Marta Demartini, Destination Wedding Photographer discusses the differences in Destination Wedding Photography and how to re-create the same feeling at home!
A few years ago we filmed the Wedding of a very unique couple who absolutely had their own vision of love, partnership, fellowship, family and togetherness… and Hag Do’s!
This really transcended anything I’ve ever seen before and we were pretty moved by it all to be honest.
Quite clearly MADLY in love, these gorgeous people had a philosophy that if they were going to enjoy doing something, they were going to enjoy doing it together.
Now whilst this might sound “clingy”, it’s not. It’s just a point of view and I personally, rather like it. Hence, The Hag Do!
So traditionally, as I’m sure you’re aware, the Bride goes off for her Hen Do and the Groom goes off for his Stag Do. Never the two should meet.
However, these guys had decided to combine the two into a “Hag Do”…
Now you can see where this is going! 🙂
OK OK, this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but bear with me, it’s pretty cool!
So the Hag Do became a massive affair, with the entire Bridal Party all going off on a mad adventure together, guys and gals, one big party.
I loved that.
I’ve always felt sort of neutral between my guy friends and my girl friends. Rachel is very similar. Our friends are “our friends”.
So Rachel and I planned a Hag Do for our Wedding whilst our friends plotted our Hen and Stags.
(Not to undermine these as they were AMAZING! I did performance Go-Karting whilst Rachel went Lama Trekking. Neat!)
What an awesome decision this turned out to be!
Because not only did we invite our Bridal Party, but we extended the invitation to our close family too… a few were brave enough to join us 🙂
So as you can imagine, we had quite the merry troupe!
So…. What was our Hag Do?
We settled on a 4×4 off roading experience up in Scotland, the day before the Wedding.
Wowser! What fun that was!
The really cool thing about having both the guys and the gals along was that sense of competition that always prevails at these sorts of meet ups.
Very much a sense of boys vs girls and what a laugh it was!
So whilst we went off the deep end a little and plugged in some extreme driving… EXTREME DRIVING! … there are tons of other ideas you could use for an amazing day out or adventure.
After the thrills and spills of mud and diesel, we all met up in Inverness for some good pub grub and to share tales of bravado and derring do!
I still remember the coach ride into Inverness and passing two takeouts right next door to each other… “Mr Chips” and “Mr Rice”… the prevailing theory was that the owners were two brothers who ran a takeout called “Mr Chips and Rice”… then they fell out!
Hey ho! The things you remember, right!?!
So thanks to an excellent Hag Do that day, we arrived back at our Wedding Venue excited and buzzing.
This kicked off our celebrations in fantastic style and also acted as a superb ice breaker for everyone to get to know each other a little.
Just one little example of how you can take an existing idea, run with it, make it your own and come out with fantastic memories… and photographs 🙂
All made possible by our amazing Photographer Jeff, who quite happily bobbed along with us to cover the events and still to this day I can’t quite wrap my head around how he knew exactly where to be from a crude map for a man made track in the middle of a wood!
What a legend!
his is truly gold standard!
And so The Hag Do, not a gathering of witches but a left of centre Hen and Stag for those so inclined
Remember, you’re only one inspiration away…
Happy DIY Wedding Planning!
Well here we go, our second Honeymoon in Iceland…
That is, our second Honeymoon (don’t worry I’ll explain), our first Honeymoon in Iceland!
*phew* Glad I managed to clear that one up!
Firstly, you may remember that we decided to cram in as many Honeymoon’s as possible until, well, until we couldn’t anymore… family planning and all that.
Aptly, we chose a Honeymoon in Iceland as a funky destination.
You’ll remember that we really do recommend putting your Honeymoon on “ice” whilst you go off and enjoy a smaller “Minimoon” first.
That way you have something to look forward and knock post Wedding blues on the head!
So it all began in Norway, the year after our Wedding…
That’s where we had our first Honeymoon and I guess you might say, we were bitten by the Nordic bug!
We LOVED it! What fantastic people, what a chilled out and happy country!
Consequently, the obvious next choice was to go exploring having a Honeymoon in Iceland too.
