Tag Archives: photography

Not walking down the aisle

Some people don’t like the idea of walking down the aisle. I’ve previously blogged about walking down the aisle, and timing when walking down the aisle and have some ideas there about what you different things you can have.  What can you do if you really don’t want to walk down the aisle? Some people don’t like the idea of walking down in front of all of those people, or having all of the attention on them at that time. Some people don’t like the idea of being ‘given away’ or have to decide who they would ask to do that for them.

Some venues don’t have a traditional aisle and you don’t necessarily need to walk down one. Other times you just simply don’t want to. There is no rule to this obviously so you can really do whatever you like. Other than big grand gestures like arriving at your wedding in a helicopter or being jet skied to the ceremony spot, there are so many ways you can get to the ceremony spot. I have conducted a few weddings where the bride has arrived to the ceremony in a boat, but on those occasions they still walked down an aisle as such.

One option is, depending on the venue, is to have both the bride and groom arrive together, this is a great idea if you want to have your photos taken before the ceremony or decide on a first look photo shoot. You could enter together down the aisle or some venues have a side door that you could come through together once all of your guests are seated and ready. This is a great alternative if you don’t like everyone looking at you, or you’re just not that keen on it being all about the bride, or that the normal wedding traditions are not really your thing.

You could decide to both be at the venue and greet your guests as they arrive if you don’t like the idea of a grand entrance.  This could be a lot less pressure but you would also want to make sure that you allowed time before the actual start of the ceremony. You could set the time so that you had time before the ceremony for people to mingle and if you wanted you could even have some drinks and canapes before,  obviously this would depend on the venue and always be mindful to the  the fact that people might be a little less likely to like being round up for the actual ceremony once the ‘celebration’ side of the wedding starts. This is a lovely casual way to begin the ceremony and takes the pressure off. It is certainly for people who want to break with tradition and aren’t too fussy about the day going to a well planned schedule. That being said people know why they are there and there are ways to give people the message that the ceremony is about to begin.

 

You could be at the ceremony site and let the guests enter, so keep them out of the area or venue until you are ready for them all to be ushered into the space. This way you can have photos taken in the space or just make sure that you are ready to begin, this might not work so well if you are outdoors in a park as people will not be kept away as well as if you have your ceremony in a little chapel and keep the doors closed until you are ready to let them in for the ceremony. This could be really lovely and a great way to make sure that everyone is ready to go. A lovely way to spend some time with your bridal party, especially if you are going to all be inside for a while waiting for all of the guests to arrive and you don’t want to be seen by any of them.

Did you enter your wedding in a creative way or have you been to a wedding that had a wonderful alternative to walking down the aisle?

Thank you to Kirralee for the use of her images on this blog, check out more of her work here or find her facebook page by clicking here.

 

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Funky save the date

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Friends of mine, Scarlett and Tom, are getting married this year and a few weeks ago I received my save the date. They know how to make a good invitation! I conducted their little girl, Emily’s, naming day which had some great invitations too! Scarlett and I have had many wedding discussions (one of my favourite things to talk about) and I had heard a couple of the ideas for the save the date. I wasn’t 100% sure what way they were going to go with them and when I opened it I was blown away.

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I could feel that it wasn’t just a standard postcard type save the date as the envelope was thicker. I was so excited to see how it looked. They chose to have a pop up polaroid going along with their love of photography, film and taking a great selfie. The best bit is the actual little polaroid that pops out of the camera. It’s a magnet! So all of those people who mean to put their save the date in a safe place can actually put the most important part of it all on the fridge so that it doesn’t get lost.
What a great idea! I love the metallic paper for the background, it really makes all of the photos pop and the magnet is such a brilliant idea. Can’t wait for the actual invites now!

