All the photos from the Wedding Breakfast Club Christmas party.
You can download these images from this gallery on the condition that you link to my website (www.parrotandpineapple.com), or if sharing on social media please tag @parrotandpineapple on facebook, or @parrotnpineapple on instagram in the caption.
Let’s face it, the internet overloads LOVE that kind of thing so it works well for both of us.
The obsession with body image often associated with the wedding industry is a huge gripe of mine. And it’s not just women who are feeling it, but men now too.
Hopefully you’ve managed to steer clear of all the “new year, new body, new you” crap that always circulates in January. But ludicrous articles like this from The Telegraph – which advocates a full lifestyle change at least six months before your wedding – are difficult to avoid if you’re in the process of wedding planning research. As if former British Army soldier Prince Harry is going to be concerned with “getting in shape for his wedding”?! He’s already in shape!
But the pressure is real and it’s having an impact. At a wedding expo in South Australia back in 2008, researchers found that over 50% of attendees were planning to lose weight before they tied the knot. 40% were planning to diet, while 67% were aiming to exercise more. Some also felt the force of peer pressure ahead of their wedding day, with 10% admitting that other people had told them they should lose weight ahead of their big day.
She’s probably not.
Feeling good vs. looking good
The wedding industry puts a lot of pressure on couples to look a certain way on their wedding day. The screws are tightened at every stage, from dress shopping to retouched wedding photography (more on that later). Even browsing online for décor or centrepiece ideas can result in a bombardment of images of impossibly glowing, supermodel brides in designer dresses.
“The pressure to look and feel good on what society has made us believe is “the most important day of our lives” is unreal. Fitting in that dress down to the very inch is crucial; no crease is left behind.
“At the end of the day, the notion that you have to be at your “best” on your wedding day is created by society in order to make money.”
Now don’t get me wrong, if you love going to the gym and eating well, and exercising makes you feel good, then that’s great. But the assumption that you should suddenly change who you are by undergoing an arduous diet and fitness routine for your wedding (even if it makes you miserable) to look like a supermodel on your wedding photos, is just daft – and potentially dangerous.
Does he really need a pre-wedding work out routine? Dude is a former British Army Soldier. He probably goes to the gym out of habit if nothing else!
Hypermasculinity in the wedding industry
The body image baton is now being passed to men now too.
In the last decade there’s been a massive increase on the focus of what a man’s body should look like, as well as a woman’s. This Huff Post article by Louis Michel explores the theme of hypermasculinity as another form of gender oppression. It’s just another damaging element of gender stereotyping, which as a feminist wedding photographer, I see all too often.
These images of Wolverine illustrate the issue perfectly, and show how ideals have changed over recent years:
Image from genderedbodiesembodiedgender.files.wordpress.com
The media would have you believe you should get hung up on weight and appearance ahead of getting married, when actually the main focus should be the celebration of a loving relationship with friends and family and a person who adores you for exactly who you are.
But we can just say no to this kind of pressure? A focus on feeling good rather than just looking a certain way is a great mindset to have during wedding planning, and during the day itself.
Enjoy your wedding and stay true to yourself – remember that your partner is marrying you because of who you are now, not how you look in a bridal gown. That’s the joy of finding your best friend and soulmate. You don’t need to pretend to be anyone else or do anything other than be yourself to make them happy.
This doesn’t mean you can’t pamper yourself, make a special effort on your appearance or get dressed up to the nines for your wedding. But these things should only happen because it makes you feel good. If you feel confident and happy within yourself, it’ll definitely show. I know what the pressure of being in front of the camera can be like. Only recently I booked a professional photo shoot for some new headshots and I felt like a wreck before it. I went from feeling very blasé about photography to all of a sudden constantly questioning all my choices of how I presented myself for the camera. Was my hair ok? What about my big belly? My arms are terrible I’ll have to cover those! The internal monologue was a stream of abuse.
But I got through the shoot and I actually ended up enjoying it. I did my best not to let the rumination take over. I breathed and bought myself back in to the moment and reminded myself of FACTS about my body. I reminded myself that the stream of abuse in my head were just thoughts. I trusted my photographer to take nice pictures!
When it comes to weddings, some tips I’ve picked up from fabulous feminist weddings I’ve photographed include:
Considering wearing something other than a wedding dress: If you aren’t one for wearing dresses, you could go with separates or a jumpsuit. Whatever makes you feel the most comfortable.
Make a list of your priorities for the day: Start with the reasons why you actually want to get married. I’ll bet that your appearance doesn’t make it on there. Put that list somewhere prominent and look at it whenever you want a boost.
This is me. I’m pretty squidgy all over, I’ve always had loads of spots and I’ve got cellulite. I understand that these are all considered ‘normal’!
Saying no to retouching
Your wedding photographs are an important memento of a happy day spent with people you love. They aren’t a statement about your dress size on a particular day nor are they to be submitted to the national archives as an example of a perfect wedding. They are a record of the love and emotion of the day, capturing the real life special, intimate moments you’ve shared together.
