FIRST OF ALL CONGRATULATIONS!
You’re about to start planning an incredible day that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives. Although you might have just got engaged and you might not be planning the big day itself for a while, it’s good to start thinking about a few of the basics early. Having got married myself a couple of years ago, there are a few bits of advice I’m more than pleased to pass on. Planning for a wedding need not be stressful, you just have to be organised and things will fall into place – I promise.
Being a wedding photographer puts me in a unique position of seeing some great, and not so great, ideas from brides and grooms. I’ve put together a free ebook PDF of loads of insider tips. So whether you’re planning a wedding on a shoestring or rivalling a royal wedding, there’s something in there for you. Below are a few quick tips, and you can download the full Ebook here
VENUE AND DATE
This is the most important step to starting to plan your wedding. Your choice of venue will set your date. Some popular venues are likely to be booked up several years in advance. If you do have a particular place in mind, you might have to be flexible and consider marrying at a different time of year. Gone are the days when everyone competed for the summer wedding, Spring, Autumn and Winter weddings are very popular and can be a little easier on the budget. You could also consider making your day a Friday or bank holiday. Wherever and whenever you decide, give your guests plenty of notice so they can make sure they can attend.
FINDING A VENUE
Local councils often publish on their website a list of venues licensed for wedding ceremonies in your local are. This is a great way to start researching for a venue – especially if you want something a little unusual.
Plan how much you can save each month and be realistic about your costs, this will have an impact on when you can have your wedding. Also consider that venues can, and will, increase their prices each year, so you will need to budget for this increase – it’s a good question to ask when you go visit. Start to list of the things you will definitely need and put prices against them.
Open a savings account and save for your wedding there – you are much less likely to dip into the fund whilst you are saving, plus its much easier to keep track of things when you start paying out for things before the wedding.
You are about to enter into a partnership – why not start working together right from the start and plan your wedding together? If you look at all the parts of the wedding that need organising, you will find some tasks are better tackled together, but many you will be able to work on individually. Make a list and decide who is doing what.
Like venues photographers book well in advance and tend to get booked up early at peak times. Once you have your date set and venue booked it’s time to start looking for a wedding photographer.
I must stress at this point that if you are considering getting a relative or friend to shoot your wedding, my advice is “don’t”. A wedding photographer will have the right equipment, understands the flow of the wedding and can deal with all the challenges that come up. I believe the role of the wedding photographer is that of an observer, and you cannot do this if you are a guest, it simply doesn’t work.
Your wedding photographs will be a lasting memory of your day and will be enjoyed for years to come, so take time to choose how you want you want your day to be captured. Do you want big group formal shots of the day, or perhaps more candid coverage, capturing you guests relaxing and enjoying your day? Talk to your wedding photographer – we’re usually quite friendly.
PROTECT YOUR MEMORIES
The life expectancy of a DVD is about 8 years, so ALWAYS backup your images to a few different locations – don’t expect your wedding photographer to be able to produce a copy after 20 years. USB keys are also notoriously easy to corrupt, overwrite or simply lose. So the more places you backup the better. Perhaps copy your images on to USB key or DVD and tape it to the back of a wedding photo frame? Or put a copy of the DVD in the frame itself?
Of course best of all is getting an album made. Don’t forget an album isn’t just for you – it’s something you can hand down to future generations. Wouldn’t you cherish a wedding album from your grandparents, we really are the first generation to be able to leave a complete record of our day with hundreds of images, a lasting family record.
I hope this post helps get your planning started, and once again congratulations. Don’t hesitate in contacting me if you have any questions, and you can find how I cover your day here