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Elise & Leigh Whetter

Married 27th July 1996. Smythesdale, Australia.

Our wedding was very low key, yet very beautiful., an eclectic mix of cultures. Leigh is Cornish born and emigrated to Australia in 1988. His ancestors are mostly Cornish with ring-ins from Scotland and the Isle of White. I was born in Australia but my heritage is a mixed bag with ancestors from Wales, Scotland, the Orkney Islands and Devon.

To be in keeping with Lughnasadh in the northern hemisphere, we opted for a winter wedding. Living in Queensland (think warm) at the time, we decided to travel back to Ballarat (cold) in Victoria to celebrate with our family and close friends.

A celebrant performed the ceremony at Leighıs parents house which is in the bush at Smythesdale. Our guests were initially greeted by a mob of kangaroos and a mild winterıs afternoon. It was dark outside when we had the ceremony. The room was decorated with local flowers, ivy, oak and candles. We selected music featuring the Uilleann pipes to play softly in the background. Our family and friends stood around as we spoke the vows we had written ourselves. It was very emotional.

Leigh wanted very much to wear a kilt of the Cornish National tartan, which his parents arranged. It was made by a skilled tailor, Donald Rawe of Wadebridge, Cornwall. (Trevinette, Chapel Amble, Wadebridge, Cornwall. Tel: 01208 880850). I made my dress from black and deep blue velvet. Lughnasadhıs symbolic colour was black and blue is a traditional colour for the protection of women. I hand wove a five-strand piece of knotwork from cord and wore this around the neckline of the dress.

We made our own rings at a silversmithing course - very personal. We were given gifts of Cornish tin jewellery from family friends which we wore on the day.

My bouquet was a combination of orchids, roses and local heath, with a branch from a beautiful old oak tree from my parentıs home. We hung tiny bells from this branch to symbolise the Celtic Tree of Tradition. We read somewhere that any soul who heard the bells would remain in a timeless state - it sounded romantic.

We each wore a coin in our shoe (which we brought home from a holiday in Ireland) to bring good luck (and possible fortune!).

After the ceremony the party got started. We had several meats on an outdoor spit roast which we accompanied with lots of hot vegetables and salads. The gentle music was replaced by jigs and to our joy, one of our dear friends was a closet Bagpiper! He hadnıt played for many years, but borrowed some pipes to make our day. He did very well too!

Amidst the revelry and ale drinking, we toasted with some local Yellowglen champagne and cut the wedding cake - a chocolate mud cake. Not very traditional but extremely tasty!

Instead of a piece of cake to take home, each guest received a ŒLoricaı bag. We sewed little velvet bags and placed inside a celtic blessing, a homemade candle, incense, dried flowers and herbs and other little things to represent all the powers of the earth. This was to bring our guests good luck.

At four oıclock in the morning, the bride and groom drove their remaining friends and rellies home.

There wasnıt a thing about our wedding that we would have changed. It was the party of a lifetime.

Leigh Whetter is a Celtic artist you can see his work at http://www.artofthecelt.pchost.com/main.htm

Sponsor

Walker Metalsmiths

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