If you were down at Gnarabup Beach, Margaret River on the afternoon of the 3rd March you may have been lucky enough to hear the sound of bagpipes across the waters of the bay. This was the soundtrack to Charlotte and Luke’s wonderful wedding day!
Charlotte and Luke met in their birth country of Scotland, but now they call Western Australia home. Their beach wedding, with sparkling waters of Gnarabup as the backdrop, so different to their homeland, had so many beautiful touches of their Scottish heritage.
As Charlotte, escorted by her Father and bridesmaids, made her way down the steps from the car park to the White Elephant Cafe, she was led by Ryan playing the ‘Highland Cathedral’ on the bagpipes. It was a beautiful sight, that I’m pretty certain brought a tear to the eyes of everyone watching on. The bagpiper continued from the balcony of the cafe as the bridal party made their way down onto the beach to the waiting Groom Luke and his groomsmen, dressed in traditional Scottish attire.
Luke and Charlotte’s ceremony was simple and intimate, shared by a close circle of family and friends. Due to the wonders of technology, the ceremony was also live-streamed to their family in Scotland who were able to watch on as Luke and Charlotte exchanged vows and rings, some 14,000km’s away. As they were pronounced married, the bagpipes once again sounded out over Gnarabup Beach, in celebration of Charlotte and Luke’s union.
Thanks to Luke and Charlotte for asking me to be a part of your wedding day, and sharing these photos with me to remember it by. A truly wonderful ceremony to be a part of!
Tucked away in Quedjinup, between Yallingup and Dunsborough in the South West of WA, is a beautiful property called Yallingup Brook. It was here, in the cool lush gardens on a warm November day that Jasmyn and Bradley became husband and wife.
“You know you’ve found the one, when your favourite thing to do together is Sunday walks along the beachfront and simply spending time together.”
Jasmyn and Bradley’s love shone through in the ceremony, and it was beautiful to witness them exchanging their personal vows to each other that they were hearing for the first time.
They wanted a simple relaxed ceremony, surrounded by family and friends, with their little boy Koby by their side. Koby and his cousin looked like bundles of cuteness in their special tulle-filled cart to sit in for the ceremony. Of course, like most little ones, he was happiest in his parents arms by the end of the ceremony, joining them in their walk back up the aisle as Mr & Mrs!
I’m so thankful this beautiful family asked me to be part of their special moments. Wishing Jasmyn, Bradley and Koby a lifetime of happiness and memory making.
I love weddings, I always have. And now I’m lucky enough to experience them from one of the best seats in the house. From where I stand I can see it all unfold like a mini fairytale each time, complete with the nerves, the tears, the intensity, and those little moments between the couple when they realise they are standing in the place they have been planning and dreaming about for so long.
The day of Jessica and Shannon’s wedding was one of the warmest and brightest Spring days we had experienced in the South West so far this season, perfect for their wedding amongst nature at Wharncliffe Mill. Wharncliffe Mill is a bush retreat located in the Bramley National Park, Margaret River. The entry to the property off the main road takes you down a long gravel lane past tall trees, adorned with cheerful bunting. Nestled amongst the campsite is a natural amphitheatre, set in the bush surrounded by tall trees, perfect for a wedding ceremony.
When we were all set to go, the music began and the bridal party made their way carefully down the amphitheatre steps, accompanied by the groomsmen in turn. Then we all waited for that moment when Jess was to appear with her Dad, and the Bride and Groom would see each for the first time that day. I still catch my breath at this moment – it is always so beautiful and full of happy emotion. Jessica made her way to the front, accompanied proudly by her Father, ready to take the next steps into married life.
The ceremony was down to earth and sweet – a lighthearted telling of their love story, the exchange of vows and rings, a wonderful happy kiss, the signing of legal papers resting on a wine barrel, and some words of blessing to send them on their way. As the closing words were spoken and they were presented as Mr & Mrs to their family and friends for the first time, a kookaburra decided to join in with the final moments creating a perfect end to a ceremony in the bush!
I’m so thankful to have been a part of their special day. Wishing Jessica and Shannon a lifetime of love and happiness together.
Wharncliffe Mill Wedding – Photo by ‘All About Image Photography’.
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.
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.
Sand Ceremony Before – S & D
Sand Ceremony Completed – S and D – Wendy Grace Hendry Margaret River Celebrant
A wonderful winter wedding! Wishing Steve & Desiree much love, light and happiness into the future.
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
P & T Wedding – Photo by In Sight Photography
Yallingup Wedding P and; T Wedding – Photo by In Sight Photography
P & T Wedding – Photo by In Sight Photography
Yallingup Wedding – Wendy Grace Hendry Celebrant P and T Wedding – Photo by In Sight Photography
P & T Wedding – Photo by In Sight Photography
P & T Wedding – Photo by In Sight Photography
Wendy Grace Hendry P & T Wedding – Photo by In Sight Photography
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
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.
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.
It was a beautiful clear summers day as we gathered to celebrate Kathy and Aidan’s 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.
Thanks to Kathy and Aidan for allowing me to share some of their photos, captured by Zuzu.
Exchanging Rings – photo by Zuzu
Paper cranes decorating the Ceremony Arbor.
Kathy and Aidan. Photo by Zuzu
The Arbor – Fair Harvest Margaret River.
Ready to start the ceremony at Fair Harvest
Bo-Jangles was a super handsome ring bearer in his fancy bow. Photo by Zuzu.
The ceremony clearing at Fair Harvest, Margaret River
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.’
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
Margaret River Wedding Jason and Brooke Photo by Kelly Harwood Photography