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Getting ready for your wedding together

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For a long time now tradition has been that the Bride and Groom don’t see each other until they reach the ceremony site and are about to be married. Over the years there have been a few new ideas implying that this isn’t the way that it has to be. For example there are ‘first look’ photo shoots. Some people now choose to have their formal portraits done before the ceremony so that they don’t have to go off and have their photos taken between the ceremony and the reception. Sometimes Love letters before the ceremony also have the couple seeing each other before the ceremony takes place.

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Some couples are now deciding that they will get ready together, not worry about tradition, and just get ready at the same venue. Alternatively getting ready where they will be staying that night, so there is no dragging bags from one place to another.
There are good and bad points for this, I think. One of the bad things would be that you miss out on that lovely time that you get to spend with the bridesmaids and groomsmen if you are having them. Some of the weddings that I have been involved in, where I have been a part of the bridal party or spending time with the bride before hand when she is getting ready, is always a lovely and fun experience. Getting make up done, eating fruit platters and generally enjoying each others company until the ceremony.

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Maybe getting ready in your family home was important, you could always both get ready there and have photos taken around your family home especially if your partners family were not close by.
Another popular idea is having a house near or at the wedding location so that all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen can all get ready with you. This way you get the best of both worlds. It could be a great way to have all of the photos done before the wedding ceremony so that you don’t have to have all the between time where you go off and be photographed. You can just have fun and socialise with your guests.

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Some people also feel that it is just such a big day, they know they will feel really nervous and overwhelmed that they just want to get ready with their partner. They know that they are going to be spending a large portion of the day with other people they just want some relaxing quality time with the person that the day is really all about.

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A huge thank you to Love Journal Photography for the brilliant photos on the blog this week. Check out more of their work here. Or check out their facebook page here.

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Saving money by hiring a ‘friendor’

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I have been reading a lot lately about couples that are using what is being referred to as a ‘friendor’ in the urban dictionary it tells us that a friendor is:  A friend whose skills are employed as a vendor at an event or a wedding. Results may vary, as some friendors are highly skilled (as a DJ, photographer, baker, etc), while others are not. The bride & groom hired a friendor for their videography.

I know people who have both successfully and unsuccessfully hired friendors for their wedding, and I’m sure you all have too. We have all heard the horror stories of people who had their friendor do their wedding photos and they were disappointed with the style, or they didn’t see any images for a few  months, or worse still they hired the friendor and now they are no longer even friends. Sometimes there are occassions where having the friendor work on your wedding ends up costing you a whole lot more,  friendships suffer and so does your wallet.

I have been a friendor, and hope to continue to be one. I think that there are some great ways to ensure that you have a positive friendor experience.

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1. Be clear on what is expected on both sides.

Communication is key, make sure you talk about all things expected on both sides from the beginning. No matter who’s wedding I am asked to do, I always send them my contract, and all sign it so that we all know what to expect and  know where we stand. Obviously some of the details are different, and there are things that I change when it comes to my friends that are getting married. At least if it is all in writing there are no grey areas and no one is left wondering where they stand with anything. Be clear if you are the one that is employing the services of a friendor, tell them what you want and expect. That way they will not be left guessing on things too.

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2. Don’t expect a job done for free.

You know what you are like yourself, if someone wants something done for free, it takes a different line in your priorities than if you are being paid for a job. A lot of friends that I have conducted weddings for have said that they would have to pay for the services of someone else if they didn’t know me, and they don’t want mates rates, they just want me to be a part of their ceremony. I love this, and make sure that I do still give them a deal, but at the same time, I still feel appreciated and that my work is respected that they would hire me to do the job.  Being paid makes sure that your friendor still feels like they are working for you, but majority of the time they want it to be great, so they will work really hard on your job.

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3. Give credit where credit is due.

I married a couple at mates rates, and after the wedding they did a huge facebook post saying a massive thank you to all the people involved, the hairdresser, the make up artist and every bob and their dog was included and tags made to relevant pages. Do you think that I got a shout out? Nup. Nada. Zip. To say that I felt under appreciated is an understatement. The ruddy hairdresser that she would never see again got a shout out and a link to their page. This was my friend. I don’t expect you to thank me in the wedding speech or send me a tweet or rant about my services to all that people know. (Although people have thanked me in wedding speeches and, boy howdy it warmed my heart) but if you are giving a shout out to all the people that you paid full price to that are not your friends, an add to the list would be nice. Knowing how hard I work on all weddings, it was just a little hurtful is all.

