Fun and meaningful weddings | Little Wed Hen Australia Fun and meaningful weddings Fri, 29 Jun 2012 23:00:34 +0000 en hourly 1 Get your groove on: How to bring funk to your wedding reception Fri, 29 Jun 2012 23:00:34 +0000 Mina

Words by Peta Jo, guest columnist and author of
“Wedding Etiquette For Ferals”

Gone are the days of newlyweds shuffling awkwardly in the centre of an otherwise empty dance floor. Today’s happy couples – and almost as often, their entire bridal party – are busting serious moves to less than conventional music. From sexy rhumba or crazy jazz hands to hip-hop and even techno, bridal parties are certainly marking their territory on the dance floor, not to mention on YouTube.

Regardless of the number of dancers or the complexity of the routine, it’s clear how much fun an unexpected bit of “rug-cutting” can be for both the bride and groom and their guests.

So, how do you “bring the funk” to your wedding reception?

First, you must plan ahead. Brisbane and Gold Coast choreographers recommend couples have six weeks to three months before the wedding, allowing ample time to come up with a routine, learn and rehearse it. The more people or the more complicated the dance moves, the more time you’ll need.

“It’s best to have finished lessons two weeks before the wedding,” advises Stephen Sutton of A1 Dance Fever Studio on the Gold Coast.

“People get stressed out and can get emotional with each other by that stage.”

If time is on your side, you need to select your song. Most choreographers will ask what you’re dancing to before they commit to a dance style.

“Most people have a love song that they’re emotionally connected to but quite often they just ask for a waltz because that’s all they’ve heard.”

Stephen likens putting a waltz routine with a salsa number as “sticking a round peg in a square hole”. While it pays to heed the advise of the experts, you also need to find a dance instructor who listens to what you want.

Your pick of song, or the use of props (umbrellas or canes, for example) should not deter a professional, according to Dance Direct principal Michelle Hurney.

“The more information you give the instructor the better, and the happier you’ll be with the outcome.”

The venue’s dance floor and the style of dress are also key components to a polished performance. A small portable dance floor may not suffice for a large group routine, just as a long train on your dress may encumber your Viennese Waltz.

Have fun during rehearsals

Michelle recommends making rehearsals fun for the bridal party dancers.

“You can have a barbecue and have a few drinks. It’s sometimes better to have an instructor come to you, rather than using their studio,” she said.

Be wary of packages that include beginner dance lessons, separate to your private tuition.  Stephen believes they won’t necessarily improve your performance on the night and the money could be better spent on more private rehearsal time.

Much like the entire wedding planning process, the effort is worth it in the end. Richard and Vivienne, wed in October, began their rhumba rehearsals in July.

Self-confessed perfectionist, Richard admitted he wanted to do it well.

“Vivienne was intrigued by the idea and by the end of the first lesson it was clear just how much fun it was going to be.”

And as for stage fright?

“There’s been no time for nerves to build. It was always going to be one of the highlights of our night.”

In a nutshell

Plan ahead. You need between six weeks and three months.
Pick your song. It can be anything. Don’t be afraid of “dirty dancing” in front of your grandparents, if that’s what you want to do. People have even used Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as their song.
Rehearse. Practice the routine at the venue, and in your dress, so you’re aware of the restrictions.
Have fun. Refrain from tyranny! This is meant to be fun and if mistakes are made, it’s only going to add to the entertainment.

Dance styles

Latin American

About Peta-Jo

Peta-Jo, author of the book “Wedding Etiquette for Ferals”, works as a subeditor for regional Queensland newspapers and conducts regular book reviews on QUT’s MC Reviews website. Visit Peta-Jo’s website.


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A colourful and whimsical wedding dessert table by Harper Event Design Thu, 28 Jun 2012 23:00:57 +0000 Mina



Styling: Harper Event Design
Stationery: Jennifer Birkhead Design
Photography: White Spark Photography
Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes, Cake Pops: Kiss my cakes
Venue: Meadowbank
Card Holders: Little Sooti Blog

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Paige and Luke’s Geelong wedding: Exchanging I Dos before the due date Thu, 28 Jun 2012 02:28:13 +0000 Mina

“Everything was put into perspective when we found out about the baby. It made us realise what was important and that it wasn’t about a big fancy wedding. It’s about the commitment to one another.”

