Sunshine all year round

Dave and I celebrated our third anniversary in June this year. It honestly feels like this boy has been in my life forever and yet like we’ve only just begun, so that we’ve clocked up 3 years almost took me by surprise.  We celebrated with dinner at one of our favourite restaurants and small gifts for each other.

Three years and counting...

In the early days we celebrated each ‘month-iversary’ with small tokens of our affection and special dinners out. Fast-forward to year 3 and occasionally one of us will bring home some chocolate, wine or a book for the other on the 6th of the month, but generally we save our gift-giving for the annual anniversary.

Which is why I was equally thrilled and dismayed when I saw this gorgeous print on Etsy from artist handz in January this year.

By Etsy vendor Handz

The bright colours and bold typeface instantly appealed to me and as Dave and I regularly sing (off-key, naturally) ‘You are my sunshine’ to one another, it seemed a perfect gift. And yet our anniversary was still 6 months away! How could I give it to Dave before then? What to do?

Well, I counted.

And worked out that we were coming up to 1,000 days of dating. Care to guess what Dave received when we hit that milestone?

Sunshine now graces our living room wall.

I also couldn’t help but think that this print would make beautiful engagement party/wedding decor, especially when paired with some of handz’s other retro -styled work. Then there’s the added bonus of being able to display them in your home afterwards!

Perfect as decor or a gift!

Now I just need to find more dates to celebrate – and some extra wall space!

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Jazzing it up

Earlier this year, we attended the wedding of our friends Elysha and Wil. They married in a religious ceremony at the picturesque Stones of the Yarra Valley on a crisp autumn morning.

Elysha and Wil

Lysh is my little sister’s best friend and having watched her grow from a gorgeous teenager into a beautiful woman, it was particularly poignant to witness her marriage to the equally beautiful Wil.

Both Lysh and Wil are stylish, creative souls and put their own innovative touches on their wedding day.

The stunning chapel at Stones of the Yarra Valley

The chapel was decorated with red and orange floral arrangements to honour Elysha’s Dutch heritage and her late Mum. Friends read blessings and poetry to the couple and Lysh and Wil’s sisters acted as their witnesses. It was an intimate celebration of love and family.

After Wil and Lysh were pronounced husband and wife and prepared to make their exit, the opening bars of Fly Me to the Moon seemed to float down from above.  Wil had organised a jazz band and hidden them in the choir loft as a surprise for his bride. 

As Wil took his new wife for a dance, signs began to pop up around the chapel.

In another surprise for Elysha, Wil and some of his friends had hand-stencilled signs to hoist aloft as they danced their way into their new life together.  It was a perfect moment and resulted in much delighted laughter.

Other signs included 'W loves E' and 'Congrats!'

The newlyweds then made their way out into the sunshine to the strains of jazz standards, where they posed with their wedding party and perhaps the most appropriate sign of all.

What unique touches will you be incorporating into your wedding day?

Elysha and Wil, 1 May 2011
Venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley
Bridal gown: Collette Dinnigan
Bridesmaid gowns: Ted Baker
Flowers: Blooming Brides

All you need is love

It was with much sadness that I heard that the beautiful Farid lost his courageous battle with cancer last Friday. I married Farid and Lisa in February this year and my heart broke for them and the years together that they had been so cruelly denied.

In the short time that I knew Farid, he taught me that The Beatles had it right. All you need is, in fact, love.

On their wedding day, Farid and Lisa were aware that their time together was limited. Neither knew when it would run out, but they were determined to pack as much love and memories into their lives as possible.  They maintained positive outlooks and had long ago adopted the viewpoint that whatever came their way, they would face it. Together.

Lisa and Farid’s wedding was simple and sincere, just as they wanted it. No processions, no readings, no standing on ceremony – just honest and heartfelt statements that attested to how they feel, and would always feel, about the other. It was so moving to witness and left me thinking about it for days afterwards.

I still think about it now.

Cancer may have taken Farid from us, but it will never take away the love that Lisa and Farid share, or the love that all their family and friends are cocooning them both in now.

Vale Farid, a much loved and loving man.

Prue and Nick

From the moment I first met Prue and Nick, I knew I was going to enjoy working with them.

I liked them instantly. They’re best friends as well as partners and have a zest for life that’s infectious. They make each other – and everyone else – laugh and are happiest when outdoors. For their honeymoon, they took off overseas on a snowboarding adventure.

They married on 15 January 2011 at the beautifully rustic Jinks Creek Winery, about an hour east of Melbourne. Nick and Prue chose to spend the night before their wedding at Jinks Creek and get ready together. When we arrived to set up, they were meandering through the vines having their photos taken so that they could spend more time with their guests afterwards.

Surrounded by friends and family, Nick and Prue were married under the shade of a centuries-old oak tree. They shared some of the reasons that they love each other (many laughs were had when the bride revealed that she loves how the groom will often ask people – including colleagues – to ‘hug it out’) and, after a reading from Nick’s sister, made their vows.

When Nick lifted up Prue’s hand and kissed it after placing the ring on her finger, I think almost everyone lost their breath. It was such a spontaneous gesture, yet so full of emotion.

Congratulations Prue and Nick – and thank you for letting me share in your day! xx Koren Prue and Nick, 15 January 2011Venue: Jinks Creek Winery, TonimbukPhotos: Natalie WalkerCelebrant: Koren Harvey

Kiran and Lachlan

Part of the joy of being a celebrant is getting to know new people, however there’s also something very special about marrying someone you’ve known for years.

Kiran and I met in grade 4 and remained friends all through school. Travels and uni saw us lose touch after high school but through the wonders of Facebook we were able to reconnect as adults.

When I announced my intention to become a celebrant, I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from Kiran, who now lives overseas. Kiran and her fiance, Lachlan, were coming back to Australia to be married – would I be able to marry them?

To say I was chuffed would be an understatement. Kiran was the first friend I made when we moved to Melbourne and I never forgot her beautiful smile and generous spirit. It was a truly special feeling to be able to participate in the marriage of an old and dear friend.

The beautiful bride. Photo by Peter King.

As Kiran and Lachlan were returning to Sweden soon after their wedding, family and friends from all over Australia took the opportunity to join them in Melbourne for the celebration of their marriage.

Everyone assembled at a Melbourne restaurant late on a bright spring Sunday morning. The bride and groom circulated amongst their guests whilst a friend played violin before we called everyone together.

Lachlan and Kiran then became husband and wife in an intimate, relaxed ceremony that honoured their families, friends and their commitment to one another.

I love how happy Kiran looks as Lachlan says his vows. Photo by Peter King.

It was my absolute honour to be part of Kiran and Lachlan’s wedding day and it meant so much to me that my first experience as a celebrant was at the wedding of a friend.

And it reinforced to me that this is exactly what I want to be doing.
 
Always.
Kiran and Lachlan, 14 November 2010 
Photos: Peter King