I can’t be the only one out there who hates seeing herself on video. I’ve avoided it since I was a child—I find home movies deeply embarrassing. I knew I would never want to watch a wedding video and that pictures would be sufficient. Therefore, wedding videography was an easy pass for us…
…until I saw a dear friend’s wedding highlight reel on social media. It blew me away—so lovely and classy and professional! I think I cried watching the video, and I had been IN the wedding. When I told the bride as much, she said that it was a last minute decision but that she was SO GLAD she had done it.
Well, shoot. Where’s the money-flying-away emoji when you need it?
I started cruising reviews of videographers in our price range. Since we hadn’t planned on doing video, I didn’t want to allocate a ton of funds for it; but I was also very, very nervous about going budget on this. The few example reels I watched were…not good. And if that’s the product you receive, what can you do about it? Nothing. You can do nothing. No do-overs, no erase-ys.
First Look on Pier
All photos are thanks to our incredible photographer, Amilia of Amilia Photography.
After meeting with my dad in front of the quarry wall for some father-daughter pictures, it was time to go meet Mr. Blue Moon for our first look. We requested that our first look take place on the pier over a lake on the property, and I could see Mr. Blue Moon standing there with his back turned as Amilia and I drove up. Other than our photographer, it was just going to be the two of us.
After parking, we began trekking from the road to Mr. Blue Moon. At this point, I was all nerves, as I thought I would be, but also completely giddy. It was one of many high emotional points during our wedding day.
I finally got to the pier and reached out to poke Mr. Blue Moon in the back. Although I perfected the graceful shoulder tap in my head for my first look with my dad, I lost all logical thought at this point and totally forgot to get my good photo-op in.
Bridesmaid Helping Bride Get Dressed
Time seemed to slow down and then suddenly speed up. I went from sitting around and chatting with MOH R and Bridesmaid A to suddenly realizing that I needed to get my dress on, now. The only reason I knew we were behind schedule was because I made the schedule and was the person running the show since our coordinator N was busy setting up at the park.
I remember mumbling something like, “Oh shit, I need to get ready. Is everyone else already dressed? Where’s Uncle L with the car…?” If you’d asked me at any point between our engagement and our wedding day if I thought I would be late to my own wedding, I would’ve looked at you like you were crazy…and yet here we were, on the cusp of being late.
I’d had the forethought to steam my dress and veil during some downtime while MOH R was getting her makeup done, so it was waiting for me hanging from a window in the sunroom.
Writing your own ceremony can be a beautiful and rewarding task. It can really bring you and your fiancé closer together during the wedding planning process as you reminisce about your past and set intentions for your future as a married couple.
It can also be a challenge to put all of the parts together. What is the best way to cross into married life in a way that completely represents the two of you as a couple? How can the unique parts of you and your fiancé be incorporated into your wedding ceremony?
To get you started, think of the overall feel that you want for your ceremony. If the two of you sit down and answer these eight questions honestly, it can color how your entire ceremony plays out:
1. What is the intention behind our wedding ceremony?
This is easily the most important question to answer, as it’ll set the tone for your ceremony.
Essentially you want to be answering the question, why are we getting married and what does this mean to us? What is the main message we want to convey to each other and our guests? And how will it be a representative of who we are as a couple?
2. What time and place will our wedding ceremony take place?
If you are still looking for venues, you can narrow down your options by picking a place that really speaks to you as a couple. Are there any particular locations that you remember really connecting? Where have you made memories? Where do you spend a lot of time together?
If you feel connected in nature, find a beautiful outdoor ceremony spot. If you both love history, there may be a perfect wedding ceremony location right in your local museum.
What about the time of day? Are you both early birds? You can have a beautiful ceremony followed by brunch. Night owls can wait for the sun to set and marry among tiki torches or hanging lanterns.
My husband and I both love the outdoors and are not morning people, so we were married at a provincial park in the late afternoon.
3. Will there be participation?
If you feel your wedding ceremony is an adjoining of families or communities, you can incorporate your guests into your ceremony. Some ideas include:
- Passing of the rings: Each guest can hold the rings and say a blessing for you. This typically only works if you have a small guest count.
