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3 Cost-Effective Ways to Make Your Wedding More Ethical

Planning a wedding is an enormous task that takes many months of creative thinking, collaboration and financial investment.


There is no such thing as a “perfectly ethical wedding”, but if we all work to make ours a little better for the planet, we can celebrate marrying our forever-person knowing that we’re contributing to our forever-planet.


I have determined 3 simple, yet cost-effective ways you can make your wedding more ethical and better for the planet in 2020.

How do you determine what is “ethical”?

What are your personal values? Generosity? Making an impact? Kindness? One of the best ways to measure how “ethical” your wedding will be is to measure your decisions against a set of self-determined values. Ethics, by nature, are subjective and need to be agreed upon by the two people planning the wedding.

I have established my own ethical framework. Feel free to borrow mine, or write your own.


Hank’s ethical framework:




1. Catering

If you haven’t heard, meat is not so great for the environment. Eating plants is one of the most impactful decisions you can make for your wedding, and will also affect your bottom line. If you want to go hardcore, you could opt for full vegan catering (which will be much cheaper than paying for meat). Otherwise, avoiding red meats or having vegetarian entrees can be a good compromise.

2. Wedding Party Attire:

Consider allowing your wedding party to source their own clothes, rather the prescribing a single style. You can encourage them to wear something they already own or borrow from a friend. This means you can save money, and not succumb to the lure of fast-fashion at the same time! If you do ask them to purchase something new, it’s best to make sure it’s something they’ll likely get future uses out of.

3. Screening your vendors:

Research costs you nothing! When meeting with vendors such as venues and photographers, it’s important you use your values as a framework for the questions you ask them and hire vendors who align with your values.

Do your research to see if particular vendors employ sustainable practises, are LGBT+ friendly, donate a portion of profits etc. Reading online reviews through Google and Facebook are helpful, but also be sure to ask them upfront about anything that is super important to you.


Want to learn more about planning an ethical wedding?

Download “The Ethical Australian Wedding Checklist” here.

Download “The Ethical Australian Wedding Checklist” here.

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Krissy & Mitch – Dryridge Estate Wedding

They met when they were teenagers at the Big Day Out musical festival, and had their first date on Friday 13th. A decade later, and showing no signs of superstition, Krissy & Mitch were married on Friday 13th at Dryridge Estate in the Megalong Valley. With the valley (and the rest of Australia) on the brink of a bushfire crisis, we all counted our lucky stars that this wedding went off without a hitch! Pun intended.

Krissy and Mitch are cheeky and vibrant and have surrounded themselves with some of the most joyful people I have had the pleasure of meeting. Every element of this wedding represented the fusion of total class with unequivocal celebration. They signed the weddings papers, then danced. They took family photos, then danced. They openly professed their love for each other and for their community… then they danced the night away.

Krissy & Mitch love each other no holds barred, and they are matched perfectly in temperament. Yet this wedding was not only a mark of Krissy & Mitch’s relationship (and marriage ahead) – this wedding was a mammoth effort, with contributions their community and wedding professionals to ensure this party was truly the people’s party with no one left behind.

I left at the end of the evening with a full heart, sore feet, and hundreds of stellar photos. Here are just a few of them I have selected to share with you. Enjoy.

brushwood floral designdryridge estate wedding venue

Vendor List:

Photography: Henry Paul Photography | Photobooth: The OG Photobooth Company | Florist: Brushwood Floral Design | Engagement Ring: Argyle Street Fine Jewellery, Camden | Celebrant: Shane Clifton | Wedding Venue: Dryridge Estate | Catering: Hangree Catering | DJ: Elliot Grancha | Wedding Favours: Interior Motives Aus | Stationery: Paperlust | Event Furniture: Euphoria Wedding Styling & Blue Mountains Special Event Hire | Bridal Gown Designer: Emmy Mae Bridal | Bridal Boutique: Made with Love Bridal | Veil: Made with Love Bridal | Shoes: Sol Sana | Hair: Blonde Bomb Hair | Makeup: Rochelle Spotswood | Groom’s Shirt: MJ Bale | Jacket: Calvin Klein | Pants: Academy Brand | Socks: Happy Socks | Barber: Republic Barbers, Cronulla | Bridesmaid Attire: Bec and Bridge | Groomsmen Attire: MJ Bale

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2019 – That’s A Wrap

Twenty Nineteen.

