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.

12 May 2010

Two free Canberra wedding venues, featuring the beauty of Nature

    Hello, and welcome
    Mothers' Day in Canberra this year was a glorious story-book autumn day. I went with my Mum and my husband to plant 'trees for Mum' up in the Brindabellas, beyond the Cotter. We came back via Casuarina Sands and I saw the rejuvenated picnic area for the first time. What a fabulous place for a wedding on a mild autumn or spring day!
    The bridal party could arrive here:
and the ceremony could take place here, with bride, groom and attendants standing on the boardwalk: 
The river is a superb natural backdrop. On Sunday is was sparkling in the sunlight. The guests could stand on the grass here, or the ceremony could be held on the grass.
 Or in the shade of the trees. 
A wedding at Casuarina Sands beside the Murrumbidgee River could be so lovely, and quite unique to Canberra. A real treat for your guests from interstate and overseas. (Click on the slide show to the right to see enlarged images and extra photos.)
    After leaving the Cotter, we drove up to the top of Mount Stromlo. I was celebrant at many weddings there before the devastating fires of 2003. The forest was always cool and dramatic. You can see in the photos below that, even though the forest is gone, this wedding venue with established native gardens is still picturesque and unusual. 
You may not want to have your ceremony in the burnt-out telescope housing, but couldn't you get some amazing photos here in the time between your wedding and your reception?
    When we came home to Weston, our garden was looking spectacular with lots of autumn colour, and there's lots more to come. If you'd like a small weekday wedding, with up to a dozen or so guests, you'd be most welcome to hold it in the Heart Garden. There's no extra fee for this. 
Our garden is glorious in the autumn, sunny in the winter and very very pretty in the spring. In summer it's a cool, private sanctuary. In all seasons, it's romantic. (It was officially called The Heart Garden in the Australian Open Garden Scheme in 2005.)
    My meeting room also works well as an attractive venue for a small weekday wedding if the weather's not so human-friendly. Three walls have windows overlooking the garden, and the bride and groom can stand in the bay window during the ceremony. 
If you wish to bring champagne or other special drink for a toast, I'll supply the crystal glasses. Many couples who find out that there are no registry office weddings in the ACT are glad to know they can marry at my home, and it's my great pleasure to prepare the garden for these very special events.  


Today's Q and A


Q:   We'd like to run our own ceremony, and get our guests involved. Can we do this?

A:  Yes.     You must have an authorised civil celebrant attending to do all the legal parts for you, but if you wish, you can get friends to do the welcoming, family to take you through your vows, and you yourselves can present yourselves as a newly married couple. It's a very friendly and fun way to get married because you can get all your guests involved. The wedding can be at the beginning of your festivities, or you can have the ceremony when the party's already well underway.



    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