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SEPT-OCT 2010 Spring!

The perfect time for spring weddings and name ceremonies. A time for rejuvenation, for new life and new beginnings!

Did you know it is possible to combine a wedding ceremony with a naming? It works beautifully.

The wedding ceremony comes first, complete with readings, vows, exchanging of rings, music and signing of the documents. Then when the congratulations of the new married couple are complete, the new married couple along with their child or children, the celebrant and the guests gather together again and participate in the name ceremony.

A name ceremony is a time for all concerned to take stock of their roles and responsibilities in relation to the life of the child or children…… as parents, as grandparents, as guide or god parents and as supportive family and close friends…..all those people who will be influencial in the lives of the children or child. But most of all it’s a time for great celebration when a new family is formed.

The naming ceremony does not take the place of a baptism or christening. The celebrant should always say ……..

“This ceremony will in no way inhibit this child/children from seeking the truth during his/her life and any future commitments to religious or non – religious beliefs. In fact, it is our duty in the coming years to present to him/her, a broad and balanced view of life and encourage him/her in the virtues we all agree as good”.

I also like to say something like this…..“just as the parents will be involved in the caring, guiding and nurturing of this little boy/girl, they ask you all to share in their joys, like the joys of today, and their tears, not only now but on into the future.

What is certain is, the more love that this child/children receive/s, the more he/she will benefit and the more love he/she will be able to give to others. The more people he/she relates to the more balanced, richer, complete and colorful his/her canvas of life will be painted”.

Spring is the time to celebrate a new life, new beginnings or rejuvenation. Join with the season and celebrate in either marriage, naming your child or doing them together!

Elizabeth has e-books on both wedding ceremonies and namings. To see for yourself take a peek at……

www.thevowsbook.com.

www.wedding-ceremonies.net

www.namegivingceremonies.com

[Acknowledgement for portions of text from "Ceremonies and Celebrations" by Dally Messenger III]

AUGUST 2010 ~ almost Spring again!

So much water has gone under the bridge since my last post. Winter is almost over, so we thought. Then…..it snowed near Richmond yesterday. My garden is showing signs of new growth, that’s the exciting part.

I have just completed my Certificate IV studies, quite an undertaking. I did the funeral celebrant course recently too, with Sally Cant…..she is fantastic. If you havn’t yet discovered her skills and passion for celebrancy do yourself a favour.

Have almost completed building a new website for all my e-books…..now that has been a massive undertaking. My husband deserves all the credit for the tech side of things. I just produced the words. If you want to take a peek ……..

http://www.wedding-vows-and-ceremonies-guide.com/ It’s not quite finished but you can still have a look around.

You will see lots of new information……I will be asking for comments and suggestions on ceremonies already provided and how I can add to it to provide an even better site, a more comprehensive service to those seeking practical, useable information on ceremonial matters.

I will have a blog in my new site as well as keeping in touch with you all here

In December, my husband and I are setting off on our global odyssey. As time draws us ever closer our excitement mounts even more. It’s pretty scary actually, when we think about it as we shall be homeless, except for our motorhome. I will post the link to our travel site as soon as it is up and running for those of you who are interested in following our adventures.

13th APRIL 2010 ~ We choose how we live…..

A friend of mine wrote saying that a close friend of hers had died. Over the past few months my friend found herself thinking about her friend at the oddest moments. She would flick back to the trips that they had taken together, how she had laughed with my friend’s children, and how her friend had made her focus on what was really important in her life. My friend now takes comfort from the verse written by Joseph Epstein around 70 years ago. The same verse that was read at her own wedding:

We do not choose to be born.
We do not choose our parents.
We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing.
We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death.
But within all this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we shall live.

Powerful? Worth thinking about don’t you think?

3rd APRIL ~ A SPRING NAME GIVING CEREMONY

The Spring season is symbolic for ‘new life’ and what better time than now to book a special Spring Naming Ceremony for your baby or child. Most recently I did a ceremony for 3 children in a blended family situation  – a very special time for that family indeed.

