Personalised wedding ceremonies Sarah and Jackson Unity vase ritual

When Sarah and Jackson came to see me they had definite plans in their mind of what kind of ceremony they wanted.  I was thrilled that they placed so much importance on the ceremony and they had obviously given it a lot of thought.  They wanted something a bit quirky and upbeat.  Sarah even told me about a website which had inspired her.  Sarah was born in America, Jackson was born in Australia and they both have Irish ancestors  so they wanted their Irish heritage incorporated into the ceremony as well.  We spent a lot of time planning the ceremony and I really enjoyed the challenge.  I realised that most of the weddings I had conducted were a more traditional style so it made me think outside the box.

They were married at Chateau Wyuna on a beautiful summer’s day.  The ceremony was held near the rock pool on the stunning property and they had a large bridal party.  They preferred their guests to enjoy the ceremony without being distracted by taking photos and asked me to announce this at the beginning of the ceremony.  They also wanted the inclusion of the unity vase/ritual to unite the families and cultures.  Sarah and Jackson and their parents all placed items of significance into the vase as the symbol of the joining of the families.

The ceremony started with the introduction of all of the wedding party.

…….It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the beautiful Chateau Wyuna: standing with me here is the stunning bride Sarah, accompanied by her beautiful bridesmaids Rachel, Elizabeth, Sonya and Stephanie; and the handsome groom Jackson, his dashing groomsmen Mat and Jeremy and the gorgeous grooms woman, Aimee.  And at the bottom of the stairs we have Gemma and Tate the ring bearer.

 

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First of all I would like to acknowledge that this occasion is being held on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people, and pay my respect to their elders both past and present.

Today is a celebration. A celebration of love, of commitment, of friendship, of family, and of two people who are in it for forever.

You don’t have to have a ceremony to have a marriage. And when you think about it, the whole thing is kind of weird, right? You’re standing on a stage, looking fancy, holding flowers, and being stared at by pretty much everyone who has meant anything to you in the past twenty something years. So why do we do it? The marriage ceremony has been an important feature across nearly every culture, religion, generation, and society. We have thousands of important moments that happen throughout our lives, but this one is regarded as one so critical, we acknowledge its special status by sharing it with others. Why this moment?

Because despite all of our differences, love is what we all share. It’s the great unifier – our one universal truth. That no matter who we are, where we’ve come from, what we believe, we know this one thing: love is what we’re doing right. That’s why you both are standing here…………

And even though this experience is so incredible, words fail us when we try and explain it.  That’s just the way it is with love – it’s meant to be felt, not described. But trying to describe love is one of our favourite pastimes……..

So today, we have some words about love, coming from some of the people who love you the most. I’d like to introduce Sarah’s Aunt Denise who will read a poem, before Sarah’s father, Jeff, gives an Irish Blessing.

Denise will be reading a poem that Jackson liked in high school, and wrote the last stanza in an anniversary card to Sarah one year. They both think it’s beautiful and have grand plans to use the quote in an art piece for their home!

Thought is Surrounded by a Halo – Gwen Harwood

Show me the order of the world,

the hard-edge light of this-is-so

prior to all experience

and common to both world and thought,

no model, but the truth itself.

 

Language is not a perfect game,

and if it were, how could we play?

The world’s more than the sum of things

like moon, sky, centre, body, bed,

as all the singing masters know.

 

Picture two lovers side by side

who sleep and dream and wake to hold

the real and imagined world

body by body, word by word

in the wild halo of their thought

 

Jeff: I’ve been fortunate enough to give an Irish Blessing at most of my children’s weddings, and both Sarah and Jackson have Irish heritage. This blessing is one Sarah really loves

May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.

May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.

May the saddest day of your future

Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

May your hands be forever clasped in friendship

And your hearts joined forever in love.

Your lives are very special,

God has touched you in many ways.

May his blessings rest upon you

And fill all your coming days.

……………

The Asking

Will you, Jackson and Sarah, be each other’s partners from this day forward? will you bring out the best in one another, share your happiest moments together, and love each other absolutely – for the rest of this lifetime and for whatever may come next?

Sarah and Jackson: we will

The Asking

Sarah and Jackson would now like to incorporate a ritual of the unity vase to unite the joining of the families and cultures.  Jackson will begin by pouring Australian dirt into unity vase. [pours Australian dirt into unity vase]

Sarah’s parents – Laura and Jeff; and Jackson’s parents – Mary and Nick, will now place some items of significance to symbolise the joining of the families.

