“So, I suppose that’s the point: Love chooses us.
My husband and I don’t have a great “meeting” story. We met in a conventional way and had a conventional wedding. And in some sense, we lead a conventional life.
But my husband has seen me at my worst, at my most vile. And he has seen me at my best. He knows the things I don’t tell anyone, and the lies that I tell everyone but him. I have made sacrifices for him and been angry about it. Sometimes his flaws are so egregious, so blatant, they are all I see. And sometimes his kindness is so stunning that I am humbled.
And that’s love.“
image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fumikoike/8363831581/in/photostream
Twelve weeks into the New Year and 4 out of 5 of you have already forsaken this year’s resolutions. I, myself, can hardly believe how quickly the years are going by. I swear I’ve barely had time to catch up.
2012 ended on a strange and anxious note and 2013 simply picked up where the previous year left off. Life’s version of beginnings and ends doesn’t always follow the Roman calendar. And try as you might it gets kind of tiring trying to squeeze everything into a pre-set mold. Whether it’s days, dates or occasions one is as good or bad as the next. Life doesn’t always pause to acknowledge the so-called significance of your special days and doesn’t always give birthdays, new years valentines and anniversaries their celebratory due.
I’ve had this list sitting in my vault for a while and it was meant to replace the usual list of bright and shiny resolutions. But given that it’s nearly the end of March, that’s neither here nor there.
Just some of the things I thought about in 2012:
1. I’m thankful. Constantly.
My life is not anywhere near where I had thought I’d be at this point in my life. But if there’s anything I’ve learnt in my twenties it’s that life is hard. And it tends to get harder. Most of the time its shitty, gritty and tricky-as-f*k to navigate, but that is exactly when you have to remind yourself that it-can-get-infinitely-worse. Each and every day I am grateful for the love that I have been blessed with in my life. Everything else is just a bonus.
2. I’m scared. Most of the time.
(Scared of life getting infinitely worse)
3. There are some things that need to be said.
I’m only going to get one shot at this so I need to make everyday count and put myself out there. I’ve always been liberal with my love yet sparing with my emotions. So as uncomfortable as it makes me I need to force myself to reach out even if I’m feeling shut out – to end conversations with ‘Love you’, start emails with ‘I’ve missed you’ and say out loud ‘I’m here for you’. Because it’s true.
4. Its OK to just shut up.
This one is definitely new to me and quite honestly came as a bit of a shocker. I’ve always been one to speak my mind. If I had an opinion (and usually I did), you were going to hear it. Because truthfully speaking I never really felt like I had any other option – till now. Call it the wisdom of the ages or something to the effect, but I am slowly learning the power (and effectiveness) of silence.
5. Be kind – to others and yourself.
Loving people is easy. What’s not easy, is loving them they way they want or need to be loved. In order to be there for my friends, family and loved ones, I find myself sometimes struggling with the need to slant my thoughts, mince my words and fight all natural urges which tend to lean towards categorical truth-telling. As you can tell I’m still negotiating #4 with myself.
6. With every decade that passes I realize that there’s more and more I don’t know.
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I still don’t know who I want to be when I grow up. I always thought that things happened for a reason – that there was a method to this madness – I don’t know if I believe that anymore. Most days I feel like I’m too young to be this old. But then I question that as well.
7. (You &) I should keep listening to songs like this one:
With a background in architecture and experience in the design industry, Sara Baig, creative director & owner of Sara Baig Designs, works with her team to create experiential events.
TAKE A SEAT
One of our couples decided to take on the task of designing their reception seating chart themselves. It was going to be their little DIY contribution to the wedding planning. To start with, they finished putting it together two days before the event leaving us no time to review it. The big day arrived and as my assistant and I took a look at the seating chart we realized that the table numbers were all mixed up and some guest names were missing. The bride’s father and brother noticed it as well and started to panic. We calmed them down and made a friendly announcement during cocktail hour for guests to see my assistant and myself before entering the hall. I also assigned one of my assistants to stand at the door and make sure each guest was reminded of their table numbers. By the end of the cocktail hour we knew the names of all the 150 guests, everyone knew exactly which table they were seated at and the absence of a seating chart went unnoticed.
I would love to see brides leave behind the Moroccan themed wedding trend with the peacock feathers! I think its been done to death and unless someone comes up with a completely unique twist to it then my advice to all 2013 brides would be “Please refrain from the Moroccan theme”.
A COMMON FAUX PAS
Couples need to realize that the teams of wedding specialists they hire for their big day are an integral part of the guest list. It is this team of planners, photographers, videographers and DJs etc. who assist in giving life to the couple’s vision. These wedding specialists are with the bride and groom and their families every step of the way and not allocating a table for them on your wedding day is not cool! They need to be part of the headcount when providing the venue with the guest list and must be looked after just like the rest of your guests. Proper attention must also be paid when scheduling the day’s activities to assign lunch and dinner breaks for the teams.
