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Simon and Zara

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I had the honour of attending the wedding of Simon and Zara, I must admit I was a little excited to go to a wedding, just as a guest. Don’t get me wrong for a second, there is nothing better than what I do, making people married is a huge honour that I take seriously and I do realise how lucky I am to help people do this, but this wedding was the first in about 4 and a half years that I haven’t conducted. This is the first wedding in 4 or more years that I haven’t known what is going to go on, I haven’t known what is going to be said about the couple and the first wedding in a long time that I haven’t been so involved in that I’m a little nervous because I just want it to be so perfect. It was really lovely to sit back and remember what it is like to attend a wedding.

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Simon and Zara were married in the North Fizroy Church of Christ, a really lovely, spacious church. Zara had  4 attendants who were all wearing a lovely latte/gold kind of colour, in 4 separate styles.  Zara looked radiant. Simon had his 3 brothers as his groomsmen, and it was just a really lovely service. I was quite surprised as the minister used the monitum in the service, (the legal words that a celebrant has to use for a wedding to be legal,  you can read a blog about it here) I wasn’t aware that they also had to use the monitum when marring someone  in a church for some reason.

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Simon and Zara had their ceremony and then they had an afternoon tea, before they headed off to their reception.  This is the perfect way I think to have people attend the ceremony part of the wedding and not have all of your guests attend the reception.  I’ve previously blogged about inviting guests to the ceremony only, and how I didn’t really understand how this could work, but Simon and Zara have this worked out perfectly. I didn’t go to the reception, I just went to the ceremony and the afternoon tea, it was a great compromise, as the guests who weren’t going to the reception still got a chance to mingle with the bride and groom and still had a cup of tea and some scones to celebrate.  I felt really thankful to have been able to witness them exchange their vows with one another and to be able to see them become husband and wife, and glad that they did just invite some people to the ceremony and afternoon tea as otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to be a part of this.

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There were a few wonderful stand out moments about Simon and Zara’s beautiful ceremony. I loved seeing close up Zara and her Dad entering the church, Zara and her Dad both holding back their tears, and watching Simon do the same. (Usually I get to see the Grooms emotion close up).

I really loved the moment when Simon and Zara were walking through the church, being congratulated by all of their family and friends, at the end of the ceremony, they got to the end of the aisle and saw their friend on a computer screen that had been watching the wedding on skype. They look some time to go and speak to their friend who had watched the whole wedding from the other side of the world.

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I think though other than them exchanging their vows and seeing the love they have for each other, the next most beautiful thing was watching a beautiful exchange with Simon and Zara’s Dad when they had completed the signing of the register, I have no idea what they said to one another, but the embrace they exchanged and the look that they gave one another spoke volumes, about the love that they both share for Zara.

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A big thank you to Sophie Timothy for the use of her images on the blog. Check out her website here, and you can click here to go to her facebook page.

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Inviting some guests to the ceremony only

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Would you consider inviting select guests to the ceremony only? Do you let them know that they are not invited to the reception or pretend like it is a ceremony only wedding? (I have blogged about Ceremony only weddings here if you want to read more about them)
I think this one is really tough and think that there are only a few situations that you can do this yet I still don’t really understand how you can do this without offending people. I know that on a few occasions my sister has been invited to the ceremony only part of a wedding. I remember thinking that it is was quite odd. It kind of feels like we like you, but not enough that we will pay for your meal.  The celebrant part of me gets it in a way. I’m used to attending just the ceremony of a wedding, and to me the ceremony is the wedding. The party afterwards is the gravy, awesome and great fun. I love the celebration, but if there isn’t a reception, the couple are still married.

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I have heard that people want to invite all the people from their church or work group to come along to the ceremony but not invite them to the wedding. I wonder though, do people feel that if they are invited to the ceremony should they be invited to the reception. I’m not sure how you would word this on the invitation and how do you keep track of the RSVP’s? Is a gift expected if you don’t get an invite to the reception? It is all a bit confusing for me.

