Some Lovely Things

All you need is love and … some lovely things.

A curated list of things, people and places I’ve discovered this week that I love.

Show your girl some love

Do you have a bridesmaid with a sense of humour, and want a gift that she’ll appreciate and have a giggle at? Then this is the shirt for her! Definitely for the bride and her girls who don’t take themselves or the wedding planning process too seriously.

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Available from Peacemaker Apparel, Etsy

Flower Infused Ice Cubes

 

These flower infused ice cubes add an element of sophisication to your event. Whether you use them in the ice buckets on your tables for your champagne or use edible flowers and herbs/fruit to add interest and flavour to your water jugs/glasses, they are definitely going to add the ‘wow’ factor for your guests. You will need to start making them in the months leading up to your wedding/event, to make sure you have enough, but once the ‘big day’ rolls around, it will be one less expense to stump up on the day itself.

 

 

Famous movie weddings

 

Are you a bit of a “Sex in the City” fan? Did you swoon over the venue, dress and limo Carrie had for her wedding? Want to know how much a “Sex in the City” wedding will set you back?

Venue: The New York City Library is the largest public library in the United States, servicing over 17 million visitors a year. A wedding here will cost you a whopping $500,000.

Dress: Carrie wore a Vivienne Westwood creation for her planned wedding day. The dress is valued at $24,000

Food: The average catering costs for a wedding in New York City are between $10,000 to $14,000

Rehearsal Dinner: Carrie and Big hosted their rehearsal dinner at famed New York City Restaurant ‘Buddakan’ based on their large party this would have cost about $8,500

Limo: The average cost of limo rental in New York is around $120.00 an hour.

But we all know how that wedding day turned out (spoiler alert, it doesn’t) so it’s probably better to just go with your own more affordable options.

 

 

What’s in my celebrant “bag of tricks”?

All you need is love and … a bag full of essentials.

So those of you who have met with me, in my capacity as a wedding celebrant, and have had me officiant your wedding day know that I lug around a huge black shoulder bag. It’s my bag of tricks. It has everything that I or possibly the bride or groom could need for the before and/or during the ceremony.  This is a carefully curated list/bag of items that has been collected and added to over previous weddings.

Here’s a list of what’s hiding in the big black bag.

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1 Rescue Remedy – If you haven’t heard/used this before, it’s awesome. It’s a homeopathic spray that you spray on your tongue to help calm you down. Works perfectly for anxious grooms.

2 Wipes – Perfect for hands and for men’s suit/shirt shoulders, which always get make-up on them from all the hugs and kisses they get before the ceremony starts. Helps smarten them up for photos.

3 Lipstick – For me not, the groom.

4 Water bottle – I get a dry mouth when I know I have to do a lot of speaking, so water is essential. Have also had nervous grooms take a swig as well. Side note: it is definitely water and not vodka in there. Yes, it is a sponge-bob square pants bottle!

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Shannon and Sean

5 Heart shaped rocks – For holding down the paperwork before and during the signing if there’s a breeze.

6 Vehicle Log Book – for recording the km’s for yucky tax.

7 Business cards – you never know when an opportunity exists.

8 Hand cream – dry hands make rings harder to slip on.

9 Tissues – I always have at least 2 tissues in my pockets, for either the bride or groom during the ceremony.

10 Compact mirror – to make sure I look presentable before everything kicks off.

11 Matches – just in case someone forgets the matches for lighting a candle of remembrance.

12 Spare battery – for the microphone.

13 Comb – kinda goes with the compact mirror and lipstick.

14 Microphone – so everyone can hear all the lovely words, the couple say to each other. I always have a spare in the car, just in case.

15 Pen – for signing the paperwork, in case the couple don’t have a special one they want to use.

16 Cellphone – the cellphone is loaded with the couple’s playlist for their ceremony, and is definitely switched onto meeting mode during the afternoon.

17 Red folder – the meeting folder, this contains the couples file, with all their contact details.

18 White folder – the folder I use during the ceremony. It holds the ceremony and the couples vows and any readings they are having.