In retrospect, I suppose this was a tough one to plan ahead for!
A Honeymoon in Iceland would end up being literally unlike any other adventure we’d ever had.
I’d dare say Iceland is completely unique!
And thus, the PERFECT destination for a Honeymoon.
You’re looking for those once in a lifetime type experiences, right?
Now contrary to many a mistaken belief, Iceland is NOT permanently covered in snow and ice… that’s the Antarctic!
We had our Honeymoon in Iceland in August and it was perfectly warm and sunny most days.
So rather than be completely covered in snow and ice, the landscape in Iceland is actually very delicate. Much of the rock is covered with a precious moss that takes years and years to grow.
Fancy farming in Iceland?
Well that’s particularly tricky as the animals have a tendency to eat up all the vegetation faster than it can grow.
See, unlike the UK where grass just grows anywhere and everywhere it can get a foothold…
there’s a fragile base moss in Iceland, which is the first requirement for an area to become fertile. So walking on it is a complete no no as it would take literally years to recover…
Our tour guide, Albert told us that Iceland was ALMOST growing enough food to support it’s native population…
so as you can image, MASSIVE amounts have to be imported to cope with the influx of tourists every year.
When we drove around Iceland, even just outside of Reykjavik, some areas are barren wastes as a result of accidental over farming from wandering goats. Areas like these have to be carefully cultivated back to life and protected.
Love to be inspired by jaw dropping awe? There’s a sense of delicate awe everywhere in Iceland!
Iceland has 3 major glaciers which cover a large proportion of the country. These are home to all sorts of activities such as snow mobiling, which, if you’re thrill seekers like us, you’ll absolutely love. We love breath taking scenery and atmosphere and you’ll find it here in spades!
In these kinds of environments, large groups of humans are not included! It’s just you, your small group and the ice. Amazing!
Iceland’s “off the beaten track” landscape is constantly changing…
Why not explore the ice caves that appear and melt within days. Experienced mountain climbers will take small parties out to go on expeditions through these uncharted territories and we’ve never seen or experienced anything like it!
Water around Iceland is heated by geothermal energy which is amazing.
When you turn on the shower, you’re enjoying natural warm glacier melt water. Hot water is transported around Iceland in giant metal over land pipes which have been designed to maintain the maximum amount of heat possible. Icelandic engineers are the world leaders in this technology! Fantastic!
Even more crazy is the fact that the cold water we drank in Reykjavik originally melted from ice around the time we were born!
It took over 30 years to travel through the rock, being filtered to emerge as crystal clear drinking water in 2017. That’s different!
We have it on good authority that Iceland is home to the world’s ONLY uncollapsed magma chamber.
You can literally go inside it to see a rainbow of scorched deposits from the magma which burst out of the earth’s core.
Several people have speculated as to why this magma chamber in particular, did not collapse on this super rare occasion. One leading theory is that everything cooled so rapidly that the heat of the magma did not have time to collapse the volcano in on itself!
We were super lucky on my birthday to see the man who discovered this “earth treasure” doing some survey work on the crater!
Now here’s one for all you romantics out there!
Diamond lake is a fascinating place!
Watch glaciers slowly calve giant ice blocks into the river. Marvel as they float downstream to meet with the ocean around 300 metres away.
We witnessed these ice blocks collect in the water and slowly melt into the sea.
Because this process is taking place, hundreds of tiny ice formations wash up on the beaches like hundreds of tiny diamonds… hence the name 🙂
Some, yep, make pretty good fun Wedding or Engagement Rings… whilst they last 🙂
An absolutely huge percentage of the Icelandic population live in Reykjavik with the remainder of the population spread across the entire country.
In contrast… the sticks are pretty sparsely populated out there.
At one point we had a 4 hour round trip from our Hotel pictured above, to the next large(ish) town…
For a recommended trendy Pizza place that cooked up all manner of amazing flavour combinations, naturally! 🙂
As a result, if you love road trips, you’re absolutely in the right place and the scenery is to die for! Hot Tip: Bring your camera, make sure it’s insured against accidental damage!
