“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde
One thing I’ve noticed about a lot of recent weddings, is couples using their wedding day to share more of themselves with friends and family. No, I don’t mean sharing ‘The Blok” style video diaries about wedding preparations and what organic eggs you like for breakfast. Your style, philosophy, values and sense of humour are all different factors that tell your guests a lot about you and add to their wedding experience. It’s time to break the traditional wedding rules and do things your way!
1.What’s your style?
2. Doing it your way.
Get inspired, but don’t follow trends if you think you may regret it later. ‘Vintage’ photos are still ‘in’, but will go out of style soon, just like other photography fads in the past (photo montage, anyone?). (NB: Anything with a moustache on it is not going to be cool in 5 years time, unless its on your husband to be!).
3. Getting organised
Planning a wedding is an overwhelming task, and with the huge multi-million dollar wedding industry and websites such as Pinterest and wedding blogs bursting with impossibly creative ideas and wonderful ways to spend lots of your money, how do you begin? Melina, from Weddings by Maximy (Melbourne wedding organiser) has some great tips:
” A good idea is to have a check list to keep you on top of your planning. The wedding planning process can be very stressful and it is easy to forget the smaller details. Ideally you need at least a year to plan your wedding; wedding related things tend to get booked a long time in advance! Remember it’s a celebration. It is important to remain calm, relax and enjoy the process. If you keep that state of mind even when things go wrong (which will definitely happen!) you won’t panic. You will always surprise yourself with great alternatives!”
4. Bridal Party On!!
Uneven numbers in the bridal party – it’s ok, they don’t have to be in pairs or match. We had once had a bridal party with 5 really big guys and one tiny bridesmaid, and it looked great! There is no ideal number for the bridal party, big or small, we love them all! When it comes to choosing a dress for your girls, not every one of your bridesmaids will agree. It’s easier to find a good parking spot at Chadstone than a dress that suits everybody! Here are some ways to break the rules and keep everyone happy.
- Bridesmaids can wear black, it’s elegant and white flowers with black dresses look amazing.
- Bridesmaids can wear white, all white weddings look stunning.
- If you are having a less formal wedding with only one bridesmaid, it’s a nice idea to let them choose their own dress.
- Bridesmaids dresses don’t have to match exactly. Different dresses in a similar colour pallete or even contrasting colours can tie them together.
5. Choosing a location for photographs.
You don’t have to go to the gardens or the beach for great photos. Think about your fave spot to hang out, a coffee shop, bar, fave city lane way, the fountain where he proposed, favourite style of architecture or old movie theatre.
If going to a different location doesn’t fit into your timeline, don’t worry about it. A good photographer can make anywhere look great. Great images are all about the light and the people, not the Hawaiian beach sunset backdrop, though that helps.
6. When Traditions May Not Suit Your Style
Ask yourself what’s important to you about your wedding. If it’s sharing your day with family and friends, then maybe disappearing for a few hours for photos isn’t going to be your cup of tea.
You don’t have to have a bridal party, a lot of couples are choosing to make their weddings about friends and family. This can leave more time to mingle with everyone and is a sure way to make your wedding special to you.
You can see each other before the wedding – it’s called a ‘first look’. Some like to get the formals done before the ceremony so that they don’t have to leave their guests hanging around whole they run off for hours to take photos.
Melbourne Marriage Celebrants is a wonderful group of Ladies who have great advice about any wedding questions you might have. I asked them about their favourite ways to include friends and family in your wedding:
“Include as many people as possible. Have the celebrant acknowledge the important people in the couple’s life – parents, grandparents, siblings, children, matchmakers, mentors. Take it a step further and have them actively participate via spoken word or ritual. Outside of the ceremony itself, why not invite family and friends to a rehearsal and/or a rehearsal dinner, so they feel further included. Where guests travel significant distances and require accommodation, arrange a lunch or dinner on the wedding eve so they can get to know as many people as possible and perhaps spend a little more time with the bride and groom to be.Have a chat to your celebrant about your wishes and collaboratively you should be able to come up with special ceremony family and friend inclusions that accurately reflect you as the Bride and Groom”. Finally, recovery breakfasts/lunches are also a great way to ‘finish off’ the celebrations and allow everyone a chance to debrief and say goodbye to their new friends/family members post wedding.
7. Ceremony – Better Together
Are your kids in the wedding? Fantastic! Some of the most touching and emotional wedding ceremonies I’ve seen involved the couples’ gorgeous kids in the ceremony.
“Include family and friends by way of having them witness the signing of the certificate, holding and warming the rings, conducting a reading or prayer or some other family tradition – or perhaps even a ‘group vow’ to get everyone involved” – Melbourne Marriage Celebrants
Above all, I hope you have fun with your wedding planning, enjoy it and share it. Accept help when someone offers, don’t try and do everything yourself. And remember that when it’s over, this is only the beginning, not the end!
Images by Megan Aldridge Photography
Ms Gingham says: Excellent tips and advice!
Master Photographer, Megan Aldridge is a highly awarded Melbourne wedding photographer based in a boutique studio in Ferntree Gully, Outer Eastern Melbourne. She photographs weddings for lovely clients from all over Melbourne, Yarra Valley and Dandenongs, Australia and … The World.