– Sarah’s mum will place some stones she collected from a park where her father  (Sarah’s grandfather’s) ashes are scattered

(Laura places stones)

– Sarah’s dad will place some dried impatiens – his mother’s favourite flower

(Jeff places dried impatiens)

-Jacksons mother will be placing some seashells from the Gold Coast where she grew up

(Mary places seashells)

-Jacksons father will place a prayer book he was given by his father, which symbolizes the role music and the church played in his education and formative years.

(Nick places prayer book)

The Vows

You fell in love by chance, but you’re here today because you’re making a choice. You both are choosing each other. You’ve chosen to be with someone who enhances you, who makes you think, makes you smile, and makes every day brighter.

You’re about to make promises to each other that you intend to keep. There’s a simple premise to each of these promises: you’re vowing to be there. You’re teaming up and saying to each other “every experience I am going to have, I want you to be a part of”

Jackson and Sarah:

…………Personal vows: (read from card)

Ring exchange

You’ve both chosen to wear rings as a reminder of these promises. People often say wedding bands are a perfect circle, with no beginning and no end. But these rings did have a beginning. The metals were formed a long time ago deep within the earth, the meteorite long before that.

Eventually a series of lucky events caused the meteorite to fall from space, and the metals to rise to the surface, where someone collected them. Metal was then liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees – moulded, cooled, and painstakingly polished, something beautiful was made from raw elements.

Love too comes from humble beginnings, and through a combination of serendipity and effort, imperfect beings shape it into something extraordinary. It’s the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all. As you look at these rings over the years, I hope you remember that. You’ve created something invaluable, and just as I know you’ll protect these rings, I’m confident you’ll protect the commitments you’ve made to one another.

Jackson, please place the ring on Sarah’s finger and, holding it there, please say: 

Sarah,

Let this ring be a symbol of our love,

May it represent our today, our tomorrows,

Our future and our past.

Sarah, please place the ring on Jackson’s finger and, holding it there, please say:

Jackson.

Let this ring be a symbol of our love,

May it represent our today, our tomorrows,

Our future and our past.

…………

Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me the greatest pleasure to present to you – the newlyweds, Jackson and Sarah!

www.annarichards.com.au

 

Personalised wedding ceremonies Chris and Tony – Love at first sight!

It was a cold, wet and windy day for Chris and Tony’s wedding last October.  Fortunately The Mandalay in Northcote have a lovely cosy Sherry Room with an open fire and Chris and Tony were quite happy to hold the ceremony indoors.  It turned out to be a great decision and a very jovial ceremony with plenty of interaction from the guests who were getting into the spirit of the atmosphere and happy occasion, and added to the joy of the celebration!

The following are excerpts of their marriage ceremony.

………..Today is a celebration.  A celebration of love, commitment, friendship, family and of two people who are in it forever.

…….The marriage ceremony has been an important feature across nearly every culture, religion, generation, and society. We have thousands of important moments that happen throughout our lives, but this one is regarded as one so critical, we acknowledge its special status by sharing it with others. Why this moment? 

Because despite all of our differences love is what we all share.  It’s the great unifier – our one universal truth.  That no matter who we are, where we have come from, what we believe, we know this one thing: love is what we’re doing right.  That’s why you both are standing here.

That’s why everyone is here to be with you today.  ……

All of us here today have our own love stories.  Some are short, others long.  Some are yet unwritten, while others are just getting to the good part.  There are chapters in all of our stories that are sad or disappointing – and others that are exciting and full of adventure.

……….Today is a time to pause, look back, and smile at the moments that brought you here.  And a time to look ahead at all the moments that are still to come.  And even though this experience is so incredible, words fail us when we try to explain it.  That’s just the way it is with love – it’s meant to be felt, not described.  Even though love can look different from one person to the next – we all know it when we see it, and we see it here.

I asked Chris and Tony to tell me the story of how they met.

Christine

Just before I went overseas with my best friend and Maid of Honour Suzie, both Suzie and I had our hair done by Gracie, Tony’s youngest sister.  Suzie had hers done first and as it happened Tony was there as well.  Suzie seemed to think that the pair of us would hit it off, so she suggested to him that he should come to the Passport Office Christmas party to meet me.  For my hair appointment, I wasn’t so lucky Tony was no longer there so I had to wait to meet my so called “perfect match”.

