I can't recall the last time I laughed so much during a ceremony. Perhaps having attended a Macedonian Orthodox service earlier that day, Raema and Kire, their bridal party and guests were in a particularly celebratory mood. Perhaps this in turn led to a highly interactive ceremony, one in which guests felt comfortable participating. Whatever the reason, the pre-ceremony atmosphere was fantastic. As the first guests arrived I sensed that the evening would be a highly enjoyable one.
Never before have I been heckled as much (with good humour, I might add) as I had during this ceremony! From the wise cracking Father of the Groom to the "special comments" Best Man and a few interjections from the back row, the sense of energy and excitement from all present was palpable. Raema and Kire smiled and laughed the evening through and their joy was most certainly contagious. When you look through their beautiful photos and view their fantastic wedding video, you'll see what I mean.
As we stood on the deck at the super stylish Carousel, located in the middle of Albert Park Lake, with its impressive views of Melbourne's city skyline, a radiant Raema, wearing a lace overlay gown from Annette of Melbourne Couture entered with her very proud father. Her processional song was Make You Feel My Love.
Though Kire, in a suit tailored by Pernac, had spent most of the day with Raema, he was still clearly excited to see his beautiful bride walk toward him.
As the sun began to set, I told the story of Raema and Kire's first meeting - at their Best Man Nick's 13th birthday party at Pizza Hut. Despite their mutual fondness for Hawaiian pizza and the soft serve dessert bar, sparks didn't fly for the then-teenagers that day. I described their next meeting some eight years later, at yet another birthday celebration, their many and varied travel experiences and Kire's very romantic Otway Ranges proposal.
Raema's mother read a poem she had composed especially for the occasion and then the pair exchanged the vows they had written for one another.
Before they exchanged wedding rings, I recited an adaptation of The Blessing of The Hands.
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and as in today, tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you that same unspoken tenderness, with just a touch.
Prior to the ceremony, Raema and Kire wrote love letters to one another, detailing the qualities they have come to value in each other and their hopes for their marriage. The letters were sealed and placed in a box, along with two bottles of wine. The letters and the wine will be opened on their 10th wedding anniversary. A romantic way to celebrate such a special milestone.
Having been introduced to their guests for the first time as husband and wife, the beaming newlyweds danced back down the aisle to Gotye's In Your Light.
Styling idea: Raema and Kire placed white frames on each table. Each frame noted a location that they had visited together and the significance of that place.
Congratulations Raema and Kire. I enjoyed every moment I spent with you. Your kindness and enthusiasm was contagious. I'll always remember your celebration as one of the most enjoyable ceremonies I've ever had the privilege of conducting. Keep smiling! xx
Celebrant: Sally Hughes
Click here to view footage by C2 Video