Colin + Kay - Quat Quatta

Colin and Kay had a beautiful day, surrounded by their nearest and dearest they were married at Sandringham Yacht Club by fun celebrant John Byrne.  An early ceremony, followed by plenty of laughs and photos in the area, then onto the historic and beautiful Quat Quatta for more photos in the rain.  Armed with umbrellas and plenty of fun with their bridal party, Kay and Colin soaked in all parts of their day by joining their guests for canapés while we were able to capture their story as it happened.

Baulking tradition Kay recalled during speeches that she was steered away from having daisy's as her flower choice by many people before the big day. She explained why they were so significant to hers and Colin's relationship.  One of her earliest memories was sitting in grass after a nearby party until the wee hours of the morning making daisy chains with Colin when they first got together. I love these beautiful memories and historic symbols that couples bring into their day, it simply makes it so much more special.

Sharne x

So, you just got engaged...

Congratulations,  and welcome to a truly exciting time in your life! 

Planning your wedding can make for one huge roller coaster of wonderful and exciting experiences and a mix of daunting and maybe stressful times.

First thing for you to remember; it's ok that you don't know where to start, really, no fiance ever gave his partner a manual when he proposed (if they did I would be a mix of impressed and scared). 

Secondly; everyone will have advice for you, this is great, but listen to the important stuff and know that it's ok to filter through it and choose to take on what suits you both.

As a wedding photographer I usually meet with couples in the very initial planning stages of their wedding, most express concern over "not being organised", or, "what order do I do things", or even once "my parents don't want to have it where we want to have it because the carpark is dusty".  Yes that was a real comment!

So here is a ten pointers to get you started, some general helpful tips that will help you start the journey without feeling so out of your depth.

1 (The most important one!) 

This is YOUR freaking wedding!  A true reflection of who you both are and what is most important to you, so do whatever you want to. If you both feel strongly about something don't let anyone change your mind.  I can tell you from a personal place that doing things to keep everyone else happy is a circle of stress and ultimately regret after your day.  

2 Your checklist and calendar

The order of things, the general overview of order to book everything goes like this, again you can change somethings but most important is your venue, celebrant and wedding photographer as these suppliers dates fill up far ahead of time:

* 12-18 months:  Book Venue and Date - Celebrant - Photographer - Videographer (after this you have some breathing space)

* 10-12 months: Wedding Dress - Choose wedding bands - DJ/Music - Choose your bridal party - Send save the dates (especially for OS guests)

* 6-8 months: Invitations - Secure Hair and Make Up artist - Cake - Flowers & Styling - Transportation - Bridesmaids dresses - Choose Invitation design - Write a rough guest list

* 4 months: Grooms suits - Finalise Invitations

* 3 months: Send invitations - Pick wedding favours - Choose accessories

* 4-8 weeks: Finalise guest list for venue - Final fittings dress and suit - Write speeches - Make seating plan - Purchase bridal party gifts - Finalise vows - Finalise time sheet - Give final details to photographer/videographer 

3  Lets get it done already!  

You are allowed to elope, if this is what you want then just do it, you can still elope surrounded by just your closest people or just have the moment for the two of you and have an epic party upon your return

4 Engagement vs wedding list 

You can have guests at your engagement party that won't make the final numbers for your wedding day, like work colleagues and people you're not as close to you both as a couple

5 Bridal party choice 

Choose your bridal party carefully, don't feel obliged to pick family just because they are family, there are other ways you can include them in your day without having them all as bridal party.  Yes you can have an uneven number of bridesmaids vs groomsmen, yes you can have women and "best woman"

6 Get involved  

Join your local forums, there are fantastic communities of brides and grooms planning their weddings in different stages more than happy to help out and answer questions via places like online wedding forums, planning sites and Facebook. Share in your journey and start a conversation.  Also importantly, lean on your chosen suppliers for advice, we have done this a lot, we know the great suppliers, how things work really well and are more than happy to help you on your way through the wedding maze

7 Instincts 

Go with your gut when booking services, if it is super dooper cheap its most likely this way for a reason, and if you feel a bit wary or hesitant keep looking until you feel 100% comfortable with your chosen suppliers, it will make your day even more spectacular 

8 Resources

If you are time poor hire a wedding planner, it can be more affordable than you think and will mean your day can run super smooth without you having to worry about the nitty gritty

9 Team up

Try to attend supplier meetings together.  Not every guy will want to go flower shopping but for the main things like your photographer and of course venue, choose them together, it's fun and will mean a big difference on your day

10 Remember....

Go back to number 1, this is THE most important thing for you to remember.  If you don't want to cut the cake or do a first dance or farewell circle, don't.  If you want to share canapés time with your guests do it and don't miss a thing.   Some of the very best weddings I have captured are those that are a true and beautiful reflection of the couple without having to adhere to a set of rules or social expectation about their wedding day plan.  Be yourselves unapologetically and have a heap of fun! 

Thanks for getting the the end!   I hope this helps a little while you plan your amazing day.  All the very best on your wedding journey, feel free to continue the conversation in the comments below.

Best wishes, 

Sharne x

Aria Photography

COREY & AMY - Terindah Estate

I have already shared the odd image of Amy and Corey's day but their day deserves a blog post of it's own.  I met Amy and Corey about 18 months ago and we all clicked while discussing their wedding at Terindah Estate on the Bellarine Penninsula.  They were both apprehensive at making guests travel but knew they had found an amazing place for their wedding and the travel would be absolutely worth it.  This day was all about their close knit group of friends and their large families and to top it off they were married by Amy's grandfather, a reverend, who had married Amy's parents too.  After the wedding while guests mingled we were whizzed about by the super awesome Tiffany in the epic little jeep at Terindah Estate. Through the vines, the private beach, the wheat field.  Then onto an amazing reception, fantastic food, wine and hospitality by the Terindah team and The new Mr and Mrs Eames-Mayer were treated to some of the funniest and heartfelt speeches I have ever heard by Corey's brother and parents, Amy's dad Bill, MC Lachie and MOH Amy.  Dancing into the night entertained by the awesome Ricki Wood and epic photo booth fun with Richie from Smilomatic on board. My second photographer Richard and I danced and sang in the car on the way home, weddings like this is absolutely why I do what I do.

Sharne x