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Holy Moly! You’re Engaged!

here’s some stuff you should know

It’s got a ring on it

Getting married is a big deal. I’m a big believer in having the wedding that’s perfect for you – taking the time to pick out the details you really want to remember and celebrating in a way that fits who you really are.

You probably have loads of questions but don’t know who to ask. And then your families are probably going to ask you loads of questions too, while looking at you with faces full of delight and expectation, but you can’t give them answers because you don’t know them. You might decide to keep it simple and elope. You might decide you want a big ass wedding in a castle, or on top of a mountain, or have your best friend officiate for you.

Fear not. If you just got engaged but you’re not sure where to begin, this is for you. I’m going to go through a few key decisions you’re going to have to make, and hopefully give you a few ideas.

photograph of a sleepy newborn baby being winded by her father - newborn photography derby

Unmissable guests

There are some people who you’ll absolutely need to be part of your day. But weddings can be expensive, so don’t invite people just because you feel you should.

Don’t be afraid to ask your uni mate who moved to France shortly after graduating – just because there’s a sea between you now, doesn’t mean they won’t make the effort to come. And if it’s not within their means, then at least the sentiment will be appreciated.

By the same token, you don’t have to invite people just because you’re related to them. Uncle Knobhead doesn’t have to be part of your day. The coworker who gets blind drunk and ends up in a hedge on team nights out can handle not being invited. Don’t be afraid to draw up a list of essential guests who you’d love to see, and another list of “nice-to-haves” if the budget allows.

photograph of a sleepy newborn baby being winded by her father - newborn photography derby
photograph of a sleepy newborn baby being winded by her father - newborn photography derby

location

Where you tie the knot is one of the first decisions you’ll make about your wedding. Three considerations you should make are cost, capacity, and practicality.

There are so many choices on reception venues that just weren’t around 10 years ago, and you can really go to town on your venue. It’s not just beautiful barn weddings and rustic styling these days! Lots of pubs do receptions, and old warehouses in city centres have been turned into venues too.

As a general rule, venues are cheaper ‘off-peak’ IE in the middle of the week, or October – March. If you’re trying to bag a quickie wedding then you might get a deal.

 

photograph of a man and woman in their thirties standing in a spot of spring sunshine underneath a bridge in an industrial part of manchester by the canal - manchester engagement photography

Entertainment/keeping people happy

It’s up to you what you do on your wedding day, but if you want photos of people relaxing and having fun then it’s a good idea to actually set something up that’s going to make that happen.

This is a part of the day that doesn’t require a huge budget. How about garden games? You can totally embrace all things from your primary school sports day and have three legged races, wheelbarrow races and sack races.

Or you could make an obstable course, play 5 a side football, mark out a space hopper race course, hire a bouncy castle, a DIY photobooth area (people will just take selfies!) and set up a coconut shy…

Let your imagination do the work here, and you’ll definitely create a day your guests will really enjoy, as well as crafting some genuinely fun moments for your photographer to capture.

photograph of a man and woman in their thirties standing in a spot of spring sunshine underneath a bridge in an industrial part of manchester by the canal - manchester engagement photography

Food & Drink

The two rules of a wedding reception are:

1. Have enough food.

2. Have enough to drink.

I’m not going to tell you what kind of food to serve or how much you should put behind the bar. What I will say is that you want your guests, and yourselves, to be as relaxed as possible. Whether it’s M&S platters or an 8 course tasting menu is entirely up to you, just make sure everyone’s catered for. 

Oh and make sure to ask about dietary requirements. From experience I know people don’t always disclose this info, so it’s a good idea to ask on your invitations.

Wedding dress/suit

You could spend £80 on a dress. You could get one from Oxfam. You could get something that’s made just for you.

Only you will know what the right dress is for you, because this is such a personal decision. But cost aside, there are some things to consider.

How much do you want to be able to move about? Do you want to get changed into something more casual at some point? If your dress has a long train do you want to be holding it in a bustle all night while you dance? Do you want a train at all?

If you’re having any part of the day outside at all please be prepared for some grass stains or dirt. Don’t be afraid of the elements for the sake of your dress, or you’ll be worrying constantly.

Awesome dressmakers:

Fiona Elizabeth Couture 

Shikoba Bride

 Bexbrides

Details

It’s easy to go overboard on details. Hours on Instagram and Pinterest can have you believing you absolutely must have the latest doodabs and hoosits for your wedding, but they’re not essential.

Some pieces always look lovely – a well put together bunch of flowers, carefully chosen table decorations, and a way of displaying an order of the day to your guests. Little decorative touches are a great way to personalise your wedding, but there’s no rule to say you must have them.

The rest is firmly in the ‘nice to have’ category. 

Kickass Florists

All Bunched Up (Notts, Derby & Lincs)

Don’t Settle Petal (Rutland)

Perfect Bouquet (Cheshire)

photograph of a man and woman in their thirties standing in a spot of spring sunshine underneath a bridge in an industrial part of manchester by the canal - manchester engagement photography

I hope this has been helpful in providing you with a bit of guidance as you plan your wedding. I know just how overwhelming it can be to arrange your perfect day, and the best advice I can give you is just don’t plan anything you don’t enjoy. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to keep other people happy – it’s your day, so do it the way that you want. 

If you think we’d be a good fit and you’d like me to photograph your wedding then give me a shout