Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Story of Love

My Nan and Pa have been married for 61 years. Even though my Nan won’t eat at the table with my Pa (because he chews his dinner too loud) I know that they are still in love. Recently I asked her about when she met my Pa. It was at a dance, she told me ‘back in the day when people danced properly, not just got up and shook their body.’ We spoke some about dances in her day, and she told me that Pa noticed her but she didn’t notice him until he asked her to dance.  There wasn’t a question about a second date that night. But the next day that she was at work, when she finished for the day and was leaving the office to go home for the day, there he was waiting for her. She didn’t really recognise him at first as he wasn’t all flashed up like he was for the dance, but it didn’t take her long to remember.

They got married after about a year of dating, but apparently there was quite a bit of controversy. The date of the wedding had to be brought forward due to my Great Grandmother wanting to go to England to visit with some of her relatives. This must have been the catalyst that got the rumour mill going. To make matters worse, my Nan had some fabric that she was saving for her wedding dress, but her mother sold it. Lovely fabric was quite sort after, you couldn’t just pop down to Spotlight and grab something like we do nowadays. So she had to have a pale blue wedding outfit and as you can imagine there were tongues were wagging about that. This was the first that I heard about this as all the photos are in black and white.

My Nan and Pa had 5 daughters over the next  decade and then decided to adopt a boy to complete their family. My Pa worked hard and was a mechanic, I always remember him in those times with grease in the creases of his hands and under his fingernails. Concurrently, my Nan was always with an animal of some description on her lap.  They have had many trials and disappointments and lots of joy and celebration in their lives together, but spending the day with them and watching the way they interact is lovely. Pa makes sure than Nan is eating her lunch in her special chair with her special tray, and listens when she nags him about wearing sunscreen. They still do things that makes each of them happy. They listen to each other or at least it appears that they do. But most importantly they are always on each others side when it matters the most.


Filed under Life, Stories of love

Selecting and Honouring People in your Wedding.

I had a dear friend message me, who is engaged but is feeling a little overwhelmed with the thought of some tasks when planning her wedding. Her fiance has about 1 million BFF’s, well maybe not a million but a lot of friends that he is very close to. I think it is a really hard decision when choosing your bridal party. Many people find this overwhelming and feel pressure from someone that feels that they should be in the wedding. This should be your decision and true friends will understand if they are not asked to be in the bridal party. You can’t have everyone as your attendants as there would be no-one left to invite! People should understand that it is a great honour to be invited to the wedding too.

Sometimes if you want to have someone who is very special to you, but don’t think it is appropriate to have them in your bridal party you can always have them as your witness. This is a special role, as they are witnessing the wedding and their names will be part of all the historical documents. It is a great was of including people if there are just too many people that you want to involve.  It is a creative idea if you or your partner have more friends that you want to include or don’t want to have an uneven number of attendants. Sometimes you have a friend that may be quite shy or will definitely not want to wear the outfit that is chosen, this can be a really great role for them. There have been quite a few people who have recently had their parents sign the paperwork.

The role of attendant, Groomsman, Bridesmaid, Best Man, Maid or Matron of Honour are roles that are to be taken seriously. I believe they should be people that are extremely close to your heart, people that have been there for you through the good times and bad. And of course, people who support your relationship and are in the friendship for the long haul. Sure, it can be a very glamorous part of the day to enter with the bride or be standing up the front with the Groom, but there can be a side that isn’t all glamour. Sometimes the attendants need to help the bride use the bathroom, keeping nerves at bay, make Speeches, organise transport, making payments, keep an eye on the bar tab, keep the Brides Father away from Cousin Frank, or just make sure that the Bride and Groom are never without a drink.  As a couple these are things that you want to keep in mind when choosing people to be in your bridal party. You want the people that are close to you but also the people that can be relied upon and trusted in these roles.

It is also significant to honour people who are no longer with us,  people that have passed away or people who simply for whatever reason cannot be with you on your special day. I find that there are a lot of different ways that you can do this. You can mention them in your ceremony. This can be a small comment or a larger section about them influencing your life or the impact that they made on you. Just be mindful that emotions can be quite high on the day already and this may add to it. There is nothing wrong with an emotionally charged ceremony, as long as you are aware of the effects it may have on you on the day. Another way to have something to remind you of people passed away could be your in accessories or things that you keep with you on your day.

Another way that you can honour people is to use there names to identify tables at the reception, rather than having tables 1 through 6 you could have Henry, Chester, Ester, Jenny, Tate and Kelly.  It is also a way to get people chatting at the reception. You may want to put a little note in your order of service booklet, or have someone mention people for you in the speeches. Again the only thing that limits you with this is your imagination and your creativity.

Thanks to Corey Brown for the use of some of his lovely wedding photos, check out his work and blog here.