As we see out the year, I’ve taken a moment to reflect on some of the highlights of the year. It included a shooting stacks of wonderfully diverse weddings, meeting dozens of loved up couples, and celebrating what it means to be human and in love.

I launched my Sydney-based photobooth business, which is off to a great start, Listen Up Music received not-for-profit status, and I got to visit some of my favourite places in the world (as well as some new ones).

The year wasn’t without its challenges, however. The business suffered a slow winter season, my mental health took some big hits, and I experienced the sobering reality of unrequited love. I relied more on my family and my community than ever before, and I have only grown as a result.

It crossed my mind more than once that maybe it was time to “go and get a real job”. But for every instance that I considered it, there were two instances that I thought “eff that, who needs a real job when I can make art for a living!”.

Thank you for your support and your patronage this year. I am proud of the work I have created in the last twelve months, and I am grateful for the relationships I have made in the process. 2020 is shaping up to be a huge year for the business, and I invite you to join me on the journey.

At the bottom of this page you will find a signup form to join my mailing list. If you’d like my photos to land in your inbox from time to time, I invite you to fill in your email address to stay in the loop next year 🙂

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Behind The Lens: Medina Man

Take a moment to view the photo above. How does it make you feel? What memories does it generate?

Last year I went to Morocco and took this photo. But there’s so much more that this photo represents than just “interesting visuals”.

The week before this photo was taken, I had an eye test and got a new prescription. My sight was getting worse, but thanks to modern medicine I was able to have 20/20 vision through the assistance of my glasses.

Sight is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given, and I am guilty of taking it granted on a near-daily basis. It literally keeps me employed, and it allows me to experience this magnificent world in all its aesthetic glory.

In Morocco, I attended a private cooking class in the Medina of Marrakesh and the chef took me to the markets to buy ingredients. We came upon this man who was selling herbs. He was also blind. We asked for some mint and thyme, and using his sense of smell he was able to select the herbs we wanted.

Traveling in foreign countries can often feel like visiting different worlds. But encounters like this remind me that the human experience is universal, and that the same determination that drives me as a photographer also drives a blind man selling herbs.

To me, moments like this are the reason I am a photographer*. Human-ness, in its most raw and intimate form, is often easier to show than articulate. It is human-ness that I strive to capture when I photograph weddings and portraits.

If you are keen to follow along on my journey to document the intimacy of being human, please connect with me on social media.

Until next time, I encourage you to share the love and send someone a warm text this evening (and while you’re at it, look after yourself too).


Tash & Sam – Goonoo Homestead Wedding

Driving out to Goonoo Homestead for Tash & Sam’s wedding was exhilarating. The closer I got, the more aware I was of the smell of dust in the air. New South Wales is currently in a miserable drought, so returning to the country for the fourth time this wedding season I knew what to anticipate.

Similar to my previous drought-ridden weddings, my heart was warmed by the enduring spirit of not only the two marriers Tash & Sam, but of all the wedding party, the guests and the vendors who helped make this celebration happen. The regional community has blown me away yet again. They have the ability to pause any drought-induced sobriety and band together to commemorate (and drink to) the coming together of two life-long lovers.

Tash & Sam are a striking couple. They are laid back, highly affectionate and incredibly vulnerable. When you spend even a short amount of time with them, you just know that they “see” each other. I love the way renowned author and research professor Brené Brown describes this kind of love:

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.”

If you want to see a vulnerable, powerful love between two people who see and know each other, keep scrolling…

goonoo homestead wedding venue bridesmaids henry paul photography goonoo wedding henry paul photography wedding dance floor

Wedding Venue: Goonoo Homestead | Photography: Henry Paul Photography | Florals: The Meadow Floral Design | Engagement Ring: Kings Hall Jewellers | Celebrant: Father Carl | Catering: Trang Hue Vietnamese Catering | Entertainment: Jason Hill | Cake / Dessert: Trish Burke | Invitations / Stationery: Twin Rivers Printing | Sam’s Shirt: Ralph Lauren | Pants: RM Williams | Socks: Happy Socks | Tash’s Gown: Karen Willis Holmes Bridal | Accessories: Fairley Jewellery | Hair: Ashleigh Clares Hair Studio | Makeup: Babydoll Makeup Artistry | Bridesmaid Attire: Esther & Co

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