Elope From Sweden to Get Married In Sydney?

Meet Johan and Frida who on the weekend got married in the Sydney Botanic Gardens and had their photographs taken around the Sydney Opera House.

Johan and Frida only had five people attend their wedding serivce; themselves, the Minister, two witnesses the Minister brought along and me (the photographer).  You see Johan and Frida eloped to Sydney to get married, all the way from Sweden.

Sydney must be a ‘Go To Destination’ for weddings lately because VFM Photographers have been photographing many couples who have eloped to Sydney from Sweden, Norway, Japan and China.

On behalf of all of us here at VFM Photographers, I wish to congratulate Johan and Frida and wish them the very best for their future together.

Here are a couple of my favourite images (thank you Johan and Frida for allowing me to share them).

Affordable, creative, professional wedding photography in Sydney?

For years I have believed the title of this post was an oxymoron.  Yes in Sydney there are many creative, brilliant and very professional wedding photographers but none you would say are really cheap and affordable.  As they say “you get what you pay for”.

To be honest I believe the ‘bottom end’ or cheap or affordable wedding photography service has meant couples were often confronted with unprofessional, non creative and unreliable wedding photographers.

Today proudly I announce to Sydney that there is a real alternative in the wedding photography industry.  VFM Photographers’ is a totally new and exciting concept offering couples access to some of Sydney’s top wedding photographers for only a fraction of the cost.

It took a long time for me to establish VFM because I had one problem that I needed to solve. The problem is how does an affordable wedding photography company attract top, creative, professional and experienced photographers?

Top photographers wouldn’t want to book an affordable wedding for another company ahead of time because they know it is likely they will book a wedding for themselves and hence make more money.

Now I have come up with a solution. This solution is kind of like ‘last minute.com’ or ‘wotif.com’ for photographers. When you book your wedding with VFM your wedding date is secured no matter how long away your wedding date is. VFM will allocate one of our top class photographers from our roster two weeks before your wedding date.  This is the reason why VFM can attract professional and experienced wedding photographers.  

VFM is able to offer an affordable wedding photography service because you will not meet your wedding photographer before your wedding date but you will be guaranteed to have a very experienced, professional and creative wedding photographer (for the price of a budget and average wedding photographer).


VFM Photographers Mission

To offer creative wedding photographs captured by professional and experienced photographers for an affordable price.

Give every wedding couple access to beautiful and creative wedding images even if they are on a very tight budget.


View VFM Photographers website

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Wedding Reception Seating Planning

Yesterday I received an email from Charmaine, who asks “I was just wondering would you know of any seat planning and organising the reception materials you can download or something like that”?

Great topic idea Charmaine, for the first post of 2009!

With this I decided to do a little research of my own.  I found some great posts, already written on planning wedding reception seating.


Wedding Blog 

Brilliant Wedding Pages  



Looking on the company Smart Draw’s website, I found what looked to be a free download of their seating planning software.  It may just be a free trial and it looks as if it would be suited for large event management requirements.  Thought however for larger weddings it may be helpful.

Some different wedding reception seating arrangement ideas I have personally come across:


  • Bride & groom have a table to themselves while the bridal party sit on the guest tables.
  • Bride & groom move onto different tables throughout the night.  This would mean the bridal couple would share their entre, main meal and desert with different people.
  • Placing the photographer at the bridal table (this actually happened to me on one wedding.  I have to admit it was a lovely gesture but I felt that I shouldn’t have been on the table).
  • Bride & groom with the bridal party and their partners all on one table.
  • Bride & groom with their parents on the bridal table with the bridal party sitting with their partners on the guest tables.
  • Everyone sitting on the one very long table i.e. bride, groom and all guests together. (King Edward of England style)
  • No actual seating plans.  When guests walked into the reception they selected where they wanted to sit.
  • Picnic style.  Everyone sat on pillows, blankets etc.  The room was beautifully decorated with a bohemian theme.




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Wedding Thank You Cards – a new idea!

As a wedding photographer I am always looking for new products and ideas that will benefit wedding couples…. and as a business owner I am always looking for new technology that not only improves my business but also helps my clients.


I am really proud to announce a new ‘arm’ of my photographic business.  Sarhn McArthur Photography can now offer all wedding couples (even those who are not using Sarhn McArthur Photography as a photographer) the ability to send thank you cards from the comfort of their lounge room with their computer.


No they are not E-Cards but real cards!  People can now go online and select from thousands of pre designed cards or even upload and design their own card (using a wedding photograph for example).


Once you have selected your card front, selected a font, typed your personal message on the inside, then press send on the computer screen; Australia Post will print and send your card to anywhere in the world (and you didn’t have to leave the lounge room).


Want to try sending a card for free??


I am offering anyone who leaves a comment on this post the opportunity to have a free gift account for two weeks.  I will even give you enough funds to send a couple of free cards to give it a go.**


Simply leave a comment and make sure you include a correct email address (will not be published).  I will then email you back all the details which will include your username and password to access your free gift account.


This is opened to anyone, anywhere in the world (you don’t even have to be getting married).  I am also happy to make this offer available to any photographers reading this post (I know there are a couple of you J ).


Hope you enjoy this new technology as much as I do!