- Reverse unity candle ceremony: After the couple lights the unity candle, they light the candles of the maid of honor and best man, who light the candles at the end of the pew or row. This is further passed on by lighting a candle held by every guest.
All of the above questions (1-3) will permeate the 3 main parts of your wedding ceremony itself: the separation phase, transitional phase, and pronouncement phase.
The Separation Phase
The separation phase is where you leave your “old” life and prepare to move forward as a married couple. Traditionally this is marked by the bride being given away by her father, but this can also be marked with words. You can do this by acknowledging your families, appreciating your growth as individuals, and/or honoring your past experiences as a couple.
Here are some questions to get you started:
4. If you had to pick three pivotal moments that really describe your relationship, what would they be?
There are events and experiences that define every couple. What have you experienced that made you think, wow, this person is the one? Are there are any particular moments that strengthened your bond as a couple?
5. What does it mean to have your family and friends present?
Couples can chose to acknowledge how your marriage is a reflection of their greater community. You can speak of the values your parents instilled in you, or how your friends have built a community to show love and support. You can also use this time to remember important people who cannot be at your wedding ceremony and express what they mean to you.
The Transformation Phase
This is the point during the wedding ceremony where the past is gone, and the future is yet to come. This is where you take your vows and can take symbolic actions to symbolize your intention for married life.
6. Are there any rituals you want to incorporate in your wedding ceremony?
Many couples choose to incorporate rituals from various groups, religions, or life experiences. Here are a few ideas:
- A unity candle ceremony: At the beginning of the wedding ceremony, one person from both the bride and groom’s family lights a taper candle to represent the families love and support for the marriage. Later in the ceremony, to mark the adjoining of the two families and creating a new one, the bride and groom use the two candles already lit to light a large unity candle together.
- Handfasting: Also known as “binding of the hands,” this is a Celtic custom where the officiant wraps ribbons into an infinite shape to represent your vows. Many people choose different colors of ribbons to symbolize different vows.
- A personalized alter: Whether you and your partner are coffee aficionados, book lovers, or avid video game players, you can create your own alter to symbolize an appreciation for your past, being present in your wedding ceremony, and hopes for your future as a married couple.
7. What are your hopes for the future?
Think of yourself 50 years into marriage, sitting with your partner, looking at each other. You still recognize those eyes like the first day you met, but there are a few lines around them now. What has he done throughout your 50 years that have made you feel like you are the most important person in his life? What are the little things that you do for each other that you never want to lose over time? What does she do throughout your 50 years that makes you look back and think, “wow… this has been such a beautiful life”?
The Pronouncement Phase
The pronouncement phase is where your “new life” is acknowledged. You and your fiancé have crossed the threshold and are now married!
8. How do you want to be pronounced as married?
How do you want to be announced as a married couple? As husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Lastname, or “you are now officially married!”? You can really add a personal touch to the pronouncement by choosing a poem, blessing, or parable that speak to you as a couple before being announced as a married couple.
All of these things combined create an entire ceremony of little things that mean so much to you and your fiancé. You can display your love and intention for a beautiful married life as quirky or as elegant as you want. Crafting your own meaningful wedding ceremony takes a lot of reflection and intention, but it can make your wedding so much more personal and special to you.
Morganite Engagement Rings
You guys are passionate about your morganite engagement rings. We got some stunning real e-ring submissions in this category, and we’re sharing the (sparkly pink) goods with the hive today.
For those playing catch-up, we launched a set of ring surveys, starting with 15 different styles of engagement rings (you can find them here and at the bottom of this post, as well as on the Boards as a stickied post). All you do is fill out the survey corresponding to your ring style (round diamond, moissanite, sapphire, etc.), which will prompt you to upload your ring photo to the Weddingbee Gallery, and then once at least 10 people with that style of ring have filled out the survey, it will become a post on the Weddingbee blog!
The posts will continuously be updated to reflect new ring submissions, and eventually we hope they will be an amazing repository of REAL engagement rings to inspire bees for years to come.
Note: If you’ve filled out the survey but haven’t yet submitted a photo, it’s not too late to be included in this post! Simply email your photo along with your Weddingbee username and ring style category to mouse (at) weddingbee (dot) com, and we’ll add it to the post!