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We had people come to our wedding because they wanted to come to the ceremony and we hadn’t invited them. One of my uncle’s drove trucks and made sure that he drove through Mildura on my wedding day so he could see it. It was a lovely surprise. We didn’t really mind if people came to the ceremony, but our reception venue only held 50 people. I did have one of my relatives ring me up and ask why they weren’t being invited to the wedding at all. Once I said that there was only space for 50 guests, they suggested that I change the venue and have it catered by another relative. I replied that this was where I had my heart set on and that I wasn’t changing it. They said that they wanted to be a part of my special day, despite not having seen me for a number of years. I suggested that they could come over when I was in my track suit and we could have a special day together. This didn’t really go over too well. I then mentioned that we were having a BBQ the following day at my in-laws house and, if they wanted to, they could attend that. If they would like, they were more than welcome to come to the ceremony. Funnily enough, they didn’t come to either and I’ve probably seen them twice in the 16 years that I have been married. What I’m trying to say is that unless someone asked me, or questioned where their invite was, I didn’t think to invite people just to the ceremony, only as I’m not sure how I would feel if someone asked me to so that.

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The only experience that I have had with a similar thing to this, was one of my work colleges had their wedding in their home on a Friday and that was a really small intimate affair where they had a ceremony and a lovely sit down meal with about 15 of their immediate family. The night after they had a finger food reception in a basement of a pub and it was fantastic. I get this that sometimes you want to have just a really intimate ceremony and then a party with all the people that you couldn’t invite to the small affair.  My best friend did the same thing, (you can read all about her wedding renewal of vows here), where a select group of family and friends came on the boat journey for the ceremony and a lunch and  then everyone met up for a huge awesome party at the end. I can see why people might want to do things like this and just have the ceremony small and intimate. I’m just not sure that I understand when people do it the other way around.
What do you think? Would you be offended and not go to the wedding, if you were only invited for the ceremony? Do you think that if people are invited to the ceremony that they should be invited to the wedding?

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A big thank you to Untamed Images for the use of their beautiful images on the blog this week. You can see their website by clicking here. Or view their facebook page too.

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Ceremony only wedding

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I have read a little bit about ‘Ceremony Only’ weddings recently. This is different to having a guest list for those coming to both the reception and ceremony and then invitations for ceremony only. (Blog about this coming soon) Ceremony Only weddings are where a couple have just the ceremony and then everything is over. There is no reception. Nothing else afterwards. I haven’t actually conducted one of these myself but am really interested in some of the reasoning behind why people do it. I understand that weddings are expensive and I totally understand that it should be about the actual promises made to one another. I think that this is really what the whole thing is about. I’m not sure how I would feel about a ceremony only wedding myself. I think it depends on the reasoning why you are choosing to have just a ceremony only. I also wonder if some guests might think that you are having some sort of reception later but they are just not invited.

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Weddings can cost a lot of money. This isn’t news to anyone. I’m not sure, however, if having a ceremony only wedding is the answer to the cost issue. Some people believe that you ‘owe’ it to your guests to feed them after they witness you exchange your vows. What nonsense. How terrible, and what sort of friends do you have if they feel you owe them something for attending? Receptions can get totally out of control and some people are not interested in a big sit down meal event. It’s totally up to the individual. As a guest I wouldn’t be upset if a couple didn’t have a reception, though I think after all the excitement and the emotion of it all it’s nice to celebrate. I think this is the part of the whole ceremony only wedding that I can’t get past. I love a wedding and love the love that people feel for the couple. It just seems odd to me to have the ceremony and not have some time with all these people afterwards.

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I’m not saying that people shouldn’t do this if that is what they really want. I’m all for your day, your way, but I’ve been to some truly amazing weddings. My friends got married in their back yard, in their jeans, with some caterers brought in to cater some dinner and it was a lovely, intimate, beautiful wedding. No one there for a moment thought that it should have been done any other way.  I think the idea of a sunset wedding with champagne and cheese could be a perfect wedding for the right people too.

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Celebrating can cost as little or as much as you want. What is to stop people having just some cheese, crackers and champagne at the park or the beach where the ceremony is held. Alternatively you could book a restaurant and ask your guests to pay for their own meal instead of bringing a gift. You could have a coffee and cake affair. I think that anyone who comes to your wedding should be happy to witness you saying your vows and be happy with whatever you decide to do as far as a celebration goes. If you decided to have a bring your own picnic in the park type affair and people didn’t like it, I would suggest that maybe it is for the best if they didn’t come to the wedding anyway.

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What do you think about a ceremony only wedding? Have you been to one? Would you consider one?

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A huge shout out to the guys at Vision House Photography for the use of their photos on this weeks blog. Check out their facebook page by clicking here. Also head over to their website to see more about them.

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