Jo and James were married on the stunning greens of The Sands Torquay surrounded by family and friends.
My fondest memory of preparing for this wedding was that James wanted to write the ceremony himself. In true "School Teacher" style he sat down and wrote the words they wanted, picked the readings and personalised their vows. This is the only time l have ever had a groom make such a huge effort and l was honoured to read their ceremony.
On the day, you couldn't go past the amazing view and vivid blue sky. Another memorable moment was Jo's young neice, Mani, reciting the poem:
"There is no greater happiness than that of sharing life
With all its joy and all its cares, as a loving man and wife
For love gives life new meaning and has a special way
of growing stronger and deeper with each passing day.
Yes, life is so much happier and brighter when you're sharing
the very special joys that come with loving, giving and caring."
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Growing up on a farm, l never imagined one day l would be performing a wedding in a shearing shed not so far away.
Yet that was the location chosen for Carmen and Glen’s Country Farm wedding and... it was gorgeous!
Sylvania Park is a working Mohair Goat property, 9 Kilometres from Horsham in Western Victoria. It is a great venue if you are looking to have accommodation, ceremony and reception all in a private location. Carmen and Glen stayed overnight in the homestead with family, making for a relaxed weekend.
The ceremony it’s self was held in the shearing shed which was tastefully decorated and provided for beautiful rusty photos. Jac, from Jumpin’ Jac Flash in Horsham captured the day and did an amazing job.
Highlights of the ceremony were the couple’s youngest son being wheeled in by the junior bridesmaid in a wooden trolley and the sand ceremony which represented that Carmen and Glen were now one is marriage.
My favourite words in the ceremony were “they have no illusions of being wealthy just to have enough time to enjoy life and maybe a full night’s sleep”. This sentiment was echoed by many parents in the room, including me!
If you are looking for a Young and Fun Celebrant to travel to your Country Farm Wedding,
With their home on the Gold Coast, l was expecting Lisa and Simon to have a casual beach wedding in the warm Queensland sun. Instead they chose a gorgeous Reception venue close to family and friends in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges; Linley Estate.
With it's manicured English style gardens and stunning chapel it was the perfect location for their ceremony, photos, reception and accommodation for many guests.
Having known the bride for ten years, it was hard for me to hide my excitement (and tears) when Lisa arrived. She looked beautiful and they were both so happy to be surrounded by their friends and family.
The words they had chosen throughout the ceremony were personal and unique. A good mix of their history, their present and their future together.
It is an honour to be a part of every wedding and especially when it is two friends who's relationship you have watched from the beginning and who are such an important part of your life.
Thankfully, Lisa and Simon didn't mind that their Celebrant cried during the ceremony or that she enjoyed the dance floor at the reception.
Here is what they had to say:
"Gratefully we chose Amber as our Celebrant for our wedding - WOW!
The whole day and journey getting there was amazing & we were so thankful we chose and had Amber with her experience, energy, guidance & support.
Our ceremony was nothing but beautiful, relaxed, fun and professional yet still personal (Amber even shed a tear for us!) Her time, dedication and professionalism is amazing! I would have absolutely no hesitation in ever recommending Amber as a celebrant for their special day to anyone, anywhere for their wedding (and I know she does travel!)
Thanks for everything Amber and making it such the special day it was
and life we now have."
Call me to discuss your Wedding or Event on 0408813661
Kerrie and Andrew's wedding took place at the beautiful Grange Cleveland Winery, Lancefield in the Macedon Ranges.
From the moment l met Kerrie and Andrew, l knew they had found something special in each other
and that l was going to enjoy getting them married.
They met 6 years ago while they were both on holidays. Their relationship grew from a friendship until one day Andrew ran over the bins, Kerrie's camera took a dive (you had to be there) and they both realised this was it!
They decided on an intimate ceremony with their immediate family in a location where everyone could stay, relax and enjoy. The Cleveland Winery was a fantastic choice. The grounds were immaculate, the staff were lovely and there were so many different spots to have your ceremony and photos.
The highlight of the ceremony for me was the involvement of Andrew’s three children – the youngest of whom was more nervous than dad and also that their mum’s both signed as witnesses to the marriage. This was the perfect end to a relaxed and romantic afternoon.
