Normally I can rely on a three month lull during winter to head overseas and enjoy some sunshine… Not this year! Wedding season launched with a spectacular winter wedding, and has just kept rolling along. It appears traditional wedding rules are gearing up to be broken by couples prepared to think outside the box.
I do love every single wedding I do, and so that I’ll remember (and cherish) them all forever, I write down my impressions and recollections of ceremonies I’ve conducted. Here are my stories from my 2017-18 season…
Todd & Hannah: I had a feeling we’re in for a thrill ride this season, when this spunky farming couple took the opportunity to marry during a lull in commitments to hay, lambs and other farming-stuff — smack bang in the middle of winter. The day turned out to be one of those magnificent winter sunny days, which of course put everyone in an extra good mood. It wouldn’t have mattered too much if it had rained though, as the venue was The Beer Farm — a unique brewery with plenty of room inside should a Plan B need to be actioned.
Peter & Teniele: This couple loved their glamping tent so much, they ignored the traditional wedding rule of marrying in an obvious setting (the forest in which they were camped), and got married inside the tent instead! The bride had bumped into one of her high school teachers in the street of Margaret River, so spontaneously invited him to be their witness.
Tim & Bailey: This couple organised their small wedding from afar, and it wasn’t until meeting in person (in the carpark at Boranup Forest) that I realised I play tennis with the bride’s father!
David & Dini: The arbor was handmade by the groom, and we all joked that it had been engineered to the extreme. Probably a good thing, given that he’s an engineer! And an extra good thing given that it was position in a potential-high-wind zone above the Wilyabrup cliffs.
Tony & Kim: It was to be a super relaxed beach wedding, (which it was), but made extra special by the bride arriving in full bridal gown. The party carried on at the couple’s Yallingup holiday home for an extended lunch of nibbles and champagne. The groom organised the group photo by flying his drone around the group and catching candid photos.
Russell & Kaylen: The first of three weddings today — a rainy, squally day in the south west. Thankfully their wedding was intimate, so it wasn’t too much trouble to go to Plan B and move the guests and ceremony inside. The theme was “Japanese blossom” to tie in with their honeymoon destination, which was exquisite. This was also the last wedding to be recorded in my big red register, which means it was wedding number 294 for me.)
Robert & Jaime: The couple wanted low-key nuptials on their back porch, dressed in regular clothes, with their kids clambering over them and no guests apart from aunty and uncle as witnesses. The groom surprised his bride with a heartfelt speech during the ceremony, bringing tears to everyone’s eyes. We toasted to their happiness with mis-matched glassware overflowing with champagne. It was perfect for them!
Zamza & Georgina: Rainy and squally conditions could not get this couple down — they simply relocated the ceremony from the Wilyabrup cliff-tops to the car port! I got to use the word “like!” with a :thumbs up: — making me realise how deeply social media has infiltrated our language and gestures… It was appropriate though, because I was re-telling the bride’s first impression when she saw the groom for the first time. 👍
Haydn & Amy Jo: As the bride was walking up the aisle, I looked across at the groom and groomsmen. Every single one had tears rolling down his cheeks. Which of course, got me going, which got the bridesmaids going, which got the parents going… It was a beautiful, emotional, ecstatic celebration of a couple meant to be together, and two families who couldn’t have been happier.
Luke & Rächel: I arrived at Shelley Cove to find these two cavorting on the beach having their official photos in the gorgeous late afternoon light. The ceremony was full of lightness and laughter, to match their cheeky senses-of-humour. The international guests were surprised at how uplifting and easy an Australian marriage ceremony can be!
Chris & Kristy: As required by law, I arrived at the ceremony site 15 minutes before the ceremony. 20 minutes later and there was still no sign of the groom, bride, or even the guests! Luckily I had my ukulele in the car, so happily sat in the sunshine and practiced, until they turned up a few minutes later. I should have suspected this would not be a traditional wedding when the groom first made contact with me — he’d wanted to surprise his bride by having her turn up to a “birthday party” that would really be a wedding. Unfortunately for him, surprise weddings are not legal in Australia. His surprise element had to be presenting her with the NOIM papers while out to dinner 6 weeks earlier. It turned out OK — she got the surprise and the joy of planning her Big Day.
Peter & Geraldine: *drum roll* My 300th wedding ceremony! It was conducted on the beach near Prevelly, (Margaret River), under gusty conditions but smiling guests. While the couple were signing the register, Aunty got a cheer when a rogue wave caught up with her. She was a great sport about it, laughing when I thanked her for entertaining the guests while the paperwork was being done.
Joseph & Lauren: The power of great photography… this couple had seen a photo done by Maz at Black Bird Tale, and wanted a re-enactment of the scene for their own nuptials. Of course, moments in time cannot be recreated precisely, especially by other people, but this couple got their own magical story captured by Maz — their two kids entwined around their legs and on their hips, and witnessed by immediate family only.
Au revoir, and shine on beautiful people,