5 wedding readings that aren’t too mushy

Shannon Fleming Civil CelebrantReadings are a perfect way to include other people in your ceremony and add a bit of extra fun.

But what if you don’t want a sonnet, something really soppy or a religious reading? Well the good thing about a civil ceremony in Australia is that aside from a small bit of legal jargon, the rest is up to you. So there’s no point having a champagne and serious ceremony, if your fun beer kinda folks!

That means nothing is off limits, it’s up to you.

Here are a few of my favourites, that when read with a but of gusto, are perfect!

All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandpit at primary school.
These are the things we learnt…
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad.
Live a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
Take a nap every afternoon.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic cup?
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

He’s not perfect – a quote by Bob Marley

He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect.
But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice,
and if he admits to being human and making mistakes,
hold onto him and give him the most you can.
He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment,
but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break.
Don’t hurt him, don’t change him,
and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze.
Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad,
and miss him when he’s not there.
Love hard when there is love to be had.
Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.

How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog – Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility, especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes. Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after. Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain, just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back, again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

A Farewell To Arms – Ernest Hemingway

At night, there was the feeling that we had come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal.

We slept when we were tired and if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone.

Often a man wishes to be alone and a woman wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others.

We were never lonely and never afraid when we were together.

A Funny poem for a wedding reading
I Wanna Be Yours…
by John Cooper Clarke
I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours

I wanna be your raincoat
for those frequent rainy days
I wanna be your dreamboat
when you want to sail away
Let me be your teddy bear
take me with you anywhere
I don’t care
I wanna be yours

I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out
I wanna be the electric heater
you’ll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
hold your hair in deep devotion
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
that’s how deep is my devotion

 

2017 wedding ‘trends’

Kate Drennan Photography

2017 was just around the corner. And now it’s here! And as I headed off road trippin’ to my final wedding of the year I had a little reflection, as we all do. Except this time it’s not about all of the resolutions I set and didn’t achieve, it’s about the changes I’ve seen in this wedding world, between January and today.

While we’ve all planned a soiree, a party, a BBQ of some sort, planning a wedding is a little more ‘important’ (well, depending who you ask!) and when the planning stage comes, everyone’s an expert and has a tid-bit or two of advice to share. Well they aren’t ‘experts’, they just had ideas they want to share, and they mean well, so listen and smile and take away what you will from the conversation.

But as an expert, or someone who is at weddings a LOT, here’s my advice, on what’s ‘on (or off) trend’ and what changes we’ll be seeing in 2017.

Top 10 lists are so 2016, so here’s my top 12 things I think you need the heads up about before you get hitched next year!

1. Makin’ it rain
Most of my clients are ‘self-funded’ and footing the bill, while your folks may help top up the fund, your flyin’ solo these days kids, there is no ‘making it rain’ in the wedding world these days. So start saving and be smart. It’s one day on the rest of your life. Do you want swanky napkins or a new fridge?

2. Only the top 10
Weddings are shrinking, and it’s GREAT. People are no longer inviting Nanna’s knitting and bridge clubs, or the post-mans, nieces son who you met once when you were 5. Every Tom, Dick and Harry isn’t on the list either, and you may not have been on a few guests lists over the year. Don’t take it personally. It’s a cost cutting exercise. The new venues have smaller capacities, and the cost per head adds up. Quickly.

3. Say ‘I do’ where you want to
Apparently, 75% of weddings aren’t held in churches these days. So you don’t have to mention God, Jesus, Prayers or the like, but you can if you want to. And we can have your ceremony in your lounge room in our jimmy-jam’s (pyjamas)with two strangers of the street at witnesses – so have it wherever your heart desires.

4. Awesome celebrant
Self-explanatory. Choose someone awesome.laurelville-manor-wedding-sj-photogerson-037-4049

5. Land the plane – less talk more action
Ceremonies aren’t going on, and on, and on anymore. Short, sharp, sweet and fun.

Quote the Muppets or pulp fiction if you want to. Celebrate ceremonies are about 20-25 minutes and full of fun and laughter.

6. Flying Solo
** Spolier alert for my gal pals**

Ever since I became a Celebrant I’ve dreaded when (if!) my day ever comes, who my bridesmaids are going to be. Where do you draw the line?

Last week’s wedding had no bridal party. At all. And it was fabulous.

And I think I might just do the same… *cue text messages from my girlfriends*

7. Photographers that LISTEN
One of the coolest things I love about this gig is the super-mega-rad-photographers I get to work with.

And I can’t remember the last time I heard ‘just put you hand on her hip and tilt your head’ – thank god.

Photographers these days are cool. They lurk in the background and take even cooler pics. So pick someone that you gel with and you dig their vibe.

8. Good vibes – nobody really likes sugared almonds
My last FIVE weddings did ‘feel good things’ for the ‘gift’ instead of bonbonniere. And the one before that said in his speech “I saved on the dumb little bags of stuff and put extra on the bar. Cheers” and everyone laughed…and had another beer.

