1. Make a list.
Even if you're not a natural list maker. It can't hurt to be prepared and you and your photographer will be on the same page. Sit down with your other half, write out a fairly short and decisive list of group photos, give it a week or so and then have another look at it. As soon as you've decided, send it to your wedding photographer, and try and do this in plenty of time before the big day, it's such an easy thing to forget to do.
2. Give the list to your photographer, and at least one person from the wedding party.
I mean no disrespect but there are a lot of people at your wedding that I don't know, I've never met before, and so having names on a list becomes pretty meaningless to me in terms of organisation. I could be standing right next to your Aunt and not have a clue! So give your list to one or two other people, I would recommend people who are in your wedding party (because they'll be expecting to be on hand to help you out), and preferably people with a loud voice who aren't shy.
1. Weddings can easily get expensive.
The truth is unless you're Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, everyone has a budget of some kind, so plan what's important to you both and be realistic about how much things you want will cost. I won't lie there were things that we wanted to hire and have for our day that we just couldn't afford, so we had to go without and make a plan B (or C or D... eeek!). But there were certain things that we knew we would regret if we scrimped on and went for a cheaper alternative, so we spent out and just had to compromise on other things.
2. Being yourselves is always the best way to go.
Even though this is a piece of advice that is in nearly every article about wedding planning, I still see stories online and listen to people talk about making compromises for family and friends, even though it makes them miserable and potentially costs them money they didn’t want to spend. Everyone has their own opinions and has their own tastes and ideas as to what "the perfect wedding day" consists of. Always listen to other peoples advice, but if you really don't think something is right for you, be brave and do what will make you both happy. Have a small wedding if you want one, have a huge one if you want that instead, buy the wedding dress you love but your grandma will hate, it's your bloody day!
3. The day itself goes so quickly.
Even though I'm a Wedding Photographer and I obviously think hiring one for your wedding is a good idea, also as a former bride I know the value of having beautiful professional pictures of your day. It only happens once and as the years go by you will start to forget things that happened on the day, and without sounding too morbid as loved ones pass away those photos really do become treasures. It doesn't mean you need to hire a wedding photographer or videographer that you can't afford, but please don't overlook hiring one and try and work it into your budget early. I can honestly say that we hired someone we liked, who knew what they were doing and their main role was to document our day which meant our guests could enjoy themselves and take the occasional snap if they wanted to - It is something we don't regret.
I was reading an article the other day that caught my attention about a term I had never heard of. Reading it I learned that Pete and I had a “Destination Micro Wedding” and didn’t even realise! (I even photographed one at the end of last year! Pictures below)
Yes yes it sounds like a trendy idea that could go out of vogue in a matter of years, but I’m prepared to go out on a limb and say that I think they might be here to stay. If you don’t have a big budget, or are low key or introverted people who don’t want a fuss but a nice intimate wedding day, they are definitely something to consider.
An small and intimate wedding that is similar to an elopement, but you invite a small number of close family and friends along too.
Sometimes less really is more, and if you have a smaller budget it can go a lot further and you are able to have more of the things you want for less. For example, feeding let's say 12 people is obviously going to cost you far less than feeding 100 or even 200, so you have the option to spend more per head than you would if your guest list was bigger.
A lot of wedding suppliers such as photographers, florists and bakers are willing to do the same great quality of product you want, but for less because you probably need less of a service from them. If there's only 12 of you for dinner, you are less likely to have a huge wedding cake that feeds 200 right? (or maybe not, maybe you really like cake!)
From personal experience you also get around to talk to all your guests much easier than you would at a larger wedding, and I found the day is so much less stressful.
This is a question I've been asked a few times this year, especially since Lana (above) has been working with me, so I will tell you what I told those people:
To be honest for most weddings (less than 200 guests) I wouldn't say that you need to have a second photographer/"second shooter".
If it's something that is going to be an extra cost, and if it would make a huge difference to the overall price I would seriously suggest you think about it. It would be a lovely added bonus but it's not really a requirement. I cannot deny that having a second Photographer there gives you an obvious second person perspective and I can only be in one place at one time, but one wedding photographer alone should give you hundreds of images of your wedding day.
Often (like Lana) the second shooter will be there to purely get work experience and to shadow the main Photographer to learn and assist, and so they will often be there for free or for a very small amount. The reality is if they want to become a Wedding Photographer, experience is invaluable but difficult to come by. Unless they know lots of people getting married, it really is the best way to learn!
I hope you found this helpful and happy wedding planning!
If you have any questions you'd like me to answer, feel free to get in touch.
Love & stuff