Donnelly River Wedding

Autumn can be such a beautiful time of year in the South West, and the day of Erin and Greg’s May wedding was no exception. Donnelly River Village is an historic mill town nestled in the South West Karri forest between Bridgetown, Nannup and Manjimup.  It doesn’t take long to spot the local wildlife, with kangaroos and emus casually strolling around the grounds on a regular basis.  During our wedding rehearsal a few kangaroos came to check out what was going on!

The clearing up to the left of the village as you drive in is where the ceremonies usually take place, there is a nice winding path that takes you there, perfect for a beautiful wedding party entrance, and a gravel clearing for the ceremony with some gorgeous tall karri trees surrounding the area.

Erin and Greg’s wedding had some wonderfully unique styling and elements which made it perfect for them. Check out the amazing arbour created and styled by the couple, complete with ‘his and hers’ sheep skulls adorning the top!

To mark this step on their journey together they also asked me to incorporate a Handfasting ritual in their wedding ceremony. ‘Handfasting’ is the ancient word for a wedding and was traditionally recognized as a binding contract of marriage between a couple before weddings became a legal function of the government or the church. Today, it is more of a symbolic ceremony to honour a couple’s desire for commitment to each other, and to acknowledge that their lives and their destinies are now bound together.

Erin and Greg chose to have four ribbons as part of their Handfasting. Their  children brought forward three of the ribbons, and then I placed the final ribbon over their joined hands, and tied them, along with some specially chosen words of course.  The final tied knot created as they pulled their hands apart can be seen on the signing table photo, which is now a lovely keepsake for them to remember the day by.

I loved helping to create this special ceremony for them. Each couple, and ceremony is special and creates wonderful memories for me to reflect on.  Have I mentioned how much I love my job?!  If you would like to know more about ceremony rituals you can find some more here – CEREMONY RITUALS

Thanks to Erin and Greg for asking me to be a part of your awesome wedding day! Wishing you much love and happiness into your future.

Wendy x

Some photos used are from Henderson Photographics, and some are my own.

Equal Love

Yesterday was the second time I’ve had the joy of saying the new ‘Monitum’ wording with two wonderful women in front of me as they prepare to marry.  It is such a simple changing to the wording – “Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people…” but those simple words ‘two people’ represent so much to so many who have been waiting for this change for such a long time.

My wedding yesterday in Margaret River was between two people who had been together for a fabulous 20 years, and were finally able to be legally married in front of their family and friends at their home. They were able to celebrate the amazing discovery of unconditional love, and the joy of life shared with their soulmate and best friend.  What a wonderful moment it was to speak those new words to this couple, confirming that their love is equal in the eyes of the law in Australia.  I must confess, even though I’ve been saying these words for a few months now, I got a little emotional reciting the Monitum this time – I’m only human!

Hopefully I will have some photos to share of this beautiful day soon, but for now take in the simplicity and power of this line of the Monitum:

marriage equality monitum - Wendy Hendry Celebrant

 

Family Unity Puzzle

When I plan a ceremony with my couples I offer a set of resources which includes some ideas for wedding ceremony rituals. This is not everyone’s cup of tea, so if that’s the case we skip over that part and move onto the next.  However for some couples, the idea of marking the moment in time with a special action or ritual brings an extra element to their wedding that they were hoping for. I like to encourage people to be creative with this, and find something that is going to suit. A great example of this is the Love Notes.

Lisa and Mark wanted to find a way to include their three children in the wedding ceremony so I was delighted when Lisa contacted me with the concept of the Family Jigsaw Puzzle, or Family Unity Puzzle.  At a special time in the ceremony, each person in the family would take a piece of the puzzle and place it together to make the whole picture.  I loved it! And so I set to work writing some words that would suit. There is such lovely symbolism in the idea of each person being a special part of the family, and having a unique connection with each other.

On the day at Arimia Winery in Margaret River, the puzzle was set out on a table, ready to be put together again.  Unity Puzzle - Wendy Grace Hendry CelebrantIt was particularly special that Lisa had made the puzzle herself, giving it an extra uniqueness, and a wonderful keepsake for the family for years to come.  When it came to connecting the pieces, the family gathered around the table and placed the pieces together on the frame, completing the picture, and marking that special moment in time.

I love working with my couples to find the best way to express their uniqueness in their wedding ceremony.  Sometimes it’s simply in the style of ceremony, or in the personalised vows, or choice of poem, and sometimes it’s in working together to find new ideas of symbolising and celebrating that moment in time .

Thank you to Lisa and Mark for giving me permission to share their idea with everyone.

Wendy x

Arimia Winery Margaret River - Wendy Grace Hendry Celebrant
Arimia Winery Wedding, Margaret River

 

Bridgetown Wedding

Tucked away just out of the picturesque town of Bridgetown is a property called Bridgetown Gardens. It was here, under a beautiful tunnel of Wisteria that Jessica & Travis became husband and wife.

Jess and Travis have known each other since high school, first meeting on the school bus, and their wedding was a celebration of these sweet beginnings, and the bright future that lies ahead of them.

A few lovely highlights – as we were setting up, the wind was a bit strong at times, blowing across the ceremony space, so the groomsmen kindly decided to stand on the opposite side to the rehearsal so the bride and bridesmaid’s hair wouldn’t blow the wrong way (so thoughtful!); as the littlest flower girl made her way down the steps she took their time admiring the scenery, and looking at the flowers, so a bridesmaid (who happened to also be her Mum) scooped her up and carried her the rest of the way; Jess and Travis exchanged surprise personal vows, having everyone in both tears and laughter; and finally, their Mum’s had the honour of being their witnesses for the paperwork, which I’m sure was a lovely moment for them both.

Thank you to Jess and Travis for inviting me across to Bridgetown to share in your beautiful day, and for sending me these lovely photos by Victoria Baker Photography who captured the whole wedding so well (set up photos by me).

Wendy x

As a side note, if you ever see me wearing my extra large wind sock on my microphone, it’s to stop the rushing wind noise being amplified by the speaker – it works a treat on windy days, but doesn’t look quite as pretty! 

Summer Elopement

If you’re thinking of running away to beautiful Margaret River for an elopement I offer Short and Sweet Ceremonies which are perfect for such intimate occasions.

Celebrancy is my main vocation which means I’m available for small mid-week ceremonies and elopements, as well as big or small weekend weddings and celebrations.

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Exchanging Rings – photo by Zuzu

Remember though, when it comes to weddings my philosophy is simple, no matter what size or shape your ceremony will take, I put the same amount of time, professionalism and care into my ceremonies, and the wonderful couples I’m working for.  Check out What I Offer for information on my ceremony inclusions.

If you want to run away with the one you love for a summer elopement there are still dates available for January, and a few precious weekend wedding dates left in February. Just remember you need to give a minimum one month notice of intent to marry.
Why not contact me for information and pricing?

Email wendygrace74@gmail.com or phone 0403 531 137

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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

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.