My sister married Ellis Smith on 28 March 2009. The ceremony took place on Ellis’s farm at Port Julia, with perfect weather.
The building which served as the chapel had been restored especially for the occasion, and I took the following pictures on the day before the wedding. You may find it instructive to compare the second photograph to the one featured on the wine labels. (Speaking of which, I’m told the use of bells in the decorations was actually inspired by my label design.)
Much of the music for the ceremony was provided by the Schellenberger family, good friends who came all the way from Germany to be there. The younger generation have been here several times before, but this is the first time their parents have been in Australia. It was very nice to see them all. Lukas played the french horn for several hymns, and Friedhilda sang a German blessing while accompanying herself on the piano.
Here is a picture of the piano, taken not long before the ceremony started.
I wasn’t able to take many good pictures during the ceremony, because there were people sitting in front of me and the action was too far away for my zoomless camera, but I must tell you a few things about it.
It was a very child-friendly occasion, with many families having brought their children along. As many readers will know, it’s common for weekly Christian church services to include what’s called a children’s talk — wherein the youngest members of the congregation are invited to the front of the church for a little sermonette of their own, in full view of the adult congregation. Children’s talks are not traditional at weddings, though, so it was innovative of Rebecca and Ellis to include one in theirs. As part of this, the minister handed out paper and coloured pencils and invited the children to draw a picture of what was happening. I think it was a very good idea, and helped the adults to relax as well by making it obvious the event was not intended to be formal and stuffy.
One incident tickled my sense of irony. Just before the vows, the minister spoke (as ministers usually do on such occasions) about how things will inevitably go wrong for Rebecca and Ellis during their life together, and right at that exact moment a blowfly landed on Ellis’s face, providing what I thought was an excellent symbol of things going wrong. But I must say that Ellis hardly flinched and if I wasn’t near the front of the room I wouldn’t have noticed the fly at all.
Below, some photographs of the chapel after the ceremony.
Here’s a picture of the shed that was used for the reception, taken the day before the wedding.
The wedding cake, not long before the ceremony.
The barn dance, which took place as part of the reception.
Post-ceremony entertainment for children was provided by a bouncy castle.
Finally, here’s a photograph of Ellis talking to Anna Schellenberger while repairing Rebecca’s dress.
As for the pictures the children drew during the ceremony, I haven’t seen them, but during the reception it transpired that the prize for the best drawing was a kiss from Rebecca. Another child would presumably have received a kiss from Ellis, but whoever drew the picture that Ellis liked best didn’t own up. (Despite not knowing what the prize was at that point!)
[Update: I’ve posted some of the official wedding photographs here.]