Unusual buttonholes for groomsmen

Unusual buttonholes for groomsmen

Unusual Buttonholes for grooms

Even the celebrant received a buttonhole for this particular wedding….. more on that a bit later….

But first – Preparing the bridal party

It can be such fun preparing for your wedding ceremony.  Once the reception venue and marriage celebrant are booked, and a few legalities for marriage in Australia taken care of, then the fun of creating your wedding day look begins.

You’ve chosen your bridal party, been shopping for bridesmaid dresses, and selected your bouquets.  The girls are set.

Now for the Groomsmen

Attention turns towards the blokes. Hmmm, you have chosen a suit or casual attire, and the shoes, added funky coloured socks or an outrageous tie. Perhaps you’ve added a vintage flair like braces or waistcoats.

pinning the buttonhole on the groomsmen

Next you turn your attention to the groomsmen’s buttonholes.

Most couple’s would try to match the buttonhole to the girls bouquets.

It can be as simple as a rose pinned on a lapel.

pinning a white rose on the jacket of the groom at a sunshine coast wedding

Or something a little more fancy with a leaf curled behind.

And may I say that I have pinned on dozens of groom’s buttonholes.

The pinning process

Could I even consider myself a master of the pinning the buttonhole on the groom? Does it sound like a party game?

Actually, there are ways to make sure the groom’s buttonhole doesn’t flop or droop. And you may ask why do the florists provide two pearl ended pins?

The answer is to stop the droop!  One up one down.  I

As a celebrant, I have become an expert in pinning buttonholes in a manner to stop the droop.

Did you know there are other buttonhole alternatives! The buttonhole does not have to be flowers.

Renée and Gareth are a funky modern couple, with clever ideas, and a fabulous wit.  Their wedding was particularly unique, and will be featured in another story to come.  Today we peek at their buttonhole ideas.

Unusual buttonholes

They chose lego characters for each of their bridal party, including the bridesmaids who carried them with their flowers.  Each lego character is a humorous reflection of the role or person who wears it.  Here is a peek at the bridal party all lined up….at the altar.

lego men decorations for the bridal party of an unusual theme at a wedding. Each member of the bridal party had their own character

Check out these on the wedding day:

robot lego man buttonhole for the groomsman

Chicken costume  lego man buttonhole for the groomsman

businessman with briefcase lego man buttonhole for the groomsman

And for the Groom…..

skinhead lego man buttonhole for the groomsman

And for the piece de resistance…..

They even provided one for the celebrant.

Thanks guys form the bottom of my heart.

Thanks for including the celebrant (the ringmaster) in your design.  I am humbled.

master of ceremonies lego man buttonhole for the wedding celebrant

For another creative look at wedding flowers check out Cherie and Josh’s story:

Felt flowers wedding bouquet

Felt flowers wedding bouquet

Have you considered felt flowers for your wedding bouquet? Here is a story of a couple who did…. and how they sourced these amazing flowers for a wedding bouquet that reflected their exact choice of blooms.

Congratulations to Cherie and Josh on their stunning wedding on the Mooloolaba Spit Parklands.

Would it rain, would it not???  A teensy drop of drizzle chased all the beach-goers away, and left the whole beach and parklands to Cherie and Josh for their wedding.  Thank you sky.  Thanks for the cooling blessing of a drop of water, AND for a rain free wedding ceremony.

Rain and Retro

However today’s story is not of rain blessings, nor of beach and delightful parks for a wedding.

Nor is it even about their choice of retro styling their wedding, nor arrival in the heritage red kombi van from Deluxe Kombis. Although I must admit I did appreciate the beautiful restored ruby kombi parked next to my own retro car, a pt cruiser… However I divert myself.

Felt Flowers

Cherie and Josh inspired me with their choice of flowers.  Flowers in the glass bulbs hanging in trees, flowers at the belt of the flower girls, in lapels of groomsmen and in the hands of bridesmaids and bride. But all made from felt.

