DIY Wedding Ideas | Non-Traditional Wedding | Farm Wedding Photographers | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography | Ramsey, NJ
As wedding photojournalists we’ve had the privilege of documenting people on the best day of their lives. Surrounded by friends and family, our wedding couples celebrate their love with the traditions their families have taught them. But what happens if a couple doesn’t have any traditions? Or what if they do but they don’t have any connection to them? Please take these words as a license to create the wedding that best defines your relationship. Borrow from different traditions or create your own. There are no rules.
Heather and I chose to have our wedding at her aunt and uncle’s private farm in Ramsey, NJ, because: 1) they allowed us to, and 2) it was our closest connection to a meaningful tradition. The owners of Honeymoon Acres, Aunt Pam and Uncle Rick got married there in 1996 and we wanted to honor their union by following in their footsteps. Far from perfect, the farm is a haven for animals and family gatherings, treating four legged creatures with an equal-if-not-greater-hand than our relatives. There’s humility in recognizing the value of every animal on this earth and Pam and Rick never forget that and neither will we.
When you’re planning your wedding and getting caught up in the inevitable whirlwind of varying opinions remember this: you are the stewards of your own love. It is you and your significant other who are taking this expedition together — your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, other relatives and friends can be safe places to stop along the way — but you two are the captains. It is you two who determine the course and to cede control of your wedding day is to allow others to briefly steer the ship. If you are okay with that, fine, but know that a ship with interim captains can wind up in uncharted waters. Please forgive the dramatic analogy but I cannot overemphasize the peace and fulfillment that comes with choosing the way you wish to celebrate your love.
Heather and I decided to celebrate ours by having our friend, David Miller, officiate our mala bead ceremony (see previous post). We took this route because of something that, ironically enough, a pastor said to us at a wedding: “it’s funny, I’m probably the person in this room who knows the least about the couple getting married, yet I’m the one speaking to their loved ones about their relationship.” It was all backwards for us, so picking a friend was a no-brainer. One of the other things that David did was pass our rings around to everyone in little nests, letting our guests cradle the symbols of our love in their trusted hands. We later tried to swap out the garter/bouquet toss for a stuffed animal toss to remind ourselves of our inner children — but just like children we somehow misplaced our stuffed animals. We ended the night with a Jewish tradition, the horah, because who doesn’t want to be lifted into the air to look upon the faces of your friends and family as they have the time of their lives?
Your wedding day can be many things. Why settle for traditions that are outdated and empty? Why not borrow the ones you like? Why not create something new? Why not take the opportunity to create a community that celebrates all the best things in your life. Your wedding doesn’t have to be lavish or expensive, all it has to be is you.