Well Suzie and I went on our trip to LA and Hawaii and I was reminded about the casual meeting that Tony and I would have at the Christmas party.  I was told repeatedly that I should give him a chance and it wasn’t going to kill me.  OK Suzie, I thought I got it, be nice, give him a chance, don’t screw my face up at him, talk to him, be myself and make an effort!

We met December 5, 2014, it was very casual as planned, we both said Hi and that was it, I didn’t have time to make small talk with him at that moment.

Tony had apparently complained the whole trip to the party that he didn’t want to go and both Anna and Peter wanted to give him the flick as soon as possible.  Later in the evening Peter asked if I could spare a smoke for Tony, sure no worries I thought, I will go and find him, and find him I did.

We, just the two of us spent the whole night talking and laughing.  I don’t know who was more excited that we were getting along, us, or all the people who had been on the boat!

No phone numbers were exchanged that night, but Tony did go to Peter who went to Suzie to get my number!  Peter then went back to Tony and Tony sent a message!  He could have gone straight to Gracie but I think to get the approval of my best friend Suzie first – and clearly Suzie approved!!

We organized our first date a few days later and from that day forward we have never been apart.  Within the first two weeks Tony said that if we were together in 6 months’ time, he was going to marry me!  Six months and three days later we were engaged and we have never looked back and our love has grown ever more stronger.

Their favourite memory is the same here is Tony’s version:

My favourite memory of Christine was when I was in hospital with kidney stones.  It was only a few weeks into the relationship and she rushed me down to the hospital.  I was in so much pain, I wasn’t trying to be brave and show it was nothing, I showed her how bad it was because I knew she wouldn’t judge me for being weak.

For 14 days Christine barely left my side.  She could have got up and left me there but she didn’t.  She kept in contact with family and gave them all updates on what was happening, even to my Mum who she was still yet to meet.  It was like we had been together forever when she talked to them.  It was like she was part of the family already.

She sat there with me and held my hand the whole time and only ever let go when she went home to pick up a few things for me.  I was taken back by the fact that she stayed with me the whole time. It was also the first time that she said she loved me, I said it back and meant it, it wasn’t the drugs talking it was me talking.  Right at that moment I knew she was going to be the one and we had only been together a few short weeks.

In Chris and Tony’s words:  ..if love is…then marriage is…

Love is finding a person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet.  A connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experience before.  As this connection develops over time, you experience a love so deep, strong and complex, that you begin to doubt that you have ever truly loved anyone prior to this.

Marriage for us is about taking our love and connection one step further.  We are ready to spend the rest of our lives together because the love we have today is so strong, our commitment is so deep, that we are ready to become a team.  With marriage we know that we have chosen the right person to be by our side no matter what life brings us because as a couple we bring out the best in one another.

Reading

The Key to Love: read by Jazmin Brooks (Christine’s sister) author unknown.

The key to love is understanding

The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word

But those unspoken gestures,

The little things that say so much by themselves

 

The key to love is forgiveness

To accept each other’s faults and pardon mistakes,

Without forgetting,

But with remembering what you learn from them.

 

The key to love is sharing

Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad,

Together:

Both conquering problems,

Forever searching for ways to intensify your happiness.

 

The key to love is giving

Without thought of return,

But with hope of just a simple smile,

And by giving in but never giving up.

 

The key to love is respect

Realising that you are two separate people,

With different ideas:

That you don’t belong to each other,

That you belong with each other,

And share a mutual bond.

 

The key to love is inside us all

It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold:

It is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work…

But the rewards are more than worth the effort..

And that is the key to love.

Giving away

Dawn and Frank and Pina, on behalf of your families do you give your love and blessings to Tony and Christine?   We Do

It saddens both Tony and Christine that they could not share their special day with Tony’s Dad Giovanni.  Giovanni should have been with us today to celebrate this joyous occasion, but God had other plans for him.  We are sure that he too would give his love and blessings for Tony and Christine to be married.  Right now he will be looking down on you both with a beautiful smile on his face and his beloved accordion on his lap ready to crank out a few tunes in celebration of this day.

The Asking

Tony do you take Christine to be your lawful wedded wife, will you love and respect her, and stand by her through whatever may come, so you can openly share your life together?

