A Sense of Spirit · blessings · daughter-in-law · grand-baby one · son · wedding

23rd November.

butterfly
For Samuel

“So many adventures couldn’t happen today,
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams swinging out of the blue
We’ll let them come true….” ~ Forever Young

Late yesterday afternoon, sitting at my sewing machine, listening to the voices of my family as they prepared dinner while I worked, a strong scent wafted beside my left-hand side. Knowing from past experience that these unexpected scents are the visit of a passed loved one, I casually and subconsciously pondered who it might be….Mum?….Dad?….my sister, Anne?…..my grandmother?….

No, this sweet fragrance didn’t relate to any of them, a thought which startled me into consciousness. Who was this? I called Adam into the room ~ he could smell it too, talcum powder, baby’s talcum powder. Adam smiled, and told Mary….

beginning
beginning

Adam and Mary had discussed the ceremony with our dear friend, Therese, their marriage celebrant. They wanted Samuel to be a part of the day his parents married, to be included, and remembered. It had been decided that Therese would mention him briefly before the ceremony began….

serious
serious

In a serious moment, one which we thought we were all prepared for, Therese spoke of the loss of baby Samuel. He was with his parents on this day, in spirit.

Mary sobbed, tears rolled down Adam’s face. The bridesmaids carefully dabbed the corners of their eyes, so as not to ruin their carefully applied makeup. I thanked The Universe for reminding me to buy a water-proof mascara. One of the groomsmen wished he was still wearing his sunglasses.

tears
tears

There was hardly a dry eye among the guests, and we wouldn’t have wished for the beginning of the ceremony to be any other way.

memories
memories

Adam and Mary have so much to thank Samuel for. He taught them the meaning of true love, the bond of his parents is stronger for having had him in their lives, even for such a short time. They are grateful for having known him and he will live in the hearts of all who loved him, as well as his future siblings, forever.

Today, November 23rd, is his due date, but our tiny Sleeping Angel came early, born sleeping ~ Forever Young.

reading
reading

Bless Therese, she continued the ceremony, lightened the mood, and Mary’s cousin’s boys proudly offered beautiful readings…..

laughter
laughter

There was a shift in emotions, the focus now on Adam and Mary. Tears of sadness became tears of joy. From where I sat, I could see Mary’s face clearly. The way these two young people looked at each other spoke volumes. I have often seen this look pass between the two of them, it speaks of love, devotion, strength, admiration….

vows
vows

Lost in the moment, I wished I could capture that look forever, and thankfully I remembered my forgotten camera, nestled upon my lap. I zoomed in on Mary’s face, on that look, the look that every mother who loves her son wishes to see on his bride’s face….

I will show this photo of Mary to their children. I will tell them of the magical moment as I took the photo, when Mary’s great-grandmother leaned forward from her seat behind me and whispered, “Your son is amazing”, to which I replied, “I was just thinking the same of Mary”.

Mary
Mary

The beautiful ceremony, the words exchanged between the bride and groom, the laughter and tears, exchanging of rings, looks of love….it all passed by so quickly.

ring
ring

I wanted to show you Mary’s necklace, a thoughtful and meaningful addition for the day. My daughter, Emma, gave Mary an angel’s wing necklace the day after Samuel was born. Mary added her own touch to the necklace, a silver vial of some of Samuel’s ashes. Adam wore a small vial also, along with a pair of specially engraved cuff-links, “Samuel Christopher 08/08/2015”.

Our Little Angel was very much a part of the day.

Angel
Angel

Sealed with a kiss…..

kiss
kiss

But wait! Next they had to do their special hand-shake thingie!

handshake
handshake
togetherness
togetherness

And then it was time for the legalities….but the bond that Adam and Mary share is stronger than any man-made law could ever be.

signing
signing

An official commitment before friends and family, a love that will last forever. ❤

committment
commitment

So, Therese continued to speak…..did they hear a word she said at this point? I think not….

devotion
devotion

Amid a chorus of claps and cheers, smiles and bubbles, the ceremony came to an end, as their lives as Mr and Mrs began.

bubbles
bubbles

Next, Sally the photographer whisked the wedding party away for more photos, at Kingscliff Beach, but I did manage to take a quick photo of Adam and Mary in the car first.

Most of today’s photos were taken by Sally. I wanted to be wholeheartedly in every moment throughout the entire ceremony, and capture just a couple of special events. Besides the next two photos, I took the first photo of the butterfly, Mary wanted butterflies to decorate the wedding, in memory of Samuel. I also took the close-up photo of  Mary, to capture the look of love in her eyes, and I also took the one as Adam slid the ring onto Mary’s finger….

Mr & Mrs
Mr & Mrs

…..the wedding rings came to into the ceremony carried on a small pillow, which was covered by a small babies blanket, the blanket in which Samuel was wrapped, after his birth.

