Maori wedding traditions at a heartfelt Brisbane wedding

With Marriage Celebrant Cara Hodge of Brisbane City Celebrants

Having lived in New Zealand for 5 years and experienced many of the warm and deeply meaningful Maori traditions and customs, I understand and respect the significance for couples and their families choosing to incorporate Maori wedding traditions in to their wedding day.

Maori wedding traditions

Traditional Maori weddings derive their culture values from a proud noble race known as Te Maori. The Korowai is a traditional Maori cloak, weaved with feathers.

This wedding took place at Brisbane’s Victoria Park in the Garden Marquee and combined Maori and Western wedding traditions perfectly.

Without gathering a crowd (aside from me letting the Videographer know when this was taking place, to capture the moment at the brides request as she wouldn’t be their to witness it), The Korowai ceremony took place when the grooms Mum arrived.

She approached the groom and lovingly placed and tied the Korowai on him, affirming her support, pride and love for her son and his relationship with his soon to be wife.

The grooms uncle was the wedding singer and guitarist, and sung the bride and her bridesmaids down the aisle.  The couples ceremony was heartfelt and meaningful, and happy tears were shed when I shared their story together. They kept their ceremony short and simple opting for the simple required vows. A wise decision given how emotional the ceremony already was.

Victoria Park wedding garden marqueeMaori traditions weddingGarden Marquee wedding at Victoria Park Golf Complex

The couples children joined them as they made their way back down the aisle. After family photos took place, the couple headed off for photos conveniently onsite around the Victoria Park Golf course. They thoughtfully booked the Orchard Room for guests to enjoy refreshing drinks and nibbles while their location photos took place.

Victoria Park wedding photos

Another part of traditional Maori culture is the feast and celebrations, traditionally with a hangi where the food is slowly cooked underground.

The couples reception took place in Victoria Park’s stunning Marquee and involved traditional Maori dancing and of course the Haka.

Maori traditional wedding in Brisbane

Congratulations to the happy newlyweds and how beautifully you incorporated Maori wedding traditions in to your wedding.

With Celebrant Cara Hodge of Jamie + Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants

Photography Dreamlife Photography

If you enjoyed this post and are looking for a Celebrant for your special day, contact Cara now to confirm availability and start planning your wedding ceremony.

A simply elegant wedding at Woody Point

With Celebrant Cara Hodge – Brisbane City Celebrants

Donna and Anthony’s elegant wedding at Woody Point at Moreton Bay was an absolute dream come true. The bride opted for simplistic elegant wedding ceremony styling by With Love Wedding Decorators, at Jetty Square Park to make the most of the stunning backdrop and views of Moreton Bay and the Woody Point Jetty.

Bride Donna had the honour of having her two beautiful daughters as her bridesmaids and they all got ready together at the nearby Mon Komo Hotel.

The girls arrived together in a classic Jaguar, before making their way to the ceremony where Anthony was eagerly waiting for his stunning bride.

Jaguar classic wedding car

Woody Point wedding

The wedding ceremony décor provided by yours truly via With Love Brisbane Wedding Decorators included a rose petal aisle, white Americana chairs, aisle pillars with fresh floral arrangements in blush tones, a wedding welcome sign and a chilled drinks bar to keep the guests cool and hydrated. Images via With Love Brisbane Wedding Decorators

As Donna walked down the aisle to Anthony, she took his breath away. They held hands and their short but very sweet ceremony commenced.

wedding Jetty Square Park

Their ceremony was a true celebration of Donna and Anthony’s love and of their love for their families, with Donna’s daughters by her side and Anthony choosing his father to be his best man and witness.

Jetty Square Park wedding Celebrant

The happy couple made their way back down the aisle together to a shower of a rose petals and the cheers and applause of their wedding guests. Once the family and group photos were taken, guests made their way to The Belvedere Hotel, where the wedding welcome sign and flowers from the ceremony were repurposed to decorate the relaxed cocktail style celebrations.

Donna and Anthony were blessed with a beautiful sunset to welcome them in to married life, and the lovely Jess their Photographer was in her element capturing their location photos here.

Congratulations Donna and Anthony on the perfect start to your marriage.

Celebrant Cara Hodge Jamie + Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants

Ceremony Décor With Love – Brisbane Wedding Decorators

Photography Jesstookthis

Flowers Brisbane Market Flowers

Jeweller Phenix Jewellery

Hair and Makeup EK Artistry

If you enjoyed this post and are looking for a Celebrant for your special day, I would love to hear from you. Contact me now for more information and let’s start planning your special day.

A colour filled wedding at Cupo Venue

With Celebrant Cara Hodge of Jamie + Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants

What an incredible day it was celebrating Gemma and Chris’s colour filled wedding at Cupo Venue.

