Monthly Archives: March 2013

Holly and Simon


Holly and Simon were married on an amazing Saturday in November, at Ormond Hall in Melbourne. What an amazing venue for a wedding! The hall looked absolutely stunning and was decorated beautifully. Until their wedding I had never conducted a wedding on an elevated stage, let alone in front of such a large group of family and friends.  I have known Holly for about 15 years; she is my best friend’s younger sister, so when I was asked to perform the ceremony I was both excited and a little nervous. I was really honoured that she chose me to conduct the ceremony.  I love all weddings – in particular the promises shared by the couple. The process of planning the ceremony helps me learn more about each couple. It is always an honour to be asked to conduct a ceremony of someone you know – the words and vows of love exchanged seem to hit closer to home when you know the bride and groom quite well.

_MG_4526 2_MG_9730 1_MG_9752

There is something unforgettable about every wedding I conduct. I will never forget the moment when Holly walked down the isle with her dad while Bon Iver: Perth played.  The emotion felt by all the guests was indescribable – such a beautiful moment.  Similarly the emotion that Simon felt when he saw Holly walking down the aisle to a song that obviously meant so much to them was written all over his face, everyone could see it was true love.

Holly and Simon obviously spent a lot of time making this day their own; there were so many special touches reflecting their personal aesthetic. The beautiful handmade order of service booklets that had stunning vintage handkerchiefs attached were particularly unique (see the blog about them here), as well as the handmade cake bags. Everything was stunning and there was so much attention to detail. I have blogged previously about fingerprint trees (see my blog about it here) – Holly and Simon’s wedding was the first time that I got to see a fingerprint tree first hand and contribute to this lovely past time. Holly’s sister Emily made the tree and there were so many positive comments made by all the guests about how wonderful it was.

_MG_9459 2 _MG_9437 2 _MG_9431 2

All the speeches were very lovely and heartfelt, Simon’s speech was fantastic – I haven’t heard many grooms present such an honest, well-prepared speech. There was so much love in the room, for each other and for their family and friends. Holly sang a beautiful version of ‘How sweet it is to be loved by you’ rather than preparing a speech.  She has a fantastic voice and it was so well done, she really made it her own, bringing some of the guests to tears.

Thank-you to Mitchell Stafford for the use of the photos from Holly and Simons wonderful day, have a look at his website here,

_MG_5135_MG_5192 2


Filed under Recent Weddings

I give you my heart – proposal story

Recently I was driving with a friend and she shared a story of a close friend’s romantic proposal. I thought it was a lovely story and couldn’t stop thinking about it for quite some time after I heard it.

Not because of the trouble her friend’s partner had gone to, or the ring, it was the way he gave away the only thing he had to her – his heart, his trust and his devotion. He wrote a beautiful note and I think you will agree it was a truly lovely and romantic notion.

Screen shot 2013-03-10 at 11.31.03 PM

A proposal doesn’t need to be about a fancy ring, or an expensive dinner, or hot air balloon, or a plane ride over the beach with ‘will you marry me‘ written in the sand. It is about the love two people share.

Do you have a romantic proposal story that you would like to share? If you do email me at


Filed under Stories of love

Wedding invitations


I love a good wedding invitation as all of those whom regularly read my blog would know, I love receiving them in the mail – especially when a lot of thought has gone into creating them. The save the date cards (read my blog about save the date cards here) and wedding invitations you decide on are generally give your guests a sneak peak of the theme of the wedding to come. There are so many different ways to approach your invitations.

The personal angle:

You can choose to go with a personal wedding invitation; with photographs or artistic pictures of the two of you (or more if you are a blended family or have children together already) this is a sure way to grab the attention of your intended guests. Mostly this approach is for the save the date cards. My cousin had a fantastic wedding invitation, which they designed themselves – all the artwork was done by the couple, a truly memorable invitation that is for sure. Not everyone wants photographs on their invites and I can understand that, but there is something truly unique about a personalised invitation. You don’t have to have photographs to make it your own – there are all sorts of ways to make it personal. For example, your favourite colour or a certain animal you are often affiliated with or a personal attribute that your family and/or circle of friends associate you with.

Funky and unique:

You only have to search on the internet to see a range of the funky and unique invitations out there. Usually they follow fashions, for example the chevron pattern, is in style now, is very popular. You could go with a funky pattern or you could go for a bold colour. They could be handmade invitations that are in theme with your decorations at your ceremony. You could go with something fun and unique, like a puzzle, which your guests need to put together.  You can introduce a retro feel to your invitations, with a vintage style or lace invite.


Colour and theme based:

Colour is a great way to create a ‘theme’ for your wedding. Similarly if you choose a certain flower for your ceremony the invitation can be a great way to introduce it. My cousin was proposed to on the Eiffel Tower – they had it feature throughout the whole wedding, it was on the invites, part of the cake tower and on all the bonbonnerie.

Classical and Traditional:

A classic and traditional theme can sometimes be my favourite, especially when the invitations are truly decadent. One of my friends had a beautiful classic invite on super thick and shimmering paper with a heavy lace and ribbon. I think that these work when you are having a classically themed wedding. I not sure they would work as well for a casual garden wedding. Their invite set the tone of the wedding and matched everything perfectly. Her dress was a full, lovely lace and the flowers matched the colour of the invitations.

What were some of the truly unique attributes of a wedding invitation you have received?  What was it that made the invite so different/lovely/interesting?

