Tag Archives: venue

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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Ella and Lucas

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Ella and Lucas were married on a fantastic Sunday in April, at Jacobs Reserve in Brunswick West.  What a great little park with an awesome playground area to keep the kids amused. They had their reception in the Scout Hall that is at the back of Jacobs Reserve.

Lucas and Ella’s love story began around a decade ago when they met at  a party through a wonderful friend to them and to me, Vix.  Ella thought that Lucas was a mega dork with his post modernism talk, but they got past that, and managed to laugh and flirt and laugh some more. Lucas’ first impression of Ella was that she was a total babe. He thought she was funny, flirty and he loved her red hair.

They have spent the last 10 years making some wonderful memories and making a beautiful family. They spent the first half of their relationship having fun with their friends and travelling around the world. To India, Thailand, and on a yacht trip in the Whitsunday’s. They have some sketchy and some wonderful memories of great festivals. More recently they have very cherished memories of the times that they welcomed their children into the world.

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Ella arrived to the wedding in an amazing red charger. When she stepped out of the car, Lucas said “OH, WOW” and then told me how Ella had a dress for the wedding but had seen another outfit that she thought would be perfect. She looked at this outfit for 5 days in a row. Lucas hadn’t seen it and was blown away. She looked stunning, in a wonderful sparkly dress and little sparkly top over it.

Ella and Lucas get on each others nerves and make each other laugh. They both don’t like being told what to do, which can make life interesting.  Lucas laughs when Ella tells a great story and she has a good joke with everyone, sometimes mocking them, but mostly mocking Lucas. Lucas make Ella laugh with the fact that he is able to laugh at himself. It became obvious to me just how in love they are when I asked them about the stand qualities that the other has. Ella said that Lucas has resilience and drive, and lots of love to give. She said that Lucas has an ability to always see her potential, even when she can’t see it herself, and it really counts after all these years. Lucas said that Ella has an amazing ability to get people talking and telling stories. Lucas loves the way that she cares so much for all of those that she loves.

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Lucas had proposed to Ella at least 5 times over the last 10 years, usually Ella would tell him to ask her again when he was sober. This year, while Lucas was away on a work conference, he sent Ella an engagement card with a question mark in it. When he got back from the trip, he got down on one knee in the street where they live and asked Ella to be his wife.

What a wonderful wedding!! Ella and Lucas had their kids be part of their ceremony and before the wedding Miss F introduced me to her friends saying “This is my friend Deb, and she is the boss of the wedding” super cute.  All the kids looked fantastic and had a part in the ceremony. We had a moment near the ring exchange where we asked “Who has the ring for Ella?” and Miss F yelled loudly “I do”, and before we even had a chance to ask who had Lucas’ ring, Little Mr R was yelling out his “I do’s” it was really lovely for them to be a part of the ceremony. There was an amazing atmosphere when they exchanged their vows, it is always a special moment when any couple exchange their vows, but there was just something really special about standing there while Ella and Lucas made promises to one another.  I love that everything for this wedding was done in a matter of weeks and they decided that they wanted to do it all. Everything just evolved. People all pitched in to help and it truly was a wonderful experience.  They had ‘The Burnt Sausages’ all set up and ready to play their live music.

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Ella and Lucas are some of the loveliest and real people that you could ever wish to meet. They are some of those people that you think that you are lucky that you met them. Each time that I have met with them or spent time with them I’ve gone away thinking, ‘Aren’t they just the loveliest people’. Yep, again I feel lucky that I get to help these people exchange their vows, and make them married.

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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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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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Nell and Glenn

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Nell and Glenn were married at Mimosa Glen in Tooborac earlier this year. Mimosa Glen is not traditionally a wedding venue per-se, it is a homestead that has been restored and there is some lovely accommodation on the property too. It is a stunning place! The views everywhere you looked were exquisite. The weather was a perfect 24 degrees. You couldn’t really ask for more.

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I’m not sure how many people believe in destiny, or that life will take you to a certain point at a certain time because that is exactly where you need to be. But for those of you who don’t believe, I’m not sure how else to explain what happened about 5 years ago.  Glenn, a lovely New Zealander, went to Ireland to look into his family history and then to work in Europe. Nell, a beautiful Australian lass, went to Ireland to do a similar thing. Glenn and Nell both start working for the same online poker company. Nell had been away from home for so long so Glenn, being an expat and a Kiwi, made her drawn to him. Her first impression of him was that he was quiet and handsome. There was a rumour around the workplace that Glenn was a party animal, which Nell now thinks is funny as it is not something that she would ever associate with Glenn. Glenn thought that Nell was very friendly and easy to talk to. He thought she was loud and brash and he really liked talking to her.

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Nell and Glenn shared their vows in front of about 80 guests, they had people fly in from all around the world, the US, Ireland and New Zealand just to mention a few. Nell looked amazing, her dress and 1920’s inspired veil suited her perfectly. The attendants all wore a lovely green hue, that complemented the brown of the guys suits. They stood on top of a beautiful big rock with 3 attendants each. One of Nell’s bridesmaids,  Susan, wrote a song for the occasion and after Susan came down the aisle she took her place at the microphone and sang the rest of the girls into the ceremony site. Susan also sang while Nell and Glen signed their paper work and when they had been presented as the newly married couple and went through the most magnificent confetti shower that you have ever seen.