Samuel's Blanket
Samuel’s Blanket

Remembering Samuel today, thinking of what might have been, mind-blown by the lessons his short life gave and grateful for the love that envelops our family. ❤

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daughter · daughter-in-law · son · spring · wedding

Preparations for The Ceremony

pick a sideToday’s learning session on Blogging 201 is “headers”, and as I’m very happy with my current header, I will be leaving it as-is for now. Day 2 of Writing 101 requires students to write a list….

Emma 2
Emma

Well, I’ve been writing lists constantly this year, most recently for the wedding of my handsome son Adam, and his beautiful bride Mary, so I don’t think I need any more practice in that department! So, what better day than this to show off a few more wedding photos. 🙂

You may remember in my last series of photos, the wedding rehearsal had taken place the day before the wedding, tables were set, chairs for the guests all fancied up, wedding favours prepared and in position, flowers arranged, and Mary was almost ready for her grand entrance.M & E

Just a little bit of help was needed with Mary’s stunning wedding dress though, so Emma did a wonderful impersonation of a woman from the 1800’s, looping the length of thin fabric through the loops at the back of the dress and pulling it tightly together. IMG_2124

Mary chose a dainty headpiece of Baby’s Breath to decorate her hair, so once that was in place, she was all set.IMG_2139

What a picture Mary looked! She was so beautiful, she is beautiful, and she positively glowed on her wedding day. IMG_2143

Meanwhile, in another room at the front of the house (where the bride and groom wouldn’t accidentally bump into each other!) the boys managed to scrub themselves up quite reasonably as well.the boys

On the very last minute, I remembered (thank goodness!) the single roses that needed to be added to the boys lapels. Each button-hole was sewn closed, of course, so out came my glasses and quick-unpick. I could never have imagined how tedious it would be, slitting open a button-hole, just minutes before the wedding ~~ I was all fingers and thumbs!wedding 7

Mary’s gorgeous little flower girl, Koa, looked pretty fabulous as well. Mary & Koa

One last shot of the girls and page-boy Bailey, before the wedding began. So much work had gone into this moment, when everything had been prepared, every detail put into place, and the bridal party, both the men and the women, were all finally ready for the event of the year.before the wedding

Just one more photo of Mary though, I couldn’t have been more proud of my soon-to-be daughter-in-law if she were my own daughter. ❤Mary2

And speaking of being a proud mother, here are my two sons, Adam the groom and his best man and brother, my eldest son, Ben.wedding10

The wedding ceremony began with page-boy Bailey directing his little cousin, flower-girl Koa, out the door and along the aisle, where Adam patiently awaited the appearance of the girls.Bailey & Koa

I can honestly say though, the only girl Adam saw was Mary, the love of his life, who was about to become his wife.Adam

I’m getting goose-bumps just remembering the day, showing the photos, writing about the events and the people who made the day one of the most wonderful days ever, and a day we will all remember with love in our hearts forever.

My next series of wedding photos will be of the ceremony. 🙂

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cakes · daughter-in-law · flowers · son · wedding

Before The Wedding.

light magic

During the week before the wedding of my son, Adam, and his beautiful bride-to-be, Mary, the house was a virtual hive of activity. And so was the garden. Each weekend, for a few months prior to the wedding, husband had spent every weekend, often with a team of helpers, dismantling and reconstructing a large retaining wall, and relaying the paved area at the back of our house.

The party hire crew were due to arrive on the Tuesday, so the pavers all had to be fully laid by that day. When the three adjoining marquees were constructed, suddenly the garden was transformed into a beautiful wedding venue.

This was all becoming very real!

chandeleirs

I loved the folds of white fabric, with the fairy lights shining from behind, and the chandeliers lighting the “rooms” of the marquee. The venue would offer a very romantic atmosphere for the wedding, just the way we wanted it to be.

gather round

On Thursday afternoon, our dear friend Therese arrived. She is a marriage celebrant and has known Adam for his entire life, so there would be no other person more appropriate to marry these two young people. Most of the wedding party were available for a rehearsal, and Therese had everyone organised and in their places before too long.

Miss Forry

Well, almost everyone was amicable to Therese’s organisation. Miss Forrest was just there for the hugs and pats!

nails

And the bride, bridesmaids and maid-of-honour had spent a girls day together, which included lunch, shopping, manicure and fake tanning treatment. They all loved their nails. Champagne, anyone? 🙂

we are gathered here today

So, back to Therese having everyone organised ~ men to her left, women to her right, Mary and her step-dad in front, Adam awaiting instructions….

how we do it

Young Bailey, the pageboy, had a very important role to play, and he took his responsibilities very seriously, listening intently to everything Therese told him that he had to do. He was as pleased as punch with himself!

now listen, girls

Now girls, have we got everything right here? Who’s doing what? No, I do that! Oh, I thought she did….so what order do we stand in….?

now hold hands

Adam, hold Mary’s hands….here you will repeat after me…..how many words can you remember at a time….?

I do what

Got it? Got it…I’m sure you do, Adam! You do, don’t you? Of course you do!

siblings

Once the whole party had “got it”, it was time for more organising, with the big day only a few hours away.

