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.

28 July 2011

Ivy Cafe in Acton - A New Wedding Venue with a WOW! View

Hello, and welcome.
     Little birds are pecking around the plate of ice in the birdbath outside my window, enjoying an icy drink. It was minus 6 in Canberra last night and today we have one of those clear sparkly days that remind us all that we do love to live here in Winter despite the downsides. 
Ru and Sophia married at The Heart Garden on July 20 2011
     Yesterday there was a small private wedding in the Heart Garden, here at my home in Weston. For maximum comfort we had the ceremony inside in the heated green room overlooking the garden, but went outside after the signing for some great photos in the late-afternoon winter sunlight. My beautiful garden even produced a rare and special genuine English snowdrop (galanthus) for the lovely young bride. 
     The wedding of this young English couple was truly a joyous occasion. Due to residency requirements in the UK they were not able to have their legal wedding there next month when they marry in front of family and friends. I had mentioned to them that a small simple ceremony for the main purpose of legalising their marriage would still feel special and very moving. As he was leaving the garden the groom told me he had found this to be so true. To his genuine surprise I think.
     Winter was also kind to us when Sophie and Ru married last Wednesday. They wanted a small simple wedding just for close family before they met up with more family and lots of friends for a cocktail reception afterwards. Ru and Sophie were so happy they just kept smiling and smiling, especially Sophie. 
     The Small Simple but still Special Service I provide at the Heart Garden during the week appeals to couples in quite a few differing circumstances. In this blogpost I’ve mentioned just two. If the ACT had Registry Office weddings I'm sure many of the couples would marry there but yesterday’s groom also mentioned he was so happy to marry at such a beautiful place as my garden.
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Discovering Ivy Cafe
Polly and Alan share their vows,
smiling with happiness
     On Sunday, 2 July I was celebrant and guest, with my husband David, at the wedding of Alan and Polly. Alan is our friend from wayback, and Polly is our new friend. This couple just loves to have fun so even though of course the ceremony had some solemnising, we also had lots of laughs.
     Their venue was Ivy Cafe in Acton. It’s wonderful. The location is superb. It’s just near the Museum. The Cafe is in the historic building that used to be the Staff Centre in the grounds of the ANU. I was celebrant at several weddings there years ago and it was always an attractive venue. (I think it used to be called Old Canberra House.) Now it’s so much more attractive. A huge outdoor area has been built on so you can sit outside the cafe and overlook the lake. Even though it was a chilly sunny winter’s morning, we were well-rugged up and we had the ceremony outside. Inside the cafe was a cosy open fire. 
     I went for a walk down towards the lake and there was another setting there in a sort-of grassy arena that would be brilliant for a spring, summer or autumn wedding. John and I talked about upgrading and extending the gravel path down to this area for a spectacular arrival of the bridal party.
Polly jokes that Alan is now under the thumb!
Notice the glorious background with a view right across to Lake Burley Griffin  


We all had so much fun!
     John is the owner of Ivy Cafe. His number is 02 6257 0605. The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday. Recently they’ve opened for Sunday brunch and I couldn’t think of a lovelier place on a sunny Sunday morning. The huge garden which gives this venue privacy is like open grassy bushland with old graceful gumtrees. Maybe it’s the original Monaro environment. John hopes to attract the biking fraternity/sorority who ride around the lake at weekends. I think they’ll love it.
     The food at Ivy Cafe was good honest tasty fare and as far as I know, well-priced. On Saturdays (and I think in the evenings) Ivy Cafe is available for weddings and other functions. I highly recommend Ivy Cafe for location, ambience and friendly service.
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If you’re planning to marry this October . . .

     Long weekends make for great wedding dates. Did you know that this October we’ll have two local long weekends in a row?  The first is Sat Oct 1 till Mon Oct 3 – ACT  SA & NSW Labour Day, WA Queen’s Birthday. The next is Sat Oct 8 till Mon Oct 10 – ACT Family and Community Day.
    I’ll draw to your attention here that if you want to marry in October you must lodge your Notice of Intended Marriage with your celebrant in September. The lodging must be a minimum of one month and one day before the event. FYI getting this time shortened by the Registrar is rarely possible. Actually, if you wish to marry on Saturday October 1 this year you will need to lodge your Notice with your celebrant by Wednesday August 31.

If you would like me to be celebrant at your wedding, in my garden, or in any other location in Australia I'd be delighted to do so. Please feel free to phone me any day between 9am and 9pm on 02 6161 0718, or on my mobile 0406 376 375. Or email me. Click here, or fill in this email contact form.
     If you'd like to know more about the full service I provide, I will post you a package of information, along with a Notice of Intended Marriage (and no obligation to lodge it with me).
     For twelve good reasons that I may be just the right celebrant for your very special day click here and click here if you'd like to see how I'd look and sound as your celebrant. (This video has winter images of the Heart Garden as well.)

     As always, there are extra images in the slideshow to the right to go with what I've discussed in this post. Often I load photos from other recent weddings as well. Hover over the slideshow and it will expand. If you enjoy wedding photos, as I always do, you may also like to visit the photo archives. The latest archive from March this year is this Picasa webalbum.

Till next time
Sincerely
Michele