Wedding Planning

A wedding photographer’s view

My lovely Fiancé proposed last April and somehow 9 months have passed already! I wanted to write a couple of blogs during our wedding planning process and go through some of the decisions we made from two perspectives – 1) As a couple 2)As a wedding photographer.

Here is the first blog, 9 months into our engagement and roughly 15 months from the big day, soooo excited already!

We didn’t rush into planning our wedding straight away, although I couldn’t stop talking about it (I mean how could I not, I’m surrounded by them all the time with work). We had lots of discussions about what we liked and didn’t like, our ideas and I even got Mike on Pinterest! It is worth saying now that if you’re not already on Pinterest then you have to give it a go, it is the best place for wedding inspiration.

I have put together a list of the details we have planned so far, what we picked and how we came to that decision.

The Wedding Venue

At the top of the wedding planning list was finding the venue and we certainly made it hard for ourselves. I have photographed so many beautiful weddings at stunning manor houses and barns but we were looking for something more alternative. We wanted a venue that wouldn’t initially give you the wedding vibes, simply because we wanted to be different. This proved to be harder then we thought.

Over about a month of evening searches and scrolling through blog after blog we did find a handful of incredible venues. Among them were a greenhouse style venue covered in hanging plants, an amazing beach side venue accessed only by a tunnel running through a cliff and creative urban art spaces available for hire. The only problem with these venues was the price tag, its important to be realistic about your budget and what you can afford.

There was one gem amongst the short list of venues that ticked all the boxes – good food, interesting vibes, quirky and could cater for the number of guests we were expecting to invite.

These are the things I was looking for from the photographers point of view…

  • A good amount of natural light – natural light creates the best results when capturing natural moments during a wedding
  • Quirky decor/design – The venue will be the backdrop for over 50% of your photos so it is important that you like it and it fits with the style your wedding.
  • Vibe – I use this word a lot I know but here is what I mean. We are planning a relaxed and laid back wedding, nothing too traditional or formal so we wanted a venue that reflected this. A glamorous wedding and a festival wedding would require very different venues and this is an important thing to think about when searching for your venue.
  • Environment and outdoor space – This was the most important thing for me as I wanted the outside space to give us a variety of option for photos. Our venue is on the beach so sea shots and beach shots are a given but the venue also has a very urban feel from the other direction which I love! We can get an amazing variety of images from English seaside to urban city.

The photographer

This should be near the top of your to do list when planning a wedding. Photographers get booked up so far in advance you want to guarantee your wedding with your favourite photographer so get in there early! Everyone I know asked me ‘how are you going to pick a wedding photographer?’ I thought it would be hard but actually I think it was easier for me than most couples. I knew what kind of style of photography I wanted and follow so many wedding blogs and pages for work that potential photographer were popping up all the time.

I have worked with a lot of couples who said at the beginning they didn’t really know what to look for when searching for a wedding photographer. There are different styles and approaches to photography so where do you start? The best advise I have is to spend an evening looking through wedding blogs, head over to a site like Rock My Wedding, Whimsical Wonderland Weddings or Want That Wedding and scroll through their list of blogs. You will see the different styles of photography available and soon pick the ones you prefer.

We found an amazing photographer who was just what we were looking for but you will have to wait to find out who our suppliers are.

Photographers point of view…

  • The style – I knew what style I was looking for, find out what you like and then start your search
  • What is included for the price – I have seen so many variations of wedding photography packages and some include much more than others. Ask your potential photographer what is included and if there are any additional costs.
  • Easy going – I always advise meeting with your photographer before the big day, whether you do this before booking them or after is up to you. It is important you both feel comfortable with your photographer and every photographer should be happy to have a chat with you either over a cup of tea of online. It is nice to know who is behind the emails!

Take a look at my wedding portfolio HERE to see if my style fit with yours

Where to get ready on the morning of your wedding

Myself and Mike picked a venue that is a couple of hours away from where we live so we knew we would have to book accommodation. We decided to book a holiday house for just the two of us but it would have to be big enough so family and friends can pop in too.

The night before the wedding Mike will head off to different accommodation (which I will tell you all about in another blog) and I will have a few female family and friends round for the night.

Everything I considered about the accommodation for the morning of the wedding was from the photographers point of view…

  • Decor – The getting ready photos are some of my favourite images from a wedding and the accommodation/ house/ hotel is the backdrop for these photos. Clutter free and lots of space is perfect for these photos
  • Natural light – Natural light is so flattering, if you can sit by a window when getting your hair and makeup done you get the most beautiful images!
  • Location – If there is time it can be lovely to get a couple of quick portraits of the bride in her dress before she heads to the ceremony. An old brick wall, an urban street or even just a big tree in the garden can all be brilliant spots for these photos.

These are the things we have booked so far but there is plenty for us to be getting on with. Mike and I are definitely not planning our wedding in the conventional way , the order we are working in seems to be all over the place but it is working for us. I just love that couples can do almost anything with their wedding now, make it unique to you both and most importantly have fun and enjoy the journey!

I can’t wait to tell you more in a couple of months and let you in on who our suppliers are x