Our featured couple, Paige and Luke, candidly share their wedding goal: to wed before the baby was born.

“The original plan was to get married in Bali in February 2012. We found out we were expecting another baby, so we changed the entire wedding to Geelong and before the baby came. It wasn’t easy, but we did it!” said Paige and Luke.

The cherry on top of the cake

“We believe that getting married was just icing on the cake of our amazing life that we already had together. The baby on the way, which we didn’t know about yet, was the cherry on top!”

Baby bumps and road bumps

“The main challenge was trying to please everybody,” the couple said, with Paige adding, “It was really hard trying to do everything our way without having outside influences sway decision making. If we had to do it again, I think that a wedding planner would have been great!”

The challenges during the time, however, gave the couple an opportunity to learn from each other.

“We got a lot closer as a couple, learning what each other’s strengths and weaknesses were and using them to the best of our ability.”

While Paige is great with the planning process, Luke is great with the practical side of things. “We worked well as a team.”

A personalised and meaningful ceremony

Paige and Luke’s ceremony took place at a venue very close to the Luke’s family’s heart.

“We chose the church we did because Paige’s grandparents and parents had both been married there, as well as having had our two-year-old son Hunter baptised there. There was no other venue that meant as much as Sts. Peter & Paul’s and it definitely did not disappoint,” Luke said. “Maybe one day Hunter or the next child will get married there.”

In terms of the actual ceremony, it was important for Paige and Luke to have their son Hunter be involved in the wedding.

“It was a running joke that Paige’s boy would be the page boy. It was lovely and at almost two years old, he did the best he could without getting distracted by the amount of people staring at him. He was gorgeous!” the couple enthused.

Chasing dreams together

Aside from their growing family, Paige and Luke believe that their shared dreams and goals in life are what make their relationship stronger.

“We are so alike, but so different at the same time! We constantly have the same thoughts and say to each other ‘Get out of my head!’ We have the same goals in life and we aren’t afraid to chase those dreams. We make each other laugh, we make mistakes like everybody else, but we get over it and move on. We just love each other so much and couldn’t imagine living our lives with anybody else!”


Photography by Stephanie Newbold. Check out her website to view her online portfolio. Contact her through her email:

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On hiatus Sun, 26 Feb 2012 22:34:42 +0000 stephanie

Hello LWH readers!

As you might have noticed, LWH has been a tad quiet recently. Unfortunately day-job commitments, the responsibilities of running another website, and the fact that my own wedding is rapidly coming up have meant that LWH has had to take a leave of absence of late.

We do have some material waiting in the wings, and hope to post this up when we get a chance. Do bear with us during this time.

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Alicia & Ryan: A library wedding Mon, 19 Dec 2011 23:00:54 +0000 Mina

Alicia and Ryan recently celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary, but their love story stretches back a good deal further–decades, in fact.

“Ryan and I actually went to school together, but didn’t become friends until a year later when we started working together and our friendship groups had merged,” says Alicia. “We hit it off instantly but it took almost a year of friendship before it developed into a relationship.”

From there things quickly became serious, and Alicia knew before long that she had found ‘the one’. However, as they were both still young and focused on their studies at uni, getting married wasn’t yet on the radar. Over the next six years, though, the two began to discuss marriage, and had already taken steps towards planning their lives together.

“I knew a proposal was imminent, but it was still a wonderfully romantic surprise when it did!” says Alicia. “He proposed with my late grandmother’s ring, which he borrowed from my mum; we then chose a ring together.”

Although Alicia and Ryan have been partners for years, Alicia found that she learned a good deal about herself as she prepared for their wedding. “A few months before our wedding, I was going through a period of soul-searching in terms of my career,” she says.

“For the record, quitting your job, starting a business and losing an income while planning a wedding is not something I recommend if you value your sanity! It was definitely a crazy time, but I learned a lot about what I wanted from life and that my husband is even more supportive and amazing than I could have imagined.”

Alicia notes that while it’s inevitable that some issues will arise between a couple when planning a wedding, being organised and maintaining open communication is key when it comes to minimising stress.

Both Alicia and Ryan have strong ideas regarding what constitutes a meaningful relationship, and aimed to ensure that their wedding reflected these values and priorities as well.