We’d love to know if a Honeymoon in Iceland makes your shortlist!
We found Iceland to be like nowhere else and we can honestly say that we came back changed people.
I think our appreciation of nature, it’s forces and natural beauty was really heightened by this trip and we’d recommend it whole heartedly to anyone looking for a life changing experience!
Remember, you’re only one inspiration away…
Happy DIY Wedding Planning!
Volcanic Ash Clouds Attack?
Gosh! Is there a single Bride or Groom to be who hasn’t thought “will my Suppliers turn up”…
This is a fairly extreme example but you know, will my Wedding Suppliers turn up on my Wedding Day? Are they going to remember? Are they going to let me down? That kind of stuff!
When we spoke with Wedding Espresso couples recently it was a topic that just kept coming up again and again.
And rightly so!
There’s a lot on the line here. Both financially and emotionally.
So you’ve done the right thing – bought some Wedding Insurance… but even that’s not giving you 100% confidence… how do you shake that nagging feeling of “will my Suppliers turn up” from creeping up on you?
You’ve already got enough to be worrying about.
Am I right!?!
So I’d like to share a little story with you from my own experience of this very situation.
But not from the perspective of a Groom, but actually from the perspective of a Supplier!
Unless you ARE or have been a Wedding Supplier, you’ve not spent time in their shoes.
Any Wedding Supplier worth their salt holds your Wedding in the highest of high priorities. Trust me!
The question of will my Suppliers turn up on my Wedding Day really isn’t that big of an issue.
I mean, sure, you hear the horror stories and these get blown out of proportion, but for the most part, good Wedding Suppliers are in abundance and you’ll know deep down when you’re talking to one.
It certainly put my mind to rest when I came to understand just how far we Wedding Suppliers were willing to go to fulfil our promise and commitment to you, our cherished Brides and Grooms.
Faced with this scenario myself, it became clear to me that if I booked the “right” Suppliers for our Wedding, we’d get that exact same undying devotion.
Will my Suppliers turn up for my Wedding Day simply became, we can’t wait to see our Suppliers on our Wedding Day.
That’s a weight off!
Weddings! They’re a big deal!
We REALLY rolled the dice when we booked a Photographer from California!
That’s how much we trusted in our Suppliers 🙂
Will my Suppliers turn up on the Wedding Day? We flew one across the globe!
I digress, let’s get back to the story I wanted to share with you.
It all began with a modest sized Volcanic eruption in Iceland…
Do you remember that enormous Volcanic Ash Cloud that disrupted air travel across Europe for weeks in 2010?
If you don’t here’s a handy refresher: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_eruptions_of_Eyjafjallajökull
Teamed up with my Photographer brother Simon, we packed our gear bags and headed out for a Post Wedding Shoot with our Client… in Venice.
Now will my Suppliers turn up for our Post Wedding Shoot? Surely that question came up in our Client’s minds once or twice… no one’s bulletproof!
The plan was to meet them at the Station where they would be pulling in on the Orient Express.
Well I’m happy to say that worked a treat. The Orient Express people were superb and even gave us exclusive use of a carriage…
Not sure quite how we wrangled that one, but there you go!
Now Simon and I were quite used to modest accommodation on these types of jaunts, we had no wi-fi, no TV and 3 days to scout locations, shoot the material and hop on back on over to the UK.
Now celebrating it’s 10th Birthday, here’s the film we made…
Shot on big cameras, big tripods and big glide tracks by the way… not the dainty and far more practical small digital SLRs and Mirrorless Cameras everyone uses now 🙂
But that’s not the end of this story, not by a long shot!
Satisfied with everything having worked like clockwork, Simon and I headed back to the Airport via water taxi, luggage and footage in tow.
We arrived to what can only be described as mild pandemonium!
People scuttling about everywhere, looking lost, looking panicked.
We were shattered and ready for home!
There were an unusual number of flight cancellations on the boards.
Our flight appeared…
How? Why? WHAT?!!!!
So we went to the airline help desk to find out what was going on.
Haven’t you heard?
