved the gardens.  He ran and jumped and played.  Seemed like he had chosen this place.  The Maroochy Botanic Gardens certainly suited a child’s imagination and he felt free to play.  This wedding was to include several children, so the botanic gardens were perfect; a kids’ paradise and a bush haven with manicured garden beds as well.

A beautiful bride

With her stunning Chilean looks and long dark locks, Gabby made a stunning bride.  She was so proud to walk on her Dad’s arm to the ceremony along the gardens path.

A Wedding

They were married under the arch in the sculpture gardens, decorated with white tulle and ribbon for the day, against a backdrop of the infinity sculpture carved from marble. We designed an elegant wedding picnic, with picnic baskets full of nibbles and drinks, and blankets on the grass.

Read about other Botanic Gardens weddings here.

Photographs of Gabby’s Botanic Gardens wedding are by Poison Apple Studios

Maroochy Botanic Gardens wedding

Maroochy Botanic Gardens wedding

Maroochy Botanic Gardens wedding

Maroochy Botanic Gardens wedding

Maroochy Botanic Gardens wedding

Maroochy Botanic Gardens wedding

Maroochy Botanic Gardens wedding

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