19 Lollipop – used to give to flower girls and/or ring bearers when they have made their walk down the aisle and are about to take their seats.

There is a lot in there (believe me, I have to lug it around) but it is everything I could possibly need for a wedding ceremony, to make sure the groom looks and feels his absolute best (I spend more time hanging with the groom and his boys on the actual wedding day than the bride)  and to make sure I perform the best ceremony I can.

People We Love: Debra Fallowfield Jeweller

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “People We Love”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

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Meet Debra Fallowfield Jeweller

Business Name: Debra Fallowfield Jeweller, owner of PRECIOUS by Debra Fallowfield in Port Chalmers, Dunedin.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: Self confessed magpie – lover of shiny bright things.  I am what you would call a custom or bespoke jeweller. A bit like an Atelier, I pretty much make all my jewellery by hand to order.  My speciality is “one of a kind” engagement and wedding rings. I have a very distinctive style – which is totally unique compared to most of the jewellery you would find in an everyday jewellery store.

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I pride myself on good old fashioned customer service, with no pretensions.  Feel free to ask a million questions!

Choosing an engagement, wedding or commitment ring is a huge step to undertake and best done with a knowledgeable jeweller.  Having been in the industry for over 15 years you can have full trust in me for this precious task.  Custom work is all about you, so communication is essential.  My role is to make it all as easy and stress-free as possible.

Quick sketches are usually run up, options discussed (don’t worry if you’re out of town or even in another country, I work with clients worldwide) For grooms, I carry a cool dynamic range of men’s rings with the option of custominsing.

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What do you love about your job? I love what I do, because it’s very creative.

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? Spare time… what’s that???? I am booked up pretty much 12 months of the year for custom work.  Ok… in the very little spare time I have, FOOD, I love cooking, gardening, all things organic, sustainable-fashion, music, dance and travel (one day!)

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What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? That custom made rings are often less expensive than mass produced ones – AND the quality is far superior.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? Mason jars, meringue dresses, badly fitting suits, bands that play crappy 80’s music.

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Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? I work with couples all over the world – from All Blacks (the biggest fingers I have ever seen) to Set Designers at Weta Workshop, wanting symbols they designed inscribed into the back of rings- or couples recycling Grand Mothers diamonds.  Every couple that comes to me has their own story and they want me to create their own heirlooms because they want something unique and special. You don’t get unique and special buying from Michael Hill or Pascoes.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Plan ahead, shop around and ENJOY the time, from the planning to the day … oh, and relax.

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One insider tip to pass on? Your wedding is about you what YOU and your beloved want. It’s not about anyone else.

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The lovely lady behind the lovely jewellery – Debra Fallowfield.

If you loved reading about Debra and love her vibe you can contact her here:

Website: www.debrafallowfield.com

Facebook: Facebook/DFJeweller

Instragram: @debrafallowfieldjeweller

 

People We Love: Ria -Aurum Hairstylists

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “People We Love”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

Meet Ria from Aurum Hairstylists

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Business Name: Aurum Hairstylists

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: My husband and I created Aurum in 2014 – we have young children, so the commitment meant my husband built and designed the salon – then stayed home with the kids while I ran the salon as a solo operation.  I quickly realised I was busier than I could keep up with so slowly started building my team from there.  We now have 4 stylists in total.  At Aurum we pride ourselves on being open and caring about our clients and helping them manage their hair at home.  We specialise in bespoke contour colouring techniques, wedding hair, luxury hair treatments and home care advice.

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What do you love about your job? I love helping people feel better about themselves – when they leave my chair with a smile on their face and a skip in their step – that’s the moment that makes all the long hours and hard work worth it.

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? I have young children, so most of my spare time is dedicated to them and my family.  I come from a large family so the best relaxation for me is catching up with family and friends as much as possible.  I love travel, home design and decor, beach walks and yoga when I get time.

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What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? Just enjoy the day, as it goes so fast. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Focus on your love and connection with your partner, not just the day and the party – everything else is a bonus.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? For brides hair wise –  I love classic looks whether it’s soft or structured.  It should always be timeless, so you can look at it in 20 years and still love it. I love how weddings in general progress with time and reflect the couple’s personality rather than just doing it to be on trend. Pinterest is so fantastic for ideas and themes and just creating mood boards of images that speak to you and reflect the kind of day you want.  Being able to show these to your hairdresser or anyone else involved in your wedding is so important, so everyone knows the overall look you want.