Cherie found them on Etsy, from a gorgeous maker in Albania called Livija Kandele, who showcases her felted creations on her daughter’s Etsy shop.  By the time wedding flower styles and colours had been negotiated, they were firm friends.  Cherie tells me she will miss her weekly online chat with her new friend, the felter.  Livija, a craftswoman from Albania, wove her creativity into new realms with the design of new flowers especially for this Australian wedding by the beach.

Cherie said: “She had never made wedding flowers before, but sells hand and needle felted brooches, toys and various homeware items, on her daughter’s Etsy store- Liga Kandele.  I actually began talking with Liga initially who coordinated with her mother, and took professional photos of the work to send me as her mother progressed.  Livija agreed that she would be happy to give wedding flowers a try, and I ended up speaking back and forth with both mother and daughter about the detail of the flowers quite regularly.  They were both amazing, and so extremely helpful and accommodating to my very specific requests!”

Cherie and Josh had clear ideas on the colour scheme for their wedding.  In line with their retro theming, and using a classic autumn colour palette, they chose browns and oranges and yellows and cream.  The flowers were quite symbolic too.

They selected Australian yellow wattle for their home country,

English roses for the long time they spent living in England,

North American russet red spotted tiger lily flowers for their time in Canada, and creamy citrus blossoms, traditional for weddings in times gone by.

The combinations were just stunning.

Cherie told me,” The dark orange flower is an orange spotted tiger lily.  This flower was actually the main reason why I started looking into getting flowers made in the first place! I had a Sesame Street “Little Golden Book” when I was little, where big bird walked around the neighbourhood with flowers giving them to different people – describing the different types of flowers as he went.  I always had a fascination and love for the orange spotted tiger lily in the book – it had stuck in my brain all this time! I noticed over the years that I’d never seen a tiger lily quite like that in Australia – they look different here.  So I started researching it for the wedding and found that these type of flowers mostly come from North America.  We had just moved back from living in North America (Canada), so I thought why not include that, plus a flower from England, and one from Australia – the three places Josh and I had lived together 🙂

To set off the flowers and their colours, the boys dressed in browns and carried brown umbrellas.  Very classy!

And the girls dressed in individual retro dresses in mustard yellows, and carried brown polka dot umbrellas.  The overall effect was simply gorgeous, set under the she oak trees in the park.

Photos by Kari – the celebrant!

 

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Married in a white chapel with a bit of French

Married in a white chapel with a bit of French

~ with Sunshine Coast wedding celebrant Kari ~

Congratulations to Douglas and Melissa, a gorgeous and fun loving couple, married at The Little White Wedding Church in Maleny.

Both Melissa and her parents are from Paris, and key wedding guests were coming from France especially for this divine wedding.  So they sought a celebrant who might be able to weave in a little French to make all the guests feel at home.

What they didn’t know at the time was that even some French ritual could also be woven into the ceremony.  So when I suggested the white ribbon ritual, Melissa jumped at the chance for some fun in her ceremony.

In France it is a tradition for a town’s children to stretch white ribbons across the road down which the bride travels.  She must cut the ribbons to make a path.

These are symbolic obstacles created for them to overcome together and thus pave a common path in their new life together.

On her wedding day in honour of Melissa’s background we stretched white ribbons across the aisle before she entered the church following the Bridesmaids.
As she strolled down the aisle, she had to cut her way through the “obstacles” to get to her guy. She laughed as she commented that she’d do anything to get to the altar where he was waiting. We hoped she had scissors with her tucked into that bouquet!

And she did.

