Wonderful way to make sure your guests RSVP

pre-wedding-photography-in-Melbourne-Australia-11Having people RSVP, on time or at all, is a real problem. I’ve blogged before about RSVPs and people not turning up on your wedding day.

I recently heard about a genius way to make sure that guests RSVP to your wedding. Don’t give all of the information on your invitation! As strange as this may sound. Leave the important details off, the address of the ceremony or the function center details for the reception, or both. People will have to contact you or whomever you choose to get further details about attending the wedding.

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Make sure that you have worked out how you want this information then given later. There are many ways that this can be done.

You could set up a website that is provided to the people that RSVP via an email or a text message so that you can have all of the information ready to go. I’ve blogged before about having a website with information for the guests, you can read it here. You don’t even have to monitor that yourself, you can always have a bridesmaid or one of your family members who is wanting to help be in charge of getting all of the RSVP emails sent to them.

You could send out a second paper invitation or information sheet to them if you prefer the snail mail option. You could have some fun with this by having creative invitations sent as the first invite with the ‘RSVP for more information’.  You could have a video invitation, like Leah and Mark had, that had a second part sent as a link when people responded. My friend had tea towels printed for her wedding invite, you could send something like that out and then send out a second one with all the relevant information on them once you received the initial interest from the guests. Again, this is a way that you can ‘theme’ your wedding to your personalities and you are only limited by your imagination, and time and budget!

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There are so many great ways that you could use this idea to your advantage. Do you think that this is a good way to get guests to respond?

A very big thank you to Love Journal Photography for the use of their images on this weeks blog. Check out their website and have a look at their facebook to see all their latest work.

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Kendra and Luke

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On a beautiful November day last year I was lucky enough to conduct the wedding of Kendra and Luke. Their wedding was held at the stunning Lindenderry Estate in Red Hill. I love Red Hill. I love the beach and I love vines. Both hold ties to growing up for me and my favourite winery is Red Hill Estate because of the views of the sea and the vines. So I was very excited to be conducting another wedding down on the Mornington Peninsula and Lindenderry didn’t disappoint.

I’m lucky enough to get to see lots of different wineries and estates because of conducting weddings. This is one that I would love to go back to. A really stunning place with a lovely looking restaurant, accommodation and day spa.

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Kendra and Luke have spent the last ten years in love. After meeting at the 18th birthday of their friend Bianca, Kendra thought Luke was very confident, handsome and very easy to talk to. Luke thought that Kendra was gorgeous and smart. However, it was almost 2 years later before they went on their first date. They have spent the years just enjoying the simple things in life together. They love hearing about each other’s day and are just happy spending time together no matter what the activity. Regardless if it’s trying out new restaurants, watching movies and tv shows, enjoying music and seeing bands, or traveling. As long as they are together they are happy.

They haven’t had to make too many adjustments to make a happy life together. They make each other laugh and get on each others nerves like any couple. Kendra takes a long time getting ready for bed but always insists on going to bed first. She even thinks it’s funny that Luke spends lots of time in the bathroom doing his hair and can’t stand still when he is on the phone. They have a really strong foundation to their relationship and they never stop each other doing things that they enjoy as individuals. They love spending time together but are also aware of the importance of spending time with their family and friends without the other sometimes too.

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It’s obvious how in love Luke and Kendra are when they start to talk about all the things that they love about each other. Luke feels like he can tell Kendra anything, and he loves that she is very loving and caring. She is generous and would do almost anything for her loved ones. Kendra said that Luke is very supportive and whenever she is stressed or anxious he knows how to calm her down. They can always work through things as a team. Luke teaches her new things, makes her laugh and feel loved and safe.

I asked them to tell me when they knew that they were in love, neither of them could pin point the moment that they knew. However they can not remember not being in love.

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I’ve known Luke for quite a few years through my husbands work. I’ve also worked with him on some weddings he has photographed, so we knew each other. Conducting someones wedding is different though, so it was really lovely to be able to get to know him and Kendra. There is something lovely about helping someone that you know get married. Luckily for me I spend quite a bit of time with lots of couples and getting to know them is one of the ‘perks of the job’. Making new friends and getting to be a part of their wedding is a very special thing.

For me having my photographic background comes in handy when I’m conducting weddings, working with photographers and videographers. My ‘day job’ means I get to geek out with cameras and all of the gear. At this wedding, it was so exciting for the photographic geek part of me as Luke and Kendra had a drone! Not during the ceremony, but while we were setting up, Mario flew the drone over a few times getting footage of the stunning ceremony site and working with the photographer and videographer to work out the footage that they would be using to make a video for Kendra and Luke.

The next day I received a beautiful text message from Luke and Kendra telling me how happy they were and that they had lots of lovely compliments from people, even some of their old Italian relatives who had never been to a wedding outside of a church. I love hearing feedback that the couple have received and hearing that people enjoyed the ceremony. I love creating and delivering a ceremony. I love being a part of the wedding and making it suit the couple. What really warms my heart when people tell me, or the couple, just how much they enjoyed the ceremony and how much they felt that it matched the couple.

