Spend the Day Together

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Hey you, loved-up-engaged-planning-my-wedding you, can I have a word please? I hope all your planning is going well and that you are gearing up for the day of your dreams. Me? I’m a wedding photographer and I have been for many years now. And here’s a funny thing that after all this time, I’ve only just realised. Like, it’s hit me smack in the face like a wet kipper, realised.

NOBODY TELLS YOU TO SPEND THE DAY TOGETHER

And you know what? Unless you make a concerted effort to, then chances are you simply won’t. Think about weddings: Most couples spend the entire morning apart, they come together for the ceremony (you won’t actually remember much of this bit) then as soon as the confetti has been chucked, you will be talking to the people you know and your lover will be talking to all the people they know. Then apart from your portrait session, chances are you won’t come together again until it’s time to sit for dinner.

Take a good look at most of the weddings on Rock n Roll Bride over over and over again the images with the couple actually together are portraits and formal moments. Cake cutting, speeches, first dance.

Now why do I care? Well, because as a wedding photographer this is the conversation I’m probably going to have with you:

“We love your photography, it’s really natural looking. We hate being in photos, so don’t want to do lots of posing. It would be great if you could just capture us in little moments over the day.”

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I love a challenge but natural and little moments is pretty tough when your couple are on opposite sides of the room or the only significant time they are together is the obvious ‘wedding moments’. I feel like I’m always doing my best to orchestrate ‘natural’. In your couple session, I’m actually hoping to catch those little seconds in between when you think you are being shot, when you are lost in a giggle or just finally looking your favourite person in the face without 100 guests trying to congratulate you. I’m thinking I will get natural when we are walking back from the couple session and you are relaxed as you think formal photos are done with. I’m stalking you all day, camera poised ready but more often than not, I won’t get another shot with you both in it until you are sat at the dinner table.

Once I really thought about it, I began to wonder, is there anything I can do to make a difference?

I shot a wedding last Saturday and I knew that the couple felt super awkward at their engagement shoot. So in the morning I explained to my very lovely bride that if she wanted lots of natural photos to consciously spend the day together with her husband. I told her to make sure they walked together from the ceremony venue to the reception, that they worked the drinks reception together talking to both of your friends and families, that they didn’t just do a first dance together, they did a few. I told them spend the day together to be present through it all.

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Bohemian Medieval Wedding with Archery & Snail Racing!

Bohemian Medieval Wedding with Archery & Snail Racing (11)

Sarah and Arran were married in August, after two years long distance between Manchester and Brighton. They wanted their wedding to just reflect them, have a venue with a brown sign, and be beautiful. For entertainment they had snail racing (!) and even made a DIY snail arena for the day!

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Sarah told us all about their wedding. “At the start of our ceremony, I walked down the aisle Baba Maa, followed by lovely readings by Arran’s dad, and our brilliant friend Marie Harris who reworked Baz Luhrman’s Wear Sunscreen to describe how we met, as well as dishing out some great advice to guests and couple alike. At the end of the ceremony we danced back down the aisle to some banging Psy Trance!”

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Romantic Memento Mori & Skull Wedding

Romantic Memento Mori & Skull Wedding (9)

Amber and Chris were married in October and took inspiration for their wedding from Amber’s vintage skull engagement ring. They wanted their wedding to feel old worldly, and described their wedding theme as a ‘Memento Mori Romance’. Roughly translated, ‘Memento Mori’ means ‘remember you must die’ and Memento Mori jewellery was given to loved ones to remind them that life is fleeting so to live each day to the fullest.

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“We had a hard time describing the vision for our wedding to other people”, said the bride. “The second you say skulls in October everyone assumes Halloween or Day of the Dead. Don’t get me wrong we’re obsessed with both of these things, but we wanted to do something different for our wedding. Our family owned business, The Cupcake Gypsies, shows our love of Dia de los Muertos in full force! But we wanted our wedding to feel more old worldly so we thought ‘Memento Mori’ was the perfect sentiment to bring into our marriage!”

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Intimate and Laid Back Family Gathering Style London Wedding

Intimate and Laid Back Family Gathering Style London Wedding (7)

Hannah and Jonathan met through Hannah’s sister and her husband who is Jonathan’s best friend! They knew each other for ten years before getting together, when they realised they had been kindred spirits all along. Despite long distance (San Francisco to London) they stayed together and after a year Jonathan proposed and six months later they were hitched!

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They wanted to keep their wedding small and local, and didn’t want the day to feel like a wedding at all, but instead a special day of bringing together their two families. They wanted it to be relaxed and laid back and to feel just like a big family gathering. They did away with a lot of traditions which they didn’t feel were necessary and only included what was important to them.

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Coney Island Mermaid Wedding

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Milica and Aleksandar met in a youth hostel in Belgrade, Serbia, eight years ago. Although they still live there now, they spent last summer in America, mostly in NYC, but also road tripping all over the states. They fell in love with Coney Island and decided to get married there. As they were so far away from home they couldn’t have many guests and instead celebrated with a small group of very close friends. But this also meant they had no big expenses and spent less than $500! They are planning another wedding for next year when they are back in Serbia, so they can celebrate with all their families and friends.

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“We fell in love with Coney Island with it’s nice beach, magical vintage amusement park and its vivid history”, explained Aleksandar, ” so we decided to get married there. Then Milica was like ‘If we are getting married on the beach, I wanna be a mermaid’!”

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Bridebook: The Digital Wedding Planner in Your Pocket

Bridebook The Digital Wedding Planner in Your Pocket (3)

Magazines, blogs, Pinterest, Facebook groups, YouTube… there are so many places that engaged couples can go to get ideas for their weddings. However finding inspiration is almost the easy bit, it’s getting down to the nitty gritty – taking those ideas and making them a reality – that is difficult!

Enter the online wedding planner, Bridebook.co.uk. Launched in September, the site has grown fast, with over 24,000 couples now using it to help them plan their weddings! Bridebook want to remove the headache surrounding wedding planning by offering couples one single online space where they can keep track of everything they’re going to need.

You can keep on top of your spending with their budget calculator, manage your RSVPs, track your guest list and even find your suppliers through their directory of over 139,000 UK wedding vendors!

Available both online and via their brand new iOS app (launched a month ago it’s already the #1 wedding planning app in the UK! Android launch is coming soon), the site is compromised of five main wedding planning tools: A checklist, the budget calculator, guest list management, a supplier shortlist/directory and advice.

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Checklist

Bridebook is completely customisable so when you sign up you can put in your wedding date and they will automatically break down your to do list into manageable tasks to do month by month, according to how far away your wedding date is. You can also add any of your own tasks (for example if a you want to be reminded to complete a payment to a supplier or go to an event).

Budget

Simply enter your ideal budget and their algorithm (based on the averages of tens of thousands of past weddings) breaks down how much you should aim to be spending on each aspect of your wedding. Even better is the column where you input how much you actually spend so you can keep track of where you are going over or under budget.

Guest list

The guest list tool allows you to add guests under your or your partner’s name (or both), a direct link to a guest’s plus one, their RSVP status, whether they are a day or evening only guest, and all of their information from address to dietary requirements. It’s an easy way to track all of your guests in one place, so whenever you get an email or text RSVP all you have to do is open the app (or go online) to add them.

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