Winter Wedding

The South West of WA is particularly beautiful in the winter time, though a little chilly and rainy at times. The weekend of Steven and Desiree’s wedding at Eight Willows Retreat in Metricup was perfect – a bit of sunshine, a light breeze and a break from the usual June rain.

We gathered under the willow tree, with the lake stretched out behind us. It was a beautiful setting for the large bridal party, gathered around the couple to support them through this wonderful moment.

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Under the willow tree – photo by Viva! Life Photography Weddings

The ceremony included a Sand Unity Ceremony with the children to signify the moment of new beginnings for this lovely family.  Each family member had their own glass jar personalised with their initial and filled with coloured sand.


A wonderful winter wedding! Wishing Steve & Desiree much love, light and happiness into the future.

With thanks to Viva Life Photography Weddings for the use of some of the photos in this story.

Wendy x

Yallingup Foreshore

PHILIP & NATASHA – 25 March 2017
We gathered on the grassed area of the Yallingup Foreshore for Phil & Natasha’s morning ceremony overlooking the ocean. The day started out cloudy and overcast, and as our ceremony began the skies cleared and the sun shone down.

It was a beautiful heartfelt ceremony to be a part of which included a Sand Unity Ceremony involving all of the children.  Often marriages not only unite the bride and groom, they unite families. The sand ceremony was a beautiful way to symbolise this new beginning for them all.

I was delighted to receive these gorgeous photos by In Sight Photography from the couple so I could share their beautiful day with you.

Much love and light to Philip, Natasha and thier family as they continue on into married life together! xx

The Tide is High

When preparing for a wedding I usually suggest a rehearsal the day before the ceremony, at the same time if possible so we have a good idea of the positioning of the sun and the weather forecast in mind. This often works well in Margaret River as members of the bridal party are usually travelling down the day before to attend.  So the day before Jo and Matt’s beach wedding at Gnarabup at the wedding rehearsal we had decided on the perfect spot on the beach for the arbor, and where to direct the ceremony for the best view of the ocean. There was some talk of rain, but we were hopeful this was not going to eventuate.

The morning of the big day I woke to news of a ‘super swell’ around the oceans of Margaret River.  People had been posting pictures already of the amazing waves.  I knew this would mean some amazing photos for my beautiful couple!  When I arrived at

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Keeping an eye on that tide!

Gnarabup it became clear what else this super swell was going to mean – the waves had been coming up so far that half the beach was missing! The wonderful team at Barefoot Beach Weddings had been monitoring the situation, and asked the Empire Events crew to set up the ceremony in the far corner of the Gnarabup beach.  There was still the occasional wave lapping at the first row of chairs, but it seemed to be settling down.

I continued my set up, somewhat distracted by that amazing ocean swell.  Guests were starting to arrive. And then, RAIN! Luckily I had my roadie with me to help grab all of the sound equipment, throw a rain cover over my PA system and save my paperwork! As we all gathered under the shelter of the White Elephant Cafe and waited for the rain to pass there was a current of excitement and expectation in the air.  All this time my groom was the picture of calm.  He was sure that the rain would clear, and we would be able to have the ceremony on the beach as planned, and he was right.  The showers passed and we made our way once more down to the arbor to prepare for the arrival of our bride.

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Beautiful Jo and her father making their entrance. Photo by Driftwood Photography

As Jo made her way down the beach to her groom, her father by her side, the magic of a beautiful wedding took over.  This couple, who I had the pleasure of getting to know over several coffees and conversations, were finally standing before each other exchanging vows and rings in one of their favorite places.  Their ceremony was simple and elegant, reflecting their values as a couple, evoking some traditions of the past, and of course with a few laughs thrown in for good measure.    The weather behaved itself, and the ocean continued to look amazing during the ceremony.  Only once did a cheeky wave come up and lap at the guests feet – lucky it was a barefoot wedding!

Beach weddings can be full of surprises – mother nature has her own plans for your special day.  But they are such a beautiful experience, especially when you can feel the sand through your toes, and have the sounds of the ocean in the background as promises are made, and love declared.

I wish the wonderful Jo and Matt a world of happiness and love as they step into married life together.

Wendy x

Thanks to Jo and Matt for sharing some of their beautiful photos by Driftwood Photography with me!

Love Notes

It was a beautiful clear summers day as we gathered to celebrate Kathy and Aidan’sCeremony Arbor Fair Harves - Wendy Grace Hendry Celebrant wedding at Fair Harvest in Margaret River.  As a working permaculture farm, Fair Harvest conveys a
genuine south west rural feel with an extra wholesome twist. As guests arrived they took a stroll along the tree lined lane up to the clearing on the hill, overlooking the farm, and surrounded by tall trees of the forest.  The path to the ceremonial space was lined with paper flowers, and the ceremony arbor was adorned with colourful paper cranes, shells and flowers. After getting to know Kathy and Aidan as we planned their ceremony I could see why they chose such a place of natural beauty, bathed in peace and simplicity.