“Personalising our wedding was very important to us,” says Alicia. “At our ceremony, we had a choir sing some of our favourite songs and we wrote our own vows. We also had our rings engraved: ‘Then. Now. Forever.’”

Alicia, who is a graphic designer and stationer, designed the wedding programs to resemble books. The programs incorporated silhouettes of the bridal party and a glossary of terms relating to the wedding. The couple further exploited Alicia’s graphic design skills to create a giant cryptic crossword with Ryan and Alicia trivia to keep the guests entertained during the cocktail hour, and the tables were named after the qualities that they valued in a relationship.

Including their loved ones was also important to the couple. “At the reception, we displayed photos of our parents and grandparents at their weddings, and each bridal party pair was introduced with a different song. Rather than have a long bridal table on show, we had our bridal party and their partners seated at a round table in the centre of the room, surrounded by our loved ones.”

The reception venue, the State Library of South Australia, also held a good deal of meaning to the couple, who are both lovers of language and books.

“We weren’t going to get married in a church as we’re not religious, but we still wanted it indoors in a building that had a sense of history and grandeur. We instantly fell in love with the State Library as our wedding venue. It’s so stunning on its own that it didn’t need too much decoration and I love the contrast between the airy, sun-drenched ceremony compared to the moody ambience of the reception.”

Alicia points out that the building is also home to South Australia’s genealogy collection, making it the ideal place to join their families.

Looking back, only one element of the wedding held any real surprise for Alicia–the fact that she wasn’t at all beset by nerves.

“I’m not the world’s most outgoing person, so I expected to be really nervous before our wedding, but I was not at all. I was just so giddy with excitement and happiness,” she says. “Walking down the aisle I was completely overwhelmed by the love and support surrounding me. It was the first of many unforgettable moments that day.”

Having lived together for two and a half years before the wedding–”with joint finances, the works,” says Alicia–there was no tricky transition period into married life.

“We started how we intended to continue–I don’t even iron my own shirts, so there’s no way I’m doing someone else’s, thank you very much–so neither of us got any nasty surprises. We’re not perfect, though, and after eight years together sometimes we do need to remind ourselves not to take each other for granted. It’s also important to remember that you’re on the same team, so when you fight, do it to resolve a situation, not to win.”



Photography: Luke Simon Photography

Stationery: Akimbo

Dress: Cinderella

Bridesmaids: (chose their own dresses)

Suits: The Suit Co.

Flowers: Alyssiums

Ceremony venue: The Institute Room at the State Library of South Australia

Reception venue: The Mortlock Chamber at the State Library of South Australia

Catering: Epicure

Hair & makeup: La Bella Sposa

Ceremony choir: Adelaide University Choral Society

Day-of coordination: Mary & Gabrielle Events

Cake: Cake Stories (no longer operating)

Contact Luke

Luke Simons Weddings is a boutique Adelaide wedding photography studio located in Hyde Park. Visit their website or drop by their Facebook page to view their gallery.

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On-the-day wedding coordination explained by Kim of KISS Weddings Sun, 18 Dec 2011 23:00:02 +0000 stephanie

Although wedding planners are often involved throughout the entire duration of the wedding planning process, Kim Williams of K.I.S.S. Weddings has found that her “on the day” consultation services are increasingly in demand.

It’s a title, though, that Kim points out is somewhat misleading. “Usually the on-the-day coordinator does not step in at the very last minute. Instead, they’re generally called in at least a few weeks before the day to meet with the couple.”

In the meeting, the planner will discuss with the couple everything that has already been arranged, and will take down a list of suppliers whom they’ll then contact in order to confirm and clarify any arrangements. Once this has been done, the planner then consolidates all of the details into a formal Wedding Day Schedule that is then distributed to the couple and all the suppliers.

It’s a job that’s undertaken with something akin to military regimentation, but Kim asserts that nothing less will do–particularly when couples are juggling myriad vendors and schedules in what’s often not a highly coordinated manner.

“Anyone can google a florist, photographer, or venue, but what seems to couples is how to coordinate them,” says Kim. “Most of the time when I contact a supplier, all they’ve been told is the date of the wedding and very little else, which means that there are plenty of blanks to fill in.”

Kim says that it’s the role of the on-the-day coordinator to make sense of all of this–leaving the couple to enjoy their day. “Most couples, and brides in particular, don’t want the stress of managing these issues, so having a planner who can deal with any problems that may arise can be a huge help.”