Well no, we hadn’t. We’d been in a communications whiteout, with no news reaching us at all.
Flights are getting cancelled across Europe due to a Volcanic Ash Cloud.
Well, that’s new!
How bad is this?
Well, there are no flights leaving Venice for the next few days!
OK, so first thoughts are, a few more nights in Venice could be great, right?
Wrong! We had Weddings to Film and Photograph that weekend and we had 3 days to get back to the UK!
That nagging question “will my Suppliers turn up” had now done a full 360, we HAD to get back to the UK for Weddings that weekend!
CAN we, as Suppliers, turn up when the whole of Europe is grinding to a halt?
So we pressed!
Well there’s one flight leaving for Paris in an hour, presently, it has spare seats and hasn’t been cancelled.
We booked on it!
Paris, that’s a whole lot nearer the UK than Venice!
The take off was an interesting one…
We can’t say with 100% certainty what communication took place between the pilot and air traffic control, but suffice it to say that we hit the runway whilst luggage was being stowed in the overhead lockers!
We also took off at a fair whip… the pilot wanted to get home too!
Will my Suppliers turn up? Yes, as long as the plane lands.
Relief washed over us as we landed in Paris.
But then we had to find a hotel with Wi-Fi so that we could try to arrange our next mode of transport.
Our options were now limited. Ha! That’s an understatement.
Hertz had 1 car left in France, it was something like 3000 Euro’s a day!
So that was a no go.
We then took alternative shifts, searching the interwebs and sleeping, trying to find some form of transport that could get us over to the UK.
Time and time again, our available options would mean getting home too late to get to our Wedding bookings!
We struck gold however, and secured 2 seats on a packed out ferry!
Setting off again after just 2 hours of on and off sleep, we arrived at the ferry port by bus.
Landing in Portsmouth in the wee small hours, we met up with Rachel, who had a gruelling 6 hour drive down in the dark to meet us.
We then shared (actually Rachel did most of it) the drive back up whilst Simon and I literally conked out.
Holy smokes though, we made it back up to Yorkshire with enough time to charge batteries, load up on fresh media and back out the door to shoot our Weddings that weekend.
Now that’s a fair indication of the level of commitment good Suppliers are willing to go to in order NOT to let you down.
Will my Suppliers turn up, you’d better believe they’ll move heaven and earth to do it!!!
I’ll add to the story that one other Supplier didn’t make it and elected to stay in Venice, defeated…
Well all I can say to that is that they were clearly not a “good” Supplier.
When you first meet up with a Supplier, your gut will tell you all you need to know!
Well that’s a happy ending to our little story and a fantastic memory.
Rachel and I later went to visit Eyjafjallajökull, the source of all that ruckus…
But more on that next time 🙂
I’ll leave you with a thought to calm your nerves about whether your Suppliers are going to turn up.
Book good, get good! Relax!
We’ll use Planes, Trains, Automobiles, heck Donkeys and Llamas if needs be! We’ll be there for you!
We’re MASSIVE globe trotting nature lovers and we (the humans) often lose sight of what’s MOST important in our world. Things DO happen beyond our control, insurance companies call them acts of God. The value of having a good contingency plan for any eventuality can never be understated!
We’ll always do our best, and on very rare occasions, that may HAVE to fall short. Just keep a backup in mind so you don’t have to get stressed if we’re facing a zombie apocalypse!
Remember, you’re only one inspiration away…
Happy DIY Wedding Planning!
A Honeymoon in Transylvania !?!?!?!
So I’m guessing a little back story is needed here 🙂
Are you ready? Great! Here it comes!
Rachel and I have been married for over 4 years now, we’ve enjoyed a few Honeymoons, including our Honeymoon in Transylvania, and we took some great advice at the time…
Hold off on the Honeymoon!
Save up, go somewhere amazing and really live it up.
Straight after the Wedding, head out on a “minimoon” – take a few days to relive it all and so we did.
We took a week in Scotland, right after the Wedding, doing all the things we’d always wanted to do – micro bucket list stuff like Horse Riding, Whale Watching and visiting some new areas.
