Wedding Engagement photo ideas

Make sure your pictures are everything you’ve been dreaming about since the day you said yes! Draw some inspiration from these adorable engagement photo shoot ideas.

 

  1. Be Passionate

Well, not like that. Engagement photo shoot ideas should obviously be centered on you as a couple, so include the things that you both love! Do you both love coffee? Your cat? Movies? Snowboarding? Whatever passion you both share, representing that in your engagement photos is guaranteed to make them original.

 

2.Stay At Home

Keep things simple with your shoot. There is no rule saying that you have to pose in a field of flowers for your photos. Break from the usual and set up a comfortable photo shoot in your own home! This where you and your significant other can really be yourselves. You’ve created a perfect space for both of you, so celebrate that!

 

  1. Get Artsy

Tap into your creative side with these artsy ideas! Break out paint, chalk, paper, paintbrushes, or glitter. Whatever you need to get a little messy with colour! You can keep it classy and imaginative, or just go mad and cover each other in paint or powder.

 

  1. Go Glam

Something about being all dressed up really brings out the romantic side in couples! High-fashion is great for fashionistas looking for ideas. If you’re planning a sophisticated or evening wedding, glam engagement pictures can give your guests a peek at what to expect on the big day.

 

  1. Props

Do you and your fiance feel awkward in front of the camera? Bring in some props! They can help you interact with each other in a playful and natural way. Getting your photos taken can be intimidating. Take some of the pressure away with fun items like bicycles, bubbles, sparklers, coffee cups, whatever strikes you! Your photographer can usually help with this, too.

 

  1. Use the Golden Hour

Good lighting is the number one thing to consider when thinking of photo shoot ideas! Any wedding photographer will tell you that the “golden hour” is a beautiful time for photos. Take advantage of early morning or late afternoon times to create truly stunning engagement pictures.

 

  1. Celebrate the Season

Getting engaged in summer, spring, autumn, and winter all have their perks! No matter what season you’re in, you can take advantage of what’s happening outside. Incorporating nature into your photos is a failsafe way to end up with gorgeous photos.

 

Polish weddings

In Polish culture, weddings are preceded with engagement celebrations. Those are usually small parties held for the closest family members of the groom and the bride and are meant to get the two families meet and get to know each other better. The engagement dinner party means that both families accept the engagement.

In the past, the engagement ceremony was the time when the future bride received a ring from her beloved partner before the entire family gathering in a very official way, which resembled to some extent the wedding ceremony itself. In recent years, however, that official note has been largely abandoned and a ring is delivered when the future groom pops the question for the first time in a more private setting. The family gathering is just a nice way of informing the family members about the mutual decision once it has been made.

The Polish Wedding Ceremony

For many years, preparations for the Polish wedding ceremony and reception were largely concerned with finding a place for the wedding, organising food, drinks, making guest-list and inviting people to the wedding. In some regions, especially in the countryside, the custom was to invite family, friends, and neighbours in person, so the future groom and bride would devote a lot of time to visiting people before the wedding day. In the modern day, although the tradition prevails in some places, open-minded Polish younger generations and celebrities copy the western examples and some Polish brides and Polish grooms like to hold Hen and Stag parties shortly before the wedding day.

Most Polish weddings take place on Saturdays and continue through Sundays. The marriage ceremony and wedding reception for all guests are held on Saturday, while a smaller, more private party for close friends and family is continued on Sunday. There are no weddings during the 40-day Lent before Easter and during the Advent before Christmas. Those periods of year are believed to be the time dedicated for penance and preparation for the most important Christian holidays, so there is not space for public celebrations and dancing parties. Interestingly enough, there are very few weddings in May as well. This is mostly due to superstition, as many people believe that persons who marry in May are not going to be happy and won’t live together long.