But first, a photo of my three kids….don’t they all look happy? 😉 Get used to it kids, by the end of the wedding, your cheeks will hurt from smiling!

lots of cupcakes

The wedding day arrives, and an old school friend of husbands, who is a very talented caterer, supplied us with the most beautiful cup cakes for the occasion.

cupcakes

Aren’t they pretty? She had quite a large range of decorating options available, but Mary liked the butterflies the best. Husband collected the boxes of cakes on the morning of the day, and each cake was then transferred into tiny individual cake boxes.

thank you's

As a special “thank-you”, each guest would be receiving a cupcake and a jar of personalised candy.

fish bowl flowers

Our lovely florist, Lindy, arranged flowers which matched the bouquets, in fish bowls along all of the tables.

pretty tables2

Mary chose hessian runners for each table, which was also decoratively tied around each peach coloured candle.

tables ready

The tables were all set by the busy bridesmaids, chairs covered and big bows attached.

wedding2

Mary even found time to help Lindy decorate the arbour, with the most beautiful array of flowers. If you missed it before, go back and have a look at the stunning flowers Mary chose, and Lindy supplied for the wedding. They were absolutely superb. I called it A Floral Extravaganza, and it really was!

And where was I whilst all of this activity took place? Taking photos of it all, of course, although the last four photos here were taken by our lovely photographer on the day, Sally, as later in the day I could be found rushing from one of the house to the other and back again, tidying, dusting vacuuming, getting myself dolled up, after which I made sure that all of the boys were in perfect order for the ceremony.

I now have so many photos of the wedding, between those I took, Sally’s photos, and those taken by other people, so I can see there will be another three posts added here, at least, before I get through them all. 🙂

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daughter-in-law · grand-baby one · new beginnings · photography · son · wedding

A Floral Extravaganza

vase

For her wedding, Mary chose two beautiful flowers, baby’s breath and roses (we were too late in the season for peonies,) in a gorgeous peach shade, to match her bridesmaid’s dresses. To pretty up the rooms inside of the house, we ordered several bunches of matching flowers, in both long and short stems, so once the flowers that had decorated the marquees were brought inside and placed in various vases around the house, my home has been transformed into an exquisite floral paradise.

button hole roses

The two single roses in the foreground, above, were saved from a couple of men’s jackets, which were discarded once the ceremony formalities were over and the party had begun.

corsage 5

I, however, placed my beautiful corsage in a small vase on the table at the reception. These flowers are so pretty, I want to savour their beauty for as long as possible.

fishbowl flowers

Each table at the wedding reception had a lovely display of baby’s breath and roses inside a fishbowl……

roses & doiley

….which, when brought inside the house the next day, look just as stunning in a tiny vase on one of my coffee tables.

lotsa flowers

I really love to see several vases placed together on a table, in a mass display of white, cream and peach colourings, and isn’t the wedding candle just beautiful? I’ll tell you more about the candle shortly. Right now, it’s all about the flowers!

corsage & candle 2

Here’s my corsage again, looking lovely amid the peach roses. I must find out what type of flowers are in my corsage, as I’d really love to have these in my garden.

phlox

I’m quite sure that the flowers toward the centre and left of the photo above are called phlox. They have such delicate white petals and looked so pretty in small vases next to the vanity basin in the bathroom.

candle 2 (2)

Here’s the candle again, beside a floral display of whites and greens, which were a part of the decorations on the arbour, beneath which Adam and Mary exchanged their wedding vows.

roses

Aren’t the roses stunning? I have vases of roses everywhere, and have decided that you can never have too many roses in the house. 🙂

white flowers

The “ball” of baby’s breath (also known as gypsophilia) to the right of the candle, is one of the bridesmaid’s bouquets. Mary’s bouquet also contained roses, and she wore a simple baby’s breath headpiece in her hair. I’ll show you how beautiful she looked in a day or two.

corsage & roses

Here is another photo of all the shades of white, cream and peach together. I think I missed my calling in life, I should have been a florist! How I love these flowers. ❤

candle & base

And now to the story of the candle, a gift from our wonderful friend, Therese, who also happens to be a Marriage Celebrant, has known Adam all of his life, and officiated at the ceremony on Saturday. The candle represents new beginnings, and Therese has asked Adam and Mary to light the candle each year, on their Wedding Anniversary, to welcome another year of their married life together. And can you see the tiny glass bead in the base of the candle, with the letter “S” on it?

S

Here’s a closer look. Therese added the S for Samuel, Adam and Mary’s precious baby boy, stillborn just a month ago. The wedding ceremony began with mention of baby Sam, at which point several members of the wedding party, including the men, (and Mary’s mum and myself) became quite choked up with tears in our eyes, which were carefully dabbed away so as not to ruin our makeup. My precious little grandson will always be remembered.

arbour flowers

Next time, I will share a few photos of the wedding ceremony, in which you will see the arbour in all of its glory, but for now I hope you enjoy seeing a closeup of the crowning glory of the display, resting beautifully now upon my dinner table.

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