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Malaghans Road
Arrowtown 9348
New Zealand

(0064) 21 542 983

Tailored, personal and memorable marriage ceremonies in Central Otago and Wellington. My commitment is to work with you to ensure that you have the wedding ceremony that reflects who you are and what is important to you on your special day.

I love to work with couples to create a personal experience.  I love spending whatever time is needed to get the details right for you:  whether it be helping you write the perfect ceremony, putting an antique cloth and a posy of flowers on the table to sign the register or giving you advice on locations and other people to assist you.

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Blog

Looking for something for a Flower Girl or the chairs on the aisle? Lily of the Valley and Lambs Ears

Catherine Fyfe

Whilst shopping for my fresh supplies today I spied two of my favourite things in the flower department - Lily of the Valley and Lambs Ears.  So a bunch of each went into my basket and I've just made a little circlet for a Flower Girl to carry or to hang on the end of a chair marking the aisle.  Very sweet and fast to make.  You can use any greenery that bends well.  I love ivy, fir around Christmas or for a winter wedding or something soft.  You don't have to use flowers - think of just adding a bow or a trailing ribbon.  

I started with some wire which I shaped into the size I wanted.  Make it as big or small as you like. Remember that the bigger the circle and the heavier the greenery and flowers you wish to wire to it, the stronger the wire you will need.

Once I had my circle I used finer wire to append the greenery and finally my bunch of Lily of the Valley.

I then tied a ribbon loop to the top so that it could be either held or looped over a chair end.

I experimented with adding a bow to the bottom.  

An easy to achieve effect to accentuate an aisle or as a very cute accessory for a Flower Girl.  Have fun giving it a go!  

With this ring ........

Catherine Fyfe

In almost every ceremony, following the Declaration of Intent and the Vows, the couple exchange rings.  Most often now we have the "double ring ceremony" with both the bride and groom exchanging rings.  Sometimes the groom elects not to have a ring.  

So, where did the tradition of the wedding ring come from?  Tradition suggests that the wearing of a ring comes from the Romans, others think the Egyptians.  It was worn on the left hand because it was thought that the vein in the wedding ring finger, referred to as the "Vena Amoris" (Vein of Love) connected directly to the heart.  Many cultures place rings on the right hand.  Whichever is right for you, just make sure you put in on the correct finger!  I've had occasion to guide the placement during the ceremony ...... nerves and looking at the hands of your partner from the opposite side can create some confusion!  

A special cushion for the rings ..... more on this in a later blog

A special cushion for the rings ..... more on this in a later blog

So why a circular ring to symbolise marriage?  The circle is, of course, unending and therefore a symbol of eternity.  A marriage ring is therefore a symbol of the never-ending love that the couple have for each other.  I also think of it as the outward and visible sign to everyone of the love that binds a couple together.  They are usually made of precious metal - strong and enduring.  What about the style?  More on that in a later blog but nowadays they often have stones in them or engraving on the inside.  These details make the ring even more special.

.... and my very favourite image from the hugely talented Rachel Callender capturing the special moment.

.... and my very favourite image from the hugely talented Rachel Callender capturing the special moment.

My big tip for the exchange of rings:

 Almost always,  one of the rings won't go on easily!  Again, nerves, the temperature, the style of the ring or a large knuckle might mean it won't slide on easily.  I always go over this at the rehearsal.  Don't try ramming it on - the knuckles will swell up!  A gentle twist usually does the trick or waiting a couple of seconds and it will slide on easily.  I've never had a ring that didn't go on yet!!

And my final thought on rings:  At a wedding last year, our groom exchanged a second ring:  to his new step-son.  This represented his commitment to and love for him.  An incredibly special moment.

Calming the nerves, final checks and words of wisdom .....

Catherine Fyfe

Celebrant:  Catherine Fyfe  Venue:  Rippon Vineyard  Photographer: the wonderful Rachel Callender

Celebrant:  Catherine Fyfe  Venue:  Rippon Vineyard  Photographer: the wonderful Rachel Callender

One of the moments I really enjoy as a Marriage Celebrant is the time with the groom and his party as we await the arrival of the bride.  Everything is done and we're ready to go.  I've checked the ties, brushed the jackets and often pinned on the buttonholes - which can be surprisingly tricky to attach sometimes!  I've even had a look at the rings just so that I know that, all joking from the Best Man aside, we do have them!

