Tag Archives: love

Is your wedding day the most important of your life?

 

Is your wedding day the most important of day of your life? You hear that it is a lot. People talking about ‘the big day’ and ‘the best day of your life’ and all of these pressure filled statements. But is it? Should it be?

I say No.

Surprising as it may be that as a celebrant, someone who should be wanting people to have weddings and get married, I don’t think that it should be the most important day of your life. It may seem when planning it that it is, but it shouldn’t be. Don’t for one moment think that I am saying that you shouldn’t want to have a wedding, or that you shouldn’t get married. I’m just saying that it’s not just about the ‘wedding’ and the one day.
It is without a doubt a wonderful day and you will look back on it as one of the most fantastic and beautiful days of your life. It is special and amazing with all of the people that you love are around you witnessing you make promises to the person that you love most in the world.

It is not the most important day of your life though. It will be over in the blink of an eye. All of the time, money and hard work that you put into planning your day will pay off I’m sure, but the wedding day isn’t the most important part. Your ‘marriage’ is the most important part. Your marriage isn’t defined by the day. The success of your marriage isn’t about the dress, or the food or the flowers or that amazing arbour or the 3, 5 or 26 attendants that you had. It’s about the two of you and the time that has come before ‘the big day’ and the years that follow that ‘best day of your life’

It’s about the person that you have chosen to stick with, through whatever your lives will bring. It’s the person that you promise to ride the storms with and through good times and bad and you will both give it your best go. It’s when life can’t be 50/50 all the time, that you will be willing to carry that 80/20, and the person that you appreciate when they do they 80% and all you have in you is the 20%. These are the most important days of your life the ones that you grit your teeth through, so that when you have more of these amazing days, when you see each other and your family and friends succeed that you can appreciate the wonderful times and smile knowingly at each other that you get to share those moments.
Try to remember this when planning the ‘big day’. Things will happen and things will go wrong on your wedding day, just as they do if real life and things won’t always end up as you envisioned them to be. But have your wedding so that you are grateful that you picked the right person to be by your side whatever happens and whatever comes your way that you will be in it all together.

A big thank you to Kirralee for the use of her photos on this blog, you can follow her work or find her on facebook here.

Leave a comment

Filed under wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

The things I will remember

Early last year my Gran had to go it to an Aged Care facility.  I’ve been visiting her as often as I can. She seems well enough, eating well and in fairly good spirits, although she loudly complains about some of the other residents and I’m sure that they can hear her! I’m not sure now how much she remembers, on a few occasions she has referred to my daughter as ‘he’ and I’m not sure if she thinks that she is my son, or if she is just old and getting a little muddled. I know that one time when my cousin visited, she told his children to say hi to him for her even though he was in the room. I know that I have spent a lot of time with her over the years, but I’m starting to worry about the day that she forgets me.

On my recent visit I had to deliver the news on behalf of one of her friends that her friend’s husband had died. The friend didn’t want to tell her on the phone and she was afraid that my Gran wouldn’t hear her. I went and delivered the news to her. She seemed un-phased, either that or it didn’t really register with her. Maybe she didn’t know who I was talking about. Maybe she wasn’t even sure who I was. She made general small talk and called me ‘love’ a lot.  All her questions could have been asked of anyone. She didn’t ask about my children by name or anyone else for that matter. Each time I ask if anyone has come to visit and she keeps telling me ‘not a soul’ but I know that my cousins have been visiting.

On my next visit, she seemed happy to see me. One of the staff had told me that she had read her a letter from one of her adopted daughters and that Gran had become emotional. They took her to her room to help her use the bathroom and I could hear her crying from outside the room. They took her back into the communal lounge room and they were asking her where she wanted to sit and she kept telling them that she wanted to “be near the girl with the baby”. I was conflicted, happy that she knew that she should know me, but sad that she didn’t remember my name or that she might not really know who I am anymore.

It got me thinking about the woman that she was and I’m working hard to make these memories the strong ones, not the current ones. I need to call on these moments when it seems like she is starting to no longer be the lady that she was.

