Jan 2015

Being Charlie

Thoughts Following the Attacks of January 7th

I dont believe in God. I’m not sure wether the exact word to describe my non-belief is atheism or agnosticism – all this religion stuff is something I’m still processing and may process for a very long time. But the thing is, I don’t believe in God.

I don’t believe in God and I think nobody in his right mind would believe in God if it wasn’t for the religious education we’re given when we still haven’t developed any sense of criticism.
Have you ever asked yourself whether you would believe that a mysterious invisible but omnipotent and omniscient wizard created the earth and everything on it if you weren’t taught so when you were a kid? Would you believe it if you only learned in your 20s that God’s son came out of a virgin and then resuscitated after his death?
Do you really think God would be good enough to help you pass that difficult exam or take that wonderful picture that got you an award, but would let millions of innocent children die of starvation or get sacrificed at war? And no, the answer “God works in mysterious ways” isn’t enough for me and just seems like a good excuse to make us close our eyes a little bit longer.
I know I may not be speaking about the God you believe in, and the above may not describe very well your faith, but then again, you won’t find two persons on this planet believing in the exact same God. And let’s have a quick look at all the religions in the world; any particular reason yours is the right one? Will all those good people go to hell except for you and the few others that share your beliefs AND interpreted the bible or whatever your sacred book is called in your religion in the exact same way you did?
It may be hard to accept that you were wrong this whole time and I am not saying you’ll agree with me or suddenly wake up and claim you don’t believe anymore, but it’s worth stopping and thinking about it. Because the thing is, when you allow yourself to start questioning your faith, the number of interrogations that arise is almost infinite.

My goal here isn’t to convince you in two or three easy sentences to not believe in your God anymore though. The reason I’m coming up with this subject is simply because I want to be able to say it.

I’ve been tempted to mention my lack of faith here many times. Why? Well, historically speaking, marriage is a religious act and today many wedding ceremonies still take place at church. So the subject isn’t exactly off topic. But I thought to myself “This is a wedding blog you’re running, how would people feel if they knew you don’t believe in God?”. I won’t hide I feared I’d loose a few followers too.
But then last Wednesday the massacre at the French Charlie Hebdo happened. 12 persons were murdered because the journal decided to publish drawings that represented Muhammad. The main target was the cartoonist and director of the journal Charb, but the attack was conducted so that as many other cartoonists and people related to the journal as possible would die along, not to count anybody standing between the murderers and the premises of the journal. The targets of the attack were defenders of the human rights and liberty of expression, they were against racism, good persons. They died because they thought we could talk about religion as we can of any other subject.
When I heard about the murders I was in shock. I didn’t think such a horrible thing could happen in my country. I felt indignant but at the same time powerless. I thought that changing my profile picture for a white “Je Suis Charlie” on a black background wasn’t enough. And then I stopped to think about all this. Did I think they had the right to draw the things the drew? Of course I did! To mention one of the victims “Religion is just another ideology hence there’s no reason we can’t criticise religion.”. Then why wouldn’t I, little wedding blogger, have the courage to admit here that I don’t believe in God?

The most revolting aspect of the attacks of the past days is the attack against the freedom of expression. So I’m not Charb, but this made me think I shouldn’t be afraid to tell you that I think religion is bullshit. These last days I’ve read a lot of “Religion isn’t the problem, extremism is.”. Well, I don’t agree. Where there’s religion there’s usually extremism, whether it’s Christianity, Islam, Judaism or else. I know believers get offended when non-believers bring up the topic of religion, but this is really something I should be able to say without making any of you feel disrespected. I think that being offended by someone simply disagreeing with your belief is somehow proving those extremists right. I don’t get offended because some people believe in God, I actually do respect people’s beliefs, but I expect them to not be offended by my misbelief in return and to be able to speak freely about the subject.

These guys paid with their lives for making use of a basic right. And I couldn’t feel #jesuischarlie while thinking at the same time that it would be best to keep this opinion to myself. I hope their death will inspire you to fight for your own right to express your ideas. Changing people’s mind and making the humanity evolve isn’t just the mission of a handful of journalists. It starts with all of us. If you can only make one person stop and think, then you’ve already done a lot.


Being Charlie
Dec 2014

Sweet 2014

One Year in Instagram

I once saw the awesome video of this girl named Madeline called “This Is What Madeline Did in 2011”. The girl took a short video each day of her life, everyday during one year. She gathered all those videos to create a 365 seconds clip, that sums up in a very unique way this one year of her life. I thought this was genius and I swore to myself I’d do the exact same thing during my pregnancy, from the day I discover about it to the day the baby actually arrives.

Well I did start the project… But I eventually had to admit I’m not the I-take-all-sorts-of-videos-all-the-time kind of person; I may have 3 or 4 weeks of videos and then nothing. Yop, I gave up!

2014 was a very particular year for me though. And this is not my “This is What Joana Did in 2014”, it’s just my year in Instagram, but it still feels kind of special.

What about your year?



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Sep 2014

Joana + Marcio + Paco

The Marim Family v2.1

You may have noticed I have been taking things a bit slower here these last months. And for someone who used to post something twice a week that’s saying something! First, if you’re wondering: no, I am not getting tired of the blog, I’m not tired of showing beautiful pictures of happy couple and wonderful weddings. The reason of this lower frequency of posts is beyond my will: there’s 24 hours per day and I have about 5 hours in total of “free” time. Now in those 5 hours, put breakfast, lunch & dinner breaks, showers, laundry + all basic activities. Done? Well, you get more or less how much time I have left for myself, and I am not ashamed to say I often use it to rest. What happened to me is simply what happens to many of us someday: a baby!


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This post is to share a bit of our new life with you. I don’t mean to be complaining… But I have to say I am. I am complaining all the time. Because the baby’s moaning for no apparent reason, because he won’t play on his own (is it really expecting too much from a 4 months old?); it’s a long list. But when he finally goes to sleep and the house is quiet, I start missing him so much I feel like crying. I don’t know if that’s normal, it sure sounds weird to me, but I guess that’s what being a mum is.

I remember I was kind of scared when I was pregnant. I’ve always wanted kids, that’s for sure, but I had never been really good at connecting with other people’s babies either and I honestly didn’t feel very attached to the baby that was growing inside my belly – at least not as much as I thought I should. I remember confessing to Marcio how scared I was that I wouldn’t love him as much as I love the cat!

But then he showed his little face, looked at us and my heart instantaneously broke into pieces. Billions of years of evolution to get to living beings as evolved as we are and we’re still designed for the survival of our species to be what matters the most to us.

Let’s stop two seconds to think about it. Having a baby means changing your life for a new life you know nothing about, sharing your day-to-day with a person you don’t know and don’t choose – you don’t even get to decide if it’s boy or girl! And yet, we do it and are usually happy with the change. Amazing.


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I was once offered the series Ordinary Victories by Manu Larcenet, where the main character says, looking at his daughter: “We created the person we love the most in this world.” I guess that sums it all up.

I think I’ve never been happier. I didn’t know one outline of a smile could have such an effect on me, that his little fingers gently caressing my skin would be the sweetest sensation, that his eyes seeking mine would be so incredibly rewarding… I’m in love, again.



(And thank you Stina for the photos!)

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You May French Kiss the Bride is a creativity-stimulating website for crazy-in-a-good-way photographers and couples. We are Joana and Marcio and we think you’re the best. Be in love. Be yourself—and let it spill over the web!


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