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Kendra and Luke’s beautiful photos were taken by Seda Photography. You can look at her website here or find her facebook page by clicking here.   Also have a look at the stunning Lindenderry at Red Hill website and plan your next wine tasting weekend.

 

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Finally marriage equality in Australia

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Wow, what a momentous day! I was sitting on the couch in my lounge room, nervously awaiting the news as to see how Australia had voted. With my new little baby on my lap, I was thinking about the future. My children’s future. I hope, for a lot of people, this was a moment in their lives that they will remember forever. Something just so memorable, a moment in time that we measure things by. Similar to when people ask if you remember what you were doing when you heard that Princess Diana died. (For those playing along at home, I was working my Sunday shift at the Reject Shop in the Bourke Street Mall)

I want my children to be whoever they are, loved and secure in knowing that they can just be themselves. Having people marry whomever they want was important for me. I hope that a lot of people felt that same feeling of joy that I did that day.

I held my breath and shed a few tears when I watched the result and a text message from my best friend came through saying, ‘I knew that people would do the right thing!’

I tried to explain my feelings that day to a friend. It was like being a support person at a funeral. It was like I was there to support a grieving friend and although I knew the person who had died, it was not like they did. I felt their pain but I could never understand it fully. The tears were for my LGBTIQ friends. The tears were for their relief, their victory, their losses, their acceptance. For them. But boy, was I honoured to be able to watch that and support them.

I was cross at the cost of the plebiscite. So many other things that $22 million dollars could have helped. Not to mention the cost to people that I love. Having them feel like they were ‘less than’ because people who’s business it isn’t, got to say if their relationship was acceptable. (Now that’s something for a totally different blog or rant)

As a celebrant, I thought that it would take longer to make it happen. I thought that even once it was passed through the parliament, we would have to wait a long time for amendments to the Marriage Act. I felt all that new paperwork to figure out, training etc would take forever before we could conduct a same sex marriage. I was so pleasantly surprised and excited to get my ‘celebrant nerd’ on and sit and check out all of the new paperwork when it was released.  I was lucky enough to be doing my ‘Ongoing Professional Development’ after the law changed so we could ask a lot of questions to the trainers and find out any queries that our colleagues may have thought also.

I’m really excited to be stating the new monitum in a few days time. But that is another blog all together.

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Tamara and Daniel

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I was lucky enough to conduct the wedding of Tamara and Daniel on a windy, but lovely, day in September. They were married at the Seawinds Gardens in Arthurs Seat. If you haven’t been to the Gardens or up to Arthurs Seat, it is a beautiful and breathtaking part of the world. It is somewhere that I have driven past so many times and had only been when I was much younger. It is an amazing place. And what better place for a wedding! The views are spectacular and it is a place that has been very special to Tamara and Daniel so it was very fitting for them to have their ceremony there. They were married at the outlook in front of about 70 of their family and friends.

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Daniel and Tamara have been together for 7 years, meeting through some mutual friends. As a couple, Tamara and Daniel have spent a lot of time enjoying each others company. They love running, kayaking, hiking and cycling. If that isn’t enough hard work in itself, they spend a lot of time renovating their house too! So they obviously know that they can work together and through tough situations. When you still want to live with the other person after having lived out of one end of a house with only half a bathroom, it must be love.

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Daniel and Tamara have a beautiful proposal story. While in America, they were walking in a back section of Disneyland behind the castle when Dan asked if one of the staff would take his and Tamara’s photo.  Dan isn’t really one for having his photo taken, but they were away on holiday so Tamara thought nothing of it. The first photo was just of the two of them standing there nicely, then Dan got down on one knee in front of the disney castle and asked Tamara to marry him. Tamara didn’t say yes straight away, first she asked if he was serious, then gave him a hug. It wasn’t until about an hour later that she told him yes!! It was pretty much a given though she already had the ring on and was crying like a baby!

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One thing that made it obvious to me just how in love they are is when I asked Tamara and Daniel to describe their relationship to me in 3 words. There answer was really beautiful! They said natural, enduring and supportive. It doesn’t get much lovelier than that. Natural because they know that they can always be themselves. Enduring, as they face situations head on and always work through things together. And supportive, that no matter what life throws at them, that they always talk through things, and support the other to get over every hurdle they face. This has made for a wonderful foundation for their love, and they have always supported each other and pulled the other through any tough times.

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I especially loved that I got to see people that I have conducted weddings for in the past. I was lucky enough to conduct the wedding of Daniel’s sister Candice, and also the wedding of his friends Philip and Judy. I love seeing these people that I have spent a bit of time getting to know but rarely see again.

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It was a stunning day, everyone looked wonderful and it was a beautiful part of the world.  What a day at the office!! It doesn’t get much better than that, getting to see such amazing parts of the world, with wonderful people. I’m pretty lucky to do what I do.

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A really big thank you to Chris Cooper for the use of his photos on the blog this weekend. You can look at some of his other work by clicking here. Also if you are down the Mornington Peninsula, check out the Seawinds Gardens. Click here to check out the website.