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Any great /interesting stories about working with a couple? Because I trained and worked in Arrowtown we did weddings all year round so I developed these skills early in my career, and I still have an image in my head of every single bride I have had the pleasure of working with.  Most had amazing love stories, some were dealing with devastation and family loss, and how different brides choose to honour that special loved one that couldn’t be with them was so emotional to see.

I have done weddings at the top of a ski field, near the beach in Brighton, Queenstown hotels, my own bridesmaids on a beach in Thailand, Larnach Castle.  Doing a bride’s hair on Christmas Eve, standing in the shower as there was no where else to stand while she was getting her make up done.  I tell brides during the practice that their hair should feel secure enough to run around the block – one bride actually went to the gym and ran on the treadmill for an hour with hair practice hair up in and I’m proud to say that it lasted!

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What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding?  Have fun. Make sure it’s about you as a couple, not all about pleasing everyone else.  Book as much as you can well in advance to secure your date, as weddings tend to book a year in advance, even for hair and make-up.

One insider tip/trick to pass on? Hair wise – most brides grow their hair for the big day – but that’s not what your hairdresser needs to work with. Healthy long hair is best – get regular trims every 8 weeks and deep conditioning treatments every time you get it trimmed.  Also think about having some shaping and layers in your hair – this helps curls to sit better and last longer.  The right salon quality shampoo, conditioner and styling products you are using are the most important next to regular trims to maintain healthy hair.

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Talk to your hairdresser about what you can be using specific to your hair needs from now on to create good hair habits and have the healthiest, shiniest hair for your big day.  Also if you have a dream colour in mind start planning that well before the wedding so that your stylist has time to plan it out, as sometimes colour can take a few visits to achieve the right shade.

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If you love advice and vibe of Ria at Aurum then you can contact them here:

Website: aurum hairstylists

Facebook: Facebook/aurumhairstylists

Instagram: @aurumhairstylists

Pinterest: aurumhairstylists

Engaged to Married – June/July Update

All you need is love and ….an update on Sharmain and Jeremy

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What’s that wedding planning site on the tablet, why that’s angelaport.com

I must confess we’ve been a bit naughty and accidentally skipped  June’s update, so here’s a double helping of wedding planning (who doesn’t love a double helping?, except brussell sprouts, no-one loves a double helping of those bad boys!)

The cake has been organised. One of the more important aspects of the wedding I think (refer above the comment on double helpings)  They now know exactly what they want and have worked with the wonderful Kate at The Dessert Room. Kate was really helpful, even coming in on her day off to meet with us and has promised to make them  the perfect cake for their day. And the price was way better than what they were expecting too so that’s a massive bonus!
Cake organised – check!
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No naked men at the wedding, now they have their suits!!
There will no longer be naked men at the wedding!! The groom’s and groomsmen’s suits have been purchased! As you can see from the photos they were purchased from Hallensteins. One big expense out of the way and one less thing to worry about.
Suits organised and paid for – check!
They are still currently working with their preferred caterer to sort out the right menu for them, it’s a matter of keeping the meat eaters and the vegos and the budget happy, but things are looking good so far.
Food organised – kind of a half check, maybe a check in pencil!
They have made it their mission that by the end of August they need their guest list finalised and then the wedding invitations can be made and be ready to be sent out, so we’ll see in the next blog update if we can stick to that goal!
Guest list finalised and wedding invitations made – mission possible! (only 27 more days left in August!!)
From here they are also going to start working on their wedding vows and thinking about what elements they want to add into their ceremony.  Of course their very attractive celebrant, will be able to provide a lot of information to help them craft heartfelt/personal vows, and give them lots of options for interesting and personal elements they could  add to their ceremony.
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Tyrion’s not a lot of help with wedding planning, but very cute!
There’s a lot of planning and organising and DIYing ahead of them and only 6 short months to get it all done, hopefully with less help from the four legged kind.

