Congratulations! You’re engaged! Let the planning begin!

I am sure you have thought about many aspects of how you’d like your wedding to look like by now: the special moments you’d like to create, the songs, and the overall look and feel for the day… But have you given a real thought about how you would like your wedding ceremony to be?

Did you know there are far more ways to “seal the deal” other than religious and registry office (not that there is anything wrong with these two)?


Why is it important to decide how our ceremony is going to be

Each couple is unique. You have a connection with each other that you have with no one else in this world. There is a way of living, of being, a lifestyle you’ve created for both.

When it comes to deciding your ceremony style, it is important that you feel like you belong in such environment.

So although some couples live a religious life, and a religious ceremony is what makes sense to them (and even here you can add special touches), to others, having it done at a registry office is more of their vibe.

But there might be other couples, who don’t identify with these two formats that are more known, and who sometimes decide to go with ‘whatever, it’s just the ceremony’, or with what their parents think is best, and just “endure” it.

Nowadays there are so many styles you can get married in, that you can find one that is exactly YOU.

And when you start your day with a ceremony that is bang on what reflects you as a couple, you set the environment and feels that will celebrate and last all day, absolutely YOUR WAY.

Why is this important? It will feel natural to you both, effortless, real, honest, unique to who you are.

I’ve been lucky enough to have captured so many styles of ceremonies with so many amazing couples. And it always felt right. Like it was exactly them and who they are. So without further ado, I’ll let them paint the picture in your minds, as I add just a quick description.


My couples show you 5 ways you can get married

1. Religious Ceremony

Bárbara and Pedro got married in a beautiful church in Évora, Portugal.

Their family has always been connected to church, and the priest who ran their ceremony is an old and and very respected friend of the family.

I’ve been lucky to have captured many religious events with this loving fam (weddings, christenings, birthdays), and they always welcome the same priest into their day.

I am now so familiar with the faces of the family and guests who attend their celebrations that I almost feel like I’m a member too.

It only made sense that they continued this family tradition and faithfulness to church when the time came for them to tie the knot.

There is sometimes this idea that getting married in church has to only follow this one script but that is a wrong misconception. Bárbara and Pedro added special readings and moments to their ceremony that made it very unique.

And right after the ceremony…. well, there were ice-cream carts just waiting for their guests outside, so they could all get something sweet and refreshing as Bárbara and Pedro greeted everyone with the tightest hugs.

Their day was incredible and one of the most creative and stylish weddings I’ve ever been to.

2. Civil Ceremony

Civil ceremonies can happen in many ways too. You can either go to a registry office, or have your celebrant come to your venue of choice.

Civil ceremonies are often quicker and straight to the point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your touches to it, like readings, songs, speeches.

It all depends on how you plan it with your civil celebrant and the time you designate for it to happen and to last.

Heather and Glory got married in February this year, at the Archbishop’s Palace in Maidstone (UK), and they chose to have a quick ceremony with only a few special friends and family members.

It was such a loving and special moment. We had good laughs, all the feels flowing especially during the exchange of their wedding bands, and in 20 minutes we were all hugging and getting ready to go to the pub.

The rest of their day was very chilled, amongst friends and family, simple and fun. It was a great way for me to kickstart my 2020 weddings and I am so grateful they chose me as their photographer.

3. Ceremony officiated by a family member

Casey and Daniel got married right in the centre of The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, USA.

One of Daniel’s sisters was their celebrant and together the three designed how their ceremony was going to go.

I had the honour of deciding their positions as well as their guests for photography purposes, and then I just let it flow.

The best part of having a family member or friend officiating your wedding is how natural it can feel, and how the couple can design the ceremony exactly as they want it.

The reading of their vows was extremely emotional, and even I couldn’t stop crying when Casey hugged me. We had a real sobb fest there!

The rest of their day was lovely, they also chose a gastro pub for their wedding reception, and after that, we went out for karaoke and drinks.

PS: Casey and Daniel got their marriage license taken care of two days before the wedding day at San Francisco city hall.

4. Ceremony officiated by more than one family member, a friend (or many friends) and civil ceremony right after

Mia and Leo got married at the gorgeous Estufa Real in Lisbon, Portugal.

Their siblings officiated their ceremony in both Portuguese and in English, due to the bilingual nature of the couple’s relationship, and it was emotional, funny and so loving too.

Friends introduced quirky elements that made up exactly how Mia and Leo are as a couple, and they also embraced the irish ceremony of tying the knot.

Here, special members of the family and special friends brought different ribbons which they placed above the couple’s hands, representing their union and their bonds that will only grow stronger, and in the end they were tied in a traditional knot.

After reading their vows, Mia and Leo went inside their wedding venue where a representative of the Lisbon’s registry office did a second ceremony (the civil one), only with Mia’s parents present as their witnesses. So there you go. They chose to have two in one.

The rest of the day was filled with Lisbon sun, laughs, speeches, dancing, and Pastéis de Nata as their wedding cake!

5. Humanist ceremony

Zara and David had a humanist ceremony in a beautiful family property in Winchfield, Uk.

Humanist Ceremonies are unique and tailored for each couple, non-religious, personal and adapted to the couple’s personality and individuality. They are flexible, include as much detail as the couple wants, and the couple gets to approve the script before the day.

Zara and David’s celebrant was lovely and very involved and devoted to telling their story. He graced the guests with funny facts about both, told everyone the story of the beginning of their relationship, and what it is that makes it special.

The ceremony was special, unique and so personal to Zara and David’s heart.

The rest of the day was what the friends call “ZaraDavidChella”, as it had a festival “Coachella” feel and vibe.

The couple hired tipi tents, had marshmallows, fire pits, a glitter station, a sweets station, an amazing DJ, outdoors cricket, donut walls and all you can think of!

It was such a beautiful and sunny day too, as opposed to the day before when we all got together to help on the last touches and it poured cats and dogs!

Your wedding, your way.

I hope these stories and photos helped you get a more clear view of how you’d like your ceremony to go.

If you have questions, I am free to talk to you in detail about them and give you tips and tricks, and my experience as a wedding photographer having captured and being so close to my couple’s wedding preps.

Just keep in mind that this is a decision you should do with your partner as a team. Find within you how you’d like your wedding day to kick off, how you’d feel more comfortable saying ‘I do’, and what reflects you better as a couple.

It’s all about what defines you, and who you are. And if you are true to it, the decision should come quick and easy.



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