This is what the parents read to their children……

We are your parents and we will care for you. We promise to reveal the adventure of life.We will love you unconditionally.We promise to teach you about joy and humour.We promise to embrace your hopes and dreams. We promise to open our hearts fully to your love.     We promise to guide you, respect you and protect you.

Name giving ceremonies historically speaking go back to ancient Greek and Roman times.……it is not a new ceremony at all.

Many young families are embracing this cultural ritual, enriching their lives and the lives of their families and close friends.This Spring, add richness to your lives with a name giving ceremony for your child or children.

To read more on this special ceremony go to www.namegivingceremonies.com

3rd APRIL ~ A SPRING WEDDING in Tasmania

Have you thought of having a spring wedding in Tassie? Maybe even eloping to Tasmania in the Spring? Crisp mornings and evenings with a sunny day sandwiched in between awaits your discovery in September, October and November in Tasmania. Combine a romantic beginning with a practical solution .

Last spring I did 15 spring weddings and they were all very special……many of them small, intimate and truly beautiful.This year I have 7 booked already and in addition one couple are renewing their vows!

I can suggest a multitude of exciting venues from intimate cottages complete with choccies on the pillow and a log fire at night in historic Richmond to an eco experience on the East Coast or in the Huon region. If a fly fishing haven is more your thing, a spring wedding ceremony can be arranged within camera shot of the best rainbows or browns in these parts.How about a historical site to act as a backdrop for your nuptuals – there are so many to choose from that it could almost be confusing!.

For those of you who fancy some style or an artistic binge there are a number of exquisite apartments in rural Richmond ( just 20 minutes from the city), and exclusive boutique hotels and apartments in Hobart city. And for the garden lovers, again, the city as well as Richmond can provide locations to satisfy the most discerning tastes.

Why don’t you consider having your wedding in spring in Tasmania – a romantic beginning (and maybe even a practical solution) to your journey of married life together.

For more information see Elizabeth’s celebrant site www.elizabethgray.net

Explore her wedding ceremony venues page – www.elizabethgray.net/venues/

28th MARCH ~ Renewing the Vows of Marriage

On the 7th March I mentioned that I was to be conducting a renewal of marriage vows ceremony soon…….

On Saturday morning, about 20 family members gathered together to participate in a very meaningful ceremony….renewing the marriage vows of the parents/grandparents of the family. Often there is a compelling or underlying reason why a couple seek to do this. A recent rough patch or temporary separation in the marriage or a special wedding anniversary eg 25th or 50th for example.

But this couple were celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary, nothing special……they just decided that NOW was the time to do this. Lets have a family gathering….the 4 children, the grandchildren at the beach for the weekend and renew our marriage vows!

The love shared among each of them was palpable.The words shared among them all were special. The 4 adult children acted as witnesses to the vows renewal by their parents. It was a privilege to have been a part of this celebration of love and continuing commitment.Here’s a snippet or two from their ceremony……..

“When John and Mary first stood at the altar they were advised to “always put one another first”. They are words that have never been forgotten. If anything, over the years, the strength of their relationship and the bond between them has grown stronger”.

“With these few words to each other, you have set forth on the next phase of your lives. The path that lies ahead may not always seem clear, but you can move forward with the confidence that you do not travel alone. You have in effect re-affirmed your commitment to each other, with the knowledge that you have a lifelong companion who knows you and accepts you as you are. This is surely one of life’s greatest compliments…….”

To read more on renewing vows take a peep at: www.renewalofvows.net

21st MARCH 2010 ~ Appointing of Godparents

On the 20th February I mentioned briefly that I would be doing a ceremony that would involve the appointing of 2 Godparents to a 17 year old boy. The circumstances surrounding this ceremony were rather sad…..the father of the lad having a terminal disease, and because the RC church would not allow the child to be baptized as he was conceived through IVF, a celebrant was sought to formally perform a ceremony where 2 Godparents would be appointed.

Today in bright Autumnal sunshine, 15 of us, all the important people in the life of this 17 year old boy gathered to celebrate the appointing of  2  long standing friends of the lads parents as his Godparents.These friendships had spanned a 30 year period of time.