In the church, the bride and the groom walk up the aisle together preceded by their groomsmen and bridesmaids. The parents and other guests are usually already seated when the couple enters the church. Whether the ceremony takes place in church or at a local magistrate, there must be two witnesses of the marriage, who sign the documents alongside of the bride and groom. During the religious ceremony, the traditional in the Western movies kiss basically does not exist. Civil ceremonies are less solemn and usually only the bride and groom, and the witnesses are allowed in the room, so whether they kiss or not, very much remains their private venture.

In Poland, weddings in the countryside are usually much bigger than weddings in the city. The reason for that is simple; in the countryside all people know each other, so most get invited to the wedding unless there is some conflict going on between the families. Thus, weddings in the country are longer and more extravagant because more people attend, and more guest return on the following day to celebrate, eat, drink, and dance some more.

A special moment on the first day of Polish wedding celebrations is when the Polish bride is taken the white veil off and an apron is wrapped around her waist. This symbolizes that she gives up her innocence and accepts her duties as a wife, a hostess, and a mother. Once this tradition is satisfied, the wedding guests give presents to the newlyweds. In most cases, those are congratulation card with money, but other useful household objects are also quite common.

 

Classic Traditions

Trends come and go. But, if you want your wedding to be more timeless than trendy, consider incorporating some of classic traditions that have been in hiding for years.

We think it’s time to bring these sweet rituals back!

  1. Tying The Knot

It turns out there is deep symbolism behind the phrase “tying the knot.” It refers to an old Irish and Scottish ritual called hand-fasting. The officiant ties the couple’s hands together with a brightly coloured ribbon or cord. The rope symbolises that the couple is bound together with an eternal bond. Hand-fasting is popular in European weddings—Prince William and Kate Middleton even incorporated it into their royal wedding ceremony.

  1. Wedding Bells

The church bells ringing at the beginning and/or end of a wedding ceremony was once thought to ward off any evil or negative spirits. As many wedding ceremonies have moved out of the church and fewer churches seem to have bells, this tradition has fallen by the wayside. But, don’t give up on this one yet. The original Celtic tradition involved a smaller bell that was rung at the end of the ceremony. The bell was then brought to the couples’ new home and whenever tensions arose (as often they do with newlyweds) the bell was to be rung to restore the marriage commitment and break off the negativity of the argument.

  1. Sixpence In Your Shoe

Most of us are familiar with the rhyme “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” But, not as many are aware of the last line, “and a sixpence in her shoe.”  The sixpence was given by a father to the bride to symbolise all the blessings he had for her. By giving her the sixpence, he was symbolically wishing her great health, wealth and happiness that could be passed down with the coin from generation to generation. So sweet!

  1. Decorating The Car

The ritual of decorating the bride and groom’s wedding car with flowers on the bonnet and ribbons streaming from the side mirrors or ariel began in Germany. The newly married couple would lead a procession to their reception, and guests would beep their horns all the way there to get the party started!

  1. Money Dances

This is a custom that comes in several different forms depending on the culture of the bride and groom. In Poland, the bride will dance with different guests as they take turns pinning money to her. It is sometimes called the apron dance as brides would wear aprons in order to save their gowns from holes. At an Italian wedding, you may see the bride carrying a silk bag and when guests come to dance with her they put money into the bag. The Phillipines, Mexico and several other countries also have their own version of the money dance.

  1. Love Letters

In traditional Icelandic wedding ceremonies, the future bride and groom would write love letters to each other the night before the wedding. They would use the letters to express their feelings about the upcoming day, as well as their hopes and dreams for their future together, or to recount the story of how they fell in love. Oftentimes, parents of the bride and groom or the officiant of the ceremony would also write a letter to the couple. The letters would then be sealed in a box to be opened on the couple’s first anniversary. What a beautiful and meaningful tradition.

