Monthly Archives: December 2012

Wedding Proposals

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I am currently in the process of writing a number of blogs dedicated to marriage proposals. The one question everyone asks without fail once a couple becomes engaged is; ‘how did he propose?’ or ‘how did you propose?’ I have asked this question many a time myself, to many friends and even people I’m not well acquainted with. I love to hear each couple’s story not only because I am a celebrant, just because I love to get caught up in the romance of it all.

It is a moment that can have a lot of pressure attached to it.  Most men feel pressure no matter how big the proposal. Regardless, you will always remember a proposal forever, even if it happens in a blinding romantic flash you will always remember the moment. Some guys are worried about the ring. Maybe she won’t be happy with the choice of restaurant? Could a beach be romantic enough? Will you know when the moment is right?  Personally I believe that your fiancé should know you well enough to gage how much effort you have contributed to the proposal. If you are not an overly romantic person, don’t feel pressured to change to fit the societal norm, be yourself, which is just as thoughtful as an extravagant proposal. I have a great blog about this coming up so stay tuned.

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A friend of mine was proposed to in Central Park in New York, she thought that her partner was bending down to tie his shoelace, it was a total surprise.  My best friend was proposed to in front of the Mona Lisa – a very romantic setting I feel. Another one of my friends asked his fiancé to marry him while they were in a hot air balloon. Some people have been surprised by an aeroplane ride over a stunning beach and others have had a casual Sunday morning proposal in pyjamas. No matter how it happens you will never forget the moment shared with your nearest and dearest.

This weeks beautiful photos are from Untamed Images, check out their website here. Thanks Keith and Betty.
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Filed under Ceremony ideas, Stories of love, wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

Funeral of a friend

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Some time ago I received a text from my friend explaining he only had weeks to live. It took me by surprise; I was both shocked and upset. He had let me know previously that he was accepted into a drug trial and when I discussed it with him he seemed apprehensive but excited. The trial had some encouraging results in America, so when I received the message telling me that he was now ineligible for the trial, I felt sad and worried about his ongoing struggle.  He had been diagnosed with cancer about two and a half years before that. We had numerous discussions about cancer and treatment; my struggle with cancer was different and luckily mine was something that could be treated with an eventual positive outcome. However we could still connect with each other’s experiences and talk about treatments, concerns, fears, and positivity.

About three weeks later I got the email from his partner explaining that he had passed away. Throughout this period I tried to get in touch with him however the phone was never answered and I was too late. When I texted him asking if he was up for visitors, his partner replied telling me that he was gravely ill. I didn’t want to impose further, through my own experience with cancer I could sympathise with how hard and often tiring it can be repeating the same news.

His funeral service was lovely and I learned more about my friend on this day. I find with the majority of funerals I have been to I always tend to learn something new about my loved one – whether this is the celebrant’s doing or a family members. When I have been conducting a funeral myself, I always learn something new about the deceased. I also love being reminded of the joy that the deceased has brought in the past and will continue to in the future to their loved ones. Recently at my friends funeral I witnessed the love that people felt for him and to me that says a lot about a person.

After the service his partner apologised to me, for a moment I was shocked and not sure what she meant. She explained he had wanted me to conduct his service, and this had slipped her mind until she had seen one of my business cards around the house. I understood that it must be a horrendous and terrible time for her and told her that the service was lovely regardless. However, I was quite sad. I felt that I could have honoured my friend’s wishes by conducting the service. It was good of her to let me know and I felt privileged that he had trusted me to conduct his service. When I discussed this with my husband afterwards, he suggested that maybe she mentioned it to me as a way of apologising to him for it slipping her mind. Although I did not get to conduct his funeral, I will continue to honour and remember all things he taught me in life.

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Planning your perfect Ceremony

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Your wedding day should reflect you and your partner, it should be all about you, and your personalities can shine through in all areas of the ceremony.  From the music that you walk down the aisle to and use when you sign the register, to the music that you have when the ceremony ends. I believe that all of these should mean something to you. Check out my blog about wedding music here.

Writing your own vows sounds daunting for most couples, but this can be an enjoyable and special experience. I have found that most couples know what kind of vows they want and are happy to write them, or they know what they want to say and want me to write them for them, which I really enjoy too. This is the part of the wedding process that I really enjoy, working out what couples really want to say to one another. Vows are an extremely important part of the ceremony, you can’t be legally married without having vows and there are legal requirements for part of the vows that you must say, but you can also have personalised vows too. You can decide to have only the legal part of the vows if you wish. They are fairly short and maybe some people find these quite unromantic. However, some couples like to stick with traditional kinds of vows and that is fine. I think that some of these are very lovely and powerful words. Some couples want to say something funny and others want their vows to be quite serious and really personal. Using words that mean a lot to them and express what is important to them about this aspect of the marriage ceremony. I have written about this before if you like you can see that blog here, about writing your own vows.

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Another great way to let your personality shine through at your wedding is wedding readings. Although bible readings or romantic poems about love are popular, it may be an original piece that has been written for you by someone close to you, or it can be a funny reading that expresses your personality. Alternatively it could be your favourite Shakespeare sonnet or quote. Some people choose to have someone read lyrics of their favourite song.

