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Image by Harold Lord via Wanda & Matt’s Fun Personal Tanglewood Estate Wedding

Nowadays, many of our beloved fur kids are part of our lives, so it only makes sense to include them on the special day!

Every bride or groom imagines their fur kids walking diligently down the aisle with a ring pillow in their mouths, but often this is unlikely. Like children, dogs are unpredictable.  Here are a few things to consider to make your special day with your dog/s a success.

If your dog/s are energetic, consider hiring a dog sitter to walk them for an hour or two the morning of the ceremony. This is important as you know even the ride there alone is enough to re-energise them!  Don’t try to use one of your friends or family as you want them to enjoy the day. Consider asking the nurses at your local vet or the dog trainers in your local area.  Preferably someone with a car who can drive your dog back home afterwards.

Image by Mitchell J Carlin via Tash & Adam’s Glam Festival Wedding

Bring your dog to the ceremony location at least an hour before so he/she can happily sniff and wee (where allowed) to his/her heart’s content well before the important moment.

Organise with the stylist’s and photographers to have photos of the dogs sitting and walking down the aisle well before everyone appears.  It is so much more difficult for them to contain their excitement with all the guests present. That way, your fantasy image of them walking down the aisle angelically has already been captured on film!  Take the family photo of you two and your dog/s at the front of the ceremony as well.

Pre-arrange with the dog sitter, your photographer and celebrant to ask all guests to sit (and patiently wait) during the intro, so you can take photos of the bridal party and your dog at the start of the ceremony. The celebrant can then invite the dog sitter to take them away or off to one side at an appropriate time, depending on how long you think your dog/s can last.

Image by Studio Impressions Photography

Arrange a bowl of water (a must if outdoor ceremony) and lots of dental bone or pigs ears for during the ceremony to keep your fur kid entertained. A squeaky toy is probably not recommended!

Many people want to dress up their dog in a little vest & bow tie or a dress. Make sure they get used to wearing it and are comfortable prior to the big day.

Instead of the traditional ring pillows, consider hanging a sign on them with a message like “Here comes the bride”. If you insist on a ring pillow and know there is a high risk of losing the rings to an excitable shake, consider using fake rings.

Images by Justin Aaron via Edwina & Matthew’s Modern Mindaribba House Wedding

After you have had opportunities to take photos with your dog/s, you need to consider what to do with them for the remainder of the day – mainly the reception.  Most likely they are not allowed at a venue where food is served.  If this is the case, if they usually happily stay in crates at home, you can consider having them somewhere sheltered, warm and safe.

Majority of the time they free roam at home so it would be awful for them to be tided up somewhere.  The last thing you want is to worry about them throughout your celebrations. Once again, this is when hopefully a local and known dog-sitter or vet nurse can take them back to your house or to their own home until you pick them up.

Image by Emily Adamson via Hannah & Mike’s New Zealand Festival Wedding

If all of this looks too hard or too expensive, do not fear! There are still many other ways to involve your fur kids without them being present.
Here are some of the multiple options you can consider:

  • Tying a keychain of their photo or paw print to your bouquet and/or buttonhole or tie clip
  • Include their paw prints as part of your wedding invitation
  • Have a specially made pen with their photo or names to use to sign your marriage certificate (just make sure it is black ink)
  • Include a miniature version of them on you cake topper;
  • Or at a minimum, include a photo of you both with your fur kids at the signing table.

Using this post as a guide, there are so many ideas for how to include your beloved dogs or fur kids on your special day. The sky is the limit for what you can do to make the day even more wonderful with them a part of it!

Ms Zebra Says: We all love our fur babies – and although we envision them behaving perfectly, it would be far too exciting for most dogs to sit still! These are some great tips to make your dog a part of the day, thanks Mona!

 

There’s a reason wedding season includes the entire stretch of Summer – long sunshiny days, balmy weather and celebrating outdoors!

Selecting the perfect venue for your big day is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the wedding planning process. The venue really determines the theme and aesthetic, the atmosphere, the dress code and the menu.

In Summer, the perfect venue almost always includes an indoor and outdoor space, and even better if there’s a spectacular view to soak in, whilst sipping on champagne! For this reason, venues like the Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club in Williamstown are perfect for Summer weddings – a large indoor space, complemented by an outdoor grass area looking out over the waterfront and some of Melbourne’s best views of the city skyline.

Summer venues also call for glorious Summer menus! Think fresh and seasonal produce to complement those bubbly cocktails. Particularly popular at this time of year is seafood. A simple offering of fresh chilled oysters with lemon wedges is always a crowd pleaser, or go for something more adventurous as part of a grazing board, such as applewood smoked ocean trout with caprioska apple slaw.

Another aspect to consider when selecting a wedding venue, is how the space will be organised for your reception. A flexible floor plan is key – look for a venue where cocktail and seated events can be easily accommodated with options for banquet tables or more traditional round tables. Always consider what the space has to offer before you bring in the décor and styling elements – for example, if the venue has a beautiful view, allow this to become part of the styling of the space. You don’t need to spend a fortune bringing décor into the venue, let the views speak for themselves!

Images of the Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club by Ben Christensen

Ms Zebra Says: A summer wedding is always a great idea – how can you compete with balmy summer evenings, seafood – and of course a million dollar view. Thanks Ed for sharing a venue not to be missed if you’re planning a Melbourne wedding!

About Ed Dixon Food Design: Royal Victorian Motor Yacht Club is exclusively managed by Ed Dixon Food Design, an award winning boutique catering company. EDFD have over 17 years’ experience creating beautiful weddings and are renowned for their passionate staff and creative & delicious menus. Combine this with RVMYC’s sought after location and views, and engaged couples can rest assured that their wedding day will be everything they’ve dreamt of.

