How to choose your wedding date and time.

All you need is love and … a date and time.

How do you choose your wedding date and time? The majority of weddings I attend  take place in Summer, on a Saturday at 3pm. And there’s a good reason for that, it’s warmer in Summer (well sometimes, although not always in Dunedin) a Saturday means no-one has to go to work early the next day, so they can party late into the night, and 3pm works well, for the ceremony, photos, dinner time line.

But…

Is it really the best time?

Ask any photographer, and 3pm in Summer is not always the best time for those magical wedding photos. There are times of the day (morning and late afternoon/dusk) that they call the ‘golden hour’ because it provides stunning light, and thus equally stunning photos. It can be harder for a photographer to work with the light in the middle of the day in summer to make sure the bride and groom aren’t squinting during the ceremony, or that half the bridal party is in direct sunlight and the other half are in shadow, a bit of a nightmare to make everyone look great.

Summer, while it should be warmer, and less chance of rain, is peak wedding season, so all the good venues, celebrants, photographers will be booked up really fast. You snooze unfortunately you lose in some cases. And I know not everyone’s that organised to plan 18 months ahead. Where as Autumn, you get great colours, leaves falling, it’s still not that chilly yet, and the light is better for photos. Google search ‘weddings in Queenstown’ and you will see the most stunning winter wonderland images. There are also some absolutely stunning venues around that lend themselves to the perfect winter wedding, and if you plan a winter wedding inside, you don’t have to stress about whether it’s going to rain or not. I know many a bride to be who has been constantly checking the weather app on their phone the week leading up to their wedding.  One less stress in my opinion.

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Photo via: Heliweddings.co.nz

 

3pm, or as I call it “wedding o’clock” is the most popular time for a wedding. Why?  Well most people figure it gives the girls long enough to get hair, make-up, maybe a glass of champers under their belt, and then it leads nicely into canapes after the wedding, while the couple go off to have their photos taken, leaving the guests to their own devices, and the open bar, then back after photos straight into speeches or dinner and dancing the night away. But what about exchanging your vows at sunrise, then having a wedding breakfast with your guests?  Or having an 11am wedding, then heading into a beautiful lunch somewhere fancy, or having your ceremony at 5pm (having your first look and photos before hand) and then not having to leave your guests, who you invited because they are your favourite people, and starting the party straight away?

Why Saturday? Fridays are awesome for a wedding, you get to spend a long weekend with your loved ones, especially those who have travelled a long way to hang out with you. And if you give everyone enough notice, then most people will be able to get the time off work, and still not have to go to work the next day. And you’ll have a better pick of venues, celebrants, photographers etc. Having a wedding out of season could also let you take advantage of specials that many photographers, venues etc may have to build business in the less busy season.

If you’re looking for a way to stretch the budget, then consider thinking outside of the 3pm on a Saturday in Summer square. There’s plenty of other options around if you just be open minded.

Just remember it’s your day, and of course you should do it your way, whether it’s 3pm on a Saturday in Summer or not.

Ideas We Love: Flower Girl Inspo

All you need is love and … a cute flower girl.

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Photo via: weddbook.com

Flower girls are cute, we all know that. Choosing  to include a flower girl  is a great way to include either your own daughter, family member or some-one who is close to you’s child. And of course you don’t have to have a flower girl or girls (as is sometimes the case) especially if you are budget conscious, as adding extra people into the bridal party, makes for extra cost.

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Photo via: youtube

There are a few things you are going to want to think over before choosing your  flower girl.

  • Age – yes, babies look delicious all dressed up, and definitely get a cute factor dialled up when they come down the aisle, but generally they can’t walk, so will need someone to hold them, do you have that someone? and will said child behave itself during the ceremony, and do you have an exit strategy for if they don’t?
  • Practice – little people need to have a rehearsal! They need to know where they are going to walk from and then to, and then where are they going to stand after they do the walking from and to, will they go to grandma, or mum or dad, and where will that person be seated? It is very very common for little people to freak out when they realise everyone is looking at them, so have a strategy for what to do if that happens, perhaps they could walk with a bridesmaid.
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Photo via: weddingelation.com
  • Combo – little people do better if they have a partner, either the ring bearer or another flower girl, it will help them feel less nervous, so feel free to combo them up.
  • Processional – I always place the ring bearer and flower girl after the bridesmaids, and just before the bride (they are essentially sprinkling those rose petals for the bride to walk upon, not the bridesmaids) and this also helps because then they know where they are walking to, because the bridesmaids are already in place. Tip – always leave a bigger gap between the flower girls and the bride, everyone will be ‘ohhhing and aahhing’ over the cuties, and totally miss the bride’s entrance.
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Photo via: blissbysam.com
  • Getting ready – will they get ready with the ‘big girls’ and arrive in the car with them or are they just going to arrive at the venue before the wedding with their parents/grandparents. Leave them getting dressed to the absolute last minute, just before your walk out the door, to save the dress from getting dirty. And don’t forget to factor in things like car-seats.
  • Reception – it is totally acceptable to have the flower girls/ring bearer at the wedding ceremony, and then not include them for the reception, if you are not having children at your wedding, and it gives the parents the night off too.
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Photo via: weddbook.com
  • Importance – make sure the little one knows how important her role is, and where she fits in with the bridesmaids, and how she has to behave.
  • Your own daughter – if you are using your own daughter be prepared to her not to want to sit in her seat, she may even want to wander off and have a look around. Know that she may want to stand with you, especially in between the two of you! In most cases it is just a case of ‘go with it’ it is your child after all, and who is going to have an issue with that. I have done many a wedding with either the bride or groom, having to hold onto their little flower girl. No drama.

And of course your flower girl does not have to be a little girl.

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Photo via: Ashley Elizabeth Photography