Tony : I do

Christine do you take Tony to be your lawful wedded husband, will you love and respect him, and stand by him through whatever may come, so you can openly share your life together?

Christine; I do

Vows (written by Tony and Chris)

Tony (read from card)

……I love you Christine.  You are my best friend, today I give myself to you in marriage.

I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle.

I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard.  When our love is simple, and when it is an effort.

I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in the highest regard.

I promise to be there when you need me, to fill your days with sunshine, to comfort you, to help you reach your goals, to be your best friend for ever and to love you with all my heart.

These things I give you today and all the days of my life.

Christine (read from card)

…….Tony, you are the most important part of my life

It seems like my life was just waiting for you and it was worth the long wait.

You are a rare combination of so many special things and if I were to list them all, we would be here forever and I want our forever to start now. With you here by my side, I want you to know that I have never been so happy, never been so much in love, there are not enough words to express just how much I love, appreciate, and need you in my life.

I promise to be your loving friend and wife.  To give you support, to comfort and strengthen you, to laugh and cry with you, through life’s joys and sorrows.

I promise to always be open and honest with you, encourage you to live your dreams and conquer your fears and be by your side every step of the way. I take you, with all of your faults and strengths, as I offer myself to you with all of my faults and strengths.  I choose you, my best friend as the person with whom I will spend my life with.

………

Declaration of marriage

Marriage is having your best friend by your side for the rest of your life, it’s about becoming a team, a team of two people so in love that they want the world to know and want to show everyone that they are making that commitment to be there for one another.

It’s about having someone there with you to share life’s trivial day to day events, both the good and the bad, having someone to laugh with and to cry with.

………..As you walk hand in hand into the future, cherish each moment as a gift to strengthen that bond between you.

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Personalised wedding ceremonies John and Sarah

John and Sarah were married on 20th May this year at one of my favourite venues The Mandalay in Northcote.  Amazingly for this time of the year the weather was quite mild.  They had a large bridal party but we all managed to fit in the rotunda.  John became very emotional when he saw his beautiful bride come down the stairs.  There were hugs all round and then we commenced the ceremony.

The following are some ceremony highlights:

Good afternoon everyone, It is my great pleasure to welcome you to this ideal intimate location for the marriage of John and Sarah.

Standing with me here is the beautiful bride Sarah, accompanied by her stunning attendants Julian, Ann, Astrid and Jaclyn; and the handsome groom John, his dashing groomsmen Ivan, Elias, Sunny and Damian, and don’t forget the gorgeous flower girls Olivia and Alma and pageboy Hayden.

From the moment John and Sarah met they had an instant connection. In fact it was only 2 weeks into their relationship when they both knew that this was it! … already knew in their hearts that they were ready for this commitment.  In the time they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives as husband and wife.

By making this commitment they are showing each other in those small and selfless ways, that life is so much better because there is someone to share all the parts of the days with, someone who can be trusted with our thoughts, our fears, our hopes and our dreams.

This couple works well together because they share a similar sense of humour and are willing to weather the challenges of life together. They work well as a team and complement each other nicely.

In Sarah’s words John is energetic, enthusiastic, cheeky, caring .. and stubborn.

In John’s words Sarah is very loving, honest, loyal, enthusiastic and passionate about everything she does, a people’s person.

…….That’s why everyone is here to be with you today. We have all loved in our lifetimes, all of us here today have our own love stories. Some are short, others long. Some are yet unwritten, while others are just getting to the good part. There are chapters in all of our stories that are sad or disappointing – and others that are exciting and full of adventure.

Today is a time to pause, look back, and smile at all the moments that brought you here. And a time to look ahead at all the moments that are still to come.

I’m here – we’re all here – because we want those moments for you. We’re here to hope with you, to support you, to be proud of you, and to remind you that love isn’t happily ever after – love is the experience of writing your story. It’s not one moment – not even this moment. It’s every moment. Big ones like saying “I love you” moving in together, getting engaged – but mostly a million little ones that come in between.

John and Sarah both share similar interests especially their two fur huskies or fur babies as they call them.

They both love surprises and almost a year to the day John proposed in front of about 12 people at his birthday party. Sarah had no idea so had to hide behind the bench to hide her sweat pants as she only just had time to change her top! She was a little confused because he proposed with granny’s eternity ring… that wasn’t part of the plan!  She later received her own engagement ring.

