I had meant for Kristy’s bridals to run on the blog today. As for why they didn’t, that’s another post. But if you are just dying to see some of the other photos from our bridal session in early December (and if you aren’t, you should be) head on over to The Wedding Post today. I’ll have more photos from the session posted here later this week.
But today it’s time for a long-overdue edition of Favorite Things. I always love it when a bride makes a unique choice for her shoes. Don’t we all love shoes? But wedding shoes can pose a dilemma. You’re going to be standing for a while. You may be dancing later on. You don’t want to limp down the aisle, or trip and do a face plant in front of all your family and friends. Some brides choose sweet ballet slippers, sensible flats or sturdy heels. Some daring — and well-balanced — brides go ahead with the beautiful high heels (but most change later, before the reception). A few do something really fun, and such was the case with Amanda. These cowboy boots, to use a phrase from my younger days, rock the free world.
Getting to attend lots of weddings is fun for many reasons, and one of them is getting to see different traditions. Weddings are one of those areas where traditions tend to stick around longer. Immigrants to this country brought their customs, and though we sometimes pass by those customs in everyday life, we still consider weddings an important enough event that traditions are honored.
It’s so wonderful to honor a tradition at a wedding, and dances are a really fun way to do this. Three examples here:
One of my favorite photos of this, ever, is from Maria and William’s wedding in 2008. La Vibora de la Mar is a traditional Mexican wedding dance where guests form a train and dance beneath a bridge formed by the bride and groom.
I was delighted to find there was going to be Contra Dancing at Rachel and Cleve’s reception. Rachel told me that they have done this at every wedding in her family, as far back as she can remember. Contra dancing has its roots in English country dances. It turned out to be a great way to welcome the new members of the family!
Tiffany and Marty incorporated a dance into their reception that included the “Passing of the Purse,” an Italian wedding tradition to help couples get a financial start on their new life together.
Kari and Spence were married last May at a ceremony at a private home. When Kari and I were talking prior to the wedding, she told me that she would have hand-carved wooden birds incorporated into the flower arrangements. “We both like birds,” was really all she said by way of explanation.
Aside from the beautiful flowers, I think one reason I like this idea is because of the simplicity and subtlety of it. It’s a lovely, authentic touch. It highlights the couples’ interests without being overwhelming. The birds themselves are charming, and the wood contrasts beautifully with the rich colors of the flowers.
As the season nears for a new round of brides to begin planning their weddings, I’m beginning a series of blog posts about my favorite things from past weddings. So many brides I have worked with have had those small touches that make a wedding special and memorable. In almost every wedding I have photographed, I can point to one very special moment, item, or decision the couple made, that stood out and made the wedding memorable to me. It doesn’t take a three-ring circus or an expensive wedding extravaganza to wow your guests: just focus on what’s important to you.
Shelia and Shane were married last February (very close to Valentine’s Day) in a beautiful wedding at their church. Like many of today’s more conservative brides, Shelia was disappointed to find that most of the dresses she found seemed to be strapless. She is more modest, and preferred to have her arms and shoulders covered for her wedding. The solution: one of the ladies at the couple’s church made her a beautiful lace shawl. This is one the most romantic looks I have ever seen for a wedding!
So what happens if you want this look, but don’t happen to have a kind and talented friend to create a lovely wedding day shawl for you. Why, Etsy, of course! There are many to choose from, but this mohair knitted shawl seems like it would feel like being wrapped in a cloud.