Heli & Gavin, Parkes, ACT

Heli and Gavin chose the intimate Senate Courtyard at Old Parliament House for their small mid-winter wedding ceremony. Heli, originally from Finland, was hoping for snow, but the best I could arrange was no rain. Even so, her Finnish family and guests had to wrap up to keep warm. The wedding theme was ‘Winter Wonderland’ and Pink Parasol Events styled in plum purple and sliver.


Heli and Gavin wanted an ‘Unplugged Wedding’ with everyone putting away their phones and cameras, and enjoying the ceremony the old-school way.


Rituals and Blessing


Memorial Candle. Heli and Gavin lit a candle in memory of their friend Marty, who had recently passed away.

Pledge to Enjoy. Heli and Gavin wanted their ceremony to be light-hearted and fun, with everyone getting along and enjoying themselves. So, all the guests were asked to stand and raise their right hand and promise to enjoy the day, have a drink, laugh and have fun!

Ring Warming Ceremony.  Overseen by the Best Man, the wedding bands were placed in a small organza pouch and passed amongst the guests. As each guest held the rings, they paused and made a wish for Heli and Gavin in their future together. When the rings returned, they contained within their precious metal that which is more valuable and priceless – the love, hope and support of their closes family and friends.

Palm Ceremony. As the rings were being passed around, Heli and Gavin held hands and mediated on the love, strength and support that they will lend to each other throughout their marriage.

Blessing. I closed the ceremony with a poem that gave a nod to Heli’s Finnish heritage:

‘A Finnish Wedding Blessing’ by P.E. Kaplan

Eat plenty of oatmeal,
Take a sauna every season,
Roll in the snow, naked,
Laugh, until you cry,
Cry, until you laugh,
Leave notes for no reason,
Take long, lazy walks,
Enjoy Mother Earth,
Hold hands,
Kiss before parting,
Listen carefully,
Understand as best you can.


Hell walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of the Beatles’ classic. Here, There and Everywhere.

Heli and Gavin signed the Register to a Finnish pop song Myrskyluodon Maija by Lasse Martenson and together walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are.


The official photographer was the gorgeous Shae Estella Photography