They think of marriage as a lifetime commitment and the beginning of a new chapter in their lives and their goal is to continue with their open communication and never going to sleep with an unsettled argument.

John and Sarah always refer to each other as soulmates so the following reading is fitting

Reading (celebrant) Soulmate by Julia

As a child you learn of a soul mate…a person made perfectly for you, your two souls become connected as one and are destined to be together until the end of time.

Through adolescence you grasp on to this idea of a soul mate, believing you will someday find the one.

But after much heartache and many rivers of tears, this notion you’ve held onto for years begins to fade.

As time goes by, day by day, year after year, you move forward, accepting of your failures and proud of your successes…until that day.

This is a day like any other, it begins no differently than yesterday and the days before, but it is a day that will change you forever, a day that the magic and fantasy of a soul mate becomes real.

For each of us it happens differently…the holding of eye contact, an introduction, a smile.  Regardless of how it began, the moment is unforgettable.

It was a magical moment, frozen in time, the surroundings, the smells, the feeling you felt.  The rush of warmth through your body felt exhilarating and new, yet somehow familiar.  It was a feeling you imagined time and again…but never this powerful.

As butterflies fluttered in your stomach it was an explosion of emotions.  Who is this person that can make me feel this way?

As this invisible force draws you to this person you can sense a mutual feeling.  A connection unlike any other you’ve experienced before, impossible to resist.

You feel a burning, a fire from deep inside, that you can’t ignore.  From that first second of encounter this person is there with you, in every thought and action…causing you to smile, laugh, and feel more alive than ever before.

This person becomes a part of you, your other half…your soul mate.

Will you bring out the best in one another, share your happiest moments together, and love each other absolutely – for the rest of this lifetime and for whatever may come next?

John:  Personal vows:

“I, John, choose you, Sarah, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what things I will discover. I will respect you as a person, a partner and as an equal. There is little to say that you haven’t already heard, and little to give that is not already freely given. Before you asked me, I was yours and I am devoted to you in every way. I marry you with no hesitation or doubt, and my commitment to you is absolute.

Sarah: Personal vows:

“I, Sarah, take you John to be my husband. You are my counterpart. I promise to always be your ally in conflict, your greatest fan and your toughest adversary. I promise to communicate fully and fearlessly. I promise to create and support a family with you, in a a household filled with laughter, patience, understanding and love. I vow not just to grow old together, but to grow together. I will love you faithfully through the difficult and the easy. What may come, I will always be there, believing that love never dies. As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep.”

Conclusion

…………..John and Sarah, remember to do the simple things that will make this love a treasure. Plan for the things that are important to you and make sure you do them. Be thankful for one another, love is a gift that you have chosen to share with one another, share it well and be happy.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding, it gives me the greatest pleasure to present to you – the newlyweds, Mr and Mrs Yankovski!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.annarichards.com.au

0407 300 970

Personalised Wedding Ceremonies Helen and Stephen

I have been very fortunate that so many of my past couples have happily agreed to share their special personalised story.  Every wedding is so different which makes my job so enjoyable.

Helen and Stephen were married in the upper gallery at the beautiful artist colony Montsalvat in Eltham, Victoria.   It was a very hot January day in 2012 and the sun streamed through the beautiful window behind us during the ceremony.

Personal story (read after introduction)

Two years ago things weren’t going that well for both Helen and Stephen.  They had both been in long relationships which unfortunately didn’t work out.  Helen moved back home and she helped her mother look after her father who was very ill.  Unfortunately he passed away. However she has her father to thank, as it was at her father’s funeral she spotted a rather cute guy.  Stephen came to the funeral to support Vin (Helen’s brother) who was a work colleague.  Stephen was also invited back to the house for the wake.  It was a fabulous party as Dad wanted it to be, the beer was cold and kept flowing, the tea was hot and there was plenty of food for everyone.  Helen and Stephen chatted briefly and Stephen also chatted for a long time with Helen’s Mum Nancy.  

Shortly afterwards Steve wrote an email to Helen’s brother Vin which was quite funny and he though Helen would find it amusing so forwarded it to her.  Helen hadn’t forgotten Stephen and she now had his email address!  She wasn’t sure if she should but did so anyway.. she sent him an email explaining who she was thinking he would not remember her.  She briefly mentioned how her life wasn’t that great at the moment and was going through a tough time.  I guess she needed him to know that she was no longer attached to anyone!  Steve had remembered her of course and they emailed each other a few times and then he invited her out for a beer. Their relationship was easy and effortless from the beginning and they felt very comfortable with one another. January 2011 they went on a trip together to Ireland.  Once again Steve invited her out for a beer, this time in the famous Guinness Brewery. 