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4. Make sure the friendor has the right skill set.

Don’t choose your friendor, just because they will be cheaper. If they make do a job and do it well and you’d hire them anyway then that is great, but if they are a chef and you are asking them to be a baker and it isn’t what they like to do or they don’t usually make cakes. It is a bit unfair to expect a cut price cake. Not only does that put your friend in a position, what if they don’t deliver what you had your heart set on. On the other hand if they are keen to make cakes and you’ve seen what they do before , by all means employ their friendor services. Don’t ask your landscape photographer friend to photograph your wedding if you haven’t seen any ‘people’ or ‘wedding’ shots that they have done before. Always make sure you have the right person for the job.

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In the majority of cases friendors I think are the bomb, they know you and care about you and generally want your day to be the best it can be, I think if you trust what they do and you would pay them to do it, they are the right person for the job. If they don’t have the skills or your asking them just to save a buck, maybe don’t they will probably be relieved, and it will probably save you some heartache. What do you think? Do you have any other tips or suggestions on hiring a friendor?

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A big Thank you to Love Journal for the use of their images on the blog this week. Check out their website and their facebook page.

 

 

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Things that guests hate at a wedding

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I know that I am always saying that your wedding is all about you and it should reflect what you want. It’s true it is your day and it should be what you want it to be. Just for a moment though I am going to chat about the things that guests hate at a wedding. It’s not to say that you can’t do what you want and have these things as part of your day but just they are just some things that I have heard or read about people complaining and therefore something to consider.

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Not knowing where they are going

I know with this day and age people have GPS and they have their google maps and their phone, but even then sometimes these things can be unclear. If you are having your reception in a building this doesn’t apply so much. Even so, if a guest can quite easily find where they are supposed to be, lack of signage or anything to direct them can cause panic. If you are getting married in a garden or somewhere that is open to the public, provide a map or have someone near the entrance so that your guests know where to go. It is a great way to stop people becoming part of the processional too, you can have someone who can tell people to wait if the bride has already arrived. This is a great job for a wedding planner if you are having one too.

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Going home hungry

This is a big one. Now not for one moment am I saying that you need to feed people until they are sick and if you are choosing to have just a cake and champagne affair there is nothing wrong with that, but don’t do it at dinner or lunch time. If you are planning just to have snacks or cheese and crackers, make sure that it is timed appropriately. Most people wont eat lunch or dinner before going to a wedding function if it is expected to go over lunch or dinner. If someone has their company requested for an afternoon tea, they will not be expecting a main meal. It’s then their own issue if they don’t eat lunch before they arrive. It’s just sad to hear that people say that they went to the McDonalds drive through after a wedding dinner as they were still hungry, especially when you know that the couple have spent a fortune on their venue and the meal for all of their guests. I know that I attended a wedding about 3 years ago at a beautiful function centre. I don’t remember what my meal was, but I remember it was lovely and I left feeling full and content. It isn’t that often that you remember exactly what you ate a bit down the track, but you do remember the wedding where the food was terrible and you had to make yourself some toast when you got home because you were so ravenous. Unless it is something that is really original and something that was brilliant. (see the blog about Courtney and Tim’s wedding, now that was some memorable food!)