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When I asked what they loved most about the other, Nell said that was really hard to answer, like when someone asks what is your favourite movie or favourite fruit. But she did say that she really loves Glenn’s nature, that he is honest, kind and gentle, he is quiet and not contrived. Glen said that he loves all of who Nell is. He loves her conviction, her drive and loves her sensitivity and caring nature. Being with Nell has always felt like where he is meant to be.  Glenn said that when Nell sets her sights on getting something done, she is determined and driven to achieve what she sets out to do. Nell said that Glenn is true to himself, he doesn’t pretend to be anything he is not.  They love spending time at home in each others company. They love bad zombie or horror and post apocalyptic movies, Video games, playing with and annoying their dog Greta, wandering around new places and eating great food together, whether it is going out for dinner or breakfast. They love to chat over a nice meal with a glass of wine.

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Greta didn’t miss out on any of the festivities. She was there staying at the homestead too. On the day she had a beautiful floral collar. She made her grand entrance walking up to where Glenn was waiting for Nell. It was such a lovely moment as she did it all on her own. She spent most of the ceremony up on the rock with Nell and Glenn while they became husband and wife. Nell and Glenn wrote their own beautiful vows that reflected their feelings wonderfully.  Nell even quoted Dumbledore, saying “Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress – adventure”.

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What a perfect day in the most lovely setting, with some of the loveliest people that you could ever meet. I never take for granted that I get to be a part of these wonderful ceremonies and to be right there when people get to make the most sacred promises to one another.  Another amazing wedding of people that I feel lucky that I got to know.

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A very big Thank you to Andrew Hardy Photography for all of the stunning images from Nell and Glenn’s wonderful day. You can check out his website here, or his blog about the day by clicking here, or go and follow him on facebook  too.  Also have a look at the Mimosa Glen website, and see all that the property has to offer.

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Elissa and Michael

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Elissa and Michael were married on a lovely (but very hot) Friday in February at Mitchelton Winery in Nagambie. What a fantastic day it was.  It was a stunning day by the river and the gorgeous decked area that they had for the ceremony was breathtaking.

Elissa and Michael’s love began around 7 years ago, Michael was living in London, and Elissa was traveling all around Europe with her friend Jo. They were staying with Jo’s brother who happened to be Michael’s housemate.  Michael remembers thinking that Elissa seemed nice, but maybe a little shy. Elissa thought that Michael was cute, maybe a bit out of her league. Especially with their obvious differences in their taste of music. She didn’t think that he would be interested in a girl like her. Obviously Elissa wasn’t too shy and Michael was interested in a girl like her, and together they have come a long way through the last 7 years. There were times they thought that they might not make it, but they have grown and learnt together over these times and have strengthened this wonderful bond that they share with one another.

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Michael says that Elissa is always positive and she is always patient with him. She is friendly and talkative and open to new experiences, like going to his family reunion without him and not having met any of them yet. Michael knows and appreciates that she has always been there for him before anyone else. Elissa said that she loves Michael’s heart and his passion. She says that he has a heart of gold that never falters and he has a wonderful passion for things, especially music. Anything new Michael discovers, he becomes engrossed in and puts everything of himself into it. He is loyal and passionate and has an uncanny ability to defuse heated situations. His calm nature can be infectious.

Elissa and Michael had 6 attendants each, which is a lot of people to keep organised. Michael and some of his groomsmen arrived in a fantastic vintage valiant. Elissa had such lovely ladies around her for her special day, they were all so fantastic and friendly. Usually I don’t really have that much to do with the attendants, but all of Elissa’s spoke to me during the day or at the rehearsal and were all truly lovely. They all wore different shades of green and all wore dresses that suited their personal style. Elissa was a stunning bride who would probably look great in whatever she wore as not everyone would be able to pull of wearing a dress like she did. I loved that they had the wheat bouquets, it all just matched perfectly.

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Michael and Elissa have spent time in the last 7 years having fun together, travelling and making each other laugh. Elissa fondly remembers travelling to Dublin and Denmark together. This is when she realised that Michael was her favourite person to travel with. He is always taking her to places that she’d never think to go and taking her out of her comfort zone, but she always knows that it will all be ok. A perfect example of this is one of Michael’s fond memories, the time that he took Elissa to a heavy metal concert in Brixton, London. She had never been to anything like it before and Michael remembers her reactions to the clothing, the people and the event as a whole was priceless.

Michael proposed to Elissa after a wonderful Anzac day, when they had watched Michael’s Dad march wearing Michael’s Grandfather, Brian’s medals. That evening Michael played the biggest gig of his life, at the Palace in Melbourne. They had a fantastic day and night and when they finally got home at 3am they were talking about what a wonderful day that they had just experienced. This when Michael asked Elissa to marry him. They then proceeded to jump in a cab to the airport to fly to Sydney.

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They had some wonderful moments during the ceremony, Michael’s Nan did a reading and shared some beautiful words for the couple. But not everything went to plan on their day. We had issues with the PA system that the venue supplied and we had a heat affected bridesmaid pass out mid ceremony. (She was ok, and even came back before the end of the ceremony, Brownlow medal worthy effort there I might add). Even with all these things to throw us, Elissa and Michael took it in their stride. They obviously made sure that their friend was ok, but still managed to have a really beautiful ceremony and they shared some lovely personal heartfelt vows. They didn’t let any of these things take away from the promises that they made to each other.

What a wonderful way to spend a Friday afternoon. I can’t think of anything better than making truly lovely people husband and wife.

Thank you to Roberto Bossio, who was photographing and JL and the crew from JLB The Studio for the use of their images. Check them out at JLB The Studio, Click here to see their website.  Check out the website of Mitchelton Wines too, such a lovely view of the river. Nice wine too I am told.

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