People We Love: Charlotte Winkel – Queenstown Wedding Celebrant

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “People We Love”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

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Meet Charlotte Winkel – Your Big Day – Queenstown Wedding Celebrant

Business Name: Your Big Day – Queesntown Wedding Celebrant

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: I’m Charlotte Winkel and I’m a wedding celebrant and wedding blogger based in Queenstown.  Originally from the UK, I moved to Queenstown in 2010 and have since become a NZ resident, bought my first home here and married a kiwi! I became a celebrant whilst Brad and I were planning our own wedding.  We wanted a celebrant who we could relate to, and someone who could help make our ceremony special and personalised.  We found that most celebrants were much older than us and not exactly what we were looking for.  So I decided to register myself, and help other couples get married in Queenstown.  As a celebrant I’m passionate about creating a wedding ceremony that is unique, special and personal for every couple.  Everyone has their own story to tell, and I love to do this in a fun and creative way with lots of personality, local knowledge and professionalism.

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What do you love about your job: I love meeting couples from all over the world and learning about them and their relationship.  This is what helps me to write a ceremony that’s a true reflection of each unique couple.  I like to get creative with a ceremony and challenge some of the wedding traditions.  I also love helping couples write their own wedding vows so they can say what they really want to say to their partner on their wedding day.

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests: I practice yoga daily, ski all winter and ride my mountain bike all the rest of the year.  I love to stay healthy and active but I also enjoy binge watching Netflix with my husband Brad on a rainy day.  We’re big animal lovers and have a friendly border collie, Marley, and a cheeky tabby cat, Floyd.  I also love great food, great wine, and getting together for dinner parties.

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What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew: The legal requirements for you to be married are so minimal – say “I do” and sign on the dotted line.  That’s it.  Everything else is fair game!  There’s so much opportunity to put your own personal stamp on your wedding day.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear: I try to steer away from “trends” and stick to themes and ideas that best represent each couple on their wedding day.  That being said, one wedding reception trend I do love is using bare wooden tables in long rows rather than round tables covered in white table cloths.  This improved seating arrangement is more social, relaxed and organic.  Plus, a few bright beautiful flowers against the dark wood grain of the table is a super effective look.  I’m totally bias though … we did this for our own wedding!

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Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple: Heaps! I got an email last December from a couple in Australia who wanted to get married on New Year’s Eve in Queenstown.  I emailed back to let the couple know that I would be at the Rhythm & Alps music festival close to Wanaka for New Years; so, unless they wanted to get married at the festival, I wouldn’t be able to marry them.  Immediately this couple replied, “Oh, can we get married at the festival?” Within three weeks I worked with this couple to arrange their festival tickets, marriage licence, wedding ceremony, vows, photographer, witnesses, the whole works!  For this spontaneous and free spirited couple, a festival elopement was just perfect, and just in time for the new year.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding:

  • Consider a wedding planner – always money well spent and there’s options for every budget! Let them do all the hard work, so that you can fully enjoy your big day with friends and family, stress free.
  • Consider an engagement shoot – Being photographed all day on your wedding day is a pretty surreal experience for most couples, we’re just not used to it! An engagement shoot helps build trust and develop a relationship with your photographer.  You’ll become more comfortable and confident in front of the camera which will translate into more amazing photos for your wedding day.  Try it, you’ll thank me after!

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One insider tip/trick to pass on: Lots of couples ask for a short and simple ceremony and then afterwards say that it all went too fast! To make your ceremony more memorable consider personalising your wedding ceremony by writing your own vows, choosing meaningful music, or using props to demonstrate your love and marriage.  These are just a few ideas, there’s heaps more!

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The lady herself: Charlotte Winkel!

If you’re a fan of Charlotte and her vibe and want to get in touch, then here are her links.

Facebook: Your Big Day

Instagram: @yourbigdayqt

Pinterest: Your big day qtown

Twitter: yourbigday_qt

Linkedin: Charlotte- Winkel

Google+: Charlotte Winkel

Website: yourbigday.co.nz

 

Unity Ceremonies? Do I need one?

All you need is love and … a unity ceremony?

 

A unity ceremony is an act you can incorporate into your wedding ceremony which symbolises the joining of two separate lives, the idea is that as individuals you are both special and just as important separate, but when joined together you create something unique and beautiful. A unity ceremony  can also be used to symbolise the joining together of two families, if one or both of you already have children, either together or separately.

You do not have to do a unity ceremony, and you should (in my personal opinion) only include one if it is something that absolutely speaks to you.

There are a few different options, that I’ll outline below, and by no means is this the complete list, and there may be a suggestion on this list that sparks an idea with you and your loved one for something completely original.  Go for it I say!

Wine/Beer Ceremony – You each choose a wine (red and white work well), but obviously two that work well together, and you each pour a small amount from your individual glass into a centre glass and then both take turns taking a sip (or a gulp) from the center glass. This also works extremely well with beer if you’re not a wine fan.

Love Letter and Wine Box – You choose a bottle of favourite wine (or beer) and both add love letters to each other (that you have previously written) into a box, to be opened on your one year anniversary.  It’s a nice reminder of what you were both feeling on your wedding day.

Elephant Toothpaste – It’s a funny sounding science experiment, involving you both adding chemicals together to create a pretty spectacular explosion of types.  Awesome to add for a bit of drama to your ceremony.

Unity Candle – Use a large candle and then both the bride and groom light the candle using their own individual candles. This is probably the most common unity ceremony performed at weddings. Important to remember to use hurricane lamps if you are having your wedding ceremony outside, to protect your flame from going out.

Reverse Candle Lighting – The reverse candle lighting ceremony starts with the bride and groom lighting their individual candles from a single/joint one and then proceeding to then light candles held by their bridal party, who then help to light each guests candle.  You would end up with a beautiful sea of candle light, each lit from the same candle.

Sand Ceremony – Both the bride and groom (and children if they are being included) pour different coloured sands into a central vessel, creating a pretty pattern. Each different coloured sand represents a different person. If both the bride and groom are from different areas, you could use sand from your hometown beaches.

Hand Fasting – Hand fasting is a Celtic tradition which involves binding the hands of a couple with ribbon or cord either before, during or after reciting your vows, it is used as a way to symbolise your commitment and devotion to one another.

Tree planting – All about the environment and everything green? Then you may want to include a tree planting as a way of symbolising your union.  You can choose any type of plant/tree you like, and then the tree can be displayed in your home afterwards.

Unity sandwich – You like peanut butter, and he likes jam, perfect, use these two spreads (or any other favourite sandwich fillings) to create the perfect sandwich.

Jumping the broom -Jumping the broom is a time honoured tradition where the bride and groom actually jump over a broom.  The act symbolises a new beginning and the sweeping away of the past.

Hand washing ceremony – You and your groom wash your hands in a large bowl of water. The washing of your hands symbolises the fresh start that you are embarking upon in your marriage, while having your hands dried by your spouse symbolises the act of being vulnerable to each other, and letting yourself be cared for by another.

Mixing Oil and Herbs – If you’re both foodies, then you could mix herbs and oil together as part of your unity ceremony.

Creating art together – Purchase a large canvas, and then each of you choose a colour that represents you, and then you create a painting together using the two different colours. The upside is you now have a meaningful piece of art work to display in your home after.

Lock unity – Each of you choose a lock with a key, you both place your wedding band on the lock and use the key to lock it before the ceremony.  This symbolises your separate and individual lives, during the ceremony, you use the keys to open the locks, exchange your wedding bands and then entwine the two locks and lock them together, symbolising your commitment forever.

Unity hour glass – Very similar to a sand ceremony, you use a decorative hour glass to pour your separate sand into. Plus side is that you now have a useful item to use in your home.

Brand – For those of you farmers, or those getting married on a farm, you could have a brand made of your initials, either as two different brands that you could join together on the day or one brand with both your initials together, that you can brand a piece of decorative wood together. It would be a pretty impressive part of your ceremony.

