Image by Nina Hamilton Photography

New Zealanders and Aucklanders, in particular, received a reality check last week. Nobody could quite believe that after all the hard work and sacrifice, we were suddenly jolted back into a level three lockdown. It was lovely living inside our fluffy cottonwool padded nationwide bubble while it lasted, but there was always a chance it would burst. 

So where does this leave the wedding community and all the brides and grooms to be? It leaves them in the same place as everyone else in the world; in an ongoing state of flux. And as time goes by we are coming to realise that we are not so much in a state of flux but more so entering into a new way of life. It won’t always be exactly like this, but it will be different from what you have known before. I am a realist, but one with rose-tinted glasses and an unfailing attitude of optimism. So even though we may not like this new reality as much as the old one, the sooner we open our minds to it, the easier it will be to adapt, move forward and plan for a positive future.

Remember there are still wonderful things in the world and you do still have choices. Every day you can wake up and decide to make it a good day and be thankful for the things you do still have. You have a choice to support others, to make a difference by listening to the experts and staying safe. You can choose to ignore the negative noise and put positivity into the world. And you can choose to be kind. 

Beyond the above, there are many exciting things to fight for, to be a part of, to create and to conquer. Invent something, start a business (there are now a whole new set of needs). Diversify what you already do, write something, make something, or just bake something like everyone else if it makes you feel better. And YOU CAN STILL GET MARRIED! 

Yes its probably going to be a smaller celebration and different to what you planned initially but be creative, think up something incredible, do something that hasn’t been done before and most of all remember why you wanted to get married in the first place. Remember that person? That one special being who means more to you than anything else in the world, that person you want to wake up next to every day, adventure with, become a family with, grow up and grow old with. Remember them and what you have. Listen to your heart, seal the deal and spread some love around. And you can always throw a big after-party one day down the track when we are not so restricted. Or maybe you won’t, maybe you will discover that a smaller wedding was more wonderful than you ever could have imagined and was in fact exactly what you needed. 

I’ve photographed over 100 weddings and I have been at the helm of Together Journal for five years. Needless to say, I’ve seen a heck of a lot of wedding stuff. But 2020 is the year that has amazed me the most. The way our community has come together to support couples and to innovate has been nothing short of phenomenal. The spontaneity, the passion and comradery, the new ideas, the wedding locations, the choice of outfits, the new florals, the incredible cakes and the skill I’m seeing with photography and video is astounding. Circumstances are pushing us creatively to a new level. I truly wish COVID never existed, but maybe we needed to refine, reset and peel back the layers to expose the raw and real reasons for getting married. Perhaps 150 macaroon favours, rainbow smoke bombs and giant glitter-filled balloon arches really were actually a bit too much? 

Its been a confronting, anxious and extremely stressful time for couples, individuals, families and businesses. But I’m so darn happy to still be here weathering the storm! I know we still have battles to fight and a long road ahead but I am genuinely excited about the future, I know this will pass. And in the meantime, at Together Journal, we are choosing to safely carry on, to support our industry in innovative new ways, to hunt out the joy, to celebrate love, kindness, family and friends. And to do everything in our power to spread that joy and love around. 

The beautiful wedding images of micro weddings in this post are a small preview of weddings that will be featured in issue 20, which is coming in late September. Photographers: Bayly & Moore, Ana Galloway, Grace Gem and Nina Hamilton Photography

Love the content?Sign up for more here