There were so many unique moments in this ceremony that reflected the values of the couple, and created a wonderful atmosphere of love and community.  By request, my welcome included an acknowledgement of the Aboriginal land on which we were standing – something I was both delighted and humbled to do.  The couple read beautiful vows to each other which they were hearing for the first time –  I’m fairly confident there was not a dry eye in the place afterwards.  And as a beautiful touch, their fur baby Bo-Jangles had the important role of ring bearer.  He was indeed a good boy, and super handsome in his fancy bow!

However it was the love notes that brought a next level uniqueness to this beautiful celebration.  As guests arrived they were asked to take a paper heart, and write on it just one word as a blessing or wish for the couple. At a special time in the ceremony a basket was placed on the ground in front of the couple. Guests were invited to come forward with their love note and read their word aloud to Kathy and Aidan as they placed the paper heart in the basket.  As this process unfolded it became a wonderful time of connection, blessing and community as a myriad of beautiful single words were expressed to the couple.

The warmth of these blessings, and the notes to accompany them, will be a wonderful keepsake as they move on to the next chapter of their lives together.

It was an honour to be a part of this wonderful celebration.  Love, joy and peace to Kathy and Aidan into their future together.

Wendy x

Thanks to Kathy and Aidan for allowing me to share some of their photos, captured by Zuzu.

 

My Commitment to You

It seems the cogs of change are slowly turning across our country, and the possibility of marriage equality is becoming more hopeful.  Many people are waiting, or know of family or friends who are waiting for their love to be equal.

However I can understand for many people, the wait is too long.  You’re in love, you’ve found your soulmate, and you want to declare it to your family and friends now in a beautiful ceremony.

It’s been almost 10 years now since my partner and I chose to celebrate our love and commitment with a wedding. It will always be my heart wedding, and I’m glad we decided not to wait – it marked a special moment in time, and we have beautiful memories to look back on now.  One day we hope to have the opportunity for a legal marriage.

So my commitment to you, while we wait for those cogs to move a bit faster, is this:

Book me as your Celebrant for your Commitment Ceremony now, and together we will create your dream wedding.  When the laws change I will conduct your legal marriage ceremony free of charge.    

Together we will celebrate love!

Read more about Same Sex Weddings here. The second ceremony will be a ‘legal’s only’ one  within my ‘Short and Sweet’ guidelines.  Contact me for more information and to tell me your plans so we can begin to imagine, laugh and create together.

Wendy x

A Family Centred Ceremony

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The Bush Chapel at Willy Bay Resort

The day of Amy and Ethan’s summer wedding was warm and bright, perfect for their outdoor ceremony in the bush chapel at Willy Bay Resort in Metricup.  With an intimate gathering of close family and friends, the presence of children in the bridal party and among the gathered guests helped set the scene for a relaxed family friendly celebration of love.

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Sand Unity Ceremony – photo by Kendra Benson Photography

To involve their young children in the day, and to acknowledge the important step they were taking as a family, Amy and Ethan chose for them to take part in a Sand Unity Ceremony.  Each jar contained something special to symbolise the individual – a special colour, sand sourced from a favourite beach, and even a jar of tiny shells for little Evie.  As they poured the sand into their central jar, with a few spills and laughter along the way, we all felt we had witnessed a special moment of memory making for the family.  Once combined, the grains can never be completely separated – the newly created jar of blended sand and shells will now be a keepsake in their home to remember it by.

Having shared the sand ceremony together, they stood as a family under the bush chapel arbor as the couple were pronounced as married, ready to take on the next chapter of their lives.

“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.” Lisa Weedn

It was a pleasure getting to know this beautiful family as we planned their special day together.  Wishing Amy and Ethan much love, joy and laughter into the future.

With thanks to Kendra Benson Photography for use of her beautiful photos from the day!

Wendy x

Pinkie Promise

They say it’s good luck to have rain on your wedding day, but I must confess to being a little worried when I looked out my window all morning to see intermittent heavy showers and wind.  The forecast was for it to clear around midday so everyone’s fingers were crossed as the day went on.  As we set up at the beautiful lake of Willy Bay Resort the dark clouds were still gathered.  If the rain held off it would make for great photos!

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The Great Arrival – photo by Kelly Harwood Photography

Well the rain did hold off, and although the strong breeze continued, nothing could take away from the anticipation of everyone there – the wedding day had finally arrived! As the stunning bride wound her way down the pathway to the lake, arm in arm with her father,with the handsome groom watching on, everyone forgot the weather and were swept away with the romance of the moment.

