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31 December 2010

Wonderful wedding of a dear friend and 2 beaut ideas for a hens' party

Hello and welcome
     This is my final blog post for the year and I can’t think of any better way to bring 2010 to a grand conclusion than with a rave about the wedding of my very dear friend Marita and her longtime love John. Here we see Marita and John arriving, looking so happy already and amazingly relaxed. In my experience, there’s something about a Sunday morning wedding that gives it a less formal and more relaxed tone than a traditional wedding on Saturday afternoon.
     Summer got off to a wet start as Spring came to a wet end. However, Sunday 5 December was glorious! It was a late morning wedding in the Senate Courtyard at Old Parliament House and the sun shone brightly. 
     Since ‘Michele the Celebrant’ is an information site about Canberra wedding venues, I want to let you know that if you choose the Senate Courtyard at Old Parliament House as your wedding venue, recommend that your guests wear sunglasses, because the bounce off the white buildings is quite bright. It’s OK for the wedding party (and celebrant) because they’re standing in the shade, facing toward the open colonnade at the back. A wonderful bonus from being surrounded by walls is the excellent acoustics.  
     Before the ceremony and during the signing, two young guitarists, Don and Sean set the mood perfectly with ‘Sunday morning-style music. They call their style 'modern pop/jazz'. I can email you their details. (See photo of them in slideshow to the right of this post)
     I was a guest, with my husband David, and  I chose to wear a brightly coloured sari suit. (Usually I’ll wear a plain suit that blends with the wedding colour scheme.) Here's the presentation of the newlyweds, beaming with happiness, after we had signed the three marriage certificates.

     I love flowers and when they’re exceptional, I like to draw your attention to them.Tracey from Parliament House does the flowers for Old Parliament House weddings – if that’s the choice of the bride and groom. Her work for John and Marita’s wedding was exquisite, her colour combinations quite unique. Highly recommended. Here's the link to Florist at Parliament House.
     The reception was lunch upstairs in the Ginger Room. Good food, served on the ‘odds and evens’ system and top wines, courtesy of our hosts. We had a private cabaret with Annie and the Armadillos, so appropriate for the art deco style of the venue. They made the afternoon swing. Lots of dancing, lots of hilarity, lots of good memories.
     We all had fun dancing, especially 'the girls'.

Hen Parties Extraordinaire(s?)
     Idea One - A fun and fulfilling life-drawing class 

     Marita’s hens’ party began in mid-afternoon in an unusual way – but I hear it’s all the rage in Sydney. We went on to dinner in Kingston and finished after midnight with dancing at the Durham in Green Square, Kingston. Great live soft-rock band on that Saturday night. 
     We hens enjoyed immensely a life-drawing class. We had a young male model. The bride’s task was the removal of the towel before the drawing began. Add some champagne and the afternoon becomes a mad mix of flippancy and concentration. I was thrilled to find my ‘inner artist’ emerge and I highly recommend this fun event as a hens’ activity. Here's the link Art4Play
     Idea Two - A fun and fulfilling gourmet cooking class

     Andrew and Catherine Haskins have set up Three Seeds at Majura Park. Many years of success at Pod food in Pialligo prompted the move to new premises to better fit Andrew’s popular cooking classes, to provide fresh delicious breakfasts and lunches, and take-home treats. 
     On Saturday David and I had light lunch at Three Seeds. It was the usual excellent gourmet food Canberrans associate with chef Andrew, at canteen prices. (And almost next door, you'll find Jim Murphy’s Airport Cellars!) You can also buy delicious dinners in single serves to cook at home. Lunch was around $9 main course as I recall. The sweets were superb, and coffee delicious!
     Robyn at Three Seeds came up with the idea of booking a cooking class for a hens’ night and Andrew is all for it. So, here I am, promoting the idea on my blog because I’ve done one of Andrew’s classes and they’re brilliant! At the end you get to eat the delicious food with ample supply of best local wines. (Like for any hens’ night, you don’t plan to drive afterwards!)

     Idea Three
Added in May 2011:
Here's a suggestion for a very genteel Hens' Party - a trip to the lavender gardens and galleries at Crisps' at Bowning. Lovely gardens to walk around, galleries to visit, and many other interesting things to see. Jeannine's scones at morning or afternoon tea time on a Saturday or Sunday are the best ever. I know from personal experience that you're always welcome to drink champagne in celebration at this unique and magical place.
In conclusion

     I’ve had a great year, and I hope you have too. Our lovely peaceful private Heart Garden has hosted several Spring weddings. It was to be the venue for a get-together of celebrant colleagues but, like for so many events this year for so many people, heavy rain changed our plans. 
     Two Winter weddings were held in the cosy ‘green room’ that has windows to the garden on three sides. Autumn is spectacular in the Heart Garden too and in Summer it’s cool and shady with lots of greenery and accents of bright colours in lilies, roses and annuals. 
     You’d be so welcome to have your small weekday wedding here in 2011 and there’s no extra fee. The garden will make you and your guests feel relaxed and I'm sure you’ll get some great photos.
The Heart Garden in late spring
     Well, I'm off to New Zealand in the morning and until Jan 15 I'll be cruising (with David) in the Diamond Princess, down the east coast, across to Hobart, up to Melbourne and then through Sydney Heads. It will be wonderful. Must rush to finish packing. I'll return to this post in two weeks to add the rest of the links to the good services I've mentioned. (NB from MB: The links are now done.)
     Please feel free to email me about your wedding. I'll check my emails on the ship but I won't be taking any phone calls. I'd be delighted to be your celebrant in 2011 if I'm your final choice.
     Thanks for visiting my blog - you are much appreciated, and I wish you the happiest New Year, especially if it's the year of your own wedding.
Till next time