And what story about a french wedding would be complete without some French Poetry;

Read by her sister and bridesmaid, Savita.  Durant l’hiver by Célia Germinario

Durant l’hiver on s’est rencontré,                        
Amour, gentillesse, beauté à mes yeux tu es,
Mon coeur, mon corps et mon âme je t’ai donné,
Il ne peut rien t’arriver,
Eternellement prêt de toi je serai,
Nos coeurs sont mêlés à jamai
During the winter we met,
You are Love, kindness, beauty to my eyes,
my heart, my body and my soul I have given thee,
there is no more life can bring
Eternally ready for thee I will be,
our hearts mingled forever
 

What a fun day it was.  Thank you to the delightful and subtle Matt Rowe for the images.  He is everywhere and nowhere at the same time, capturing each moment, each smile.  Thanks Matt.  And checkout his new cover image!!!

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Walking River Pilgrimage

Walking River Pilgrimage

Walking River – a pilgrimage

This year was the tenth anniversary of an extraordinary pilgrimage; the Long Yarra Walk, as told in Maya Ward’s book The Comfort of Water.

She says of her book,

The Comfort of Water: A River Pilgrimage is the story of my three-week journey along the Yarra River. I walked from the sea to the source, through city, forest, farmland, following an ancient songline.  In the book I tell of those 21 days and 20 nights, but since it was a journey through my home city, a place I’d lived all my life, I also include anecdotes from before and after the pilgrimage…

Cover photo of the book, of Comfort of Water by Maya Ward

The Comfort Of Water

The book begins:

Walk the path …………………….. And journey to the source

These are not metaphors …………………. They are instructions.

Maya Ward, the author,  is an extraordinary woman, walker and writer.  She invites us to listen deeply to the path and to the voices of nature.

This modern reinvention or re-exploration of pilgrimage explored the lessons of River.  River can teach the importance of the path of water, and all who live along it’s way.  River teaches history and story; connection to place, the importance of flow. Walking a river pilgrimage is essential to understanding all of this.

The ritual of walking a path evokes extraordinary learning, deep understanding and great forgiveness.  This is pilgrimage.

Maya’s book is both a true tale and a guidebook for path.  I loved following her journey as I imagined my own.

Recently a kindergarten teacher was inspired to use Maya’s text as a guide for a program of education for very young children.  A film was made about their learning.  Songlines of the Yarra, is an 8 minute short film which explores the children’s intimate relationship with the Yarra River and their sense of belonging to time and place.  It has been selected to screen at the Little Big Shots International Film Festival for Kids, Australia’s major annual and travelling children’s film festival.

Return of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival fire lighting ceremony

Ritual and friendships

Maya is my friend.  She has also been a mentor for me in the field of ritual.  We met at a wonderful community ritual celebration some dozen or so years ago.  The community event was the annual Return of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival held at CERES in Victoria.  We were both a part of the artistic team who created the event.  Maya inspires me always to do better, and to think more.  She is one of the most connected people I have ever met when it comes to understanding place, and environment; deep ecology and connection.  Maya helps me to understand the importance of ritual, and the many layers of ritual.

Let me diverge

…to tell the story of a creek.

Another River Ritual

The Merri Creek runs into the Yarra River not far from the centre of Melbourne.  A twenty minute tram ride will get you there.  Maya took much longer walking the river  trail, for the Yarra winds around many bends through the city before you come to Merri Creek.

Return of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival children's dance

Merri Creek

Decades ago the poor Merri had been reduced to a trickle such was the degradation of the environment.  Industry poured raw effluent from pipes directly into the creek.  The steep banks had been denuded of vegetation.  It was used as a tip.  The creek could not flow any more.

Sacred Kingfisher

Sacred Kingfisher’s cry had not been heard along the creek for many years.  He had simply flown away.  Wouldn’t you?

A community turned their love to the creek and put a stop to the decline of the Merri.  The clean up began with bulldozers to remove the rusted car-bodies, rubber tyres and discarded washing machines from the creek bed.  Work continues to this day with countless hours by community volunteers, revegetating, weeding, caring.

The Return of the Kingfisher

One day the Kingfisher was heard along the Merri again.  Ki Ki Ki Ki They had returned!

