Last week, everyone was talking about the truly shocking article the vogue posted about ’The 10 Wedding Rules To Break’  things (you can read it here)

 Image John Warren
I have been refraining to write a blog post for a while as it really upset, angered and frustrated me! Not only is the tone aggressive, but it completely undermines professional photographers in the wedding industry, and also tells all the lovely brides out there currently planning their perfect wedding that EVERYTHING they have done so far is a pile of rubbish. In fact it could have really hit a nerve and upset some people. Arguable, journalism is all about pushing boundaries but THIS article is a pile of hypocritical nonsense in my opinion!
I completely agree that not every wedding has to follow the norm or expected traditions. I think it’s beautiful when a couple put their own personalities into their wedding, whether that’s by their décor, their ‘theme’ or even events of the day.
For example, two weekends ago, I photographed a wedding with Zoe Collyer and the couple, (who met on a boat) together with their guests, sang the shanty ‘What Shall we do with a Drunken Sailor’ during the service and walked down the aisle not to a classical piece of music, but to the theme of Star Wars! AWESOME!
Other wedding’s I’ve photographed have included speeches from the bride and speeches from guests. Some bride and grooms don’t like the idea of having a first dance, other’s are ready to whip out their best moves with a routine! Something blue? One bride wore a pale blue wedding dress!
Whether you are having a formal sit down wedding breakfast, or a casual BBQ. Whether you want all the traditional elements of a wedding as that’s how you’ve always imagined getting married, or you want to get married on the beach in bare feet… Your wedding has to be unique to YOU and as a photographer (and general wedding enthusiast!) I can’t tell you enough how wonderful it is to be part of a couple’s unique and special day. Unique, personal and thoughtful weddings are the ones that make me LOVE what I do.
There are things that are different now in the modern world. Ideas and traditions that can be completely turned on their heads. When I got married last year, I knew that there were some traditions that felt important to me, and others where we really wanted to mix up and make different.
We got married at our university chapel, Royal Holloway University of London. It has SUCH a grand and almost ‘royal’ feel to the chapel, that we knew we needed a choir to not only ‘make’ the service and add to the feel, but to also help carry the hymns. I am a trained singer and sing in an amateur gospel choir – I always wanted a modern gospel choir at my wedding. This thought changed when we knew we wanted our service to be held at uni. Instead, we opted for a very traditional choir, as this completely suited the setting and actually, made our service totally unique! I am yet to go to a wedding as a guest or photograph a wedding with a twelve member chamber choir! Everyone has a gospel choir or an amazing singer on a guitar. We wanted something different, and although this was arguably  more ‘traditional’ in terms of sound, it in fact made our wedding completely unique. The choir, by the way, were the St Albans Abbey Chamber Choir Mosaic and gave us goosebumps all over when they sang! They were just SO amazing (I can highly recommend!)
This was probably the only part of the day that had a more ‘traditional feel’ to it, but other than that, the way we dressed the wedding right down to the style of band we chose, was all unique and nothing in sight was a ‘oh I’ve seen this at a thousand weddings’. That was what was important to US.
My husband wore a navy suit and all the guys wore grey suits – who said one colour is what you have to do?! They also wore braces and bow ties which were all a different colour – not a ‘one colour’ theme nor a single to top hat, cravat or waistcoat in sight! That doesn’t mean that more traditional attire is wrong, we just wanted to break the mould.
There are lots of new ‘wedding etiquettes’ now (which I plan to blog about soon!) and all sorts of unusual stuff you can do, but that doesn’t mean, as per Vogue’s article, that 1. Your dad giving you away is not cool, 2. A first dance is awkward and no one wants to watch you dance, and 3. Asking your guests to take photos on disposable cameras is better than hiring a professional photographer. Ridiculous. Don’t you agree? I wouldn’t have got down that LONG aisle without my Dad. If you haven’t read the article, check it out, take it with a pinch of salt, and let me know what you think!
I will be blogging all about my thoughts on point number three above very soon…. ‘Why asking drunk guests to take your all important wedding photos on iPhones and disposable cameras is NOT better than hiring a professional photographer’ . Crazy, right? Ohhhhh it makes me so cross, but more on that later 😉
Included at the top of this post is an image that’s gone viral that shows EXACTLY why hiring a professional photographer IS one of the most important decisions you make during your planning process AND one of the best investment’s you make.
Below, I have shared some images from our wedding (photographed by Zoe Collyer), that shows all our unique and personal elements 🙂