And Kim has the testimonials to back up her words. “Every bride I’ve worked with has told me how relieved they were to see me when they arrived at the ceremony. It helps instill that little bit of confidence that nothing will go wrong. A good wedding coordinator is organised, experienced, and unflappable person–and someone the couple feels comfortable with.”

So what does an on-the-day wedding coordinator oversee? According to Kim, the following tasks are the norm:

-Picking up overnight bags from the couple and checking them into their hotel for their honeymoon night
-Calling the limo drivers on the way to the ceremony to confirm their arrival time
-Making final payments to suppliers (although this is preferably done before the day)
-Arriving early at the ceremony site to ensure the set-up is per the couple’s instructions
-Liaising with photographers, musicians and the celebrant before the ceremony
-Calming the couple
-Making sure the best man has the rings
-Making sure the bridal party enters correctly
-Helping the bride with her train
-Directing latecomers
-Checking the reception venue set-up
-Liaising with the venue coordinator, MC, DJ etc so that everything runs smoothly and to time

Kim says that anyone with a perfectionist mentality should opt for a day-of wedding coordinator: “It is such a special day and everyone should be able to enjoy it without worrying about anything going wrong.”

Smaller events or events without venue changes or elaborate lists of suppliers may not require such services, says Kim, although in such cases organisation is skill key. “You can forego a coordinator if you’re totally organised and have family or friends who are willing to take on all of the tasks, or perhaps if the ceremony and reception are to be held at the same venue ,” she says.

Kim suggests that even those who have been liaising with a venue coordinator can’t rest on their laurels: “the venue representative the couple has been working with is rarely the same person who attends the event. The in-house coordinator generally does not liaise with all of the outside suppliers, either.”

Kim tells us that she’s read literature that suggests that around 70% of newly married women say that if they were to do it all again they would use a wedding planner, which causes us to wonder what the differences are between an on-the-day coordinator and a wedding planner who helps see through the entire process.

“Working with a planner throughout the whole wedding coordination ensures continuity for the wedding, and ensures that there is someone there to make certain that the couple’s vision is there. Being a couple’s best friend, confidante and sounding-board for six months can be a very personal and bonding experience,” she says.

In contrast, the on-the-day coordination experience generally involves a more business-like approach. “The planner has probably only met the couple once or twice and has had little or no input into the day,” says Kim. “The efficient running of the day is the main focus in this situation, and the planner is striving to gain all the required information from the couple and the suppliers.”

Kim notes that there are obviously pricing differences involved, but that it’s generally easier for her to provide a quote for on-the-day services given that there are a set number of hours for the day, as opposed to an ongoing project-based planning process.

“All of my fees are worked out on an hourly basis – a sliding scale depending on the number of hours. It is quite difficult to know exactly how much time you will spend over six months or more, and usually it ends up being more than quoted.  But I always stick to my quote unless the couple have asked for something extra that will take more time.”

Kim tells us that it’s essential that a wedding planner ask as many questions as possible about the day: ”one of the downfalls of on-the-day planning can be not knowing each and every detail the bride has arranged,” she says.

Kim speaks from experience, recalling an amusing anecdote from a wedding she attended in Bowral.

“Everything had to be brought in to the venue,” says Kim. “The bride was very organised and I had lists and run sheets for every element of the day. The flowers arrived from Sydney–the bride and I saw them arrive and ticked them off on our lists. But about half an hour later the venue coordinator called to ask about the vases, as none had been delivered with the flowers.  As I had not made any of the bookings with the suppliers, I had only touched base to confirm the day and delivery details; I wasn’t aware of any further details regarding the flowers.”

Not wanting to put the bride under any stress, Kim first spoke to the bride’s mother, but upon finding that she also knew nothing about the vases, had to speak to the bride. “She said that she had ordered vases, but the florist denied this and there was no way anyone in Bowral was going to be able to help us with 15 vases!”

Fortunately, the groom came to the rescue. “He was arriving from Sydney by helicopter, so he picked up the vases on the way to the airport and arrived with them safely in tow.”

Photo credits:

Photography by Michal KrieschPaul Wilcock, It’s My Photo,  Dreamlife Photos & Video, Thomas Kang of Top 10 Studio, and McKay Photography.

