26 March 2018

Such a beautiful wedding

Christine and James married in the woodland setting at Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley.  It was truly a lovely setting for the ceremony and reception.  It was one of the most joyful and love filled occasions I have been privileged to be a part of.  

A wonderful country wedding

When Ingrid married Scott recently, they held their ceremony and reception on a friend's acreage near their work in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.  They did much of the work themselves on the decorations and games for the guests to play between the ceremony and reception.
I was a lovely, warm-hearted and personal wedding day and one which will live in the hearts of the happy couple as well as all of their guests who shared in this joyous day.

A very sweet and funny wedding sign

Wedding Vows

Witnessing the Marriage Register

14 February 2018

Some ideas for poems or readings for your wedding

Some ideas for poems or readings for your wedding

                                                     Transforming Power
~ Lau Tzu ~
Your love contains the power
Of a thousand suns.
It unfolds as naturally and effortlessly
As does a flower,
And graces the world with its blooming.
Its beauty radiates a transforming energy
That enlivens all who see it.
Because of you, compassion and joy
Are added to the world.
That is why the stars sing together
Because of your love.

On Love
~ Thomas a Kempis ~
Love is a mighty power, a great and complete good.
Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth.
It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders all bitterness sweet and acceptable.
Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God.
Love flies, runs and leaps for joy. It is free and unrestrained. Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds.
Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil, attempts things beyond its strength.
Love sees nothing as impossible, for it feels able to achieve all things.
It is strange and effective, while those who lack love faint and fail. Love is not fickle and sentimental, nor is it intent on vanities.
Like a living flame and a burning torch, it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.

i carry your heart with me
~ e.e. cummings ~
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

These I Can Promise                                         Unknown ~
I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.
But I can promise all my heart's devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow

16 September 2015

Fun and laughter at this beach wedding

Peggy and Jeff have made a very deep commitment to each other and wanted their family and friends to share in their joy as they made their formal declaration of their commitment in marriage and celebrated in their style!  I just loved being a part of this fun-filled day.

Many couples have petals thrown at the end of their ceremony but Peggy and Jeff chose to have their guests throw beach balls.  What Fun!
I loved this gorgeous couple!

