Posts Tagged ‘DIY Photography’
I’ve been meaning to write about alternatives to professional wedding photography for ages, but this week I got two emails on the subject, and I decided it was time for us to chat. Here is the thing: I love photography as an art form, and wedding photography was really high on my list of priorities. BUT! I do not think that professional wedding photography is for everyone, and I don’t think it needs to be. Here is a snippet of an email I got this week:
We’re getting married in 4 weeks, and yesterday I made the daft mistake of going for lunch with a lovely friend who is getting hitched in a few months. We’re having very different styles of wedding, but both really excited for each other. Here’s the problem: over a cup of green tea, she confided in me that she is really worried about our decision not to have a professional photographer. She has a couple of friends of friends who did the same and now regret it. She was dead serious, very concerned for me, and encouraged me to reconsider, and even though I was sure we’d made the right decision for us, I’m now fretting. We decided not to have a wedding photographer because:
- We have loads of friends who are handy with a digital SLR. We’ve put together a list of important shots for the big day, and will divide them up, so nobody has to take more than 5 key shots (they have already agreed). Is this a mad idea?
- The cost of the photos would add an extra 10% to the wedding budget, and we don’t want to get into debt. And frankly the average price of wedding photography makes me feel unwell.
- We’re applying the infinite monkey theorem, whereby if we have enough people taking photos, we’re bound to get some album-worthy shots.
- My parents’ photo album is really 70s, only has about 30 photos in it,* but is beautiful, and to be honest that would be good enough for me. Continue reading How To: DIY Wedding Photography
When Nicole sent me her wedding graduate post, she said something hilarious, ie, “I feel a little shy about sending you this… I’m really not sure that our Australian, homespun, fairly un-traditional (but oh-so-joyful) wedding of two ‘older’ people is appropriate for A Practical Wedding.” Ha ha ha ha ha. Because it could not be MORE perfect for APW if it tried (and more specifically more appropriate for Megs). You know how sometimes I say things like, “I wish I had been at this wedding”? Well with this wedding I am FREAKING OUT about how Nicole forgot to invite me. Forgot! To! Invite! Me! Because, you see, I grew up doing things like hippie-world-music-dance-camps-under-the-redwoods, and this wedding looks like it came right out of my old photo albums. Happy, happy photo albums. So. Without further ado, I bring you Nicole, with the wedding I wish I was at. Oh. And she brings some serious wisdom to go with her serious inspiration.
I read a lot of wedding blogs in the months before our wedding, and with all of my extensive research I really believed I was prepared for anything that the wedding planning process and the wedding itself could throw at me. But of course there were some surprises and some lessons, now neatly slogan-ised as:
- Some form of stress is probably unavoidable
- There really are no ‘shoulds’
- There truly IS something magical about the whole wedding experience
A little bit of background. Tim and I have been together for eleven years and so in getting married, we felt like we had license to be utterly ruthless about which traditions to include in our wedding. We picked up virtually every tradition and had a good look at it from all angles and figured out whether it meant anything to us. Being a bit older (late 30s/late 40s respectively) we also had very little in the way of family expectations.
The feeling of seeing our dreams realized for our wedding weekend was really quite marvelous. We had booked a big wooden bunkhouse in the forest, where most Western Australians would have spent a school camp at some point in their lives. This is no ‘walk-in’ function centre, so it had to be a very hands-on, DIY wedding.
Without the very intimate involvement of family and friends, we would never have been able to pull it off. My mum cooked our feast, my sister coordinated the breakfast for the following day, our friends organized all of the PA and music equipment, other friends turned big boxes of wildflowers and foliage into beautiful jars of flowers – it goes on.
Which brings me to my first lesson. I was SO determined to be a cool-under-pressure, low key kind of bride, I genuinely didn’t find the 6 months before the wedding all that stressful. My non-bridal dress I found on the sale rack of a local designer and was only the second dress I tried on. We made lots of the little details (the burlap table runners, a heap of red cushion covers, a bunch of red flags, and the bunting for example) but we just fitted those tasks in around our lives. I am quite comfortable organizing events, in which case I really should have known that stress at some point is unavoidable.
Quite a few things didn’t quite go to plan on the Friday night and the Saturday morning before the wedding (hire company problems, flowers in more of a natural state than we’d imagined). Each task took just a little longer than we’d planned on, and I had some mildly terrifying moments on Friday night and Saturday morning where I really didn’t think we would get there, and would still be in our jeans and in a flap when all the guests started to arrive.
That stress I felt just before the wedding leads to my second lesson – ‘there are no shoulds’. Continue reading Wedding Graduates: Nicole & Tim
I was thrilled when Ali’s wedding landed in my inbox. Her email was such a lovely, pay it forward testiment to the APW community. She said, “I’ve wanted to write a wedding graduate post ever since I began reading APW. The posts written by brides have stuck with me so much more strongly than any detail photos I have ever seen. Even if my story doesn’t make it to the website, I still wanted to share it with you. APW has acted as wedding planning therapy for me, so I want to give something back.” And YES! That, for me is what wedding graduate posts are about.
But her wedding…. sigh. Ali’s wedding is a testiment to what DIY & DIT is really about for me. I’m a creative person, but I’m only marginally crafty. So for us, for our wedding DIY & DIT was about necessity. It was as simple as making our wedding happen. But from that necessity emerged a real pride of creation. And that is so exactly what Ali’s simple, lovely, backyard wedding is about. Creation, pride, and love, love, love, love.
My backyard wedding was almost entirely DIY. I cooked for 80 people, I decorated, I arranged flowers, I cut and hemmed table cloths, landscaped my backyard, etc. This was not driven by a desire to be crafty, but rather it was the only way to have the party that I wanted on our very modest budget. When I told people that my husband and I were taking all of this on, I received pitying looks. No one thought I was going to be able to pull it off. I myself doubted that I would come out on the other side of the wedding with my sanity. This was partly because I have struggled with health complications through out my entire adult life. I have a syncope disorder and when ever I am under stress I fall into a dead faint. It’s dangerous, frustrating, and makes it very difficult for me to take on anything challenging. This seemed like an impassable hurtle to our wedding day. But I looked our beast of a wedding to-do list right in the eye, and tackled it.
We didn’t do it all alone though. We had a great team of helpers. My husband and I were speaking about our wedding day and we both described the same feeling. We were told that our wedding day would validate and confirm how much we love each other, but we already knew all about our love for each other. It was the love that we were receiving from our friends and family that really blew us away.
I had friends come to stay with me 2 weeks prior to our wedding day. They worked as hard as I did and were just as invested in my wedding as I was. The night before the wedding they stayed up with me until 5 in the morning helping to tie up lose ends. I was astounded by how ready and willing they were to do anything that I needed. I was brought to tears when my exhausted best friend, who had been cooking since 8 AM, insisted on giving me a pedicure at 4:30 in the morning the day of the wedding because she wanted me to feel pampered for at least 30 minutes.
There were times that I thought that everything was going to fall apart, but there was always someone there to hold it all together. My dress was altered and pressed by a friend, the photography was done by a friend, our officiant was a friend. So, although our wedding day was meant to be about the relationship between my husband and I, it was the relationships with my friends and family that stood out to me. To the DIY brides out there: ask for help! There are probably people who will surprise you with their skills and love.