We began by acknowledging the parents, the people who had nourished the child, provided him with the foundation stones of life and who had given the child roots and wings. We followed this by seeking the words of Kahlil Gibran in ‘The Prophet’ when he speaks to us of children.The first verse goes like this……..

Your children are not your children, they are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

We then recognized the lads Aunts and Grandparents, for their availability and valued input. This was followed by advice from one of his Aunts…….the first verse goes like this…….

You are unique…..….You are a wonderful addition to life. For there is no one else like you. You are important…believe it…know it. Search your heart and be willing to try new things. Don’t be afraid to be different….follow your feelings, and be proud….be happy.

Close friends and cousins were remembered as we then performed The Ribbon Ceremony.…..everyone in the shared web of the life of this child held the ribbon …….we all held onto and supported the ribbon together symbolizing our connection with him.

The father of the child recited a poem ~ ‘Always Believe in Yourself’, the last verse goes like this…….

Believe in appreciating life. Be sure to have fun everyday and to enjoy the beauty in the world. Believe in love. Love your friends, your family, yourself and your life. Believe in your dreams and your dreams can become reality.

The Godparents were recognized. They accepted their responsibilities by their responses to my questions. Both Godparents then read to the lad, in part remembering how their lives had intertwined with each other over the years.

We concluded by saying that this ceremony will in no way inhibit this child from seeking the truth during his life and any future commitments to religious or non religious beliefs. In fact, it is our duty in the coming years to present to him, a broad and balanced view of life and encourage him in the virtues we all agree as good – integrity, honesty, concern, fairness and love towards others.

Certificates were signed and presented to the child and to the Godparents.

It was a touching and poignant ceremony. Sad I know for the father of the child knowing that he would not be there for the child in his adulthood. I couldn’t help but thinking, do any of us have this absolute sureity? I believe if  we approached life as if we knew our days were finite our lives would be more qualitative. We would love more deeply ~ indeed live more fully.

Appointing of Godparents is often a part of Name Giving ceremonies, for further information on this ceremony see….

www.namegivingceremonies.com

7th MARCH 2010 ~ Ceremonies often reflect the seasons of our lives.

Autumn is upon us. The days are getting shorter, the sun is lower in the sky. The changing of the seasons often have me reflecting on the stages of our lives……so this week the Autumnal changes I had been witnessing had me thinking of the later stages of our lives.

It was whilst I was in this frame of mind I was asked would I do a renewal of vows ceremony for a couple who have been married for 36 years, so it will be in the early autumn of the life of the couple. This ceremony is one of the most rewarding ceremonies to be a part of……it gives opportunities for families to be involved. It’s a very affirming time for all concerned and in this particular ceremony 15 family members will be involved.

The planning has just begun, I will keep you posted.

Meanwhile, the commitment ceremony I did on Saturday was a huge success. The love in the air was palpable. The young women were supported by their respective families and the multitude of friends gathered to celebrate along with them was absolutely amazing.

The last paragraph of a lengthy reading was supposed to have been recited by the couple but, at the last minute the girls said when they rehearsed it they became too emotional and asked for me to read it ……they did say the last line together. Let me share it with you……..its from “The Boiga King” [as soon as I find the name of the author I will post it]

“Take my hand. Come with me. Together we’ll rise above the madness, to the heights of never, to the depths of never.

We’ll crawl ’til we can walk. Then we’ll walk ’til we can run. Then we’ll run ’til we can fly and we need never to come down!

Three free souls – YOURS, MINE and OURS.”

28th FEBRUARY 2010 ~ Gay commitment and marriage

After being asked the following question by a couple, [an entry on 22nd January also canvassed the issue] ~ “I’m getting married and will be inviting several gay friends, knowing that our local laws don’t allow gay couples to marry, how can we support them”?

So, now we have had the wedding …………A sibling of the bride was gay and brought along her ‘long time’ partner and several of their gay friends. It was the choice of the couple marrying to state publicly, that they acknowledged the situation of the ‘gays’ in terms of having no choice to marry under our local laws.

