What an incredible weekend we just had!
Let me set the scene: The bush rustles all around us, a small grey kangaroo bounds across the paddock, golden rings gleam in the sunshine, hanging from the wooden fence that runs along the perimeter of Mt Barney Lodge.
There is not a cloud in the bright blue sky and it is a glorious Saturday afternoon. And even though it is winter here in Australia, thankfully it is warm enough not to warrant bulky jackets and scarfs.
The temperature had dropped to single digits overnight, but we were kept warm with a sing-a-long accompanying a couple of guitars that circumnavigated the large circle of friends and family gathered around the fire – built in part by yours truly.
The enchanting Milky Way galaxy spiraled in the dark sky above us as we drank, laughed and sang.
But today was the day we were all here for. This was the main event of Wedfest 2015 and our star performers were descending upon us.
Helen and Brendan strolled down the grass slope towards the crowd of well wishers and excited participants waiting at the Gathering Point. For advising several people the wrong ceremony time, they were welcomed into the fold with “a chop” – a chant and chopping arm gesture signalling their fail. Margaret, Brendan’s mother and today’s celebrant, spoke about the love Helen and Brendan have for each other and then invited everyone to warm the suspended golden rings in their hands so that they would be warmed with our love and friendship and best wishes for the future.
The ceremony was short and sweet, set to a backdrop that wouldn’t look out of place in a Disney fairy tale or Hobbiton from Lord of the Rings.
And, after the readings, vows, signing of the register and songs, Helen and Brendan danced back up the aisle to James Brown’s ‘I feel good’ as wife and husband.
Fairy lights dotted the trees and gas heaters glowed as the crowd enjoyed hot pumpkin soup and a few drinks before entering the beautifully presented reception marquee for entertaining speeches and a feast.
The marquee had been set up earlier in the day by an array of family and friends and featured perfectly assembled jars, candles, bunting, wild flowers and hessian table runners. It was the perfect setting for the dancing and partying that succeeded the dinner.
Every fairy tale deserves a happy beginning…