Category Archives: Recent Ceremonies

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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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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Chris and Szu-Ting

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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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Leah and Mark

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Some things are just meant to be and you are certain about them from the beginning. They are your destiny, what is written in the stars, your inescapable fate.  Leah and Marks marriage was just one of those certainties. Some things just go together, and there is nothing that would suit them better. It’s fate, a done deal. Mark and Leah have been a couple forever, well almost. They met when they were just 14 and 16. They began this wonderful love, wagging school and talking on myspace.

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When they first met Leah thought that Mark was cute and shy, although she thought that with his hair to his shoulders that he needed a bit of a haircut. Mark thought that Leah was gorgeous straight away and could tell that she was a happy and caring person.Leah knew when she was 14 that Mark was the man that she was going to marry, of course she didn’t tell him that straight away, as much as she may have started planning  in her mind, there was no way that she was going to tell him that then and possibly scare him off.  Although he still gives her those same butterflies that he did then, after all these years.

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I loved that when I asked Mark and Leah when they knew they were in love the answer was just so true. They both knew that they loved each other when they started out in their relationship as 14 and 16 year olds, but they are aware that their relationship grew within that love. Growing together has just made their love for one another that much stronger. They just love being in one another’s company, it doesn’t matter if it is spending time with their family and friends, on holiday, on a much loved cruise or just spending time at home with their fur babies.

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Leah and Mark were married on the most perfect May day, the sun was out and it was the a beautiful day. You couldn’t have ordered much better weather. Their ceremony was held at BJ’s on Varney in Traralgon. Which is a beautiful private gardens that can be hired out for wedding ceremonies, it has a beautiful Balinese feel to it. It is a stunning and very well managed venue. One truly special thing for Leah and Mark is that they were married on Leah’s Oma and Opa’s 50th wedding anniversary. During the ceremony, we mentioned what a wonderful special day that it was and what a great example of marriage that they provided for Leah and Mark. The love that you can still see when they look at each other is just beautiful. They witnessed Leah and Marks official paperwork, which was a beautiful touch and a wonderful way for them to be honoured during the ceremony.

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If anyone spends anytime with Leah and Mark it is obvious how in love that they are, and they really do compliment each other perfectly, as much as some of the family joke that they wonder how Mark puts up with Leah being so bossy, they really do level each other out. Leah said that one of the things that she loves most about Mark is how chilled he is. She said “I am a complete control freak and he brings me back to being calm when I go on a rant”. Mark loves that Leah is so organised and always knows what she wants. He loves how no matter how busy her schedule is she will always find time to help others in need. These things make them laugh too. Sometimes Mark laughs at Leah about how obsessed she is with cleaning the floors and how she cracks it over one little bit of fluff. Leah’s attention to detail helps though when it comes to making Marks sandwiches as he likes to have the sandwich crusts perfectly together. They do have things that they get frustrated with each other about, Mark has the uncanny ability to fall asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow and he can be snoring moments after he goes to bed. Leah wonders if he even has thoughts! Mark thinks that Leah uses too much glad wrap on his lunch and has the music too loud in the car!

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It was just the most beautiful day, Leah is one of the most organised people that I have met and you could tell at the wedding, the attention to detail was just stunning. They had 16 people in their bridal party, (they all looked amazing, I especially loved the black bridesmaids dresses) and they were all on time and all knew exactly what to do and what was expected of them. I’m lucky enough to have conducted Leah’s sister Aimee’s wedding and Leah’s Uncle Dan’s wedding and have conducted the naming ceremony for Leah’s cousin Astrid, and have been given the title of the family celebrant, (which I love). It is really special for me to be able to keep catching up with all of the family and seeing the family grow. I’m lucky to be involved in all these wonderful ceremonies in such a beautiful and loving family, the love that these guys share is fantastic, you can see it in the sisters, all the way to the wonderful grandparents who shared their special day with Leah and Mark. I’m looking forward to the next ceremony that comes up in the lives of these wonderful people and will be there with bells on!!!

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Thanks to Bride2be photography for the use of their beautiful photos, check out their website here or their facebook page here. If you would like to see more about the venue you can look at their facebook page here.

 

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Elliott’s naming day

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A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of conducting the Naming ceremony for a lovely little girl. Elliott’s Mum and Dad decided that her first birthday would be a good day to do her naming ceremony as well. I conducted Mum and Dad’s (Candice and Ashley’s) wedding a couple of years ago, so it was a pleasure and an honour to be able conduct Elliott’s naming day.

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Elliott was given two wonderful sets of godparents and it was lovely to be able to speak about all the reasons that both sets of godparents were chosen along with the special relationship that both couples shared with Candice and Ashley.
It was important to Candice and Ashley to choose people who have each other’s back and who accept friends just for being the people that they are. To show Elliot that it is important to have, and to be, a friend that is on their side through all that life brings. In times of great joy, Elliot will see them celebrate together and in times of sorrow see the support only true friendship can bring.  It was a beautiful and emotional little ceremony that was held at Elliott’s grandparents home. It was the perfect way to appoint her godparents and then everyone got to celebrate Elliot turning One year old.

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How lucky am I to share wonderful events in peoples lives? It really is a wonderful thing to be able to conduct ceremonies like this for people that I have been friends with for so many years like Candice and Ashley, and for people that I just meet through the process of a naming day or a wedding. No matter who the ceremony is for, I always feel honoured to be a part of it.

