Tag Archives: Ceremony

A Shamanic Wedding Ceremony in Guatemala: Daniela & Mark

How utterly beautiful is today’s real wedding? This is the kind of wedding that makes my heart sing – no fuss, no details, no over-the-top-bridezilla-stresses – just the most important thing…love.

The bride, Daniela, told me all about their special day. “There were only the two of us at the ceremony, the lady who married us, the lady who owned the land and our photographer. The ceremony itself lasted about 1.5 hrs and consisted of several parts: lighting the fire, being cleansed with special leaves and incense, hearing the 20 nahuales of the Mayan Calendar being read out, telling each other our love and exchanging our rings, being wrapped in a green shawl which represented Gaia. We began and ended the ceremony with chocolate, a block of which was also burned in the fire. Chocolate is sacred in Mayan culture.”

“We chose to get married in Guatemala as we got engaged there last year and it’s our favourite country. Neither of us knew much about Mayan beliefs, but after doing some research we decided to tie the knot in a Mayan fire ceremony because we felt like we should honour the traditions of our chosen wedding location. Organising everything was extremely easy – we found our photographer via Tripadvisor and our shaman, the amazing Aum Rak , via a quick Google search. She then got us in touch with Terri, the owner of a local hotel in Lake Atitlan who offered us to get married on her land.”

“I knew that I wanted to wear a vintage (or vintage-looking) dress and briefly considered one by BHLDN, but it would have been almost criminal to shove such an expensive dress into my backpack for 3 weeks (we were travelling through Mexico and other locations in Guatemala before the wedding). So I chose a Gunne Sax dress instead, which I could just roll up and carry around with me without it getting creased. As for shoes, they had to be Swedish clogs!”

“Some might think we’re bonkers for getting married in this way,” she concluded, “but our parents fully understood, and for us it couldn’t have been more perfect or more emotional and meaningful (I was crying so much throughout the ceremony!). We had such a relaxed, blissful day as we didn’t have to worry about anything. No guests, no reception, no cake, no make-up or hair appointments… It was completely stress-free! Afterwards we had our honeymoon in the middle of the jungle in Honduras!”

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Alejandro & Aurelie’s Frida-Inspired Ceremony

Alejandro & Aurelie’s wedding was a small one – tiny in fact. They were wed at Hammersmith & Fulham Registry Office with just a few close friends in attendance. They didn’t have a reception but instead will be having a big family party back home in Switzerland later this year.

Aurelie’s wedding day look was inspired by artist Frida Kahlo. She wore a vintage dress from Paper Dress Vintage and flowers in her hair from H & M. Aurelie is an artist (check out her exploding jewellery!) and so made her tourquise earrings herself from a pair of turquoise stones that Alejandro had bought her from Porobello Road Market.

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Carolyn & Julian’s Multi-Coloured, RayBan Registration of Marriage

“My husband and I met on New Year’s day in 2007 after a persistent friend-turned-matchmaker insisted that we meet,” began Carolyn, the bride, when I asked her to tell me the story of how she met Julian. “It wasn’t love at first sight at all, in fact I thought he looked like an obnoxious guy! It wasn’t until we started chatting online and finally meeting up a couple more times, and when he asked “Have you heard of Explosions In The Sky?” (our space-out-heart-tugging fave musicians). It was a done deal. We became inseparable ever since.”

“We had so much in common, it felt somewhat surreal at times. Music aside, we were also big tattoo enthusiasts but I reckon the core of our relationship is really our nonsensical side. We do so many silly things and laugh at ourselves so much that well, it still is funny! I love that the most about us as a couple. Julian works as a tattoo artist and I am a photographer, I think we both compliment each other so well not only in terms of personality but also on a creative level.”

“I’m not a fan of bling at all, so Julian proposed to me with a vintage film camera that you will see me holding in one of the photos. It was to me, the most perfect engagement gift!”