After the Authorization clause in the ceremony was stated (which in part defines marriage in Australia as being a union between a man and a woman), this is what the couple elected to state publicly…….. (names changed)

“Unfortunately the gender specificity of this law denies many couples the right to choose marriage.  John and Mary believe this choice should be available to all who love each other and want to make this kind of a commitment.”

There was an audible exclamation of thanks to the couple by the gay guests and a lot of nodding of heads throughout the 100 or so guests present at the ceremony. As a celebrant I cannot discriminate or take sides, suffice to say that after the ceremony I felt comfortable that everyone present was happy and had positive things to say about the ceremony. Many family members approached me to comment positively on the ceremony – and that was nice!

I do conduct commitment ceremonies for heterosexual couples and gay couples - www.gaycommitmentceremony.net

21st FEBRUARY 2010 ~ House Dedication and Blessing

Moving into a new home, an old place, a new apartment? Ever considered having a house or home dedication and blessing? It’s a joyful celebration that can involve the whole family and your community of friends.This ceremony claims the home as your own and (if you have a spiritual side) can expunge any lingering negative feelings from the dwelling and establish an atmosphere of warmth and welcome.

Traditions from centuries past including Chinese Feng shui principles are employed in a ceremony or ritual that marks your ownership as another milestone in your life.Whether you are moving into an apartment, a new house or a holiday shack, consider having a dedication or blessing ritual, its another one of our Life Milestones that is worth celebrating…….whatsmore its great fun.

Checkout my e-book blog at: www.home-dedication.net

20th FEBRUARY 2010 ~ Our churches don’t do us many favours!

This week all began with an intimate and magical garden ceremony for a delightful younger couple from Hong Kong who eloped to Tasmania, then today, early afternoon, a much larger traditional (2nd) wedding for a couple who had both been divorced and who included their respective children in their wedding and ceremony at the Richmond Bridge.

Then later on today another intimate, small and very moving ceremony – an older (European) couple who also chose to elope and who had actually wanted to have their ceremony in the C——- Church here in Richmond but because the groom was divorced the priest said no. The priest was happy to give his blessing afterwards but, NO, you cannot marry in the church.

Tomorrow, a naming ceremony for 9 month old Scarlett – a dear little girl, much loved by her Daddy who strums his guitar and sings to her almost every day.

In between last minute preparations for these ceremonies and a multitude of other things I had an email and phone call from a woman asking if I could/would do a ceremony that, in part, entailed the appointing of two mentors to her teenage son. She went on to explain that her husband, the father of her son, has terminal cancer and they both want to have a formal appointment of mentors to their son before he dies.

The mother also explained that because the son is an IVF child the C——-Church, to which they belong, would not allow him to be christened in the church. Hence the request for a ceremony to appoint mentors. I will of course meet with them in a day or two and discuss their wishes further.

A couple who are marrying in February emailed me this week also, wanted to have their ceremony in their tiny village church not far from here and guess what – the A——-Church priest said no, only he could do that.

The reason for my mentioning much of this is, that I don’t really think the majority of our churches do their flock many favours. DO they really, honestly care? Their non accommodating actions suggest not. They havn’t moved with the times.They patently are not geared to meet the needs of the people in the current world in which we live. Church attendances are notoriously down and there is no prize for guessing why.

Celebrants are doing a booming business. We listen to peoples needs and provide services to meet those needs. Well over 60% of marriages are done by celebrants now and from time to time couples have said to me, we love the spirituality of the church but not the dogma, there is such little room for flexibility.For more information on the type of ceremonies that we, celebrants are providing explore the following websites:

www.thevowsbook.com – a compilation of marriage ceremonies
www.renewalofvows.net – renewal of vows ceremonies
www.spiritualceremonies.info – spiritually inspired ceremonies
www.2ndmarriageceremonies.com – second marriage ceremonies
www.gaycommitmentceremony.net – gay commitment/marriage ceremonies
www.namegivingceremonies.com – name giving/naming ceremonies
www.wedding-ceremonies.net – more marriage ceremonies
www.divorce-ceremony.com -  divorce ceremonies
www.home-dedication.net - home dedication and blessing

9TH FEBRUARY 2010 ~ Let your ceremony venue have meaning for you, it adds another dimension to your ceremony, a sense of continuity for your relationship, in a way.