 

Country weddings

When planning a rustic wedding or a country wedding most brides usually get control over the venue space, the wedding gowns and a few other key details but one thing no bride has control over is the weather. If you are planning a rustic or country style wedding you might find yourself checking the weather in the weeks and days leading up to your wedding. We thought it would be the perfect time to give a few ideas on rainy day wedding must haves! With a wedding, especially one that is planned for outside it is always best to play it safe and have these items on hand

Wellies

You probably will not be able to provide Wellies or rain boots for all your guests but you should check the forecast and if rain looks like it may happen buy some lovely rain boots for your bridesmaids, your flower girls, your mother and fiance’s mother and of course a white pair for yourself. Wellies can look great in your pics and are easy to switch in and out of as you move from one location to another.

Hay

Hay can be a last minute savor for a wedding that has been hit with rain. Adding a layer of hay to an outdoor location like a garden wedding or a rehearsal dinner can soak up the water and help to prevent mud from forming. You can’t exactly break out the hay if the clouds open and rain comes unannounced but it is something you might want to think about in the days before your wedding if you have had some weather come through.

Clear Plastic Tarpaulin

For a very reasonable fee you can get a large clear plastic tarpaulin and keep it on hand to place over items such as your wedding chairs, wedding flowers, your aisle runner and just about anything else that might be wet. Hardware stores stock this at great prices.

 

Intimate Wedding Venues

Intimate Venues for Small Weddings

Bingham, Richmond

A chic riverside hotel with a restaurant that glows over the Thames come twilight. The Bingham in Richmond is made of two Grade II listed 18th-century houses and run by a mother and daughter team. While its event space allows for up to 100 seated guests, the hotel has 15 bedrooms allowing for up to 30 people to stay overnight. Hire the whole hotel and choose from a casual barbecue by the water or a formal five-course wedding breakfast.

Lower Barns, St Austell

In the Cornish countryside near St Austell, Lower Barns brings together one-of-a-kind furnishings and a bold maelstrom of textures. The hotel creates an upbeat feel in their rural home and a fun and quirky environment for small and intimate weddings. The quirky bedrooms with freestanding baths or a custom-made breakfast bars are real conversation starters. Spend the evening before your nuptials stargazing from the outdoor hot tub and unwinding in style.

Court House Farm, Portishead

A beautiful medieval manor a stone’s throw from Portishead Point and Woodhill Bay. This venue offers plenty of space and the perfect rustic, romantic backdrop to any wedding. Only a couple hours from London or 30 minutes from Bristol, Court House Farm is very well connected whilst maintaining the perfect feeling of country escape. The venue is open all year round and the owners are more than happy to work with you to help create your dream wedding.

Cley Windmill, Norfolk

For something a little different on the Norfolk coast, Cley Windmill is a B&B with tonnes of character. It’s set in a 19th-century grinding mill surrounded by open fields and perfect for intimate wedding ceremonies.  It has a restaurant and a beautiful round Sitting Room too, which can hold up to 22 people. Given the intimacy of the space, it’s all about bespoke occasions whether you opt for a daytime or evening occasion. However, we’re particularly fond of the candlelight dinner option.

Pentillie Castle, Cornwall

In a timelessly elegant fairytale setting, surrounded by woodland and overlooking the River Tamar lies Pentillie Castle. Built in 1698, it has remained in the same family for more than 300 years. It is surprisingly spacious and classic, with 55 acres of gardens to roam in. It’s a wonderful place to feel like royalty and to welcome guests to a special occasion. Say your vows in the romantic Victorian Bathing Hut on the banks of the Tamar or on the Terrace if you prefer. You can furthermore tailor the rest of your day to suit you and your nearest and dearest as you please.

Romney Bay House, Kent

This beautiful 1920s mansion in a spectacular location amidst wild marshland scattered with ancient churches. Romney Bay House Hotel is a spectacular place for a small and intimate wedding reception. Plus, you can hire the whole hotel for up to 20 guests and take the whole hotel for an entire weekend from May to September.

Hever Castle B&B, Edenbridge

Hever Castle is probably best known as the home of famed and fated wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn. Today the magnificent 13th-century property is not only a spectacular attraction, but it’s also open for wedding hire. There are multiple spaces in this historic location so you can have a wedding of any size here. However, in the castle’s inner hall, there is the perfect amount of space for 60 ceremony guests and 40 wedding breakfast attendees. What could be more spectacular?

