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.

11 August 2014

'Going to the chapel of love .....'

Hello, and welcome
     As a young bride, I loved making a grand entrance down a long aisle in a gorgeous stone church. My lovely Mum and soon-to-be Mother-in-Law had worked together to fill the church with flowers, mostly from
Clare has arrived for her
marriage to John
26 July 2014
my Grandmother’s garden. The organist played ‘Here Comes the Bride’ as I walked with my smiling Dad. And there was my beloved, watching and waiting at the end of the aisle. (It still gives me thrills, just bringing it all back to mind.)

     Like me, many brides want a venue with a memorable aisle. At weddings in my Heart Garden, the bride can make a romantic entrance along the garden path. It winds from the rustic gate, past the fountain and out to the lawn. Here her groom awaits. (Or some couples simply choose to arrive together, often with their guests, as a happy group.)
   
Kyrsty walks along the
garden path to marry
Jesse. 1 Feb 2013

     Many couples would like to marry in a chapel. Non-religious chapels are rare in Canberra, and The Chapel at Gold Creek is a popular choice. I have it on good authority that there’s a plan for a chapel in the romantic, spacious gardens of Ginninderry Homestead. If we had a non-sectarian chapel on Canberra’s southside, I believe it would soon have lots of bookings.

     For a Saturday wedding at Gold Creek Chapel at the height of the wedding season, couples may need to book a very long time ahead. Stan at Gold Creek told me recently that he would encourage couples to consider a winter wedding. The Chapel is warm and sunlit and bookings are freely available. An off-season rate could apply.
Helen and Cheng married at
The Chapel at Gold Creek
on 12 March 2012
     Now we have the glorious new pavilion at the National Arboretum. What a place to bring your guests from interstate and overseas! To my mind, the Arboretum is already a national treasure. The Margaret Whitlam Pavilion  makes a superb wedding chapel. I haven’t had a booking there yet, but I'm looking forward to it. For such a memorable location, I think that the booking fee is very reasonable.
     At the National Library, there’s another opportunity for a chapel-style wedding. Over the years, I’ve been to a few weddings in Bookplate, after the cafe closed for the day. The wedding party stood with the magnificent Leonard French coloured glass windows behind them. This gave a cathedral-like effect. The chairs were arranged to give the bridal party an aisle through the guests.
Looking into the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion at the Arboretum
      And there's another garden I love, with a glorious aisle for the bride to make her entrance. It's at Crisp Galleries and Gardens, on the Hume Highway, just past Bowning. It's magical!
In the extensive gardens at Crisp Galleries,
there's an avenue of stately poplars for the bride to walk along.
       The photo of Clare, with love in her eyes, at the top of this blogpost, was taken before her marriage to John in the Pavilion on Northbourne in Braddon. The Atrium there is a magnificent indoor garden, very well maintained. This was the perfect venue for a garden wedding on a chilly winter’s afternoon. There’s no traditional aisle but Clare’s entrance was elegant and memorable as she came down the central spiral staircase with her Dad.

Photo taken from the third floor of the Atrium at The Pavilion on Northbourne

A DIY Chapel?
      Now, after years of searching, I believe I’ve found the perfect place for a DIY chapel. It’s the new community hall at Griffith. With a willing team of assistants, a couple could make a wonderful ‘chapel’ here. The end wall is all glass, north facing, with trees and open park in the background. The bridal aisle could be made short or long, depending on the arrangement of the chairs.

     This new public building is simple and elegant. It’s easily accessible and of course, has power available and toilet facilities. To the side of the hall, there’s a courtyard with flowering pear trees. They must have been quite advanced when they were planted as they already provide shade and ambiance. To the back of the hall is a generous kitchen.
Looking out into the
sunny protected
courtyard

     I imagine that a couple could have their wedding with the backdrop of the floor-to-ceiling windows, then perhaps a cocktail party in the back of the hall and spilling out into the courtyard. There’s plenty of room for dancing.
     
The north wall of the Griffith Community Hall
     I know the wooden floor is great for dancing because I’ve been going to Nia dancing there on Tuesday mornings. That’s how I discovered this unique place which could quickly and easily be fashioned into a wedding chapel for low cost and high impact. Bookings can be made through Southside Community Services on 6126 4700.

To contact me about your wedding
      If you would like me to be celebrant at your wedding, I’d love to be there for you. On this blog, there are several Wedding Pages with extra information to help you with your wedding plans.         
     There’s one Page of good reasons for choosing Michele as your celebrant. Such as, I will stand to the side where I can easily speak to you, as well as to your guests.
Karlo makes his special vows to Jordan
The Heart Garden
15 May 2014
(No celebrant in sight!)
This means that when you see your wedding photos, you won’t see your celebrant standing in the middle, centre-stage between you both. You’ll just see the two of you, sharing very precious moments to remember all your life. 

     There’s also a Page with an email contact form. Or email me directly by clicking or tapping here.

     
Jordan, the modern bride,
reads her vows to Karlo
from her smartphone.
Or if you prefer, phone me on 0406 376 375 on any day between 9am and 9pm. Please note that I no longer have a landline. Perhaps you’d like the three of us to chat on Skype before you make your celebrant decision? That’s easy to arrange.

     Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about getting married. No obligation to book my service is implied. If you’ve decided to marry, my congratulations to you both, and thank you for visiting my blog.

Till next time
Sincerely,
Michele



And thank you Sarah for the testimonial you posted on Google Maps and TrueLocal. It is much appreciated. 

Michele was our celebrant for our wedding in July 2014 and our service was perfect. Michele is an AMAZING celebrant and made our wedding truly special. From the first time we met with her, we could tell that our wedding ceremony would be the personal, professional and upbeat ceremony that we wanted. Her kindness and enthusiasm won us over. She was as genuinely as excited as we were for our big day. Our guests came up to us afterwards and praised the beautiful ceremony and how wonderful Michele was.

I will be recommending her to all my friends and family with upcoming weddings. Thank you Michele
Jake and Sarah married at cosy 'Sweet Copper' in Gold Creek Village
on 15 July 2014