In Helen’s words: Steve and I were in the Guinness Brewery and he said to me “If you drink this pint of Guinness Helen O’Neill I will marry you” so of course I did and then Steve got down on bended knee and proposed there and then to the cheers of everyone in the bar!. 

Every wedding ceremony is of course, the recognition of a marriage that already exists on an emotional level, and Stephen and Helen have already made a commitment by sharing a home together and helping raise Stephen’s lovely daughter Scarlett.  

This ceremony today gives official recognition to a union that has already taken place in the hearts of this couple.  It is Stephen and Helen’s wish at this time to declare their marriage partnership to the world.  These principles of marriage that will build and strengthen their relationship, will involve a strong commitment, an unconditional commitment from the heart, to each other.

Giving away 

One of the most understated but deepest relationships in human life is that between the caring father and mother and the loving daughter.  One of the rare occasions this relationship is acknowledged is at a wedding ceremony.  In Des’s absence Nancy represents all of us, she particularly represents her family, but today in a special gesture she symbolizes her own personal love for her daughter.  “Who presents this woman to be married to this man?

Helen’s mother (Nancy) I do 

Even in the quiet corners of the world up above, Helen’s father Des would have stopped on this day to look down ever so proudly on Helen’s special day, with a smile and beer in hand to see his daughter happily marrying the man she loves.

Following the vows and ring ceremony Helen and Stephen showed their commitment  to Stephen’s daughter Scarlett:

(Celebrant)

I would now like to ask Scarlett to come forward and stand in a circle with Stephen and Helen

Helen wishes to extend her commitment to Stephen and Scarlett by making some pledges to Scarlett.

(Helen) Scarlett, I have grown to love you as if you were my own daughter.  I promise to love, nurture, guide and guard you for all the days of my life.

It was a very special moment as the photos show.

I would now like to ask Scarlett to come forward and stand in a circle with Stephen and Helen

Helen wishes to extend her commitment to Stephen and Scarlett by making some pledges to Scarlett.

(Helen) Scarlett, I have grown to love you as if you were my own daughter.  I promise to love, nurture, guide and guard you for all the days of my life.

Personalised marriage ceremonies Laura and Ben

Laura and Ben were married at the beautiful Mandalay reception centre in Northcote Melbourne on 20th March, 2010. It is a delightful venue now run by a very friendly Italian family who provide exceptional service and delicious food.

Laura and Ben told me their story of how they met, as you will see, they were both very determined to make this relationship happen! The following is part of their personalised marriage ceremony.

Laura and Ben first met 3 years ago in Federation Square at a bar.   They chatted for quite a while and were getting along very well.  However Laura decided it was time to go home but before she left she spontaneously gave Ben a kiss and ran out with her friends.  Poor Ben was left standing there with no contact details.  Ben was not to be outdone but had to chase her across Flinders Street before he managed to grab her and kiss her in return!  He got contact details this time and soon after they began seeing each other regularly and were very comfortable together.  Ben was in his last year at university and even though he really wanted the relationship to continue, he kept warning Laura not to get too involved with him as he knew he would have to leave Melbourne and would be travelling a lot with his work as a geologist. 

I asked Ben what he liked about Laura.  “I love seeing her beaming smile and hearing her loud laugh.  You can always spot her in a crowd with her blonde hair.  We never have any boring times and she makes me feel very special.  I have a lot of fun with Laura.  She puts up with the fact that I have to be away a lot.  I love coming home to her, she looks after me when I’m sick as I am such a woos and I love the way she cooks!” 

Laura likes the way Ben is very caring, kind and sincere.  He means what he says.  “Ben has taught me a lot about myself” she told me.  He helped me grow into a better person and has taught me things I never knew before.  I love the way he asked me to move to Western Australia, I would never have moved to WA if it wasn’t for him and had the experiences of working in a remote community with indigenous people.  We had two years solid in WA, two years just him and I, that’s a testament to our bond and relationship.  We had a lot of ups and downs but we got through it together.”   

