Simon and Zara

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I had the honour of attending the wedding of Simon and Zara, I must admit I was a little excited to go to a wedding, just as a guest. Don’t get me wrong for a second, there is nothing better than what I do, making people married is a huge honour that I take seriously and I do realise how lucky I am to help people do this, but this wedding was the first in about 4 and a half years that I haven’t conducted. This is the first wedding in 4 or more years that I haven’t known what is going to go on, I haven’t known what is going to be said about the couple and the first wedding in a long time that I haven’t been so involved in that I’m a little nervous because I just want it to be so perfect. It was really lovely to sit back and remember what it is like to attend a wedding.

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Simon and Zara were married in the North Fizroy Church of Christ, a really lovely, spacious church. Zara had  4 attendants who were all wearing a lovely latte/gold kind of colour, in 4 separate styles.  Zara looked radiant. Simon had his 3 brothers as his groomsmen, and it was just a really lovely service. I was quite surprised as the minister used the monitum in the service, (the legal words that a celebrant has to use for a wedding to be legal,  you can read a blog about it here) I wasn’t aware that they also had to use the monitum when marring someone  in a church for some reason.

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Simon and Zara had their ceremony and then they had an afternoon tea, before they headed off to their reception.  This is the perfect way I think to have people attend the ceremony part of the wedding and not have all of your guests attend the reception.  I’ve previously blogged about inviting guests to the ceremony only, and how I didn’t really understand how this could work, but Simon and Zara have this worked out perfectly. I didn’t go to the reception, I just went to the ceremony and the afternoon tea, it was a great compromise, as the guests who weren’t going to the reception still got a chance to mingle with the bride and groom and still had a cup of tea and some scones to celebrate.  I felt really thankful to have been able to witness them exchange their vows with one another and to be able to see them become husband and wife, and glad that they did just invite some people to the ceremony and afternoon tea as otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to be a part of this.

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There were a few wonderful stand out moments about Simon and Zara’s beautiful ceremony. I loved seeing close up Zara and her Dad entering the church, Zara and her Dad both holding back their tears, and watching Simon do the same. (Usually I get to see the Grooms emotion close up).

I really loved the moment when Simon and Zara were walking through the church, being congratulated by all of their family and friends, at the end of the ceremony, they got to the end of the aisle and saw their friend on a computer screen that had been watching the wedding on skype. They look some time to go and speak to their friend who had watched the whole wedding from the other side of the world.

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I think though other than them exchanging their vows and seeing the love they have for each other, the next most beautiful thing was watching a beautiful exchange with Simon and Zara’s Dad when they had completed the signing of the register, I have no idea what they said to one another, but the embrace they exchanged and the look that they gave one another spoke volumes, about the love that they both share for Zara.

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A big thank you to Sophie Timothy for the use of her images on the blog. Check out her website here, and you can click here to go to her facebook page.

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Video wedding invitations

Leah and Mark had their wedding in May, (blog about it is coming soon) and they had so many fantastic ideas and wonderful touches as part of their day. One of the stand outs for me was their amazing video wedding invitations. It was the first time that I had seen it done so well. I assume that it was a great way for them to get to know their videographer for their wedding day too.

They got to feature all the important information and people got to see a sneak peak of where the ceremony and the reception would be. It is a great and different idea that can be used as something unique for your day. It would be something that would work great with a wedding website, like the one that I have perviously blogged about. A wonderful idea if you were looking at reducing waste for your wedding and didn’t physically want to send anything in the post.
Have you seen any other wedding invitation videos that are worth checking out? If you would like to get in touch with  Ethan from Lens Flair Productions check out their facebook page here.

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

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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Floral crowns

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Floral crowns are quite popular at the moment. They can be a stunning touch to a brides outfit or a wonderful way to style your bridesmaids.
These can be fresh or they can be made from silk flowers and they make a lovely keepsake. They can be  worn with or without a veil, and can be as small or as large as you wish.

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They can be a way to dress up your outfit and they can be a great way to add colour or keep a colour flowing through your bridal party. I recently saw a bridal party where all of the bridesmaids had different outfits but they all carried the same bouquet and all wore the same floral crowns.

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Depending on how crafty you are, and if you were having fresh or silk flowers, this could be something that you and your bridal party could do together. Be mindful though that if you are using fresh flowers, they will need to be made close to the time of the wedding and could create more stress if you are running short of time.

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Have you seen a floral crown that you thought was awesome, or any tips for others about the best flowers to use?

All images from Pinterest and my dear friend Kelly on her wedding day!

 

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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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Filed under Recent Ceremonies, Recent Weddings, Stories of love

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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Filed under Ceremony ideas, Funerals, Recent Ceremonies