Seven years after their wedding, Cati and Ash renewed their vows. They did so in their own back garden in Johannesburg with just their kids and their photographer in attendance. They wrote their own vows and had them printed on the back of their wedding album, which they read out to each other.
Rebecca from Runaway Romance helped them plan the whole thing. “This in essence was a styled shoot that included my very dear friends letting me take over their home and gorgeous children”, she wrote. “On a deeper much more personal note this was part of my own healing process. It felt like I had been holding my breath for months, watching my friend and her family go through the excruciating stages of cancer treatment. I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t change anything. So when it finally did come to an end, this was my way of exhaling, rejoicing and doing something. For me the point of the afternoon was to celebrate the fact that this family had gone through incredibly hard times and come out not only intact but thriving.”
“When Rebecca originally approached us with the idea of a vow renewal, I did not expect it to be as meaningful and powerful as it was” Cati continued. “She presented us with a moment that was unbelievably beautiful and intimate. She really understood who we are and how we would celebrate. Her attention to detail and her thought behind each aspect really blew me away. We have come so far, and we are not the same kids that promised for better or worse seven years ago. To be able to renew our vows to each other, with our children standing right by our sides, made us realise just how much we have done together and just how much love can accomplish.”
Shell de Mar Photography
It’s hard to believe that this time next week I’ll be in LA where it’s currently 25 degrees Celsius! I’m there to teach the first Blogcademy workshop of the year and we’re staying right by the beach which is just what my sun-starved skin needs right now!
If you’d like to come to our first workshop of the year (and our only US class until September!) we still have a few tickets left. You can read all about what we teach and book your spot right here.
After the class, we’ve decided to head to to Vegas for a few days. Last year was a biggie in Blogcademy and Rock n Roll Bride-land, so it’s a well deserved treat. Gala, Shauna and I actually only came together as a trio for the first time in Vegas in 2012 so going back there together is going to be like a glorious full circle. And even though none of us like to gamble or party very hard (a glass of wine whilst rocking our PJs in our hotel room is much more our style!) Vegas is still one of my favourite places the three of us have hung out. Plus this time we’re going to see magicians… and Britney!
As usual while I’m travelling, the blog will still be updated at least once a day so keep popping back to get your wedding fix. Oh, and issue 2 of the print magazine hits the shelves on March 5th (it will also be available via my shop page) so be sure put that date in your diary too!
Weddings & Weddingy Things
♥ Romantic gothic wedding
♥ Industrial warehouse wedding in New Mexico
♥ Loft wedding with a citrus colour palette
♥ Amazing retro sci-fi wedding
♥ Laid back wedding at The Parker, Palm Springs
♥ DIY Queensland wedding
Life is Beautiful
Mariana and Oz had a New Year’s wedding on January 1st. Their ceremony was held at the groom’s sister’s house and their reception was at at loft (which had never been used for a wedding before) the day after.
“We divided our wedding to two days”, explained the bride, “the first was the religious ceremony and the second was the party. We had 50 guests for the ceremony, only close family and friends, but most importantly our three dressed up dogs! The decorations and the incredible vegan food were all made by the groom’s sister and niece. After that we went with our families to a vegan restaurant in Tel Aviv.”
The Israeli couple wanted their wedding to be stress-free. That meant they forgot about having any extra stuff like flowers and centrepieces, and instead of a cake they had a table with various deserts and treats. Their reception was basically just a big rave! “One of my favourite things about the wedding was our car which was decorated with skulls and black and red ribbons!” Mariana laughed.
Working in the wedding industry means than when I meet new people, after the usual queries about “what makes a wedding alternative?” and “what’s the weirdest wedding you’ve seen?” are answered, our conversations often turn into a discussion about marriage.
I feel like I’ve had these conversations with a very broad spectrum of people, all with very differing thoughts on what makes a healthy marriage. I’ve met people who have sexually open relationships and others that didn’t go to bed together before they said I do. I’ve chatted with those who cohabited within days of meeting and others that are married but still chose to live separately.
Over the years, these conversations have quickly made me realise that while I might be all for the most unconventional of weddings, I really do have quite a traditional view of marriage. Sure, our roles might be slightly unusual as I’m the main breadwinner whereas Gareth takes on more of the household chores, but in terms of what it actually means to us to be husband and wife, we’re pretty damn vanilla.
Lindsay and Steve originally planned to elope in Las Vegas, but when the bride fell pregnant those plans had to change! “We had booked our wedding ceremony and flights to Vegas to get married in October 2014, followed by a UK Day of the Dead themed reception a week later”, Lindsay began. “A week after we did this, I found out I was pregnant! Cue cancelling of the Vegas plans and, shotgun wedding in London, and the nicknaming of bump as B.V (Baby Vegas)! We brought our plans forwards to August and, fortunately, all of our other suppliers were super accommodating and we were able to move all our UK plans forward without a hitch.”
The reception was held at Far Rockaway in Shoreditch and they were the first wedding they’ve ever held there. Judging by these awesome photos I don’t think it will be the last though! (Oh and by the way the very awesome Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza wedding show is being held there March 1st!)
“Our original Vegas wedding was to be followed by a month’s honeymoon in Mexico for the Day of the Dead festival”, the bride continued. “Sadly, this also had to be cancelled. However we continued with our Day of the Dead themed reception as a nod to our original plans.”
In early December I received an email from Cole and Jakob of Nordica Photography, inviting me to speak at a wedding photography summit that they were putting on in Stockholm this coming October. It took me approximately 3.5 seconds to reply and say “OMG yes! Where do I sign?!”
Sworn to secrecy, I quietly and internally freaked out about travelling to Sweden to speak to a conference of 500 photographers all about blogging for business… but I was excited. Very goddamn excited.
Then, this month, they slowly started to drip feed their social media with the rest of the line up… and my quiet, internal freak-out became a whole lot louder and more vocal.