Online RSVP website

Putting together wedding invites and sending them out is a huge undertaking for many people when organising a wedding. First you need to make a list of guests, cull that list so they fit in your venue, and then design, print and hopefully get back a whole heap of RSVPs. The latter aspect of organising wedding invites is often the most frustrating and difficult to successfully achieve, so I’d like to announce the launch of the new online RSVP website service by SvenStudios, one that should make the receiving of your RSVPs that much simpler.

Imagine having an Online RSVP website, where your guests can be directed to as part of their overall invite. My own personal wedding invites included a ‘save the date’ card complete with a website address to which guests can visit to instantly send us their RSVP intentions. Only a week or so after sending out our invites, we already have dozens of RSVPs received through our website, along with a couple  of snail mail RSVPs from those of us not familiar with using the internet for such things.

Online RSVP website example

If you click below you will be taken to my own personal wedding RSVP webpage, http://luisaandsteven.com. As you can see what SvenStudios offers with our online RSVP website is a modern – sleek and simple design developed so that your guests have access to your wedding’s details at any point in time. They are also able to send you directly their RSVP via email complete with any number of fun questions you might think up for your RSVP survey. This should save you money on postage and also save paper if you have concerns of the environment.

luisaandsteven

I am offering this service, complete with customizable .com address and 6 months worth of hosting, along with a whole host of other features you can read at the SvenStudios Wedding Invite Website services page. You can include features like instagram hashtag integration and even a photo booth photo display (if combined with the SvenStudios photo booth) for a reasonable starting price of $280, or when coupled with an engagement shoot, $550. This represents a saving of $80, and also a chance to have your online RSVP website glistening with amazing professional, love filled photographs, sure to have your guests in awe.

Having an online RSVP website can add that extra little bit of a modern touch to your wedding, giving all of your guests with a simpler, more cost-effective way of sending back their RSVP in response to your wedding invite, the process is simple in that you’d send me all the details, and information needed to go onto the website and I will set up and create a personalized site just for your wedding.

Best man speech basics

The Best Man speech can quite often make or break a wedding reception, and in some ways puts a huge amount of pressure on the person selected to deliver the speech. The general goal of the modern best man speech is of course to summarise the day, thank the guests and make as much fun of the groom as possible. As the Best Man is usually a good friend of the Groom, this shouldn’t be much of a problem, the Best Man usually draws ideas for jokes from embarrassing stories experienced together as friends, while (depending on the wedding) keeping it child friendly. The Best man historically is one of the most important people at a wedding and it’s his speech that really tops off the whole day. It’s for this reason that our friends over at Loyes Diamonds have put together this amazing infographic to help out with the basics of writing your Best Man speech. It should also help out with any kind of public speaking you might have to do, and don’t think this advice is exclusive to the Best man, the Maid of Honour and others like the Parents of the bride and groom might find this information very useful.

It takes a special kind of person to come up with some of the best Best Man speeches, and I’m sure that whomever you have chosen to be yours are well up to the task, before you place them in front of youtube to research funny jokes and what’s already been done, have them read through this infographic to come up with their own ideas first, and then resort to youtube if need be 🙂 Seriously, I’ve been to over a hundred weddings now as a wedding photographer and I’m not joking when I say that 80% of speeches use the same jokes 🙂 This isn’t bad, but originality is a big asset to a good Best Man speech.

Best man speech basics

Best man speech

Wedding dress shopping tips

As I’m currently getting ready for my own wedding this October, I’ve been in an interesting position where I’ve been putting all my experience and knowledge that’s come from years of being a professional wedding photographer into planning my own wedding. Today I’d like to share some tips concerning wedding dress shopping. Now obviously I’m not completely privy to what goes on in the mostly female domain that is wedding dress shopping, but I do know what my own fiance and plenty of my clients have said and commented on in regards to the subject.

Wedding dress shopping tips

Wedding dress shopping is very exciting for the bride and her family so you’ve really got to take time and prepare for the decision. Before you go out and start trying on gowns and getting attached, please keep these tips in the back of your mind.

