Maybe because I was concentrating so hard on the cuttlefish pour, the strongest memory I have from the Summer evening was the sound of heavy-fat raindrops on the waxy Moreton Bay Fig leaves.
I had offered to pour the gold rings during the wedding ceremony the day before however the enormity of the occasion proved overwhelming for this introverted jeweller and at the eleventh hour, I tucked the gas bottle behind my sundress, blamed unpredictable wind for my sudden reticence and shoved the cuttlefish back in my bag and the flint firmly back in my pocket. The heartfelt ceremony freely resumed in glorious hilltop sunshine for this fabulously wild pair of humans who had gathered a big crowd of love for the occasion; drawing folk from all over the world into a tiny hamlet on the NSW south coast hinterland.
The groom galloped up the hill on a hobby horse to his stunning bride in an incredible gold gown. Costa, the hairiest Greek man on Australian gardening TV officiated in blisteringly white taffeta, and the groom’s charming father, a Minnesota paster in neat cream tucked shorts, breathed a much needed steadiness to a wedding perched on madness. The ceremony was beautiful. Friends and family sang and performed, and we cried with love for the union of this special pair.
The well celebrated throng awoke the following morning to an incredible furnace of Australian Summer heat. It was the hottest recorded day that year in NSW and the barometer reading the next day hovered around 50 degrees Celsius. It wasn’t until late in the afternoon when the relieving cool change finally rolled over the hills that a time for the rescheduled wedding ring making was decided.
Under-slept guests and loads of extremely overtired little ones were scattered on beds under fans in rented bungalows and fibro beach shacks over the hills so only an intimate number turned up to sit on the trunk-like boughs of the magnificent tree for the ring pour. I remember it was the insect sounding time of early evening dark and the air was deliciously cool.
The groom is a musician; a liquid-y tall, kind, clever and hilariously dry-humoured man who had moved across the world to be with a brilliant and charismatic woman with infectious light-filled energy. It had been a whopping few days of laughing, drinking, eating and dancing and sitting on my knees quietly setting up for the cuttlefish pour under the wide canopy of fig leaves felt like we were celebrating the gentle and spiritual nature of the pair.
Theirs is a deeply resonating soulful love; a joyous love that anchors worlds.
It was a relatively crazy idea of mine to live-make wedding rings. It required loads of trust at an occasion when it’s preferable that outcomes are assured! I knew that if I wasn’t successful I had two (back-up) gold rings which I had used to press into the cuttlefish moulds, but under my wings I had the grace-filled support of my friends to ensure my nervous hands would pour the molten gold accurately.
There was lovely spontaneous singing and affectionate words spoken, and it was the moment the heavy drops fell on the leaves did I light my torch for the illuminated faces to gather tightly and hold their breaths as I poured two perfect cuttlefish rings in gold that slipped immediately on their married paws.
**With gratitude and love to my dear friends B & T for the cherished memory and granting me this writing indulgence of their private day from over a decade ago, Willa Xx
We remembered after I posted this journal entry that the gold I use to make the rings was generously gifted from a group of friends, so there was no expense for B&T or myself. From my memory the contributors were: McDebeljaks, McRae, hopper and A.Fox, although B&T reckon there was x6 generous peeps, who have I missed?? There was a lot of love in the room
Photography credits to my friend Big Al
And my sweet Astro-girl, you were always by my side