Posts in Advice
Kids At Weddings.

I was having a conversation with a couple yesterday about “kids at weddings”. I see a whole bunch of chatter about this, to exclude or not exclude, and have come to a few conclusions. 

I’m assuming that the people who ask guests not to bring kids are doing this from some prior experience at weddings where the kids misbehaved. Weddings are an adult system, and like many adult systems they’re structured in ways that don’t make a lot of sense to kids. Why are they all sitting down? Why is there an aisle? Why does Grandad have to dance with Mummy now? Why do we have to go and do all these photos instead of eating cake? CAKE!

I’d argue that the more we start making our own decisions around celebrating, instead of only subscribing to an industry model built on conformity, the more I feel that children will have an easier time at weddings. I’d go as far as to say that they’re the canary in the coal mine for the rest of us. 

How to totally NAIL post-ceremony photos.

As wedding professionals, we get asked all the time for advice. It’s very easy for us to say the lines “just do what you like!” as people who have literally done this hundreds of times, so I feel we need to go a step further. I know that my couples trust me and so I feel totally cool to let them know if an idea is not going to work, or to suggest something else.

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This moment here - post ceremony - is one of my favourite things to shoot. People are not only totally natural, but also mostly unaware of what I'm doing that they don't put their guard back up. And I'm not talking about my couples here, but the guests. So here are my tips to you, person reading this potentially planning a wedding, or about to be a guest at a wedding, to make this whole thing the best it can be:

1) Phones and Cameras away for everyone. BE PRESENT! Photographers don't care that you're also taking a photo. We know ours is going to be great, and we're not after a monopoly on photos, that's not why we ask this. The couple want to be able to see their loved ones faces - and they've hired me to photograph those faces, not their faces behind devices.

2) Stay close to each other, especially if it's just the one photographer shooting the wedding. I love being able to get as many of these moments as I can, so not to miss key people like parents and siblings, so let people come to you - it's your day, after all.

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2) In your planning, either on your invites or wedding website or whatever, let people know that there will be times for the "official" photos later. A great celebrant will help with this (my mate Married By Josh was here for this one), encouraging people to congratulate the couple now they're married instead of fussing about who's iPhone they're going to use to get a photo for their socials. Great, REAL moments have been, and will continue to be murdered by selfish guests - don't be that guy!

3) Brides - and Grooms for that matter - feel free to hand your bouquet to someone, because it can get in the way of great hugs (and also that fucker is heavy amirite?!) There will always be plenty of photos of you with it.

4) Work with a great venue and planner like Bebe's Country Weddings who knows their stuff, so that there's space for this all to happen and there's also something for the guests to do after they've seen you.

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5) How great are dogs during ceremonies, hey! Just remember to organise someone to handle them at a pinch when you want to do all the hugs.

Those are just some ideas, hopefully they help someone. I'm really passionate about helping people make the most of their day because a) I'm a nice guy and b) it makes for better photographs, so expect more of this stuff here and on the blog.

morgs x

Don’t Panic.
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I met with a couple of mine last night, to chat and hang out but also sort out some logistics stuff. I asked them how the planning was going and what they thought of the wedding industry as a whole.


“It sucks. It’s so broken”, they said.


Now, I’m instantly gong to have to make concessions for literally all my wedding industry friends, so you’ll keep reading, and also because you’d probably not be a friend of mine (industry or otherwise) if you didn’t share some of my values. However, anyone that disagrees with me that runs a business (not just in weddings) could do well to listen to where the conversation went.


Here are some words and phrases that were thrown around:


Inflexible

Stagnant

Boring

Reluctant to new ideas

Lack of passion

Stuff stuff stuff to buy buy buy

Lack of understanding others

Lack of diversity

Lack of vision


And perhaps the most dangerous:


Seemingly Monomaniacal in the pursuit of all these things!


How has this industry survived?


Because they perpetuate the idea of an imaginary rulebook, and their customers simply don’t know any better.


This is our issue to fix.


The good news is that it’s getting a little easier to break the rules. Couples are coming to us with their “crazy” ideas and we are saying yes. “Crazy” in inverted commas because they’re not that crazy - they just don’t fit inside the narrow scope of what a wedding looks like to many in the industry. I’m talking about things like this:


Shorter ceremonies

Longer personalised ceremonies

No ceremonies

No chairs or arbours

Getting ready together

Non-traditional venues

Walking down the aisle together

Walking down the aisle separately

Not having an aisle

No White dresses

No dresses at all

No portrait sessions for hours

No group shots

No sit down alternate drop

Eloping

Inviting your pets

Not inviting kids

Inviting all the fucking kids

Not inviting everyone who expects an invite


And here’s another thing... literally doing nothing apart from hitting up the registry and going out for private dinner to celebrate. Or Netflix and takeaway. Or inviting a celebrant friend over for takeaway and just doing it there. Not even hiring a photographer.


It’s up to you.


Because here’s the thing - people find it hard seeking permission to do stuff. And when the industry as a whole presents them with the option of “scale the Great Wall of tradition” or “no wedding”, it’s not surprising that they battle onwards through stagnation, lack of vision and the seemingly endless stuff to buy.


It’s not surprising that words that become associated with weddings are stress, busy, needlessly expensive and overwhelming.


It’s not surprising that on the day, some people say things like “it was over so quickly, we barely saw everyone and we were so tired”


It’s not surprising that some in the industry are trying to change.


I don’t believe anyone in this game is out to give people a hard time, or make it harder than it needs to be. However, we need to see the forest through the trees.


Why do people get married?


It’s actually not really our concern why, but they want to, and they have values that we as vendors should reflect.


Give people the permission to make something amazing for themselves, and everything else will fall in to place.


Hopefully, imperfectly, just so.