Fishermans Knot – The Fishermans knot is also know as the ‘lovers knot’ It is made from two cords which represent you as individuals, as you fasten the two cords together this act represents the joining of your two lives in marriage. Once the knot is completed then this represents your future strong, and only becoming stronger under pressure.

As you can see there are a multitude of different options if you are thinking about including a unity ceremony as part of your wedding ceremony, and maybe this list may spark some ideas for something original to you as a couple.  The options are endless.

 

 

 

 

 

People We Love: Hayden Campbell – Photographer

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “People We Love”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

Meet Hayden Campbell: Black Label Photography

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Business Name: Black Label Photography

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business:  I have been shooting for about 4 years , started out shooting  landscape and surf photography which still remain  my number one passion.  Living in the Catlins you cant walk five steps with out falling over something beautiful to photograph! The ocean and beach are my main focus for everything including portraits. I had some help getting in to wedding photography which I am really grateful for as it’s such a daunting thing to get into , one special day…don’t mess it up!!

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What do you love about your job? Meeting new people and hearing new yarns , everyone has had a beer or 8 and are dead keen for chat.

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? Spare time? What is that!! Ha Chasing waves with the boys and hanging out with my 6 month old Asher !

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What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? Time Management!! Happens every time  “we’ve got heaps of time ”   nope we had heaps of time and now we are late !

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Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? Nooo!!  Its all good , if you’re planning a wedding don’t let what’s in or out of trend influence what you do. If you love it and its your vision just roll with it , its your big day who cares what  old uncle Gary thinks !

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple?  Just the classic old Brides right in to it and the groom is over it, haha, groom normally gets a dirty look from his new bride and pulls his head in ,quite common …even I was one one these!!

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What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? First and most importantly enjoy it  , it goes by so quick , delegate jobs and dump some stress to other people , they will be happy to help and stoked to see you relax and enjoy the day!

Secondly Time Time Time ! Give yourselves heaps and expect things to go wrong, somethings you can not control but if you have a bit of time up your sleeve it will make it easier to deal with!

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One insider tip/trick to pass on? My insider tip relates to me actually photographing your wedding. Check your gear and check it again then check it some more! If its a vital piece of equipment (camera body ,flash ,memory cards ) have 2 of them.You do not want to be part way through the day and have something fail!This is my worst fear , SD cards can corrupt so shooting 2 simultaneously may just save the day. Enjoy the day and enjoy the people , the vibe you give off will have a massive impact on your images . Smiles are contagious!

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The man himself: Hayden Campbell

If you love the images you’ve seen and the wedding wisdom Hayden has imparted and his vibe and want to have a chat or see more you can contact him here:

Black Label Photography: Black Label Photography

Email: hayden.blacklabel66@gmail.com

Facebook: hayden.blacklabel photography

Instagram: @hayden.blacklabelphotography

People We Love: Laura Giddey – Wedding Celebrant

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “People We Love”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

Meet: Laura Giddey – Wedding Celebrant

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Business Name: Wedding Celebrant – Laura Giddey

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: A few years ago, some close friends of mine got engaged and asked me if I would take their wedding.  It was completely an honour to be asked and so I went about getting my licence to marry them.  Every wedding I’ve done has been special but that first wedding was EXTRA special as they are still good friends of mine, have been big supporters of my business, and it was so beautiful to watch them say their vows. And to choke up as I announced them as husband and wife! Since then I’ve done nearly 100 weddings and I’ve loved every single one.  I get to write a personalised ceremony for each couple and meet them in a really cool time in their life.  I feel very lucky to do this job, and to work with other celebrants and vendors in the industry that are cool, creative, and open minded.

What do you love about your job? What don’t I love!  Obviously I love love, and I love weddings otherwise I probably wouldn’t do this job.  But a couple of specific loves; 1) hanging out with the groom before the ceremony starts and the bride arrives and watching him tear up a bit when she comes in, 2) being able to marry Australian gay couples and celebrate their union when it’s not recognised at home. I also love the dresses and the vows and all the tears.