If you are looking for a fantastic venue where everyone can stay and enjoy good food and wine,
then l highly recommend Cleveland Winery.
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The wind blew and the rain threatened as Ximena and Juan exchanged vows on Altona Beach Pier.
Ximena and Juan were born in the same town in Colombia. Their mothers are friends but never imagined after all these years their children would find love and settle in Australia.
The simple ceremony was witnessed by their two friends, Diego and Luisa, and they all laughed when l attempted to pronounce them "Marido" and "Esposa" and that Juan could,
"Puede besar a la novia"
After some photos,
We headed back to the sheltered park where the sun shone upon them as they signed their certificates.
It was an honor to be a part of Ximena and Juan's special day.
A true testament to the fact that whether you exchange vows in front of 200 people in a black tie affair or on your favourite pier with two friends - it has the same feeling, the same love and the same outcome.
"Felicidades por tu boda"
While everyone was loving or hating Angelina’s ‘Drawn on’ Wedding Dress, l was annoyed for a totally different reason.
It wasn’t that they kept their wedding a secret; l think it is pretty amazing considering their profile.
It wasn’t that they took so long to wed, each to their own.
I even warmed to them as a couple (admitting a Team Jen bias here) for the way they included their children in the details; like Pax baking the cake.
In fact, the reason l am mad is probably not Brad and Angelina’s fault.
The Brangelina Wedding made me mad because for Hollywood’s Hottest couple – the Officiant, in this case Judge John Ouderkirk, couldn’t get out of the way!
He’s in the kiss shot, he’s in the middle of the bridal party and l have to say, Judge John doesn’t look all that impressed to be there.
Now you are probably thinking; It’s tradition! Where could he go? He has to be there to officiate, right? It’s true – but by being there he doesn’t have to be right in the middle. It would not make the marriage any less legal if he was standing to the side.
This topic has long been a frustration of mine to the point that l have a Pinterest board called “Officiants in Gorgeous Wedding Photos” – l would have called it “Officiants RUINING wedding photos” but l didn’t want to offend any brides.
When you get married, you stand with your chosen one and often with a bridal party including your closest friends and sometimes siblings. I have watched couples married with their parents, grandparents, grandchildren and even one awesome double wedding the 9 children of the couples standing by their side. These are the special people they have chosen, and like Brad and Angelina’s kids; these are the people that should be in the wedding photos.
I love getting to know my couples and often regarding them as friends before and long after their special day. I still don’t feel that gives me the right to stand front and centre on their day and be in all their wedding photos.
I leave my placement decision up to my couples, as with all the other details of their ceremony. Perhaps Brad and Angelina weren’t offered a choice, or maybe they wanted him in the photos – no doubt New Idea would have paid more than the meager $300,000 if Judge John had stood to the side and not ruined their Wedding Photos.
Who do you want in Your Wedding Photos?
Call to organise a no obligation chat about how l will make your day all about you!
(and stay out of your photos :)
How short can our wedding ceremony be?
The answer is 121 words, ok 123 if you both have a middle name.
Seriously, this is the legal requirement for a wedding and this week l performed a wedding for Amy and Ken that didn’t go for much longer than that.
Together for a few years and looking for a small intimate ceremony to prelude a holiday; Amy and Ken got dressed up, hired a photographer and headed to a picturesque local spot to tie the knot. Despite the low key, relaxed attitude, l can guarantee it was equally as lovely as any other wedding l have officiated.
When they had first started talking weddings, everyone had shared their opinion of what Amy and Ken should do, where they should go and who they should invite.
It made sense to them to do it this way and it was their wedding – so why not! In fact, they chose to keep it a secret until they were at the airport ready to leave.
In Amy’s words “so everyone could have 9 days to get over not being invited”.
What did their family and friends miss and what must be included in a civil marriage ceremony?
That is it!
SO where are the ‘I do’s, rings, readings, songs, stories, candles and all the other things you see at a wedding?
Those bits are completely up to the couple to include if they choose.
Some people might say that 123 words is not enough to get all dressed up for, however given that they are the same 123 words that everyone getting married in a civil ceremony in Australia says, l think it is kind of cool that the rest is up to you.
How many words were in your ceremony?
How many words will you have?