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A badly spent budget

This ties in with the last one I guess. If you have spent thousands of dollars on the centrepieces for the tables that people are sitting at, but they only have 3 small portions of finger food. They may feel that the decorations were lovely but that they went home hungry. People won’t remember what they ate but they will remember if the food was good and filling. People will only remember that it was good, maybe skip some of the more expensive things that are overlooked and make sure people have enough to eat.  It isn’t always about the expensive sit down meal, but thinking of ways to get the best amount of quality for your budget.  When I had my wedding I decided that I wanted a sit down meal over finger food. That meant that money had to come from somewhere. We could have invited double the amount of people to our wedding if we had a finger food option, but I wanted better food for less people.  Some of the loveliest weddings that I have been to have had some outside the box options for catering. Marika and Joel had some amazing tapas served at their wedding and then had people come in and cook up huge delicious serves of paella.

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A reception that takes place HOURS after the ceremony

Again, I’m always one for using a professional photography, in the end that is one of the only things that you have left of your day, but a good photographer shouldn’t need numerous hours between the ceremony and the reception, if you want all kinds of fancy photography, in different locations maybe think about a first look photo shoot or talk to your photographer about the options on what you can fit into the time frame. One wedding that I attended had 3-4 hours in between the wedding and the ceremony. It is just very difficult to expect people to hang around or spend their time drinking at a pub close by, especially if they are from out of town and not too sure where to go or what to do.  A lot of the time your guests are dressed up and not really wanting to go and do a spot of shopping between.

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Being forced or pressured to dancing

This is something that I personally hate. I love watching the couple do their first dance together and understand that there are a lot of people who love to dance. That is wonderful. It’s when the MC or other guests at the wedding try to make you dance that it really makes me cross. I’m not against dancing and sometimes will love to get up and have a dance, but when the music is pumped so loud that you can’t speak to any of the other guests, this is really annoying as a guest.

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Having no place to sit

When it comes to your reception, even if you are having a finger food type affair, most people want to be able to sit so they can chat and enjoy other peoples company, it is difficult if there are a very limited number of chairs as most people will do the right thing and leave them for elderly guests or guests with special needs. The only other thing than having no where to sit is having to sit near people that you don’t get along with and that is a topic for a whole different blog post.

What is something that you really hate when attending a wedding?

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A very big thank you to Kirralee for the use of her stunning photos on the blog this week. Check out more of her work on her blog here and you can find her on facebook here.

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Website for your big day

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A wonderful idea that I saw done brilliantly recently is having a website for your big day. I have seen some couples do this and it provides great information on all kinds of things that your guests may need and want to know.  Recently I conducted the wedding of Nell and Glenn, and they had the best website. I only got to see it close to the day, but was absolutely blown away by what they, (or mainly Glenn, who is a website developer) had done.

It had everything that any guest could ever need to know, it had so much information and photos and quotes. I have seen other websites that compared to this, just seemed just thrown together. Rather than putting 12 different pages of information in with the invites, why not just direct your guests to a site that has everything they could need there?

Information about the venue.
What a great way to have some background on the venue itself, maps and anything else guests could want to know.

Information for the day.
This would be a great way to tell guests that confetti is not permitted at the venue or that you want an unplugged wedding. Its also a great time to share if you are using a wedding app, have some #hashtags, or if you want your wedding kept off social media.

Accommodation in the area.
This is such a great idea. Having all the information on accommodation that is close to the wedding is so that all guests, no matter if they were travelling from overseas or from an hour down the road, have links to the appropriate ones.

Getting to the venue.
Nell and Glenn had buses pick up some of their guests. Their site even had the timetable of when the buses would pick people up at specific locations. Maps, Melways references and all other helpful information.

Who to contact on the day should they need any assistance.
The last thing a bride or groom really want on the wedding day is people phoning them or texting them with all kinds of questions. Even if you don’t have a wedding planner, pick someone who can be that go to person.

RSVP options.
Have an option for them to RSVP online, people have good intentions but they don’t always get to the post office in time.

Added information about other events.
Are you having a brunch the next day or having people meet up for a coffee? This is a great way to supply all the guests with the information and with plenty of time for them to plan their weekend accordingly. Maybe you could put any hens day or bucks day information on their too. Really you could have anything on there!