Contact Kim

Visit Kim’s website here or drop by her blog for wedding tips and ideas.

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A farm-fresh wedding: Jackie & Matt’s country ceremony Thu, 15 Dec 2011 23:00:59 +0000 Mina

As entertainment industry veterans, Matt and Jackie are well-versed in putting together a flawless production, and they tackled the task of preparing for their farm wedding the same way they would prepare for a show: every detail was covered to ensure a perfect performance, and all in a single take.

Though there may have been technical glitches and behind-the-scene dramas out of sight of the audience, at the end of the day Matt and Jackie experienced the wedding they had always envisioned–an open-venue, family-oriented gathering.

Little Miss Muffet meets Mister Sound Tech

Matt and Jackie met on a children’s educational tour show in 2007. Matt was the sound technician, and Jackie was one of the heavily costumed performers.

“Matt’s first glimpse of me was as Mary Mary Quite Contrary,” says Jackie, “and then subsequently as Little Miss Muffet, Jill, and the Queen of Hearts.”

The tour lasted for three months and by this point, Matt and Jackie were, in Jackie’s words, “kind of an item”.

In the following year, the couple travelled overseas to the UK, and upon returning began renting a unit together. “We moved in on Valentine’s Day of 2009,” recalls Jackie.

Shortly after, Matt proposed to Jackie as they picnicked in a local park.

“Matt had made the decision to propose because I had started to drop hints that I was keen to get married.” Over the intervening years, Jackie’s closest girlfriends had all married, and Jackie had been a bridesmaid four times. This, she admits, sparked her thoughts about marriage. “I guess I felt that it was our turn,” she says.

Choosing the farm as their stage

As lovers of the country and the outback, the couple decided upon Matt’s grandparents’ farm as the venue for their wedding. Although Matt’s grandparents were thrilled by the idea, the couple knew the challenge involved in staging their biggest production yet.

“The big thing was finding everything, and creating the venue from scratch,” Jackie says, adding that the biggest task was sourcing equipment such as a generator, toilets, and marquees. Since the wedding was scheduled for chilly July, the couple had to make contingency plans.

“We needed to have flooring in the marquee because of the dew, and heaters just in case the day turned out to be too cold,” Jackie says.

Despite the daunting task the couple faced in preparing for their wedding, they opted not to hire a wedding planner. This decision was in part due to what she calls her innate DIY skills, as well as the fact that she had for years been envisioning how she wanted her wedding to turn out.

“I’ve probably been planning parts of this wedding since my late teens, well before I met Matt,” Jackie shares. Even so, Jackie says it took seven months to prepare for everything.

“It was a perfect amount of time. However, I wish I could do it all again. I loved the process of piecing together an amazing event,” Jackie says. So much, in fact, that Matt and Jackie have a long-term goal of starting a wedding and events business.

Staging their biggest production

Determined to do everything sans a professional planner, Matt and Jackie turned to their friends, family, and their entertainment industry peers for assistance in executing the wedding they had envisioned.

“Since Matt works as an audio engineer, he was able to source the technical equipment from his friends at TonePacer, Nomadic Tents, and other employers,” says Jackie. Matt also looked after the lighting design for the ceremony tent and prepared the master run schedule for the set-up as well as for the pack-up.


Jackie, meanwhile, was as hands-on as one could conceivably be when it came to the other aspects of their wedding.

“I designed and hand made the invitations, name tags, bonbonniere, seating chart, the order of service card, and thank you cards,” Jackie says. “I am very particular about themes and the detail put into them. I guess I’m a perfectionist.”

Behind-the-scene dramas

The couple may have planned for everything but they still experienced challenges along the way and some glitches on the day of the wedding itself. There were the differing opinions between Jackie and her mother; the fact that the wedding dress no fewer than three times; the bridesmaids’ dresses that were stained by the water from the flower box that leaked; the generator with a flat battery that Matt had to jump-start minutes before the bridal party arrived; and the catering company that arrived late–and drove up the driveway during the ceremony.

But despite the dramas, Jackie recalls that she wasn’t really too perturbed.

“I figured that it was too late to do anything about it and that it was no use getting upset. So I was cool. All was right in the end.”