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Awesome Invitations

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For those who are frequent readers of my blog, you will know how much I love a good invitation.

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Friends of mine Tom and Scarlett were married in August this year, (blog about their wedding is coming soon) and they had some very creative invitations. I wanted to wait until the wedding had happened before I showed off the invitation so that nothing was omitted from these fantastic invites and you could see them in all their amazing, and some might say slightly nerdy, glory. Just my style!

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Check out all of the great details even on the RSVP cards.
Now you can look forward to reading the blog about their beautiful wedding day.

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Sylive’s Naming day

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I was lucky enough to be asked to conduct Sylvie’s Naming Day. Dan and Kate have been friends of mine for quite some time and I conducted their wedding along with a number of weddings for other members of their family. Since then I have been named the family celebrant! I was privileged to be able to conduct Sylvie’s sister Astrid’s Naming Day when she turned 1 and so it was such a special thing for me to be able to conduct Sylvie’s Naming day too, also timed to Celebrate her 1st birthday!

Dan and Kate thought about the name Sylvie when Kate was pregnant with Astrid. Kate tried to convince Dan that Sylvie was a great name, but Dan wasn’t keen on Sylvia, which Kate insisted would be the ‘proper name’ so it never happened. Throughout Kate’s pregnancy with Sylvie, Kate and Dan worked through many name options and although Sylvie arrived so late they still hadn’t decided on her name. After she was born they played with three names and in the evening finally settled on Sylvie, Kate compromising and ditching the ‘a’ in Sylvia.  Sylvie, from Sylvia, is a french name meaning from the forest. (See the gorgeous forest themed cake at the end of this post)

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Sylvie has made Dan and Kate more relaxed, patient and understanding parents. Sylvie gets far more cuddles to sleep and co-sleeping as they are well aware of how fleeting these days are. Dan and Kate can now understand completely why the youngest child is always the baby to their parents. Sylvie’s favourite person has always been Astrid. From birth she has kept her eye on Astrid, eager to learn how to do all the things Astrid does, playing, walking and now dancing too! Sylvie has always loved to move and was on the go early. She even started walking while holding onto Astrid even though her sister was trying to escape!

Her big loves this first year have included looking at her favourite family photos, climbing, “reading”, playing in her sister’s kitchen, baby doll Cailin, getting messy outdoors and just being all over Astrid. She loves to make kissing noises, waving at anything that moves and is a big koala style snuggler. She loves Ryan Adams and starts “dancing” as soon as she spots the cover artwork.

Dan and Kate chose their very close friend Miranda to be Sylvie’s mentor. Miranda has been friends with Kate for almost a decade and they have travelled together. She was the witness at their wedding and has always supported both Kate and Dan on their parenting journey.

Dan and Kate had a passage chosen to be read during the ceremony for both girls.  A lovely Mark Twain quote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

It was a beautiful day and a great time to catch up with lovely friends, and the the extended family of these wonderful people that I am lucky enough to see at these special occasions.

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6 Creative ways to ask your attendants to be part of your wedding party

People are coming up with some amazing and very creative ways of asking their attendants to be a part of their wedding. I have seen so many wonderful ideas that I thought that I should share some of them with you.

1.  Personalised labels.

You can personalise a bottle of wine with your own label. Take the style of theirs, or your, favourite drink and make it your own. Friends of mine replaced the ‘brand’ label in a similar style to the original and made a huge statement. The bottles looked amazing and they kept all the fonts and the layout the same as the original. You could make chocolate bar wrappers too or put labels around a soap or perfume bottle. This, like so many things, can reflect your tastes or reflect some of the favorite things that your bridal party may love.

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2. Creative Crossword.
This can be a bit of fun, and could be a great laugh if you planned to ask your girls over a lunch or some cheeky wines. You could make them up yourself or can go online and find a crossword generator to do the work for you.

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3. Jewellery.
There are so many great little jewellery pieces that can be ordered online or visit Pinterest to get a heap of ideas about what you can do with jewellery. You could use jewellery that you want them to wear on the day or just a small little necklace that they could wear everyday. You could use pop rings and ‘pop the question’ to your bridal party.

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4. Funky poem all wrapped up.
I’ve seen some really great ideas with a little poem and bits of lego, nail polish, cakes. The ideas are endless. If you are stuck all you have to do is a quick google search and you  have hundreds of examples at your fingertips.

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5. A puzzle.
This could be anything from a puzzle that you order on line, decorate yourself or you could send them on a clue hunt type adventure.

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6. A memory scrapbook or memory box.
If you are a particularly sentimental person, or if someone has been your friend for a long time, this is a thoughtful way that you could ask your attendants to be part of your wedding. With photos and personal jokes, you could make it funny or heartfelt. It would be something that they could keep for years to come too.

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There are so many ways you can be creative with this and just yet another way that you can reflect your own personality and even tie it into the themes that you have for your wedding. With so many ideas online there’s so much inspiration to make this special moment just the way that you want it to be.

All images from Pintrest

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Filed under wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips