As a little girl I always dreamed of marrying my Prince Charming although in my dreams he lived in a castle and rode a white horse. Fast forward 22 years I have met my prince charming. His name is Justin. He does not live in a castle nor does he ride a white horse but we are preparing to become husband and wife, moving away from the small country community I grew up in, to the big smoke to make a life and family of our own.
The inspiration for our Engagement shoot was vintage country charm inspired by our grandparents and the simple life they led in their early adulthood.
The props in our photo shoot have personal meaning. The green suitcase is the one my dad used as his school port. The brown gloves are my grandma’s which she wore to my Mum and Dad’s wedding and the black dress was also my Grandmother’s which she wore to my Mum’s baptism some 54 years ago.
I can’t forget the largest of the props … the piano. My mother learnt to play on this piano as a child followed by myself as well. The vase that sits on top of the piano, was my great Grandmother’s.
Elizabeth Hawthorne from Zanabelle Photography was our photographer and this is what she had to say about the shoot:
“Working with Victoria was a photographer’s dream! She is an aspiring photographer herself and so she had put a lot of work into styling the shoot. When I arrived at the location I was amazed at how much detail Victoria had put into it all. Everything was set up so perfectly – a photographer’s playground! To add to that, we had some gorgeous weather and a stunning sunset. The day couldn’t have gone more perfectly!”
Ms Gingham says: What beautiful photography!!! I absolutely love the last one … very cute. So reminiscent of the past and what a lovely way to include some family memorabilia. Thanks to Victoria for sharing it and to Zanabelle Photography for the images.
Victoria says: “I thought you might be interested in our Vintage Inspired E-Shoot. Our names are Victoria and Justin. Our Photo Shoot was taken in the small country town of Kalbar, Qld where I have lived my whole life.”
On April 8th, 2011 Kurtis and I “tied the knot” at Mainistir Chiaráin – the ancient monastic lands of St Ciarán’s Monastery, Mainistir, Inis Mór. Inis Mór is the largest of the Aran Islands off the coast of Ireland. Our ceremony was performed by Dara Molloy, a Celtic priest and monk who belongs to the Celtic spiritual tradition but not to any formal church, sect or cult.
The day began with us getting ready together in our cute room in a bed and breakfast on the mainland of Ireland. We then had to drive to the bus stop in the City Center of Galway. From Galway we took a 35 minute bus ride to where we met the ferry to Inis Mór. Once we arrived on the Island we met Dara and he drove us up to his house to meet his lovely wife and our photographer Tess Molloy. Tess and Dara served us some lovely rhubarb pie and tea while we went over the ceremony. The ceremony itself had four different stations: The Holy Well, The Standing Stone, The Altar, and finally The Sundial. Dara and Tess walked us down towards the four stations (just a 2 minute walk from their house). The Holy Well Dara explained to us that The Well is a Celtic symbol of the feminine. In ancient Ireland, it was an entrance to the womb of the goddess. The goddess was the land of Ireland, Eriu. At the well we celebrated the woman to be married. The bride places her hands in the well water. We pray for fertility, womanhood, and for the bride as wife and mother.
The Standing Stone We then treked the few hundred feet over to the Standing Stone. Again, Dara explained to us that the Standing Stone is a Celtic symbol of male fertility, and power. In ancient Ireland it was used as a phallic symbol (hehe), marking a center of energy. The monks carved Christian images on it and used it to mark the boundaries of their monastery. At the standing stone we celebrated the man to be married. The groom placed his hands on the stone. We prayed for virility, manhood, and for the groom as husband and father.
The Altar Yet another few hundred feet from there was the BEAUTIFUL Monastery that was built in the 5th century. Inside was the Altar. The Altar represents God or the Divine. This altar was used by the monks for 1100 years, from the 5th to the 16th century, as the focus for their worship. It is likely that they built the altar above an earlier Druidic energy point. Before the altar, Kurtis and I stood facing each other and made our vows. We exchanged rings, and had our hands tied in a Celtic handfasting. We then received a very heartfelt blessing from Dara.