 

You Tube Proposals

We thought we’d round up a few amazing You Tube proposals that really made our mouths drop. These are extremely impressive whichever way you look at it!

The Zip Line Proposal

It’s not often that you find a wedding proposal on YouTube that has incredible camera quality and video editing, which is why the Zip Line proposal is a must watch. Uploaded just two days ago, it features popular YouTuber Brodie Smith who hadn’t uploaded any Frisbee videos in the past 5 months. That was all to change as you can see in this video where he takes out his girlfriend Kelsey under the guise of shooting a new branded video. What transpires involves seven members of her family, tears from both and some fab interviews beforehand.

The Skydiving Proposal

How do you go bigger than a zip line? How about by jumping out of an aeroplane and proposing afterwards. That’s exactly what Austin did when he proposed to Catherine. Another couple that have an incredible amount of followers – 8.1 million! – we feel that this deserves a spot in the blog because hey, you don’t jump out of a plane everyday and because Austin is actually scared of heights. He only jumped out of the plane because this was Catherine’s wish for her birthday.

The Greatest Showman Proposal

There’s no doubt that The Greatest Showman has taken the world by storm since its release at the end of last year. The soundtrack is often on in our office and we are certain that it probably blares out of your speakers fairly often as well. Imagine Amy’s surprise when what appeared to half of Brighton turned up to her proposal in the form of a flash mob dance, whilst her boyfriend Harry came forward in the Hugh Jackman role. Cuteness personified!

The Lip Dub Proposal

A classic these days (it was recorded six years ago), but one we absolutely adore. Isaac’s lip dub proposal is daring because not only is he sitting his girlfriend in the back of a car as it drives off but everybody involved in this lip dub flashmob is actually a friend or family member of his soon-to-be fiancée. We are sure that you know relying on so many amateurs is a recipe for disaster but it works absolutely brilliantly here!

The Abseiling Proposal

We’ve had zip lines and skydiving so why not abseiling as well? Seth saved the life of Nicole when she was abseiling a year earlier – you could say that she literally fell in love with him – and a year later, Seth decided to propose in a similar manner! Too cute. There’s not much else to say about this one but we love the dawning realisation on Nicole’s face as she descends and every other member of their group is far away from her beloved.

 

Asian Weddings

Around the world, weddings are planned with varying degrees of cultural tradition and innovation, supplying boundless avenues of inspiration. Asian-inspired ceremonies, for example, can add some truly unique and festive beauty. Take a look at these Asian wedding planning ideas for some noteworthy insight.

Haldi Ceremony

Haldi, the Hindi word for turmeric, has a place in many Indian traditions, one of the most sacred being weddings. On the morning of the ceremony, the couple is coated in a vibrant paste made of haldi and other ingredients, such as oil, rosewater, or sandalwood.

The messy yet fun ritual serves many purposes: It wards off evil spirits, provides an all-natural beauty treatment, and serves to avert those pesky wedding-day jitters. While traditionally the bride and groom perform the rituals separately at their respective homes, a modern take on the haldi observance has the couple do it together and incorporate the paste into the entire ceremony.

Mehndi Ceremony

Mehndi has grown in popularity in the Western world over the last several decades. Mehndi is the art of body painting with henna paste, typically in ornate and elaborate designs. Application generally takes place right before the ceremony and is applied to both the bride and groom. Today the designs know no bounds, ranging from depictions of Indian gods, to a couple’s portraits, to cartoon characters.

Applying mehndi is one of the oldest Indian traditions and is considered a good omen for the couple. Friends and family get together and make this ritual a highly celebrated and joyous event. The longer the mehndi retains its colour, the more felicitous it is thought to be for the newlyweds.