Many ceremonies I have been privileged to be a part of have been held in locations that held special meaning for the couple. Most recently on the family farm under a tree where a plaque dedicated to the bride’s well loved dad had been placed. Photos of the couple were taken next to the plaque as we acknowledged deceased members of both families. They were poignant and moving moments for all present.

Similarly, a ceremony was held near the Richmond Bridge because that was where the first kiss took place and the subsequent proposal some years later. A local mountain top and a special beach was also chosen in recent times because it was the place of proposal.

This week I am meeting with a couple 4 years down the track, along with their baby daughter. They are returning to the place where they were married, revisiting very happy and special moments in their lives.After they were married they made a decision to revisit their ceremony venue every 5 years at least, to rekindle their love, to keep their flame alive.That’s just as special as having your ceremony in the spot where you had your first kiss. Don’t you think?

1st FEBRUARY 2010 ~ A Blended Families ritual incorporated into a ceremony ~ can be a really joyful occasion!

Following hot on the heels of a recent blog, “children participating in ceremonies – why not?”……………

http://www.elizabethgray.net/children-in-ceremonies-why-not/

A second marriage ceremony on Monday this week incorporated 2 children from the groom’s previous marriage, 2 children from the bride’s previous marriage and 1 child from the bride and grooms relationship, ranging in age from 22years to 5 years. Full credit to the couple for making their relationship of 10 years duration work.

At our first meeting we discussed involving the children in the ceremony. The fact that the marriage was NOT just about the couple, that the children were a very important part of their union.

Each of them had a role on the day of the ceremony or in the ceremony itself. Flowers were procured and arranged, there was a ring bearer, a poem was written and read. The poem was amazingly well written – chronicled the journey of the relationship of the couple including, how and where they met, life with the children, house renovations to accommodate everyone, the oldest children ultimately leaving to make a home of their own.. …..quite an achievement by a 14 year old lad.

The acknowledgement of the children was listened to intently, tears were shed and there were lots of hugs and kisses. Like actually having children, until you participate in a blended families ceremony you cannot experience the joy and richness that the experience of adding this ritual to a ceremony can bring.

28th JANUARY 2010 ~ Divorced couples choosing a long term commitment instead of another marriage.

I have had two enquiries in recent months from divorced couples who have now chosen to enter into a long term commitment relationship. One couple in  particular have asked for a more spiritual ceremony to mark the occasion of 10 years together and their formal, public commitment to one another.

I am excited for these couples that they have seen fit to celebrate their committed relationship, that they are wanting to articulate their feelings and innermost thoughts of and for one another and to share their vision for the future for themselves as individuals and each other as a couple. Within the framework of a traditional commitment ceremony, spiritually inspired content and ritual acknowledges the spiritual side of personal lives and of the environment and community in which you live. Spirituality can be achieved and found in music, readings, the delivering of blessings by family and friends, acknowledgement of children, family , friends and place, the addition of candles, incense, rose petals, a theme,ancient rituals and by carefully selecting the venue in which the ceremony is held.

Spirituality adds a deeper dimension to a celebration of love.

In the state of Tasmania a significant relationship between same sex couples and heterosexual couples is recognised and can be registered with the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages. Furthermore, an official Deed of Relationship Certificate can be applied for [a small fee applies] and presented to the couple at their commitment ceremony. Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory have other forms of recognition, with the registry as well.

For further information about Deed of Relationship or registering a Significant Relationship in Tasmania, contact:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_partnership_in_Tasmania

Want more information about spiritual or commitment ceremonies? – check out these 2 sites:

www.gaycommitmentceremony.net

www.spiritualceremonies.info

25th JANUARY 2010 ~ Lose your ex husband or partner but gain a friend, how?

