10 Wedding Details That Make Me Swoon

 

When the venue is set, coordinators are curating, florists are expressing their incredible talent, and the weather is perfect, there’s a special kind of energy in the air. As much as I think you can get married anywhere and have a beautiful wedding day, I think it is so very special when a couple chooses details that enhance their love and spread it to the experience of their families and guests.

Here are some ideas that I think are A. timeless and B. magnifies the total experience for the bride and groom and those they’ve chosen to witness their next chapter.

 

1. Fur Babies

This one is pretty simple. Bring your fur baby.  Your pet is the best photo assistant I could ask for because they will keep you smiling and they’ll keep us on our toes. I do recommend that either you or I bring an extra pair of hands so you can have your romantic moments too.  While, brining your dog on a walk is the easiest and most common, but I’d really love for someone to bring a more exotic pet to one of these! {{where my Hedgehog people at?!}}

This one is pretty simple. Bring your fur baby.

Your pet is the best photo assistant I could ask for because they will keep you smiling and they’ll keep us on our toes. I do recommend that either you or I bring an extra pair of hands so you can have your romantic moments too.

While, brining your dog on a walk is the easiest and most common, but I’d really love for someone to bring a more exotic pet to one of these! {{where my Hedgehog people at?!}}

2. Day After Sessions

I will say it over and over… your wedding will go so fast. I tried to slow my own down, but mentally it’s just not possible. There’s so many emotions and moments, your brain can’t keep up.  That’s why I love day after sessions. Whether you put your wedding clothes back on or you keep it casual for an engagement feel,

I will say it over and over… your wedding will go so fast. I tried to slow my own down, but mentally it’s just not possible. There’s so many emotions and moments, your brain can’t keep up.

That’s why I love day after sessions. Whether you put your wedding clothes back on or you keep it casual for an engagement feel,

3. The Un-Bouquet

Silk Flowers, dried Eucalyptus and Lavender, Pheasant feathers, and a Brass Hoop.  Hoop Bouquets are a thing and I hope they stick around. They create a-symmetry in your photos, they highlight the genius of florists to create unique, sculptural arrangements, and, well, lets just say they’re part of my photography dreams.  I can’t tell you how many brides I’ve seen that don’t LOVE their bouquet. It’s beautiful! But they have no interest in keeping it with them at the wedding, beyond walking down the aisle. If you think you’re that bride, don’t be afraid to create something untraditional. Make paper flowers, carry a bouquet of money, ask your florist to create a corsage, a necklace, or even a hoop, incorporate succulents, use real plants that you can keep later for a zero waste wedding; anything to mix up the look and feel of this tradition that gets you excited about your bouquet again.  The above image by  Scarlet O’Neill  is the bouquet I made for my own wedding. My bouquet had to travel over 3,000 miles, in a checked bag. I knew that the flowers available to me in Ireland, in December were not going to give me a lot of options. Not to mention they would probably break my budget and they wouldn’t survive the journey home.  This mixture of dried and silk flowers created the bold colors and textures that I desperately needed for my wedding aesthetic. Plus the low profile of the arrangement meant this 2.5’ long bouquet managed to fit in a custom box at the bottom of my suitcase. This arrangement now live on the wall in my home, a daily reminder of the best day of my life.

Silk Flowers, dried Eucalyptus and Lavender, Pheasant feathers, and a Brass Hoop.

Hoop Bouquets are a thing and I hope they stick around. They create a-symmetry in your photos, they highlight the genius of florists to create unique, sculptural arrangements, and, well, lets just say they’re part of my photography dreams.

I can’t tell you how many brides I’ve seen that don’t LOVE their bouquet. It’s beautiful! But they have no interest in keeping it with them at the wedding, beyond walking down the aisle. If you think you’re that bride, don’t be afraid to create something untraditional. Make paper flowers, carry a bouquet of money, ask your florist to create a corsage, a necklace, or even a hoop, incorporate succulents, use real plants that you can keep later for a zero waste wedding; anything to mix up the look and feel of this tradition that gets you excited about your bouquet again.

The above image by Scarlet O’Neill is the bouquet I made for my own wedding. My bouquet had to travel over 3,000 miles, in a checked bag. I knew that the flowers available to me in Ireland, in December were not going to give me a lot of options. Not to mention they would probably break my budget and they wouldn’t survive the journey home.

This mixture of dried and silk flowers created the bold colors and textures that I desperately needed for my wedding aesthetic. Plus the low profile of the arrangement meant this 2.5’ long bouquet managed to fit in a custom box at the bottom of my suitcase. This arrangement now live on the wall in my home, a daily reminder of the best day of my life.

4. Hand Fasting Ceremony

The Hand Fasting Ceremony is an old Celtic tradition that has been adopted by various cultures and counter cultures over the years and is in fact where we get the phrase ‘tying the knot’. This particular ceremony is near and dear to my heart since my husband and I incorporated it into our own wedding ceremony.  If you’ve never heard of one or you’d like to know more about how we constructed and performed ours, check out my free  downloadable guide.

The Hand Fasting Ceremony is an old Celtic tradition that has been adopted by various cultures and counter cultures over the years and is in fact where we get the phrase ‘tying the knot’. This particular ceremony is near and dear to my heart since my husband and I incorporated it into our own wedding ceremony.

If you’ve never heard of one or you’d like to know more about how we constructed and performed ours, check out my free downloadable guide.

5. Greenhouse Ceremonies

If you can’t tell from my images, I love natural light. So naturally, creating a gorgeous ceremony within a greenhouse is one of my favorite ideas. It creates an opportunity for natural light and a sense of life while still keeping temperatures regulated, easy access to elderly guests, and is not weather dependent.

