MARRIED || KARLI AND JON
Karli and Jon were married in September 2015 (yep, they have already celebrated their one year anniversary!) on the beautiful grounds of Joondalup Resort surrounded by their family and friends.
Doing the sound check before the ceremony, it became painfully obvious that the PA system that had been provided for music wasn't working properly, and Karli's sister was looking distraught - she was horrified that she might "ruin the wedding" by playing crackling music. It was rough. Fortunately my brand new (as it was at the time) portable PA system saved the day when we discovered it had bluetooth connectivity! Phew! These are the things that can happen before guests arrive!!
Unaware of any musical dramas, these guys did getting married like champs - they were relaxed and calm, with a focus on the fact they were marrying the one they loved. True partners and best friends, they vowed to always encourage each other and stand by their sides, to never take their love for granted, to not keep score (even if they're winning), to listen, grow, and love each other unconditionally.
It is always such a pleasure to marry couples like Karli and Jon - a true team that focuses on the importance of marrying their best friend, rather than getting caught up in the mayhem that often surrounds weddings. In the end, the key focus of your big day should be your marriage, rather than your wedding. The wedding day passes, memorialised in photographs, but the marriage keeps on going.
Congratulations to Karli and Jon - wishing you both may more years of wedded bliss!
Photos by Pace Photography.
MARRIED || JESSICA + JOSH
Jessica and Josh's wedding is a particularly special one that will always be incredibly important to me, as it was my very first wedding, and indeed the wedding that prompted me to get registered as a celebrant!
Jess and Josh's story goes way back to when they were teenagers living on opposite sides of the world - Jess in England and Josh in Australia. They met by chance when Jess visited friends in Australia, and despite Jess returning to England, their summer love story never ended.
After a long engagement, Jess and Josh realised that their wedding date was creeping near so they had better book things in. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for them, they soon realised that the small number of celebrants in the South West region in which they were getting married were fully booked!
A colleague of mine in my day job as a lawyer, Jess knew that I was doing a course in marriage celebrancy (and taking my sweet time about it) and asked if I would be registered by the date of their wedding - they needed a celebrant! With that carrot in front of my nose, I quickly finished my course and became a registered celebrant, with time to spare!
Jessica and Josh were married at Windows Estate Winery in Yallingup, with an intimate group of their closest friends and family. Set by the lake surrounded by a privacy screen of eucalyptus trees, Jess and Josh exchanged simple vows making the ceremony short but sweet.
I was invited to enjoy a glass of bubbly in the dappled sunlight afterwards with the couple and their nearest and dearest, before they headed to their reception area, a gorgeous marquee set with long tables under the supervision of Gem Events Management.
Jess and Josh have now been happily married for a year and a half and now have a beautiful baby daughter, Elodie.
I wish them a long, happy and healthy life together!
Thank you La Lumiere Photo for the fabulous shots!
MARRIED || LEANNE + FRED
Leanne is the first bride I've had that has now been in two of my weddings - she was also the Maid of Honour for her best friend, whose wedding was the first I ever did. Thankfully I must have done an alright job, because Leanne and Fred booked me for their wedding.
In the lead up to their wedding, Leanne and Fred must have had a touch of the nerves. Not because they had any doubts about marrying each other - but because their celebrant (me) was laid up in hospital having undergone a lovely bout of Salmonella Poisoning! Thankfully I was discharged from hospital two days before their wedding, meaning I had a day to rest up before heading down south to do their rehearsal the next day. Despite what was no doubt an extremely nervy situation for Leanne and Fred, they handled it like absolute champions, never conveying to me any stress. Of course like any good celebrant I have my back up options that I can call on in an emergency, but thankfully it didn't come to that.
Leanne and Fred chose the beautiful Arimia Estate Winery in Yallingup for their ceremony and reception, getting married on a perfect Summer's day surrounded by their family and friends. Although a simple ceremony was on the cards for these lovebirds, we included a minute of silence (rather than a reading) to extend the timing slightly, where family and friends wrote short notes to the couple on their happy day. These notes were collected into a jar and were taken home by Leanne and Fred as sweet reminders of their day to read through later.
After the ceremony, I left the bridal party and guests to celebrations, and left my PA system to the mercy of the reception - the hired PA system didn't show up/was lost in a back room, and the hire company had closed up shop for Christmas! Thankfully I always take my portable PA system with me, even when I'm told its not needed, so it was able to be used for speeches and music for the reception.
Congratulations again to Leanne and Fred, and all the best for the future - and for the welcoming of bubs next year!
Photos by the talented Kirsty Russell Photography
MARRIED || SARAH + JUSTIN
It's not every day I get to marry a couple whose journey I have witnessed - from crushes and young love through to the proposal and marriage, but I was fortunate enough to be there for Sarah and Justin's journey.