With this in mind, I keep my editing very natural. After I’ve taken your wedding photos I’ll adjust the exposure, colour, contrast, tidy up any stray hairs and delete any rogue spots. I don’t do any body manipulation, air brushing or anything of that nature. Instead, I aim to capture the authentic and beautiful moments of your special day just as they are.
You’re engaged! Firstly congratulations, you are about to embark on a great journey towards becoming married, and I bet I know where you are right now – PLANNING.
Planning your wedding can be stressful, there’s so many things to consider and what started off as a little list suddenly becomes HUGE. I’m going to be focusing on one of the things on the list in this post, your wedding photography.
I have been around countless couples and the discussion about how much should your wedding photography cost always comes up. The real answer is – there’s no answer and it’s true , there’s no answer on what it “should” cost. It’s all about what you want for your day. So how do you figure this out? How do you know who’s a real photographer from the phonies?
Let’s start with the need
When budgeting for your wedding photography the first thing to think about is what you need from your photographer. Below is a list of the minimum things you should look for when researching:
A portfolio of consistent work that you really love
Insurance for public liability and professional indemnity (at least)
Professional standard equipment, with spares in case of failure
A clear process to understand your wedding and what you want from your wedding photos
Clear and understandable pricing that shows you exactly what you get for your money and if there are any extras to pay. You should instantly understand the number of hours the photographer will be at your wedding and what you get in terms of high resolution jpg pictures from the wedding.
Also think about the after-wedding goodies. You will need to know if you can download the high resolution jpg files, if you get a memory stick or disc with the images on and if there are any prints or albums included in the price.
A wedding photographer is generally around for 8 hours of your wedding day. Looking at this number the average cost for wedding photography in the UK is around £1200 – £1500*. This price bracket usually included all the edited high-resolution files – which is perfect as it means you can download and print the photos for friends and family too.
This is an important factor to consider when looking at potential wedding photographers because where they are based can make a big difference in costs. A London wedding photographer will cost more than a photographer based in Newcastle – simply because it costs a lot more to live and work in London! Also, if you happen to LOVE a photographer living in one place but you’re based somewhere else, take into account they may charge for travel/accommodation if needed.
Things to look out for
If you find a photographer that is offering a too good to be true deal – it could well be that it is. As a wedding photographer I would advise to be very wary of anyone charging less than £750 for a full day of wedding photography and all the edited images. This is where research is so important, look at their website, look at their social channels and how active they are as a business especially during wedding season and google for reviews. Word of mouth and checking out their testimonials page can be like gold dust, you want to find the right photographer for you.
However averages are made up from a full range of figures, and if you happen to find a photographer that is charging way over the average, it could be for a variety of reasons. As photographers become more experienced, their skill level increases and becomes more valuable. They may also be offering a luxury service, providing a team of professionals to capture your day, or offering up a super duper package that contains lots of extra goodies like fine art prints and fine art albums.
As a general rule of thumb I tend to find that most people will allocate roughly 10-15% of their total wedding budget to the cost of a wedding photographer. If you are having a very big wedding with lots of people, it’s likely that you will need more than one photographer to capture your day.
Professional photography is a little bit like the restaurant trade. You can buy food very cheaply in lots of High street establishments; yet you can also buy very expensive meals in beautiful restaurants where you very much buy an experience. You’re still buying food, but the experience, service and quality is very different and that is what you will pay for.
And finally…THE WANT
As well as the necessities required from a photographer which affects costs, also think carefully about what you want. What do you want from your wedding photographer?
Do you want someone who is going to sit back and take standard wedding shots or do you want someone who will get in the thick of it and capture the moments you didn’t even know were happening, the grins on friends faces or that little tear secretly being wiped away by Auntie Denise.
It’s so important to choose a photographer who understands your personalities and what you want. The wedding day itself is just one day, but the moments captured make that day last a lifetime.
I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be exhibiting at the UK’s best and most alternative wedding fair in Birmingham this year. This November, the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza will be returning to amazing venue that is The Bond to bring to you an impeccable array of everything that is different, creative and EWEnique in the world of alternative weddings. This will be quite a special event because the show has just reached it’s 5th birthday! For 5 years, EWE has brought together unique exhibitors and couples alike; showcasing the UK’s most diverse and talented suppliers in the alternative wedding world.
Who organises this dream alternative wedding fair?
The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza is the crazy brainchild of Jo from The Couture Company (bespoke BAAAdass alternative bridalwear), Sassy from Assassynation Photography (Awesome Alternative Wedding Photography) and Yasmin from Curious Coco Designs (EWEnique Bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen accessories) – this is a wedding fair EWE don’t wanna miss.
The aim is oh so simple; to find all those couples who feel lost in a wedding world abundant with cookie cutter, white wash weddings and welcome them with open arms. EWE is a place for those who want to break free from the ties of wedding tradition and have a day that’s unique to them… Their motto is simple: “Don’t be a wedding sheep, It’s All About EWE!!
Where is all this going off?
