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5 Tips to ensure you are the ideal wedding guest

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There are a few things that you can do to be considered an ideal guest when attending a wedding. And there are things that you can do that can take the stress away from the couple and from a lot of other people.

1. RSVP on time.
Make sure that you RSVP by the date requested on the invitation and in the manner that they request you to. If they have an RSVP card, send that. If they request email, respond in that way. They are asking for it a certain way for a reason and speak up now about any dietary requirements.

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2. Read the invitation.

Please  read the invitation and take notice of the things that it says. Take it with you if you won’t remember or think that it might be helpful. Take notice of all the important things, the time, the dress code, the venue of the ceremony and reception. Don’t message the Bride or one of the bridesmaids on the day asking any of these things!

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3. Arrive close to the time that the ceremony will start.

I turn up at weddings early, that’s my job. There have been times when I arrive at the ceremony site, sometimes more than an hour before the ceremony is due to start, and there are guests there already. Don’t get there that early. Don’t stress out any vendors that are doing what they need to do before everything happens. Get there with enough time to get settled and allow a little time for traffic, but don’t get there way before. Don’t be late either. Don’t follow the Bride down the aisle, if you are late. Wait until you wont be noticed and sneak in. Or just don’t be late.

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4. Don’t sit up the back.

If there are enough seats that it appears that everyone will be seated, make sure you sit. Also make sure that you don’t sit as far back as possible. Its a wedding, not a school bus. Obviously don’t sit in the front rows unless you are family. But don’t sit right at the back. There is nothing worse than a big gap of empty seats in the middle of the ceremony. The couple have paid money for you to sit in most of these circumstances. Also if there are only a limited number of chairs, don’t just sit down. Leave them for the elderly, disabled, and pregnant guests.

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5. Respect the wishes of the couple.
If they ask for an unplugged wedding, put the camera/ phone down. I’ve blogged on a few occasions about unplugged weddings. Firstly, your phone should be on silent anyway, (this should be a no brainer) but if they have asked for no photos, don’t be that jerk who just takes them anyway. It’s their day, they should have the people that are attending respect their wishes. This also goes for social media. (and is just plain manners in my book) Don’t post photos to facebook or Instagram until the couple have, or they have provided you with a hashtag that they want you to use. How do you know if they want to share them with the world otherwise?

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A big thank you again, to Love Journal Photography for the use of their images on the blog this week.  Visit their website by clicking here. Or follow them on facebook to see what they are up to.

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Great wedding photo App

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I have previously blogged about Social Media and weddings, but at a wedding that I conducted in April (see that Blog here), Chloe and Sean used a fantastic wedding photo sharing app. I had heard about them before but never used one. It was really easy to find, download and sign up. It’s quite user friendly and had a layout that is a little bit like instagram.

They gave their guests a card at the ceremony that had all of the information on it. You could also set it up and send it out with your invitations. It sent me an email after I signed up, suggesting that you put up photos from hens days and other photos of the happy couple. This app is called Wedpics, and is available from the AppStore on your iphone.

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I’ve written previously about phone apps and social media use at your wedding, but I think this is a great way to share your images amongst your guests and friends without everyone seeing them, especially people that are not invited to the wedding. Another wedding that I attended used a hashtag on instagram that all of the guests could use so that they could share and collect images.  Have you been to a wedding that had a great app or a way of sharing all of the photos from the big day?

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Announcements on Social Media

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One of my pet peeves is when other people don’t let couples or new parents make their own announcement on social media. Not only is it rude, some people don’t take into consideration if the couple want their news shared with the world just yet, …. or ever.

Whether it is an Engagement, Wedding or the Birth of a child, I personally think that it is something that only the couple or the parents have the right to announce.

If a couple have gotten engaged, and you find this out, don’t go straight to facebook. Call them and congratulate them or text them, if you have their number it is nicer and more personal. If you really need to use facebook and they haven’t announced it, send them a private message. There may be a very good reason that they haven’t announced it on social media and it makes it awkward for them if they have to explain it to some people that found out by viewing their page.

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I have previously blogged about Social Media at your wedding, (you can read that blog here) and there are varied degrees about how much people want their wedding shared. I don’t think there is anything wrong with congratulating the couple, again once it is announced, but I always cringe when other people upload photos from the wedding before the couple do. Or don’t check with the couple first. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have conducted weddings where there was a ban on uploading to facebook. Another couple I conducted the wedding for over 2 years ago, still have none of their wedding photos on facebook to this day.

If you were lucky enough to find out via phone call, text or some other way, that a baby has been born, wonderful. Good for you! Just wait and let the people announce to others that their baby is born. Recently a lovely couple that I was lucky enough to marry, had their baby after much waiting past their due date. Every time I was on Facebook or instagram I would be looking for posts from them. I then saw a post from one of their friends, not only saying congratulations, (which if you really really have to just leave it at that) but announcing the name of the baby. I felt really annoyed. I wanted to hear it from the couple, and felt cross for them that they had something taken away from them. They went through it all, so I feel it is their news to tell.

