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.

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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

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.

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 

There’s No Place Like Home

After an amazing 20 years together, Tracy and Kim were married in their favorite place – their beautiful home in Rosa Brook, in the Margaret River Region of Western Australia.

The weekend of their wedding day was one of wild storms – heavy rain and wind had been sweeping across the south west for a few days.  Luckily they had a ‘plan B’ in mind so the garden ceremony they had been hoping for was put aside, and the ceremony was set up in their (amazingly) renovated shed.  The room was adorned with fairy lights, candles and streamers, and the centerpiece was the gorgeous arbor made especially for the occasion and positioned to frame the doors which were opened to look out at the surrounding nature.

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Here come the brides! Photo by Kelly Harwood Photography

In the late afternoon, in somewhat perfect timing, the rain and wind stopped and the sun came out ready for Tracy and Kim to make their way together from the house to their wedding ceremony.  It seemed so perfect for them to walk in together and take their place under the arbor.  They had been near-inseparable since they met 20 years ago, so it was natural for them to arrive at such a special day by each others side.

As they stood before close friends and family, I think everyone, including me, shed a few happy tears during their ceremony.  There was so much love in the room. And as the Monitum was read out, that ‘marriage according to law in Australia is the union of two people…’ it was a wonderful reminder that the law had finally caught up to love! What a beautiful thing to celebrate!

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Tracy and Kim exchanging rings – photo by Kelly Harwood Photography

Thank you to Kim and Tracy for allowing me to share some of their story and gorgeous photos.  Wishing them many more years of love and happiness in that beautiful place you call home!

Wendy x

Photos by the talented Kelly Harwood Photography –  https://kellyharwoodphotography.pixieset.com/

See also – Equal Love

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

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!