We’ve spent a lot of time together over the last 25 or so years, since I moved back to Melbourne to study. Some years a lot of time and some years less, but we always spent time together. When I first came back to study I had no car and she was a much younger lady who drove her own car and was confident to use public transport. We would meet for lunch in the city. We’d eat Chinese food in the food court and talk about life. She’d pop on the tram and have no worry about getting about. I’d go to visit her and just spend time at her place. I remember shopping with her for my wedding shoes, and later taking her to do her christmas shopping when she no longer felt she could face the shops on her own.

She has taught me a lot of things about life. Many of my life lessons have been learned in a Moonee Ponds lounge room, sitting in those floral Jason recliners. I listened to many stories about life and many stories about people. Lessons are not always learnt by the telling of stories, but from seeing how situations have played out. Some for better and some for worse.

Forgive people that hurt you, everyone is human and everyone makes mistakes. Especially your family. If you don’t, you might spend a lot of your life wishing you had them in your life. I’ve put a lot of effort into not letting things that may have hurt me in the past forever judge how I look at people.  Once I’m perfect, I’ll expect perfection from others. Until then I will be prepared to start a new chapter with loved ones in my life. Don’t get me wrong if people continue to hurt me, I won’t take that forever, but don’t cut a loved one out of your life because of a misunderstanding or because of some hurt feelings.

She taught me about giving to others and not just giving things to people. Not everyone has lots of material things to give. She’s always given a lot of herself. She always did things with commitment. She fostered two little girls and brought them up in her family and even up until she went into the aged care facility, one of them was calling her almost daily. She was a dedicated volunteer. For about 25 years, she donated her time every Monday during school term and took toys to children that were in the Royal Children’s hospital.  For years she gave her time to being the Secretary of her church and then when she stopped doing that she remained an elder and was always visiting the elderly.

Some of my earliest memories of my Gran are going to do ‘meals on wheels’ with her. She was always taking me ballroom dancing with her and Grandfather. I always had a special dress and bag and they always danced with me. She loved my Grandfather forever and, although he died 30 years ago, she always spoke his name with love and told me that there was no one else for her. I remember telling her that if she wanted to share her life with someone else, I would always be supportive of her decision. She told me that there was only one man for her. So romantic. She always spoke of my Grandfather and her father with so much love and told me so many stories of the wonderful men they were.

I remember changing the date on the little day calendar that she had in her kitchen. She’d make butterfly cakes , peanut biscuits and soup. These are the memories that I will hold dear. Now that her memories seem to be fading, these are what I need to keep at the surface and remind myself of.

In January I visited and took both of my kids. My son is old enough now to have been asking how everyone fits into our (very complicated) family, and knows that she is his Poppy’s Mum.  She was asking him what he was getting for Christmas and that Santa must be very busy. He was most confused in the first week of January why Santa would be so busy. He humored her so well and when she tried to get out of her wheelchair to show him how her walker worked, he most maturely exclaimed “I don’t need to see how it works” as he knew she shouldn’t get out of her wheelchair.

It makes me sad and happy at the same time, that I have so many memories and that there will be not too many more to be made. I wonder if I will ever hear her say my name again. She tells me that she loves me and I know that it is true. I’m just not sure if she realises that it is me she is telling it to.

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

Not having a funeral

F1000033_small

 

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?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Ceremony ideas, Funerals, Recent Ceremonies

Exchanging Wedding day gifts

Deborah & Andrew685

What do you think about couples exchanging gifts with one another on their wedding day? I think it has been something that has been done for years. I’m not totally sure how I feel about it all. I like the idea of a gift, but with all of the other craziness that goes along with the wedding does it just get a little lost amongst everything else? Another something to spend money on? Or is it a great excuse to get something that you have wanted for a while? I know lots of people that have exchanged gifts and others that have not. Is it not enough to have to think about gifts for your attendants let alone for your partner as well?