Ben’s brother Callan read the beautiful poem by Pablo Neruda, Sonnet 17

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries hidden within itself the light of those flowers, and thanks to your love, darkly in my body lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

Laura follows Ben wherever his work takes them and at present they are living in the north of Australia and have three beautiful daughters all blonde like Laura!

I had the pleasure of officiating at the marriage of Laura’s sister Gemma last year.

Stay tuned for Helen and Stephen’s story next week!

 

Personalised wedding ceremonies Julie and Joe

The following is the third in my series of personalised wedding ceremonies that I have conducted. 

Excerpts from Julie and Joe’s wedding held on Sunday 8th March 2009 at the old bandstand in the Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne.  They had flautists playing in the bandstand before the ceremony started and during the signing.

Personal story:

Julie and Joe met at a birthday party on 11th July  2004.   It was a cold night and Julie was standing in front of the fire eating an extra large pizza by herself.  She was wearing a red plastic (plether!) jacket.  Joe saw her and a few things went through his mind, great to see a girl that can eat, (she was actually stuffing her face).  He was also concerned that her jacket would melt in front of the fire! 

The first thing Julie noticed was Joe’s eyes, and the way he spoke, easy going friendly, everything was funny.  Joe knew she was a parent and they immediately had that in common.  He also loved her sense of humour.  Julie thought it was cute the way he immediately pulled pictures of his children out of his wallet to show her. 

Joe dropped his business card in Julie’s bag but she didn’t notice it until weeks later. Joe’s kids were calling him so he reluctantly left early.  She had to wait two whole days for him to ring her.

Joe said “My mate behind my back was already calling her, but I decided to be cool and do the right thing by making her wait!”

Julie said “My perfect star sign was Capricorn and Joe was Capricorn, the one I have been waiting for!”

Reading  “My Friend” author unknown

I love you, not for what you are, But for what I am when I am with you.

I love you, not for what you have made of yourself. But for what you are making of me.

I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

You have done it without a touch without a word, without a sign.

You have done it just by being yourself.

Ring Ceremony 

Julie, this ring I give you, it is my personal gift

My personal promise of love and trust, and pride that you are my wife

Joe, this ring I give you, it is my personal gift

My personal promise of love and trust, and pride that you are my husband.

Celebrant (as last ring was placed) 

Lord, help us – author unknown

Lord, help us to remember when we first met and the strong love that grew between us. Help us to work that love into practical things so nothing can divide us. We ask for words both kind and loving, and for hearts always ready to ask for forgiveness, as well as to forgive.  Dear Lord, we put our marriage into your hands.

I was in contact with Julie last week her comments were: “We are both doing well, we still have the three step kids who were 7, 8 and 11 when we met and now 19, 21, and 23.  We are not silly, enjoying our freedom and travelling heaps!”

Personalised wedding ceremonies Melissa and Ashley

Wedding for Melissa and Ashley

Melissa and Ashley were married on 29th March, 2008 at “The Centre” in Ivanhoe.  They had hoped to be married outdoors in the rotunda in Warringal Parklands but unfortunately the weather was not kind that day so we put plan B into action.  Always a good idea to have one!  I felt very privileged to be able to perform the ceremony as we had known Melissa’s parents for many years and we had watched Melissa grow up and our children were friends with Melissa and her brother Jason.   Melissa is a very organised young woman and the wedding and the reception ran very smoothly and it was a great day.

Melissa and Ashley had given me some information about how they met and their relationship so I could write a personal ceremony for them.  They also wrote their own vows and read them from a laminated card which I had prepared for them.

The following are some excerpts from their ceremony:

Melissa met Ashley in 1996 whilst she was working with his girlfriend at the time.  They were all friends together and met socially on many occasions for many years.  They both had their own partners and led separate lives.  Melissa was even invited to be a guest at Ashley’s wedding.  It was a very enjoyable day and Melissa and Ashley had a dance together on the night even though she confessed she didn’t know how to dance!

The very next day Melissa and her partner moved to Frankston and it was 4 years later, April 2nd 2004 to be exact, by coincidence their paths crossed again.  “I picked him up on an internet dating site” Melissa told me, “and really thought he was hot!” I always admired and respected the way he treated his wife.   After that first internet chat they realized how happy they were together and soon became inseparable.

“Melissa is very loving, caring, generous and much more, she looks after me when I’m sick and feeling like a typical bloke when sick.” Said Ashley, She took up ballroom dancing to be with me and has come a long way from that first dance at my first wedding.

