Monthly Archives: February 2015

Astrid’s Naming Day


Astrid’s naming day was held in January. The weather forecast suggested that it would rain all weekend so Kate and Dan decided early to change the venue of the naming day and have it at home. Luckily everyone managed to fit into their house and all had a lovely afternoon. I have known Dan for a number of years, and Kate a little less. I was so very lucky to conduct their wedding. (read all about it here) So as you can imagine, Astrid’s naming day was really special for me too.

The name Astrid means divine strength or divine beauty. Once Kate’s family knew they had chosen a European name, this was the first one that came to mind for them. However this wasn’t the name Kate and Dan called Astrid in the womb. In fact it wasn’t until the final days of her pregnancy that Kate convinced Dan to switch. The rather delicate name that they had chosen we now know would never have suited such a strong, cheeky young lady like Astrid.

Dan and Kate had always enjoyed talking about baby names and even before Astrid came along they joked about naming their first girl Ginger Rose after a horse at the Hanging Rock races which they attended early in their relationship. Shortly after Astrid arrived with her lovely red newborn hair Kate and Dan said there was definitely a “thank goodness we didn’t call her Ginger” moment.

It was a great opportunity for Kate and Dan to appoint Astrid’s Guardians and to publicly thank all of their family and friends for all of the support that they had given them over the first year of Astrid’s life. They have had some really tough times, and they were able to share a little bit about these in the ceremony and make sure that they told the important people in their lives how much they appreciated all that they had done for them during those times. It made for a really beautiful, honest and very personal ceremony.

It was wonderful to be able to catch up again with Kate and Dan’s lovely family. Luckily for me, I have a few events locked in with some other members of their family! Stay tuned for some blog posts about those too.



Filed under Other Ceremonies, Recent Ceremonies

Simon and Elaina


Simon and Elaina were married on a perfect Sunday in October, at the Melbourne Zoo. The weather was amazing and they were married in the gardens near the giant tortoise, a part of the zoo that if you didn’t know it was there you might walk straight past it. They had a beautiful Chuppa set up, a lovely white carpet and a small number of chairs, it looked simply beautiful. I knew Elaina would look stunning, she does so just wearing her everyday clothes so I knew she would be a knockout bride. And she did not disappoint.  The little  gardens were full of family and friends and was a perfect size for the amount of guests that they had.

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I have known Simon for about 7 years, and had met Elaina only on a couple of occasions. I was really excited to be able to meet with them and discuss the possibility of conducting their wedding. When I was asking them some of the questions that I like to ask when I am getting to know the couple, I asked them how they met. Simon told me that they met at a party, but Elaina doesn’t remember meeting him there. Thankfully they both remember that Simon introduced himself when he was working at a club. He must have been memorable then because Elaina dragged one of her friends to the same club the next weekend so she could see him again. They have spent the majority of the last decade building their life together. They have endured ups and downs like any couple, but they decided early on what is important to them and they have always shared, created balance and compromised.

They are lucky enough to have made many great memories together already, driving (although not too successfully) in Iceland, climbing inside the pyramids, learning to scuba dive with turtles in Bali, camping trips and adventures to the snow. They have spent a lot of their time working towards and getting their dream home and they have adopted many pets together over the years as they share a love of animals. So it was very fitting for them to have their wedding at the zoo.

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One thing that I really loved about working on this wedding was being involved and learning about some of the different elements that others have in their traditional weddings. Having elements of a traditional Jewish wedding incorporated into the civil ceremony was fantastic.  It was great to be able to personalise the wedding in such a way that Simon and Elaina had all the elements that they wanted covered. Obviously the Chuppa was great, and not something that I get to see very often at a wedding. This one was stunning . I really loved how it was made from wood and  didn’t look out of place in the Zoo.  I thought that it was great that Simon’s cousin said some traditional wedding prayers and blessings, and Simon and Elaina drank wine after exchanging their vows.  They also had Simon’s cousin explain about the breaking of the glass, so that people there who were not Jewish would know what was about to happen and some of the reasons that the glass is traditionally broken. It was fantastic. What a wonderful way to end a wedding ceremony.  What a lovely wedding with two of the loveliest people. Mazel Tov!


Thanks to Timothy Burgess for the photos from Simon and Elaina’s stunning day. Check out more of his work at his website by clicking here.

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Wishing well at your Wedding.


I am reading a lot of articles at the moment about people who are having a wishing well at their wedding. More and more, people are having this tradition at their wedding. People are living together before they are married, a lot more than when our parents were married. A lot of these articles are saying that having a wishing well at your wedding is tacky. I don’t think that it needs to be. I agree to an extent, some of the wording that I have seen requesting this has been harsh and can come across all wrong. I have previously blogged about gifts on your wedding day.