Filed under wedding tips

Make your Memories

My Grandma tells me something almost every time that I visit with her – she tells me to make my memories while I am young. Sometimes she tells me that she has told such and such a friend that they should make their memories now. She is not referring to me making memories on my own rather that I need to make memories with my husband now.

When she met my Grandfather they were at a dance. She was practicing to go for her Gold medal in dancing as she already had her Bronze and Silver medals. My Grandfather had came to the hall that the practice was held at. My Gran told me that she went home and told her father that she had met a really nice man, but he had mentioned that he was going to a different dance that night. She thought that she wouldn’t see him again. My Grandfather  had asked  what dance she was going to, but she was sure that he would go to the dance that he had previously spoken about. Sure enough, that evening when she was waiting for the bus to the dance, my Grandfather ran to get the bus and go there with her.  She wouldn’t let him pay the cost to get in and she danced with him all night. They saw each other the next week at the dance, and he asked her when he walked her home from the bus if she would come to a dance with him during the week so that he could practice to get his medals too. They ended up dancing almost every night at different dances around their local area.  She thought that he was lovely, but she not too sure if her family would approve of him as he had a very Catholic name – Hartney. Whereas she was part of the Church of England, and her father was wondering if he was related to the Jockey, Vic Hartney, who had won a Melbourne Cup.

When she went to his house for dinner she was instructed by her father that she should look around the house and see if there was Catholic things around the house. She felt slightly uneasy about it as she didn’t want to spy on him. When she went to his house there was nothing around that suggested that they were Catholics. However she did see photos and trophies that belonged to Vic, who was his brother.  On the way home she got the courage to ask him about his religion, telling him that her dad would never approve of her going with someone who was a Catholic. He assured her that his father was born a Catholic but his mother was not. So when she got home she told her Dad that she had good and bad news. The bad being that he was Vic Hartney’s brother, but at least he wasn’t Catholic.

My Gran’s mother told her that it wouldn’t last with him, but my Gran thought that he was wonderful.  She had to have permission from her father to get married as she married my Grandfather when she was only seventeen and a half years old. They had 3 sons and adopted 2 little girls. They spent lots of time doing things together as a family such as holidays to Coloundra and camping every year at Rye beach. My Grandfather was a school teacher and worked hard.

What I think back about my grandfather all I remember are little primary school girl memories, and probably quite skewed. But the things I remember are all rich with a loving heart.  I remember staying the night at my Grandparents house and crawling into bed with them when I woke. I remember going through his cupboard and  telling him which of his ties I liked the most. I love the noise that magpies make, even though I’m quite scared of birds, but I love it  because he would whistle the way that magpies call. I remember him saying “Happy Days” every time we left their house. But above all of those things, I remember most fondly how my Grandparents would take me dancing. I would love being the only child there and my Grandfather dancing me around the room, me in a special outfit for the occasion, me in his arms and whistling  the tune to me as we danced.

This year will mark the 25th Anniversary of when my Grandfather died, my grandmother was only 60 when he passed away. I only have a few years of memories of him. Every time I visit her and speak of him I learn something new, about his life, his values and my history. There are many stories that my Gran shares with me, she has a great memory. I’m glad that they made their memories together, so that there are always stories for her to tell me. She shares the memories fondly and with love.

‘Happy Days’

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Filed under Life, Stories of love

Joel and Marika

A few weeks ago I had the honour of conducting the ceremony of the wedding of Joel and Marika.  I properly met Joel and Marika a few months before their wedding. We have a few mutual friends so I had met them before at my friends house but never really spoke to them properly.  A dear friend of the couple was training to become a celebrant, but unfortunately was not appointed in time to do their wedding. Therefore one of our friends suggested that they give me a call. We met up and discussed all the options that they had for their wedding and what is was they were hoping for in their ceremony.

Their day turned out to be lovely. Marika arrived with her attendants by ferry and they were married in a beautiful amphitheatre at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. They were surrounded by lots of family and friends. Joel’s God-Daughter and Marika’s nephew were the ring bearers . After the ceremony all of their guests boarded the ferry and travelled down to Seaworks, where their reception was being held. I was lucky enough to also be invited to the reception and Seaworks was a really lovely reception venue.  It was so tranquil to be looking out over the Marina and watching the sunset over the boats at Williamstown. I met some fantastic people, and listened to some wonderful, heartfelt speeches. It really is an awesome experience to be able to meet these great people and join them in marriage. It was also a pleasure to stay and celebrate with them and their family and friends. It really is an honour for me to do what I do.

Thank you Joel and Marika for a absolutely amazing day, and for allowing me to be a part of it.
Thanks to Kate Seabrook, for the images of Joel and Marika’s stunning day, check out Kate’s work at

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