Wildcroft Wedding – Kelly and Hayden’s Margaret River Region Winter Wedding

Kelly and Hayden were married on the last day of winter at their property near Yallingup named Wildcroft, surrounded by an intimate gathering of family and friends.

After first meeting back in high school, it took another decade and the help of Facebook from opposite sides of the country for these two lovers to reconnect.  Since then life has taken on an awesome direction of togetherness, sharing adventures, making plans for the future, with their beautiful children being the centre of it all.  They live on a gorgeous property which has two old cottages onsite which they have inspirational future plans with.

It was one of these cute cottages that were part of their wet weather plan B. They had originally planned the ceremony to be outside on the property, however with the weather looking a little unstable they decided to quickly make the necessary repairs to the cottage to enable to ceremony to take place inside.

And what an amazing location it turned out to be, perfectly scrubbed up and styled.  You can tell by the photos so beautifully captured by Freedom Garvey Photography that it was unique, cosy, and simply gorgeous!  I don’t do many ceremonies indoors, so it was such a wonderful novelty being in this wooden cottage, warmed by the old fashioned wood stove in the tiny kitchen.

Wendy Grace Hendry Marriage Celebrant. Margaret River Wedding Celebrant
Telling the Story – Photo by Freedom Garvey Photography

The ceremony was relaxed, intimate, and full of love.  Kelly and Hayden arrived together in their Datsun 1600, and walked in arm in arm through the back door and up the aisle of delighted guests.  During the ceremony their beautiful children Spencer and Emily felt completely at home interacting with the events taking place with Mum and Dad.

Thanks Kelly and Hayden for inviting me to share in this special day with you and your gorgeous family.  It was an honour and a joy to be your Celebrant!

Wendy x

Enjoy the gallery of photos below by Freedom Garvey Photography – https://freedomgarvey.com.au/

Check out Wildcroft Cottages on Instagram @wildcroftcottages

River Stone Ceremony

There is a ritual inspired by Celtic traditions, said to be used by early settlers and convicts in Australia, where instead of exchanging rings, as they were far too expensive, the couple would cast a stone into the river as a symbol of the wedding promises made, ever strong and steady as the river of the water ebbs and flows around them.

Tiffany and Corinne were married in February 2018, in the beautiful natural setting of Nanga Bush Camp in Dwellingup, WA.  The chosen location for their ceremony was in a clearing alongside the Murray River.

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Tiff and Corinne’s Wedding Ceremony – photo by April Loves Arnold

There were many personalised elements to Tiff and Corinne’s ceremony, as they stood together, with their siblings by their side, ready to take the steps to marriage.  And although they were exchanging rings, a river stone ritual seemed like a natural choice for such a location, and was a perfect way to complete their wedding ceremony.

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Stone and Rings – photo by April Loves Arnold

After the main part of the ceremony had taken place, and the couple and witnesses had signed the marriage register, the bridal party made their way across the rocks alongside the water.  Their attendants, Brie and Daniel handed Tiffany and Corinne a special stone each, chosen for the occasion.

Tiffany and Corrine were asked to hold the stones in their hands to warm them, and feel the smooth, solid weight of them, before exchanging stones with each other.  They then turned, and cast them into the river water below, followed by these words of good wishes:

“From this day forward, may your relationship stay strong and solid, as life, like the river, ebbs and flows around you.”

They were then presented for the first time as ‘Mrs and Mrs’ to cheers and applause from friends and family – such a wonderful moment to celebrate!!

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Final Presentation to Family and Friends – Photo by April Loves Arnold

I love helping couples find new ways to express their relationship and personalities, and to include creative elements to their ceremony.  The river stone ritual worked so well in this setting by the Murray River, and could be adapted by to other locations as inspired. There are ideas for other rituals here.

The photos are by the talented Amy of April Loves Arnold. Many thanks to Tiffany and Corinne for sharing these photos, and their fabulous wedding day with me!

Wendy x 

Bagpipes Over Gnarabup Beach

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.

Charlotte and Luke Wedding Ceremony Wendy Hendry Celebrant - photo by Driftwood Photography

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!

Wendy x

Photos by Tom Pearsall, of Driftwood Photography.

Ceremony and Reception – Barefoot Beach Weddings

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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What happens at the Wedding Rehearsal?

No matter how big or small, formal or informal your wedding is going to be I will always recommend a wedding rehearsal, preferrably in the week leading up to your big day.  Some of you might be wondering what the rehearsal is all about, so here’s what usually happens at mine, and why I love them so much.

Nannup rehearsal Insta pic

To start with, I’m usually pretty excited when the wedding rehearsal day finally arrives. Often this wedding has been in the planning stages for many months, and in the last month there will have been emails to and fro with ceremony drafts, and all of the final details falling into place.  For the couple, the excitement (and sometimes stress) is building, and all of the planning and dreaming is starting to become a reality.  So the wedding rehearsal is a defined time set aside to think about the actual ceremony, which in my mind is one of the key events in the wedding day process!

Here are some things that usually happen, and why I like them:

  • Meet the couple again (and they meet me!) – sometimes we may have only met a few times, or even for the first time if the booking was made long distance! It’s so nice to connect with my gorgeous couples again after so much planning.  Sometimes I also get to meet the bridal party and key people involved – it’s lovely to put a face to the names of the people you are involving in your special day.  If you are having a big bridal party its a good idea to have them come along too, it will help if they know what’s going on, and helps calm their nerves too!
  • Walk through the actual ceremony – this is an informal run through preferably in the ceremony setting.  During this time you will be able to rehearse how you will enter the ceremony, and details such as the time it will take to walk ‘down the aisle’ in whatever way you had planned.   We can all work out where everyone will stand – I’m happy to make suggestions, and I tend to move around where humanly possible to ensure I’m out of the way for the big photo moments (like THE KISS, and the pronouncing), but I’m always happy to stand the way you would prefer.  Some settings lend themselves well to different standing arrangements – the rehearsal is a great time to make these final decisions.
  • Each ceremony is unique, so we also go through any particular situations, such as where the reader might stand, how the vows will be read, where we will sign the register, and the logistics of sand ceremonies and other rituals.  There may also be music timing to consider, whether live, or played through my PA system. The goal here is so that on the wedding day, when it’s all happening, you can feel more confident knowing you have walked in the space, and know what the sequence of events is leading to your momentous walk back up the aisle, married!
  • Work out our plan B (or C even depending on the location and weather). By this stage we usually have an idea of the weather and what might be in store for us on the big day.  It’s good to agree on alternate ceremony plans, and how they will be implemented to avoid stress on the day.
  • Sit down for a moment… and breathe! Often I will have your final ‘Declaration of No Legal Impediment’ ready to sign with me.  This is a great excuse to sit down together for a moment for a chat, make sure everything is clear, and everyone is happy.  The wedding day is usually a bit of a whirlwind, even for the most casual of weddings, so I always enjoy seeing my couple face to face, answer any questions, and reassure them that everything is going to be great (which it will be of course!)
  • Just general excitement – the wedding rehearsal means the big day is just around the corner – yippee!!

A wedding rehearsal is always included in my quoted pricing.  If time or distance is a problem, I usually try and work out an alternative.  There will sometimes be situations where a rehearsal isn’t humanly possible, and if that’s the case I will discuss the details with you by email or phone as the big day gets closer, and gently guide you on the day.

See you at the rehearsal!

Wendy x

*Feature Image – Kathy and Aidan’s wedding rehearsal starring the sweet Bo-Jangles practising his ring bearing skills – photo by ZuZu 🙂

Fairharvest wedding rehearsal Insta

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

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.