Now go grab a cup of tea and if you have time take a look at these quick tips I’ve put together for planning your wedding. This is not a definitive list, just my thoughts on the matter which hopefully will help you.
Getting started – the venue
I’d start with the venue, as this is often the most difficult thing to get sorted, especially in the UK. We are a small island with a large population, places get booked up fast! This will also take the longest time, as you may wish to taste test the food and you will certainly need to visit the venue more than once. Have a look online at the images shot at that venue to give you an idea of what your day may look like. Pay attention to the time of year though, as some venues are slightly less awesome in early spring or late autumn/winter.
Time of year and day of week
This is another important one and it can make a massive difference on price. The glorious thing about the UK is that whatever time of year you choose, it can always rain! I’ve shot weddings in March that were almost like a summers day, and weddings in summer where it was cold and wet. However, a summer wedding gives you a decent chance at some sun! There is plenty of charm in a winter wedding though so don’t rule it out. Also think about a midweek wedding, prices are often lower for this, for all wedding vendors ( including me! ).
Decide on a budget and stick to it. This is easier said than done. There are tons of websites out there full of beautiful wedding images encouraging you to go large! However, a lot of those images are staged and do not reflect reality. It’s more important to decide what’s really important to you on the day and will reflect who you are as a couple. Is it the food? A particular band? For the photography, I’d recommend allocating 10% of your budget. This might seem like a lot, when you could get your uncle with his fancy camera to do it for food and beer. I would in this case ask you to have a quick read of this article I wrote on why wedding photography costs what it does…
Don’t try and fit too much into your day
The wedding day is hectic enough as it is. I found it passed by in a bit of a blur, albeit a very pleasant blur. If you try and ram too much into the day you won’t have time to relax and enjoy the day. Furthermore, those gorgeous shots you looked at on Pinterest don’t just happen in five minutes. Allow space in your timeline for couple photos if those are important to you. Also allow 10 minutes per group shot you want to do. You might think I’m crazy suggesting that long, but it can take a long time to find that one missing person. Usually they will be at either the bar or the toilet! Your wedding photographer will be happy to help go over your timeline. Experienced wedding photographers know better than most how long everything takes on the day.
Choose your bridal party and groomsmen carefully!
You will need to choose your bridal party and your groomsmen. However, it’s worth making sure at least a few of these people are the kind you can rely on to put in a shift and help you out. In the last week before the wedding in particular you are going to need good friends around you.
At least for the ceremony I’d really recommend banning mobile phones. Unless you want lots of my shots to feature your friends and family trying to capture you walking down the aisle on their iPad pro or phone…It can also be a massive distraction during formals as people will be looking in different directions at their relatives taking photos of them from the side rather than at me. I can work around that, but if they are getting in the shot during the ceremony it’s much more difficult, so please ask them not to use their mobile devices then. They are not there to take photos, but to enjoy your special day with you. If you talk to whomever is doing the ceremony, they will make an announcement before it begins.
There is so much more to write on this topic. My best advice would be to talk to your friends who have already gotten married and take on board what they say rather than what you read on the latest trendy blogs:) My blog isn’t trendy so you can follow this advice! Thanks for reading!
Here are some other articles on wedding photography you may find useful…