This wedding is my definite favourite so far. I was contacted at the end of September about performing a ceremony on 3 November, which left only a few days to get the Notice of Intended Marriage signed i.e. a month before the wedding. Fortunately my farm in Alstonvale was on the way home for Vanessa that day.
Our young dog Fred was so excited when she arrived and totally misbehaved by trying to jump on her. In a clumsy moment, he even managed to help her slip on a grassy slope. Way too friendly! Fortunately our bride proved to be easy going and forgiving.
V. was very organised and already had much of the NOIM filled in. Her partner Leisa and I met up the following week to complete the document.
My “challenge” in preparing for this wedding was to keep it as simple and straightforward as possible. Vanessa made it clear at our first meeting that she didn’t want it to be lengthy nor include unnecessary trimmings. I did convince both that to achieve an element of surprise, it would be a good idea if they both wrote their vows separately and didn’t share them until the wedding day. Likewise, they wrote their own touching words to accompany the ring exchange.
The wedding was at their home on a bright, warm and breezy day, perfect for a wedding. In response to a request made that morning, the wedding was delayed for half an hour (to 3:30pm) to ensure everyone could get there on time. Weekend traffic on the Gold Coast can be notoriously slow.
I drove north on the new highway section and despite almost missing the turnoff, arrived 30 minutes before the ceremony was to begin. Vanessa was ready but Leisa not quite.
Both women were stunning as you can see from the photograph. Vanessa’s son and his wife had flown from Tasmania, so he could be her witness. Leisa’s was an old friend from Brisbane. Another friend had volunteered to take the photographs. In all, there were seven of us at the wedding. The atmosphere was relaxed and casual and the ceremony began once it was decided where it would be (front or back yard, or indoors). The vows were very moving. I especially liked the way we all chuckled at one of Leisa’s vows - to always reply to Vanessa’s emails. There was understandable nervousness displayed when the rings were exchanged. After all, marriage is a big step, regardless of how deeply in love a couple may be.
The legally required words pronounced by a celebrant at the beginning of any wedding ceremony are very serious. “I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage according to law in Australia is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”
From the beginning of the ceremony to finishing all signing and document checks, took a total of 20 minutes. The final step was framing of the memento marriage certificate for all to see during the party to follow.