Just for fun - some quotes from popular culture to consider for your wedding

Sometimes when you’re planning a wedding, you might find yourself thinking, Hey, I could really use a couple of non-cheesy quotes about love right now. Maybe you want to punctuate your ceremony with something meaningful, or you think it would be hilarious to put something cheeky on your cocktail napkins as a conversation starter. No problem, you think to yourself. This is the Internet! Quotes abound! Except, then you hit search and quickly realize you’re going to have to go through seventy-five pages of people misquoting Dr. Seuss to get to the good stuff.
1.  “Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you. The right person is still going to think the sun shines out of your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.” —Juno
2. “Good luck finding somebody to put up with your shit for more than, like, six months. Okay? But I accept the whole package, the crazy and the brilliant. Alright? I know you’re not gonna change and I don’t want you to. It’s called accepting you for being you.” —Before Midnight
3. “I don’t think you’re an idiot at all. I mean, there are elements of the ridiculous about you. Your mother’s pretty interesting. And you really are an appallingly bad public speaker. And, um… you tend to let whatever’s in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences. I realize when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, that I was unforgivably rude, and wearing reindeer jumper that my mother had given me the day before. But the thing is, um… what I’m trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um… in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much.” —Diary of Bridget Jones
4. “Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice, it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die. The storybooks are bullshit. Now I want you to come upstairs and get in my bed.” —Moonstruck
5.“I just left the mall, I’m getting fly with my baby, yeah
And I can ride with my baby
I be in the kitchen cooking pies with my baby” —Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen
6. “In the darkest night hour,
I’ll search through the crowd.
Your face is all that I see,
I’ll give you everything.
Baby love me lights out.” —Beyonce, “XO
7. “I love that you get cold when it’s seventy-one degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” —When Harry Met Sally
8. “I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house
And we’ll collect the moments one by one
I guess that’s how the future’s done.” —Feist, “Mushaboom
9. Iona: “Does he have… strong lips?”
Andie: “How can you tell?”
Iona: “Did you feel it in your knees?”
Andie: “I felt it everywhere.”
Iona: “Strong lips. [laughs] I know I’m old enough to be his mother, but when the Duck laid that kiss on me last night, I swear my thighs just went up in flames! He must practice on melons or something.” —Pretty in Pink
10. Jesse: “Listen, if somebody gave me the choice right now, of to never see you again or to marry you, alright, I would marry you, alright. And maybe that’s a lot of romantic bullshit, but people have gotten married for a lot less.”
Celine: “Actually, I think I had decided I wanted to sleep with you when we got off the train. But now that we’ve talked so much, I don’t know anymore.”
Celine: “Why do I make everything so complicated?” —Before Sunrise
11. “She is the only evidence of God I have seen with the exception of the mysterious force that removes one sock from the dryer every time I do my laundry.” —St. Elmo’s Fire
12. “You know your voice is kind of nice when your mouth isn’t screwing it up.”
“Yeah and you looks are kind of pretty. When your face isn’t screwing it up.” —The Goonies
13. “Since the invention of the kiss, there have been only five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.” —The Princess Bride
14.“Now I tell you openly
You have my heart so don’t hurt me
You’re what I couldn’t find
Totally amazing mind
So understanding and so kind
You’re everything to me” —The Cranberries, “Dreams
15. “Every breath that is in your lungs is a tiny little gift to me.” —The White Stripes, “Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground
16. “Nobody thinks it will work, do they?”
“No. You just described every great success story.” —Say Anything
17. “I could die right now, Clem. I’m just… happy. I’ve never felt that before. I’m just exactly where I want to be.” —Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
18. “What I really want to do with my life–what I want to do for a living—is I want to be with your daughter. I’m good at it.” —Say Anything
19.“I’ve seen you laugh at nothing at all
I’ve seen you sadly weeping
The sweetest thing I ever saw
Was you asleep and dreaming” —Magnetic Fields, “Asleep and Dreaming
20. “Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.” —Dirty Dancing
21. “And you can use my skin to bury secrets in
and I will settle you down
and at my own suggestion I will ask no questions
while I do my thing in the background.” —Fiona Apple, “I Know
22. “I may be a drape, but I love your granddaughter. And if that’s a crime, I’ll stand convicted, Ma’am.” —Cry Baby
23. Henry: “Do you really think there is only one perfect mate?”
Leonardo da Vinci: “As a matter of fact, I do.”
Henry: “Well then how you can be certain to find them? And if you do find them, are they really the one for you or do you only think they are? And what happens if the person you’re supposed to be with never appears, or, or she does, but you’re too distracted to notice?”
Leonardo da Vinci: “You learn to pay attention.” —Ever After
24. “But the you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I’ll be in love with tomorrow. And I love that you’re fragile and tough, quiet and kick ass. Hell, you’re one of the punkest girls I know, no matter who you listen to or what you wear.” —If I Stay
25. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things.” —The Fault in Our Stars
26. “I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair. I hate the way you drive my car. I hate it when you stare. I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme. I hate it, I hate the way you’re always right. I hate it when you lie. I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you’re not around, and the fact that you didn’t call. But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.” —Ten Things I Hate About You
27. “That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call ’em something else.” —Sixteen Candles
28. “Maybe I didn’t really know you. Maybe you were just a mirage. Maybe the world is full of food and sex and spectacle and we’re all just hurling towards an apocalypse, in which case it’s not your fault. I’m been thinking about all these things and… you’re probably standing there monitoring. And one more thing: about the letter. Nuke it. Flame it. Destroy it. It hurts me to know it’s out there. Later.” —Say Anything
29.Matthew: “Yes, I’m drunk. And you’re beautiful. And tomorrow morning, I’ll be sober but you’ll still be beautiful.” —The Dreamers
30.“Let’s pretend we’re eight years old playing hookey
I’ll draw on the wall and you can play UFC rookie
Then we’ll grow up
Take our clothes off
And you remind me that I wanted you to kiss me when we find some time alone
And then we can do anything we want” —Fiona Apple, “Anything We Want
31.“That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.” —Pulp Fiction
32. “Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am home again
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am whole again” —The Cure, “Lovesong
33. “I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure that I’m arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.” —The Hobbit
34. “I wish I had done everything on Earth with you.” —The Great Gatsby (2013)
35. “I love you, I knew it the minute I met you. I’m sorry it took so long for me to catch up, I just got stuck.” —Silver Linings Playbook
36.“Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi’s life. So you might say, that we are encouraged to love.” —Star Wars
37.“So girl, leave your boots by the bed we ain’t leaving this room
Till someone needs medical help or the magnolias bloom
It’s cold in this house and I ain’t going out to chop wood
So cover me up and know you’re enough to use me for good” —Jason Isbell, “Cover Me Up
38. “We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life mean? But, in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all the time, every day.” —Shall We Dance
39. “You can’t just sit there and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love.” —Perks of Being a Wallflower
40. “Do you ever put your arms out and just spin and spin and spin? Well, that’s what love is like. Everything inside of you tells you to stop before you fall, but you just keep going.” —Practical Magic
41. “Remember, we’re madly in love, so it’s alright to kiss me anytime you feel like it.” —The Hunger Games
42. “‘I’m Clementine… can I borrow a piece of your chicken?’ And then you just took it without waiting for an answer. It was so intimate, like we were already lovers.” —Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
43. “She said ‘If love
If love
Is a poison cup
Then drink it up
‘Cause a sip
A sip
Or a spoonful won’t do
Won’t do nothing for you
Except mess you up'” —M. Ward, “Poison Cup
44.“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” —Almost Famous
45. “​ And when you’re holding me
We make a pair of parentheses
There’s plenty space to encase
Whatever weird way my mind goes
I know I’ll be safe in these arms​” —The Blow, “Parentheses
46.Henry: “Then let’s say… God… puts two people on Earth and they are lucky enough to find one another. But one of them gets hit by lightning. Well then what? Is that it? Or, perchance, you meet someone new and marry all over again. Is that the lady you’re supposed to be with or was it the first? And if so, when the two of them were walking side by side were they both the one for you and you just happened to meet the first one first or, was the second one supposed to be first? And is everything just chance or are some things meant to be?”
Leonardo da Vinci: “You cannot leave everything to Fate, boy. She’s got a lot to do. Sometimes you must give her a hand.” —Ever After
47. “I’m glad I didn’t die before I met you
But now I don’t care I could go anywhere with you
And I’d probably be happy” —Bright Eyes, “First Day Of My Life
48. Conor: “Would you still love me if I couldn’t pay for dinner?”
Eleanor: “Maybe.” —The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them
49.“We’re lying on the moon
It’s a perfect afternoon
Your shadow follows me all day
Making sure that I’m okay
And we’re a million miles away” —Karen O, “The Moon Song
50. “You died on a Saturday morning. And I had you placed here under our tree. And I had that house of your father’s bulldozed to the ground. Momma always said dyin’ was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn’t. Little Forrest, he’s doing just fine. About to start school again soon. I make his breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I make sure he combs his hair and brushes his teeth every day. Teaching him how to play ping-pong. He’s really good. We fish a lot. And every night, we read a book. He’s so smart, Jenny. You’d be so proud of him. I am. He, uh, wrote a letter, and he says I can’t read it. I’m not supposed to, so I’ll just leave it here for you. Jenny, I don’t know if Momma was right or if, if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time. I miss you, Jenny. If there’s anything you need, I won’t be far away.” —Forrest Gump