If you can’t tell from my images, I love natural light. So naturally, creating a gorgeous ceremony within a greenhouse is one of my favorite ideas. It creates an opportunity for natural light and a sense of life while still keeping temperatures regulated, easy access to elderly guests, and is not weather dependent.

6. Vacation Proposals and Engagement Photos

// They were in the world, and in a world of their own. //  It was surreal joining Chris and Suzannah as he walked her out along the southern Cliffs of Moher, handed her a letter and dropped to one knee. Proposals are the beginning. They’re a treasured, intimate moment that you may not be asked about 30 or 40 years into your marriage, but when you look back across your relationship, it’s quintessential.  While I have a few tips for making it a perfect day without compromising the surprise, I love hiding in plain site as you walk to your spot and have one of the most intimate moments you can legally have in public.  I’d like to see more people incorporate these moments into their travels and vacations, AND bring a photographer along to capture the moment. Your family will thank you for letting them be a part of this personal moment when they’re not around.

// They were in the world, and in a world of their own. //

It was surreal joining Chris and Suzannah as he walked her out along the southern Cliffs of Moher, handed her a letter and dropped to one knee. Proposals are the beginning. They’re a treasured, intimate moment that you may not be asked about 30 or 40 years into your marriage, but when you look back across your relationship, it’s quintessential.

While I have a few tips for making it a perfect day without compromising the surprise, I love hiding in plain site as you walk to your spot and have one of the most intimate moments you can legally have in public.

I’d like to see more people incorporate these moments into their travels and vacations, AND bring a photographer along to capture the moment. Your family will thank you for letting them be a part of this personal moment when they’re not around.

7. Keeping Passed Family, in the Present

There are a few really big days in our lives where absence is felt heavier on our hearts. It may not be easy to tell me about or share, you might be the strong one in your family who always has the right words for peace and memoriam. But when it’s your day for joy, and that absence is so heavy in your heart, keep something to remember those who made you who you are. A simple photo tied to your bouquet, an heirloom handkerchief, even a seat left empty in the front row to commemorate all those who should have been there; there are a million unique ways to do it.  In all days there is room for happiness and sadness, but greater than that, there is always a need for love. Love felt and love shown. Don’t be afraid to show the love for those lost.

There are a few really big days in our lives where absence is felt heavier on our hearts. It may not be easy to tell me about or share, you might be the strong one in your family who always has the right words for peace and memoriam. But when it’s your day for joy, and that absence is so heavy in your heart, keep something to remember those who made you who you are. A simple photo tied to your bouquet, an heirloom handkerchief, even a seat left empty in the front row to commemorate all those who should have been there; there are a million unique ways to do it.

In all days there is room for happiness and sadness, but greater than that, there is always a need for love. Love felt and love shown. Don’t be afraid to show the love for those lost.

8. Sustainable Wedding Favors

What’s better than taking your new beginning and creating a new beginning for someone else? Sharing a seed packet as a party favor for your guests is a really personal and eco friendly way of sharing the love with a  lasting  gift.

What’s better than taking your new beginning and creating a new beginning for someone else? Sharing a seed packet as a party favor for your guests is a really personal and eco friendly way of sharing the love with a lasting gift.

9. Make Family Dinner

Sit down with your family, close friends, or bridal party the night before your wedding and break bread.  This photo by Scarlet O’Neill is from the night before my wedding when people who had never met before sat next to one another and wove deeper the love that my husband and I share. Strangers became friends, families laughed and found connection. If someone felt like giving a toast or a story, they stood up and did it. There was no structure, no pressure, just a bunch of Americans (and a few Germans) eating spaghetti together in a small town in Ireland.

Sit down with your family, close friends, or bridal party the night before your wedding and break bread.

This photo by Scarlet O’Neill is from the night before my wedding when people who had never met before sat next to one another and wove deeper the love that my husband and I share. Strangers became friends, families laughed and found connection. If someone felt like giving a toast or a story, they stood up and did it. There was no structure, no pressure, just a bunch of Americans (and a few Germans) eating spaghetti together in a small town in Ireland.

10. Ask Friends and Family to Participate

It seems like ceremonies keep getting shorter and shorter, and I’m not really sure why? I know some people are just so excited to be married. Others are shy and don’t want to spend more time in front of the crowd than they have to, and I totally get that. But something that I treasured at my own wedding and weddings I’ve photographed since are moments when dear friends, grandparents, siblings, or parents are able to rise and stand with you. They break that barrier between us and them and remind you that you’re entering into this moment with a tribe. Holding the hand of the person you’re about to marry, as your mother or grandfather gives you words of love or blessing is a feeling I can’t describe, but wouldn’t trade for the world.  In lieu of a biblical reading to an entire cathedral, or allowing your officiant to carry the whole ceremony, consider inviting a few people who you would truly treasure advice, love, or blessings from to join you for a part of your ceremony, give them a microphone, but have them speak to  you , not the entire crowd.

It seems like ceremonies keep getting shorter and shorter, and I’m not really sure why? I know some people are just so excited to be married. Others are shy and don’t want to spend more time in front of the crowd than they have to, and I totally get that. But something that I treasured at my own wedding and weddings I’ve photographed since are moments when dear friends, grandparents, siblings, or parents are able to rise and stand with you. They break that barrier between us and them and remind you that you’re entering into this moment with a tribe. Holding the hand of the person you’re about to marry, as your mother or grandfather gives you words of love or blessing is a feeling I can’t describe, but wouldn’t trade for the world.

In lieu of a biblical reading to an entire cathedral, or allowing your officiant to carry the whole ceremony, consider inviting a few people who you would truly treasure advice, love, or blessings from to join you for a part of your ceremony, give them a microphone, but have them speak to you, not the entire crowd.

 
Favorite ThingsFinn Rauen