I would have been more than angry if someone had announced that my son had been born, especially if they had announced his name to the world. It may seem trivial to some people but please, think before you post! Would you want someone posting this about you if it was your news or photos from your special day? Have you seen this on Social Media where someone has stolen someone else’s news? Has it happened to you?

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Thank-you to Betty and Keith from Untamed Images, for the beautiful photos on this blog, go over and like them on facebook, they post lots of great wedding photos, or you can go to their website by clicking here.

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Candice and Ashley

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Candice and Ashley were married on a lovely Saturday in March although things didn’t go entirely according to plan.  They were supposed to get married out in the courtyard of  Sherwood Receptions in Greenvale. The weather had different ideas and it started raining early in the afternoon, so the ceremony was moved indoors and they were married inside instead.

Candice and Ashley were set up by friends when they were 16, but didn’t really hit it off straight away. It wasn’t until some years later that they met up again when Candice was out with one of her best friends at a nightclub. Candice wasn’t too fond of the punk music or bad dancers that were occupying the downstairs section of the nightclub, but then she spotted Ash going to the upstairs section so she went up after him and politely offered him a drink. The rest is history.

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Candice arrived at the venue with her two bridesmaids, in stunning vintage cars. She wore an amazing lace dress that was 3/4 length and had on some of the most amazing wedding shoes you have ever seen. Both her hair and makeup were stunningly beautiful and everything seemed to just ‘fit’ perfectly with the whole feel of the wedding. They had amazing music and everything just matched. Everything throughout the wedding had a vintage feel and the style of music chosen for the ceremony itself continued into the reception as well.

Candice’s love of cars was highlighted tastefully on the day along with Ash’s love of video games and comic books. All of the Groomsmen were fitted with custom made comic book shoes; Ashley had Spiderman, and his best men had Superman and Batman, I believe. It was a fantastic and unique way to let their own interests and personality shine through on their special day.

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The bridesmaids were lovely; one dressed in a royal blue and the other wore yellow, which seemed to match  the whole theme of the wedding, from the handmade bunting all the way through to the invitations (check out my blog about the invitations from this wedding here).  The menus and the instagram photo list (read the blog about it here) all matched with the invitations and all of  the table decorations were stunning! The table floral arrangements were done by Lord Butler and were truly an amazing touch. This is the first wedding that I have been to where Lord Butler have done the table decorations and I was really impressed. The floral arrangements were all in glass jars and featured the loveliest flowers with mint added into the mix.

Candice and Ash also had a wonderful photo booth that had all sorts of props to go along with it.  It was made up of a photo frame that you could stand behind and the front of it looked like a photo wall in someone’s house with photos of people who were no longer with them, like wonderful old photos of their grandparents when they were young and in love and photos of friends that had a special place in their hearts.

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The guests were on their feet in no time at all after the Bride and Groom cut the cake and shared their first dance.  There were so many people dancing and having a great time. It would have to be the busiest dance floor that I have seen at a wedding, and all dancing abilities were accounted for. Candice’s Aunty and her husband had won several ballroom dancing competitions and it was obvious when they took the floor, and they were almost matched with the very entertaining stripper-style of dancing from one of Ashley’s cousins.

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It was a completely beautiful day which I was honoured to be a part of.  Check out more about Lord Butler and their stunning wedding flowers and decorations by having a look at their website. They do truly lovely work.

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Daniel and Kate

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I have been quite excited to work with this lovely couple from the beginning, I have known Daniel for a few years – he is a wonderful photographer and has contributed wedding photos to my blog in the past (click here to see that blog). I knew he would choose a great photographer to take the photos on his very special day.  I haven’t known Kate for very long, however instantly took a liking to her when we first met to plan their wedding day. Kate is a designer, I have seen some of her photography work on Facebook and Instagram, so I was eager to find out what these two creative’s had planned for their wedding day – I knew it would be stylish.

Daniel and Kate have a lot in common, they share a love of Photography, coffee drinking and trips  to Kyneton. They faced a few challenges at the beginning of their relationship – only making their bond stronger. It was during this time they both realized, it was true love and they wanted to share the rest of their lives with one another. They got engaged in Tasmania and soon decided to get the ball rolling for their special day. I was really honoured to be a part of their wedding.

