Finally marriage equality in Australia

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Wow, what a momentous day! I was sitting on the couch in my lounge room, nervously awaiting the news as to see how Australia had voted. With my new little baby on my lap, I was thinking about the future. My children’s future. I hope, for a lot of people, this was a moment in their lives that they will remember forever. Something just so memorable, a moment in time that we measure things by. Similar to when people ask if you remember what you were doing when you heard that Princess Diana died. (For those playing along at home, I was working my Sunday shift at the Reject Shop in the Bourke Street Mall)

I want my children to be whoever they are, loved and secure in knowing that they can just be themselves. Having people marry whomever they want was important for me. I hope that a lot of people felt that same feeling of joy that I did that day.

I held my breath and shed a few tears when I watched the result and a text message from my best friend came through saying, ‘I knew that people would do the right thing!’

I tried to explain my feelings that day to a friend. It was like being a support person at a funeral. It was like I was there to support a grieving friend and although I knew the person who had died, it was not like they did. I felt their pain but I could never understand it fully. The tears were for my LGBTIQ friends. The tears were for their relief, their victory, their losses, their acceptance. For them. But boy, was I honoured to be able to watch that and support them.

I was cross at the cost of the plebiscite. So many other things that $22 million dollars could have helped. Not to mention the cost to people that I love. Having them feel like they were ‘less than’ because people who’s business it isn’t, got to say if their relationship was acceptable. (Now that’s something for a totally different blog or rant)

As a celebrant, I thought that it would take longer to make it happen. I thought that even once it was passed through the parliament, we would have to wait a long time for amendments to the Marriage Act. I felt all that new paperwork to figure out, training etc would take forever before we could conduct a same sex marriage. I was so pleasantly surprised and excited to get my ‘celebrant nerd’ on and sit and check out all of the new paperwork when it was released.  I was lucky enough to be doing my ‘Ongoing Professional Development’ after the law changed so we could ask a lot of questions to the trainers and find out any queries that our colleagues may have thought also.

I’m really excited to be stating the new monitum in a few days time. But that is another blog all together.

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Tamara and Daniel

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I was lucky enough to conduct the wedding of Tamara and Daniel on a windy, but lovely, day in September. They were married at the Seawinds Gardens in Arthurs Seat. If you haven’t been to the Gardens or up to Arthurs Seat, it is a beautiful and breathtaking part of the world. It is somewhere that I have driven past so many times and had only been when I was much younger. It is an amazing place. And what better place for a wedding! The views are spectacular and it is a place that has been very special to Tamara and Daniel so it was very fitting for them to have their ceremony there. They were married at the outlook in front of about 70 of their family and friends.

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Daniel and Tamara have been together for 7 years, meeting through some mutual friends. As a couple, Tamara and Daniel have spent a lot of time enjoying each others company. They love running, kayaking, hiking and cycling. If that isn’t enough hard work in itself, they spend a lot of time renovating their house too! So they obviously know that they can work together and through tough situations. When you still want to live with the other person after having lived out of one end of a house with only half a bathroom, it must be love.

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Daniel and Tamara have a beautiful proposal story. While in America, they were walking in a back section of Disneyland behind the castle when Dan asked if one of the staff would take his and Tamara’s photo.  Dan isn’t really one for having his photo taken, but they were away on holiday so Tamara thought nothing of it. The first photo was just of the two of them standing there nicely, then Dan got down on one knee in front of the disney castle and asked Tamara to marry him. Tamara didn’t say yes straight away, first she asked if he was serious, then gave him a hug. It wasn’t until about an hour later that she told him yes!! It was pretty much a given though she already had the ring on and was crying like a baby!

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One thing that made it obvious to me just how in love they are is when I asked Tamara and Daniel to describe their relationship to me in 3 words. There answer was really beautiful! They said natural, enduring and supportive. It doesn’t get much lovelier than that. Natural because they know that they can always be themselves. Enduring, as they face situations head on and always work through things together. And supportive, that no matter what life throws at them, that they always talk through things, and support the other to get over every hurdle they face. This has made for a wonderful foundation for their love, and they have always supported each other and pulled the other through any tough times.

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I especially loved that I got to see people that I have conducted weddings for in the past. I was lucky enough to conduct the wedding of Daniel’s sister Candice, and also the wedding of his friends Philip and Judy. I love seeing these people that I have spent a bit of time getting to know but rarely see again.

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It was a stunning day, everyone looked wonderful and it was a beautiful part of the world.  What a day at the office!! It doesn’t get much better than that, getting to see such amazing parts of the world, with wonderful people. I’m pretty lucky to do what I do.

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A really big thank you to Chris Cooper for the use of his photos on the blog this weekend. You can look at some of his other work by clicking here. Also if you are down the Mornington Peninsula, check out the Seawinds Gardens. Click here to check out the website.

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Filed under Recent Ceremonies, Recent Weddings, Stories of love

Awesome Invitations

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For those who are frequent readers of my blog, you will know how much I love a good invitation.