Focusing on the meaning of the celebration

When asked about the highlight of their wedding, Jackie responds without a pause. “Walking down the aisle–or in our case across the paddock–and the first dance with Matt.”

She also enjoyed the photo shoots, which were natural and unposed; no special instructions were given to their photographer, Bethanie of Pink Images.

“We just made the most of the beautiful venues we had and went with the flow,” she says. “Being on a farm, aspects like the horses were amazing–they were a part of the day.”

Since the ceremony and reception were held on the same farm, the guests didn’t have to travel between two venues, and Jackie appreciated the freedom that this allowed both guests and the bridal party.

“Our guests could stay and mingle, explore the farm themselves, or follow the bridal party around the farm and watch the photo shoots. Our guests had an awesome time with the photo tree that we incorporated, and the whole event had a warm, open, family-oriented feeling about it.”

Post-production thoughts

Nearly five months into her marriage, Jackie has had time to reflect not just on the wedding, but on her journey with Matt as well. When we asked her if she had any advice or tips regarding either, she says of the wedding that she wished she had seen her caterers in action at another event before hiring them in order “to see what sort of service I would be receiving regarding, food, wait staff, punctuality, wastage disposal, and so on.”

For couples planning a wedding, she adds: “Have a budget! Be creative. It’s just as much about the idea or theme itself as it is the final presentation. Keep it simple, clean and classy. Have your guests as much involved in the day as possible and think of what you would like if you were a guest at your own wedding.”


And for a happy marriage? “Be honest, spend quality time together, defuse disagreements before going to sleep, and never disagree or argue through SMS. Take an interest in each other’s day, never leave without saying ‘I love you’, and know your partner’s ‘love language’ and how it’s expressed: whether through gifts, words of praise, spending quality time together, acts of service, or touch.”

Contact Pink Images

Pink Images is a Gold Coast-based photographic studio specialising in fun, no-fuss photography. Visit photographer Bethanie’s website to view her portfolio, read her blog, or visit her on Facebook.

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A crash course in letterpress from Akimbo Designs Wed, 14 Dec 2011 23:00:01 +0000 stephanie

Words and images by Alicia Parsons from Akimbo

Thanks to Stephanie for inviting me to have a chat with you today while she's off having a well-deserved break.

If you’re newly engaged and have just started reading wedding blogs, it can seem like an exclusive club where everyone knows the lingo and has forgotten what it was like being a freshly-minted member. Take letterpress stationery, for example, everyone’s talking about it and you don’t want to be the one who asks, ‘Um, so what exactly is letterpress?’ lest everyone look at you as if you’d revealed you were planning to wear hot pants down the aisle.

So here’s a crash course to get you up to speed.

Heirloom invitation suite
Akimbo ‘Heirloom’ invitation

Letterpress is one of the earliest printing methods and to begin with could only be used with ‘movable type’. This meant that the printer would have to manually typeset individual letters and ornaments to create layouts. Later advancements enabled designers to be freed from the limitations of movable type and whole designs would be created on a raised metal (these days sometimes polymer) plate.

The plate is then inked and pressed into the paper. Traditional letterpress would only just touch the page, but the new preference is to create a deep impression to achieve the signature pillowy look. It can be printed without ink, which is called ‘blind letterpress’, as in the example below.

Akimbo blind letterpress invitation

If you’ve looked into having your invitations letterpressed, your next question will likely be ‘Why is it so much more expensive than regular printing?’

Great question. It not only requires special plates to be manufactured, as I mentioned, but also a different plate for each colour. There is a lot more labour involved as the machines are often hand-operated and the paper hand-fed, plus each colour necessitates an additional pass through the press. Finally the paper, which is usually a very thick and soft stock made from cotton, has a higher price tag than standard options.

Akimbo Marie invitation detail
Akimbo ‘Marie’ invitation

Letterpress provides a beautiful, tactile finish that can’t be achieved with other printing methods and its luxury feel will add an unmistakable ‘wow’ factor to invitations of any style.

Still got a burning question? Ask away in the comments.

Contact Alicia

Visit Akimbo’s website to view their gallery or drop by Alicia’s blog for DIY projects and everything crafty.

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Astrid & Kelly: A windy, whimsical wedding pictorial Tue, 13 Dec 2011 23:00:57 +0000 Mina

“The weather that day was insane! It was cold, grey, and very windy!” says Malaysia-born photographer Jenny Sun of Astrid and Kelly’s recent wedding celebration.

