Gabriele and I have been friends for many years, we met at choir and enjoyed being choir buddies for many years. We were also both nurses so had another common interest. We shared a room when our choir travelled to Perth many years ago and got to know each other very well.
I had heard a lot about Gerrit her new man and I was very excited when Gabriele told me they were engaged and thrilled when she asked me to officiate at the ceremony. She and Gerrit had firm ideas of the run of the events for the day and it was all organized very quickly.
They wanted a prewinter date so they were married on 27th May this year. We all met at their house beforehand for drinks and nibbles. We then “processed” the short walk to the hotel where the ceremony and reception were held. The neighbours all came out to cheer us on and it was a lot of fun!
……When planning the ceremony with Gabriele and Gerrit it became quite apparent that they did not want anything too formal or too traditional and they wanted as much involvement from their friends and family as possible, which I think is testament to the way they live their lives in general, with many of us being privy to their hospitality, warmth and generosity over the years.
I asked Gerrit and Gabriele to tell me a little about their relationship and what making a commitment means to them. In fact, I gave them a whole list of questions: Gabriele promptly answered them in her quick decisive manner. I must say Gerrit did agree with her answers!
…..One thing came through loud and clear: three values are very important to them and they are: honesty, respect and trust…..the qualities they most treasure about each other are their love, openness and directness.
Their goals for a happy marriage include the ability to maintain their own identity, also trust, honesty, communication and fun and laughter. And for their children they believe their marriage will provide a safe and secure space from which they will venture forth and fulfil their dreams.
In Gabriele’s words:
Gerrit is passionate and enthusiastic in his endeavours. he is sensitive, always cries at movies and is very loving. He is happy to try new things and is adventurous. He likes my cooking. He is open to saying yes. Life will never be boring with him.
Our first date was on a rainy night at the Radisson, when I was late for choir rehearsal afterwards. I noticed his good table manners and passion for skiing. Gerrit was very nervous, and continued to be nervous for our next few dates. We went 5 Rhythms dancing on a few choir free Tuesday nights (child free evenings), which were a fun physical release and a way of getting to know each other.
At our first date, Gerrit reignited my skiing passion. A few practice sessions at Ski City set me up for a few weekends in Mt Buller where Gerrit worked winters. I remember how excited Gerrit was that I could ski! The kids tried and enjoyed skiing too……….
Appreciation of music is a strong bond. Both of us love our Tuesday nights. I’m at choir (RMP) and Gerrit rehearses with his band. We try to get out and hear some live music, whenever we can.
Gerrit is dedicated and devoted to Gabriele. He dutifully sent me the answers to my list of questions about Gabriele and their relationship. On their first date he also remembered it was raining and the big hug he got……………He loved their lunchtime dates and meeting and spending time with Gabriele’s children. He also enjoys their times skiing and dancing….
Their three children all participated in the ceremony: Gerrit’s son Grant was the ring bearer and Gabriele’s two daughters, Erica and Sophia did readings. They all took part in the unity candle ceremony.
Poem for a Mother’s wedding Robyn O’Connell read by Erica
Who would have thought, that there would come a time
When I would be standing at your wedding, rather than you being at mine?
That day will come, as sure as can be
But for now, it’s my turn and look what I see
A mum that has been there, through thick and through thin
And now here you stand, your face in a grin
The wish that I bring for my mother right now
Is health and happiness, as you take your wedding vow
So, to you dear Mum, what more can I say?
Than to love the dear friend you have beside you today
I hope you both are as happy, as you can ever can be
Knowing much love comes from your daughter – that’s me!
Once upon a time you two met You’ve shared much love and laughter May your marriage be a fairy tale Happy ever after
I’m glad I’m in the fairy tale And you are too I guess Congratulations, King and Queen From your fairy tale Princess.
Reading: What is a family Author unknown read by Sophia
A family is…
The sweetest feelings the warmest hugs, trust and togetherness
Unconditional love,the stories of our lives written on the same page
The nicest memories anyone has ever made, treasured photos
Thankful tears, hearts overflowing with all the years
Being there for one another, supporting and caring
Understanding, helping, sharing,
Walking life’s path together and making the journey more beautiful because…
We are a family, and a family is love.
(Gerrit) Beginning our new life together does not mean that we will forget the lives we leave behind
It was that past that brought us here, without it we would not have our children
And all the happy memories of their growing into the young people that we are so very proud of…
(Gabriele) As we light these candles we extend the love w”e share for each other to encompass Grant, Sophia and Erica
And ask them to light a candle and place it in this circle as a symbol of the joining of our families.
We all had a fun night with lots of dancing and good food. I wish you a wonderful future together!