Courtesy

Courtesy is a wonderful thing.

I was in doing some shopping the other day and for reasons known only to itself, the self-service kiosk didn’t like weighing my fruit and vegies and kept coming up with a message to get assistance – which the sweet young thing did cheerfully the first time, but by the seventh lot of fruit and vegies, she was less than helpful. I asked her to weigh some for me then – only to get the same message – and by that stage her response was close to a snarl.

I had to ring a technician to walk me through a reasonably minor glitch, and bearing in mind that I have paid for the support service (and rarely use it), this young man was SO rude and insulting. ‘I hate old computers’ he said and when I pointed out that I had updated mine recently, he was still not happy, very curt and generally unhelpful. Lucky there are online forums to assist…

So where has the courtesy gone? Sometimes it is far more productive to smile, take a minute to listen and good-naturedly work though something. On the other hand, I have had wonderful experiences with Daniel from CareerOne, while trying to place an online ad that would not load properly, and Bec from Sensis Yellow pages, and a couple of other very helpful and laughing souls. You know where I will go back and courtesy costs so little but goes so far.

Ahhh, it has been a long time since updating any blog posts. I have had such a busy wedding season, and have met so many wonderful, wonderful people. It is so nice to meet with people with clear ideas of what they want for their wedding, but it is also nice when they can be a bit flexible and we can create something just for them. Being a celebrant is such an amazing commitment, but the rewards in seeing a ceremony being exactly what a couple might want is so satisfying. Thank you to those who have made so many wonderful memories for me during the past six months. :-)

Dreams and other profound thoughts!

I have a very good friend who is a textile artist of some repute in the USA – Jeanne Beck  – http://artbyjeannebeck.blogspot.com/ - and Jeanne is living her dream of creating art. There are times in a person’s life when they meet kindred spirits, and even though Jeanne and I have only met once in person, we keep in touch via blogs and emails. Recently she posted something on her blog asking people to handwrite their response to the question ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if….’ While I have sent Jeanne my handwritten thoughts, I thought it might be nice to add a blog about this to my site, as marriages and other ceremonies are such profound times in people’s lives…

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if…

- every couple who are marryng this year appreciate what a wonderful life opportunity and gift they have been given. It is so fortunate when we meet our true soul mate – and the gift should never be taken for granted.

- every person who is planning a ceremony this year – a renewal, a child naming, a commitment, whatever – acknowledges how important those ceremonies are, and treats them importantly. They mark our life milestones, and each and every one is important.

-every person celebrating life achievements has fun! it is so easy to get tied up in knots with all the preparations, but to forget that the celebration is also the marking of the event… the stopping still for a second or two to thank the deities or the universe or whatever for the good fortune bestowed, and the wondrous acknowledgement of spirit together.

I am sure others have far more profound thoughts to add to this list, but that was my start for today. Please feel free to add to it – I so love hearing what other people think is important in their lives…

Friends

celeb291In a very philosophical mood, today I was reflecting on the value of friends. In the photo with this post, you will see some very special celebrant friends of mine – Marika McKenzie, me, Bilawara Lee and Yvonne Falckh. We met during our training to be come marriage celebrants, and have maintained a firm friendship ever since. We have developed resources together, created a fantastic website  www.ntcelebrants.com.au and by and large, had a great many laughs together. I have been fortunate in that I have these friendships in my life.

Shortly I will be the celebrant at another friend’s wedding, someone I met while working in Curriculum Services Branch. I won’t steal her thunder as she will have her own news on Facebook, but it is these lovely friendships that add value to our lives. Perhaps that is why I enjoy being a celebrant – we get to see these friendships in every ceremony.

So, whatever you happen to be drinking – here’s to friendships!

Busy, Busy Time

With an influx of weddings happening at this time of year, it is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of being a celebrant, but what excitement for the bride and groom!

I recently performed the weddng of Max and Lydia, who have given me permission to share a little of their story. They began organising their wedding well over a year ago, and in fact they were my first booking for 2009. They had clear ideas on what they wanted, checked suppliers for things they could do themselves, and had the table decorations sitting in their spare room a good six months ago!
Weddings never run exactly according to plan, however, and the week before the wedding, the florist ‘lost’ their booking, the deposit, the flower order, everything. Fortunately this was discovered as Lydia went in to make final payment, but it still took three days to track down missing information – and by this stage the florist had six other bridal orders for that day, and the chances of Lydia getting her chosen flowers at this late stage was fairly remote. Lydia had a vision of her wedding however, and when her mother -in – law to be tracked down a friend of hers, a retired florist, Lydia was very happy. This lady, also a keen gardener and lover of fine flowers, has a wide network, and within three hours, equivalent flowers were donated or purchased. The care that went into the floral bouquets far exceeded what Lydia might have had.
The moral of the story? Marriage ceremonies and weddings are busy, busy times, and things happen. Lydia’s advice is to go with the flow, because sometimes there are lovely surprises waiting out there – and they sure make a good talking and laughing point after the wedding!
Whenever, wherever your wedding might be, just enjoy it!