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Friends of mine Tom and Scarlett were married in August this year, (blog about their wedding is coming soon) and they had some very creative invitations. I wanted to wait until the wedding had happened before I showed off the invitation so that nothing was omitted from these fantastic invites and you could see them in all their amazing, and some might say slightly nerdy, glory. Just my style!

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Check out all of the great details even on the RSVP cards.
Now you can look forward to reading the blog about their beautiful wedding day.

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Filed under invites, Recent Weddings, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

Sylive’s Naming day

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I was lucky enough to be asked to conduct Sylvie’s Naming Day. Dan and Kate have been friends of mine for quite some time and I conducted their wedding along with a number of weddings for other members of their family. Since then I have been named the family celebrant! I was privileged to be able to conduct Sylvie’s sister Astrid’s Naming Day when she turned 1 and so it was such a special thing for me to be able to conduct Sylvie’s Naming day too, also timed to Celebrate her 1st birthday!

Dan and Kate thought about the name Sylvie when Kate was pregnant with Astrid. Kate tried to convince Dan that Sylvie was a great name, but Dan wasn’t keen on Sylvia, which Kate insisted would be the ‘proper name’ so it never happened. Throughout Kate’s pregnancy with Sylvie, Kate and Dan worked through many name options and although Sylvie arrived so late they still hadn’t decided on her name. After she was born they played with three names and in the evening finally settled on Sylvie, Kate compromising and ditching the ‘a’ in Sylvia.  Sylvie, from Sylvia, is a french name meaning from the forest. (See the gorgeous forest themed cake at the end of this post)

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Sylvie has made Dan and Kate more relaxed, patient and understanding parents. Sylvie gets far more cuddles to sleep and co-sleeping as they are well aware of how fleeting these days are. Dan and Kate can now understand completely why the youngest child is always the baby to their parents. Sylvie’s favourite person has always been Astrid. From birth she has kept her eye on Astrid, eager to learn how to do all the things Astrid does, playing, walking and now dancing too! Sylvie has always loved to move and was on the go early. She even started walking while holding onto Astrid even though her sister was trying to escape!

Her big loves this first year have included looking at her favourite family photos, climbing, “reading”, playing in her sister’s kitchen, baby doll Cailin, getting messy outdoors and just being all over Astrid. She loves to make kissing noises, waving at anything that moves and is a big koala style snuggler. She loves Ryan Adams and starts “dancing” as soon as she spots the cover artwork.

Dan and Kate chose their very close friend Miranda to be Sylvie’s mentor. Miranda has been friends with Kate for almost a decade and they have travelled together. She was the witness at their wedding and has always supported both Kate and Dan on their parenting journey.

Dan and Kate had a passage chosen to be read during the ceremony for both girls.  A lovely Mark Twain quote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

It was a beautiful day and a great time to catch up with lovely friends, and the the extended family of these wonderful people that I am lucky enough to see at these special occasions.

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6 Creative ways to ask your attendants to be part of your wedding party

People are coming up with some amazing and very creative ways of asking their attendants to be a part of their wedding. I have seen so many wonderful ideas that I thought that I should share some of them with you.

1.  Personalised labels.

You can personalise a bottle of wine with your own label. Take the style of theirs, or your, favourite drink and make it your own. Friends of mine replaced the ‘brand’ label in a similar style to the original and made a huge statement. The bottles looked amazing and they kept all the fonts and the layout the same as the original. You could make chocolate bar wrappers too or put labels around a soap or perfume bottle. This, like so many things, can reflect your tastes or reflect some of the favorite things that your bridal party may love.

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2. Creative Crossword.
This can be a bit of fun, and could be a great laugh if you planned to ask your girls over a lunch or some cheeky wines. You could make them up yourself or can go online and find a crossword generator to do the work for you.

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3. Jewellery.
There are so many great little jewellery pieces that can be ordered online or visit Pinterest to get a heap of ideas about what you can do with jewellery. You could use jewellery that you want them to wear on the day or just a small little necklace that they could wear everyday. You could use pop rings and ‘pop the question’ to your bridal party.

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4. Funky poem all wrapped up.
I’ve seen some really great ideas with a little poem and bits of lego, nail polish, cakes. The ideas are endless. If you are stuck all you have to do is a quick google search and you  have hundreds of examples at your fingertips.

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5. A puzzle.
This could be anything from a puzzle that you order on line, decorate yourself or you could send them on a clue hunt type adventure.

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6. A memory scrapbook or memory box.
If you are a particularly sentimental person, or if someone has been your friend for a long time, this is a thoughtful way that you could ask your attendants to be part of your wedding. With photos and personal jokes, you could make it funny or heartfelt. It would be something that they could keep for years to come too.

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There are so many ways you can be creative with this and just yet another way that you can reflect your own personality and even tie it into the themes that you have for your wedding. With so many ideas online there’s so much inspiration to make this special moment just the way that you want it to be.