5 STARS “Thank you so much for everything leading up to and on the day! Definitely 5 out of 5 from us. We had so much fun, thank you again” Gemma + Chris

Cupo venue wedding celebrant

When I first met with Gemma and Chris to start planning and designing their wedding ceremony, I remember how excited they were as they shared all the details of their upcoming wedding at Cupo Venue, a funky function space in Fortitude Valley.

At the time Cupo Venue was a new venue to the Brisbane wedding scene and this was my first wedding at this venue which added to my excitement of the day.

Gemma told me how the venue was very much a blank canvas that they could decorate and set up however they wished. In keeping with the ceremony vibe of a happy celebratory day, the flower brief to her Florist was for bright and colourful seasonal arrangements. They also created low chill out seating and picnic areas, for guests to gather and chill in a relaxed way.

The venues pallet backdrop wall was beautifully decorated with flowers by Garden Graffiti and twinkling lights.

While there weren’t too many surprises with this modern wedding, with Chris having seen the dress and pink shoes Gemma had picked to wear, long before the day, the happy couple did decide to share surprise vows with each other which they shared for the first time during the ceremony.

It always amazes me when I see the similarities couples include in their surprise vows to each other. Amongst their beautiful heartfelt words to each other, Chris said:

“I look forward to all the memories we are going to make together, the Sundays spent on the couch and the trips to Kmart for “just one thing”.

And alluding to the same thing, Gemma said to Chris:

“I can’t promise that I won’t buy all the cushions from Kmart, but I can promise to support you in your never-ending quest to own all the sneakers.”

Needless to say their words were a huge hit to each other!

cupo venue wedding vows

Their wedding was captured by Terry from Soul Bridge Media, a long term friend of Chris which added to the relaxed enjoyable vibe of the day. They laughed and cried happy tears and their ceremony was truly perfect in every way.

wedding Celebrant Brisbane

wedding at Cupo Venue Brisbane

wedding decorations Cupo Venue

After they exchanged rings they were introduced as husband and wife and their guests cheered loudly!weddings at Cupo Venue Brisbane

wedding Cupo Venue

After the ceremony drinks circulated and while the group photo took place, the venue speedily turned the room around converting the ceremony area, to a long wedding reception table, filled with beautiful bright florals.

Wedding reception Brisbane

Wedding ceremony and reception venue Brisbane

Congratulations to the happy newlyweds and thank you for choosing me as your Celebrant for your wedding at Cupo Venue.

Cara Hodge – Jamie + Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants

Photography:  Soulbridge Media

Venue: Cupo Concept Venue Brisbane

Florist Garden Graffiti

If you enjoyed this post and you are looking for a Celebrant for your wedding at Cupo Venue or elsewhere in Brisbane, Cara would love to hear from you. Contact Cara now for more information and to start planning your special ceremony.

How Wedding Celebrants are adapting to wedding restrictions from COVID-19

With Jamie + Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants

What a ride it has been for many couples and also for the wedding industry including Celebrants with wedding restrictions from COVID-19. Following the announcement in late March, that weddings are subject to new restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The current restrictions allow a maximum of 5 people to be present for the ceremony, which includes the couple, the Celebrant and the 2 witnesses. Celebrations after the ceremony may also be limited due to social distancing rules.

Since this restriction came in to effect, we had a huge couple of weeks working with many of our couples whose weddings were due to take place soon, to assist them in postponing to new dates. Many couple shave opted to have a small and intimate elopement followed by a celebration with guests at a later date when the restrictions have eased.

Celebrants adapting to restrictions elopement

What precautions are we taking to ensure a safe environment for our couples?

It is so important to us that we adhere to the restrictions to assist the community and the wedding industry in moving out of the COVID-19 restrictions phase. Here are some of the processes we have implemented in line with the guidelines to ensure a safe environment and reduce any potential spread.

Meetings

  • Online meetings are now also available for local couples (in addition to our interstate and overseas based couples) we offer our clients a choice of video conferencing methods.
  • If or when an ‘in person’ meeting is necessary, we advise clients before the meeting that we will be adhering to social distancing practices and that we will be unable to shake their hand. The response to this has always been received very positively.
  • We ask couples to advise us if they haven’t been feeling well or have arrived from overseas within the last 2 weeks, so ‘in person’ meetings can instead take place on line.
  • We have antibacterial gel available, and we continue to wash and sanitise our own hands before, after and between every meeting.
  • We use antibacterial wipes to clean tables and chairs that are used for the ‘in person’ meeting, both before and after the meeting takes place.
  • We use antibacterial wipes to clean the pens used during the meeting.