We saved the biggie up so we could look forward to it!
WHAT A LIFE SAVER!!!
You know those post Wedding blues everyone talks about?
Well the best way to avoid them wholesale is to have something amazing to look forward to!
I guess we’re living proof that it works.
But we put our own unique twist on it!
We decided to carry on having Honeymoons for as long as we possibly could.
We made a list of places that we REALLY wanted to go that would be potential nightmares for us as a small family with kids.
So Comicon is on the back burner for a few years… if Xander is anything like his Dad… well 🙂
One by one, we’ve been ticking them off our Honeymoon list – you might call them holidays, but we treat them as Honeymoons – it gives us that “reliving your Wedding Day buzz” when we look at them this way.
Whilst this will depend entirely on your family planning of course – we’ve managed to squeeze in 3 epic Honeymoons and one of them, I’m going to tell you about now…
So a Honeymoon in Transylvania… that’s an odd choice!
Exactly! And as of, August 2018, now officially Royalty approved!
And you know what? It’s AMAZING!!!
Firstly, it’s absolutely beautiful.
Do your research and stick in the middle like we did, you’re going to love it!!! A Honeymoon in Transylvania is a fantastic choice!
It’s a land of mystery and hidden treasures!
If you’re looking to make memories and have adventures then a Honeymoon in Transylvania should be pretty near the top of your list!
It’s really, really good value!
doing and eating is very inexpensive and the food is simply delicious. Some of the best eat outs we’ve ever had in our lives. Simply divine!
If you’re a bit of a foodie like us, then a Honeymoon in Transylvania is right up your alley!
There’s a zoo, which is 80p entrance for adults… the rest is comparable 🙂
We drove over 1000km and it only cost us £56 in fuel!
Villa Prato in Brasov is an amazing place to stay!
Have you ever dreamed of staying somewhere where the staff rush out as you’re leaving to ask if you might like an umbrella… you know, just in case it rains… how about chef prepared breakfast every morning in a garden conservatory overlooking the town… you got it! All of this and more on our Honeymoon in Transylvania, for under the cost of a Premier Inn in the UK!
The people are some of the nicest you could meet anywhere in the world!
The cablecar up to the Bucegi Mountains HAS to be one of the most thrilling rides ever conceived by mortals.
Excitement and terror maxed out all in one swoop! Plus, the ambience and serenity of the plateau littered with rock formations at the top is awesome!!! One of the most amazing places to “be”….
But don’t forget that the last ride back down is at 3.45pm… that is, if you can find any information telling you this. Otherwise you might find yourself enjoying a 4km trek back down the mountain on foot… like we almost did…
Oh yes, and sometimes, it’s closed on Tuesday – but that’s cool because there’s a note on the door when you get there! 🙂
We found that signage in Transylvania is sparse to non existent… and this must be because either a) us British types are too tightly wound or b) the lovely Transylvanian people are too relaxed 🙂
Websites do not have much up to date info and opening and closing times are flexible!
The Turda Salt Mine is a MUST!
I mean… just look at it!!!
If you’ve even dreamed of rowing a boat out onto an indoor lake deep underground in a disused salt mine with cool Tron-like lights everywhere, you now know where to go!
In Sibiu the houses watch you – the more I look at this the more amused I am about it 🙂
So yep, this is the stuff of memories and that’s what Honeymoons are all about if you ask us – creating amazing memories that will last a lifetime.
Relaxing is cool too (yeah right, when was the last time we did that) – but we’re go-getters.
And no, Transylvania is not full of goths and vampires 🧛♀️ 🧛♂️ – that’s actually one of the most miss sold fabrications of our time. There were a few Dracula mugs for sale on our walk up to Bran Castle but the truth is that Vlad the Impaler probably only visited Bran Castle once… and even that’s tenuous…
But we did go to see the house where he was born… probably.
So it really is worth considering a visit to both of these historic sites of importance to the Romanian people… and all the better without the Hollywood gloss!
Finally convinced? Maybe Transylvania belongs on your shortlist too!?
You’re only one inspiration away…
Happy DIY Wedding Planning!