All images from Pintrest

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Filed under wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

Chris and Szu-Ting

www.becmatheson.com

Chris and Szu- Ting (Sooty) were married on a beautiful Friday in October at Collingwood Children’s Farm, under the Oak tree. I had been to the Children’s Farm before but I had never been down to the beautiful Oak tree which is just one of the locations that they set up for weddings. It is an amazing and beautiful little spot and the perfect place for Chris and Sooty’s wedding ceremony.

www.becmatheson.com

www.becmatheson.com

Chris and Sooty met each other when they were studying Product Design. Chris first thought that Sooty looked cute and that she dressed a little weird in her blue shorts and stockings. Sooty’s first impressions were that Chris was maybe a bit lazy and slack. Obviously none of those impressions put them off getting to know each other and 9 years later they are a very happy and loving couple.

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When I asked Sooty and Chris what marriage meant to them they said that “Marriage is a public version of a private promise”. I really love that they have described it like that. It is so true. Everyones marriage is different and it is all about what you are promising each other everyday, not just on their wedding day. The amazing, beautiful occasion that is the wedding is all of the things that they have promised each other before their wedding and that they will continue to promise to each other tomorrow and beyond.

www.becmatheson.com

www.becmatheson.com

When I asked Chris and Sooty about some of the things that they love most about each other, it was obvious just how in love that they are. Chris loves how Sooty has a beautiful and sweet nature and how she just wants everyone to be happy. Sooty loves how Chris makes her laugh with his little dances and she just loves how much Chris loves her.

www.becmatheson.com

www.becmatheson.com

Chris and Sooty have really packed a lot into their 5 years together and have made some wonderful memories. They have helped each other through study commitments, supported one another when family members have passed away and they have purchased a house together. They have shared many special memories, like lying on the grass at Williamstown Beach when Chris asked Sooty’s parents for her hand in marriage. They love fooding together, walking with each other and just enjoying simple things like watching shows together on the computer. They appreciate the little things like Sooty cooking for Chris and Chris heating up heatbags for Sooty.

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Sooty and Chris had a lot of ways that they made their wedding their own.  They had so many amazing small details that were just brilliant and just suited their personalities perfectly. Sooty had the most amazing silver dress that she wore along with a fantastic head piece. Sooty carried vegetables rather than flowers. I had never seen anything like this before and have never seen artichokes look so amazing. Sooty’s bridesmaids wore beautiful 3/4 pants and lovely tops.

www.becmatheson.com

www.becmatheson.com

Sooty arrived at the ceremony site and when she got to the aisle, ‘I feel good’, by James Brown began to play and she danced down the aisle to Chris. When they reached the end of the aisle they gave both sets of parents a big hug. Sooty is originally from Taiwan and there were many Australian wedding traditions that were very different from what would traditionally take place in a wedding in Taiwan, and I really loved that Chris and Sooty took the things that they liked from each and incorporated the ones that they liked to make their wedding their own. They presented both sets of parents with a gift during their ceremony and they also had one of their bridesmaids translate some promises for Sooty’s parents from Chris so that they could be a part of the ceremony too. It must be difficult when you cannot understand everything that is being said in your daughters wedding ceremony and we all thought that this would be a nice way so that they could have promises made to them too.

www.becmatheson.com

www.becmatheson.com

After the ceremony, guests were served drinks and harvest boards with lovely antipasto and cheeses down at the ceremony site before moving up to the restaurant  for the rest of the nights festivities. They had their photos taken before the ceremony to maximise their time with their guests after the ceremony had taken place.

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Sooty and Chris are both truly lovely people who I feel lucky to have met. It was a wonderful experience for me to help them to put a bit from each of their cultures into their ceremony, and to make their ceremony just theirs.

A very big thank you to Bec Matheson, for the stunning photos of Chris and Sooty’s day. Check out her website here. You can view her other photos on her instagram too at instagram.com/becmathesonphotography.

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Filed under Recent Ceremonies, Recent Weddings

Wedding day selfie

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Will you be taking a wedding day selfie and uploading it to your instagram or facebook before your day is over? It is one of those things, people are either getting it done and up on social media between the ceremony and the reception, or they are waiting until the next day to share their pictures. Although I have conducted a few weddings that where not mentioned at all on social media, one in particular I remember seeing some photos a few weeks after the wedding. These photos were only there for a day or so and it looked like they were asked to remove them. It seemed as though the couple didn’t want any photos from their day shared on social media at all.

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What do you think when you are seeing a wedding being uploaded on social media? Especially when the couple share a selfie as soon as they are married, before they have finished their day? Do you wonder why they are on their phones as soon as they get a chance? Do you think great! I wanted to see something from their big day as soon as possible? Do you think it is a smart move getting in before someone else announces their own news?

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There are a lot of couples that impose a ban on uploading until they have done so, which as a celebrant I have been asked to mention at the beginning of the wedding ceremony. It seems like common sense to me, but then, all to often, common sense isn’t all that common. It makes me really cross when I see people announcing other people’s wedding news and baby news. I have previously blogged about Announcements on Social Media.

Social Media at your wedding is yet another thing that is totally up to the individual and having as little or as much of it incorporated into your day should be decided by you as a couple. What are your thoughts on social media during your day?

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A big thank you to Untamed Images for the beautiful images on the blog this week. Check out their website and facebook pages here.

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Filed under Ceremony ideas, wedding ideas, Wedding Planning