We love to go for bike rides when the weather permits or just window shopping at the local shopping centre.’

When Ashley met Melissa for the second time he fell for her bubbly personality and loved her smile and laugh. Never before had he met such a special lady, with such enthusiasm for life and drive and determination. Ashley loved the way she made him feel and made him laugh.

Ashley introduced Melissa to ballroom dancing and they now share that together.  He remembers when he first said “I love you” whilst doing a modern waltz around the scout hall in Ivanhoe. They enjoy the movies (even though Melissa sleeps through many of the movies), and share a love of food hehe. 

VOWS (excerpts) Ashley

Saying I care means that I will support you in everything you try to accomplish.

Because your goals have become our goals and we’ll achieve them together,side by side.

It means that I will never hurt you, that you can trust me.

It means that you can tell me what’s wrong, and that I will try to fix what I can,

That I will listen when you need me to hear

That even in your most difficult moment- all you have to do is say the word

And your hand and my hand will not be apart.

It means that whenever you speak to me, Whether words are spoken through a smile or not,

I will listen with my heart. I promise to give you all my love for now and forever

As you become my wife.

( Melissa to Ashley)

Today I become your wife  and you become my husband

I will strive to give you the best of myself,  while accepting you the way you are.

I promise to respect you as a whole person with your own interests, desires and needs

And to realize that they are sometimes different but no less important than my own.

Together we will face all of life’s experiences

And share one another’s dreams and goals. I promise to keep myself open to you,

To let you into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams.

I promise to grow along with you, to be willing to face change as we both change,

keeping our relationship alive and exciting. and finally, I promise to love you

in good times and in bad,  with all I have to give  and all that I am,

In the only way I know how -completely and forever.

 

Melissa and Ashley are still happily married and have 7 year old twins Jack and Amelia!

 

 

Personalised wedding ceremonies Mat and Emma

The following is the first of a series of stories about weddings at which I have officiated.

Mat and Emma were married earlier this year on the stunning property belonging to Mat’s parents in Bunyip State Park in Gembrook.  Over the previous few days it had been quite chilly and even raining, unusual for February.  However on the day the weather was stunning and the wedding was held outside in the beautiful bush/forest setting.  The photographer was in heaven!

Mat and Emma had been together for many years and head three beautiful children who took part in the ceremony.

To personalise their marriage ceremony I asked Mat and Emma to share some of the highlights of their meeting and journey to the time of their marriage.

“We worked together at McDonalds several years ago and Mat’s Mum taught at Emma’s primary school where our mums became good friends, so we have known each other since we were about 9 years old”

Mat used to give Emma a lift home from Macdonald’s he was very shy then!

In Mat’s words:

Emma’s a good looking girl and she is funny.  She was clumsy still is…!

We were working together at McDonalds one day and she slipped on a bun crate, caught her foot in a bucket and head-butted the wall.   Maybe that was all part of the plan to get noticed?

We still have fun together and chat about anything, our relationship is all about sharing.

In Emma’s words:

Mat gave me a wink that day I scooted in on a bun crate!

Mat was a bit daggy but his smiley bubbly personality made me laugh.

He is always the jokester first one up dancing, very layback, always late. Mat is my rock and go to person, all our decisions are made together.

Highlights of their relationship are travelling through Europe together for two years before the children were born and they loved their date nights on Thursday nights. One of these nights Mat organised to go to Crown in the city.  While they were outside enjoying the walk along the river with the gas flames adding atmosphere to the lovely evening, Mat got down on one knee and produced an engagement ring out of his sock!

  • It is 10 years ago today that they celebrated their engagement!  Mat didn’t want a long engagement…wanted to make sure he made right decision!

Now the things they enjoy doing together are watching the kids play basketball and footy on the weekends, quality family time together.

They also enjoy playing cards on Friday nights with friends and their games night dinners on Wednesday nights where they all take turns to cook… such energy 10 adults and 10 kids!

Excerpt from their vows:

You have already given me the two greatest gifts of my life: your love, and our beautiful children.
Today, it is my honour to become your husband.
I promise to continue building our family together,
celebrating our joy, comforting one another in hard times,
and strengthening our family’s future.
I vow to love and cherish you for all the days of my life.

I just spoke to Emma she is still on a high after their wonderful celebration.