Its amazing isn’t it. When you drive a yellow car you notice all the other yellow cars on the road! The law of attraction?

Just a few days ago I wrote and posted a blog [ see "Helping with the healing" new blog]  relating to how a divorce ceremony could be of benefit to a divorcee – to help navigate murky waters post divorce. And presto! what should appear in a weekend magazine but a piece about divorce with similar sentiments to my own.

We don’t live in an ideal world. Couples marry and couples get divorced. It can be made to seem more ideal though by losing the marriage and salvaging the friendship of your partner.

Combining break-up therapy prior to separation with a divorce ceremony or ritual after the divorce gives opportunities to air grievances, resentments and destructive patterns that caused such pain. It also gives space and time in a safe environment to acknowledge the good, the positive and the wonderful connections made during the marriage or long term relationship.

We need not sacrifice all we have lived through because not everything was bad. We don’t have to discard those wonderful moments, those precious memories we had together along with the bad ones.

Ideally ex’s need their former partner to fulfill the parenting role in a more satisfactory and fulfilling way. How much better it would be if we were all civil, friends even. The weekend magazine article spoke of blended families meeting over Christmas in a friendly, humour filled way.

Good break up therapy combined with a divorce ceremony after the actual divorce will prepare you  to do so much better in your next relationship. Lose the marriage to save the friendship along with the precious memories; you don’t lose the partner, you gain another friend. How civilized is that!

Checkout my web blog on divorce ceremonies, www.divorce-ceremony.com

22nd JANUARY 2010 “Showing Support for Marriage Equality”

I have been asked twice in recent months by couples how can they show support for their gay friends at their wedding ceremony knowing that they cannot marry in Australia. The following is an excerpt from an email from one couple (I have changed the name)……..

“John and I attended a wedding on the weekend just past and there was a part of the ceremony which struck us both as something we’d like to include in our ceremony if possible – at the very beginning of the ceremony the celebrant spoke about how, in Australia, only males and females may legally marry and that the bride and groom wished to acknowledge this as a privilege and express their wishes that same-sex marriages be legal in the near future (Obviously, it was worded a LOT more succinctly and nicely than that). As many of our friends, including John’s brother, are gay, we feel that including something like that in our ceremony would be very pertinent and respectful.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Is there something “standard” or that you know of that we could include?”

I wrote back with some suggestions and also suggesting they could write something and I would be happy to read it on their behalf.

The following information was on a US celebrant blog site that I read today, like me you may find it interesting.

http://anitaweds.blogspot.com/search/label/advice%20to%20consider

Question: I am getting married soon and would like to know how to show support for gay couples who are unable to get married in Illinois. Any ideas?

I have learned that several of my fellow celebrants have had the same question come up. What some couples have chosen to do is shown their support for gay marriage by quoting from “Goodridge Vs. Department of Health” by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall.

The following excerpt is a powerful statement about marriage that would work well as a reading for a wedding ceremony.

“Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return, it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations….Without question, civil marriage enhances the “welfare of the community.” It is a “social institution of the highest importance.” … Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family…. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.”

I would strongly recommend reading the post Honoring Marriage Equality in Your Wedding Ceremony for great suggestions.

14th JANUARY 2010 ~ Eloping time again!

Well, its eloping time again! There must be a little alarm that goes off somewhere. Beep, beep!! Elope to Australia in February or March! I get caught up in the excitement as well. I feel excitement for the couple, a co-conspiritor! Tasmania, with all she has to offer seems to be such a popular destination. www.richmondvillage.com.au/

Even though the celebration is just the couple and maybe a friend or two, ceremonially, nothing is lost in the words that are said, the words come from the heart of one to the heart of another. Good lasting memories and often very good friendships are forged at these times between celebrant and the couple. Ah! What a wonderful job we have!

5th JANUARY 2010 ~ Friendship

Isn’t life amazing……Only yesterday I was speaking about friends and friendship and today the following arrived in my ‘inbox’ from a dear friend in Thailand.

“I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family, for less gray hair or a flatter belly.  As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend. I don’t chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn’t need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 am and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50′s, 60′s &70′s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love … I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful.  But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning grey and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into the deep grooves in my face.

