Marriage is all about tradition, right? The notion of two people ‘joined together in holy matrimony’ references, I believe, an outmoded tradition that I’ve had the pleasure of photographing – the physical binding together of the couple.

Surely ‘tie the knot,’ is a familiar expression. A popular wedding planning website, The Knot, is even named for it. Joining together is the theme of the day, after all, think of the humble unity candle…

There are so many other traditions: from the ring, to the ring bearer; flowers to the flower girl; the maid of honor and best man to the rest of the wedding party. There’s the first kiss, the first dance and the first meal – and of course the bouquet toss and the garter toss — and so many others.

You might step on a glass, or your guests might break plates. You might jump over a broom or have one waved over your heads.

And of course there’s the cake. Call me old fashioned but cake pops just didn’t do it for me. Cupcakes are cute, but there’s nothing like a beautiful wedding cake to celebrate the occasion. But hey, whatever floats your wedding barge.


There are a handful of traditions surrounding the cake – from the cake topper, to the cutting of the cake, to the serving (or smashing) of the cake to one another, to the saving of a fossilized slice of cake to be eaten a year later on the first anniversary. (Editorialize? Who me?)


Taken together, this can add up to a shot list comparable to a Hollywood movie for the photographer. No-problemo, BUT moreover, it can feel like a post-graduate curriculum for those getting married – in other words YOU!

Among the best advice I’ve ever heard at a wedding is that the couple should enjoy the food. They’ve spent time and money to pick it out and provide it their guests. They should make sure not to leave hungry themselves.

With all the hurry and commotion of a wedding, making sure all the boxes are checked, the best advice I might offer is to include the traditions that have the most meaning to you (and those close to you) and skip those you find abhorrent or tacky.

Your ceremony might end in a fight if you skipped the first kiss, but only a few raunchier guests might actually be looking forward to the garter toss. It can be fun if everyone is onboard, but who’s really going to miss it if you’re not.

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Here’s a tip, if you’re planning something uncommon – clue your photographer in. I treat every couple as one of a kind, because you are. But weddings do include a bit of routine and that’s what we count on. It’s why photographers and DJs confer on the order of events. My wife and I did something unusual at our ceremony – and I don’t believe there are any photos of the moment — sometimes it’s hard to expect the unexpected. But don’t worry; I can keep a secret – from your spouse or your guests.

Thanks for reading. It would be great to hear from you. You can also find and follow Jonathan Ment Photography on Facebook.


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