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Cindy and Shane

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Cindy and Shane were married on a lovely Saturday in April. It was a stunning day at the beautiful Mrs Nicks Vineyard and the reception followed at the amazing Barn and Co conveniently on the Mrs Nicks Vineyard property. They were married under the beautiful love tree near the front of the vineyard.

I have known Cindy for almost 2 decades so for me it was a very lovely and emotional day. I always love making people married. It is really an amazing moment when you can help your old friend marry the person that she has found true love with. It really is a wonderful thing to be able to help them exchange vows. It was so lovely to see a lot of Cindy’s family whom I have watched grow over the years. I remember Cindy’s sister’s wedding when I photographed one of Cindy’s nieces  running across a courtyard as a small 8 or 9 year old and now here she is, a lovely and beautiful adult.

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Shane and Cindy met through Cindy’s work. They were friends for some time until came the moments when they each realised that love had blossomed. Shane and Cindy started this wonderful love that they share by making a commitment to one another to always be honest and give the other their all…… and that is what they have done every day since.

When I asked them about their first impressions of each other were, Cindy told me that she got butterflies when Shane spoke to her and Shane immediately fell in love with Cindy’s eyes. They amazed him.

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They have adapted to the idiosyncrasies of the other and found ways to grow together and compromise. Shane’s always being right and maybe just a little bit stubborn, arguing his point while Cindy and the girls just look at each other.  Cindy is bossy, always directing what should be done and only for the best and protection of Shane and the girls, for example the time when they were watching the LUNAR eclipse and Cindy wanted them to all put on sunglasses to protect their eyes from being damaged .

Shane knew that Cindy understood from the very beginning that it was not only him but also 2 children that she would be joining and that the decision to join their family was not taken lightly. The respect and love she has shown each one of them from the beginning is something that he is grateful for, adores and respects, as there is now not only the unbreakable bond between the two of them, but the bond with Chelsea and Rachel.

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Cindy loves Shane’s strength and unwavering loyalty. She saw from the beginning the devotion Shane had to his children and that there was not one moment in their lives that he was ever going to miss, he is always there to stand strong for his family. Cindy knows as long as each day ends with the two of them together she can face anything!

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One beautiful thing that Shane and Cindy mentioned and is really obvious to anyone who spends time with them, is their commitment to being a team. To having each other’s back. That no matter what is going on in their lives, they will always be on the others side. That through tough times, they don’t battle anything alone. They huddle together to weather the storm.

Their wedding was beautiful and had so many beautiful personal touches. Cindy had her sister as her matron of honour and her 2 nieces and step daughters in her bridal party and they all looked simply stunning in their beautiful blue dresses. There were so many candles and it was such a stunning set up in the Barn and Co restaurant area. They had about 70 guests and there was still plenty of room for a dance floor.

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One of my favorite moments of the night was when Cindy and her Dad had the father and daughter dance. Cindy’s dad is a lovely and quiet man. Watching him dance with Cindy and sing the beautiful song to his daughter was just breathtaking and there were a lot of people who had a little tear in there eye watching the beautiful moment. I must say although I am really not good at it I love the greek dancing and the dance floor was the fullest it could be when the Zorba was on.

It was a wonderful day spent with fantastic friends. I do know how lucky I am to be be able to play such an important role in one of the best days in people’s lives. I realise it more so when it is someone that I have known for such a long time and get to make them husband and wife. Not only did I get to catch up with family of one of my oldest friends but I also met and spent time with lovely new people on Shane’s side of the family, people that have been key people in his life for years and his beautiful daughters.

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A big thank you to Rochelle for the use of her photos on the blog. Check out her website here or find her on facebook by clicking here.

 

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Not having a funeral

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My Nan passed away recently and decided that she didn’t want to have a funeral. I can understand this to a point. I assume she didn’t want people spending money and she didn’t want a fuss.

We still had a family gathering, we still shared our memories and we still looked at photos of her throughout the years. We spoke about things we remembered and my Pa asked my cousin to sing ‘I Will Always Love You’ (Whitney Houston/Dolly Parton). I had prepared a little something to say. I wasn’t sure if there was going to be anything said and the celebrant part of me would have been really upset if others spoke and I hadn’t written something for the occasion.

It got me thinking and, I think more than I did before, that the funeral isn’t so much for the person that has died. Yes it is ABOUT them, but it isn’t FOR them. It is for the people left behind, heart broken, lost and grieving. It is about having a time and place to come together and to talk about this wonderful person that was a big or little part of our lives.

For me it is a time to reflect on the life that they had and the wonderful things that they did. The last few family members that passed away I have conducted the ceremony, so for me it’s very different than attending a funeral. I think that it is a really valuable time to even learn something about the person that you didn’t already know, even people that you have known all of your life. Other people can share stories and their memories and that way you can always learn something about people.

I’ve also blogged about planning your own funeral in the past and raised some questions about the details of your funeral and is that something that you would think about. Would you choose songs? Poems to be read?

Do you think it is part of the grieving process and seeing what they meant to other people helps with realising that they will not be forgotten? Every time I go to a funeral people always say how lovely it is to see people that they haven’t seen for years and that they wish it was under happier circumstances. I got to see cousins that I haven’t seen for around 20 years and cousins that I see every couple of years. I loved that part of it. It’s not the happiest of occasions but these are the people that see you at your worst. There was a lady who was there and I recognised her the instant that she walked in the door although I hadn’t seen her since I was a small child. It was one of my aunties oldest friends.  I think a funeral teaches us a lot about family, and friendships and love.

What do you think? Do you think it is important to have a funeral? Or don’t think that it matters if you have one or not?

 

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