Fleshing out your intentions

Julie, Gareth, and myself in Joshua Tree National Park for their elopement photographed by Bulb Creative
Julie, Gareth, and myself in Joshua Tree National Park photographed by Bulb Creative

I'm not going to lie, writing a book is hard. You get all excited and start writing and eventually you get all those initial words out, and then - in my experience at least - your brain and your fingers disconnect for a moment and you lose the ability to make words out of the thoughts in your head.

Do not fear though, your intrepid writer spent a few days trying to burst through that dam wall between "figuring out why you're having a wedding" and "here's how to get some epic wedding vendors" and I'm hoping this chapter is it.

From here we're going to start down the list of the different categories of wedding vendors, so I'm really looking forward to the hate mail I'm going to get as we open each of those cans of worms.

Before this chapter we were talking about figuring out how people like YOU get married, and also elopements, so if you missed those, clickity click.

Fleshing out your wedding intentions

The next logical extension of figuring out how people like you get married is shaping that vibe and intention into something that resembles the skeleton of a wedding.

Your wedding-creating team, your wedding vendors, will flesh out your intentions and dreams on that skeleton, but we need a starting point.

The head

The head of your wedding is the list of answers we went through before. Your core values, worldviews, and beliefs as a couple. Where are you going as a couple, what are your intentions for your wedding and how would you like it to feel?

The heart

The heart of this whole thing is so much more important than anything else, and it's not even about 'the day'. The heart of your wedding is your marriage and I hope that your marriage is bigger and better than your wedding, that as good as your wedding could be, it's only your best day so far and that your best as a couple is yet to come! In-fact, if it isn't, let's stop and regroup once we realise that it's super weird if your wedding is the best day of your life.

The spine

Much like a human body, the spine is the bit that holds everything else together and basically changes a blob of jelly into a body.

In wedding planning lingo we're talking about the general timeline of your wedding. We're not talking exact times yet, but what part of the day, then how will things look in that day-part?

This is not the complete list, but it's a good starting point of day-parts to choose from.

  • Sunrise into breakfast
  • Breakfast or brunch through to noon
  • Lunch into the early afternoon
  • Afternoon into the sunset
  • Sunset into the evening
  • Night (after sunset)

You'll note I don't mention times off the clock, because time doesn't matter as much as "relative to sunset" for the kind of event you're having.

Think about the difference between meeting a friend over lunch and going camping with a friend and talking around a campfire. Same friendship, two different day-parts, and I bet the campfire goes much deeper and is more intimate.

The most common day-part for a wedding would be sunset into the evening and it's no secret that it doesn't matter where in the world you are, or what time of year it is, it's almost certain that a late afternoon into the evening event is just nice. The temperature is best, the light is beautiful, the sunset colours are beautiful, and then the celebration continues into the night.

But that doesn't exclude the other day-parts from being fun and valid.

I've created sunrise elopements in that amazing just-before-sunset light and the couple of went off for an Eggs Benedict intimate breakfast afterwards, and I've created lunch-time weddings that wrapped up before sunset. One of those midday weddings saw the couple end the day on a photo shoot at sunset in that beautiful light then they went off for an intimate family dinner, and another couple celebrated with friends and family through the afternoon and spent the night in their hotel room eating pizza and ice-cream watching movies.

The rib cage

Once you have your day-part you'll start filling that time-of-day with some events.

Common things to happen at weddings, but not a comprehensive or exhaustive list, might include:

  • a marriage ceremony, aka the bit where you get married.
  • light food and beverages with entertainment, often named canapés after the type of food served
  • a main/larger meal
  • communal lawn or other types of games
  • different forms of entertainment like live music from solo, duos, trios, or full bands; a DJ, and there are many different styles of DJ; performers; artists; jumping castles or other rides
  • speeches or other family or cultural rituals and acknowledgments of your marriage
  • cakes and other desserts cutting
  • dancing and maybe a first dance
  • portrait photos
  • family photos
  • a photo booth
  • desserts and sweet things

There are so many more things you can do, literally millions.

Do all the things that are important to you, fun for you, and meaningful for you. Do none of the things that mean nothing to you, even if it's a "thing you're supposed to do at a wedding."

The arms and legs

The arms and legs of your wedding are your wedding creators, your wedding vendors. Strap in because we're about to address each category of creator, how to get the most from them, the best from them, and to get the best deal.

The next chapter is our final stop on the way to Weddingvendorville and it's about pricing and the mythical wedding tax
What did I miss? I know I missed something on these lists!
Josh Withers

Josh Withers

The original rebel, husband, father, nerd and also a marriage celebrant for the world's most adventurous couple getting married today.
Baja California Sur, Mexico