My top wedding planning tips!

This is by no means another blog about our engagement & planning our wedding, as I have already done this, which you can read by clicking here. However although I stand by everything I said in my previous blog, we have been on a very stressful wedding planning journey since. We fell into all the traps we personally didn’t want to fall into. We were halfway to planning a very big, expensive wedding & this was the total opposite of what we wanted & who we are. We were booked to have our wedding at The Lost Orangery. Which still is now one of my favourite venues. Well, probably my favourite. If we weren’t wedding photographers, & didn’t have the financial pressure & other personal issues life throws at us, this would be our place. But unfortunately we couldn’t go ahead with having our wedding here. However, on the plus side, I will still have the pleasure of going there a couple of times next year as ‘the photographer’ & hope there’s many more to come in the future!

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You can see one of my weddings there by clicking here. It has also been blogged on Rock my Wedding.

Now I feel so much more positive & chilled about our wedding & feel it has all worked out for the best. We are having a much smaller scaled intimate ‘celebration’. I say celebration as it probably won’t feel like a wedding at all - apart from when we get married, of course! Again, I am not going to go into it again as by the time it comes around to me actually talking about our day & sharing photos, everyone will be sick to death of me!

But I do want to share a few tips which I think will help, in my personal opinion. As I have definitely learnt a lot from being a wedding photographer, & more so, planning our own in between hundreds of others!

  • Please please plan the wedding for YOU. This is actually much harder than it sounds & seems so obvious on the surface. I thought it was so easy before I started planning, but then I naturally starting falling into “but they don’t like”, “how will they”, “what about”, “we can’t do that cause”. When I finally heard myself doing exactly what I didn’t want to do that’s when everything changed & we are now making decisions for US. Obviously there are some things that you just have to take into consideration. But at the end of the day, everything else & everyone else who loves you will follow.

  • If your photos are one of the biggest things to you, really think about your locations. You may have a gorgeous venue, but where are you getting ready? What’s the room like? Is there room for all of you, your belongings & a photographer? Bridal prep is one of my favourite parts of the day to photograph, if in the right surroundings, so I already knew this would be a great importance to me. So I have made sure to find somewhere I know will photograph well. Not only will you feel lovely on the morning & night of your wedding, if you are staying in the same place, but you are actually also helping your photographer. You could have the greatest photographer in the world but if you are trying to shoot in a box room with stuff all over the floor & dark walls - there’s only so much they can make look good….sorry but true! So really think about the imagery - making your photographers job easier will help them be more creative as well! Bonus!

  • Break traditions. Remember you don’t HAVE to do anything. A wedding is what you make it. If you don’t like the rules - break them.

  • If you have your heart set on certain suppliers - book them as soon as you can. Especially venues & photographers, they get booked up super fast!

  • Prioritise where you want to spend your money. This also includes your honeymoon. Rob & I are getting married for us. So selfishly, are much happier spending more of our money on us. So we have decided to have a smaller wedding so we can have a bigger honeymoon. There isn’t a right or wrong for this as everyone’s priorities are different. If you have your heart set on a photographer but they are out of your budget, can you loose something else or go for a cost efficient alternative in another area?….& so forth….

  • Don’t get silly! By silly I mean - overspend. Yes it’s your wedding, the most important day of your life. But its ONE day & they do tend to go very quick. Only spend money on things you know will be a great essential asset to your day, or as I have said above - your priorities. I mean, Alpacas are cute - but do you really need them if it’s going to put you under financial strain? That being said, if anyone has an Alpaca attending their wedding - PLEASE can I be your photographer?

Entertainment..this can come under planning can’t it? Maybe not, so treat it as a bonus tip - cause it’s also a big one!

  • Entertainment. This doesn’t have to be ‘a band’. I mean keeping your guests ‘entertained’ in general, well looked after. When planning, think about every moment & make sure something is always planned, even minuscule so they aren’t left standing around or falling asleep in chairs! For example, a cocktail hour, magician, games, glitter face painting, ice cream, singing waitors! Generally I think things that a lot of people can be involved in together makes a difference & really brings the atmosphere up. Think outside the box. Weddings are long days so it’s very hard to keep this going constantly. We have chosen to start our day later because of this, so it really just feels like a party. Most importantly, make it a day to remember.

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Finally - don’t be a model bride & groom multiple times before the day as it turns the pressure up for you having to do a better job yourself! ;-)

Here we are modelling for Blenheim Palace recently.

Image by Kate Hopewell-Smith / Photography Film & Air by Lumiere.

Image by Kate Hopewell-Smith / Photography Film & Air by Lumiere.

Now we need to look better than this next year…..

Source: www.jessicaraphaelphotography.com