**  Offer is only for a limited time.

**  Sarhn McArthur has the right to refuse anyone the offer who she believes has dodgy intentions.



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Sydney Weddings and the Weather Considerations


Do you want to know something that many photographers around the world have discovered?  This phenomenon proves to me that the number one concern for most bride & grooms is the weather they will experience on their wedding day.


What is this truth that I write of?  On any day of the week (even within the busy wedding season) if it is raining outside then our phone will not ring.  I have even noticed that we will not receive emails from wedding couples who live in Sydney when it rains.  It is as if couples don’t want to even think about their wedding plans on a rainy day. 


So with that realisation shared, here is some information to consider in the planning of your wedding day in regards to the weather.



Having a beach wedding ceremony on the sand?  Then check when the tides are due to come in.  Sydney Tide Times 


Sydney Tides at Weddings



Unless you are living in Norway during the middle of summer and can enjoy the benefits of the midnight sun, fading light will be an issue for you and your photography.  You can check the sunrise and sunset months before your wedding day and thus can book your wedding ceremony & reception based on these times.  Sydney Sunset & Sunrise Times  


Photographic useable light is different than sunset.  The last 10-15 min before sunset is usually very dark, however I have used this light at times for some moody, creative ‘end of the wedding day’ type photographs.


Sunset Photographs Sydney Weddings


Wind & Rain

Your best defence is to be thinking of wet weather alternatives at the time of booking your ceremony and reception.  Hoping the weather will be ok is not a plan and denial is not a strategy.  It isn’t a bad idea to start your search for photographers at the same time as ceremony & reception venues, as they can be a wealth of information on wet weather locations and strategies for bad weather.  If they don’t help with this kind of information then it will quickly help you work out the better photographers to book.


Once you have planned for any weather conditions, five days before your wedding you can start to check the weather forecast.  Don’t do it any earlier as you are only going to drive yourself crazy and the information is not going to be accurate (be kind to yourself). Sydney Forecast 


If the forecast predicts rain then contact your photographer and venues if you need to discuss those wet weather strategies.  With the rain can come a change of light and often really moody cloud cover, which I see as an opportunity to get some really creative photographs.  Having a number of large golf umbrellas on hand is a really good idea.  Black ones help with the moody shots and the all white ones (though really hard to find) are great for keeping the rain off but allowing some light through onto the face.  Be careful that the umbrellas selected does not have any company logo’s or writing on them – as they will show in your photographs.


Rain Wedding Photographs Sydney


May the sunlight warm your face, the wind be blowing gently and there be no mention of rain on your wedding day.  Have a wonderful day!

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Create Your Own Wedding Website!


Internet savvy bride & grooms will possibly be keen to create their own wedding internet site.  This site may contain information on their wedding and maybe other details like a gift registry, photographs and RSVP’s etc

Unless couples have IT website developing backgrounds, a website could cost a bit of money.

Would you like to have your own free wedding website that will never expire?


A free website that:


1.       You can change the look and feel of the design.

2.       Add your wedding details and your personal story.

3.       Add info on the lead up events like hens & bucks parties.

4.       Write your gift registry list.

5.       Add information for ‘out of towners’, like where they can stay etc.

6.       Also has your own wedding blog so family and friends can interact.

7.       Upload your own photographs.

8.       Be able to create a website easily by yourself.

9.       Plus lots more.


Check out www.momentville.com


I actually created a website myself and found it was very easy

What I love about Moment Ville is that they are an Australian company (but anyone from any where in the world can use their online wedding website creator).  I also love that they are a carbon neutral company – I love companies taking responsibility for the environment.

Have fun creating your free, very own wedding website!!!




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Being ‘Present’ On Your Wedding Day

Firstly I wanted to say sorry for my little absence on this blog.  We were having some internet and computer issues at work.  Even though I have other forms of internet access like my black berry, the extra work curriculum; like writing blogs was difficult.  For me it felt like I had fallen off the face of the internet world i.e. two weeks without checking facebook, blogs etc is a very long time!


The topic of this post is one I try to bring up in conversation with all my wedding couples before their wedding day.  ‘Helping couples not only survive their wedding but thoroughly enjoy it’ is my mission behind all I write for this blog.


Days, weeks, months and even years can go into planning a wedding.  Everyone’s day will be different but every couple will desire to enjoy their wedding day. 


Unless you are a celebrity, it will be unlikely that you will have experienced total attention from all your family and friends at the same time and for a whole day.  For many couples it can be a little overwhelming at times.


I expect that the attention is also one of the major reasons why many couples after their wedding day will say “our wedding day flew by so fast”.  Sadly many couples will share with me that the wedding day was one long blur as it went by so fast.


Stop and think about this for just a quick second as I can imagine no one really wants their wedding memories to be a blur.


How can you stop this from being your wedding reality too?


I believe it is about being ‘present’.  Being consciously aware of what is happening around you and savouring the experience.  By allowing all your senses to be activated. 


Listen intently to conversations.  Feel the wind in your hair and sun on your face as you walk to the car.  Take deep breaths while smelling the fragrance of your wedding bouquet. Taste the texture and flavour of your wedding cake in your mouth.


Of course your sight will be your number one active sense on your day.  If however you ignore your other senses you may very well miss out on the full wedding day experience.


By being consciously prepared to allow your senses to take in all that is around you on your wedding day, will help you not only enjoy your wedding day but also help you to remember all the wonderful memories.




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