03 August 2015

Wedding at The Basin, on Pittwater

The ferry wharf at The Basin
The marquee, beautifully styled and decorated by Julia and family members
When David and Julia contacted me and asked me to be their celebrant for their wedding at The Basin on Pittwater, I thought that it was a great idea, but also a big challenge for them to organise a ceremony and reception at the camping ground reserve there.

The only access to The Basin is by boat (or by quite a long bush walk) so the logistics of having about 80 guests for the wedding could have been a bit daunting.

Not for this couple...they have had many happy holidays in this lovely spot and that is why they chose it as the perfect spot to celebrate their commitment to each other in marriage and the joining of their families. They decided on a "blue" theme for their wedding and asked that all the guests (and me) wearing blue.

Julia and her daughters did a wonderful job of designing and decorating the ceremony space which was just stunning!

It was the happiest of family occasions and really was such a joy for me to be a part of the day. I loved my ferry ride from Palm Beach and back, and even met some of the guests on the ferry on the way there. Photographs all taken by guests.
David's daughter was the ring bearer
With this ring......

Northern Beaches couple - Liz and Sam

One of the best spots on the northern beaches for a wedding ceremony is  Governor Phillip Park
at north Palm Beach.  Many couples choose to hold their ceremony here, and then move to nearby Dunes Restaurant for their reception.

This is what this delightful couple, Liz and Sam chose as their wedding day plan, with a beachy, casual feel to the day.  Sam is English and his family were delighted to find that not only were they at beautiful Palm Beach, but right near where Home and Away is filmed!  Matt Read, from Reedy Photography took most of their pics and a few were taken by guests. Bride and Groom both arrived in Kombis, true to the feel of this casual, northern beaches wedding.  And of course, their dog was there to offer his congratulations after the ceremony.
What a pretty bride - & I loved the bridesmaids choice of mint green gowns.
They presented their mothers with a rose during the ceremony
The newlyweds - so happy to be married.
The special guest

A Garden Wedding for Glenn and Honi

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney have long been a familiar and loved site for Sydneysiders and visitors.  In earlier times, the head gardener and his family occupied a rather lovely stone cottage in the grounds, which is now known as the Lion Gate Lodge, because of the statues of lions just outside the gateway into the grounds of this cottage.