Back to work!

weddings_may-2008-006I know, there are lots of people hard at work this week, with the holiday season already a distant memory. I have been fortunate to extend my holiday into this week, but looks like it is time to get back to work!
I met a couple yesterday who are already well into wedding preparations for their wedding in July. It seems like such a long time away, but as the bride said, it really isn’t that far away, with all that has to be done. They have chosen their venue for the wedding, and they have chosen the cliffs overlooking the sea, so hope to marry with a view similar to that in the photo.
I also had a chat with another couple who are marrying later on this year, and they were discussing the costs of getting married. The best way to reduce costs was to be organised, talk everything through, and not to veer from their decision. Already they had booked their florist and photography packages, as they have had time to compare, ask questions and figure out exactly what they want. What wise people!
Either way, looks like we are all back at work, and ready for the start of another exciting year! Happy New Year, and all the best as you prepare for your ceremony.

The start of the New Year

100_0180 There is something wonderful about the start of a New Year. Excitement in the air, a fresh start, new potential directions. To me the brilliant Bougainvillea sums up the vibrant feeling of a New Year…
A friend of mine, Jeanne Raffer Beck,  writes that she has chosen a word to sum up what she hopes to accomplish this year. I thought long and hard about what my word might be, but the only word that kept returning consistently was the word ‘professional’. I hope to be professional in my interactions with celebrancy clients, professional in my responsibilities to them, and professional in all practices relating to the ceremony development and presentation. This is not to say that I wasn’t professional before, but it is important to remember that word at times.
May 2009 be a particuarly happy year for us all, full of life, love, adventure and possibilities.

Traditions

I love some of the traditions that marriage ceremonies have embedded within them.
How many people know that the word ‘bride’ originally comes from the olde English word that meant ‘cook’? The word ‘groom’ basically meant ‘male child’. Hence, bride and groom traditionally mean the male and his cook!! Oh dear, what would feminists do with that one?
The concept of having bridesmaids and ushers originated in Roman times, when it was thought that evil spirits abounded. It was therefore essential to have at least two witnesses, also dressed up, so evil spirits were confused about who was actually getting married. Here we are in 2008/9, and we still have the concept of witnesses to the wedding ingrained legally as well as traditionally.
The concept of ‘wed was also from Olde English and Scottish, meaning to pledge with ‘lock’ meaning the actual actions associated with the pledge. Traditionally wedlock referred to the transaction whereby property was pledged to the bride’s father as payment for his daughter. Thank goodness times have changed!
It is interesting though, to see how these traditions have changed over time, and to be thankful we don’t live in a time when we would have abided by them!

Happy New Year!

Has this past year just flown for you too? I cannot believe that 2008 is in its last days, and 2009 is almost here. For those that are marrying in 2009, I bet the New Year heralds such excitement and energy, as wedding plans come together. On a reflective note, in amongst all that excitement, it is important that couples enjoy their wedding. I still recall my own wedding from 33 years ago, and while we too were almost beside ourselves with excitement, conviction that we were doing the right thing and determination that we would be one of the ‘lucky’ couples (we are), we also thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony, and the reception afterwards. If you can look back on your own wedding, convinced that it was the best one you have ever been to, THAT is the mark of a successful wedding ceremony. My husband and I still treasure our memories of our day – if I can help couples to celebrate their marriage in the same spirit, I will deem myself a fortunate and privileged civil celebrant!
So to the brides and grooms of 2009, enjoy this time of preparation as you get ready for your wedding – the best is yet to come!

Welcome to Dream Dancer Celebrations and a new blog on the street!

The launch of a new website is always exciting. I know there are some who can throw a new website together and have it operating within a day or two, but this website has been prefaced by thought, planning, discussion with the two talented web creators Leah and Jamie (www.workingsolo.com.au) and much delight.

I am a ceremony specialist, and as well as being a registered civil marriage celebrant, I have been honoured and privileged to plan and perform a range of ceremonies with people. That is what this blog will be about mostly – the experiences, the ceremonies, and the people that I meet. If some of my comments provides food for thought as you plan your own ceremony, how exciting is that!

So thank you for coming with me on this journey. I love blogs, and love the immediacy of connecting with other people who enjoy the ceremonial aspects of life, whether as a celebrant like myself, or a person scouring the internet for ideas.