What happens then?  Usually I spend the last few minutes chatting with the groom.  We talk about all sorts of things and the conversation is usually designed to calm those last minute nerves.  Some want to go over key parts of the ceremony.  Others want to talk about how they met their partner, family members who can't be present or even their beloved pets who have been banished from the ceremony because of their potential to wreak havoc with a gorgeous dress!  What I do find is that you can't predict which grooms will be calm and which ones really nervous.  

I always ask that the groom and his party arrive with a good 30 minutes to spare.  That allows for unanticipated vehicle or traffic delays and last minute tasks to be completed.  It also allows the groom and his party time to chat with family and friends.  Photos are taken and the rings get checked again .... and again by a nervous groom!  At a recent wedding I celebrated we arrived at 1.15pm for a 2.30 wedding.  It was 1.4 degrees outside and such dense fog that we had a maximum view of about 5 metres.  We all agreed that the wedding would be inside and used Plan B to get that ready.  The huge fire was stoked up and all was ready to go.  At 1.50 the cloud suddenly rose incredibly quickly and the sun came out.  We reverted to Plan A and the chairs for 140 were taken out by the groom and his party and the venue staff.  All achieved in less than 10 minutes and no panic!  It's always good to have that time available for these last minute changes.

"the worker bees" ..... 140 chairs on the move with 30 mins to spare!

"the worker bees" ..... 140 chairs on the move with 30 mins to spare!

So, we gathered at the top of the aisle, overlooking the stunning vines of Rippon Vineyard and Lake Wanaka and chatted.  Everyone was incredibly calm and ready to go.  It is a special time for a groom and his closest mates.  There is always lots of laughter but always a special sense of what is to come!  And sometimes, a final word from me!  Apparently my final pep talk isn't always that serious .......

Tom and I, Rippon Vineyard, Wanaka

Tom and I, Rippon Vineyard, Wanaka

Receptions ...... why were they called a "Breakfast"?

Catherine Fyfe

Adam and Leticia's reception venue, Hotel Icon, Houston

Adam and Leticia's reception venue, Hotel Icon, Houston

Traditionally, the wedding ceremony was followed by a reception.  The guests from the ceremony gathered together and celebrated the marriage.  The name "reception" is derived from the couple "receiving" their guests at the celebration for the first time as a married couple.  The "Wedding Breakfast" reflected the requirement in many churches for the ceremony to take place before noon; hence "breakfast" followed.  Others waited until the evening for their reception which was often a formal ball.  These days the term "wedding reception" is a generic term referring to the gathering that occurs after the wedding, regardless of the time of day or the degree of formality of the function.  In some cultures the reception may extend over days.

A couple of weeks ago I married a delightful couple from Hong Kong.  They had a small group of family with them and we celebrated after the wedding with tea and a gorgeous cake under the trees.  It was a delightful way to finish the ceremony.

Gloria and Edmond, Thurlby Domain

Gloria and Edmond, Thurlby Domain

For others, the reception will be larger and include a meal, entertainment and dancing.  The venue that you select for your reception should reflect the theme and degree of formality that you want.  You might decide on an outdoors reception with a meal served under trees.  Consider too whether you are having children present.  If you are, think about entertainment for them.  At Millbrook recently, I've had couples married with children present and they have been provided with games, paper and pens and also a suitable menu.  At our own wedding, we also had many children attending and so we hired a magician to entertain them.  Of course, the adults wanted to join in too!  

Your venue should reflect the "look and feel" that you want.  How are you planning to decorate the venue?  You might want gorgeous flowers, covered chairs and elegant table settings.  A candlelight setting might be the look you love.  Alternatively you might like a casual setting with groups of tables and other seating both inside and outside.

This is the venue for a stunning family wedding we attended in Houston a few years ago.  After drinks and canapés, the doors were opened to reveal this breathtaking setting.  Each table had different flowers.  The design fitted perfectly with the room design and also the overall theme of the wedding.  Prior to the meal commencing, we were served drinks and canapés  and, in a tribute to Leticia's Mexican heritage, we were entertained by a Mariachi Band which we all really loved.  So always think about how you can incorporate the traditions, heritage or themes that are important to you.

Leticia and Adam - stunning!

Leticia and Adam - stunning!

For you, you might prefer something very casual.  It could be that you have your reception at home.  Maybe pizzas and and ice-cream truck in the summer with bunting to decorate the house.  Or you might like a marquee on the lawn. 

icecream truck wedding.jpg

The key is to have the type of reception you want.  Everyone will like something different.  Don't be afraid to have the one that is right for you