9. Yes, I want chicken nuggets
Super uptight 3 course sit-down menus aren’t fun, folks can’t mingle.

People are picking the foods they want, and lots of it. Everybody secretly loves a buffet, and platters, and a constant flow of food.

More food means people aren’t sneaking off early to go to Domino’s, and therefore means they’ll be busting out to footloose all night long.

When my day comes, baby arancini, chicken nuggets, potato gems, and cakes. Lots of them. Yes, seriously.

10. Google…and then ask around. Not everyone’s tech savvy.
I’m all for people googling stuff, that’s were most folks find me. But I also LOVE seeing some of the less ‘tech-savvy’ wedding suppliers involved. Don’t be afraid to actually ask (not post in a Facebook group) if anyone has recommendations. One of my favourite florists is based in her garage, and one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten was made in a 1960’s kitsch-as-they-come oven in an even more retro kitchen – and neither has Instagram!

11. I love you more than Nuggets
Yeah ok, I love nuggets. But this was legitimately a line from someone’s vows this year. And it was cool.

No point having a champagne ceremony if your beer folks. Write your own vows, from the heart and say stuff you mean.

12. Your day, your way.
Sounds like a hallmark line, but do things where you want, how you want, the way you want to.

And don’t you be worryin’ about what nobody thinks!

The Magic of Blooms

11535876_1646475385573273_8160396689012518927_n

They say winter is a time for reading, so thought I would write a post today, get a coffee and hopefully I will be able to teach you a little something about the magic of flowers.

Dead flowers I was thinking this morning about the night my boyfriend came to my little Bondi unit with some flowers to say “sorry”. He smiled from ear to ear as he gave his thoughtful gift to me, I smiled back gave him a big hug and said thank you. When I got back inside I was absolutely shocked to find the flowers had started to drop their petals as I walked up my little hall way.

When I approached the bright indoor lights I noted my ‘I’m sorry’ gift was really a bunch of dead flowers.

When I asked my proud boyfriend where he bought the flowers, “Oh” came his reply, “from the corner deli”.

Needless to say I took them back next day and told the deli owner how sad I was he was selling such bad quality stock.

He didn’t care, but I felt better and never went back again.

Because of this morning’s reflection I thought I could spare another unsuspecting person from the same horror, by sharing some hints!

  • Don’t keep your flowers in direct light i.e. windows. The heat from direct sunlight will kill them in a day or two.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask if your florist have a discount program i.e. discount for seniors, regular customers or if you’re just plain broke and it’s your friend’s birthday you need a little something special with in a very small budget.
  • When changing water, clean your container with a little bleach to keep bacteria away
  • Cut your flowers on an angle every two or three days and freshen water at same time, add some flower food if you have some available.
  • Hide the scissors. Use a very shape non-serrated knife instead. Scissors can crush the stems, and then the flowers can’t drink.Monsoon BloomsWhile you’re at it cut off any leaves below the water line, they can cause bacteria.
  • How fresh are your roses? Look at bottom of rose (any blossom really) you are buying, see how many outside petals have been removed or if there is any discoloration. These are signs of older flowers.
  • That weird or wonderful vase you received a delivery of flowers in – ask your florist if they will recycle it with new and delightfully fresh arrangement.
  • Flowers while you fill-up – Be careful of flowers from petrol stations! Fumes can affect the blooms. They may droop early or lose their petals. They could have been cut weeks in advance and put into cold storage.
  • Learn to play well and get along. Fruit and flowers keeping each other company i a no-no. They are mortal enemies. As soon as you turn your back the ethylene gas from the fruit is a sure fire flower killer!
  • Need to Jazz up your red roses? Try pairing them with purple statice or heather. Add colours you feel will cheer up the flowers and make the roses stand out.
  • Beware of those who masquerading as ‘local florist’. Some advertised florists in the yellow pages and top of Google search are national companies, deceiving you into thinking they are local ones. They even buy local telephone numbers to add to the illusion, so double check.
  • And finally, choose locally. If you want more flowers for your money, find a florist in your recipient’s town. Call them directly.
  • Florists spend a lot of time and money learning their magic, a craft that can turn tears to smiles. Say sorry when words just don’t seem enough, fix a broken heart or make you feel better when you have lost a loved one. Floral training creates artists. TAFE can be up to and at times longer than 4 years, then there’s the on the job training. So be sure you choose wisely, choose a trained floral crafter.
  • And last, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We can and will happily help you choose something special to suit your needs..

// Still need an expert, chat to the lovelies at Monsoon Blooms and Balloons for help!

Winter Weddings

Winter Weddings PerthOk, so now the cooler months are here, I can be honest.

I don’t love Summer.

I know, I know! ‘WHAT?!’ But I just don’t, it’s hot and uncomfortable and standing in the 42 degree sun waiting for a bride, with a Groom that’s cooking in his suit well, it’s just not ideal.

