I am still on a high from yesterday’s ceremony!
It was my first wedding back after taking the winter season off. It was also my first wedding back after having a baby so the excitement to get back into hitching couples was next level! Yesterday’s ceremony was at Centennial Park, a location that I have been wanting to conduct a wedding at for years. Currently, I only live 5 minutes away so it was the perfect location for me to pop out, do the ceremony and be back home for the next feed.
Wedding Ceremonies at Centennial Park
Centennial Park is 10 minutes from Sydney CBD and offers a range of spectacular sites for up to 300 guests. These sites include natural water features, romantic woodland areas and secluded spots. I walk the park on a weekly, if not daily, basis and I feel like I discover a new section each time I walk. It’s for this reason that I have always wanted to do a ceremony at the Park.
There are so many beautiful areas to get married at the Parklands. Your options are:
- The Rose Gardens
- the Paperbark Grove North
- Between the two ponds: The Lily Pond and The Duck Pond or the Willow Pond and Duck Pond
- Column Garden
- Pine Grove
- Busbys Promontory
- One more shot pond
- She-Oak Grove
- Plus there’s the Homestead which can offer a combined ceremony and reception location.
Yesterday’s Centennial Park wedding ceremony location
Yesterday’s ceremony was in Paperbark Grove North. Whilst the area looks exposed to the public from the road, once you’re amongst the trees, it feels like you’re cooconned by the paperbark grove. It was a great area for a ceremony, sheltered from the wind and the sun on a hot day and the tree formation created the perfect aisle.
My clients had Thai and Jewish heritage we incorporated some Jewish rituals and a Thai ceremony. The arbour was a chuppa, which is a Jewish canopy and symbolises the home that the couple will create through their marriage. The groom also smashed the glass at the end of the ceremony.
In Thai culture all the senior guests take part in a particular ceremony. Firstly, a specially prepared white thread, called the ‘monkhon‘ is placed on the bride’s and the groom’s heads. It consists of two individual loops with a link that connects the two together. It is symbolic that the thread forms two circles which whilst linked, also remain independent. This indicates that the couple’s destinies are linked, but their individual identities are retained. The circle is also symbolic for its continuity and merits can be carried around the circle.
The second part of the ceremony is the shell ceremony called ‘rod nam sang’. Elders pour sacred water over the hands of the couple and bowls of flowers are placed underneath the bride and grooms’ hands to catch the water. This allows the guests to wish the couple a good life together.
As the groom’s sister explained what was happening, I was able to observe and having never had a Thai client before, it was the first time I had seen this sort of ritual take place. It was gentle, calm and a demonstration of respect given that only the elders of the family partake.
This is one of the best things about my job. I get to learn and observe rituals and customs that I otherwise would not have any exposure to. If you’re getting married and want to incorporate an element that represents your family and cultural heritage, I not only support this but highly recommend it. I will help you work out where to place it in your ceremony along your love story.
But if you’re looking for an outdoors venue for your ceremony in Sydney, check out Centennial Parklands. It offers tranquility, privacy, scenery, and nature across all of its gardens, lawns and groves. There is no need to be worried about the openness of the areas, and not wanting the general public to gawk at your ceremony. The park is big enough to host your ceremony along side passerby and all of the ceremony areas are away from the main walking and cycling track. I also noticed that NO ONE stopped to watch. Everyone was respectful and kept their distance. The only thing you would need to worry about is a back up plan in case of bad weather….but that’s what umbrellas are for hey!?