This eclectic wedding fair is held in one of the most unique venue’s in Birmingham. Located in the heart of Digbeth, the fabulous flock will be returning to The Bond Company yet again! The Bond Company is based within a unique complex of expertly renovated buildings which combine historic Victorian architecture with high-quality modern facilities. The venue is an attractive setting for events, celebrations and weddings. With planted, cobbled courtyards, the canal-side café, and a host of different spaces for business and social activities, The Bond is an oasis in the heart of Birmingham.
Who is going to be exhibiting at EWE?
The our BAAAAdass Mo Flo’s of course! This eccentric group of over 60 suppliers made up of cake makers, florists, dress designers, photographers, stationary designers, hair and make up artists, DJs, accessory creators, entertainers, videographers, menswear designers, celebrants and SO MUCH MORE.
On top of all this Erica From Mr and Mrs Unique will be returning as official media sponsor for the show. Mr and Mrs Unique is an award winning online directory hosting an array of amazing suppliers alongside a blog and magazine celebrating the quirky, the interesting and above all, the unique aspects of weddings
If that wasn’t enough, Kat from Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride is the new media sponsor for the show!! Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride is one of the biggest wedding blogs in the world and THE go to blog for alternative wedding inspiration. Alongside the blog, Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride magazine comprises of some of the most unique real weddings through to popular DIY tutorials and wedding planning tips and ideas.
As an extra treat, EWE will have THE exclusive launch of the brand-new Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride and Crown and Glory headpiece and veil collection for 2018!!! So you can come and try all the awesomeness on, AND you can come meet Kat! Make sure you grab your new copy of her amazing magazine in person!!
What’s going to happen at The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza?
Obviously you’ll get to meet some of the best alternative wedding suppliers in the UK (AKA the ‘Bad Ass Mo Flos’), but there’ll also be some rather spectacular competitions, amazing demos and workshops for you to check out as well as the ever-popular treasure hunt where you can win some amazing prizes for your wedding! Kids big or small are welcome and we even have a colouring comp for the little (or not so little) lambs to take part in. Witness the fitness in the fantastic Fashion Walkabout and give a cheer to awesome brides and grooms from few shows ago in the Real Couples Parade.
You can make memories in the fabulous photo booths, shear some shapes to the beat of the brass band madness or get top score at the gaming stations. Do a bit of sheep spotting, take part in a workshop or demo or two, take a bite out of some tasty delights from the street food folks and relax and enjoy some fizzy concoctions at the specialist wedding bars. Say hello to all the Bad Ass Mo Flo’s and if that’s still not enough, there will be a Christmas market where you can buy original and unique gifts and treats for your wedding AND Christmas. Two for the price of one!
The Essential Info
Saturday 11th November, 12pm to 5pm Sunday 12th November, 11am to 4pm The Bond, 180 Fazely Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5SE EWE’d be a fool to miss the ultimate alternative wedding fair! But don’t take my word for it – checkout the Happy Bleats page from previous attendees. Want to know more? Have a ramble around the website: www.allaboutewe.co.uk Catch up on all the suppliers who will be at the show in the MEET THE FLOCKERS sections. Tickets on Sale now online from the baaargain price of £7 each. Buy them here. Or, if you prefer to be a maverick and simply turn up on the day, the door tickets are from £8 each per day. Little lambs get in free!!!
Don’t be a wedding sheep, it’s all about EWE!
If you want to chat with other couples planning an alternative wedding you can join the Facebook group . For inspiration follow on Instagram @allaboutewe. You’ll be able to keep up to date with all the ‘newes’ and pre-show competitions.
If we’ve worked together at a wedding and you’re interested in using some of the images in your marketing then this is the info you need! I’m more than happy to share my work with the wedding community, but only if the couple have agreed to their wedding photos being shared. As the creator of the image I will always retain the copyright to it. My couples have a licence to use the images for their personal enjoyment, but not for commercial use. If you want to use images to promote your excellent work then I am happy to supply you with the image that you want, with a commercial licence.
I have two options available;
Option 1: Using images for print
If you’d like to use the images in print or advertising, or if you want to use the images online without having to credit me as the photographer, the cost is £35 per image. For 5 or more images I’ll do you a nice deal. Drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat.
Option 2: Using images for your social media, blogs, portfolio or elsewhere online
Sharing is caring. If you need online content I am more than happy to provide you with low resolution files for FREE in return for a shout out on social media and / or a link on the page where the image is displayed. You’ll probably know that getting backlinks for your website and social media is really important to the internet overlords. It’ll help us both get more awesome clients when you share my work and tag / link to me. To take up this option, send me an email to email@example.com and let me know which images you want to use. Please do not edit, or use any filters, on the images. You can crop them to make them fit your digital space, but otherwise they should remain as they are.
Required credits for free image use:
What happens if I have taken a photo of something your business supplies and you want a shout out?
Get in touch with me! The best way is to email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I always try my best to tag other wedding suppliers but this completely replies upon the couple telling me who they have worked with. Sometimes that goes amiss but I’m always happy to correct it.
Let’s link up and be friends!
I try to regularly feed the monster that is social media; here’s how to stay connected: