Geeky & Homemade Star Wars Wedding

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Lily and Lance’s wedding was inspired by their one big love – Star Wars! “We had a lot of fun making huge Pinterest boards.” began the bride. “As soon as we decided on a Star Wars theme the fun really began!”

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“Our ceremony was short and silly while remaining sweet and genuine. As it started, Lance was walking down the aisle to the music from the end of Star Wars episode IV and asked the crowd ‘What’s up everybody?!? Are we ready for a wedding!?’ and started high fiving the guests as he continued down the aisle, which was then followed by the groomsmen and bridal party being greeted with the same clapping, cheers, and high fives. Later we were told by guests that that moment set the tone for the rest of the day.”

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Run Away with Me: A Neon Graveyard Elopement

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The perfect mixture of adventure and fun, Las Vegas was Yasmin and Leigh’s number one choice for their October wedding. They always wanted to get married abroad, and after seeing Las Vegas weddings featured on this very blog, they decided it was the perfect place for them.

“We kept our wedding a secret from our friends and only told our families one week before we flew out!” said the bride. “We stayed for a week at the Venetian. On our wedding day, our photographer met us in our room and took some getting ready photos, then we walked through the hotel and casino in our wedding outfits – so many people smiled and congratulated us, Vegas is so warm and friendly! Our ceremony was at the Neon Graveyard, where all the old neon signs are retired.”

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Not being particularly comfortable in front of the camera, they wanted to find a photographer who would make them feel at ease. “We loved Sam Arroyo’s photos, particularly the ones she had taken in the desert and thought this would work perfectly in Vegas. She was our biggest expense as we flew her in from California, but she was worth every penny. After the ceremony we drove out to Red Rock Canyon for more photos. It was so peaceful and beautiful and I’ll always remember walking through the desert hand-in-hand with my husband. It was the perfect way to start our marriage.”

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Why You Should Choose a Conflict-Free Diamond

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From 2010 to 2014, it was estimated that over 48 million carats of diamonds mined under horrific conditions made their way onto the international diamond market. Ever since the 2006 film Blood Diamond there has been a lot of talk about conflict diamonds and many socially-conscious brides are looking for other options.

If you don’t want to opt for an alternative stone, but you still want to make sure your diamond engagement or wedding ring is conflict-free, then here are some things to consider.

For this post we’ve partnered with MiaDonna & Co. who are an eco-friendly and conflict-free diamond engagement ring company.

Know what you’re looking for

The official definition of a conflict diamond is a “rough diamond mined in an area controlled by insurgent forces whose sale is used to finance anti-government military action.” The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is one way to try and ensure that the diamond you’re buying is conflict-free, but at MiaDonna they believe that there is still no guarantee that it truly is. KPCS is a scheme with more than 75 member countries and UN approval, that came about as a response to diamond sales financing war efforts in Africa. Countries adhering to KPCS are supposed to meet strict requirements – they must trade diamonds only with each other and use Kimberley Process certificates to export diamonds. Unfortunately, diamond smugglers do not comply with these rules and regulations. This sometimes causes a ‘conflict-free’ label to be placed on conflict diamonds which negates the KPCS’s entire purpose.

At MiaDonna, they feel it is important to define a conflict diamond in a much broader scope, incorporating the protection of the environment as well as the native communities who live in these areas and are often forced to mine for diamonds.

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Pink Flamingos Warehouse Wedding

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A bride in a pink dress, bridesmaids in outfits covered in flamingos, a warehouse venue decked out in colourful DIY decor, a ceremony conducted by the bride’s father… This wedding is just – wow!

Caragh and Ryan were married at Woodside Warehouse in Glasgow. “Our wedding was an epic flower, flamingo, pineapple colour-smash!” said the bride. “We knew we wanted something different, but to begin with weren’t quite such what that meant. We got engaged in December 2015 and married in May so after the initial engagement excitement we had about 4 months to actually get stuff planned. That meant we had to look a little out the box.”

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“Woodside Warehouse was the first and only venue we saw, we fell in love with the big spaces and flexibility, it really inspired us to be creative. Plus we knew as it was so big we had to make really big things to fill it. With it and the caterers taking up most of our budget we also knew that our wedding was going to be very DIY. I’m from a very creative and artistic family so that was really exciting. My mum used to be a jewellery and textile designer so she was incredible at helping make things, or at least figure out how to make things! Plus we’ve got an army of friends and family who were up for rolling up their sleeves and helping us do stuff!”

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What Your Wedding Photographer Wishes You Knew

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To get the best wedding photographs it’s important that you and your photographer communicate. Disappointment is almost always a result of both parties expectations not being well aligned beforehand. As well as letting them know what you want, it’s also really important to listen to their advice and to trust their expertise.

Sadly sometimes couples do end up disappointed with their wedding photographs, but it’s almost always because there was a lack of communication with their photographer beforehand. Maybe their expectations were unrealistic or they booked a photographer without fully understanding their style or method of working.

However, if you’ve never worked with a professional photographer before it can be difficult to know what are even the right questions to ask! So I’ve done the legwork for you and spoken to some amazing wedding photographers and asked them to share the things they wish all their clients knew:

“Stop obsessing over the weather! Refreshing the forecast won’t change anything, and rain can actually make for very beautiful photographs. No matter how hard you wish for nice weather, worrying about it won’t make any difference. Rain never ruins a wedding, only people’s attitude to it does. Yes, you might get soggy, your hair might get a little frizzy, and you might have to change some of your plans at the last minute, but you’ll be the cool couple who didn’t give a toss and partied hard anyway! And here’s a little secret – super bright sunshine does not make for the most flattering pictures either. So even if it does rain, get out there and dance, kiss and enjoy it.” Sassy Lafford, Assassynation

“If you’re traveling between different venues for your ceremony and reception then consider moving the ceremony to an early time so that you still have plenty of time for your couple shoot and group shots without missing out on mingling with your guests.” Fiona Watson, Fiona Watson Photography

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“Trust your wedding photographer. If they come up to you during dinner or while your dancing with your friends and ask you to come outside for five minutes then there will normally be a very good reason such as a rainbow, sunset or simply beautiful light. They will have you back in no time and you will get some amazing photos for your efforts. Trust also extends to believing in their ideas and style of photography. They may pick locations or poses that may seem a bit strange to you at the time but remember that you can’t see what they are seeing and it will all make sense when you see the photo.” Neil Douglas, Neil Thomas Douglas Photography

“When a client chooses not to book a professional photographer, instead opting for a friend or family member with a nice camera, I wish I could tell them that they most probably (or rather definitely) won’t get the same kind of service that they would get from a seasoned professional. Yes, a pro photographer may bump the cost of your wedding up (sometimes considerably) but what you get at the end is something to cherish. Uncle Bob may have started to have a tipple or two long before you have finished needing his services, and he may not get round to editing your photos for a considerable amount of time – sometimes if at all. I have had many friends left disappointed when they went down this route for their photos.” Rhian Wood, Rhian Wood Photography

“Please don’t take our photos and post them on social media with yucky filters!! Your photographer will have already edited your photos when they give them to you and it’s totally heart-breaking to see something you’ve spent ages on covered in a yellowy filter! You should choose your photographer because you LOVE their editing style and would never dream of editing them further yourself!” Emma B, ELS Photography

“I’m sure loads of people think wedding photography is as simple as having a good camera and then turning up on the day and snapping away! I wish they knew the reason why the photography can be perceived to be ‘expensive’ and the many, many hours that actually go into their photographs. It’s not just ‘one day’s work’, there is so much preparation beforehand and then all the editing after. Plus there’s all the equipment we have to buy, the training we have to do, the insurance we have to have… when you look at all these factors it really doesn’t work out to be that expensive after all!” Rosie Hunt, Ragdoll Photography

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Movie Themed Wedding with a Kitty Ring Bearer

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Devon and Will’s Savannah wedding was themed around their love of cinema but also cats! “We wanted the wedding to be what we liked and celebrated about each other”, said the bride, “so, along with the popcorn, film reel table toppers and ticket invitations, we had handmade elements… and a kitty ring bearer!”

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“The cat that acted as our ring bearer wasn’t ours. We wanted to use our cats but travelling to the wedding would have been too much on them. We borrowed Sake to do the honours from the One Love Animal Shelter in Savannah. She was fantastic and I heard she even got adopted earlier that day! Her new family had a young daughter who was thrilled that Sake was a part of a wedding. Judging by our guest’s reactions it was a pretty unique idea! I was also wearing cat pasties under my dress in case the girls came out. They didn’t, but I did end up flashing a bunch of people anyways because I wanted to show them off! They were black with glitter.”

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