The Sundial Finally, after our SUPER AWESOME ceremony, we left the church and headed over to the Sundial. The Sundial is a carved stone with a hole in it. It has a circular dial and a Celtic cross carved on it. It was a primitive clock, using a stick in the hole to cast a shadow from the sun across the dial. The monks needed it to divide their day into periods of prayer. Dara, Kurtis, and I gathered around the sundial. First Kurtis and I faced each other on either side of the Sundial, and place the index finger of our right hands through the hole. By touching fingers through the hole, we confirmed our marriage vows. This continued an ancient practice, where the Sundial was used as a contract stone.
Then, a silk scarf is used to make wishes at the Sundial. The silk scarf is passed through the hole in the Sundial three times as the wish is made. Dara then blessed us with oil and water. The blessing is for our relationship. The oil was placed on our hands. It is a symbol of health and wholeness. Dara prayed that our relationship will remain healthy and will grow and develop wholesomely throughout our lives. He then sprinkled sacred water from the well around them three times. The water symbolises protection (driving away the devil). Dara then prayed that nothing will happen in our lives that will damage or destroy our relationship. (SO COOL RIGHT!?!?!)
The ceremony ended by the Bride and Groom joining hands with the next and walking around the sundial in a clockwise (sun-wise) direction. This is an ancient Celtic ritual which imitates the sun going around the earth. It brings everybody into harmony with the cosmic rhythms. The Ceremony was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
All photos taken by Tess Molloy
Ms Gingham says: What an amazing ceremony! There’s something so captivating about the thought of being married in a place that is so old. Thanks so much Heidi and Kurtis for sharing your beautiful day with us.
Heidi says: “I am a 24 year old newly wed! Living in Buffalo, NY and eloped on the island of Inis Mor, Ireland in April of 2011.”
Jesse and I met 5 years ago through my best friend (his sister!). Over the next 2 years we got to know each other, and became friends, but neither of us thought anything would eventuate! Jesse then moved to Broome for 6 months, and when he came back, I chased him for the next 7 months until he asked me out!! Three years later, he proposed. 🙂
Jesse is the most calm, sweet and easygoing person I have ever met, and as soon as we started going out, I knew I wanted to marry him! I feel so blessed to be with him!
Jesse and I both live on the beach, and our lives are surrounded by it! The day he proposed we went to check the surf in our little secret spot, as we did often, but Jesse was acting very weird! He was wriggling around on the seat, and telling me he loved me over and over again. 🙂 After about 10 minutes of this, he got on one knee, said some really nice things (that I cannot remember as I was in shock!!) and asked me to marry him!! With the most gorgeous ring in the world! I gave him a big hug, and was so excited, he had to ask me again if I would like to, because I forgot to say yes!! He told me later that he felt like a boy asking a girl for his first kiss again. 🙂
We then went back to his brother’s house, had all the family over and celebrated!! Then the next morning, we went to Hunter Valley Gardens and went skydiving!! I think I was still so in shock from being engaged that skydiving didn’t scare me … I had the BEST weekend!!
I first met Ben Adams (our photographer) through my friend’s wedding, who I was a bridesmaid for a few years ago. He was so easy to work with, and his photos come out so natural, effortless and beautiful! The great thing about him is he throws in an engagement shoot, to get you comfortable with the camera! Which helps because it is kind of awkward! I love the way he uses light, and has an artistic flare to every photo!
Jesse and I have decided to get married in a barn in the country, so we knew we wanted our photos on the beach where Jesse proposed, I could not have imagined more beautiful photos!! I’m so excited to see what he comes up with for our wedding. 🙂
Ms Gingham says: How calm is Luka jumping out of that plane? Time to smile and everything! I’d be desperately trying to climb back into the plane myself! Gorgeous engagement shoot. My favourite is the one of Jesse and Luka in the tree. Beautiful! Wishing you a beautiful wedding day too.
Luka says: 21, Registered Nurse, engaged to my best friend- soon to get hitched in September 2011!!