The atmosphere of love and romance created by this beautiful couple flowed through the whole proceedings.  The ceremony was complete with special family moments, some tears and a little laughter. The reading chosen for the day was the lighthearted children’s book ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton, about two lovely dinosaurs understanding and appreciating each others differences, falling in love, and of course living happily ever after!

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The Pinkie Promise – photo by Kelly Harwood Photography

The couple surprised each other with personal vows, written from the heart which brought a few more tears of joy all round.  After vows were exchanged, the couple even sealed them with a pinkie promise – ‘straight from the heart, never to be broken’.

With the threatening rain a distant memory, the ceremony concluded with a blessing to the couple – ‘ …and may the warm memories you are making today remain in your hearts and carry you into your future.’ 

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Time to Celebrate! – photo by Kelly Harwood Photography

And with the throwing of confetti and a joyous walk back up the aisle the celebrations began in earnest!

Acknowledgements to Kelly Harwood Photography for the beautiful photos, to Willy Bay Resort for the stunning setting, and to Brooke & Jason Totten for allowing me the honour of being your wedding celebrant.

Much love, peace, joy and laughter to this beautiful couple.

Wendy Grace x

 

Spring Sunshine

Much of the winter in the South West had been wet and cold so I was glad that my couple had planned for a small indoor ceremony for their early September wedding.  It seemed that the winter weather wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry. However, to everyone’s delight it was a glorious spring day.  The sun was shining on the deep greens of winter in the vineyards, farmland and forest of the Margaret River region.  When I arrived at the private residence in Yallingup for Sunny and Jacob’s ceremony it was quickly decided to take in the glorious weather and hold the ceremony on the sun dappled alfresco area of this stunning home.

The ceremony was sweet and simple, with vows made and rings exchanged amongst close friends on a spring afternoon.  It was a joy and an honour to be a part of such an intimate occasion and I felt warmly welcomed by everyone present.

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Adding my print to their keepsake canvas painting

After the ceremony I was invited to join in with some photos and enjoy the beginnings of the celebrations.  I was delighted when the couple asked me to add my fingerprint to their canvas keepsake (as shown).

It was an honour to officiate this ceremony and be included in the warmth of the day.  Wishing Sunny and Jacob much love and light in their future together.

 

A Beach Wedding

It was unusually hot and humid as I prepared for Lisa and Ben’s big day.  A thunderstorm had been threatening for a few days now, but it seemed (fingers crossed) that the weather would hold off for the late afternoon ceremony time.

The setup at Gnarabup Beach, (near Margaret River) was simple and stylish, and all thatIMG_5359 was required with such a breathtaking location.  The dramatic cloud formations, along with the sparkling water and the rock edged beach cove made for a perfect scene as the guests gathered to welcome the bridal party to the ceremony.

Being a ‘barefoot beach wedding’, the guests were encouraged to leave their shoes at the stairs and enjoy the sand beneath their feet.  The bridesmaid followed by the bride making their entrance, and flinging off her shoes at the bottom of the stairs was a great start to a relaxed wedding.

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Lisa and Ben’s Ceremony – Gnarabup Beach (photo by Cas Ritter)

The ceremony that followed was simple and sweet, with a highlight being the ring-bearer Toby, a very well behaved and loved dog who had the rings tied around his collar complete with a smart bow tie.

The threatening thunderstorm provided a beautiful skyline, and an amazing sunset that night.  A perfect start to married life for this gorgeous couple.  Thanks to Lisa and Ben for allowing me to share their story.  It was an honour to be their celebrant!

Tree planting ceremony

Late last year I officiated a beautiful country wedding held on a family property in Margaret River.

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The Bride and Groom requested a tree planting ritual as part of their ceremony to symbolize the deepening roots of their relationship, and the continued growth of their love.

A young olive tree was set on a table, with two small pots of soil, two small trowels and a watering can.

When it was time for the tree planting ceremony, the couple each took a trowel and scooped soil into the pot containing the tree while words were read out about strengthening love, growth and nourishment.  As the couple held the watering can together and watered their tree for the first time, the words from  Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis DeBernieres were read:

“Love is a temporary madness,

it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.

And when it subsides you have to make a decision.

You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable

that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.

Love is not breathless, it is not excitement,

It is not the promulgation of eternal passion.

That is just being “in love” which any fool can do.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,

and that is both an art and a fortunate accident.

Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from the branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”

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At the conclusion of the ritual the couple were then reminded to nourish each other, with words of encouragement, trust, and love on a daily basis to enable them each to grow to their fullest potential.

“Take this little olive tree with you when you return home, as a reminder of this day and your commitment to nurture each other today and into your future.”

Find out about other ceremony rituals here.

Wendy xx