Beautiful Wedding Mandap Decors

A mandap is a pillared structure at the front of a wedding venue under which a couple is married, typically seen in Hindu or Jain weddings. The mandap is highly symbolic, with four pillars meant to pay homage to the couple’s four parents. This is also where the couple is officially joined in matrimony and spend their first moments as married partners.

Decorated mandaps add a beautiful focal point to any wedding and are vital in traditional Indian ceremonies. Couples often incorporate fresh wedding flowers, intricate lighting, and vivid colours. While traditional mandaps are constructed of wood, a number of different materials and fabrics are used in modern weddings.

Wedding Entertainment

Asian wedding ceremonies employ different types of entertainment. Some couples opt for a classic sound system and others for live music. The bride’s entry song is of great importance, and today couples elect anything from old school songs like “Karunesh” by Punjab to “Latika’s Theme Song” from Slumdog Millionaire.

Many ceremonies also include traditional singing and dancing. Traditional ceremonies will include a handful of separate occasions where music plays an important role. Choosing the right musicians, bands, or singers should be given attention.

Because Asian weddings are known for their grandiosity and elegance, special dancers for the ceremony are quite common. Partner and folk dances are incorporated at different times of the event to celebrate and kick off the festivities. Professional dancers are an extravagant yet tasteful addition.

The history of the Bridesmaid

It is the maid of honor’s responsibility to attend to the bride in the days leading up to the wedding. The usual duties of grooming, making sure the bride looks her best and helping with this process. (as we all know the phenomenon that is females always doing things in pairs).

But joking aside, other duties or responsibilities of the bridesmaids might be to assist with decorating, and making sure the wedding is carried out in accordance with the brides wishes.

But it wasn’t always the case. They were always dressed in similar attire to the bride too, but this had a more sinister legend behind it. It was believed that evil spirits might try to curse the marriage. And so it was the bridesmaids role to confuse these evil spirits by looking and acting as the bride did on the wedding day.

This tradition continued through the dark ages, and became particularly cunning around the time of Edward Longshanks reign, where a lord taking the bride into his bedroom on the first night of her marriage was also good reason to confuse the lords with bridesmaids.

In modern times, the roles are equally important. Support, love and caring are all the qualities required of good Groomsmen and Bridesmaids. Support for those in which you love and care about enough to assist them on their day of marriage.

 

Remembering your nearest and dearest

When planning a wedding, of course it’ll be the happiest day of your life, with the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, surrounded by the people you love the most. But during this special day you’re allowed to feel a little bit sad, as you remember your nearest and dearest who can’t share the celebrations with you.

there are lots of more subtle but equally poignant ways to remember loved ones who have passed away…

Dedicate a reading

Why not have a close family member dedicate a special reading to lost loved ones? Personally, we like this poem by an unknown author…

If Roses Grow in Heaven

If Roses grow in Heaven,

Lord please pick a bunch for me,

Place them in my Mother’s arms

And tell her they’re from me.

Tell her I love her and miss her,

And when she turns to smile,

Place a kiss upon her cheek

And hold her for awhile.

Because remembering her is easy,

I do it every day,

But there’s an ache within my heart

Because I am missing her today

This poem is good for anyone else who you want to remember on your big day…

Someone is missing

Let this candle be a loving reminder

that someone is missing today,

Someone our hearts still hold on to,

As we travel along life’s way.

Someone who made life so special,

for all those who gather here,

Someone who won’t be forgotten,

But cherished from year to year.

And now as we pause to remember,

Let us all fondly recall,

how dearly each of us loved him,

and oh… how he loved us all!

Hopefully this has given you some ideas and inspiration. Hugs to you if you’re missing someone close today.

Muslim Wedding planning

For people across the world, a wedding is a time of joy, celebration and unity – and for followers of Islam, this isn’t any different. While there are obviously some differences between a Muslim wedding and other religious or non-religious ceremonies, culture and personal preference still play a pivotal role in what happens on the big day (or days).