Glenn said the things that worked well for them with their wedding website were:

  • the simple single page design made it all easy to see and find information
  • we added ‘getting there’ info to the top of the website a few weeks before the wedding
  • we ran an RSVP through the site and after experimenting with a fancy google forms solution I found the best way to record RSVPs was simply through providing an email address.
  • we got to re-use the wedding invite artwork in the site and included some of our engagement shoot photos

There are so many things that you could add to this, and so many ways to make this your own and match it all to the theme of your wedding. It is private too. If you are just giving the information to your guests, it isn’t like you are making a facebook event. It would be really hard to stumble onto the website by accident.

Check out the site that Nell and Glenn had here. And feel free to get in touch with Glenn by contacting him at glennnicoll@gmail.com if you have any questions or you are interested in having your own website made for your day.

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Why I became a celebrant

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I have been asked on a number of occasions, why I became a celebrant. The main reason is that I was inspired, and not so much in a good way. I love a good wedding, (who doesn’t really?) and I have a degree in Photography, but wedding photography wasn’t really my passion. I love photography and I love a wedding but that was it. I didn’t like all of the things that go along with being a wedding photographer and lets be honest, it takes a love and an art to be a great wedding photographer, not every brilliant photographer is even a good wedding photographer. But I digress, back to the topic.

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I attended a wedding ceremony, and it was… I don’t want to say terrible, or horrific, or as one person said “the worst wedding I’ve ever been to”… But it had potential to be lovely, and it just wasn’t. It wasn’t the couples fault. There were things that clearly they didn’t think of or that the celebrant hadn’t  mentioned. I’m not too sure what the celebrant had to say either it may have been really nice things, but it wasn’t memorable and I couldn’t hear all of it.

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Firstly, the celebrant arrived early as any good celebrant should. They set up a table away from where the ceremony was being held and just waited. There had been no wedding rehearsal.  ( I know this as someone close to me was in the bridal party) the celebrant had the perfect opportunity then to tell the Groom and Groomsmen what would be happening, where they would need to go for the signing of the register, but none of this occurred. They just stood there.

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The ceremony was in an area that was open to the general public, and it was a hot hot hot, stupid hot day. The celebrant didn’t speak to any of the people in the area and tell them that there was going to be a wedding taking place or to ask them if they would mind just staying out of the way while the ceremony was on. (It is always a good idea to think about the general public that might be around if you are getting married in a public place and check if their are permits that you need to get, as it is much easier to ask them to move on if you have booked the area)

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No one could hear the celebrant, the guests were standing a little way away from the ceremony (maybe 3-4 metres) and there was no PA system. I heard a bit of what was going on when I got up close to take photos. No PA system mixed with the fact that there were people in the area going about their day, made it almost impossible for guests to hear. I know a wedding is about the couple, but why have guests come along if you don’t want them to be witness to the promises that you make.

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The confusion that ensued when they had to sign the marriage register baffled me. I remember driving home and talking about it with my husband saying, if the celebrant had just explained it to the groomsmen when she first arrived they could have told the bridesmaids what was happening and it could have at least looked a bit seamless.  I was upset and annoyed that things weren’t perfect for the couple. I really hope that they thought that it was and they weren’t too upset or that people didn’t whinge and moan about it to them. I was also quite baffled that the celebrant would have been paid a considerable amount of money to do the job. She didn’t seem to love what she did or be excited or happy for the couple. I then told my husband that I thought I could do a better job than that. He responded saying ‘why don’t you? You love weddings’. The next week I started looking into the course, and the rest as they say is history.

I just want to make people’s day about them, and have the wedding that they want. I must admit I do love it when guests come and tell me that they thought the wedding was wonderful, or just really suited the couple. I love what I do and always want it to be the best for the people that have chosen me to be a part of their day.

A big thank you to all the photographers who have captured me doing what I love, and letting me use the photos. Check out some of their work.

Thank you to : Amy Schultz, Kirralee, Ateia Photography, and Sarah Churcher!

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