Weddings

  • If using a microphone, we sanitise this before and after use.
  • We have hand sanitiser available for use, and we personally use this frequently.
  • Before the wedding commences, we include a pre-wedding announcement to remind guests of social distancing requirements and advise them that the couple have requested they avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
  • We respectfully aren’t shaking hands or hugging clients.
  • We request the full legal names of the 2 witnesses, so they can be printed on the marriage certificates, minimising the time they are in contact with the marriage paperwork.
  • We take a new signing pen out of a packet for the couple to use, and allow them to keep this (while using a different pen ourselves).
  • Tablecloths from signing tables are hot washed after every ceremony.
  • If there is not a Photographer stepping in after we leave, we will offer to take some photos for the couple on our own phone, to then send to them.

If our clients have any further requests that are in accordance and support the health regulations for COVID-10, we are very happy to oblige.

Elope in Brisbane

We hope you found this post helpful. If you are looking for a Celebrant for your special day, elopement or legals only wedding, Jamie + Cara are currently still performing weddings within the current restrictions and  would love to hear from you. Contact Jamie + Cara – Brisbane City Celebrants now for more information.

Elopement image 1 via Brisbane Wedding Decorators

Loving the dog ring bearer

With Celebrant Jamie Eastgate – Brisbane City Celebrants

What a fantastic surprise it was having the couples much loved dog Sasha make a very special appearance and be a part of their special day as the dog ring bearer!

The groom organised for the couples dog to be the surprise ring bearer, and when the Best Man pretended to forget the rings, to everyone’s surprise, the groom whistled and their beautiful dog Sasha appeared from around the corner, and with a little help, made her way down the aisle with the rings.

5 STAR CELEBRANT REVIEW

 “Jamie was a great Celebrant for our wedding!

He made personalising our ceremony easy, was super flexible, and offered great advice and support for vow writing.
We had a fun, relaxed ceremony, with lots of laughs which was just perfect.
Jamie was even in on a surprise my husband organised for me, to include our dog in the ceremony, which is one of my favourite memories.
Our guests commented on how good the ceremony was and said it was a real reflection of us as a couple…thanks to Jamie.

Alana and Brett – Sunset Glade, Roma Street Parklands

Roma_Street_Park_Wedding_Sunet_Glade_with_Brisbane_Celebrant_Jamie.jpg

Roma_Street_Park_Wedding_Sunet_Glade_with_Brisbane_City_Celebrants.jpg

Roma_Street_Park_Wedding_Sunet_Glade_with_Celebrant_Jamie_Eastagte.jpg

Roma_Street_Park_Wedding_Sunet_Glade_with_Celebrant_Jamie.jpg

What a fantastic surprise it was having the couples much loved dog Sasha make a very special appearance and be a part of their special day… almost stealing the show!

Wishing the happy newlyweds a future reflective of their wedding ceremony; full of love and laughter and happily ever after!

Photography: Kate Cornfoot Photography

Wedding Ceremony Set Up – Brisbane Wedding Decorators

Bride and grooms fur baby – Sasha

Thank you for choosing me to be your Marriage Celebrant for your Roma Street Parklands Wedding and also for taking the time to write such a fantastic review and also for sharing your wedding photos with us, particularly the ones of Sasha the dog ring bearer.

If you enjoyed this post and are a dog loving human, looking for a Celebrant for your special day Jamie Eastgate Brisbane City Celebrants would love to hear form you.

The cycling bride

With Cara Hodge of Brisbane City Celebrants

What an incredible entrance this was for the wedding of two cycling enthusiasts with bride Emily surprising her groom Christophe by speeding down the aisle on a bike.

cycling bride

In 10+ years of performing wedding ceremonies, this was the first time I’ve ever seen a cycling bride arrival!

The happy couple actually found their wedding venue, Ocean View Estates Winery while exploring the area during bike rides, so Emily thought it was only fitting to make her way down the long aisle on a specially purchased white bicycle, to the complete surprise of her groom.

The arrival was kept top secret, even Emily’s Dad didn’t know what she had planned when she told him she would make her way down the pathway herself, asking him to walk her the remainder of the way to her waiting groom.

When the moment arrived the band played, and the lovely bridesmaids made their way down the long footpath, and took their places. Guests may have wondered for a brief moment why the bride wasn’t following closely behind them. Christophe was attentively watching, waiting for that first glimpse of his beautiful bride, when suddenly at great speed, Emily flew at high speed down and around the footpath, taking his breath away!

Guests wowed and a wave of laughter ensued, followed by cheering as everyone realised what they were witnessing. Then Emily gracefully dismounted with a little help from her bridesmaids, made eye contact with her groom before joining her father to walk her the rest of the way down the aisle.

wedding bike

It was the perfect way for Emily and Christophe to commence their happy and upbeat, love filled ceremony plus the bikes made for some great photos after the ceremony.

Special mention to Barry from Eyes Wide Open Images for capturing these fun moments.

If you enjoyed hearing about this unique wedding and are looking for a Celebrant for your special day. Marriage Celebrant Cara Hodge would love to hear from you.