I did something this weekend I never do. I went to a wedding… as a GUEST. Not only was I “just” a guest… I didn’t even really know the couple… I went as a DATE. Me being at a wedding to just hang out is something that only happens once in a blue moon, and I love it. I love the change in pace, yet I have a hard time not scratching the photographer’s itch I inevitably get. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t have a camera on me, or I would have switched to “work mode” and forgotten all about the just-being-a-date thing. All that to say, this blog post actually isn’t about photography.
Last week we had coffee with this adorable couple we had met through The Great Bridal Expo. The bride, Rachel, asked our opinion of whether or not we felt that a “first look” was a good idea, or if it was still ok to be completely traditional and waiting till the whole, walk-down-the-aisle-precious-moment situation. This morphed into a great conversation about how weddings these day are awesome because it’s ok now to do whatever the heck you want. It’s your day, and your preferences should be put first. Sometimes we all have to bend a little for our families (and they’re worth it, right?!) but when possible… put your foot down. You won’t regret it.
Now back to the wedding yesterday, at which I did nothing but guest-like things at. Let’s just say, I’ve been to my fair share of weddings, and this was by far the most unconventional wedding I’ve ever been to. While I’ve only had the privilege of hanging out with this couple once or twice, I could tell right off the bat that their wedding was a true reflection of their style. In fact, If I had a quarter for every time one of their parents said “That’s SO them”… I’d have made more money than what they probably spent on the entire wedding.
Both the bride and groom love surfing, doughnuts, and each other. Their wedding encompassed all three. It was a very intimate gathering that included their immediate families, their friend and officient, and my boyfriend and myself. The morning of the groom picked up some coffee travelers, the bride bought two dozen doughnuts, and we all met up on the beach at 9am on Sunday to help them tie the knot.
The bride decided to wear a teal Indian Sari, the groom wore khakis and a Hawaiian shirt, and of course we were all barefoot in the sand. The ceremony lasted all of about 10 minutes. During the ring exchange the best man (aka my boyfriend) pretended to have lost the bride’s ring, the groom whistled at a nearby surfer, the surfer proceeded to run out of the water and towards the groom, and “pretended” to give the best man the ring–which he had in fact not lost. All of this was of course previously planned (the “random” surfer turned out to be a not-so-random roommate of the groom). The mother of the bride didn’t find it quite as funny as the rest of us, but it was a memory in the making. A story they’ll all be telling for years to come.
After they exchanged their “I do’s”, the newlyweds threw on some wetsuits, grabbed their boards, and hit the surf. I literally took a 10 minute nap on the beach while everyone just hung out and enjoyed the relaxing morning.
So my point? Not that you should consider allotting a “nap time” for your guests (although that was nice) but that your wedding should reflect YOU. For my friends, their wedding was so classically them. Will they look back ten years from now and remember that day? Heck ya they will! They were bold enough to drop the formalities and traditions, and put their signature stamp on the day’s festivities. It was fun, it was awesome, and in the end… they got married.
Every wedding I’ve been to and worked at is obviously a completely unique celebration from the last one, but If I had one thing to leave you with, it’d be that when you’re making wedding planning decisions, be yourself. Have your party reflect your style, and make it a day where people say “That was awesome” because they think you’re awesome.