As a wedding celebrant there’s always the big Kahuna. Well usually there’s more than one, there’s a list, but the big Kahuna of venues that you hope and pray that one day someone will let you marry them there.
Maleny Manor is on my list. While my Big Kahuna is an outdoor dream venue that actually doesn’t it exist, I live in hope that some amazing couples will tick off my list and help me reduce that list to one.
This week I did my first wedding at Maleny Manor. From the moment you hit that sweeping driveway and hit that hair pin turn you almost forget you’re in control of a vehicle as the view across the mountain valley opens in front of you.
The open air gazebo makes you feel like you’ve put yourself in the mouth of the valley and the view is almost enough to distract you from why you’re really here. Almost. Maleny Manor is beautiful. The staff, some of the friendliest I’ve encountered and just being there amongst the green made this one of the most beautiful and relaxed venues I’ve ever seen.
While waiting for Kellie to arrive, I mingled and chatted with guests, found myself staring at the greenery and generally doing all I could to soak up the atmosphere. Then Kellie arrived. Kellie and Dave’s love story is one of those really revolting ones that makes you feel a little bit sick on the inside. And then you meet them. And then you realise that they are the quite the loveliest people in the whole world and you have no choice but to like them. They are those kind of people.
The wedding underway, there is nothing else to focus on than the people in front of you. Kellie and Dave, their attendants and their friends and families. The view disappears and the wedding becomes about the people. About making sure the expressions on faces are all based in happiness, that all we can all feel is the love that is shared by these families.
At the end of that wedding, there are only two things that I walked away with. That breathtaking first view of that valley and the warm gushy feeling that comes from really being part of something that is so much bigger than I am. That view will be a hard one to beat, but that feeling, it can never be beaten.
Kellie and Dave were married at Maleny Manor in Maleny. Photographer was Matt Rowe Photography. Check out their instagram for more pictures of Kellie and Dave’s big day. And thanks again guys. It was an absolute honour to be part of your big day!
Writing a ceremony is not something that just happens. It’s certainly not an on demand activity. I can’t set aside a time and tell myself that I am going to write a ceremony on a Tuesday afternoon at 2.15pm. Writing a ceremony takes a lightning strike and they are very rarely convenient.
The last one happened in the middle of a normal workday. I was actually teaching a class of year 7/8 students Latin roots and spelling rules. Not the most exciting of topics, but necessary when teaching my kids how to spell words they’ve never seen before, nevertheless half way through the description of logos and pathos, the sun hit the dinosaur through the blinds in just the right angle and my kids laughed at the way I pronounced logos like a Mexican wrestler, and it hit like a lightning bolt. The world froze and the kids looked at me a little strangely and our lesson took a HUGE tangent.
Pathos – appealing to others based on emotion. We were talking about a Zombie Apocalypse and convincing the authorities that as a zombie, what emotions would you use to convince the authorities of your reason for living or whether you should be ‘taken down’. Out of the mouth of a twelve year old came the line, ‘I’d tell them I loved them.’
It’s not necessarily the most earth shattering revelation nor is it a particularly profound statement that will change the way we view the world. What it did do was start a discussion with some very clever twelve year olds about what it means to be loved. And out of the mouths of babes, it was right there.
Apparently all that love is, is caring about someone else’s feelings more than you care about your own. And that was my lightning bolt. Loving someone, marrying someone, choosing someone is never really about you, it’s about them. It’s about wanting things for that person that make them happy and doing what you can to make that happen and putting what you want second. And if that’s the case, then the world is filled with it. You can see it, touch it, feel it everywhere and in the smallest of moments between people of all kinds.
So watch out newly weds. I’m waiting for a couple who want a very special kind of zombie love in their ceremony and until then, I’m searching, daily, for the moment of love that we share as people.
Since becoming a celebrant you notice different things. I’ve never been predisposed to mushiness but more in awe of the romanticism of it all. The idea of weddings are beautiful – and as a celebrant, I get to revel in them without the fear and worry of what they cost, if Aunty June will mind being near Cousin Bertha or the messiness that is leaving wet towels on the floor or washing someone else’s socks.
While I’m not adverse to wet towels or washing socks the pressure of having to do that day after day scares me a little bit but I can’t see how I will ever get sick of watching people tell their world those three simple words. ‘I found you!’
It’s not ‘I love you.’ I love a lot of people but what we truly search for is that other person who is your person. The one that you want to wash socks for and history would have it they are generally not the people you’d think they were. You find them in the most mysterious of places. At work, behind sheds, in bars, on ferris wheels, in bad profile photos with dogs, the options are endless but at the end of the day – once you’ve done the hard work and before you’ve started the real work, you get one day. One day when you get to tell your world that ‘I chose you.’
Even in the middle of Vietnam on a Thursday, in a red dress, the look of a wedding day is still the same. You can tell them that you love them everyday for the rest of your life but you should be telling everyone else ‘I found them.’ That’s the true miracle of a wedding.