wedding advice

What if it Rains?

Rain is dreaded on wedding days. But to be honest I have a dreamy crush on rain. There is something magical and romantic about it. After all, kissing in the rain is one of the most iconic romance movie tropes of all time! Plus as they say, rain is exceptionally good luck. 

Rain brings storm clouds which add unbelievable dimension to your images. The light can sometimes take your breath away as the sun comes and goes. Rain during the day often leads to 'blow your freaking mind' sunsets. The kind that look like they've been painted there. 

There is no need to fear rain on your wedding day. It makes for stunning photos. With just a little preparation, forethought and trust there is no reason for you to not take full advantage of every good thing rain has to offer. 

1. The most important thing is to prepare yourself. If it seems that it is going to rain that day deck your bridal party out! Get cute umbrellas that match your wedding colours. Have rain boots ready for yourselves. How fun would it be to dance in puddles with your love? I always have with me two clear umbrellas standing by. 

2. Your timeline is always exceptionally important but even more so when it rains. Make sure that there is a lot of buffer time. Rain can slow things down and time for touch ups is always appreciated. No one likes to feel rushed. Get your wedding planner to help you with this and I am always ready to help you make sure there is time for what you want and time to embrace the rain rather than run from it. 

3. Backup locations are something to think about. I am willing to run through the rain if you are but sometimes it is not always possible to shoot for long amounts of time in torrential down pours. Have an awesome indoor location in your back pocket just in case. I'd love to brainstorm options with you. 

4. Roll with the punches. You can't always plan for every bit of your wedding day. When it comes to rain sometimes you just have to kick off your shoes and run through puddles. You only live once after all. Pick up the dress and kick up some water. Dresses dry (actually pretty quickly) and memories are forever. You will remember your wedding day through amazing and fun images that really truly capture the lightheartedness you both brought to such a love filled (even rainy) day. 

Arynn Photography Toronto Wedding Photographer, Couple standing in the rain and kissing under and umbrella at Rainbow Valley Wedding Barn in Caledon

How to Have an Eco Friendly Wedding

There is so much that goes into a wedding, so much planning, so much love and time that goes towards your special day. It is so amazing to see more and more couples embracing eco friendly practices throughout their wedding day. There is no reason why you can't have a fabulous wedding and also think about the Earth in the process. I've compiled a few ideas of things you can keep in mind for your wedding that will not only impress your guests, but cause you to tread a little lighter on Mother Earth while you say your I Do's.

Choose a Venue or caterer that uses local foods

Be honest with your venue or caterer about what your wishes are and search one out that uses local foods and beverages. Local food mean less has to be shipped, reducing your wedding's carbon footprint. Plus, local food means business for local farmers and businesses and can often be much more fresh. Foodies rejoice!

Don't be afraid to ask your venue about their policies about recycling and composting. Check if they compost any of the leftover food. Even if they don't currently utilize that option, your voice is a great tool to influence venues decisions going forward. 

Choose in season flowers or planted arrangements

Along the same lines as local food, fresh in season flowers are a great way to incorporate some Earth friendly practices into your wedding day. Choosing flowers that are in season means they will not have to be shipped from elsewhere which can often even save you some cash. Embracing what is in season makes your wedding beautiful and in tune with the season you chose to get married in. Ask your florist which flowers or plants they recommend. Don't forget to compost the dead flowers after the wedding, or dry them out to keep them. Another option is to choose to have more planted, growing arrangements at your wedding. Terrarium centrepieces, planted decor for the ceremony and little planted succulents for bridesmaid bouquets. The sky is the limit.

Talk to your wedding planner

Keep your wedding planner in the loop about your desire for an eco friendly wedding. They will be a great resource in helping you scope out vendors that align with those values and who are willing to work with you. In the end you can surround yourself with a team of vendors all working towards a badass wedding for you and a group high five to Mother Earth. 

Consider Eco friendly decor and details

Shop for decor at second hand stores, rummage sales or flea markets. Not only will you walk away with some truly unique pieces but you'll be using items already in existence instead of encouraging the production of new items. Take a good thorough journey through Etsy and support your local artisans for decor as well. Check to see if they can ship using recycle friendly packaging. After your wedding, you can resell your decor for another eco loving bride to use. Check out local artisans and support local businesses. The great thing about local businesses is the ability to speak to and get to know the people behind your wedding details. They can let you know what goes into the making of their product. 

Get your guests in on the fun

Give your guests a mason jar with their name on it to use for the drinks for the night. This will help eliminate garbage in the form of plastic cups. Search rummage sales and thrift stores for mason jars, no need to buy them new. Then your guests can bring them home and continue to use them after the wedding. Offer paper straws that can be composted. 

Talk to your stationer

There are a ton of options when it comes to your wedding invitations. Consider emailing your save the dates to save on paper. Discuss recycled paper options for the actual invitations. 

Additional Attire

Although not for everybody, and I would not begrudge anybody their dream gown, there are additional options for wedding dress shopping. Renting a wedding dress is an option, although alterations are difficult for rented dresses. You can find great and unique wedding dresses at consignment shops that can be altered to a masterpiece made just for you. Or if you desire to go the custom route, seek out dressmakers who have local fabrics to choose from. If you have no desire to save your wedding dress, sell it to another bride after the wedding so it can find a new life. 

Favour Options

Forgo the packaged favours and opt for something package free. There are a ton of package free favour options. Or if you do choose packaging go for something recyclable. A great idea for eco friendly favours are a packet of seeds in a biodegradable pouch. Just plant the seeds in their packet and watch them grow. Or choose to forget traditional favours all together and donate to a local eco charity. 

Why We Did a First Look

Are you interested in doing a first look at your wedding? That is a question I ask all my clients. Sometimes they haven't decided or sometimes they say 'First look, what in the world is that?' A first look is exactly what it sounds like. A first look between you and your soon to be spouse before the actual ceremony. Every couple is different and every wedding is different and whether or not you choose to do a first look is entirely up to who you are as a couple and how you want your wedding to play out. No one can make that decision for you. I can however, tell you why I chose to go that route for my own wedding in November.

For me the first look started out as purely practical. Our wedding was in November, after daylight savings. Therefore it was dark by 5:00. Super dark by 5:00 as in unable to take natural light photos outside kind of dark. The ceremony didn't even start till 5:00. If I wanted those photos there was no choice but to do a first look. 

Beyond that me and my husband felt that doing a first look would give us a chance to hang out before the ceremony and calm any potential nerves. Because both of us are rather introverted, this felt like a good idea. Despite those perfectly logical reasons (and having shot many weddings myself), I was still unprepared for how happy I would feel with the decision afterwards. I was completely surprised by how intimate the moment ended up being. As I walked towards my almost husband as his back was turned I was filled with a rush of emotions. Because it was just us I felt no pressure to suppress anything nor did I have to think about anyone watching. To me it felt like there was no better way for us to connect and just be with each other before the ceremony. 

 As a more non traditional couple I was not concerned about the moment taking away from the ceremony, but I needn't have worried anyways, it did not take away from any moment in the whole day. I felt relaxed and prepared to walk down the aisle after being able to be with him and hold his hand before the ceremony. Plus we had the added bonus of being able to hang out with our friends and family during the cocktail hour which I wouldn't have traded for anything. 

I obviously love first looks. I love the joy on the couples face, the intimate moment where they just hold each other and breathe and are able to fully take in the moment they are in alone together. I have seen many benefits of the first look. But what I ultimately love about weddings are their individuality. How each one is so unique and specific to the couple that is being joined for life. No matter how you choose to spend your day, first look or not, it will be an amazing celebration of the love between the two of you. That is what I love the most.