8 Tips for couples on their wedding day - Shropshire, Uk & Destination Wedding Photographer
Most of my working life, I live and breathe weddings. We are in constant contact with brides and suppliers - there is so much more involved in being Photographers & Filmmakers than being present on the day. We have been known to wear so many hats on a wedding day, from chauffeuring family members and flowers, fixing windswept hair, mini morning therapy sessions when the nerves get a little to much, to catching escaped dogs and putting them safely in the house. We love all these aspects of our job - we want to be your friends and make your day as easy as possible. In addition to that, we are married - so we know first hand all the planning that goes into a wedding day. Having said that, throughout our years of being so heavily involved in weddings, we have learned SO much - we have realised that there are so many things that we would do differently with the hindsight we have now, so we have collated our best wedding tips.
1. Go unplugged
‘We ask all guests to put their phones and camera’s away during the ceremony’ - words that make any photographer’s heart skip a beat. Why? Because phones are UGLY - I have lost count of how many beautiful bridal processions have been spoilt by a whole host of extended arms with phones bang in the middle of the isle. Picture the scene - the moment is here, after all of your planning and preparation you are finally at the end of the isle, hand in hand you turn to take a look at all of your guests, you glance around and see a sea of happy, smiling faces... all blocked by iphones and the occasional ipad. Now imagine that scene again, but everyone is present in the moment, you make eye contact with your best friend, your favourite auntie sheds a tear. Trust us on this one! There will be plenty of time for people to grab their photos later in the day, but the ceremony should be left to the professionals so that all of the guests can focus on the important thing - your wedding!
2. prioritise your budget
This one may seem a little obvious, but make sure to prioritise your budget! When planning your day, there are SO many different options for suppliers and the budget can very quickly be filtered away on bits and pieces that really don’t amount to much. It is so important to remember the things that are of lasting importance. Your photographs and wedding film are one of the only permanent take aways from the day - the vast majority of things are either packed up and sold or are only yours for the day, so finding the perfect photographer and videographer for the day is of upmost importance. Having said that, different things have different value to different people. If you have always dreamt of having the most decadent wedding cake of all time, make that a priority. Work out the things that mean the most to you and prioritise those, stick to your guns and don’t bow to the pressures of the wedding industry to keep adding things on and watering down your budget. The day is yours and you know what is important! Don’t let other people make that decision for you.
3. Get a Good Florist
This is something that is often overlooked but is definitely incredibly important. When you have never planned a wedding before, you may be a little confused and overwhelmed as to why one florist is more expensive than the next. Trust us - no florist is better than a bad florist! You may have allocated a big portion of the budget to the dream wedding dress, but if you do not have flowers that compliment it then they become more of a distraction and can take away from the overall look. Good flowers though? Good flowers MAKE your look! They make your photographs 100x more beautiful and your guests will always notice an array of beautiful florals. We have worked with some amazing florists in the past (Ivy Pip & Rose, Sarah Harper Flowers & Alexandra Rose Weddings are some of our favourites just to name a few!) and we can guarantee that those that opt for an experienced, creative florist will notice a huge difference to how their photos and film look!
4. fill your time
One thing we have noticed at weddings is that somewhere between dinner and the evening celebrations, there is often a major lull. Why not think about hiring some acoustic entertainment? Or taking the opportunity to do something unashamedly you? At our own wedding, we had a whole bunch of our friends preform music and it was incredibly special, the guests absolutely lovely it and everyone got involved. There wasn’t a moment of our day unaccounted for and I think our guests appreciated that. I once saw an instagram post from one of our supplier friends who attended a wedding where the couple had ballerinas perform! Your wedding is so short and fleeting, take every opportunity to make it memorable.
5. COme up with a bad weather plan
We need to talk about the weather. Specifically, the english weather. The sad but true fact that during June we had consistent rain fall for the majority of the month. This is not by any means me saying that you shouldn’t plan an outdoor wedding - we have shot many beautiful outdoor weddings where the weather has treated us kindly and everything has gone to plan. All we recommend is that when you are looking at venues you ensure there is space either indoors or under cover that will allow you space for photos away from the rain if the worst happens. I used to say that you would have to be really unlucky to have it rain for the entire day but this year I shot my first wash out wedding with another photographer - it didn’t stop raining until it went dark! If you think you’ll be happy to embrace the weather and brave the rain then great! We love shooting no matter what the weather conditions are! If you’re not sure you will, just bare it in mind when finding your venue! Even if you don’t mind getting wet, some of your guests might so its always a good thing to think about.
6. feed the children
This may sound oddly specific but its definitely worth a mention if you are planning on having small children on the wedding party. On your wedding day, you may find that with all of the preparations and excitement you may not end up eating until you sit down for your wedding breakfast (although we don’t recommend this either). Adrenaline will push you through and you will probably be fine! Kids, however will not. Make sure that when you are planning your day, you have someone on hand with snacks and food to keep the littles happy. We once had a very sad little bridesmaid who’s world fell apart because there were only melted chocolate buttons (granted, it was 35 degrees but she was pretty hungry by this point!). It may seem like a really obvious thing to mention, but we have seen countless occasions where the kids have been forgotten in all of the hubbub and excitement. Fed kids are happy kids and it will definitely save you a lot of hassle!
7. allow extra time
This may be a tip you’ve heard before, but make sure to allow a little extra time for each part of the day than you think might be necessary. Things can seemingly be going to schedule and then suddenly the time has disappeared and you’re running around in a blind panic trying to find where you put your bouquet down. Work out the timings, then add fifteen minutes for safety. If you need any advice on how to schedule your day let us know! We have done enough to know what timings work best!
8. you do you
Our final tip is probably the one that everyone will pass on to you. Trust us though, it is really important. Make sure that you have a really clear idea about what you want and why you want it. We have heard so many couples saying they wanted a small wedding but were worried about hurting peoples feelings. The fact is, people don’t mind not being invited. They may mind for a moment, but if they really care for you they will prioritise you and your happiness. If they don’t then you probably don’t want to be sharing the most important day of your life with them and they will get over it anyway. This doesn’t just apply to your guest list. Don’t want a cake? Don’t have one. Want to get married at 5pm? Go for it. Want to elope to the mountains just the two of you? Do it. Your day is not just a day. It is the beginning of a marriage and you are planning a life with a person - you have the right to start that life however you want! It can be hard and people can try and make your vision difficult to appear but don’t give in. When you have the day you dreamed of and you created together, we promise it will be worth it.
Clearly, this isn’t a fully comprehensive list but it is a good starting point. Please don’t hesitate to pick our brains on all things weddings! We like to think we’re pretty much experts these days and we would absolutely love to help you in whatever way that we can. There is a lot of confusing information out there and sometimes it is good to just chat to a couple of normal humans who have planned their own wedding and are involved in lots of others! Get in touch - we’d love to get to know you!