11 Ways to Celebrate Your Original Wedding Date If You've Postponed
Because the day will always be special, no matter what.
originally posted on The Knot.com
by Sarah Hanlon
If you've had to postpone your wedding due to COVID-19 (or another reason out of your control), you're not alone—but that doesn't make it any easier to cope with. When your original wedding date rolls around, you might find yourself feeling sad, confused and overwhelmed. But among all the emotions you'll experience, you can (and should!) honor the day.
While the ramifications of the coronavirus outbreak have affected weddings around the world, couples are instead choosing to "take back the date" to celebrate the day they planned to get married. From hosting a virtual cocktail hour to having your first dance in your living room, there are plenty of ways to mark your wedding date from your home (while following CDC and government guidelines). Though it might not be what you originally envisioned, you'll be happy that you chose to honor the day despite the circumstances. Below, find our favorite ways to take back your own wedding date if you've postponed.
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Have a Commitment Ceremony
Even if you're postponing your wedding, you can honor your partnership by hosting a commitment ceremony. It's important to note that this is not a legal union—instead, a commitment ceremony simply marks your devotion to each other. (You can have a legal ceremony at a later date). Your commitment ceremony can take any form you want. You and your partner can get dressed up and recite your vows, or you can host a virtual gathering as you pledge your commitment to one another in front of your loved ones. Regardless of how you execute it, this will serve as a way for you to signify your wedding date without the formal ceremony.
Invite Your Loved Ones to Drive By
If social distancing guidelines have kept you apart from your friends and family, invite them to drive through your neighborhood while you and your S.O. wave to them from your porch or front lawn. They'll be thrilled to enjoy the day with you—from a safe distance, of course.
Open a Wedding Present (or Two)
If wedding presents are taking up space in your house, use your original date to open a few and put them to use. Whether you break out your brand new pasta maker or enjoy dinner on china plates, opening your wedding gifts will bring joy to the bittersweet day. (Who doesn't love opening a beautifully wrapped gift, after all?) Wedding gifts are intended to help you begin married life together—and although your wedding might not have gone according to plan, your marriage is far more important than a party. So, grab a few boxes and open them together. Plus, it never hurts to get ahead on your thank-you cards.
Enjoy a Fancy Meal
Support local businesses by ordering your favorite takeout and planning a date night on your original wedding date. Make it extra special by popping a bottle of your favorite champagne, or try your hand at mixology by creating a brand new cocktail. (Take note of the ingredients and serve the drink at your future wedding reception.) While you might not have envisioned celebrating your wedding with local pizza or your favorite lo-mein dish, it'll create a special memory you'll never forget.
Plan a Virtual Cocktail Hour
In the mood to hear some wedding party speeches? Organize a virtual cocktail hour with your friends and family. Gather everyone on a Zoom call or Google Hangout and encourage them to bring their own cocktails. Either make your own or pick up to-go cocktails from your favorite local spots. While you might not be able to come together physically, having your loved ones call in to your digital reception is a great way to take back your wedding date. Make sure everyone comes prepared with a toast (or two) to keep things fun.
Order Wedding Cake or Cupcakes
What's a wedding celebration without cake? Call a local bakery and place an order for a small wedding cake or a batch of cupcakes to enjoy together. While you might not be able to do a classic cake smash in front of your guests, indulging in a sweet treat will be the icing on top of your makeshift celebration.
Say Your Vows
Even if you won't be having a formal ceremony, you can still say your vows to each other to mark your commitment. Since your original wedding date marks the day you planned to formally seal your marriage, honor the intention by reciting your vows together. Consider writing them down in special cards, like this "happy original wedding date" option from Etsy, and exchanging them. While you'll still have to legalize your union in the future, this is a sentimental way to take back your wedding date.
Get Dressed Up
Getting dressed up will make your wedding day feel much more meaningful. Wedding dresses and tuxedos aren't required—but if you want to wear your original outfit, you should! If not, dress up your outfit by wearing your veil, a wedding accessory or any shade of white if you want to. This could also be a great opportunity to wear "something blue" or to break out the white jumpsuit you've been saving for a wedding event.
Have a Photo Shoot
Though it's not what you intended, you'll want to remember how you took back the date for years to come. Savor the memories by snapping pictures of everything: your outfits, the food, your vows scrawled on paper, and even your loved ones if they're able to drive by your house. Don't sweat it if you don't have access to a professional camera—your phone or a polaroid camera will suffice. But if you do want professional help, some photographers now offer photography sessions via FaceTime. Others are available for shoots that adhere to social distancing rules and group gathering guidelines. No matter what option is best for you, don't forget to document your creative wedding party.
Host a Virtual Game Night
There are plenty of virtual games you can play with your friends and family over FaceTime, Hangouts or Zoom. Gather a group and organize an evening of Jackbox TV, Houseparty or karaoke. Or, fuel your nostalgia by playing classic favorites like trivia, Bingo or Cards Against Humanity. No matter what you choose, spending time with your loved ones is a great way to celebrate the day (even if it is virtual).
Have Your First Dance in Your Living Room
Move your furniture aside and practice your first dance in your living room. Light a candle for ambiance, and savor the privacy of this classic wedding tradition. Whether you practice your choreography or have a full-out jam session, dancing to anything will help relieve stress and take your mind off of everything else. And since your first dance song is already meaningful, enjoying it on your intended wedding date will make it much more special.
