Ad-free news, views and advice on the local wedding scene for Canberra ACT and nearby NSW, and on getting married in Australia in general. With Michele Bolitho, registered civil marriage celebrant for well over one thousand wonderful weddings. ... Your day is my focus. That's my promise. It's my pleasure.

31 March 2010

Canberra weddings with the WOW! Factor No 1 - Floating on air in a hot air balloon

Hello, and welcome to my revamped blog
     
Got an email from Blogger this week with new template options. I really like the one I've chosen and I've had fun making a new heading.
     This post, like the one before it, has been inspired by my Canberra Week activities. 
     The Balloon Festival was, as always, spectacular. Because we still had Daylight Saving, we saw the balloons at sunrise. Made me think of the three weddings in balloons that I've been celebrant for. Loved them all.
     On a major birthday of my husband's, I took us for a balloon flight over Floriade. We could appreciate the clever design when seen from the air but it was just after sunrise and all the tulips were still asleep. It was just so lovely though, drifting with the air currents, all in beautiful soft silence, except for the regular bursts of burner sound.  

A Wedding in a Balloon
This would be a rare treat for you and your small number of lucky guests. The upsides of this WOW! location are many - the panorama, the thrill, the privacy, all good. Downsides? You have to get up v early in the morning. That's about it. 
     The ceremony is conducted in between the blasts of hot air from the burner. On the recording from one wedding, these blasts sound like blowing very emphatic raspberries. Michele: 'Do you Paul, take Joanne to be your lawfully wedded wife? Paul: 'I do', followed immediately by one very loud raspberry! Their wedding certificate gives their location as 'In the air above Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra ACT'.
     If you choose to have your small intimate wedding, literally floating on air over Canberra, and you choose to book with Balloon Aloft, I recommend you take up the option of breakfast in the Promenade Cafe at the Hyatt to follow. The Hyatt Hotel does the best breakfast in town, and with great style. What a way to start your wedding day! 
     To get you the links for both balloon companies in Canberra, I went to Dawn Drifters website and I see that they include champagne breakfast at Rydges Capital Hill Hotel in their special packages. 
     I have no photos of couples who married in hot air balloons to put in this post, but I've got the next best thing - a photo of a very happy couple who got engaged in a balloon. 
     Chris, who is afraid of heights, courageously went skyward to pop the question to Jenny in a balloon ride he secretly organised last year. They'll be married at Gold Creek Chapel on Easter Saturday. We had our final meeting together last night. Next post I'll have the pleasure of showing you photos from their wedding. 
     Floating in the silent morning sky in a hot air balloon certainly tops my list of WOW! Factor locations but I have a couple of other unusual ideas to share with you from weddings where I've been celebrant. I'll write about them soon.
    
If you’d like to email me about your wedding plans, please click here, or phone me any day between 9am and 9pm on 02 6161 0718. I would be delighted to be your celebrant. I also welcome your questions and comments about this blog.  
     After doing my lovely work at two Easter weddings, I'll be heading north on holiday until Wednesday April 14. I won't be blogging again until after that, but I will be checking my emails and phone, and I'll have my mobile with me - 0406 376 375. Please feel free to give me a call.

Till next time
Sincerely
Michele

12 March 2010

Garden wedding, yes - but what if it rains?! Here's a perfect solution

Hello, and welcome
     Last Monday, the Canberra Day holiday, it rained. Not all day but quite a lot. It's been a wet end-of-summer-beginning-of-autumn this year. I rode in the Big Canberra Bike Ride with my husband and little grand-daughter. We didn't mind the rain but it certainly wasn't ideal wedding weather. 
     The idea for this post came to me when I was riding along Northbourne Avenue. Passing the Pavilion on Northbourne in the light rain, I thought of all the lovely weddings in the Atrium that I've been celebrant for over the years. I wish I could show you photos but I didn't ask any of the couples at the time for permission to put their photos on the net. 
     Simply because she's beautiful, I have put in a photo of Erana. When she married Sam on November 8 last year, the light and temperature in the National Rose Garden (Old Parliament House, Senate side) were just perfect. We were lucky though, because the sky was decidedly 'iffy', and threatening to send us a thunder storm. Mostly the weather in Canberra for weddings is very pleasant but if you're planning a garden wedding and you're concerned about the weather, here's a perfect solution - a garden wedding indoors! 
     The Atrium at the Pavilion on Northbourne is unique. I'm talking about the atrium in the building beside the main building (On the Pavilion on Northbourne site, you'll see an image of a similar atrium in the main building). In the atrium where weddings are held, there's a three storey garden with lush, well-cared-for plants, water feature, and right down the middle, a magnificent staircase. 
     If a bride wants to make a stunning entrance, this is the place to do it! As she comes down the stairs, it's like she's descending from heaven. Add music like 'The Gadfly' by Shostakovich and the effect can be ethereal. 
     I haven't been to a wedding at the Atrium for some time so I'm glad to use my blog as a way to inform or remind my fellow Canberrans about this tranquil, elegant garden-wedding venue, where you can be totally confident the rain will never fall.
      If you’d like to email me about your wedding plans, please click here, or phone me any day between 9am and 9pm. I would be delighted to be your celebrant. I also welcome your questions and comments about this blog.  

     Till next time
     
     Sincerely
     Michele


02 March 2010

The strange but special sound at the Rhodo Garden Commonwealth Park Canberra ACT

Hello, and welcome
Here we are in autumn, a more popular time for a Canberra wedding than summer or winter. The weather is much more human-friendly.
     Last Saturday I had the pleasure of legalising the marriage of Patrick and Alison. Pat's family are friends of mine from wayback, and I was invited to join in the celebrations as a wedding guest. 
     (There are more photos from this v happy event in the Slideshow on the right.)
     
     So - what was the strange but special sound at the Rhododendron Garden in Commonwealth Park where the ceremony was held?
     It came from the bats, all returning to their roost in the big trees. Ali walked in with her Dad John, and the bats squealed in chorus. It's quite a pleasant sound, and nothing like the raucous screech of cockies that can sometimes interrupt an outdoor ceremony. Then the bats went quiet and when we were all congratulating Ali and Pat at the end of the wedding, the bats squealed again, right on cue, rather like Nature's wedding bells. For reference, if you're planning a wedding in the Rhododendron Garden, the time was around six, end of summer, daylight saving time. (And no - we did not have a problem with anything dropping from the sky.)
     Ali and Pat's reception was at The Deck. on Regatta Point. The food was good wedding-reception fare, the setting was superb. A great band, lots of dancing under the full moon, looking out over Lake Burley Griffin. Atmosphere fun, temperature perfect. Much of the bride's extended family came from the British Isles and our fair city was at her best for these special visitors. 
     I very much enjoyed sitiing with Robyn and Julian. I'd been their celebrant three years ago and it was a lovely surprise to see them again. Julian and Robyn had a Christmas/engagement party at their home in 2006. I blended in with the guests until after the engagement announcement. Their guests were stunned at the shortest engagement in history and thrilled to find out they were actually wedding guests! The celebration to follow gave true meaning to the words 'wedding party'.
    If you’d like to email me about your wedding plans, please click here. I would be delighted to be your celebrant. I also welcome your questions and comments about this blog.  
     
     Till next time
     
     Sincerely
     Michele