From this perfect beginning, came a wedding that was perfect for them. This event was actually their ‘registration of marriage’ – ie the legal bit. The bride told me that in Malaysia, it is quite common for this to happen a few months before the actual wedding. Instead of a traditional registration ceremony, they wanted to make a big deal of it and so asked their registrar to come to their venue, a funky bar & restaurant called Palate Palette in Kuala Lumpur, where they signed their papers and promised to marry in front of all their friends and family. “Instead of inviting only a few people for our registration, we invited close friends and relatives, it was pretty much like a wedding-on-the-go. It was really special and so much fun!! We even did a mini-walk in where we walked up spiral steps to ‘Today’ by the Smashing Pumpkin’s.”

“What makes our registration Rock n Roll I think pretty much stems from our (nonsensical) personalities and interests. We both love film photography and got our photographer friends to help shoot the event. We got a whole bunch of different coloured Ray Bans for our guests for our photo session, which turned out really awesome! We had several portraits taken of us around the premise which I felt really gave out happy, kiddy feel, simply cause it was colourful. Oh and the surprise for the day (for me), was The Simpsons themed placards!! Obviously, its my favourite cartoon.”

“Another surprise was from my Godmother who prepared a huge board of some of our photos and guestbook, she also went at length to do the flower pieces for each table with recycled bottles. So much love from her I can’t describe!”

The lucky pair get to do it all again next Summer in their actual wedding, I can’t wait to see the photos then.

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A Sunday Kind of Love – The Any Campaign

Photography Credit: Shelley Paulson Photography

When we were planning our wedding it came as a huge surprise to me to discover that in this country there are very strict rules about when and where you can tie the knot.

“Open air weddings are not permitted in England and Wales. The law states that a marriage ceremony venue must have a roof, be moored to its foundations, and licensed by the local registrar and that the ceremony must take place between 8am and 6pm.”

Photography Credit: Katherine O’Brien 

Could you imagine if this was the law in The States?! All these beautiful outdoor weddings would have never happened!

The Any Campaign is a fantastic cause, a postive result of which could change British weddings forever. So please please take 2 seconds to sign this petition. The goal is to get 1000 British ‘signatures’ and if they do, you never know, they may be well on the way to change this old fashioned and out-dated English law!

Photography Credit: Steep Street

You can see all of my favourite outdoor weddings right here. Inspirational!

Under the Spotlight – Ordination by The Universal Life Church

Credit: Devlin Photos

I’ve always been a huge fan of weddings where friends or family members of the bride & groom get ordained and perform the ceremony for them. Can you get any more personal? For our wedding, the vicar that married us was a family friend so I know exactly how extra special it feels to have someone you know and love marry you.

The Universal Life Church is a fantastic website where your chosen friend or family member can get ordained in order to perform your marriage ceremony for you. The company, who ordain over 500 people a day (!) believe strongly in marriage equality and unity across all religions (and non-religions) and believe in everyone’s right to have their wedding officiant by whomever they desire. This ethos is what their company is based on.

Credit: Becky Novacek

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Angie & Jordy’s Musical, Heavily Tattooed, Central Park Wedding

Central Park played host to Angie and Jordy’s wedding. Originally from Ottawa, Canada, the couple chose New York to get married in because it was the first place they travelled to together, “It just seemed like the ideal location for us” Angie told me. “We wanted to see more Broadway shows and catch a Yankee’s game.  No to mention many of our guests had never been and who doesn’t want to visit New York?”

Central Park was the perfect location for them because they wanted to have an outdoor wedding, “We did research online and through the Central Park website I found our wedding planner Julie Lindenman (I Do New York) who organized the ceremony for us,” she continued. “We looked at different locations within the park but loved the rustic look of the Cop Cot area.  We also liked that it had seating for everyone as our group was small (only 25 people).  We had a cellist who was originally supposed to play our 3 songs but we were so grateful he played the entire 45 minutes while we were waiting for my mother to get there.”

Music was really important to the couple. The prosessional music was Child of Mine by Guns n’ Roses, Angie walked down the aisle to All I Want is You by U2 and the couple walked out to Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. 

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