Tips for Gorgeous Outdoor Photos
Being outdoors in the summer sun is a great setting for some fun photos of you and your loved ones. In order to get the best results from your session, there are a few things to consider before you step in front of your photographer’s lens.
Should You Have a Themed Photo Session?
You have probably seen many photos that were taken at a themed photo session. Your friends’ kids got their latest pictures taken in matching Western outfits. Your aunt had a movie theme for her wedding pictures. There are countless theme ideas you can use to make your photos interesting, unique, and a reflection of your personality.
If you are considering a themed photo session, answer the following questions discover your ideal theme:
Is this photo session indoors or outdoors? If it's outdoors you’ll probably want to consider a theme that suits the current weather.
What season is it? If you are looking to use a specific backdrop or seasonal prop, use Mother Nature’s current display as your theme.
Do you love a specific historical era, such as the 50's? Or a particular TV series like Star Trek? There are so many eras and movies that you can draw inspiration from. Make a list of shows, movies & eras that you and your family love.
Do you have specific hobbies? Perhaps you are an animal lover, a sports fan or have a passion for fashion. Make a list of your interests and your theme might just jump out at you.
Is this a major life event? Use your pregnancy announcement or your wedding as the perfect excuse for a fun photo session. Use a setting and props that speak to both you and your partner’s interests. There is also tons of inspiration on websites such as Pinterest that you can turn to for ideas
Whatever theme you decide to choose, make sure that it speaks to your personalities so that you genuinely enjoy the process. Themed photo sessions are also usually a great way to encourage children to be involved and to get them excited.
How to Decide What to Wear to Your Photoshoot
Top tips for getting the most out of your professional photography session.
If you are prepping for your first photoshoot you probably have a couple questions about what to expect. A common concern for people having their photos taken for the first time is what to wear.
7 Top Tips for Deciding What to Wear for a Photoshoot
Top Tips for a Sensational Senior Photo Session
It’s completely normal to feel a little awkward when taking senior portraits. Many seniors tend to feel self-conscious about their appearance because they feel uncomfortable taking photos on their own.
Below are our top five tips for taking on your senior portrait with grace and confidence and leaving with photos that you will love for years to come.
1. Use your eyes.
Use your eyes to express emotion. When you smile naturally your whole face lights up and your eyes look bright and awake. Before the photo session practice smiling in the mirror and use different expressions to see what looks best.
2. Relax. Great photos happen when the subject is relaxed and confident. Let the excitement of you photo session show through the lens as you take a moment and breathe, relax and just have fun. You may feel silly during this process but we will do everything we can to help you feel more comfortable.
This may sound obvious but breathing is key to capturing a natural look. Take time to practice taking a deep breath while smiling in front of the mirror. Slowly release the air while holding the smile and notice how your face and eyes settle into a natural and relaxed expression. Allow your eyes to “smile” by focusing on the apples of your cheeks pressing upwards. When in doubt, just breathe.
Staying stationary can sometimes produce a very staged and cheesy look. Just because you are sitting or standing still doesn’t mean you can’t change the angle of your body to create a look that is fresh and inspired. Try leaning into the camera slightly to appear more engaged, shift your weight from left to right, or simply move your chin slightly up and down for different shots as this gives us a variety of facial expressions to work with.
This goes for everyone. Ladies, spend some extra time getting your hair blown out, get your makeup done and choose an outfit that makes you look and feel your best. As for the men, take a shower and shave. When you look your best, you feel your best and when you feel your best, you are naturally more confident. Go the extra mile to walk into your senior session feeling confident, attractive, prepared, and inspired.
Unique Photo Session Ideas You’ll Love
There is nothing quite like capturing memories with your loved ones. Are you someone who enjoys taking beautiful pictures of you and your family? Then you are probably always on the lookout for inspiration for your next photo session. Below are some unique photo ideas that you’ll love.
A Brief Guide to Professional Photo Restrictions
The photos that a photographer hands over to you are part of their life’s work. It has their name or branding so there are a few important restrictions to note when it comes to the professional digital images that you receive.
1) Copyright. The digital images that your photographer provides you with have a copyright, which means the photographer has the option to use those photos to market their work and services anytime in the future. We are however also respectful of our clients so if there are any images that you would prefer to keep private, it’s best to let us know about it ahead of time so that we can honor your wishes.
2) Image type. We aren’t able to provide you with the original files or raw images. All images given to the client have been cropped and have been edited. If you do require further touch ups we would need to provide you with a quote.
3) Image altering. While we appreciate your business and welcome the sharing of our photos on social media platforms, we ask that the images not be altered in any way as this is against our copyright policies.
What constitutes image altering?
We are happy to give a quote if you want images to be edited in a specific way or if you want further alterations made.
Surviving a Family Photoshoot
How to make your next family photo session a stress free one.
Family photos are truly timeless and such a great keepsake for future generations. Getting the family together to take those perfect portraits can turn into chaos if not approached correctly. There is usually a lot more to consider when it comes to a family photoshoot since there are members of all ages, which means that there is some extra coordination involved.
Below are some family photoshoot ideas and tips to keep you and your loved ones calm and smiling the whole way through.
Crystal Vandegrift is a wedding photographer covering Virginia, D.C. NC and Maryland.
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What Our Clients Are Saying
Crystal was a great photographer for our wedding! She's definitely LGBT friendly and has some cool rainbow umbrellas to use as props in your pictures - if that's your style. Our friends and family were all very impressed with the number of photos she took and shared with us - and they're all great shots! We would absolutely recommend her to others. - Kelsey and Shannon - Baltimore, Maryland