During our Hawai’i ceremony, I felt breathless like the Cure’s Love Song, the sun shone through the leafy canopy and the forest so kindly bore witness.
I walked towards him at the waterfall, the celebrant said the words, and my partner gave the most wonderful and thoughtful vows. We exchanged leis which were made with an orchid called “Sonia” (purely a coincidence!).
Thank you to Frieda Gayle, such a wonderful and thoughtful celebrant, who even hiked to several areas to find the perfect place and really did organise everything!
Many thanks to Shawna Lee for taking us to the rainforest and the beach, and for your heartfelt hula and beautiful photographs. We couldn’t have asked for a more magical ceremony, and we are so grateful for all your assistance.
Yesterday we had a family celebration at a rural property in a Canberra valley, with thanks to Leonie for letting us picnic and croquet on her lawns. It was lovely to share a quasi-wedding experience with my family, as our Hawai’i ceremony was really an announced elopement.
My dodgy photos won’t do justice to the beautiful flowers and food, so I’ll link to Leonie’s professional photos when they’re available. I’m looking forward to seeing the family photos, but I’m a bit worried about the couple ones, as being photographed is one of our areas for improvement.
It was a very relaxed affair, but I think that’s because everyone contributed towards the day – there was even a gift of a hand-built deck in our backyard, so we’ll always remember this moment in time when we play on it. We also had a nice moment opening cards from overseas family, who also sent a traditional Norwegian spoon for sharing porridge. I’m sad that I didn’t take a picture of the food before it started being demolished (a good testament for vegan catering!) and melting in the sun –it was also amazing that the layered cake survived the trip in the bouncy Terraplane.
Mum organised all the details – making the cardboard table pad, stamping the cutlery napkins, finding tableware and furniture, even down to hand-quilting a hot pink rug. Intense! I think it stems from her project management expertise. I am so thankful for her caring and organised nature and to spend this special moment together.
We forgot to bring our board games (carcassonne and dominion), but my father and brothers had set up a croquet lawn, so we enjoyed pretending to be in Wonderland. Somehow one of the brothers Barfoed managed to break one of the mallets, I didn’t realise it was such a violent sport.
It was nice to see all the furry cows and hear the kookaburras’ songs. There was a spot in the forest that reminded us of our ceremony spot in Hawai’i, a funny connection between such different landscapes.
You can see below, Mr. Cat on my veil (made by Effie Dee), and the largest earring contains one of my Grandma’s gallstones. She always said they should be made into earrings (my previous post provides context), so artists Lan Nguyen-Hoan and Tarn Smith have been transforming them with silver. When the series is complete I’ll share better pictures. It was really gratifying to fulfil my Grandma’s wishes and feel like she attended, in a way.
We had a wonderful experience at the ceremony and the picnic, and I am so glad that we both decided to speed-date on that fateful night so many years ago.
Our excellent (and of course highly recommended) facilitators:
Celebrant: Frieda Gayle, first listing on Kauai directory
Driver, photographer, hula dancer: Shawna Lee
Hair & make-up: Chelle at Koloa Town Salon & Day Spa
Marriage paperwork and local advice: Ellen at The Wine Shop Kauai
Pizzas: Merriman’s Gourmet Pizza & Burgers
Post-ceremony art exhibition enjoyment: Galerie 103
For both events:
Tux t-shirt: Millie at T-Bar Canberra Centre
Gloves: inherited from Grandma
Shoes: second-hand online
For Canberra picnic:
Gallstone jewellery: Lan Nguyen-Hoan & Tarn Smith
Hair & make-up: Jess and Anne at Rhubarb & me
Flowers: Anna at The Snail & Petal
Wedding cake: Nie-kiewa at The Cake Cabinet
Vegan picnic catering: Gabby at Veganarchy
Photography (beautiful pictures to come, the ones above are my dodgy ones) and venue: Leonie at Snowgum Studio
Tusen takk! xxx
My family has an usual hobby of collecting body parts. Mum kept the extra teeth she had removed and in an ill-advised move, gave them to me as playthings (I was 5).
I thought they were really unusual shells, I would plant them in the garden like creamy skyscrapers. Their jagged tops mimicked the stereotypical scalloped edges of clouds and were a perfect match for meeting with the sky and solving the puzzle. They have been lost to the soil (not sands) of time, because they are resting in peace with my shell collection, buried below the camellia leaves. I think that my shell garden was trying to live up to Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary’s reputation.
Grandma kept her gallstones in a jar, with a dream of making them into earrings. She never had pierced ears, so it made sense that she saw the clip-on earring aesthetic in calculi. They seem more like carved wooden beads than something that could come out of the body, it’s like Jenny Holzer’s shock at the range of colours in her mother’s dying body.
I inherited Grandma’s gallstones a few years ago, as well as her glove collection, a hairbrush, nail kit, scarves and of course a huge sense of loss. I miss her a lot and I still surprise myself when I think of telling her something and then I remember. I had a wonderful conversation with Blaide today that I could make the gallstone earring project, and if I wore them then I could symbolically have my Grandma at my elopement (the “old” in something old, new, borrowed and blue).
I am harvesting and collecting quite different body parts of my own, but that’s a story for another day. In the meantime, ABC Open has an interesting project, “My Crazy Passion”. So far there are videos featuring people who collect/obsess about tractors, cacti and crochet. No body collectors yet.