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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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…
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check out these on the wedding day:
And for the Groom…..
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.
For another creative look at wedding flowers check out Cherie and Josh’s story:
~ 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!
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.