I'd love to hear about it. Please comment below
This time last week l was at a Bridal Fair in the Melbourne CBD. If you didn’t get to go, or maybe expos aren’t your thing, here are 5 trends l noticed in the wedding industry this year as l checked out the 2014 Ideal Bride Winter Expo:
Certainly the most fun and popular stands at the expo (apart from mine obviously haha) were the photo booths. I had the privilege of being next door to Kieren from In The Booth, whose booths are very stylish and print fantastic photos. A fun and entertaining addition to a wedding reception and a cost effective way to capture the guests enjoying your night. It was important l see what all the fuss was about.
If there was one word to describe the look most brides are going for it would be Classic. From the stunning accessories by Cailin Alainn and amazing picturesque locations like Overnewton Castle, couples are choosing Classic which in turn is giving photographers like Sara Taylor Photography and Kristof Photography opportunities for amazing shots. I especially loved the vintage inspired collectables and props by SodaLime. Such simple ideas which definitely require their expert eye to make a classic look seem effortless.
Gone are the days when a few spring rolls and your Aunts fruit cake will do for feeding your guests. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t still get hitched at home. I met the great team at The Essential Caterers who travel all over Melbourne with their gourmet delights and cake designer Vindya from VIndya - The Boutique Cake Studio who’s amazing work will making you question whether you even want to cut a cake that looks so damn good (though l tasted it and promise... you WANT to eat the cake!!) Clever Chocolate bombonieres are also on trend with Melbourne based Chocolate Works, who have over 17000 facebook likers, showcasing an amazing range of styles and options. While we are talking food, l also had the pleasure of giving away a dinner for two to Berth Restaurant Docklands which sparked a lot of interest. Checking out the menu options in their wedding package made me salivate not to mention the breathtaking views they have on the promenade! Don’t worry, l asked the winners to save me a doggy bag!
It was hard to miss the next trend, Lights, as the entrance to the Expo was adorn with an amazing display by Letter Lights. At their stand they also had a huge heart and word LOVE which would create a talking point at any reception. The lights didn’t stop with the displays. One of the seven Fashion houses featured on the catwalk was Kara Jade Designs who’s amazing dress lit up the stage; a new take on 'A Glowing Bride'!
The biggest trend l noticed, which is great for couples looking to get married, is choice. I don’t remember there being so many options available when l got married. For example, there are many Celebrants to choose from, which means you can chose one that suits you, your budget and your personality. The same goes with music (though on the weekend you couldn't go past the team from The Wedding Lounge for entertainment value) photographers, dress makers and many other wedding industry suppliers.
I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend at the Ideal Bride Expo, meeting some fantastic exhibitors with amazing talent and staying in touch with what is trendy in the wedding world.
What do you think
is the biggest trend
for weddings in the
next 12 months?
It was my birthday last week (happy birthday to me) which is my one and only special day for the whole year. Mother’s Day is about my mum, mother in law and my two grandmothers. Christmas is about family and mainly the kids. Our 3rd child was born on our 10th Wedding Anniversary so even our anniversary is all about someone else.
Many people chose to share their wedding anniversary and pick a date that is already significant. For others, there are other determining factors.
Here are some things to consider when choosing your wedding date.
Making an already significant date even more special is popular. The groom’s birthday is a good date, unlikely he will forget. A couple last year got hitched on his parent’s 40th wedding anniversary so it was a double celebration. As l mentioned we have since had a child on our wedding anniversary though it was already the date of two cousins’ birthdays, one of which chose to celebrate her 18th birthday at our wedding. If you are looking to share a date make sure you check with the other people it affects. For instance, it might be special for you to get married on your deceased grandma’s birthday but it might be a really sad day for others.
Everything from the theme, activities, bouquets and attire you have in mind for your wedding can be affected by the season. So whilst there is no way to guarantee it won’t rain in January, you can choose a date for a season you like. Wedding season, typically October to April in Australia, is also the busiest so choosing an alternative might mean it is cheaper and the service providers you are after might be available. Growing up on a farm l knew it couldn’t be harvest time, cropping time or shearing time so if your work is seasonally make sure you don’t pick a time when you will be super busy and unable to take time off.