One thing that I really love is when people who are guests at the wedding come up and tell me that a ceremony really encapsulated ‘them’. I feel like I have done my job and have helped the couple create a wedding that is personal and original. Not only does it make my job more interesting, I get to know the couple more this way too.

I enjoy letting people know that their wedding can work the way that they want it and not have to follow a strict format – that they have options to include people and things that are important to them into this very special moment in their lives. It makes me happy when people put a lot of what they love into a ceremony and put so much of themselves into it. You know that the wedding that has been created wouldn’t work for anyone else.

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It is not just the ceremony that can work like this; you can work on making all different aspects of the wedding really reflect you. If you are true to what you love it will all come together nicely, your invitations can be in your personal style and there are so many personal touches that you can make on your special day. Your cake and your wedding theme are all things that you can use to make your wedding perfectly you. Take the opportunity to express yourself and give your imagination free rein.

I think that your wedding should be exactly what you as a couple want it to be and should have things that people smile and think ‘that is so perfectly them’. It may be the candle ceremony that you choose to have, the cute bomboniere that you have, or the song that you share your first dance to, or the cars that you arrive in or……….. I could go on for hours.  Don’t be afraid to really let your personalities shine through in what you choose for what is YOUR day.

Thanks again to Vision House Photography for the use of the beautiful images. Check out the Vision House Photography website here.

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Filed under Ceremony ideas, wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

Wearing a veil

J&J002 A bridal veil is an article covering some part of the head or face – worn to accompany the wedding dress. Some choose to wear a veil while some do not it is entirely subjective. Among the weddings I have both conducted and attended I have noticed there does not seem to be a trend either way. Not all people who have an indoor wedding choose to wear a veil and not all brides choose to go veil free for an outdoor wedding. It definitely comes down to personal aesthetic.

There are many different theories why the veil was introduced to wedding ceremonies. It is said that in medieval times, the veil was used to protect the bride from “the evil eye” it was also a symbol of chastity, purity, and modesty. Other theories state that the bridal veil was worn for an arranged marriage.  It is suggested that in the past men bargained with the father for their daughter’s hand in marriage, only at the ceremony when the veil was lifted, the bride features were revealed.  Therefore worn to ensure the groom went through with the ceremony. It has also been said that veils were worn as a symbol of the bride’s submission and willingness to obey her husband.

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Regardless of the history of the veil, it is ultimately a decision that comes down to personal aesthetic.  Whether the veil will stay covered for the most part of the ceremony or just the beginning is the bride and grooms choice. There are no hard and fast rules for wearing a veil, just do what ever you feel most comfortable with. Some brides choose to have their father or whoever is giving them away remove the veil before the ceremony starts and others choose to wear the veil until the first kiss as husband and wife.

A popular trend is for the bride to wear the veil during the ceremony and for some of the photos and then remove it for the reception. You can always replace the veil with a hat or fascinator for the reception.

Will you be wearing a veil on your wedding day?

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Thanks again to Untamed Images for the use of their stunning photos, be sure to check out their website here.

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Vanuatu Proposal

A friend of mine from work proposed to his now fiance in Vanuatu, I asked him to share the story about the proposal and this is what he wrote:

Picture 002 copyIt started as something small, a proposal on a beach was what was my first idea, something special. But every-time I started getting everything together, something else came up. So it got to the point that it had been seven years and still no proposal.

At this point Karajane pointed out that she was hurt that everyone else she knew had had a proposal except her.
I felt something more was needed, and started looking at different locations in Australia and then further into the pacific, finding places was difficult, keeping the details from Karajane was very difficult, someone who has been with you that long can usually guess what your doing and she studies psychology 😉
So the island changed quite a few times before I decided on Vanuatu,  the reason was because of the active volcano, that seemed like the kind of proposal that would make up for the wait.
Then the planning stated, how long, where were we staying, how much would we need…
After that was sorted it was time for me to look at rings and in my mind the best option would be the traditional one big stone.
Then as Karajane would be the one wearing it we talked about the idea of her making the decision.
She was looking at several rings and fell in love with a very pretty ring, that made the decision.

So after four months of panning and working we were finally ready to go.

The trip was a blur till we were finally going up the top of Mt Yassur and it was raining… which meant that I couldn’t use my camera, lucky there was another guy with us (Armund) who had a waterproof camera and agreed to take photos when “something happens at the top”
After walking through the ash, smoke and rain we finally make it to the top, after walking around the crater a little I found a spot that I liked.
Karajane knew about the proposal of course but the moment still surprised her I think. There is always a difference between planning and the moment.
As I got down on one knee and forgot all my carefully planned proposal and just said what I felt, I still don’t remember exactly what I said but I guess it must have been right, she said yes. After that we watched the volcano erupting behind us and the celebration of fire and the feel of the volcano made everything seem perfect.
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Have you got a lovely proposal story that you would like to share? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email with your story to deb_scherger_celebrant@hotmail.com

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Filed under Life, Stories of love