Ali and Simon, what can I say? One of the most adorable and in love couples I've ever met, who wanted to do their wedding their way. We all agreed - there should be no white dress, no cheesy love poems and they would have to walk down the aisle together. We spent hours creating, editing and lovingly crafting the ceremony that contained just the right amounts of just the right elements to make their ceremony one only they could have.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Watching the expressions on their guest's faces. The warmth, love and admiration for two people who were doing their thing, their way. It was impossible not to be caught up in the love that swirls around and between all things Ali and Simon.
PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Loughnan
Kerry and Graeme - such a beautiful couple and self confessed perfectionists. They got married at my favourite - Farm Vigano, in the same orchard I was married in only months earlier. The weather was perfect, their family and friends were elated and the details were to die for. Most importantly they had an incredible love for one another that was the true star of the day.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: My favourite moment was relieving their wedding through their amazing photos. Kerry and Graeme's incredible photographer Luke Going captured the true beauty of the venue, the day and the bride and groom themselves = perfection.
I have to start out by stressing that weddings mean different things to everyone. I didn't dream about being the girl in the white dress, so when I had to find an outfit for the day, I decided I wanted to wear a onesie. The quest for onesie acquisition that was both thematically appropriate and wouldn't cost more than my future child's education proved somewhat trying. So I gave up. I chose to instead wear a jazzed up version of my grandmother's veil with a fairly simple dress. Now that was locked in, I could get onto planning what I really cared about - sharing a beautiful experience that celebrated our commitment with people we love.
So what was the experience? It was filled with talk of flamingos, champagne and copious amounts of good Italian fare. Our friends were the curators and musicians, and along with our families they gifted us with beautiful speeches that filled our hearts with giddiness and made our eyes cry with laughter. Everyone created the most amazing atmosphere that we truly wish we could bathe in. It's only in retrospect that I realise it's our inability to do that, that makes the day so precious. It's but a brief moment in time, but if it's done right, it's something you can dip back into the memory of whenever you need to.
There were many little mishaps on the day which from a pragmatic perspective have informed my ability to help guide couples as best I can. In the final analysis I discovered I'm a much better using my powers for good as celebrant rather than 'bride.' I found the letting go very hard, but was lucky to be in the hands of some pretty excellent professionals.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Arriving at the venue - the buses were late, the drivers had to go, nobody had told us that the band had started playing the entrance song. We were kind of running toward the aisle. I was panicking until I turned to see the amazing floral arch my friends had decorated. I saw the love and joy on everyone's faces, and of course, my husband. I felt calm immediately, and took my own advice to look everyone in the eye and breathe the moment in. From there it was like being inside a giant insulated cloud of deliciousness....but I do have to say, I now always make sure my brides are ready to roll before that music starts playing!
PHOTO CREDIT: Stano Murin.
Jamie and Kat: two lovers, dreamers, brave and soulful individuals who found one another at the Cowra races and then weaved their way across a dance floor and right into one another's hearts.
They travelled the world together and separately in the pursuit of their dreams, and evenutally decided to make their union official. Their wedding was overflowing with love, family, friends and all of the things they hold dear.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Watching Kat and her seven bridesmaids walk down the 150 meters of steps to the beach, to 'More than Words' whilst her husband waited. I also like the flower girls who held pineapples. And the way Jamie lifted her up at the end to kiss her. And how everyone embraced the hot sand with parasoles, Indian flip flops and a massive amount of love for Jamie and Kat.
Image credit James Kenny
Sarah and Josh married in the Chapel at Stones of The Yarra Valley. They said 'I do' under an exquisite chuppah draped in amazing flowers by Sugarbee Flowers. Absolutely everything about their day was perfection, and it was such a pleasure to marry these two gentle and loving souls. The looks on the faces of their flowergirls as they walked down the aisle was to die for!
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Watching how excited Josh and his whole family got moments before Sarah arrived. I'm not sure who was most excited that they were getting married!
VIDEO: Allure Productions
Jana and Jason met when Kevin was pushing 'Kevin '07,' an Irishman won Australian idol and 'Big Momma's House' was dominating cinemas. In the ten years that followed they became best friends, champions at Guitar hero and eventually decided to be life long companions.
In January 2016 they married one another in an intimate ceremony in the beautiful Fitzroy Conservatory. Their wedding was co-facilitated with the help of DJ extraordinaire Kieran O'Sullivan and filled with laughter and tears.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Just before Jana walked down the aisle, I asked her niece and flower girl if she was okay. She replied with tears in her eyes 'Yes! I'm just so excited, I can't believe it's finally here.'
I believe it was Paula Abdul who said 'opposites attract,' and this is certainly the case for Kara and Jarrod. She's tiny, he's tall. He's an Olympic sportsperson, she's really good at lying on the couch. They're fun and completely crazy in love with each other. They wanted a wedding that wouldn't fuss over the small stuff but would call into focus their relaxed approach to life.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Has to be Jarrod's little brother. He was so incredibly excited before the wedding. He told me he didn't sleep the night before because he was just 'so happy for them.'
Sharelle and Andrew became Mr and Mrs Hooper in one of my personal favourite ceremonies of all time. It was filled with lots of laughs and happy tears.
A truly beautiful couple, and such a pleasure to be able to be such an intimate part of their wedding.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Watching Sharelle dance with her best friends' daughter to 'going to the chapel' just before walking down the aisle.
Sofie and Nick eloped in front of just two witnesses and a bank of Harley Davidson's.
Their weekday wedding was romantic in its simplicity and we managed to make it everything they wanted their elopement to be.