I have received these tacky wishing well requests myself and some of them just have it so so wrong. However I have also read some that worked really well. I think you also still have to give your guests the option to bring a gift too. Some people just really love buying the gift. I think you have to trust these people and know that they will put thought into doing so and are buying a gift because that brings them pleasure to think about what you would like and get that for you. Then there are people that can’t be bothered and they will go for the cash option. It can be uncomfortable for some people too, some people would love to give more than they can and some people just simply cannot afford to give a lot and this can be stressful for them. I remember attending one wedding where people were asking how much they should put into the wishing well and were discussing how much the couple were paying per head. The feeling was that guests should be at least contributing that amount plus some. This made me a little sad. Don’t people invite people to their wedding the majority of the time because they want them to be there? (There will always be a couple of people that you just have to invite though!)  Not to make more than they spend?

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There are some lovely poem ideas out there, or I recently saw a couple that suggested that people buy them vouchers from certain stores so they could afford a few appliances that they normally couldn’t justify buying. This is a lovely way for people to feel like they are not just giving cash and at the same time the couple can choose what they want. I have also heard of travel agents that you can set up for your honeymoon and guests can put money towards travel.

Also remember that there are a lot of cultures where this is nothing new, it’s just the way that they have been doing things forever. They give it in cards, envelopes, pin it to the brides dress, they give money in all sorts of ways. This is the way that it is done traditionally. If you are going to a wedding and this is the way that the families have done it for generations it is nice to think about going with their traditions too.

How do you feel about a wishing well at a wedding?


Thank you again to the wonderful Betty and Keith at Untamed Images, for the use of their images again this  week. Check out their website here and their facebook page to see some more of their stunning work.

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Jimmy and Gemma



Some people just fit together, it’s like they were especially made for the other, and make you believe in destiny. Jim and Gemma are undoubtedly one of these couples.

I have known Jimmy for about 7 years. I met Gemma when she came to Australia and thought how Jim won the trifecta, I knew she liked Formula One, but thought how lucky he was when I discovered she is also very smart and saw she is beautiful too.

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Jim and Gemma were married at  Healesville Sanctuary, on a perfect day in November, the weather forecast had all of us a little concerned as there was a 90% chance of rain, not the best odds, but the day was beautiful and the rain held of to late in the evening and by then no one really seemed to mind. They were married outside the Brolga Room in a really private lovely part of the Sanctuary. Jim and Gemma had people from all over the world at their wedding, people had traveled from the UK, New Zealand and from outback Queensland just to name a few.

A little over 5 years ago, Jim set of an adventure to London, on a 2 year working visa. I remember him working hard for numerous months before hand and being very excited for this new chapter in his life. Little did he know just how wonderful that adventure would be. Although I think maybe Charlotte, (Jimmy’s younger sister) had a bit of an idea that there was someone that Jim should meet.

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Gemma had been working with Charlotte in a hospital, one of their colleges was leaving and Jim joined them for the leaving drinks. When Jim and Gemma were introduced they were told that they both liked formula one and even the initial shock of “Argh, she likes Ferrari’ and the “Argh, he likes McLaren” didn’t put them off talking to each other, they didn’t speak to anyone else for the rest of the evening.

They have spent the last 5 years having an absolute blast,  They have had camper van trips around Europe, skipped between 5 different F1 races in a year, They have spent countless hours in their 1993 Ford Transit called Freddy which they nursed through 10,000 kilometres over a series of trips.

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Gemma said what she loves most about Jim is that he does the vacuuming. Not only does he do housework, but she loves he just knows what to say and knows when she is overwhelmed. He can even predict it. He knows when she needs a hug, to vent, a laugh or quiet time. He understands her and loves her.  Gemma also said “He has a natural magnetism. I can leave him in a room of people and turn my back for a second and he’s best friends with everyone. Animals and kids too are just drawn to him, he’s exceptionally likeable, always knows how to engage with people on all levels.”

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Jim said that Gemma is the most generous person that he has ever met, she is forever planning gifts for people or making them to give. She is always thinking of others before herself. He is also grateful for all that she has had to forfeit when she made the move to Melbourne, and is very aware of all that Gemma and her family have sacrificed for the two of them to make their life together here in Melbourne.

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It was an amazing wedding and I got to meet people that I have only known via the internet for all of those 7 years. Finally meeting Jim’s sisters and niece and nephews that I had been knitting gifts for, for all those years. I shared some lovely moments with both Jim’s lovely family. I haven’t seen Jim’s Mum for many years, but she was telling me she remembers being introduced to me as one of Jim’s first friends when he moved to Melbourne and Gemma’s beautiful family, Gemma has the most wonderful 4 parents that I have ever met. They are just all a big happy family, it is refreshing and wonderful to see.  (At the rehearsal her mum and step mum stood in for 2 of the bridesmaids and walked down the isle arm in arm) Such a beautiful wedding, in a perfect setting, with some of the most wonderful people you can meet.

You can check out the Healesville Sanctuary website here. Thank you to Kirralee for her stunning photos from Jim and Gemma’s amazing day, check out more of her work here and you can like her on her facebook page.

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Filed under Recent Ceremonies, Recent Weddings