Most people have a place in mind they want to get married and the availability of the ceremony location or reception venue can be the deciding factor when choosing a date. Often Saturdays at popular locations are booking out 12 months in advance but consider asking for a Sunday, Friday evening or midweek date, usually it is much cheaper.
Long weekends and public holidays are great for weddings especially if you have interstate travellers attending. It can reduce the amount of time off guests need to take in order to attend and give the whole occasion a more relaxed feel. It’s good to remember that people book long weekend activities in advance, so get your ‘save the date’ and invites out nice and early.
Some of the busiest wedding dates are when the numbers look good 12/12/12, 11/12/13 and 1/4/14. Valentine’s Day is always fashionable and often people chose New Year’s for the whole 01/01 effect. In many cultures particular numbers or dates are significant. The number seven symbolizes "togetherness" and is a lucky number for relationships according to Chinese tradition. May is considered an unlucky month to be married. On a recent trip to Bali l discovered that Hindu’s consult an astrologer who analyses the couple’s star signs in relation to the moon and sun before giving them lucky times and dates for their wedding. April this year was a particularly fortunate phase of the moon in Bali and l saw more than 100 wedding celebrations and even got to attend one.
Pick a date that special to you, suits your needs and works for most. In the end, anything can happen. Just ask the New Zealand couple last week who booked a registry office wedding for 11 days before their first baby was due only to end up in labour for the ceremony and welcoming their daughter 8 hours later; whose birthday will now forever share their anniversary.
How did you choose your wedding date?
Share, Season, Spot, Space, Symbols or Something Else?
Inspired by a recent question from a bride and a bizarre story l read yesterday; l am sharing 7 ways to include children in your ceremony, without wearing them.
I often perform weddings for people with offspring and l am always delighted by the joy shared when the whole family is involved. However, a woman in Tennessee chose to include her newborn in the ceremony by attaching the child to her wedding train and dragging her down the aisle.
Each to their own though l would argue, there are 7 other ways to involve the kids by giving them:
1. Their own job
Ring bearers, flower girls and ushers are all common roles for children. Walking nana or mum down the aisle is also special. If you are having an order of service make sure their name is there in black and white. My son was once given the job of ‘hat holder’ at his great uncles beach wedding and wore the title as a badge of honour all day.
2. Their own I dos
When blending families or welcoming a new ‘parent figure’ it is symbolic to make a public vow to the child and a response from the child. They can say ‘I do’ and agree to support the marriage.
3. Their own paperwork
A replica wedding certificate or similar document would be easy to create for the children to sign and keep as a reminder of their promises made.
4. Their own bling
It can be frustrating for kids to see mum and dad scoring all the gifts, attention and new bling. A necklace, watch or other special reminder of the day can be presented to the children during the ring exchange.
5. Their own mini-ceremony
Many weddings include a symbolic gesture of the union made such as pouring sand, lighting candles or planting trees. Children can be involved in these actions and it is a great way of keeping them interested in the day.
6. Their own stage
More confident and older children can read poems, sing songs, play an instrument or read a special letter. I have seen 16 year olds completely freak out and 7 year olds read perfectly so this would definitely be depended on the child in question and their confidence level. Remember, there are many traditional sayings in a wedding that don’t need to be said by the celebrant. I would love to see an offspring shout “You may now kiss my mum”
7. Their own decorating
Petals, balloons, rice and confetti; just some of the many things children can dole out or decorate with. My favourite is bubbles which not only seem to keep kids in a trance, but also make for fantastic wedding photos.
Finally, a couple of tips.
There is a reason ‘they’ say never work with kids or animals. It’s important that you don’t get disappointed or upset if the child refuses to go along with the plans on the day. Shyness, fear or control can cause the most confident rehearsed kid to freeze, cry or tantrum. The best way to avoid this is to not make their role pivotal to the whole ceremony and have someone else responsible to assist them on the day. The bride can’t run after an upset flowergirl.
My biggest advice is ask the child what they would like to do. Know the kid. If they are nervous or not interested don’t make them. Forcing a tomboy into a lace dress or making a shy child centre of attention is just asking for trouble... and often a guaranteed entry for “funniest home videos”.
Sewing them into the dress, now that will definitely get you on the news.
I'd love to hear any other ways you've seen children successfully included in a wedding ceremony. Comment below