Creating and running an event is a skill worthy of a university degree. Seriously, people go to university for four years to learn the skills that you’re trying to enact in creating your own wedding. So apart from really good advice along the lines of “hire a wedding planner for the love of God and your own sanity”, I thought I’d put some thoughts of my own into a blog post about how you could take your wedding planning in a personal and intimate direction.

What is happening?

The quick answer to this is “we’re having a wedding”. But the true answer, I hope, is “we’re getting married”. One of those things has an eternal significance, one has a much shorter lifetime. Now having a wedding sounds like a grand idea, but I’d hate for the idea of copying every idea you found on Pinterest or in a magazine to overshadow the awesomeness of getting married.

With that slight readjustment of priorities, what happens when you and your favourite person get married? Not what happens when people in Hollywood get married, or what happens when people I went to school with get married, not even what happens when my family members got married.

What happens when you and that other person get married?

How do you celebrate good things in your life? Who comes to those special events? What happens there? Is there food? Who pays for the food at those other awesome events? Is there alcohol? Is there entertainment? Do you like to dance? Seeing as though it’s a significant event, do you think it’s worth photographing? If you like awesome photography, do you think it’s worth getting someone good? Being such a significant event, do you invite just everyone, or just a few people?

Is this event existing for the purpose of showing everyone how much of an awesome event planner you are or are you actually creating something awesome?

Start how you’d like to end

There’s endless blog posts on how you should structure your wedding day, and what  you should do. Ignore all of them.

Instead, create an event with purpose.

A good way to start would be a conversation like this: “we’d like to get married, so let’s have a bit where we get married, we’ll call it a ceremony, and it would be nice to be legally married in this ceremony along with celebrating our marriage, not the idea of marriage or the traditional view of marriage, but our marriage.” So from there you might hire a celebrant like me! But then you start working out where would you like to end. Do you like awesome photos, or film, prints, albums, digital images, Snapchats, whatever. Then get a team together to capture that in a way that works for your taste and inside their creative talents.

Then all of this has to happen somewhere. Typically people go to wedding venues, but what if you didn’t. Instead of Googling for wedding venues, you started actually searching for a location that would really frame this authentic, meaningful event.

I view a “wedding venue” as simply a frame to a picture. When people comment on paintings or photos hung on walls, no-one mentions the frame, but the frame makes it. The frame presents the image in a meaningful way that makes viewing the image enjoyable and focused.

So don’t find a wedding venue, find a frame.

Then what do you want to put in a frame? Are the people in the frame having fun? How do people like you have fun? Are they dancing in front of a live band, or are they sipping lattes and playing Bonanza?

Are they eating or drinking? How did they get that food and who paid for it.

That’s how you create a celebration of your marriage. Not by following every stupid fucking thing that ends up on Pinterest, but by dissecting your marriage, the one being created even right now, and curating the right professionals and frame for that celebration to happen in.

Talking about professionals, I’m a pretty sweet celebrant, and if you don’t like me, check out this celebrant directory, and the feature photo for this blog post is by our friends Heart and Colour from Chris and Renee’s Sydney wedding!