Sometimes the smallest ones are filled with the biggest loves.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Taking a snap of the rings on top of the Harley. Perfection.
Brooke and Tom's ceremony took place at the top of the Daylesford Convent Gallery garden. Such a beautiful spot!
Surrounded by family and friends they made vows to be by one another's sides for life.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Driving halfway up a mountain to get to the ceremony location and then getting bogged on the way down. It didn't stop Brooke and Tom from having THE MOST stunning day.
PHOTO CREDIT: Cam Grove Photography
Stephen, a guy from a family of all boys in Brisbane, managed to meet his match in Hannah -a girl from country Victoria who has only ever known sisters.
They bonded over a love of 90's music, good food and spending lazy Sundays together on the couch.
Their wedding was another of my favourites into which we put all the best ingredients - stories of their shared loves, filled with many laughs, some tears and a few gags about Brisbane.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Watching Stephen's face as Hannah came around the corner to walk down the aisle. Any nerves disappeared and his face filled with pure love.
Saul and Tenille. Best known as 'Man and Bird.' A man who knows what makes the weather change and doesn't mind telling you. The bird who is a lover of The Beatles, and excellent woman who can back up all theories with compelling facts. Together they are dedicated to the pursuit of good parties, fine wine and excellent food.
Their wedding was everything you'd expect from two people whose attention to detail is second to none. It was my absolute pleasure being able to facilitate the ceremony between these two. The only challenge was finding the words to fit it all in.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Ensuring that the vows were exchanged at the optimum time due to Saul's mum's astrological advice. We had some late buses and many last minute changes, but we made it happen!
PHOTO CREDIT: Blueprint Studios
Chris and Nicole took their time to plan their wedding their way. It was such a beautiful day at the always amazing Stones of the Yarra Valley. True to form, Nicole showed up slightly late, but all was forgotten when the chapel doors swung open to reveal her arm in arm with her mum and dad. It was such a beautiful moment.
The crowd knowingly laughed in moments where we spoke about their differences, and gently cried and nodded when we spoke about their love for one another. SUCH LOVE in the room for these two.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Their dog Jackson sent his apologies as he had a prior engagement to attend. He wished them all the best :)
PHOTO CREDIT: Jerome Cole
Ryan and Sheree! Such a gorgeous couple who married under the tree at the bottom of Collingwood Children's Farm.
They are sweet and loved by all. Sheree has a penchant for buying stationary and creating spreadsheets, whilst Ryan is more a 'fly by the seat of his pants' kinda guy. They both know how to have a great time, they share excellent taste in all things, and their wedding was the epitome of this.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Watching Sheree be brave as a tear fell down Ryan's cheek during the ceremony.
Bec and Dax wanted a low key and intimate ceremony. Gathered around them were 35 of their closest friends and family as they made commitments to look after each other and commit to life long adventures together. The weather absolutely turned it on for these two and Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens never disappoints. The simplicity of the set-up, Bec and Dax's beautifully relaxed attitude and the way they both shone in their outfits put their love for one another front and centre.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Visibly moved, Dax' grandmother came to me at the end of the ceremony with tears in her eyes and said 'I've been to a lot of weddings, and that was the most beautiful and heart felt ceremony I've ever seen.' Job done well.
Sibylla and Pete's was one of the funnest weddings I have ever conducted, and yet it had a huge sense of weightiness and poetry.
Not even a snoozing Mariachi band who had to be woken minutes before Sib walked down the aisle could change the vibe of pure love.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Seeing Sibylla's nerves fall away when she took Pete's hand during the ceremony.
For Andrew it was love at first sight. For Emma...not so much. Once Emma saw Andrew for who he really was, she knew he was the person who she wanted to share her life with. At the exquisite Riverstone Estate on one of the most beautiful days I've seen all year, the two of them made tear filled commitments to support one another, look after each other and occasionally torment each other too.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Seeing the excitement on Emma's niece and nephew's faces as they prepared to walk down the aisle. It was the epitome of pure joy.
PORTRAITS BY: Sarah Godenzi Photography
Carla and Simon first met whilst working part time jobs at DFO. Over very long lunch breaks they slowly got to know one another, until Simon one day asked Carla out. It wasn't long before their lives were intertwined. On the stunning lawn at Farm Vigano, these two exchanged vows with friends and family to witness. Carla was absolutely radiant as she walked towards her husband to be. And he didn't look too shabby either :)
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Rehearsing with these two downstairs in the function room at Farm Vigano. They were both so excited to be marrying one another and I knew that no matter what happened on the wedding day, they would have the best day of their lives. I'm told...it's true!
Jess and Jay - a big fat Aussie/UK wedding and my very first as a celebrant.
For this reason, it always holds a special place in my heart. Jess and Jay have a love of life, one another, and everyone around them that is contagious.
Their ceremony was nothing but FUN. Even the rain didn't stop them from smiling. There's will always be a ceremony filled with great nostalgia for me.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: When Jess decided we should go upstairs for the final part of the ceremony! Love her enthusiasm and dedication to having a good time no matter what. It was also the perfect location, overlooking Sydney Harbour to welcome Jay to his Australian life.
Everything at Bebe and Sam's wedding was the result of love, attention to detail and a LOT of hard work.
For their ceremony I co-facilitated with Bebe's sister who translated in French for her family.
Their wedding was just beautiful! Filled with so much love. Heaps of laughs and pure delight.
FAVOURITE MOMENT: The long walk Bebe did around the property and down the aisle.