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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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Facebook Group for your bridal party

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My friend is getting married soon and she has used Facebook for he planning process in a very smart way. I have blogged about her save the dates and her Bridal shower gift with a difference. I’ve been lucky enough to be included in the group and have had a great time watching the way that all of the bridal party are interacting and giving input in a way that without this page would probably take a lot of meeting up or a lot of phone calls and texts.

All of the bridesmaids and important wedding related people in the life of the bride have been added to the group. Its a closed group so only people involved can see, so that all important information that they don’t want ‘getting out’ is kept within the group. It has made it easy for them to talk about dress styles, catch up dates and when they see a pair of shoes that they are looking at they can take a photo and share it quickly with everyone.

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They have had photos from them trying on dresses to lovely lunches that they have had and is a great way for them to have all of that in one spot without other people getting jealous or feeling like they have been left out of something as only the people within the group can see it.

Its a great way to have people quickly see something or get an opinion really quickly and its free, no costs for texts or phone calls (only the data usage) especially if you have some people in your bridal party who don’t know each other or wouldn’t have their phone number too.

Have you done something like this? Or any other suggestions that would help other Brides and attendants on their wedding planning journey?

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A big thank you to Untamed Images for the use of their photos on the blog this week. You can see more of their work on their website or check them out on Facebook by clicking here.

 

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Acknowledgment of Country

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An Acknowledgement of Country is a way of showing awareness of and respect for the traditional Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander owners of the land on which a meeting or event is being held, and of recognising the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to their Country. There are a number of occasions where at the start of a meeting, a conference or a function of any sort that you can have an Acknowledgement of Country.

An Acknowledgement of Country is different from a Welcome to Country, only a Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, usually an Elder, would carry out a Welcome to country. This is to welcome visitors to their traditional land. It can be carried out in a number of ways, depending on the particular culture of the traditional owners. It can include singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies or a speech. This is dependent upon the location of the event and the practice of the community. There should be an amount of care undertaken to make sure that the appropriate Aboriginal representative is invited to undertake the Ceremony. It is extremely important that the Aboriginal person has been involved in and is comfortable with all of the arrangements.
Both a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of Country recognise the unique position of Aboriginal people in Australian culture and history and show respect for Aboriginal people.
There are a lot of people who wish to have an Acknowledgement of Country included in the introduction to their wedding. What can be included when you don’t know the language group is :

I would like to show my respect and acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, of elders past and present, on which this event takes place.

or if you know the specific nation you can say:

I would like to acknowledge the _______________ people who are the Traditional Custodians of this Land. I would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present of the_______________ Nation and extend that respect to other Aboriginals present.

If you want to know more about Welcome to Country or an Acknowledgement of Country ceremonies there is great information on the Creative Spirits Website

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A big thank you to Michael Thomas for the use of his stunning photos on the blog this week, you can look at more of his work here.

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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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A bridal shower gift with a difference

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One of my oldest friends is getting married soon, and by that I mean we’ve been friends for a long time, she’s not that old! I’m very excited to be involved and feel honoured that I get to be the person that makes her and her partner husband and wife. I’m also lucky enough to be privileged to know some of the ins and outs of what is happening with the planning process. There was one thing in particular that made me very proud to be her friend.

My friend was discussing on her Facebook wedding page (super great idea, which I will blog about soon) about the bridal shower. She asked all of her bridal party their thoughts on something very special. Instead of asking for gifts for her bridal shower, my friend has decided that she will ask for people to donate to a charity on the day. She has asked for everyone’s input on which charity should be the chosen charity. What a beautiful and selfless idea. My friend already has a home with her partner and they have all the ‘kitchen’ things that they could need.

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This isn’t the first time that I have seen this, although I’ve never heard of it for a bridal shower before. I also attended a wedding a few years back, one of the loveliest and unpretentious weddings I have attended. The bride and groom wore their jeans and they did the same thing, asked their guests that if they must buy a gift, to donate to any charity of the guests choosing. I think this is a lovely idea, especially when there are so many couples that already have their homes established and really don’t need too much more. Its a great way to share the love and to remind people what is really important throughout all of their planning.

I think this is so lovely? What charity would you choose? I’d pick the JDRF or any of the diabetes charities, no surprises there!

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A very big thank you to Love Journal Photography for the use of their images on this weeks blog. Check out their website and have a look at their facebook and see all the new awards they have won. Congratulations Neo.

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Making your guest list

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Most of us would have seen on Facebook or instagram by now this fun guest list manager. Its quite funny and a good idea to have a laugh. It is a good way to remind yourself too that it is your day and you’re (most likely) paying the bill.

Will they make your wedding more fun is an interesting  part of this chart for me, really your wedding is about you and your partner, and you should have the people around you that mean a lot to you, it’s your wedding not a hens or bucks day. Maybe it should say something like, will it be special to have them with you on the day? Or do you want them there to see you and your partner exchange promises? I know that this chart is mainly for a laugh but some of the points have merit, or at least give you something to think about. The part about would normally buy dinner for them, maybe a strange question, but it is something to think about would you have dinner out with them, or your work friends maybe not necessarily do you see them out of work, because there are a few people at my work that I would be happy to spend time with out of work, but I generally just don’t have time, compared with hell no, please don’t let them be going  to the same function as me type people that you work with.

I agree to an extent that if you parents are paying for some of the wedding they do get to have at least a small number of guests that they want added to the list. I think though that they should get to have some say, but really again it is your day. If there is someone that you really don’t want there maybe you can compromise. My mother in law wanted one of her longest friends at my husband and our wedding, but the friend had previously not been the nicest to my husband. We made sure that she wasn’t invited but my mother in law still had her two other best friends and partners invited on the day, we only had 42 guests, and we paid for the vast majority of the day ourselves so we really weren’t keen on having anyone we didn’t like there.

I’ve blogged before about wedding numbers and some of the other issues that you have with deciding on who to invite to your wedding. I don’t think it is really as cut and dry as this chart suggests.  There are always some people on the list that you have to invite, and there are people that you invite knowing that they will not be able to make it on the day.

What do you think? Do you think that it can be as cut and dry and the chart suggests? What were some of the deciding factors that helped you decide if someone made your guest list or not?

 

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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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