Arts & Culture

Local wedding becomes a ‘festival of love’ at Mogo

Elise Searson 31 March 2019

Stuart Absolon and Kelly Henderson at their wedding in Mogo. Photos: Elise Searson.

A Mogo couple has opened their hearts to the community by turning their wedding into a music festival and an emotional celebration of local Indigenous culture.

Stuart Absolon dreamt they were running a music festival, he said it was so real it felt like it was a sign.

“We also wanted to get married so we figured if we made a festival out of our sacred union celebration it would make us do it, rather than leave it forever as a dream,” Stuart said.

Aboriginal women walking Kelly Henderson into the ceremony.

Raise the Vibration – The Festival of Love attracted around 400 people last weekend (March 23/34) and featured live music from Caravan Sun, La Brass Banda and Zac Saber just to name a few.

Kelly Henderson, a spiritual teacher, discovered her great grandmother was a Wiradjuri woman. This was news to her whole family.

Getting closer!

It was a family secret until her deceased Grandfather developed Alzheimer’s.

“I asked him one day about his mother, he told me she had a hard time because she was half aboriginal and grew up in an orphanage,” Kelly said.

“I was completely shocked and it completely warmed my heart at the same time.

“Even my father and his brothers didn’t know of this heritage, my grandmother told me it was something that wasn’t spoken about.”

Family and loved ones surround newlyweds Kelly Henderson and Stuart Absolon during their ceremony.

An organic spirituality and connection with the land has a big influence on Kelly and Stuart, who’s wedding began with an Aboriginal smoking ceremony.

They’ve had an extremely positive response and met some of the most amazing people by putting on this festival of love – and by selling tickets, they covered the cost of an amazing wedding soundtrack, a shared experience with family, friends and the Eurobodalla community.

“So many people were happy to be involved and see it come to life,” said Kelly.

For any couples who’ve caught the love bug, Kelly and Stuart are taking applications for next year’s Raise the Vibration festival.

A handmade sign at Raise the Vibration music festival that says it all.

Words and photos by Elise Searson.

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