Golden Rules for the Rebel Bride & Groom
Dear Rebels in love,
Welcome! I write this letter to help make your wedding planning—and your wedding day—as fun and breezy as possible. I’ve learned a lot of this stuff the hard way: from my years as a wedding photographer and, most recently, as a rule-breaking bride myself! But you gotta know the rules in order to break (or cherry pick) the rules, and that’s what I want to encourage you to do!
I’m here to help you plan the wedding that most suits you.
Hence my ‘Golden Rules for the Rebel Bride & Groom’! Here they are:
Rule #1: Your wedding, your way.
To be clear: I’m not encouraging you to abandon your loving wedding guests in a cloud of fumes as you wheelie off into the sunset…unless that’s exactly what your dream wedding looks like!
But every pair of lovebirds has been told, when they get engaged, “Do what you want! After all, it’s your wedding day!”
How quickly that lovely blessing can unravel into a heap of requests and expectations. Gah!
Weddings can be a lot of things, good and bad; when you start making concessions for everyone else, you risk letting the bad outweigh the good. And that’s a slippery slope.
Rule #2: Eff tradition for the sake of tradition.
Ideally you only get one shot at your wedding. Instead of worrying about all the stuff you need to do to make sure everyone’s happy, ask yourselves: “If we could design our wedding day any way we wanted, what would it look like?”
If you love tradition, then great! You have a solid template to work from when planning your wedding day. But there are so many nuptial / cultural / family traditions, and for most modern couples abiding by them all means too many rules to follow on a day that’s supposed to be just for you.
Whatever your favourite things are, just for fun, imagine incorporating them into your wedding day. What does that look like?
Your wedding is an opportunity to create a unique and wonderful experience for you and your guests, whether that’s two people or two hundred, so let your imagination run free!
Rule #3: Go team!
As your wedding photographer I’m here to help those creative dreams become reality! From the early consultations where no limits need apply, to making sure things go smoothly the day of, I’m here to help you imagine and realize your vision.
Rule #4: Be here now.
Once the day is upon us, it’s time to be present. You’ve done months of planning, and now’s the time to let the vendors do their jobs.
Your job, as the ones getting married, is to enjoy every moment and be there, in the now, together.
Whether it’s saying your vows, greeting your guests, listening to your best friend’s speech, or being in front of the camera - go with the flow and focus on connecting. Sit close to each other at dinner, embrace any big emotions that may arise, and don’t worry about your clothes getting dirty, cause they will. The day goes fast, so enjoy it!
Rule #5: No expectations.
As your photographer, teammate, and collaborator, I have no expectations of you during our shoots other than the previous rule: Be here now.
You are not expected to perform or be a model — on the contrary, all you need to do is be yourselves. I will direct you when needed, and let things unfold naturally otherwise. Enjoy each other and the moment you’re in and I will have everything I need to capture your love and the truth of your wedding day.
Rule #6: Go unplugged.
This is also really an extension of Rule #4, but in relation to your guests. Your vows are a big deal, not just for you two, but for the people who love you and get to witness them in the flesh. For this reason alone they should be witnessed, rather than viewed through the lens of a camera, phone or iPad. After all, that’s what I’m here for!
That’s why I recommend you let your guests know that you’re going unplugged. Put up a sign, have the officiant make an announcement, and people will listen. That way everyone can enjoy the moment, screen-free, and your photographer can capture the scene—complete with emotional faces—rather than full of phones.
Rule #7: Positive Mental Attitude
You don’t have to buy into the whole ‘Weddings are so stressful…’ schtick.
Yes, planning any event comes with it’s share of challenges, but don’t let that shadow the experience. Remember why you are doing this whole thing in the first place - because you are in love and that is a lucky place to be!
And them’s the golden rules, folks! From one rebel to another, congratulations on your love! I can’t wait to work with you.
