Planning a Wedding

Sweetheart, photo by Daniel Perry, Luton, United Kingdom,  in loveBeing in love is a beautiful experience. Many people know what comes next without any doubts, that is, planning a wedding. Usually both put their hearts and heads together and decide where they would like to celebrate this important event. You can even turn to a wedding planner who will do the practical work for you. Others cannot afford this so they use the internet to explore ideas. The whole process can be exciting as you research and make decisions about your celebration. Will it be on a boat, at the steps of the Opera House, on a wharf there, in a park, or in your own backyard? As a celebrant I have been a part of several memorable ceremonies.

being a wedding planner is not the role
of a marriage celebrant but we can
inspire ideas for the couple to explore
as can be seen in my page on
weddings, marriage celebrant
showing where I have conducted weddings
on the beach, in the mountains, in a reception centre
in the Royal Botanic Gardens, in Centennial Park
and so on

A white-knuckling recovery

White Knuckles, photo by Kristen Price, Muskogee, United States, addiction recovery It’s great to come into recovery from addiction. It means freedom from being compelled to do things we don’t want to do anymore. Such things which are harmful to us. Addiction recovery means serenity and peace of mind. However, there are some of us who experience a white-knuckling recovery – sometimes called a dry drunk. This means struggling with the demon of addiction. The only hope is to persist in the search for serenity and recovery will then be true freedom from compulsion.

they would ask me
why was it so hard to find
serenity in their recovery?
it felt like no matter what they did
it was a white-knuckling recovery!
I explained that for some
making the decision to be in recovery
is a smooth transition from insanity to sanity
and for others it is somewhat harder
but for all, the best outcome is to
persevere by sticking to the program
and eventually it works out – serenity
and that’s how it’s also sustained


Lovers, photo by Brenda Lamothe Coulomme, Capital Federal, Argentina,  open marriage Some people believe in open marriages, where each person is entitled to have sexual experiences with others providing that there is honesty about it with the primary partner. Others cannot live with the thought of infidelity in their relationship. They believe that a loving relationship means being faithful to one another to the exclusion of others.? Whatever we believe in, it only works if we are totally committed and happy with that particular way of thinking.

they wanted to avoid
anything contaminating their love
trust was their strongest asset
so their commitment to an open marriage
was supposed to keep honesty alive
others said that meant they were
committed to infidelity!
so they decided to have a
monogamous relationship
either way love and happiness
comes from living what you
believe to be best

Being caring and loving

Nexus, photo by Miguel Ugalde, Mexico, Mexico, parents, adult childrenWhen children are young, parents have the responsibility of being caring and loving. Also setting limits is important so that they may learn to be self-disciplined as required. A fine balance is needed between being firm and being too strict, because anything too extreme will impair their relationship skills. As role models we show them how to live life fully and with happiness. Love, fun and being responsible will help them to survive Life’s ups and downs. Then comes the time when parents need to stand back and let them make the choices they want. That is sometimes the hardest part of being a parent. Especially when the parent is on the receiving end of an unpleasant decision. Nevertheless it is an art for the parent ‘to know when to play and know when to walk away’, emotionally, that is. That’s because it is always best to remember that they are now adults and parents need to lead by example to maintain a loving relationship.

as the mother spoke about her doings and plans
her daughter expressed her frustrations about this
as their interaction became strained
it was obvious there had been a misunderstanding
but fortunately they were able to change
by being caring and loving
and then the problem was resolved
as they parted on good terms
each one was more aware of
the other’s expectations and needs

Wedding plans

Peter and Michelle's wedding kiss, wedding vows, loveTwo lovers making their wedding plans experience not only the high of being in love but also the excitement of organising their special day. It has to be just the way they have envisaged. For these people it was important that their wedding take place as close to the beach as possible. The reception house sat on the golden sands of the beach, partly under the shade of some trees. So the guests came in their finery and yet some wore smart casual, and all fit in nicely. After the ceremony the bridal party had photos taken on the beach. Then went into the function centre where they ate a delicious meal and enjoyed the touching speeches, some filled with humour. This is one way of creating the event you have dreamed about with the celebrant of your choice.

as they made their wedding vows
the weather was perfect
the sun was shining as
the waves crashed onto the sand
seagulls sang and in the distance
faint laughter could be heard
surely this is the best way that
wedding plans can be made
everyone felt the love in the air
of the new husband and wife
and when we think of them
we remember that wonderful day