I do however love sunshine! And luckily for us here in WA we get sunshine all year round. Our winter months aren’t all ‘doom and gloom’ and we don’t get a whole lot of rain.

So why-oh-why do so few people get hitched in winter? Why does nobody want a white winter wedding?

Well the good news is, there’s perk’s to saying your ‘I-do’s’ without the heat wave.

What are they you ask? Lemme break it down for you!

• Save your pennies
Since everyone is set on the warmer months, a number of things involved in your wedding are often heavily reduced. Including the venue! Lots of venues offer a discounted ‘off-peak’ or ‘winter’ package, and you can also do some negotiating on inclusions!

• Save your time!
A winter wedding means less time. The majority of venues and business are choc-a-bloc over summer, however the winter months mean extra availability meaning you don’t have to book 5 years in advance!

• Your hair
The number of bobby pins I go through in summer is ridiculous. Same goes for hair smoothing serum – for both me and the bride! So if your hairs starts to joosh or look like a bottlebrush (a.k.a go frizzy) in the heat or humidity, then a winter wedding is for you!

** this’ just a bonus top, but something worth considering!

• Photos
My gal pal Hanna from Keeper Creative got super excited when I asked what her thoughts on shooting in winter and she said…well I can’t actually write what she said, but the gist of it was that the light is pretty and you can create warmth amongst cool airs.

Whatever that means? But in photographer speak translated that means ‘winter weddings mean amazing photos’. And you aren’t all hot and sweaty!

There’s something mystically beautiful about having mist rolling around in the backdrop of your wedding, it adds a sense of glamour. And being able to see people’s faces (all of it, not just what’s not hidden behind sunglasses!)

• Winter solstice
Everyone loves a reason to drag them out of their jimmy-jams and slippers in Winter! Otherwise we’d be

All weddings are fun, but winter weddings encourage people out of hibernation AND the fact more often than not that it’s ‘low-season’ in the Wedding industry, can also mean you might just save some moolah. Lots of venues offer discounted winter specials and packages, so don’t be afraid to ask!

• The outfit
The plain fact that it’s not 2 million degrees, means you can consider a whole other world of dress styles – sleeves, darker colours, thicker lace and heavier fabric means you can look extra glam without feeling like your cooking. Plus, who doesn’t love a good bolero to finish off ones outfit!

I’ve had just as many weddings disasters in the warmer months, as in the cooler, so all in all, winter weddings can be just as beautiful as Summer weddings, so don’t rule it out on the off chance it may rain. It’s a sign of good luck anyway!

 

 

Ceremonies 101 – part 3

tahmike_201Paperwork

So other than a lot of talking, there’s some legalities and other things included in the ceremony too.

One biggie is the paperwork, this is signed during the ceremony and you’ll need two witnesses over the age of 18 to co-sign. Traditionally a lot of people assume it’s the Maid of Honour and Best man, but trust be told it can be anyone, Mum & Dad, cousins, or someone special to you that isn’t in the bridal party.

It’s also worthwhile considering placement, and if you’re ok with your guests coming up to grab a quick picture and look at you signing, or if you’d prefer them to stay seated.

 

Rituals

Rituals like readings often break up the ceremony (so it’s not solely talking) and are a beautiful way to add some tradition. Other than the traditional exchange of things, there’s an abundance of other interesting things to incorporate and add to the occasion.

Hand fasting; sand ceremony; releasing butterflies or doves; rings warming are just a few, and while I will give you a list of ideas and creative suggestions, don’t hesitate to ask your family or even scour the internet for something that’s ‘you’.

 

‘I now present to you…’

This is your big finale! The first time you’re presented as a married couple, so make it a big arrival!

Depending on venue restrictions confetti’s is great fun, but there’s also bubbles, rice or roses

You can have your guests form an arch for you to walk under, or you can just stand there and put your arms in the air (like you just don’t care!).

But guests will wonder what to do, so consider that when you’re thinking of your exit and whether you’d like to go straight into congratulations, or just sneak off for a few moments just the two of you.

 

Photos

Now the ceremony is over it’s time for those more organised photos (rather than candid during the ceremony) so if you’d like a group photo, do it now. Otherwise it’s like herding cattle as everyone wanders off.

Mention at the end of the ceremony you’d like a group photo and people will tend to hang around. To make life easier for the photographer, write a list of everyone you’d like a photo with – there are the obvious immediate family (Mum & Dad) photos, but who else would you like a photo with? Make a list, check it twice, and you’ll have gorgeous photos to look back on for the rest of your life!

 

These are just a few ideas and tips, regardless of what you do or don’t include, remember it’s your day, have it your way, and remember it’s about the two of you and what’s lead you to this (amazing) point in life!

Good Luck!

Remember, whatever you choose to include, have a good think about whether it really means something to you both as a couple. Happy ceremony planning!