Wedding planning is the ultimate challenge in indecisiveness: big or small, outdoor or indoor, spring or summer—feeling overwhelmed yet? As a Canadian elopement photographer who also works in the traditional wedding scene, my aim is to help you make the most educated decisions possible so your big day reflects you and your partner. After all, that’s what it’s all about!
Whether you’re seriously considering eloping, or you’re in the midst of weighing all your options, remember there are no rules when it comes to how you celebrate your wedding; eloping can offer some seriously sweet benefits, from shirking traditional expectations to the ultimate intimate experience. So if you’re envisioning a wedding that breaks the rules, stick around while we chat eight reasons why it could be the right move for you!
1 - Cost Effective
Let’s get the obvious perk out of the way first; a ‘just-for-us’ wedding tends to be more cost effective than a traditional wedding. Not only are you cutting down on costs by skipping rentals, catering, and a reception venue, but the money you save can go towards your honeymoon or other future travel plans. Talk about a win-win.
2 - Keep it Intimate
One of the ultimate advantages of eloping is the amount of quality time you get to spend with your significant other. Rather than being swept up in the day’s elaborate production (that really just goes by in the blink of an eye) you get to slow down and focus on one another. Your attention won’t be divided between guests, family members, vendors and the like, but rather spent making memories together that will last. So, if you’re worried your day will be spent appeasing the masses, you may want to consider taking the intimate route and eloping instead.
3 - Dream Big
Let’s face it, with traditional wedding planning comes feedback and input from some opinionated family members and guests. We get it, everyone has a different vision for how your big day should go, but you know whose vision matters most? Yours, of course! With fewer planning factors to coordinate and consider, you aren’t pressured to make sacrifices to appease others, and you certainly won’t be subjected to endless requests. It’s your day, so to heck with other’s expectations!
4 - Minimal Planning
Planning a traditional wedding is a lot of hard work—and that’s putting it lightly. Months—sometimes years!—worth of coordinating vendors, finalizing details, seating charts, and guest lists can be enough to send anyone over the edge, not to mention those who aren’t keen on extensive organizing. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly an element of planning that goes into a great elopement, but when it’s just the two of you, an officiant, witness, and me, your photographer, you’ve got the makings for a manageable, carefree day.
5 - A Great Excuse to Adventure
Have you ever imagined getting married at the top of a mountain after your favorite hike? A private beach? Where you and your other half first met? Fewer people to accommodate means your big day can happen in the most unusual and magical places, and you’re no longer restricted to venues that can hold a certain number of guests. Not to mention it can make for some pretty epic wedding photos. Just sayin’. . .
6 - Privacy
Though for some, the idea of being the center of attention for an entire day is exhilarating, and for others, it’s anything but. For a shy couple, standing in front of practically everybody they know and reveling in intimate feelings can be intimidating, and may even distract from the moment. You deserve the freedom to speak your vows freely and commit to your partner without fretting about onlookers! So, if you or your partner are a first-to-leave-the-party kinda person, eloping may be your best bet for a relaxing wedding.
7 - Skip the Stress
With less planning, comes less stress. Unlike a traditional wedding in which you have to carefully coordinate numerous vendors, your wedding party, and countless guests, an elopement offers more freedom. Rather than sticking to rigid schedules, or rushing from one venue to the next, you can instead spend the day loving on your new life partner and going where the day takes you. Plus, that ongoing pressure to throw a memorable and enjoyable event for all your guests? Forget about it! This day is your day, after all.
8 - Flexibility
One of the best parts about eloping is how easy it is to tailor it to you and your partner’s needs. If you’re worried about family members or close friends feeling left out, or you want them beside you on the big day, invite a small party! If you like the idea of having the ceremony just you two but still want to include some of your closest pals, consider having a separate reception the following weekend or when you’re back in town. There’s no rule book for how you should say your I dos; every aspect is entirely up to you.
And there ya have it! I hope this encourages you to approach wedding planning a little differently, and truly consider what you want your big day to be. I so look forward to working with you, not only as your photographer but as your teammate!