There are a few thoughts that come to my mind if my husband and I were to renew our vows, but I don’t know that these gifts need to cost the earth. What about a beautiful letter that you have written to each other? Cards and words cost little but can mean so much. I have previously blogged about love letters before the ceremony and this is a great gift that you can give to your partner, and can be especially lovely that it is just something that you and you alone read.
I also asked the question on my facebook page and had some lovely ideas given there. Some people were all for a gift and some believed that the rings were enough. There were some great ideas. A pen that you could use for signing your documents and to keep afterwards. This is a lovely idea. If you do this, make sure the pen is black and that it is working before the ceremony. I’m a bit of a neat freak with my paperwork as a celebrant and would want to know that they were all good to go before hand, but it is lovely to think that you could have it engraved and this could be something that is even used by your children at their weddings or used to sign guest books at their 21st birthday parties. (I’m a bit sentimental when it comes to things like that, my poor son!)
Would you consider something that you give to each other to be opened at a certain anniversary? The wine box or time capsule idea where you have guests write you well wishes that can be opened on a special year. Perhaps a special wine or whiskey that could be set aside.
Sometimes I agree with the other side of the argument too, you’ve spent so much already on this big day and event, your already exchanging vows and rings. What do you think? I guess it depends on the gift, the people and the money that people can afford to spend. I think though, there is nothing nicer than some lovely words or even a scrap book of photos and beautiful memories of your time together so far. Have you been to a wedding where there were crazy, extravagant gifts exchanged between the couple?

Thank you to Untamed Images for the use of their photo, check out their facebook page and website for their latest work.

Leave a comment

Filed under wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

Making your guest list

10492081_10152545930311455_258156550329481669_n

Most of us would have seen on Facebook or instagram by now this fun guest list manager. Its quite funny and a good idea to have a laugh. It is a good way to remind yourself too that it is your day and you’re (most likely) paying the bill.

Will they make your wedding more fun is an interesting  part of this chart for me, really your wedding is about you and your partner, and you should have the people around you that mean a lot to you, it’s your wedding not a hens or bucks day. Maybe it should say something like, will it be special to have them with you on the day? Or do you want them there to see you and your partner exchange promises? I know that this chart is mainly for a laugh but some of the points have merit, or at least give you something to think about. The part about would normally buy dinner for them, maybe a strange question, but it is something to think about would you have dinner out with them, or your work friends maybe not necessarily do you see them out of work, because there are a few people at my work that I would be happy to spend time with out of work, but I generally just don’t have time, compared with hell no, please don’t let them be going  to the same function as me type people that you work with.

I agree to an extent that if you parents are paying for some of the wedding they do get to have at least a small number of guests that they want added to the list. I think though that they should get to have some say, but really again it is your day. If there is someone that you really don’t want there maybe you can compromise. My mother in law wanted one of her longest friends at my husband and our wedding, but the friend had previously not been the nicest to my husband. We made sure that she wasn’t invited but my mother in law still had her two other best friends and partners invited on the day, we only had 42 guests, and we paid for the vast majority of the day ourselves so we really weren’t keen on having anyone we didn’t like there.

I’ve blogged before about wedding numbers and some of the other issues that you have with deciding on who to invite to your wedding. I don’t think it is really as cut and dry as this chart suggests.  There are always some people on the list that you have to invite, and there are people that you invite knowing that they will not be able to make it on the day.

What do you think? Do you think that it can be as cut and dry and the chart suggests? What were some of the deciding factors that helped you decide if someone made your guest list or not?

 

Leave a comment

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

Being a Mum has changed my life.

to3wk_019

Being a Mum has totally changed my life. Not only in the most obvious ways, but in all aspects of life. The way I react to things, the way that I look at and deal with people, the way I think about and analyse things, even the manner in which I think of myself. The way I react to the news, the way I see my future and the way that I feel about some things in my past. All have changed.