These days the cottage and its lovely garden may be hired for a wedding ceremony and the cottage used for the reception.  I think it's a great choice - a bit like having a lovely home and garden to hold your wedding in.  This is where a delightful couple, Honi and Glenn chose to have their ceremony and reception.  Here's the link for a better look at this venue.
 Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, ceremony and reception venues

The lawn area before the ceremony
I was delighted when they asked me to be their celebrant and we worked on an individual ceremony which was true to them.  There were many family and friends there, and all so happy to be a part of this truly beautiful wedding day. Jasmine Kooper of Jazzy Photograhy took their gorgeous happy and romantic shots.
Lion Gate Lodge
Honi's sisters were her bridesmaids - I loved the elegant simplicity of her gown and their lovely floral frocks - just perfect for a garden wedding.

I love this shot of Honi and Glenn - soulmates, lovers, husband and wife!

29 July 2015

My Marriage Celebrant website

Visit my website for lots of ideas about arranging your wedding and to learn about how I work as a celebrant for you to create and conduct your personal wedding ceremony.

marriage celebrant officiant sydney - elaine searle - wedding ceremony - Sydney Marriage Celebrant Home

26 April 2015

Snapperman Beach Reserve on Pittwater at Palm Beach - what a hidden treasure

When I met Samantha and Jarrad and they told me they had picked Snapperman Beach Reserve for their ceremony, I was intrigued as I had never conducted a wedding there.  Once I saw it, I really understood why they had chosen it.  It's a small reserve on Pittwater and just perfect for their wedding with about 100 guests. (You'd be surprised at how many guests can fit easily into a fairly small space!)  I cant begin to say how delightful this couple and their families were.  They were just a joy to work with and I loved every moment of discussing their ceremony options, writing their ceremony and most of all, being their celebrant on their big day.  Sugarlove Photography
was their photographer and they headed off to Dunes Restaurant  at Palm Beach for their reception.
Sam and Jarrad make their vows

The bridal party

The groom and his men

Husband and Wife

After the ceremony on Snapperman Beach

setting up before the ceremony

What a beautiful bride!
Contact me at Elaine's email to have a chat about your wedding plans and how I can help you, as your celebrant, have a happy, stress-free ceremony!

30 March 2015

Beautiful Mountain Gardens Wedding

When I first met Tamara and Josh, they told me they had fallen in love with Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens in the Blue Mountains, near Bilpin and wanted to make their vows there, followed by a reception at home. Their wedding was held on a perfect spring day and was the prettiest wedding you could imagine.  The wedding party was a picture, with Tamara in white with pink and white flowers, and her bridesmaids in soft pink.

They chose a reading A Lovely Love Story  from the whimsical writings of Edward Monkton.  The first few paragraphs are;
"The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there.  It was, after all, his cage. Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.  The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur's cage with kind words and loving thoughts. I like this Dinosaur, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny. He is also quite clever although I will not tell him this for now. I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur. She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.  She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a Dinosaur."......................
Tamara's mother escorted her
Husband and Wife - sealed with a kiss!

First stroll as husband and wife.

Josh's two brothers were his groomsmen - it was a bit hard to pick them apart!

Here's a note I received from Tamara and Josh after they returned from their honeymoon.

"Hi Elaine,
Our honeymoon was great fun and an experience to remember. So many places and all so different to one another.
Thank you so much for your services. You were fantastic and everything we wanted for our celebrant. We were so lucky to have found you. 
Thank you for thinking our wedding was beautiful, we thought so too, we loved the gardens and the weather was perfect. It couldn't have been any better and our reception was fantastic as well. The day went too quickly. 
We have also received our marriage certificate. 
Thanks again you really helped make our day special. 
Kind Regards
Tamara and Josh
Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens, 11th October, 2014"

Warm hearted home ceremony for Jacqui and David

Jacqui and David live in the country and decided to have their wedding in Jacquie's parents home on the northern beaches.  It's a great idea if you have a suitable house, and want a relaxed and casual wedding. It was a second marriage for both of them, and they were determined that their children would be a part of the ceremony.
This lovely wedding day certainly was a family affair - their brother-in-law played guitar and sang for the ceremony, all the children acted as flowergirls and pageboys, and family members and close friends were delighted to be a part of their day.

Jacqui's sister read Love is Friendship Caught Fire by Laura Hendricks,  which begins.......
"Love is friendship caught fire;
It is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.
It is loyalty through good and bad times."

They hired a marquee for the ceremony.  This is the set up before we began.

Jacqui's dog was an honoured guest

"Hi Elaine, thank you so much.  We couldn't have asked for anyone better than you for our special day! " 
(A note from Jacqui and David)