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” For approximately two thousand, four hundred and seventeen days I have loved you.

The moment you stepped into my life  you have made me feel completely complete. You are my best friend. You reassure me when I need and you pick up all the pieces I fall into when times get tough. I think you are just fabulous and I can’t believe how lucky I am to be standing here with you as my husband. I am so proud to call myself your wife.

Here’s to the rest of our lives together. May it be as fabulous as the past two thousand, four hundred and seventeen days “

Grace’s wedding speech to Rohan.

Married on the waters edge, laughing under a bright blue sky and shining from their insides out. From the moment I first saw Grace’s smile in the morning, to the last dance at night, this was a very special wedding photograph.

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When I was 7, I wanted to give up piano. “Puh-leeeeeese,” I wailed. “My feet can’t even reach the pedals.”  This tantrum in the car with my mum before my second lesson. I was adament that my musical career should be done with there and then, and that mum should either drive me home or to get an ice-cream. I wasn’t picky.  This theme of starting things and not finishing them would continue throughout my life. Right up until last week when I started a 1.5m painting which I wanted to quit halfway through. It sat splayed out on my kitchen table for a few days as I eyed it off and prowled around it without adding a lick of paint to it, secretly hoping it’d finish itself. (It didn’t, alas, but I did end up finish it. Even more impressive is that it’s actually now hanging on a wall in my home as opposed to stashed under my bed.)

So when I embarked on the task of taking one photo everyday for a month, I honestly wasn’t holding my breath that I’d finish it. I thought I’d be looking at a collection of 12 photos come the end of the month. But blow me down, there’s 31 shots! One photo everyday for a month. High5.

I just took the photos around home, mainly of the babe. Heck, that’s what I’m looking at for 99% of the day, it was hard not to. Once I got going, I really enjoyed photographing these teeny tiny moments of our day. I’m pretty sure I would have forgotten all of these moments had I not photographed them. But put them together and they tell the story of our lazy, not-so-hot, january. I think I’ll print them out and make them into a book or something. Finish off the task properly.

I’m so glad I finished the challenge. Maybe I’m turning over a new leaf.

See all 31 photos from January after the leap.

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When I first met Ashleigh for coffee, almost a year ago, she was a little nervous about her wedding. Not the getting married part, that was causing her no nerves at all. She was absolutely certain about the wonderful man she was going to marry (and rightly so), but organising a wedding seemed like quite a huge, daunting task. But knowing Ash, she is a clever and rescouceful person. Along with Andrew, they worked hard to pull together their dream wedding.

 

After the wedding, I asked Ash how she felt about the day, and this is what she told me:

” We had such a great day, it exceeded all expectations. It was filled with so much joy and emotion and I couldn’t stop smiling for days afterwards. The stress in the build up was all worth it as it was the best day of our life!”

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I received an email from Grace*.

In it she described a certain photo that she would like me to take at her wedding. You might be familiar with it. It’s the cute-as-heck one where the bridesmaids are hiding their faces behind their bouquets of flowers. Her email went on to say though “I’ve been arguing with myself about whether it has been ‘over-done’.” Grace was worried, that the photo had been created too many times, seen too many times, perhaps not original. Should they have a photo like that taken at her wedding, or would it be too over-done?

Her email stirred something hot and murky in my belly.

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“Originality” as a trend at a wedding seems odd to me. It surely can’t be argued that marriage as an institution is in any way original, right? People have been gathering to celebrate loving unions for centuries, in all cultures and religions. To get married is not an original act. So does it matter if lots of people choose to celebrate their marriages in the same way? Even if it could mean *gasp* that it’s overdone?

I would also argue that being original is no better (nor no worse) than being traditional. One is just something, the other is something else. Original will capture the attention of wedding blogs and magazines, traditional will not. But neither wedding is better than the other. They just are what they are.

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Striving to be original though, I believe,  misses a bigger point. The bigger point being to be authentic. An authentic wedding is one where the celebration is made to reflect the couple at the centre of it. One where thought has been given to what makes them special, and those aspects have been lovingly incorporated into the day. An authentic wedding is the best kind. Whether it’s original or traditional, it doesn’t matter one bit.

Make your wedding a celebration of what you love. A celebration of who you are. A celebration of the people around you. Choose things because you love, love, love them and not because they are all the rage on Instagram. If you adore something AND it’s all the rage on Instagram, then choose it anyway. Listen to your hearts and your wedding day will fall into place.

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I don’t think at a wedding you should have originality as your main goal. If it is, perhaps properties have been muddled up a bit somewhere along the way. Your main goal, in my oh-so-humble-I-just-take-the-picutres opinion, should be to celebrate your love. And if your idea of a great celebration includes flower crowns, ice-cream trucks and a choreographed dance down the aisle, then that’s bloody fantastic.

So have you got a super sweet tooth? Have a lolly table. Love Etta James? Dance to “At Last” for your first dance. Always wanted a photobooth/mismatching bridesmaids dresses/colourful shoes? Then have all of them at your wedding. If it makes your heart sing and makes the both of you feel happy, then DO IT.

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In my email reply to Grace I wrote:

” Don’t agonise too much over things being over-done or things like that. It’s your wedding, you can do whatever you want. If you love it, lets do it. Same goes for the rest of the day, if you love it, and you’re loving your day, then it’s perfect. Over-done schmover-done.”

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*Grace may or may not be her real name. It makes it more fun to pretend this is a piece of investigative journalism which requires identities to be protected.

** All of these photos are of people loving the heck out of their wedding. Having fun is not original, but it sure is awesome.

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