Be it a three-day Indian wedding or a traditional Western format, there are certain elements of Muslim weddings that are consistent across the world. This step by step guide by modern muslim fashion brand AbayaButh, shares tips for planning your traditional Muslim wedding – from the ceremony to special customs and outfits!

The Date

When it comes to planning a wedding date, many Muslims favour the Islamic month of Shawwal, but this isn’t essential. Most times of year are suitable, though you should avoid the sacred months of Ramadan and Muharram. This means you’re free to organise your wedding for your favourite time of year – whether that be a blissful summer wedding or a cosy winter affair.

Arrange The Wedding Venue

In Islam, it’s not compulsory to marry in a mosque, which means you’ll have scope to pick a venue of your own choice. Whether you’d like an intimate setting with just your closest family by your side, or a larger venue to accommodate a wider circle of friends, the decision is yours as to where you want the ceremony and celebrations to take place. After the ceremony itself there will be a walimah, which is usually a meal where guests can celebrate the occasion – though this can be anything from large-scale festivities to a pared-back and quiet gathering.

When it comes to the walimah, you should think about the food you would like served. In many cultures, it’s members of the family who provide the food and drink on the day – and what you serve is entirely personal preference. Local fare is often provided at modern Muslim weddings, and usually includes sheep, goat or alternative meats such as chicken or fish. Again, specifics vary depending on region.

Agree On A Mahar

As one of the most important days in the life of a Muslim, there can be a lot of pressure to pull off the perfect wedding. Again, personal preference will be your guide throughout the wedding planning process, but you should consider the key elements that make up the ceremony. One of the first things to think about once a date has been set is the mahar, a pre-agreed dowry payment from the groom to the bride. Agreeing on a suitable mahar is something usually discussed privately between the bride’s and groom’s families, and can be anything within the groom’s financial means. From a lavish piece of jewellery to an item of clothing or a simple payment of money, making this decision well ahead of time will ensure the groom has plenty of time to prepare before the big day.

Hen-na Night

A common tradition amongst Muslim brides to be in the Middle East and South Asia is to have a henna party a few days before the ceremony, where delicate, artful patterns are drawn on the hands and feet of the bride. Make the most of this ceremony by giving gifts to the bride and eating lovely food – this party is a perfect opportunity for female bonding before the big day! It’s also common to have a similar ceremony for the groom, so find yourself a skilled henna artist and you’re well on your way to a perfect pre-wedding celebration.

It’s not just the bride and groom that will celebrate before the wedding. A common ceremony in Islamic cultures is the fatha, in which the fathers of the bride and groom, along with male family and friends, stretch out their arms and recite prayers at the local mosque the Friday after the proposal. Make sure to make time for these important ceremonies before your wedding for a flawless Islamic ceremony.

The Wedding Dress

The aesthetic of your Muslim wedding can be anything you like, as long as it’s modest. Some Wedding dresses are intricately patterned with embroidery and jewels sewn in to really make the ceremony as opulent as possible, but others opt for a more simple, one-colour design. As Islam is an incredibly diverse religion, no two Islamic cultures are the same. If your wedding is cross-cultural, then even better, as the best and most beautiful aspects from your respective cultures can be combined to make a ceremony that is a perfect blend of the bride and groom’s personalities.

The Ceremony

Next, you’ll need to think about the ceremony, or nikah, itself. The nikah can be as simple as you like, requiring only two male witnesses and a Muslim knowledgeable in Islamic law – which is usually an imam or Qazi. Separated in two different rooms or areas of the hall, you and your partner will be presented with the nikah namah – the marriage contract – which will be signed after being read aloud to those present. The officiator will then solemnise the marriage by reading a sermon, which is most often the first chapter of the Quran.

A Muslim wedding bears many similarities to weddings in other religions – they’re a time to celebrate love, faith and unity. Whether you’re a bride-to-be in India, England, Malaysia or Egypt, your wedding day will be one of the most important of your life – so put in preparation well ahead of time to pull off the wedding of your dreams.