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What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests?  I house and pet sit so that keeps me moving house every few weeks and making numerous furry friends.  I do some nannying, cleaning, and help in a food truck as other sources of revenue.  I love weird films, documentaries, true crime stories, reading, and podcasts.  And chocolate.

What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? That you can do pretty much anything to celebrate your wedding.  The legal requirements are so few, and any good celebrant will make sure they happen smoothly, so the rest of the day is totally up to you! There are no rules.

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Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? I ask all of my couples if they want to get their wedding rings tattooed on during the ceremony, and if they want an eagle to fly their rings down the aisle.  I see  these things in blogs and would love to tick them off the bucket list.  I love mismatched colours and genders in the bridal party, and both parents walking both people getting married down the aisle.  I don’t want to call anything out that I’m sick of in weddings, so I’ll tactfully say that I would love people to only do things in weddings that are meaningful to them!

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? One 8 year old ring bearer wept through his uncle’s vows.  A bride said she appreciated how her soon to be husband loved her despite her farts, in her wedding vows.  Another couple wanted to do something memorable and symbolic of the awesome union of them coming together in marriage.  So we did a science experiment called the “elephant’s toothpaste” which foamed in a colourful mess.  You Tube it for more details.

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Elephant’s toothpaste science experiment

 At another wedding we surprised the two witnesses by putting two lollipops under two chairs in the ceremony space before all the guests arrived.  The two lucky people didn’t know they’d be signing the paperwork until we got to that part in the wedding, and I got everyone to look under their chair.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? At each decision point, ask yourself if what you’re doing is how you want to celebrate your day, or if you’re being dictated to by your friends, peers, parents, or Pinterest!  Invest in a videographer or just a friend who can set up a video.  The day will pass so quickly and it’s lovely to have a record of the ceremony which will feel like a blur.

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That one time the bride arrived on a donkey!

One insider tip/trick to pass on?  When your wedding starts, ask your celebrant or minister to invite you and your love to take a moment and a deep breath and look each other in the eye, pausing for a few seconds.  Again, the day passes so quickly and it’s nice to rest in the moment and acknowledge what’s happening, before we rush ahead to the next things.  Pausing is ok! You’ve got time!

If you think Laura is awesome and would love to get in contact with her, here’s where you can reach her:

Email:          laura.giddey@gmail.com

Instagram: @celebrantlauragiddey

Facebook: Wedding Celebrant – Laura Giddey

Website: lauragiddey.co.nz

People we love: Nicola Wall – Celebrant

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “Tradie Tuesday”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

Nicola Wall  – Marriage celebrant

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Business Name: Nicola Wall – Celebrant

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business? I am married to Tyron and have 3 children aged 7,5 and 1 1/2 . I’m trained, registered secondary school teacher (social sciences) who is currently at home running after no3 child and starting to look forward to picking up some part time teaching. I applied to become a celebrant initially because I had previously mentioned what an awesome job it would be – my little sister told me I had to do it as she could not find an available celebrant for any of her choices of wedding dates, and I have continued renewing my registration because I love it.

What do you love about your job? Absolutely no two weddings are the same.  I get to share in people’s most happiest of days and have a good stickybeak at the fabulous dresses, decorations and family dynamics!

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What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? I have 3 children – what spare time?

What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? Grooms need to try on their wedding trousers prior to the day.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? I wish people didn’t care so much what their families/tradition says – it’s good to a point, but the best weddings are the ones where the couples choose elements/elaborations that are uniquely ‘them’.

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? Do you mean like the time the butterflies wouldn’t leave their cage at the conclusion of the ceremony? Or the bride that was 45 minutes late because of stock on the road and no cell phone coverage? Interrupting a wedding because the thunderstorm hit 2 minutes too early? The couple that nearly couldn’t get married because they’d not collected their licence in time?

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What 2 pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Don’t be scared to ask questions and think outside the square.

One insider tip/trick to pass on? There is no ‘right way’ for a wedding ceremony nor one size fits all.

Think Nicola sounds like ‘the best celebrant ever’? Then contact her here:

email: nicolawallcelebrant@gmail.com

Phone: 0272317174 or 4544277

Website: www.nicolawall.weebly.com