Images courtesy of Bec Peterson Photography
Katherine from Something Blue Photography was one of our original #teamless members when Less Stuff, More Meaning started several years ago, and also the one who brought us together for our Do it in a Dress Challenges (here is Katherine photographing a wedding in the One Girl school dress as part of ‘Do in in a Dress’).
So how does someone passionate about social equality and the environment, who has years of experience in the wedding industry, get married? Let’s find out…
Meet Ben and Katherine (as shared in their wedding ceremony);
“In early 2017 Ben and Katherine were based at a co-working space called Innx together. They had noticed each other around, but met because a mutual friend asked them along for drinks at a photography exhibition. Ben sat next to Katherine at the bar, and she told him about a recent photo exhibition she went to where the artist had written a statement about their work which sounded like a load of “w@nk”, like all artist statements. Ben replied that he specialises in writing artist statements. The adventure had begun.
A few months into their relationship, Katherine and Ben were already deeply in love and agreed that they would like to be married to one another. But they decided to keep this a secret for a few more years so as not to freak people out. While this conversation did not involve a grand gesture or an expensive diamond ring, it was romantic, full of love and very memorable. Shortly after this, Ben bought Katherine an “engagement bike”, which Katherine accepted instead of a ring. It was a touring bike, the kind with racks and lights and stuff: that you can load up with bags and head off on adventures and make memories together upon. They agreed it was way more romantic than a traditional ring, and after all, how far can you get with a diamond up your butt?”
As a wedding photographer, Katherine knows too well how stressful big weddings can be for couples and that little things like decorations really don’t matter. Katherine and Ben’s mottos were “less stuff – more meaning” and “people over things”. They explained it on their wedding website like this:
“We want to do our best to minimise the impact our wedding will have on the environment. No fancy flashy stuff like stretch hummers, smoke machines and champagne fountains – just a relaxed day that focuses on people not things. For us, an ethical wedding boils down to this;
- Creating memories about people and experiences, not stuff
- Minimising impact (environmental and financial)
- Questioning traditions + building new ones”
The family farm was the chosen location for the wedding, with many guests camping or staying in nearby Bathurst. The simple beauty of the farm meant that styling wasn’t needed other than some living plants for table decorations.
Right before the ceremony, Ben and Katherine had a drink together and had a chance to just relax. Before walking down the aisle, Katherine’s mum took her aside and asked if is she was happy and gave her a big hug. Those moments were precious.
For food Ben’s sister made cheese platters and had a pizza truck, which provided a good carby base to keep people full. The pizza truck was solar powered and cutlery and plates weren’t necessary. This was a really affordable, eco-friendly and delicious option.
“Our ceremony was lovely. I took a moment to look around at all the people and that was such a nice moment. The speech Ben’s nephew (our unofficial celebrant) made at the start was really heart warming and exchanging vows with Ben made me so happy”.
Marriage is for Ben and Katherine is the coming together of both communities. As wedding favours/guest gifts, they wrote personal notes to each guest!
“To us, this was worth so much more than some random object. Writing them was time consuming (we had about 80 guests incl. children) but it gave us the opportunity to really reflect on our relationship with each person before the big day. We gave them to our guests right before our speech. We made them all come to the front and find the card with their name on it. This created fun chaos as everyone helped one another find their note. And I think it made everyone feel special, loved and more connected to us.”
“Our first dance was so much fun. We didn’t rehearse anything, we just danced our hearts out and everyone sang along and got involved. It was the best and one of our favourite memories. If I’m ever feeling a bit down, I play the song or watch the video of it and it always makes me happy.”
And finally, how did Katherine and Ben reduce their wedding footprint?
- “We barely had any rubbish after the wedding (less than one bin full of general waste), empty bottles and cans were returned, food waste was put in the compost and worm farm.
- Invitations and all pre-wedding communication was electronic.
- We hired extra tables, stools and glassware. No disposables.
- I found tablecloths at opshops and borrowed a few more from family.
- Decorations were plant cuttings from my house plants in cleaned bottles and food jars that I had saved for propagating.
- We did not have any flower arrangements but I did have a crown made of dried flowers.
- We used rainwater from the tank for showers and drinking (fortunately there had been plenty of rain). And we had a solar powered shower for our camping guests.
- Due to Covid, nobody could fly to our wedding from overseas. If it had been possible, one family of 4 would have flown in from Japan which would have increased the footprint.”
Well done and congrats on your beautiful ‘experiences over things’ wedding. Enjoy more of Bec Peterson‘s images below;
Interesting in reducing your wedding’s footprint? Head to our WEDDING FOOTPRINT CALCULATOR to find out how you can reduce and offset your wedding impact.