Category Archives: Ceremony

lawfully wedded.

We were so lucky with the weather on our wedding day. Sure, it was 30 degrees and achingly hot, but at least it didn’t rain. During our short outdoor ceremony, there was thunder, threatening clouds, and a strike of lightning over the Brokenback Mountain Range.

We’d written cards to each other to read while we were getting ready. Words of mushy stuff like “what I about love you”, which we were originally thinking about saying during our vows, but decided to keep private.

Our ceremony site was set up simply, with 2 plants, a lemon and a tangelo tree (only this past winter I discovered that tangelos are OMG delicious).

Kez wrote a beautiful ceremony for us…

excerpt from the ceremony, by Kez:
Chanel and Paul stand before you today, to declare their love for one another and to make promises for their future together. They also stand between a lemon tree and a tangelo tree that Chanel and Paul bought specially. While in pots now, these trees will one day flourish and stand glorious in their own garden, in their own home, bearing fruit, offering shade and also as a reminder of the day they became husband and wife.

We didn’t write our own vows in the end. We had read a few online that happened to be perfect, so we combined various parts to suit us.

I call upon persons here today to bear witness that I, Chanel, take you, Paul, to be my lawful wedded husband.
Paul, you are my best friend and my one true love. I will take you in my arms when you need to be held. I will listen when you need to talk. I will laugh with you in times of joy, and comfort you in times of sadness. I will love you for who you are, and help you to become all that you can be. I will grow old with you. I will love and honour, protect and respect you for the rest of my life.
Paul, I give you this ring as I give you my heart to keep and my hand to hold for the rest of our lives.

all images by the wonderful Andrew & Sarah of Follan Photography


Filed under Ceremony, Recaps

the transporter.

There is one wedding tradition I have no interest in (along with the garter and bouquet tosses that is). In fact I’ve always found it a little odd…

Wedding cars.

Maybe it’s because I don’t drive, I don’t have my licence at all, and I’ve driven a car twice, for about 5 minutes (when I had my learner licence). So since I have no interest in cars, or taking photos with a car (that’s the part I find a little odd… pimp my ride), ‘wedding cars’ were at the very bottom of the budget prioritising list. Our wedding as a whole is not budget; though we have definitely done certain aspects on the cheap to allow for the reception costs. There was no way I wanted to spent hundreds or more on a couple of cars, especially since our venue is a one minute drive from our accommodation (I timed it). But we still needed a way to travel to the venue…

Our wedding is on the same day as one of the Hunter Valley’s big music festivals – Jazz in the Vines. I was warned that taxis are rare up there, especially with such a big music event on. It would be a nightmare trying to get taxis for our 100 guests at midnight in the country. There is no public transport option. Most guests will be drinking so they wouldn’t be able to drive.

As a courtesy to our guests, and to ensure the beautiful wines are made the most of, we have arranged two 50-seat coaches to transport everyone to and from their various accommodations and our wedding. That’s when I had my brilliant, possibly obvious, idea of getting the coach to the wedding ourselves! We were already paying for them! Huge Budget Win!

So the Groom and his groomsmen are going to catch Coach 1 with our other guests, then after everyone has arrived at the venue it’s going to come back and pick up myself and my bridesmaids. I’ve only had one comment of “the six of you are going to arrive in a 50-seat coach!?” when I’ve been asked about our car arrangements. Damn straight we are! I’m extremely pleased with making double use of the coach! It’s not pretty, but it doesn’t have to be. I suppose my point is, if you’re not into vintage cars, pink stretch hummers, or a horse and carriage, there are other (cheaper) options – such as hiring a nice rental car and having a family member drive it there, which is budget friendly.

We’re not having a getaway car towards the end of the reception (the cans tied to the car, a just married sign… do people do that? Or is that a movie-land thing?). Instead, we’ll all hop back on the now-party bus together, and continue the festivities at the hotel bar (well, our guests probably will… we’ve got a spa suite to make use of!).


Filed under Budget, Ceremony, Reception


Sometimes too much Style Me Pretty (hereafter referred to as ‘SMP’) is a bad thing.

The weddings featured on SMP are so achingly gorgeous. Their styling is perfect. Not a detail bypassed. They are DIY (and non-DIY) wonders. Vintage suitcases, weathered couches, photobooths, bunting, delicious dessert buffets…

I have been inspired by several things I’ve seen on SMP (and other inspiration blogs like Polka Dot Bride and Green Wedding Shoes). We’re having a thumbprint tree, a birdcage for cards, a chalkboard on an easel as a ceremony program, a cake of cheese, herb centrepieces, mini jams & mustard bonfavs wrapped in calico & twine, and so on…

I consider myself detail-oriented, but I’m nowhere near the level of detail that is put into the SMP weddings (Angie at one cat per person has a very sensible post on this topic).

I had a moment over the last week (FYI: 11 days to go!) where I thought “OMG what if all this DIY stuff we’re doing looks awful and random aargh!”. I realised quickly though, that it doesn’t matter. All those things we’re copying, we’re doing because we love them, not because it’s cool. We saw these ideas and said “YES!”. It’s not going to be styled and coordinated to the max, and that’s ok. In fact, that’s a good thing. Because we’re not uber-cool or original, we just like simple stuff like food and plants, and our wedding is going to reflect us – as random as some things may be.

i love our herbs - before & after potting


Filed under Ceremony, Musings, Reception

a reading.

I just adore this poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

It’s too long to have in its entirety as a ceremony reading, so we may just select a few passages.

The Invitation by Oriah

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved


Filed under Ceremony

that little blue box.

I knew I shouldn’t have touched it. I’m not the kind of girl who normally has any interest in Tiffany’s. Anything in that store is definitely not in my sensible price range. 

I just went to Tiffany & Co to buy a farewell present for a colleague, and I thought I’d see if any of their wedding bands sat nicely against my engagement ring. For fun, right? 

As luck would have it, there was one that was pretty much perfect. It is the best fit of all the many, many rings I’ve tried at other stores. It’s not overly expensive, but it’s just a plain gold band. I don’t know if it’s worth it. I could get one similar for less. It felt so dainty though. I felt sucked in to the blue. 


I need some frivolity now… 

I want loads of bubbles after the ceremony – I want to walk through a wall of bubbles! 😉 

 And after the reception, I want loads of sparklers (even though I’m a little scared to hold them myself)! 


Filed under Budget, Ceremony, Musings, Rings

from partner to husband.

It’s my job to be organised. However, when it comes to my home life (i.e. filing important documents) I’m terrible!

We had a meeting with our celebrant in the Hunter Valley in June to fill in our notice of intended marriage, and the day before I was scrambling around trying to find my birth certificate (not the original, which was previously lost, but a replacement). I couldn’t find it.

I’ve just received my 3rd certificate in the post and we’ve arranged to finish the marriage forms when we go to the Hunter for our tasting! Hooray!

ANYWAY. This is what it’s all about. Finally being married to The Groom. The rest of the day is the icing on the cake (oh how I loathe clichés). Cheesy and soppy but it’s so true. I’m really feeling it this week 😀

The whole time we’ve been engaged I’ve rarely called him “my fiance“. I’m not sure why I feel funny saying it. It feels like such a statement word. So I call him “my partner“, which probably sounds weirder.

In 87 days I get to call him “my husband” and I’ll be “his wife“. I can’t wait.

The day after the proposal - June 2009


Filed under Ceremony, Musings