Simple easy service by one of Canberra's most experienced celebrants. Your best alternative to a Registry Office wedding - all for $600.

18 March 2015

A special wedding place goes public and an old classic makes a come-back

First Heart Garden wedding for 2015.
Elyse and Romulus treasure their certificate.
Friday 2 January
Hello, and welcome
    In this post, I write about Fetherston Gardens for the first time and give the Hotel Kurrajong a new mention.

Fetherston Gardens is a large, generous romantic 1970s style garden

     Fetherston Gardens is a flourishing informal public park, comprising several gardens. It's in Heysen Street Weston, between the Police Services Centre and Fetherston Ridge, up near the Parkway. 
     This lovely local treasure has been a sort-of well-kept secret for the many volunteers who co-work with TAMS (Territory and Municipal Services) to make and keep these gardens beautiful. I am one of those fortunate volunteers. Three years of TLC have restored Fetherston Gardens to their former glory. They used to be a teaching garden for the CIT (then called TAFE). They are named after my wonderful friend, gardening teacher and art teacher, Tony Fetherston. 

Fetherston Gardens, Weston ACT  15 February 2015
     The word has spread. An Open Day in late February, organised by Defence Housing, which neighbours the gardens on Fetherston Ridge, brought many hundreds of visitors. 
     Just two blocks away from my own Heart Garden, this generous public venue is open seven days a week and it's free for all. I'm sure it will continue to get lovelier and lovelier.
     Fetherston Gardens has several settings suitable for weddings, from a small group to a large crowd. As yet, there are no covered areas or public toilets. Bookings can be made through TAMS. I'm really looking forward to being celebrant at weddings there.

The restoration of the Hotel Kurrajong in Barton
     My friend Christine Salins has a really interesting and wide-ranging blog about travel, wine and food. A recent post about Canberra drew to my attention: The restoration of the Hotel Kurrajong in Barton.
Hotel Kurrajong, TFE Hotels, where to stay in Canberra, best Canberra hotels, food wine travel, Christine Salins.
     I've been celebrant at several weddings at the Kurrajong over the years and always enjoyed its quiet charm.  I especially like the way they roll out the red carpet for the entrance of the bride.
     I haven't seen the renovation but Christine's blog talks of a thorough, thoughtful upgrade in the style of the hotel's glory days.
     This would be a superb venue if you're planning a retro wedding. It's not on the free list of course, like Fetherston Gardens (or my Heart Garden) but if the budget allows, it's a wonderful setting for hosting a modern-day or olden-day wedding in our nation's splendid capital. If the walls could talk, they'd tell so many stories I'm sure, of extraordinary events when politicians (including one prime minister) made this grand old place their home-away-from-home.

To marry in the Heart Garden
     During a long restful break in January, I actually got to spend many hours in parts of my glorious garden that couples and their guests never get to see, With several weddings booked in autumn, my focus is now totally back on making the wedding area look cared-for, colourful and welcoming.
     Would you like to marry in the Heart Garden?
Just married!
Alice and Aaron.
Wednesday March 11
       On the sunny lawn or under the shade of the wisteria pergola, you'd be so welcome to have your small weekday wedding in my garden. Like Fetherston Gardens, its style is rambling, rustic and 1970s romantic. It's peaceful and private, with a very friendly feel. Children are welcome.
Jessica and Michael married on
Wednesday 4 March.
Such a peaceful, happy day!
     Linger for celebration drinks and lots of photos if you wish. You bring the bubbly, I bring out the crystal glasses.
     The green room, with windows overlooking the garden in three of its four walls, is our wet day or fiercely hot day or absolutely freezing day, back-up plan. The green room can be cooled or warmed to make the environment for your wedding, absolutely perfect, regardless of the weather.
     'Your garden is more beautiful than it looks in the photos' is a comment I often hear. It's also the feel of the garden that touches the heart and makes this private wedding venue so charming and unique. 
     There are also several photos from recent Heart Garden weddings on my Google+ page

I have a new compliant sound system
     I've bought a new sound system. It's a MIPRO M101 that's completely compliant with new broadcasting regulations, specific to the ACT and surrounds. The new regulations were made law on the first of January this year.
     It's a small yet powerful unit with a cordless mike, which I take to larger weddings. It's portable and battery-operated. This means that I never need an electricity supply. 
     The amp has a great sound that's clear and true. It can also be used for wedding music when a phone or other mp3 player is plugged in. If there's a reader at the wedding, or two readers, I can take an extra microphone to be used simultaneously.
Lauren arrives with members of her family for her marriage to Adrian
at Four Winds Winery in Murrumbateman NSW.
A big happy gathering in a country setting like this needs 
a good sound system that's portable as well.
Saturday 7 March 2015
Adrian signing the register.
If you'd like me to be your celebrant at your wedding
     If you'd like me to be your celebrant at your wedding, I'd be delighted to be there for you both.
(All of my fee information is in this Wedding Page.)
     If you choose my full service, I'll give you lots of assistance in creating your own ceremony, perfect for you both. My other occupation is writer. You can read about my full service here.
     Or perhaps you'd prefer a simple, short registry-style wedding ceremony with a just a few wording choices of your own. Add more personal vows to the ones set by the Marriage Act if you wish. The choice is yours. 
     With me as your officiant, a registry-style ceremony will never be cold and strictly official-sounding. Even though your entire ceremony may fit on one A4 page (which I will print in the font of your choice) it will always feel like 'the real deal'. (Which it is!)
     Perhaps you need the simplest wedding for legal purposes. A basic marriage ceremony, either in my Heart Garden or in another location of your choosing, will still be a very significant occasion in your life together.

Please feel free to contact me
     There's an email contact form here or you can phone me on 0406 376 375 on any day between 9am and 9pm. Or text me, or email me directly. We can chat together on Skype if you'd like, with or without a video connection. Just email or phone me first to set up a time that suits you both.
     I'd like to help you any way I can. There are lots of ideas for you in my Wedding Pages. They appear to the right on a computer screen. On a smaller screen, you'll need to tap the Pages Menu. You can find a Search box at the top of this blog to help you get specific information from my previous blogposts on how to get married, good venues and so on.
     Please feel free to contact me with any other questions. From way over one thousand weddings, I have a massive amount of experience and I'd love to help you in any way I can. Remember that if you have a question, you may find the answer in one of my previous blogposts. Just check in the Search box. Also please remember that you don't need to hire me to get my help.
Thrilling moment for Tilly and Aaron, who married at the
Rock Garden Lawn, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra
Friday 27 February 2015
(Photo by Kerry Sleeman)
If you're planning to marry, my congratulations to you both.
     You may have looked at my videos on YouTube. They're a little out of date. The first one starts by saying that three celebrants have chosen me as celebrant for their own weddings but by now that number has doubled to six. These celebrants have chosen me above all our peers to be there for them on their own wedding day - this is my favourite testimonial for validating my good work.
     Being a celebrant is such a happy heartfelt privilege for me. I'd love to be the one you choose for your most amazing and memorable day.