Submit your ring deets here:
- Cubic Zirconia (or other lab grown; all cuts)
- Diamond Asscher
- Diamond Cushion
- Diamond Emerald
- Diamond Other Cuts
- Diamond Oval
- Diamond Pear or Marquise
- Diamond Princess or Square
- Diamond Radiant
- Diamond Round
- Moissanite (all cuts)
- Morganite (all cuts)
- Non Stone (e.g., claddagh, knot, milgrain, etc.)
- Sapphire (all cuts)
- Other Gemstone (all cuts)
Get ready to wipe the drool off your faces…
mrsoreo2b‘s cushion cut 7mm pink morganite ring with three shank diamond in three-quarters eternity band set in platinum
Why did you or your FI choose this ring? My fiancé and I designed this ring together to replace my original ring, which was a very high-sitting three-stone ring set in palladium. The high setting used to rip my gloves so often that I stopped wearing it on weekdays. Fiancé suggested we get a new ring I could wear, and he presented it to me on our anniversary. I custom designed this ring from a combination of other rings I had seen. It fits my style, personality, and career.
Where did you purchase your ring? Pristine Custom Rings on Etsy. Stephanie was amazing and the quality is worth every penny.
Carat size: 7×7 mm
Color: pale pink, almost with a lavender hue
Aqua Strapless Bridesmaids Dress
hhpollock is selling an aqua strapless bridesmaids dress from Alfred Angelo. She is asking $250 for the size-6 dress.
Have a wedding item for sale? Post it with pictures in the Weddingbee Classifieds, and you might see it featured on the blog!
Other great items for sale:
Personal Wedding Officiant
Mr. W and I are a couple of pretty dedicated atheists, so we knew from the start we weren’t having a church wedding—they’re lovely, but not for us.
That said, we did want something fairly traditional and meaningful to us as a couple…and that kinda ruled out the whole justice of the peace wedding, too. I figured we’d get around to finding an officiant sometime…
…but that pesky wedding to-do list app just KEPT bugging me about it. And I knew: If we fell back on a more religious officiant, we had a big holiday weekend to contend with. So one day, on a long drive, we figured it out.
Side note: Lots of our big relationship decisions and moments happen on long drives…it’s where Mr. W told me he loved me for the first time, where we decided to move in together, where we decided to get a dog. I don’t know why…probably because we spend a lot of time behind the wheel in LA traffic.
And at this point, I’m more excited for our officiant than almost any other part of the wedding…other than being married to Mr. W. Why?
Father Daughter First Look
All photos are thanks to the absolutely extraordinary Amilia of Amilia Photography.
I should have remembered when I asked for a father-daughter first look that my dad and I are very awkward people. We don’t like to be photographed, we don’t consider ourselves to be especially photogenic, and we absolutely HATE displaying any type of strong emotion in front of people. I do think father-daughter first looks make for sweet pictures, and I also wanted to come up with a way to make my dad feel special. I’m the only girl, and I knew my dad and I would both be secretly super emotional about my wedding day. If y’all haven’t guessed by now, I’m definitely a daddy’s girl, and I’m so glad he was a good sport about these pictures. Even though we are the kind of people that will laugh nervously at each other when we’re the center of attention and then do something goofy to ease the nervous tension, I think Amilia did a wonderful job of capturing our antics, and our special camaraderie.
After spending the morning getting ready, I hopped into the car to be driven from the bridal suite and reception building down to the old quarry site, where Blue Dad was patiently waiting for me.
Doesn’t Blue Dad look dapper in his gray tux?
Romantic Wedding Day Letter
I spent most of the morning of our wedding bathing in some of the worst nerves of my life. So when Charlie started barking because there was someone at the door and I heard Mr. Feather’s voice in the living room, I was so excited to see him. Absurdly excited.
We decided to stick to tradition (at least until our first look), and after chatting with my grandmother and picking up the keys to the car, he left. But not without leaving behind a letter.
Once I was done with hair and makeup, I hustled outside to find a quiet spot to read it. I was 99% sure I was going to cry, so I asked our families to stay inside.
Charlie kept watch as I opened the envelope.