So many have never laughed and so many have died before their hair could turn silver

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore.
I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

MAY OUR FRIENDSHIP NEVER COME APART ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S STRAIGHT  FROM THE HEART!”

JANUARY 4TH 2010

Friends ~ A welcome 10 day break spent with my best friend, (my husband) and our mutual friends here in Richmond village has made me more and more thankful for friendship. Who was it that said if you go through life with five good friends then you have lived a good life. On that basis we will be able to say that we have lived a rich life I believe.

Having lived on two continents and travelled widely we have amassed many acquaintances and a handful of genuine, loyal, welcoming, trusty, often funny, sometimes frustrating friends. You know the ones………. you havn’t seen them for ages and when you do you are as comfortable together as old slippers. :) You never want for conversation. You laugh at one another’s corny jokes.You share their excitement at the arrival of a new grandchild. You fawn over their phone photos. Hug them to bits when they arrive at the airport to collect you after a 22 hour long haul flight and you look and feel like whistlers mother!

Many of my ceremonies include an ‘Acknowledgement of Friends’ (in addition to family) and pay homage to the role that friends have played in the lives of the couple marrying. Ceremony introductions often speak of the deep friendship that existed before love and commitment. So often we as celebrants hear couples say to one another, “You are my best friend, my soul mate …….”

Ah! Friends, if you have them you won’t be seen dead without them!!

All the best for 2010!

DECEMBER 15th 2009

I’d like to share with you an email I received from a bride, married in November in Hobart……a lass from Brazil. The sun almost shone from her face when I first met her. The sort of girl you would like your son to bring home!

“Hey my dearest family and friends. This email is in English and Portuguese to give you guys my message of Christmas and New Year’s eve… I just want to say that I have nothing to complain. I wish you all the same. Just nothing to complain. What a Year… What a big year… Thank you all for making part of my BIG year… I want to share this beautiful message I read and that touched my soul because in the end, I definitely have nothing to complain! Love you all, Vivi. “

To any of my friends or strangers out there who may read my blog, have a wonderful christmas – holiday season. Come back in 2010 energized and full of love and good spirit to tackle whatever  may come our way.

DECEMBER 5th 2009 – I have just returned from doing a ceremony at the Huon Bush Retreats at Ranelagh in the Huon Valley. For those of you who like bushland escapes, wildlife galore, just bush sounds…….but with a modicum of comfort, this spot is for you. Campers are also welcome. About 40 of us assembled in a little glade in the middle of the bush, the bride and groom under a ‘huppah’ style cover for the ceremony. There was a lot of love around….it was almost tangible. The vows had been fashioned by the couple, their parents were acknowledged and thanked for their guidance, nurturing and unconditional love, their friends were acknowledged for their continued support, for sticking with them and for flying and driving such long distances to be with them on their special day.

OCTOBER 2009 – Ceremony help

Whatever you are wanting to celebrate I can help you with your ceremony. From a divorce ritual which will help you acknowledge and celebrate the good from your past relationship and to allow you to acknowledge and forgive the hurt from the past to a wedding or name giving! I also have second marriage ceremonies! Check out the ceremony web blog that fulfils your need.

http://www.renewalofvows.net – renewal of vows ceremonies

http://www.thevowsbook.com – a compilation of wedding ceremonies

http://www.spiritualceremonies.info – spiritual ceremonies

http://www.weddingvows101.net – a compilation of 101 marriage & gay commitment vows

http://www.2ndmarriageceremonies.com – ceremonies for couples who have been married before

http://www.gaycommitmentceremony.net – gay commitment/marriage ceremonies

http://www.namegivingceremonies.com – a compilation of naming/namegiving ceremonies

http://www.divorce-ceremony.com – divorce ceremonies for one or  both partners

EARLY 2009 – My life as a celebrant in Tasmania is full of serendipities. I never cease to be amazed at the numbers of such lovely people I get to meet. Your ceremonies and joyful celebrations coupled with the great locations chosen take me away from my kitchen sink. I always arrive home afterwards feeling uplifted. I feel honoured and very privileged to be a part of other peoples lives at such an important time.