Don’t take too many people

Everyone has their own opinion, but the only opinion that should matter would be your own, and perhaps your mother as she’d probably be just as invested in your choice as you are. Dragging along your entire bridal party, your friends and their dogs aren’t going to help the decision process at all. in fact it will hamper it. If you like something and it’s obtainable, go for it, don’t let too many people have a say in your decision.

Don’t decide too early, but also don’t leave it too late!

If you find a gown that you love 12 months out from your wedding, that’s great! But just be aware the more dresses and styles you discover and look at will influence your tastes further down the road. What happens if they change so much you don’t like it on the big day? Take your time, and just make sure you have enough time between now and your wedding day for alterations. On that point don’t leave your gown shopping too late! Alterations on wedding gowns can take a crazy long time and it’s no good unfinished.

Make appointments

Many in-demand bridal boutiques are appointment only, so make sure the store you’re planning on visiting takes appointments and make one if need be. These places take appointments for the same reason doctors do, so as to devote their time to you and you alone. Make sure you inform them on how many people will be attending also, just so they can cater to your party as best they can. Also try to paint a picture on the style of gown you’d be after. That way they can sort out a small pre selection of gowns for you to try, streamlining the process.

Budget?

Wedding gowns can range from $99 to $99,000, be sure to stick to your budget or you may find yourself in the ER ward once you see the bill. It’s easy to forget your budget when you’re considering your bridal gown as it’s such a emotional moment and many people will give the advice to ‘splurge’. But there’s ‘spluging’ and being downright reckless in regards to your budget, and believe me wedding gown bills can really hurt. Before you set-foot into any boutique, know how much you want to spend and tell the shop assistant your budget. This would also help with being swayed by the amazing bargain of 70% off, or the horrible cheap dresses that look good online but in reality are glorified fancy dress costumes.

Wear what you’d wear on your wedding day

Underwear lines tend to stand out quite a bit in wedding photography, and anytime really, so when wedding dress shopping, please go shopping for suitable underwear first! Try to match the colour of your dress also, whites and ivory colours usually suit, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to point it out ot a bride while being prepared. Also consider your shoes, wearing high heels will make you taller, wearing flipflops may cause the hem to get dirty. Try to wear something similar to what you’d wear on your day, if not your actual wedding shoes.

Destination wedding photography

As you’re reading this I’m on location in Darwin for a destination wedding, which I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while, ever since the bride and groom contacted me from Darwin to provide destination wedding photography for them. At first I was a bit surprised, as obviously, SvenStudios has always marketed ourselves as the premier choice for Adelaide wedding photography, but I was also overjoyed as the concept of destination wedding photography was intriguing for me. I’m an avid traveller and have made a name for myself in not just wedding photography, but also fine art landscape photography so being able to combine the two at this destination wedding in Darwin sounded awesome! Of course I accepted the invitation to cover their wedding!

One interesting thing about planning a destination wedding is the fact that local suppliers in places such as Darwin – or any niche location for that matter – may end up charging you the Earth when compared with a supplier closer to home. In this case I was chosen as their wedding photographer as my wedding photography prices, in addition to airfares and accommodation, were cheaper than any local photographer of similar skill set in Darwin! If you are planning a destination wedding, please do consider taking along a trusted supplier, such as myself to cover your wedding as having someone local cover your wedding may result in overpaying for a result you may not love as much as if someone you know and trust were to do it.

I would be more than willing to cover your destination wedding and would be keen to work out a deal to cover my travel expenses and your destination wedding photography package. As I’ve stated earlier, travelling is a huge passion of mine and I’d jump at any opportunity to travel with you to share your love anywhere in the world, and I promise to make it cost effective for you!

Modern wedding etiquette

As someone who really enjoys attending weddings, and have attended close to 100 weddings over my career as a wedding photographer, I’m a bit of a sucker for some of the more traditional aspects of weddings. I’ve blogged in the past about the historic origins of some of the more well known wedding traditions, such as the origin of the best man and bridal party, even saying like ‘tying the knot’. But what I’ve noticed over the past few years are a few changes to modern wedding etiquette. Such things like smartphones, hash-tags and things like photo booths just are not steeped in tradition, and yet are fast becoming an integral part of the modern wedding.