Food Addiction has triggers too

Walnut, photo by Gian Paolo Dessolis, Sassari, Italy, eating disordersIn all addictions, there are triggers which hook in the compulsion. Food addiction has triggers too. Triggers involve people, places and things which result in the food addict being driven to the very thing that they are trying to abstain from. ‘people‘ refers to those who have dysfunctional behaviour and affect us negatively. ‘places‘ are those which we need to avoid because of the temptation presented. ‘things‘ can be carbohydrates such as flour and sugar, which are poison to the food addict (one is too many, a hundred’s not enough). Then there’s the HALTShungry, angry, lonely, tired and serious – the states which are triggers for using feel-goods.

she had come to see me about the insanity
that overeating was causing her and
how she had tried everything!
belonging to a weight loss club
which had worked in the beginning,
special weight loss programs
which involved everything from
juice fasting to food replacement shakes
even nutritionally balanced diets
and yet all these worked temporarily
only to put on more weight than that lost!
we discussed her successful skills in business
and her unhappy experiences in life
she came to understand the meaning of addiction
and that food addiction has triggers too
that was the beginning of her recovery

Procrastination and self doubt

Red Nightmare, photo by Daniel Diaz, Madrid, Spain,  deadlinesThe moment just before we begin a task, which is causing us some anxiety, is when procrastination usually happens. Even if it is a task that we would enjoy once we begin it, there can be a major block. Once we begin, however, we wonder why we had been so bogged down. It’s usually because our expectations and our perceived abilities are in conflict. That is, there is excitement about embarking on the task and in the last minute there is doubt as to how well it can be done. Procrastination and self doubt go hand in hand. The solution is to just begin and it will all fall into place.

I got so annoyed with the block I had
as I was about to begin a project which
I had been looking forward to and
had felt confident in achieving!
then the time came and I froze
could I do it? really do it well?
how will I do it? where to begin?
why had I undertaken the job?
then I remembered that
procrastination and self doubt
go hand in hand
so I sat down and began
and as usual I experienced
such a buzz as the project
got under way!

Red Nightmare, photo by Daniel Diaz, Madrid, Spain,anxiety, deadlines

Wedding fantasy

Wedding 4, photo by Elvis Santana, Hialeah, United States, romance, wedding vowsHave you wondered why people choose a wedding extravaganza for their marriage? There are expensive celebrations and there are beautiful ones on a limited budget. It’s all in the research. Nevertheless, for people in love who embark on a marriage the event, large or small, needs to be a wedding fantasy. Something they will always remember as being a dream.

when they told me the wedding would be
in a lovely garden reception centre
I, too, was so excited because
such a place has a regal appearance
and so dreamlike with the gardens outside
this creates the wedding fantasy that
so many dream of and
fondly remember always
that’s the way it should be
so we planned the ceremony
around this fantasy

Wedding 4, photo by Elvis Santana, Hialeah, United States, romance, wedding vows

Codependence and addiction

ashamed 1, photo by Georgios M.W., Herley, Denmark,  misery, sacrificeCodepedence, sometimes a relief to admit and sometimes people resent the term. It is very simple in definition – when you totally sacrifice your needs for those of another and when you believe that your happiness can only come from outside of you (from people, places, and things) then your are in the clutches of codependence. You can commit yourself to being of service to another person, or a project, which can be worthwhile to everyone concerned. However, in such a case you need to be true to yourself first and then you can be useful in the service you give. Codependence is the undercurrent of addictions.

she sacrificed her talents and happiness
for the sake of her disabled son
saying he needed her love more than
the rest of the family did
as though there was insufficient for all
but in her dedication to caring for her son
she took away his independence and
he could not do anything without her
but this did not bring her happiness
for she often complained about the martyr
she had become and how miserable she was!
jealousy of her daughter’s achievements and
her own severe codependence caused
irreparable harm and loneliness to her

Unresolved grief issues

“I am wondering how much the loss of a parent contributes to a new, hopeful, but tentative relationship becoming dysfunctional and morphing into a love addiction.”

Holding hands, photo by Laura Kennedy, Johannesburg, South Africa, lost loveLetitia made this comment when I wrote about the loss of a parent and my response is that awareness is 50% of the solution to a problem. So if we are aware of our unresolved grief issues then we can avoid letting them contaminate our relationships and turning them into dysfunctionality and/or love addiction. With unresolved grief issues it is difficult to avoid loving someone who subconsciously reminds us of our parents, whether it’s a loving parent or a punishing parent. This is, mainly because we search to find either a replacement for the loving parent whom we miss, or the punishing parent whose approval we seek. That is why grief counselling is vital, so that we stand a better chance of developing healthy loving relationships.