In the 2008-2009 year  I officiated at around 75 ceremonies…..and this year is proving to be just as busy. Weddings top the list,  name giving ceremonies are increasing in popularity with the occasional renewal of marriage vows. Commitment ceremonies are also increasing in popularity and this ceremony, for many reasons can be very special. Whether its just the couple and me…..or there’s a 100 of us, each ceremony is a very special and meaningful part of peoples’ lives.

Eloping and small, more intimate ceremonies are gaining in popularity! Wow! This past year or so, many forward bookings are for couples eloping and for couples choosing simple, intimate, very personal ceremonies! These couples feel that their marriage is about them….their commitment to one another.This year couples are stampeding to Tassie! Actually, couples from all over the world are choosing to do this……from Holland,quite a few couples from Hong Kong and England also Canada and the Philippines. Their intimate ceremony here in Tassie is often followed by a rash of sms’s, phone calls and phone photos, followed by a full on celebration with family and friends after they get home! [More on eloping in another post further down]

I have an extensive resources list that I send to couples who are coming to Tasmania to have their ceremony. Services like photographers, hairdressers, make up artists, florists, cake makers, order of service. My website venues page takes care of accommodation and venues, providing across the board choices from eco-adventure places, beaches, to upmarket boutique hotels and romantic places like beside the Richmond bridge.

Summer 2009 through to autumn 2010 bookings are really motoring along. Have you settled on your ceremony date/time yet? Take a look at my calendar to check my availability, then email or phone me to secure your day/time booking.

If you haven’t firmed up on your ceremony venue yet have a look at my venues page…..its packed with information and links to a multitude of great places.

Many old favourite venues were chosen by couples again this past season but a few new ones were chosen as well and some of them proved to be absolutely stunning.

If you are looking for an outdoor experience as your destination to marry, make your commitment or maybe  even to renew your vows then I have found some great places for you! Corinna, an eco-wilderness resort on the west coast has it all. Isolation,amazing landscapes and experiences but with private amenities. Currawong Lakes Flyfishing Retreat and Game Reserve is another outdoor 4 star experience 1.5-2hrs from Hobart and Launceston. I am very happy to provide celebrant services at both these destinations.

Additions to my Hobart and surrounding areas venues this year is the sandstone chapel beside the graveyard at Cambridge.Seating 60 guests, it has an organ, lighting and power. Limited parking available off road. No toilet facilities as yet.

Peppermint Bay is another fantastic all weather venue. The architecture of the building, the views, not to mention the food in the restaurant and the Providore shop are all spectacular! Its only about half an hour south of the city by car.

I have also added Sullivan’s Cove Apartments – Admiral Suite in Hunter Street Hobart as another city venue. If you are seeking an upmarket venue that has every conceivable luxury plus water and city views and walk to everything, then this is the place for you!

The amazing garden at Mrs Curries House B&B at Richmond, on the lawn near the vines at Meadowbank Estate, The Henry Jones Hotel Atrium Hobart, Stonefield at Brighton, Cornelian Bay Boathouse Lawns, The Lodge at Tarraleah, a private garden at Triabunna, Freycinet Lodge on the east coast, on the lawns overlooking the Derwent River at Wrest Point, The Islington Boutique Hotel in South Hobart, Newlands at Mt Stuart and Runnymede House at Newtown, Stewarts Bay near Port Arthur, the Cleveland Union Chapel (next to St Andrews Inn) on the Heritage Highway at Cleveland, just north of Campbell Town, a paddock at Dover overlooking the Channel waterway,the beach at Piccaninny Point on the east coast between Bicheno and St Helens, the secluded eastern end of Roches Beach, Lauderdale Beach, a private garden at Eagle Hawk Neck, those stunning red rocks on the northern end of the beach at Binalong Bay, The Hideaway at Bicheno, and last but not least Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain once again.

Visit my venues page and see for yourself…it may give you inspiration.