Between our own wedding, weddings we have attended as guests and the many weddings we have photographed as wedding photographers in Northern Ireland, we have attended more weddings than most people. So, we understand the various things people worry about both in the lead up to the big day and on the day itself.
In the lead up to your wedding day you will find that a lot of your married friends will tell you the same thing, the day goes fast and that’s the main reason why it’s so important that you choose a photographer that is the right fit for you. Some couples prefer a tradional style or fine art type wedding photographer, these guys will give you some beautiful staged images of you and your family and friends. Other couples prefer a more documentary style wedding photographer like us that will tell the story of your wedding day and as well as giving you some awesome but more natural looking portraits you will be provided with photographs from all elements of the day including parts of the day you may have missed yourself.
Spend your money wisely and invest in the things for your wedding that are the most important to you. We have photographed large high-end weddings with hundreds of guests at exclusive venues and we have also photographed much smaller more intimate weddings where we have been the most expensive wedding cost.
The most important thing to remember about the budgeting for the cost of your wedding is not to over stretch yourself. Having a very expensive wedding that you are going to be paying off for the next 5 years is not going to give you the best start to married life. The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is how much everything costs.
WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG?
The main thing that most couples worry about on the lead up to there wedding day is what happens if something goes slightly wrong. For example:
What happens if a wedding vendor doesn’t turn up?
What if Aunty Flo who is unwell can’t make it?
What if we don’t say our wedding vows right?
What if it rains? Brides especially often worry about the dress and their hair and make-up when the weather isn’t so good.
Because a wedding is such a huge event small issues often become exaggerated in the couple’s mind and end up causing unneeded stress which takes away from them enjoying the day. The best advice we could give to any couple is don’t sweat the little things. None of these small issues will interfere with you getting married to your partner and shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the celebrations afterwards.
BEWARE OF BAD ADVICE FROM WELL MEANING FRIENDS
No two weddings are the same, nor should they be. When you start planning your wedding and you start to look around for wedding vendors you will receive a lot of well meaning advice from family members and friends. All of your married friends will recommend vendors that they loved from their own weddings. Recommendations are brilliant and as wedding photographers there is no better feeling for us when we meet with a couple and they tell us that they found us because we had photographed their friend’s wedding and they had raved about us. However just because your friend loves a particular vendor doesn’t mean you will too.
We can only really use ourselves as an example here but for instance we recently received a phone call from an excited couple and the first thing they told us was that they wanted to book us for their wedding as we had photographed a wedding for a friend of theirs a few years ago and due to the amazing feedback, they had from their friend they hadn’t even thought of booking anyone else, they also hadn’t even looked at our work.. This couple would have been quite happy to pay us a deposit and book us for their wedding there and then. For us though we like to make sure that before we book a wedding for a couple that we have a quick chat with them about the way we work and what they can expect from us. It didn’t take long to find out that this particular couple wanted a tradional style wedding photographer who would spend the day setting up heavily posed photographs. We explained to them that this wasn’t how we work and that they would be better off choosing a photographer who works in a way that suited what they wanted better. However, we know that not every photographer would do this and some would have just taken the booking, shot the wedding in their own style and ended up disappointing the couple.
Yes, recommendations are a great way to find vendors for your wedding that you can trust but to save yourself stress and possible disappointment later on you should still research the vendor and make sure that they are a good fit for what you are looking for before deciding on booking them for your wedding.
WEDDING TIMELINE – THE BIGGEST CAUSE OF WEDDING DAY STRESS
The timeline for a wedding is often the most stressful part of both organising your wedding and, on the day, can also be one of the biggest causes of stress in terms of being able to stick to it. A timeline is pretty much always seen as a rigid timetable of events with very little flexibility by most couples. When putting together a timeline most couples seem to base it around the venue’s advice and the needs of the guests.
This should never be the case, first in terms of the venue they will try and sway you one way or another based on how it makes life easier for them not you. For example, a venue may say that they want to start the speeches by 5 p.m and that they want to start calling guests into the room at 4.30 p.m and the couple must be there and ready for that. When in reality they generally won’t call you into the room until 4.50 p.m or later. That is so that they can allow themselves a little flexibility but allows you none. When planning with your venue you should always remember that they work for you not the other way around. A good wedding venue can easily make timeline adjustments to suit you.
Often couples base the timeline on what they think will be easier for their guests and that is understandable as their guests will be made up mostly from their family and friends but this can be the wrong thing to do for you. It’s your wedding day and you are absolutely entitled to choose times based on what you want and not what suits best for your Aunty Flo or Uncle Frank. As an example, we know of a couple who changed the ceremony time of their wedding from morning to late afternoon so that that guests who where coming from further away didn’t need to get up and out of bed to early. This for them also meant that the location they had chosen for their photographs couldn’t be used due to the time needed to get there and instead of using a location that was special to them and was something they had wanted from when they first started planning there wedding they ended up having their wedding photographs taken in a hotel car park instead. This wasn’t a wedding we photographed but we know from talking to the couple that this is one of the biggest regrets they have from their wedding day.
When putting together your timeline the best advice we can offer is to allow extra time for everything. It’s quite rare for everything to run exactly on time with an event as large as a wedding, there is always going to be times of the day where things don’t run exactly to plan. When something does cause the timeline to be thrown in the bin most important of all don’t worry about it! Think of your timeline as a guideline rather than an exact timetable of the day.
Your bridesmaids and groomsmen are there to help you on your wedding day but very few couples ask them for help. Do you have a list of family photos you want taken? Great, pass the list to your best man and let him round up all the people needed. Do you need someone to carry your veil when walking around the venue? That’s a job for one of your bridesmaids. Let these guy’s and girls help you with all the little things on your wedding day, that is there job. This will absolutely create less stress for you.
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELVES
We think it’s important for the bride and groom to both have a little time together by themselves on their wedding day. When we got married we managed to sneak away for a little while ourselves. Even if it’s only a quick 20-minute break away from everything that is going on so that you can have a quick chat about how the day has went and to catch up with each other. A great time to do this is later in the evening when the venue is getting everything ready for your first dance. There is usually a little free time here to quietly slip away without being noticed.
SPECIAL TIP FOR BRIDES
Brides often get quite worried about how they will look on their wedding day. They worry about getting the dress getting a little dirty, they worry about ruining their hair and make-up especially if it rains and this can have a genuine real impact on how they enjoy celebrating their wedding. We can understand that as all these things are a major investment. While it might be hard on the day itself not to worry about these things, we can honestly say that none of these things will matter at all after the wedding. Brides can sometimes get so concerned with these things that they decide on having no portraits taken and that is such a shame. After your wedding and once the beautiful dress and expensive shoes are packed in a box and put away your photographs are going to be one of the main ways you remember your wedding day. Brides that don’t care about getting their dress a little dirty (it can always be cleaned after) or getting wet in the rain always have a much more fun wedding day and get better photographs to remember it!
SPECIAL TIP FOR GROOMS
Grooms are now expected to be much more involved in the whole process of planning a wedding than ever before. Gone are the days when all the groom had to worry about was choosing a best man and maybe choosing his own suit. You might find yourselves disagreeing about the choice of venue, the layout of invitations etc. Best advice we can give, just remember when it comes to anything to do with your wedding, she is always right!