Modern wedding etiquette

Unplugged weddings?

Your wedding photographs are going to be your lasting window enabling you to revisit the memories of emotion and joy that was your wedding day, which is kind of why having a professional wedding photographer there on the day is one of the most important additions to your day. Having a professional wedding photographer and videographer there on your day shows that you care about your images, and lasting memories, so chances are you’d like them to look your best right? A common form of modern wedding etiquette I’ve noticed is the rise of the ‘unplugged wedding’ whereby, the bride and groom instructs each of their guests not to use their own phones or cameras in order for their paid photographer to best do their job. This allows for better scenes from your wedding photographer not having to contend with ipads in their face all day, and also your guests can enjoy your wedding, without having to worry about getting their phone out to grab their own shots.

All hail the #hashtag!

If there is nothing else on this list, it has to be the hashtag, a lot of people reading thins may still not realise what a hashtag is, or even does. Basically, having a unique hashtag developed for your wedding allows your guests to share any photos, video or comments on-line, via any form of social media by adding your hashtag to the description section. This is of course if you’re not having an ‘unplugged’ wedding :). Then via the magic of the internet, all that content gets amalgamated for your viewing. It’s actually quite incredible, and insanely convenient as it saves you chasing up after every single guests for their photos. To make one, simply take say your names (ie Bob and Belinda) and stick a hashtag (#) in front of them so perhaps #Bobbelinda, or #Bobandbelinda. Anywhere you type that on social media, it will turn into a link, which you can press and see what other people have also used that hashtag for.

Either gender in the bridal party

It is entirely not uncommon these days for members of either gender to play a role in either the groom, or the bride’s entourage. Traditionally members of the grooms men were restricted to men, and the bridal party to women, however in the age of equality, it is quite accepted to have members of either gender representing either the bride or groom. Some weddings I’ve been to actually don’t differentiate the grooms men and bridal party at all, but rather have one big group.

Who pays?

With the cost of an average wedding in Australia being a very hefty $36,200, it’s usually  part of modern wedding etiquette to share the costs involved with hosting a wedding. Traditionally it was the bride’s family that foot the bill, however, with the average age of couples that are getting married nearing 30, they are usually living by themselves and financially independent. This said however, due to the modern huge expense a wedding can represent, often the parents of both sides of the family will chip in a decent amount, and then it’s also not uncommon for guests to contribute through wedding gifts that simply amount to cash.

Wedding gifts

Leading on from who pays for a wedding, it’s considered pretty standard modern wedding etiquette to simply ask for cash in lieu of more traditional wedding gifts to help pay for the wedding. This is usually done by placing a ‘wishing well’ or something similar at the wedding reception where guests can add a card, lined with cash instead of a gift. It was traditional that guests were to buy gifts to help the newly wed couple set up their home together, but it’s not not done as much.

Update that facebook status!

If you’re keen on social media, like the majority of young newly weds, then you’d better update that relationship status on the day of your wedding! If you don’t be prepared for all of your guests continually pestering you to do so. Facebook has become a website that contains all the information you’d usually find out through polite conversation, and relationship status is one of those pieces of information that has become something that everyone can know by looking you up first. This can be a good and bad thing depending on how you feel about sharing your information on-line. But if you do, you’d better update your status!

Listen to the couple’s wishes

Along this same vein though, perhaps the newly wedded couple are planning on keeping their new relationship status a secret, for whatever reason. In which case it;s not unusual for them to request no images or anything relating to the wedding be put up on social media until they say it’s ok. It’s a part of modern wedding etiquette that can have huge ramifications regarding relationships between friends, family and even media. So be sure to listen to their desires and perhaps hold off from congratulating the newly weds for a little bit until they say it’s ok.

There are plenty more aspects to modern wedding etiquette that I simply cant list in one article, including use of websites, clothing, bringing kids and dates. But I felt that what I’ve listed so far are perhaps the most modern of modern wedding etiquette trends that I’ve come across during my career. Feel free to discuss any of it in a comment below!