(imagine party poppers, bubbly and lots of excited hopping right now)
So the question (and the champagne cork) has finally been popped and you're on your way to planning your perfect wedding day. So where do you start? You've maybe visited a few wedding shows already, picked up a handful of magazines, browsed through an endless barrage of wedding inspiration online and your brain is now buzzing.
It's SUCH an exciting time and a wonderful journey to be setting out on, but it can also be a little daunting knowing where to begin, how to choose the best suppliers and whether to splurge on that ice sculpture of a swan you saw on Pinterest the other day...
So, as somebody who has been in the wedding industry for almost ten years now, and having attended over 150 weddings so far as a photographer, I'd like to offer a little help here. At the very least to make sure you don't end up with THIS on your Facebook feed...
I've put together my FIVE TOP TIPS for wedding planning to help you on your way. Things I've picked up from attending weddings as a photographer, being part of my friends' weddings and also from fellow wedding suppliers I've met and worked with along the way.
Yep, it's all about the bride, but a huge part of you is your AMAZING friends and family. They really want to help make sure your day is perfect for you, so let them help with tasks such as making wedding favours and stationery, sending out invitations, visiting wedding shows with you and picking out dresses. This experience will be a whole lot more fun with lots of people around you to share the memories.
I know it's difficult to hand over super important tasks - believe me, I'm the WORST delegator. But your besties know and love you more than anyone, they are your biggest fans and they're going to be there every step of the way to make it perfect.
Like any insurance, you probably won't ever need it but it's worth the peace of mind to take it out as soon as you have your date secured. A lot of insurance companies allow you to buy a policy up to a whopping two years before your wedding date. This will cover you for all sorts of things and make sure you're financially covered if anything does go wrong. A few things to note - make sure the policy covers you for deposits already paid out, so you won't be out of pocket on that score, and check what exclusions are in the small print (national pandemics are usually not covered by the way - yep, funnily enough I learned a lot about this recently!).
None of us like to think about the negatives, but get this sorted and out of the way nice and early and you can crack on focusing on the more fun aspects of wedding planning...Cake and wine tasting, here we come!
While we're on this subject, it's useful to ask any suppliers you are booking for their insurance details too. Always make sure they have Public Liability insurance before booking them - this proves they are a professional supplier and you'll be in responsible safe hands.
Whatever your interests and passions, don't be afraid to build them into your wedding. Yes, magazines and Pinterest are full of beautiful pastel and white wedding decor (which is gorgeous) but that doesn't mean you have to follow the crowd. This is YOUR day and it's all about YOU as a couple.
Some of the best weddings I have been to have been ones where there is a solid theme, or the couple have approached me with a photo idea, saying "This might sound weird, but...". It's not weird. It's AWESOME! I've photographed Harry Potter style wand duels, brides wielding Marvel inspired weapons and even little buttonholes made from Power Rangers lego people!
You are celebrating your life journey with the person you love most in all the world so fill your day with all the things you love.
I've always said, to anyone I know who is getting married - whether friend, family member, clients or people I meet at wedding shows - GET TO KNOW YOUR WEDDING SUPPLIERS. If you can't meet in person, set up a video chat or at least talk on the phone. Email is hugely useful for getting things done and having a paper trail for your planing records, but there is nothing like sitting down with a cup of tea (or glass of wine!) and having a good natter about your plans and what you want out of your wedding.
For me, this is what I base my whole business around - good relationships with my clients equals better photographs.
Also, some of them are going to have a big part to play on the day - your make up artist, hairdresser, photographer, videographer, venue coordinator...they'll all be there with you to help make your day super special and fun, so you want to choose people that you click personally with and will fit into your day seamlessly.
To sum it up, your wedding photographs will be one of the remaining physical memories of the most important day of your life. A lot of people say to me when they approach me about booking that they feel photography is one of the most important aspects as it is what will live on after the day has ended. This is the thing that has always resonated with me when it comes to photography - any photography. It's our link to the past, to our memories and to our emotions. It allows us to relive moments we may have forgotten.
In printed form, as an album, this will be passed on physically through the generations of your family. Your children, your grandchildren, maybe even your great-great-grandchildren, will touch these pages and learn about you from them. It will forge a link across years that not much else can.
Plus, I'm not sure if it's just the romantic in me talking here, but I just feel there is something so much more valuable and important in the shape of printed photographs over digital files. They become permanent, just like the two of you.
For more information on booking me for your wedding, please click here to get in touch. I'd love to hear from you!