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Outstanding save the date

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I received a ‘save the date’ in the mail for a wedding that I am also conducting the ceremony. It is just stunning, very simple and lovely and it just has the most beautiful warmth to the image. I know a lot of save the dates now are just words or illustrations on a page, stunning and simple. What I love about this one is the image of that tree. There is something special about it. I know that it is going to be a very special part of the day with the ceremony being held underneath its branches. I am so looking forward to this special day and all that it holds.
Just on another nerdy photographic note. The paper stock that these are printed on gives the photo such a beautiful warmth. I can’t wait to see what the invitations themselves look like too.
Cindy and Shane  included a wonderful information sheet of where there guests could stay and some information about a bus service that will be operating on the day too. Such wonderful and considerate ideas.

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Filed under Uncategorized, wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

Unplugged weddings

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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’?

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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.

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Filed under Recent Weddings, Stories of love, Uncategorized, wedding ideas

Walking down the Aisle

Walking down a traditional church aisle, or your entrance at any other venue, such as a park or beach that you choose for your wedding day, is a really important part of the ritual. Personally I love this moment, I am so lucky, I get to do this job and watch so many people walk down the aisle. It is a moment that everyone is waiting for and everyone is excited about. It is the moment that the Groom traditionally gets to see the bride for the first time in her beautiful dress, and the moment that they have waited for.

It is something that only you can decide, but who will walk you down the aisle? Traditionally a Bride would have her father walk her down the aisle, but times are changing and people have lots of different and significant people in their lives. And for some people it doesn’t accurately reflect their family unit, or who they are. Alternatives include: both parents walking them down the aisle, or just their Mum, or one of their siblings. Others choose to walk down on their own. I’m not sure if I would like this myself, as it is great to have someone with you for support, and it is special for the person who accompanies you.  Don’t think that you can’t be creative with this part of your wedding, again it is your day, and you should be your decision.

One dilemma I’ve heard of is, should their father or step-father walk them down the aisle? No one wants to upset one by choosing the other. You can walk down in two parts if you want both of them to do it. There is no hard and fast rule about how this should be done, you should have who you want with you. Although you need  to be mindful of how people will feel, at the end of the day, it is you who is walking down the aisle. Some people choose to walk down the aisle as a couple and this is a great way to do it if your having a small wedding or think that choosing one or two people to walk down with you will cause fights or upset some people. It is a great way to include children, if there are children from a previous relationship, or your children are older, and you want them to be included in your ceremony. This can be a very special way of including them in the ceremony.

Most of all, it is about importance of this moment when the Bride walks down the aisle, whoever she chooses to walk beside her, or if she chooses to walk it alone, or with the man who is about to become her husband.  However, I think that before she does, she should pause and take a moment to think about the day, it is the day she has spent countless hours planning, and maybe dreaming about for much of her life. Take a moment to breathe— Enjoy the moment! The day will fly by.

Thanks again to Corey Brown for the use of his great images. Check out his other work here.

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Trusting Yourself

This may be a tough subject, but a friend of mine suggested a blog topic to me, to Trust Yourself.  She said it might not be something that a lot of people talk about. When I asked her what she meant, she told me about her own story. She was in a seven year old relationship, she had been living with her partner for quite some time and her partner had proposed to her. She said yes, and was happy to start planning their wedding and their new life together. As the planning process went on she started  feeling as though something about this wasn’t right, and it wasn’t nerves or cold feet. It wasn’t a normal nervousness about embarking on a new chapter in her life shared with someone else. In the beginning she thought that it was just how relationships worked and that maybe a wedding would make her feel differently about her partner, but when she was finally honest with herself she knew she loved him and cared for him, but wasn’t in love with him anymore.

She mentioned to me that she thought during the process how hard will it be if she had children with this man that later in life she would have to divorce their father. She couldn’t see herself with him 10 years down the track, a bit older, wiser and with fond memories made or imagine them happy in 10 years. She could only imagine sitting down with a daughter, saying “I’m sorry, I could have avoided all of this”.

My friend also mentioned to me the support that she received from the people around her, even though things were well on their way, deposits paid and the date of the wedding was drawing closer, she just knew that she couldn’t do it. While she packed her bags, the thoughts of the daughter that could have been and the conversation she felt they would have been destined to have is what kept her packing.  With her mum waiting around the corner in the car, she broke the news.

There were so many people who said that they wished that they had the strength that she had, friends who confided in her saying that it was something that they should have done, but it was just to hard. Even the ex- fiancé’s mother called to thank her. There were also the friends that she lost, the ones who couldn’t believe she could just do that.

When we were talking about all the feelings that she had  looking back now, she realises that she was going to settle, because she thought that she couldn’t get anyone better than him.  With hindsight she can see that she was being untrue to herself.  Compromising who she was, to do the things that only he liked doing, and the things that only he was interested in. She recognised that he wouldn’t do  the things that she liked, or try to even be interested in something simply because it made her happy. It was a very hard decision for my friend to make to end her relationship of seven years and to start again. She feels that it was the best thing that she did though, now she is happy  and in a relationship with a man that she adores, and her ex is happy, moved on with his life too. She has now found someone who understands her and allows her to be herself and to be loved for the person that she is.

Really isn’t that what we all want to find that person who ‘gets’ us, who realises that no one is perfect. A person who loves us for that special individual imperfect person that we are. Someone that when we are with them that wherever in the world we are, we are home.

Thanks to my lovely friend who shared her story with me, and also to my friend  Michael Thomas for the use of his fantastic image, check out his other work at www.mthom.com

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Welcome to my Blog

Well I have to start this somehow, I have decided that a blog would be the best way for people to get to know me, and what I really love about weddings.

I am a marriage celebrant who really enjoys what I do.  I love everything about weddings, talking about them, organising them, looking at dresses, watching videos of people exchanging their vows, the story of the proposal, waiting for the bride to walk down the isle, (even if I have only met her a few times while helping them prepare the ceremony for their big day) listening to ‘wedding’ songs, looking at fantastic wedding photos. The list could go on forever. But I really love the idea of helping two people who are truly in love be married.

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