I had a bride once who was so stressed with all the distant family visiting for the wedding that she requested that I meet with her every Friday (month prior to the wedding) just to calm her down. She also gave me a list of members she wanted me to ensure were nowhere near here on the day of.
AliphAurMeem Photo + Cinema is a husband and wife wedding photography duo offering services worldwide. They live in Mississauga with their one-year-old daughter Afroz Jehan.
SETBACK TO START-UP
We are a husband (Asad) and wife (Mehreen) team and our company name (AliphAurMeem) stands for our initials in Urdu. We started our wedding photography company after our own wedding photographer, a well established wedding photographer in Toronto, royally screwed us over. He took money from us the day before and didn’t show up on our main wedding day. He sent some random cousin of his instead who had no idea what he was doing. We finally got our prints that were printed on a 5×5 square format paper, however the pictures were shot in 4×6, resulting in passport sized family pictures. That overall experience was a big driving factor in us starting our business, to offer people an alternative that was not only better in creative and artistic merit, but to also genuinely care about people and not just see them as huge dollar signs.
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
Most couples are very vigilant these days, which is great. But one of the things that we have seen recurring in the past couple of years is that a lot of couples try to judge the value in your work by the amount of stuff you seem to be giving them. In our opinion, if you like someone’s work, it is typically better to hire him or her and only get digital files, as opposed to someone you’re not so hot about, who is promising you three photographers and four albums! A good photographer will give you better pictures than three bad photographers any day. Quality over quantity people! Get the best photographer you can afford and go for a no-gimmicks package.
UNLIKE AND UNFRIEND
Oh we’ve heard it all, but probably one of the strangest requests was this couple that wanted part of their wedding party removed from every picture because they were no longer friends.
Naushin Azim is the owner and principal designer at Love, Paper & Ink; a purveyor of bespoke, couture wedding stationery
SQUEEZING IT IN
The most unique request I’ve ever had from a couple was to include not only the names of the bride, the groom, the parents and grandparents but also the home addresses of both sets of parents- all on the same 5” x 7” invitation. It definitely required a lot of creative placement!
I love the non-traditional wedding invitation. Whether it is laid out differently in terms of the text or the design, printed on something other than paper like wood veneer or lucite, or uses an existing technology like laser cutting in a new way. I think invitations and stationery are a spectacular way of incorporating a couple’s personality, interests, and a lot of detail into a wedding. I’d really like to see couples being more adventurous when it comes to their invitations and day-of stationery.
Oh my, I’m still scarred by this one! To preface, I tend to be very Type-A when it comes to my work and really particular that everything prints exactly as it was designed. Even if it isn’t visible to the layperson, I can tell if something is even slightly off – so everything needs to be printed, cropped, and packaged to perfection before my client’s see it. Anyhow, this particular set of invitations I designed was very bold and required a double print of burgundy ink to ensure it was as rich as I had envisioned and designed. I found out a few days before the invitations were to be delivered that the printer I was working with was unable to do so (panic much?) and I had to scramble all over the city to find someone who could accommodate me on short notice. Thankfully, I did and the invitations arrived beautifully printed and were hand-delivered to a very happy bride. Since then I’ve definitely gone on to have more than one printer in my contacts and I always clarify schedules thrice before sending files over!
The creative process! It is a lot of fun meeting new couples and hearing their stories, but then actually sinking my teeth into a whole host of inspiration images, browsing my favourite blogs for even more inspiration and insight, and then thinking and planning out a new design for them is very satisfying. It’s why I do what I do!
Just a couple of weeks ago, with everyone doing July 4th themed posts, I had thought to myself that I would never post a bride wearing red, white and navy blue. Well, that was before I came upon Sapna & Nitin’s gorgeous wedding here. I absolutely love the combination of modern vibrance and regal elegance.
I never really got the big deal about the engagement rings. Its not that I don’t appreciate (and lust after) sparkle and bling, because trust me I do (my pinterest boards should be proof enough). Its just that I never quite understood how one object could be such a defining function of a marriage. From the way some girls go on about it, you would think the ring is even more important than the hubby-to-be. And what gets to me even more about the ‘Engagement Ring’ is that most people think theres only one way to go: the solitaire. Even though there are a million different types of rings out there, what you see on the hand of every married or engaged woman you know is a slightly different version of the exact same ring. In theory every bride wants a special and unique experience but usually just ends up conforming to a cookie-cutter version of someone else’s wedding.
That’s why seeing A’s engagement ring brought a genuine smile to my face. Her gorgeous 1920s vintage ring is anything but typical and most importantly its so her! Considering that the ring is something you will (or at least are expected to) wear everyday for the rest of your life, why don’t more couples go for something different, something that reflects the bride’s personality and style?
Disclaimer: In of the spirit of full disclosure I should probably mention that I myself sport a beautiful solitaire that was lovingly picked out for me. And despite my overt objections… for all the love, time, effort and thought that he put into buying my ring, I probably wouldn’t have it any other way :)
What does your dream engagement ring look like?