Your wedding should be as unique as you are. A wedding is a celebration of two people choosing to make a commitment to each other. It’s the coming together of two people’s plans, dreams and passions. It’s the culmination of days, week and months of planning, ideas and hopes. This is why it’s so important that you have the wedding that is right for you. A day that reflects who you are, what you love and what’s important to you.
There are many traditions that go along with a wedding day (I have looked into the background of many of them on the blog) and when you are planning your day you need to ensure that the traditions you choose to keep are the ones that are important to you. If you want to wear a wedding dress that isn’t white, go for it (I got married in a midnight blue evening dress…white never suited me anyway!) If you don’t want to do a first dance, don’t do a first dance! If the idea of wearing heels makes you weep, find some fabulous flat shoes that you love. If you want to create a day that is completely laid back with very little traditional wedding day structure, then do it. If you want to elope and make it about just the two of you, don’t feel you can’t. It’s a time to consider if you want to do things the way they have always been done or do you want to create your own new traditions within your wedding plans. You have this one opportunity to create a day that is so very special, something really meaningful for the two of you and something that is uniquely yours. Make sure you make the most of it.
If you want to marry in a beautiful village church because it means something to you, that’s wonderful. If you want to say your vows in an elegant country house hotel with sweeping landscaped gardens because that is what you have always dreamed of, enjoy every second. If you want to have an outdoor humanist ceremony in a sun dappled forest surrounded by your loved ones, then make that your perfect day. If you want to say ‘I do’ barefoot on a beach, then plan for that dream. Whatever you choose, do it because you LOVE it and because it’s the right choice for you.
Taking your own path to create the wedding day you want can be tricky. You sometimes have pressure from family or friends to do things a certain way. Maybe there is expectation that you will follow the same traditions as other siblings or family members? It could be that you don’t feel you can do things the way you would really like to. I am speaking from experience here, I got married in Las Vegas with just 17 guests. This decision wasn’t easy. There were people who were disappointed and people who really did not understand why on earth we would want to get married this way. But for every person who didn’t support us, there were many who did. Our closest family and friends were completely on board. They understood that, for us, this was the right choice. And it was…it was amazing! Above all else remember this is your day and you want to be able to enjoy every second of it. It’s a wonderful thing to bring together your friends and family and include them in your plans for the day. It is great to create a day where the people you love the most can celebrate with you, but not to the detriment of your own happiness and your own desires and dreams. Do you want to look back on your wedding day and say ‘It was nice, if only we had…’?
I’m thrilled to have photographed so many weddings where the couples have had the day of their dreams. They have taken their own path, created a day that was perfect for them and the special people in their lives have loved every minute. From the small touches that make their wedding personal, to the large plans that saw them marrying abroad or breaking with traditions. Every one was perfect because it was unique to the couple.
Take some inspiration from these wonderful couples, if they can do it, so can you…
Som & Jonny married in Tuscany in a two day wedding extravaganza. Family and friends flew in from across the globe to celebrate with them in what was truly the most fabulous two day. They chose to add lots of elements from Indian wedding traditions, such as the bride meeting the groom surrounded by bridesmaids, the bells being rung over the single women, the bride being carried on a doli by the groomsmen, the bhangra dancing, the bright colours, the Indian outfits provided to all the wedding guests, the pool party on the morning of the wedding, the salmon pink wedding dress (wow…just wow!), and all of this took place in Tuscany! So unique and perfect for the two of them.
Just because you live in the UK, doesn’t mean you have to get married there. I love a destination wedding – getting married abroad might mean all sorts of things to a couple. Perhaps you’re not UK born and want to get married in your home country. Perhaps you want a more intimate group of loved ones, partying in a hot country, or perhaps you’re eloping!
Warren & Andy married at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. They fell in love with the venue. The history of the place and the beautiful gardens that made it extra special. They included their beloved pet dog as their ring bearer, had giant light up letters on the dance floor and they choreographed a flash mob for the first dance. Warren and Andy run a stage school, so including these elements added their own character to the day.
Emma & Fraser had their wedding and reception in Putney. Emma had grown up in the area and had happy memories of that part of London. They wanted to marry at the church that her family attended, the church where she used to sing in the choir! It had such special meaning to her and her old choir mistress even came out of retirement to lead the choir for her wedding service. This lead to many tears, as I’m sure you can imagine. Fraser’s family is all Scottish so he wore a kilt, they included thistles and roses in the bouquet and flower arrangement, to signify the Scottish and English sides. The ended the evening celebrations in the only way they could…with the most raucous, fun and lively ceilidh. I loved it!
For many brides they love the idea of walking down the aisle with their dad. But for many reasons this won’t fit every brides entrance to their wedding ceremony. It’s great to see a bride walk down the aisle with both her parents, with her mum, with a sibling or on her own! Do it your way.
Becky & David chose Preston Court as their perfect place. It is a really fun venue with a vintage Victorian carousel just waiting for you to climb on and have a ride. Becky chose to have two dresses for the day. A long, elegant ivory dress for the ceremony and the main part of the day. She then changed into a short, 1950’s inspired dress for the evening dancing. They incorporated a butterfly and bee theme and filled the venue with the most wonderfully colourful flowers. Becky’s family is from Germany so they included a few German traditions, such as the bride and groom sawing a log in two! Who knew? This is what makes each couple’s wedding so interesting and so much fun to photograph, you never quite know what you are going to get.
Leah & Jim wore matching converse for their wedding at Ratsbury barn. They had bubbles instead of confetti and during the reception released lots of purple, white and blue balloons with kind and thoughtful messages attached to them.
The tradition now is for the bride to wear white or ivory and for many brides the chance to wear a beautiful white dress is amazing. If, like me however, a white dress makes you look deathly pale then choosing a dress with colour can be a really fun way to bring a little unique ‘you’ style to the day.
Nicola & Karl married at Notley Tythe Barn. Nicola’s choice of a short pastel pink fifties dress inspired many of the other choices they made, such as the pastel blue campervan, and pastel blue fifties style bridesmaids’ dresses. It really added a strong sense of identity to their wedding day.
One of the most unique weddings I have photographed was Laura & Don’s Wedstock wedding at North Hill Farm. These two loved festivals and went to as many as they could each year. When it came to their wedding day they wanted to capture the festival vibe and create their own wedding festival… hence Wedstock. It was such fun with Teepee tents, multiple music acts, outdoor games, an ice cream van, bouncy castle and barbeque. They even created lanyards for every guest and many people chose to camp in the field next to the party. They brought their own style to the clothes too, with Don and the guys wearing pale blue suits and the bridesmaids wearing floral fifties style dresses.
I really love photographing my couples. They’re all unique, they’re fun. They know what they like. I firmly believe that no one should feel obligated to follow traditions, and if you want to make your own rules for your wedding you should. Expressing your loves, your passions and your character through your wedding can be a wonderful way of reflecting your personalities. Hope this blog gets you thinking and gives some inspiration to have your own unique day and get a bit creative. There are so many amazing and wonderful ways in which you can be different. Remember – be bold, be brilliant, be beautiful and be unique! It’s your wedding and you should do exactly what you want to do.
All these images are from weddings I have photographed. Have a think about how you can make your wedding as unique as you are. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas, so why not share them in the comments?
Thanks for popping by