There is a beauty that wedding films bring to your story. Our wide brown land with pockets of colour from leaves, the oasis of green lawns dotted with majestic trees, a campfire’s blazing flames, the bark and leaves on the ground in a paddock. All give a sense of place and time, and adds another layer of atmosphere to the film of the wedding day. Brad of GMTMT Films uses the landscape and surrounds to give context to the day and a cinematic quality to his work. There is an authenticity to his work, reflective of the man behind the lens – real emotions, the eye contact between the bride and groom, the words of a speech that says everything – with Brad telling their story through his eyes and thoughts. Let’s join Brad as he tells us his story.

Interesting name for your business – what do the initials stand for and how did you think of it?

When we were growing up we’d listen to my Dad on the phone and at the end of every conversation he wouldn’t say “bye” or “see you” he’d always say “Good Mate, Thanks Mate, Tah” so the acronym GMTMT was born.

Where are you based?

Lucky to be based in Newcastle NSW.

In a creative sense, what do you love about making films?

For me it’s about the endless possibilities our couples provide me. Each wedding has its unique set of characters, locations and stories, so on the big day I’m inspired by these components. I’ve always been given creative license to bring it all together which is vital for me, and it gives our couples the freedom to be themselves by not worrying about what I’m capturing. It’s a dynamic.

What techniques do you use to give a sense of grandeur to your films?

A mixture of movement, stillness and audio would probably best describe my approach. It’s not just the filming but also the editing which makes my films stand alone.

Do you have a style of film making that defines you – or do you prefer not to be confined by a ‘style’?

I think all filmmakers have an approach to filming and will already have the story in mind. I never expect the same from every wedding or how the day will unfold. I anticipate. We can’t script a wedding, but we can adjust accordingly. My films are cinematic, romantic and honest. Some areas may be tweaked to suit the feel of the day, but the approach will always be the same.

Image by Gez Xavier Mansfield.

Has your style and techniques changed over the years?

I’m now into my 7th year as a full time wedding filmmaker. Styles and techniques have changed along the way with the introduction of stabilizers, drones and 4K. At this stage we have an award-winning format which I’m absolutely thrilled with and enjoy.

The landscape, aerial shots and the sky feature in your films. Is there something about the Australian landscape and light which attracts you – and how do you use it to tell the story of the day?

I’m always imagining our couples will have family or friends who weren’t able to make it to the wedding, and they may watch the film. It’s so important to describe the location and the weather in a creative way. I want the 4th and 5th dimension in my films – feel and smell. I will do whatever I can do to describe it. I’m a licensed RPA Pilot and Chief Pilot, which means I know the airspace above and am legally flying my drones. It also means I am insured for the use of drones. Very important!

Image by Gez Xavier Mansfield.

Do you work with a team and multiple cameras to ensure that you get shots from different angles?

Generally, it’s a 5-camera setup for Ceremony and speeches because I’m looking for reactions. Instant, real reactions. For example: My films will switch angles the very moment Bride and Groom first see each other. Eye contact is an amazing thing. Being a true creative I’ve never had a second shooter. I want the story told through my eyes and thoughts. Just as a writer wouldn’t have anyone else write a paragraph or a painter wouldn’t have anyone else add to their painting.

How do you ‘know’ what makes a great film shot? Is it instinctual?

Firstly, I visualize the shot. Secondly, it’s anticipation. Thirdly, a little planning. And finally, …… you wing it!

How do you get your couples to relax in front of the camera?

In a sense, I don’t want them relaxed, I want them to be them. You can’t force anything unless you want an awkward shot. Most of our couples have an amazing connection and my work seems to attract that kind of person.

How do you work around the photographer taking shots at the wedding? Is it a collaborative effort?

Obviously, we want to get our couple the best shot or angle but remaining professional is paramount. Never block each other and understand each other’s needs, easy!

What do your wedding packages start at – and include?

As a filmmaker I need everything, so we have just one package which covers the entire day. This allows me to create a 90-minute feature film and a short 3-minute teaser. My 2019 prices start at $5000 and at this moment have only 3 positions remaining. I shoot a maximum 25 weddings per year.

In what ways do you regularly challenge yourself creatively with your film work?

Never take the same footage twice. Have no expectations.

Creatively, where, and doing what, makes you feel most inspired?

Being alone, observing people. Anywhere on this planet.

What’s next for your business?

In March 2018 I launched my photography brand, Chasing Bears Authentic. As my film bookings are limited to 25 per year this is a less demanding outlet I also love. We’ve taken a bunch of bookings already and looking forward to what it brings. Like GMTMT Films it’s dedicated to Weddings only!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Save your money!

What do you like to do for rest and recreation?

It’s all about Family. Being together with my Wife and Twins grounds me. Being a Papa to them is the most important thing in my life. Love riding my motorbike! It’s an incredible feeling when there’s just you, the bike and the road ahead. Nothing else matters.

Image by Gez Xavier Mansfield.

What is special about Newcastle and the Hunter Valley?

I’ve lived in Newcastle my entire life, and although I’ve travelled the World, this place always feels like home. The City is changing everyday and has so many pop up bars, café and restaurants it’s never difficult to find a little nook around here.

Films give us a lovely peek into the atmosphere and love of the wedding day – it’s almost as good as being a a guest! Thank you Brad for sharing your story. To find out more about GMTMT Films visit the website.

Headshot by Gez Xavier Mansfield.