In my celebrant work I meet many amazing people. People that I am better for knowing. How lucky am I, to meet and get to know these wonderful people that otherwise I might never have met. On one of these days I met a small boy who made me realise that becoming a mother had indeed changed me, in ways that people could never have told me or explained to me. I shed tears for this small boy that I met and spoke to for merely minutes. Knowing things about him that in the past I might have thought were sad, now as a mother, were heart wrenching. We sang some songs together, I just wanted to hug him and hold him close. Of course I did not do that. I smiled at him and asked him about his kindergarten.
On another day at my sons music class, I saw a mum who’s baby is being cared for by his Grandparents. This particular time she is there and their interaction saddens me. The way that he doesn’t really know her causes me to think about her for the rest of the day and long into the next. These things I would not have noticed before being a Mum, and if I did notice I probably wouldn’t have given it much more thought.
No one could ever have explained this to me, there are mushy poems out there about how you will look at and fall in love with your child, how you will never look at your partner the same way after you see his gentleness with your child, blah blah blah. Yep I understand all of that. Most people do. But no one tells you about the the deeper things that it will make you feel. They don’t tell you how you will cry about news stories that you wouldn’t have thought twice about before or the empathy you will feel towards another parents pain when something terrible happens to their child.
My sons Type 1 diabetes diagnosis took some of these things to the next level, the hospital visit and the diagnosis have changed a lot of things for me. The worry for him, the fear for him, and the gratitude that I feel knowing he is ok. I worry about this disease that he will live with for the rest of his life or until they find a cure. I worry about kids picking on him when he goes to school. Will he look after himself when he is a bit older and do all of these things for himself? (I worry a lot, lets be honest)  You only have to spend some time in the Royal Children’s Hospital to realise that this is by no means the worst that could happen to him. This is manageable and will be part of our ‘normal’ in no time, and it takes me back to the empathy I feel for those parents whose situation isn’t as manageable as ours.
I find myself telling myself on so many wonderful occasions to cherish this moment, remember this, ‘photograph this with your mind’ as I want to be able to draw on this memory in the future. It is a time that I feel full and complete and blissfully whole. I remind myself that this too shall  pass and I need to hold on to this memory in a special part of my mind. I’m really not sure how to do this effectively. How do we remember all these wonderful moments?

1 Comment

Filed under Life

Website for your big day

glenn&Nell

A wonderful idea that I saw done brilliantly recently is having a website for your big day. I have seen some couples do this and it provides great information on all kinds of things that your guests may need and want to know.  Recently I conducted the wedding of Nell and Glenn, and they had the best website. I only got to see it close to the day, but was absolutely blown away by what they, (or mainly Glenn, who is a website developer) had done.

It had everything that any guest could ever need to know, it had so much information and photos and quotes. I have seen other websites that compared to this, just seemed just thrown together. Rather than putting 12 different pages of information in with the invites, why not just direct your guests to a site that has everything they could need there?

Information about the venue.
What a great way to have some background on the venue itself, maps and anything else guests could want to know.

Information for the day.
This would be a great way to tell guests that confetti is not permitted at the venue or that you want an unplugged wedding. Its also a great time to share if you are using a wedding app, have some #hashtags, or if you want your wedding kept off social media.

Accommodation in the area.
This is such a great idea. Having all the information on accommodation that is close to the wedding is so that all guests, no matter if they were travelling from overseas or from an hour down the road, have links to the appropriate ones.

Getting to the venue.
Nell and Glenn had buses pick up some of their guests. Their site even had the timetable of when the buses would pick people up at specific locations. Maps, Melways references and all other helpful information.

Who to contact on the day should they need any assistance.
The last thing a bride or groom really want on the wedding day is people phoning them or texting them with all kinds of questions. Even if you don’t have a wedding planner, pick someone who can be that go to person.

RSVP options.
Have an option for them to RSVP online, people have good intentions but they don’t always get to the post office in time.

Added information about other events.
Are you having a brunch the next day or having people meet up for a coffee? This is a great way to supply all the guests with the information and with plenty of time for them to plan their weekend accordingly. Maybe you could put any hens day or bucks day information on their too. Really you could have anything on there!

Glenn said the things that worked well for them with their wedding website were:

  • the simple single page design made it all easy to see and find information
  • we added ‘getting there’ info to the top of the website a few weeks before the wedding
  • we ran an RSVP through the site and after experimenting with a fancy google forms solution I found the best way to record RSVPs was simply through providing an email address.
  • we got to re-use the wedding invite artwork in the site and included some of our engagement shoot photos

There are so many things that you could add to this, and so many ways to make this your own and match it all to the theme of your wedding. It is private too. If you are just giving the information to your guests, it isn’t like you are making a facebook event. It would be really hard to stumble onto the website by accident.

Check out the site that Nell and Glenn had here. And feel free to get in touch with Glenn by contacting him at glennnicoll@gmail.com if you have any questions or you are interested in having your own website made for your day.

1 Comment

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