Thank-you Vision House Photography for the use of their fantastic photos. Check out their website here.


Leave a comment

Filed under wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

Dress Codes


Dress codes at wedding ceremonies is something many people can struggle with, not only the guests. Often people misunderstand what different dress codes mean and rather than considering their options some couples put it into the ‘too hard basket’. The only issue with that is dressing incorrectly for the event is more likely. This does not bother some people, however the bride and groom may be offended if people don’t dress appropriately. If the guests have been informed of the dress code prior to the event, it is more likely to be adhered to. One statement I don’t like on an invite, unless it’s for 21st, is ‘Dress to Impress’ – impress whom?

As a guest, I personally find it tough to know what to wear when the dress code isn’t stated on the invitation. I never want to turn up to an event underdressed. I am a strong believer of respecting wedding ceremonies, as they are lovely sacred moments where guests should dress appropriately. Although as a celebrant I can assure you there are some who dress as though it’s just another party.

It also depends on whether or not what your guests wear bothers you – if it doesn’t, trust them to make up their own mind. You may decide to put a little note on your invite such as; dress smart casual, which generally means no jeans with the possibility of no tie for men, women may choose to wear pants.  Alternatively if you prefer or your venue requires men to wear a jacket you may want to further research different dress codes.

Img281 Img373

Lounge suit – This is probably the most common and most appropriate for a semi formal wedding before 5pm. This suggests that men should wear a suit with a shirt and tie and women a dress suitable for daytime.

Cocktail – This is the evening version of lounge suit; usually for weddings starting after 5pm. Men (in theory) should still wear a shirt and tie and suit jacket, however women should wear a more evening appropriate style of dress.

Morning suit – This is where it starts to get dressy – used for a formal day time wedding, usually men are expected to wear tailcoats and waistcoats and women a formal daytime dress and hat.

Black tie – Formal by most people’s standards, men are expected to wear a tuxedo and bow tie and women an evening gown or cocktail dress.

White tie – The most formal dress code for upscale weddings, ball gowns for women and dress coats with waistcoats for men.

Most couples don’t feel the need to be strict with the dress code on their invitations and are happy to state smart casual, semi formal or formal.  Make sure however you are aware this may be open for interpretation by your guests. If you want to give your guests a little more guidance you could state cocktail dress optional therefore they understand what you expect most people to wear.

How do you feel about dress codes? Do they often confuse you?

Img560 Img564

Thank you to Untamed Images for the photos on the blog this week. Have a look at the other great work that they do at the Untamed Images Website.


Filed under wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

The end of a friendship


Have you ever had a friendship you thought was something really special, come to an end and you’re not entirely sure why?

This is not the first time this has happened to me, however usually I look back and find something was never right – this time it’s hard. I feel hurt and betrayed, I opened myself up and let myself trust my friend accepting their faults, loving them regardless.

Last time this happened to me the reasons became clear quickly. A number of years ago friends of my husband and I, started to become distant – they said some hurtful things (as we all sometimes do). However we started to see them less frequently and they were beginning to exclude us, unless they needed help photographing an event. I realised from their perspective, we were good to have around when they needed something. I was hurt, but aware of why our relationship broke down, therefore it wasn’t all that bad. I was glad not to be spending time and effort on people that made me fell ‘less than’ about myself. I knew in my heart they were using me, at first I was very hurt, however I reminded myself there are many people who are my friends because of my personality, not photographic skill. I was younger and less self aware of what I would accept as ‘friends’ behaviour. I know myself better now and have gone through a lot more not to waste time with people who take pleasure in making others feel they are not ‘enough’ – often trying to feel superior.

When recently a close friend of my husbands and mine started going through a rough time and decided to cut us out of their life for a few months. I felt sad to suddenly be ‘cut out’ when so much time was invested in our friendship and I wanted it to go back to how it used to be between us. I missed them terribly. Months went past and I learned to live without them in my life, it weirdly felt like a break up or the grief you feel when someone dies. Obviously it’s different because you know they are still here, however it can feel worse because when someone dies the end of a friendship isn’t a choice.

The friendship mended, they apologised for cutting my husband and I out of their life – our relationship became stronger than ever. If a week went by without seeing our friend it was strange, often seeing them everyday for 3 weeks straight. I felt the friendship was worth everything we put into it; we were all benefiting from the relationship. Supporting each other when needed, telling each other some home truths when necessary. We shared joys and sorrows. Then once again it came to an end. No reasons, no explanations, nothing – with the exception of letting us know not to contact them. Yet again we felt hurt and confused – like we lost something truly special. I thought we could have worked through anything; understandably I was sad they didn’t think our friendship was worth saving and ultimately I was left feeling the friendship must have meant more to us then it did them.

Although I felt terrible grief and sadness for our lost relationship, it also made me realise I am capable of investing in good, strong friendships. I know I have a number of friends I love just as much and unconditionally. I am grateful I have learned from this friendship, although it breaks my heart they don’t want to be part of my life anymore. Often when I laugh at something they would enjoy, I think of them and feel sad for a moment. I can only hope it doesn’t make me reluctant to open up once again for fear my time, love and emotion would be wasted or rejected. I hope the pain goes quickly and I can reflect on the good memories and let go of the hurtful feelings.

Has this ever happened to you? Did you feel hurt? Betrayed? Did you learn something about yourself in the process?


Leave a comment

Filed under Life