I met Sarah and Wayne after a mutual friend suggested that they talk to me about conducting their wedding ceremony, and I also conducted the wedding of their friends Heidi and Alex a few months before.
Sarah and Wayne have spent the last 4 years together, they were in the same group of friends, but not really that close to begin with, but Sarah remembers thinking that Wayne was quiet, well spoken and smiled a lot. Wayne remembers his first impression of Sarah was that she was really excitable, had a wonderful sense of humour and laughed a lot. There are many things that they like to do as a couple, from spending hours chatting over coffee, taking impulsive road trips, to travelling the world together. They both speak fondly of walking together into Monets garden, how they smiled at each other when they realised that it was the calmest place on earth and what an indescribable experience it was to see it together. They also fondly remember walking the streets of Paris in search of a sharpie pen to write on their lock to lock on the lovers lock bridge opposite the Nortre Dame.
Sarah and Wayne were married in May at Inglewood Estate, in Kangaroo Ground. It was my first visit to the venue, and it was spectacular. The chapel was one of the most beautiful that I think I have conducted a wedding in, it was small and stunning, but old and very well looked after. The 95 or so guests fit in perfectly, but made it look very full.
Wayne and Sarah chose to have their ceremony at 5pm, so it was getting later in the day and the sun was starting to go down, they chose to have a first look photo shoot. Which is a great idea especially if you are having a late ceremony, and especially in winter when there isn’t the extended daylight when there is daylight savings. (I have blogged previously about the pros and cons of first look photo shoots, you can read that blog here
.) Sarah and her attendants looked amazing! All of the girls had different outfits but were all lovely, and worked really well together. It was really nice to see the bride before the ceremony, it is a moment that I really look forward to, and I thought that it might take away from the moment for me, I must admit that is one of my favorite moments, (I get really excited seeing the brides for the first time and the reaction of the groom too) but I felt quite privileged that I had already seen her.
Everything went beautifully, and there were some beautiful movie references and quotes throughout the ceremony, and a cute ‘Friends’ moment. (Sarah is a HUGE friends fan) I’m not sure if people picked them out or not but it was a great way for Sarah and Wayne to really personalise their wedding in a way that mean something to them. It was such a fantastic day! Again it makes me feel really privileged to do what I do. Share in people’s special day and help them exchange vows with one another that mean something to them. It was so great to see Heidi and Alex again too!
Thanks to Wade for the photos from Sarah and Wayne’s day check out his other work here
. Also have a look at the website of the stunning Inglewood Estate
I am reading more and more about Unplugged weddings. I have previously blogged about turning off your phone at the wedding ceremony, but this blog is about taking it a step further. Obviously people are going to set their phones to silent. (Well you hope that it is obvious) but in unplugged weddings there is a blanket ban on photography too.
On pintrest there are all sorts of examples on how to word this. Maybe using a chalk board at the ceremony or something extra that goes in with your invitations or your order of service booklets. It’s not because the couple are shy or don’t want photos of their special day, it is about being present in the moment. Coming from a photographic background I can understand how people can feel this way. A camera definitely puts a barrier between yourself and anything that you are photographing. It removes some of your concentration, when you are busy photographing you are thinking about composition, flashes and camera settings.
There has also been a lot in the media about living in the moment, not always photographing it, making actual memories rather than taking photos. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I get it, I understand that we spend all too much time on our devices when we should be spending time with our loved ones and the people that we are with at that moment. I understand wanting people to be immersed in the moment of your wedding, but shouldn’t it be their choice? Is the wedding ceremony the right time for this? Thankfully they will most likely have a professional taking photos. The wedding ceremony can be an extremely surreal moment, especially for the bride and groom. I agree with living in the moment, but there are times too where photos are a must.
I’m a highly visual person and I use photos and objects to prompt my memory a lot. I would have been devastated if there had have been no photos taken when my son was born. I can’t imagine how that would feel. I won’t ever forget the first time I laid eyes on him, but I’m glad that I have it recorded too. I must admit, I’m a sucker for a good photo, I have to have photos of everything. I use photos for bookmarks.
It’s been a while since I have been a guest at a wedding ceremony, and I don’t think I can remember the last time that I was a guest at a wedding and didn’t take a stack of photos. I don’t know how I would go. For me now I would be paying attention to all the details as a celebrant and don’t know if I could give an objective opinion on an unplugged wedding.
I love that as a celebrant, photographers are usually happy to provide me with some images to use here on my blog, so I feel lucky in that respect to have lovely photos from each wedding that I am privileged to conduct. Although I don’t ‘need’ photos to remember, I have a marriage register, the photos are oh so lovely to have.
I haven’t spoken to a lot of my photographer friends about this yet, but I am interested to see if they welcome the idea. I imagine that they would. No one getting in the way when the bride is walking down the aisle, no competing for spots in the chapel or having someone step into their shot trying to get their own. Parents both enjoying the moment of their children’s wedding.
I like the idea from the stand point that everyone is paying attention to the vows that the bride and groom are about to make to each other, and somehow maybe it would give the ceremony a little more of a sacred feel. What do you think? Could you go to a wedding and not take photographs or have your wedding and ask for it to be ‘Unplugged’?
Thank-you to Vision House Photography for the photos on this weeks blog. Check out their website here and head over and like them on facebook.
I have conducted a few weddings that have used a Ring Warming in their ceremony. It is a great way to get all of your guests involved. It is especially beautiful when you have a smallish wedding, not something that I would generally recommend for a very large wedding. A Ring Warming usually happens around the beginning of the ceremony as it takes a little bit of time. What happens is the wedding rings are passed around the guests, either in a small bag or box, or sometimes tied to a small ring cushion. All of the people present are asked to hold the rings and say a silent prayer, make a wish or silent blessing for your marriage. I have also heard of larger weddings where the rings are only warmed by the wedding party and the close relatives, which is an option, but I personally think it is a lovely way to make everyone that is present on your special day feel a part of it all.
I wonder, however, if people worry about their rings being passed around to all of their guests? Not that they think anyone would steal them, but more worried about people getting distracted by other parts of the ceremony or possibly dropping them, which could create some problems depending on where the ceremony is being held.
A great way to elevate any fears about this is to have someone look after them as they are being passed around. It is a great job for someone who is special to you that you were not able to have in the bridal party, or one of your relatives that you wanted to have contribute to your ceremony. It is a great job if you have a ring barer that is a little bit older, as they can be trusted and usually take the role quite seriously but can help if they are at an age where some of the ceremony might bore them.
What do you think about ring warming? Would you consider it at your wedding? Or have you attended a wedding that did this where it worked or didn’t work?
Thank -you to Love Journal Photography for the photos on the blog this week. Check out their website here or facebook page here.