January 20, 2023
Let’s get down to business, planning a wedding can be an utter minefield and you can quickly get bogged down with Pinterest boards and family politics. So here is my 10 tips to help you get shit done and plan a truly awesome alternative wedding.
The most important tip I can give you don’t feel like you have to conform to tradition or family expectations. Weddings are supposed to a celebration of you and your love for each other so don’t be afraid to do it your way. Don’t invite people because you feel pressured to do so, don’t do a cake cutting if it seems silly to you and don’t make a speech if it’s going to make you anxious beforehand. It’s your wedding so do it your way.
Sorry, I know this isn’t the most exciting thing to think about when you first get engaged but unfortunately it is a harsh reality of the suckyness that is adult-ing. Initially it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of planning however you don’t want to get your heart set on something only to find out you can’t afford it later. You’ve decided to make a commitment to a life together and you don’t want the beginning of that to be spent raiding piggy banks. Discuss the things that really matter to the both of you and prioritise the top ones, this could be live music, cool venue, an epic photographer or delicious food. Remember it’s not worth bankrupting yourself for one day.
You’ve probably already started following lots of wedding pages but its also good idea to check out some wedding blogs before you make any big decisions, theres a blog for every type of wedding so it’s a great place to start doing some research. You could also get yourself to some alternative wedding fairs like the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza that I exhibit at every year in Birmingham. It’s a great opportunity to see products in real life and also speak to suppliers about what they offer. Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you like, gather all your ideas in a mood board so you can visualise your day easier. This will keep you excited for the day and is also a great way of ensuring your suppliers get your vision for your wedding.
There is nothing wrong with being cut-throat with your guest list and you shouldn’t feel guilty about deciding not to invite certain people. Don’t forget you will have to pay for every single person that you invite to your wedding. I would say if you wouldn’t pay for a meal for someone usually, why would you on your wedding day? This is the same when it comes to picking your bridal party, they should be your squad, the people that will have your back and that will support and help you in the run up to the wedding, not add unnecessary drama. Again try not to feel pressured into asking people because you are worried they will be upset if you don’t. Alternatively if you want to just run away and elope just do it! Don’t feel pressured to make others happy, just do whats right for you.
Now you have your final number of guests you can think about where to have the wedding and at what point of the year. Theres pro’s and cons for every season, summer maybe hotter and the nights are longer but it may rain, it’s colder in the winter and the sun sets early however this is great for sparkler and night photos. The date will be one of the factors that will dictate the vibe of the wedding, so make sure you discuss what time of year will suit the wedding you want.
The venue is probably going to be your biggest expense and therefore maybe the most stressful however picking the right venue can really set the tone of your wedding. I’ve shot weddings in Barns, fields, warehouses and even on the top of a cliff, I love them all but it’s worth considering not just how the venue looks but also it’s ceremony licensing, whats included in the price, catering, venue exclusively, if you have to pay corkage and check the people behind it are nice and on top of everything, as nobody needs to be stressed and dealing with dicks on their wedding day. You can find a list of my favourite wedding venues in and around the Midlands here.
Some of the bigger suppliers can get booked up quick so its worth considering your photographer, videographer and caterer asap so you can avoid disappointment and also so you can budget. These are big expensive decisions, so take your time and shop around, make a list of requirements and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be clear on what you get for your money and check the company’s ethos matches your own. When booking a photographers/videographers check for consistencies and feel free to ask for examples of full galleries. Personally I’d want a photographers who is relaxed and easy to hang out with all day so don’t be afraid to ask to video chat before hand so you determine if you are a good fit for each other. If you think thats little old me and you’d like to chat further get in touch here.
Again one of those crappy adulting things, but when you are forking out so much money it’s always best to get yourself insured just in case.
The key to having a relaxed wedding is to have everything organised and in one place before the big day, so you can just have fun and enjoy the day without worrying about anything. Make to do lists, break tasks down so they don’t become overwhelming and embrace the power of the spreadsheet to keep all your suppliers details together in one place and also so you can develop a timeline of what to expect on the day. If you are DIYing alot of elements for the day, make sure you give yourself plenty of time and get your bridal party to lend a hand. For group photos making a list before hand of who you want shots with will save you time on the day and make sure nobody gets missed.
You’ll have enough things on your plate during the wedding and you will just want to relax and enjoy so make sure you take freinds and family up on offering to help. Make a list before hand of things that need to be done on the day and delegate.
There is nothing more annoying as a wedding photographer than an iphone popping into your awesome shot of the first kiss or the bride walking down the aisle. Also it must be nerve raking for couples looking out to a sea of phones particularly if they are already anxious about the service. Keep the ceremony more intimate and ask your guests to pop cameras away and be fully in the moment with you. You’re celebrant or registrar will be more than happy to advice guests about this if you wish.
Enjoy it!! It will bloody be stressful, there’s no avoiding it. But try and swerve those bridezilla tendencies by remembering why you are planning a wedding in the first place, to celebrate committing to the person you love with all your closest friends and family.
If you love colourful, relaxed photography anf like what I do get in touch, it would be great to chat!