But despite the gale-force winds and the downpour that followed, the couple’s spirits weren’t dampened, and theirs was a ceremony filled with blissful, meaningful moments. In today’s post, Jenny takes us behind the scenes of this gorgeous union.

“The day began with a little touch of cultural blessing: a simple tea ceremony between the families.”

“Oh, and did I mention the weather that day?”

“Astrid was just hanging around waiting for Kelly to come by. I saw the wind catch her veil and took this shot–yay for the wind!”

“It started to rain and got too cold to shoot outside so we moved to an impromptu
indoor location to finish off the shoot.”

“I love the Eiffel Tower in the shop window!”

Contact Jenny

Jenny Sun is a Sydney-based wedding and portrait photographer specialising in vibrant, sensitive, and expressive photography.  Drop by her website for her online portfolio or visit her pretty blog.

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Nina & Anesh: A Hindu-Mayan destination wedding in Mexico Mon, 12 Dec 2011 23:00:14 +0000 Mina

Indian weddings frequently entail elaborate and colourful rituals, not to mention guest lists that can easily balloon to the size of a small town. By holding their wedding in Cancun, Nina and Anesh kept their guest list to a minimum, but the opposite was true for their wedding ceremony. Not only did they participate in a Hindu ceremony, but also in a traditional  Mayan wedding ceremony; at home in Canada they tied the knot for a third time with a civil ceremony. Read on as the team of Derek Campbell and Lorena Jaimes of Photos in Cancun share their experiences of this multi-faith, three-day destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico.

Words and photography by Derek Campbell and Lorena Jaimes

A photographer’s dream

A Hindu wedding ceremony is a lot of work to plan whether at home or elsewhere. The ceremonies are very traditional and you can not overlook any steps along the way.

When Photos In Cancun had a chance to meet with a couple regarding their upcoming Hindu and Mayan destination wedding ceremonies, we were excited. Both Lorena and I have both grown up in very multicultural cities and enjoy friends from all walks of life, but to be able to document a ceremony with this degree of detail and planning can only be described as a photographer’s dream.

The Mayan wedding ceremony

Nina and Anesh had both a Hindu wedding and a Mayan ceremony. These were held on separate dates, but at the same venue: the Sunset Princess Hotel and Spa in Mayan Riviera, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The Princess is an exceptionally large hotel catering to any event and the grounds are very lush and green.

These photos only tell a small part of the story.

The Hindu wedding ceremonies

According to the Hindu belief, marriage should be considered a lifelong social and spiritual responsibility. Married life is considered an opportunity for two people to grow from life partners into soul mates.

There are many elements to a Hindu wedding ceremony, with the most important being the Saptapadi (“seven rounds”) where the couple conduct seven circuits of the Holy Fire (“Agni”), which is considered a witness to the vows they make each other.

With each circuit, the couple makes a specific vow to establish some aspect of a happy relationship and household for each other:
1. To provide a prosperous life for the household or the family that they will look after, and to avoid those that might hinder this
2. To develop their physical, mental and spiritual powers in order to lead a healthful lifestyle
3. To earn a living by righteous and proper means, and increase it so that their materialistic wealth increases manifold
4. To acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love, respect, understanding and faith
5. To have children, for whom they will be responsible
6. To pray for self-control of the mind, body and soul and longevity of their marital relationship
7. To promise that they will be true and loyal to each other and will remain companions and best of friends throughout their lifetime.

 The ceremony is full of colour and offerings.

Nina and Anesh’s friends practised for months so that they could play and sing live Indian music on the day–despite the fact that none of them spoke a word of Hindi or were from the Hindu culture. It was mighty impressive to say the least.

Hindu weddings have many different elements to the various ceremonies. This next one was fun to watch and to listen, too. The sticks are called dandiya sticks. Once everyone gets a hang on the underlying rhythm they can be used to make music.

Everywhere you look there is a bright colour or a decoration of some sort, and the nights are filled with music and food. This is a wedding we won’t ever forget! Thank you, Nina & Anesh.


Photography: Derek Campbell and Lorena Jaimes of Photos in Cancun.
Hair and Makeup: Lorena Jaimes
Location: Sunset Princess Hotel Mayan Riviera

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