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Daniel and Kate were married on a lovely Saturday in June.  It was quite cold to begin with, however turned out to be a lovely sunny day. They were married at The Tylden Harvester, a lovely little restaurant in Tylden – about 10 minutes away from Kyneton, in the Macedon Ranges.  They had about 20 of their closest family and friends there – it was just the loveliest time. The restaurant was closed for the afternoon and had been decorated especially for their special day. It was one of the most lovely, intimate weddings I have witnessed for some time. I loved all of the wonderful decorations and attention to detail in the restaurant. Being winter, there was a lovely wood fire in one of the rooms dedicated for the ceremony. Everything had a lovely intimate feel and everything was closely aligned with their aesthetic.

Farrah Allan took the wedding photos; they suited the theme of the wedding. I loved what Daniel and Kate chose to wear. Daniel wore his hat, I have only ever seen him without it a handful of times in the whole time I have known him. I think Daniel and Kate let their personalities shine through on the day. Kate wore the most lovely lace dress, with a stunning little cardigan and I LOVED the red shoes she chose to wear!

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It was the last wedding on my calendar before my baby was due to be born. All of the guests were really lovely and all full of questions about my baby, (couldn’t miss it, I was huge!). I had such a fantastic time and met a lot of wonderful people. Everyone I spoke to was really lovely and friendly. I think Daniel and Kate are exceptionally lucky to have such a great lot of friends and family.  I feel really lucky to be a celebrant; I get to be a part of one of the happiest days of a couple’s life. Especially on occasions like this, when it is such a small and intimate affair.

Thanks to Farrah Allen for letting me use her photos from the day. Check out her website here. If you are in the Macedon Ranges, check out The Tylden Harvester, click here to see their website, go and see Adam there, and ask him to play you something on the piano.

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Social Media at your Wedding

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It is popular now to have a ban on Social Media at your wedding, I have seen stories on news programs, read about it in papers and even conducted weddings where the bride and groom have chosen to impose a ban on all social media for their big day. One article discusses how it takes away from your professional photographs. I don’t really agree as the moment people see their professional shots, if taken by a professional, will be thrilled with the results. But I can see the point of view that it is a moment in a couples lives they have chosen to share with a group of people, not the world and not friends of friends that just want to sticky beak. I think that if a couple choose to place a ban on sharing their pictures with the world, it is up to them, respect it and let it be something that they can share on social media if they choose to do so.

I can understand why people don’t want their wedding shared with people on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Maybe they are shy, and maybe they feel that it is a sacred moment in their lives that they don’t wish to share with their best friend from works, Aunty Colleen.  There are a few ways that people are choosing to do this.  Some ask the celebrant to announce it during the introduction and to inform guests that they do not want the photos taken or shared on social media. It can be done at the start of the service, even before the bride has arrived, about the same time that guests are asked to ensure their mobile phones are switched to silent. Alternatively, the attendant giving out your order-of-service booklets can inform them, or get someone who needs a special job, someone not in your bridal party or maybe a niece or nephew go around and hand out little rolled up scrolls with some information about the ban.

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There is always a middle ground too. There is an App called “Wedding Party” you can set up and suggest your guests download (its free), and they can register and join the wedding. They can then post comments and photos to it, which is like a closed group on Facebook. My sister recently went to a wedding where they chose to use this option and she thought it was great as the bride and groom only had limited space at their reception, so a number of their friends missed out on that part of the day, but by using the App could see photos shared by the few people who attended the reception, and by others who used the app to notify if someone commented on a photo they had uploaded.

There is the other extreme too, where people want you to share their photos with the world.  I recently did a blog about Instagram use at a wedding and you can read that blog here. It was great too, and gives you an idea how much of your wedding you can choose to share on social media.

Would you love or hate having your photos posted on Facebook or Instagram or would you consider using an App for people invited so they could see your photos? Or put a blanket ban on all social media for your wedding day?

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Thanks to Lauren from Purely Taken. Photography for the photos from this weeks blog. Check out her website here or her facebook page here.

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Lovely Reception touches

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I recently attended a wedding where the couple had a wonderful idea! Rather than having disposable cameras on the wedding tables, where usually only one or two are keepers from each roll, this couple decided to ask the guests to take photographs from a list provided and for them to upload them to instagram tagging #mr&mrs.

Not only is this a great, cost effective way to get people to take photos at your wedding, but also a great way to get people interacting. Most people have a smart phone and an instagram account. This method is a great icebreaker, especially if not all the people at any one table are aquatinted with each other. Some of the photos on the list were relatively straightforward, however, some were a little more obscure – a great way to get people chatting.

Another wedding I conducted included a quiz, made by one of the bridesmaids, each table had to answer – it was a great way to get everyone on the table interacting, including various questions about the bride and groom. They excluded questions everyone knew the answers to – a fun challenge for the guests. Not only was it a great way to start people talking, it was also a great way to get to know more about the bride and groom.

Have you been to any weddings that had a unique touch you thought was a great idea at the reception?

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