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.

21 April 2011

Why you can't be husband and wife

Hello, and welcome
     On Saturday April 16 Anna and Andrew were married at the Botanic Gardens. Even after hundreds and hundreds of weddings, I found the vow exchange of this longtime devoted couple very moving and it took me a while to get my focus back on presenting the ceremony!

An entrance grand and an entrance not-as-planned

Hello, and welcome
     I just happened to be in Phillip the other week and just happened to be near Eddison Park in Launceston Street. Thought I’d pay a visit. 
     Here's a quote from the website. I've added the bold bits for this time of year:

A park for the people of Woden and Weston Creek

The popularity of this park increased from the 1980s onwards. Informal sports can be played in the eastern part of the park and picnicking is becoming more common. As the development on the common axis matures, the pond and its associated memorial elements are becoming a focus for public use. Aquatic birds have taken up residence around the ornamental pond. The annual Anzac Day memorial services commenced in 1992 still attract up to 4000 school children. Amongst the park's growing natural beauty and memorial elements there are important messages of peace for the people of Canberra.
     This Woden park used to be lovely. During many years of drought though, it languished in ugliness. The large waterway disappeared and the birdlife went with it. Now, thanks to skilful contractors, Eddison Park is back to its former lovely self. The huge pond is full again and many birds have made their home there. What I especially like about Eddison Park is the grand entrance for a bridal party. 
     You park in the carpark opposite the Canberra College, then there’s a wide paved walkway into the park. Unfortunately, because so many birds now live in the park, the wooden walkways across to the island where the gazebo is, would need to be cleaned before a bride could walk there. Or maybe you could get a length of inexpensive red carpet and cover the boardwalk. 
     The best place for a ceremony is probably where the entranceway comes in, then you can get some great photos on the island. Perhaps have the signing there. Years ago I officiated at several weddings on the large paved area (that the ducks don’t use) and one on the island. Eddison Park now has an excellent new skatepark but that’s away from the area that weddings are held. 
     I am so glad that this lovely free public space has been re-beautified and can be used for weddings again. When you book - it's FREE - with the National Capital Authority, perhaps you could ask for the area to be mown before your wedding. (I suggest you make this request when you book any of our parks.)
View from the paved area at the end of the entrance
     These days I highly recommend a back-up plan. Eddison Park has no covered area. Perhaps the reception would be at the nearby Hellenic Club or Southern Cross Club and a large room could be booked as back-up.
     If you'd like to see more images from Eddison Park, they're in the slideshow to the right of this post. Also, I have just put a new post in my blog Come to My Heart Garden, along with new photos in the April in the Heart Garden online album.

The Future of Weddings in the Heart Garden
     Well, I don’t know what to do about weddings in the Heart Garden. Should they stay very small, perhaps with a maximum of 6 guests? Spring and summer just gone were so unpredictable weatherwise. 
     For a couple of weddings where rain threatened, we were lucky. The small private weddings were held in the garden with the soft light you get from a cloudy sky. However – for the wedding of Bronwyn and Scott we were not so lucky. 
     The morning had been gentle and pretty. A few sprinkles of light rain helped the flower gardens look splendid, especially the large swathe of tall mauve asters. As the day went on, the sky got darker. I put two sun umbrellas and the signing table into the pergola and it looked like we’d be OK to have the ceremony there. 
     The sun umbrellas coped well with the light sprinklings of rain. Later in the afternoon when the groom and guests were due, the light rain was coming and going, the temperature of the air was pleasant and the sun umbrellas continued to work well. The asters and other flowers were starting to look waterlogged and sadly, were falling to the ground. 
     The groom and guests gathered in the pergola and the rain started to gain strength. Then at 4.30 on the dot, when the bride was due to arrive, so did THE FLOOD! Torrential rain made the sun umbrellas useless and a great torrent of water rushing through our block made an impromptu muddy river. When Bron made her entrance, she ran in her saturated shoes through the guests and into the house. She was, as you can understand, deeply distressed that the memorable entrance she’d planned of walking through the garden with her Pop to join Scott and their guests, had missed its one-and-only chance of happening. 
     The guests came into the green room (my meeting room). Bron made her entrance with Pop through our living room Scott and Bron stood in the bay window and were married there. We had just enough room for wedding couple and guests but it was way from ideal. The warm weather made the green room steamy. This is when I began deciding, now that Mother Earth has started moving and shaking and washing herself off in a big way, to limit the number of future wedding guests to six. If it rains, there'll be plenty of room for all in the green room.

     We went onto the verandah for the signing. The rain dripped down behind us. A very favourite tree of mine, a snow gum (eucalyptus pauciflora) made a picturesque background for the signing photos. 
     The inherent joy of their wedding day began bubbling through for Bron and Scott as we got into the ceremony and by the signing, there were smiles all round. I thank Scott and Bron for their encouraging and positive attitude when so much seemed to go so wrong. For me as service provider, their understanding and the good feeling from their strong relationship certainly helped me to enjoy their unique, not-as-planned, but still lots of fun, wedding day.
     If you would like me to officiate at your wedding, I'd be delighted to do so. Please fill in the contact form in this blog, or email me about your plans, or phone me any day from 9am to 9pm on 02 6161 0718. My mobile number is 0406 376 375.

Till next time
Sincerely
Michele