From their times at University (where they met in a social justice group) to present day, Sarah and Justin have always referred to each other as their "enabler" - they are best friends and partners in crime and one of those couples that you just know is destined to get married.
In fact, I knew for sure when Justin signed me up to be their celebrant before he had even proposed to Sarah! Luckily I didn't have to wait too long as he whisked her away on a surprise trip to Europe, before proposing in Ireland - that's one proposal many guys could not top!
Always the friendliest guy in the room, Justin had a tough time narrowing down his large group of friends to take on the role of groomsmen and finally Justin and Sarah decided that they would just have to have all their closest friends as part of their bridal party. Despite being the biggest bridal party I have ever had to coordinate (first issue - will they all fit up the front?!), they were a pleasure to work with and a credit to the bride and groom.
Having their ceremony at Monument Hill Reserve and their reception in the very room they first met at Notre Dame University in Fremantle, the location of Sarah and Justin's marriage was a journey back to the spiritual heartland of their relationship.
A truly heartfelt congratulations to Justin and Sarah!
Photos by the wonderful Ange Coote Photography.
MARRIED || CAMERON + TELEISHA
Talk about weddings close to your heart - Cameron and Teleisha's wedding epitomised that for me!
Cam and Teleisha have been close friends of mine for over 6 years, so when they asked me to be their wedding celebrant the tears started to flow! There was only one proviso - I had to promise that I would not cry at their ceremony! As it turned out, there were very few dry eyes in the house (or in the field as it was in this case) but I kept my promise!
Cam and Teleisha have a long history of heading down south with family and friends whenever the opportunity arose, so it was a clear choice for them to have their ceremony and reception at House of Cards Winery in Yallingup.
While it may have been a struggle to get my PA system out to the part of the field they had chosen for their ceremony, it was well worth the trek for the stunning photos that they now have. Placed to the side of a glorious old tree (strategically avoiding the ant nest directly in front of the trunk) and underneath its arching branch, Cam and Teleisha's ceremony was framed by the simple beauty of nature, suiting this couple perfectly.
In the lead up to their wedding day, Teleisha asked me if it would be possible to weave some of her favourite Harry Potter quotes throughout the ceremony - not obviously, but so they alone would know they were there. As it turns out, J.K. Rowling knows a thing or two about emotive writing, and the subtle addition of the quotes only served to make the ceremony more touching and meaningful to the couple.
It was my utmost honour to be able to give Cam and Teleisha the greatest wedding present I can give - a wedding ceremony from my heart, which suited them perfectly.
It was then my absolute pleasure to join them in their amazing outdoor reception at House of Cards Winery, under the light of the moon, the stars and of course, festoon lights. With an amazing banquet of food provided by Goanna Gourmet Catering and delicious wine by House of Cards, this wedding was definitely one to remember!
Thanks to Bianca Kate Photography for the stunning shots!
The 2015 Bride (and Groom)
I've had a lot of people ask me what made me decide to become a marriage celebrant. Many people are bemused by the idea that a celebrant doesn't have to be a 40+ year old lady in a pantsuit. I suppose it's like having a young person take up a passionate interest in lawn bowls, bridge or crochet (although I think crochet is coming back in a big way) - unusual, odd and a little bit interesting.
The thing is, I've always wanted to be a wedding celebrant - well, ever since I found out that one of my high school teachers was a celebrant in her spare time. I remember saying to myself in high school - I'm going to do that someday. Of course, I expected that someday to be after popping out a few kids - not in my mid-twenties!
So what changed? In short, you did!
Suddently it was my friends and peers getting engaged and married, and I was hearing all about their tedious searches for the right celebrant.
They didn't want long, drawn out ceremonies. They didn't want gushy readings about love, or doves to be released after a sand ceremony. They wanted young, relaxed, friendly, fun. They wanted someone who understood who they were as a couple, so that the ceremony would reflect them, not the same ceremony which has been trotted out for years on end.
So when I mentioned it to some friends that I'd always thought about doing it, the resounding response was: I WISH YOU HAD DONE IT EARLIER!!!!
It turns out there aren't many young celebrants out there, and that is who it seems (from my peer research over coffee, lunch and a fair amount of wine) the 2015 bride (and groom) is/are looking for!
So look no further! Here I am. I'm so excited to meet you!
A New Year and New Beginnings
Today marks the beginning of my first year of being a wedding celebrant. I hope that this year will be one full of happiness, success and many beautiful weddings!
I hope that you find my future blog posts interesting and informed...
Photo credit: Roger Clark, Envy Photography - http://envyphotography.com.au/
Lauren is a young and vibrant wedding celebrant who loves everything to do with weddings. These are her musings...