The Return of the Sacred Kingfisher Festival is an annual community celebration welcoming the Sacred Kingfisher back to its original habitat, along the banks of the Merri Creek in Brunswick. For the CERES community, the Sacred Kingfisher bird has become a symbol of “hope” connecting people and place.

Community River Ritual

It is a community ritual and a working relationship or collaboration with the Wurundjeri people, various cultural communities and performers of all ages and abilities. As long as the Kingfisher returns each year in Spring, it is a sign that we are taking care of our local environment and the home of the Sacred Kingfisher.

The Sacred Kingfisher on it’s annual migration also stops at the Sunshine Coast, my home of twenty years.  Each year I measure the first day of Spring, from the first urgent call of the Kingfisher in my tiny forested garden.  It was the Kingfisher festival, and this team of artists who taught me most about ritual and celebration.  I bring this experience to all of my work as a celebrant.

River Ritual – Creek Celebration

Kingfisher follows River.  Waterways are the arteries of our land.  River and Creek are characters in our lives.  Ritual can connect us to these pathways. Kingfisher invites us in.

Return of the Sacred Kingfisher festival - fire dance
Wedding with kids

Wedding with kids

~ with Sunshine Coast marriage celebrant, Kari ~

Congratulations Hayley and Wade with their darling children, Charlotte and Kobi, married in the delightful Tiffany’s Chapel.

(Check out the photo which I call “Wrapping the bride!”)

We seek ceremony when there is something profound happening.  We do things in ceremony that are symbols of a deeper meaning in our lives.  Some things are not easy to express every day, as we live it.  Some things  are best expressed by ritual.  A wedding does this.  It creates an opportunity to gather the important people, and to enunciate deep feelings in the form of promises or gifts.

Hayley and Wade’s wedding day was a dream come true.  And it was a wedding about family.  Hayley and Wade believe that family is first, family is everything, family is LIFE.

Often a wedding is not simply about two people.  It is about a wider group of people; community, family, heart families.  This wedding was for everyone there.

A wedding could not alter what they already had, for Hayley and Wade had already built a marriage.  I saw it expressed so well in their dear children, Charlotte and Kobi.  As I spoke with the couple, the kids played with my lego basket. (Yes a relic of my own child rearing.  I LOVE my son’s lego basket, and so do many of the kids who come to me with their parents.)  As they played I noticed how gentle they were with each other and the things they created.  Their parents took small moments to acknowledge what the kids were doing, and kids were very respectful of their parents having a talk.  Impressive parenting at work here!

So this marriage was about a family unit, yet acknowledging of the important relationship that holds the family together, the parents.  For Hayley and Wade wished to give the gift of marriage to each other.  They had already promised forever in their kids, but on their wedding day they showed it to each other.

Charlotte and Kobi, (who are, may I say, the best behaved kids I have ever seen!) were delightful partners to the wedding as flower girl and ring boy.  Kobi was quite emotional watching his parents wed.  Who wouldn’t be?  He could deeply appreciate the strong emotions that were being expressed that day. Check out Charlotte wrapping herself in Mum’s bride dress. I sneeked the ones of the “bridal wrap” while Toni, the photographer, was organising the group picture.  Too delightful to miss!

Wrapping a bride

A key to understanding this was their choice of reading:

The key to love is understanding…
The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word,
but those unspoken gestures,
the little things that say so much by themselves.
The key to love is forgiveness…
to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes,
without forgetting, but with remembering
what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing…
Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together;
both conquering problems, forever searching for ways
to intensify your happiness.

The key to love is giving…
without thought of return,
but with the hope of just a simple smile,
and by giving in but never giving up.

The key to love is respect…
realising that you are two separate people, with different ideas; that you don’t belong to each other,
that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all…
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold;
it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work… but the rewards are more than worth the effort…
and that is the key to love.

Thanks to Photographer Toni Snell for the glorious images.

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