Courtney and Todd were married on October 31st and had a Halloween wedding at Bradley Chapel at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, NY. The cemetery made for the perfect location for their portraits too!
“I love cemeteries and I have always said that if I ever got married, it would be in one”, Courtney wrote. “We’re both big horror fans so getting married at a cemetery on Halloween just made sense! We really wanted to capitalise on the whole Halloween and horror theme. We used real toe tags as escort cards and instead of table numbers we assigned every table a horror movie. We also incorporated ‘jumping the broom’ into our ceremony, which is something that none of our guests had ever seen before.”
The bride wore a beautiful princess style dress from David’s Bridal with gothic style accessories that all came from eBay. “For years I had told everyone that I would be wearing a black dress when I got married”, she explained. “I looked and tried on a few black dresses but I never got that ‘bride’ feeling until I tried on a white one. I fell in love with the third white dress I tried on, and purchased it without even giving it a second thought. From that day on, I had to keep the colour of my dress a secret from EVERYONE!! I wanted it to be a huge shock when the doors opened and I came out in white. It was especially hard to keep the secret from Todd. Especially since I made my own veil. He asked me one day why I was making a white veil and I had to tell him that it was for a friend who was getting married as well. So imagine his surprise when I walked up wearing a white dress and the veil that I made right in front of him!!”
Remember when you were a lovestruck teenager, you’d find the boy you liked and do compatibility tests to figure out if you were destined to run off into the sunset together? I seem to remember one in particular where you wrote down both your full names, assigned a number to each letter, added them together and then the higher your resulting score, the more likely you were to fall in love and have babies.
Obviously such highly scientific tests as these never amounted to anything, but there is something to be said for figuring out how compatible you are with a person before the relationship gets serious.
So when the peeps at Experian emailed me to let me know about their new financial compatibility guide, the money and relationship quiz, I couldn’t resist downing tools and giving it a whirl for myself.
It is still just a bit of fun, but there is a serious message behind the idea too. If you’re not on the same page with your future spouse on big issues such as money, children, or lifestyle choices, it is very likely the relationship will not last. Gareth and I actually did a pre-marriage course to make sure we spoke about and worked through any of our differences before we made such a big commitment. It felt a bit strange at first because when you’re engaged all you really want to be thinking about is dresses, flowers and cake, but it was definitely the best thing we’ve ever done for our relationship.
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.