Why Didn't I Know This.
Updated: Apr 18
So, the day that you have been waiting for has finally come, your best friend has asked you the question that you have been dreaming about for years and you have said yes. Your now asking yourself what is it that you do next? If you're reading this blog post than hopefully I will be able to help you with all the planning and questions that you will have.
Planning a wedding can take months if not years to plan so let’s start from the beginning. You can’t start you're wedding planning without your bridesmaid’s, so how do you ask your girls the big question?
How To Ask The Girls
A good way you could ask your girls is by throwing a wine night, let’s face it who doesn’t love wine. Andrea Freeman the founder of Andrea Freeman events recommends that waiting until the end of the evening to present the final ready- to-sip selection. Presenting a red or white wine with a custom label that playfully asks the imbibers to be in your wedding party. Needless to say, you will be toasting yourselves the rest of the night. If wine isn’t your thing then why not do a coffee date.
If you can’t get all the girls together for a night in, why not have a coffee date? Organize a special morning with each person at one of your favourite shops. Bring along a personalized mug or ask the barista to write the question, rather than your friends name, on the cup. Just make sure that your friend reads the message before they enjoy their coffee. If drinking isn’t your thing, how about presenting a picture frame? You can’t go wrong with a photo of you and your future bridesmaid in a stunning frame. The photo can either be of just you and the person or, if you and your friends are all friends with one another, it can be a group photo. No matter which one of these suggestions you go with, its sure to get the girls all saying yes and excited about sharing your big day.
Where To Get Married
Now the you have the girls all onboard the next question is where’s the best venue for the most magical day ever, do you get married in the UK or do you decide to go abroad, here are a few pro and cons with each. The biggest issue with getting married abroad tends to be that not everyone on your guest list will be able to make it. So if your grandmother has always dreamed of being at your wedding watching you walk down the aisle, but is unable to travel, don’t be surprised if she seems upset when you drop the bombshell that you have decided to get married abroad. There are a few pros to having your wedding abroad and here they are
You’ll be able to take your vows in the open air and celebrate your special day in an exotic or unusual location, with different food, flowers and music to complement your wedding.
Getting married abroad can often be less expensive than the average British wedding. Many couples buy their own tickets and, while the bride’s family may pay for the wedding package, it’s acceptable for guests to pay their own way.
You can invite just a small handful of family and friends to the wedding, so you’re only with people that you really want to celebrate with. It’s the ideal excuse for not inviting your 20 odd cousins and all their children.
Alternatively, you can jet off alone and get married in a romantic, private ceremony, just the two of you.
If you book through a travel operator, they’ll do practically all the organising, leaving you plenty of time for dress shopping and planning your honeymoon!
If you’d rather be totally involved in the planning process, you can opt for a tailor-made wedding.
So now that we have a few pros for getting married in another country what could possibly be the cons
Friends and family might not be able to afford to travel abroad, or be able take the time to go further afield.
You might upset people who’ve been left off your list – but you may be able to ease some disappointment by having a big bash when you get home.
You won’t have as much control over the organising as you would at home.
You might end up regretting not inviting family members if you jet off alone.
If it’s just the two of you, you’ll need to rope in a stranger to act as witness.
Although your wedding abroad may work out cheaper initially, if you put on a second reception in the UK for all those who couldn’t make it, you can end up paying as much or more than you would have done if you’d married in the UK in the first place!
Even if you head for tropical climes, you can’t guarantee sunny weather.
With being a chesterfield wedding photographer, I've had the pleasure of shooting at some amazing locations, below are just a few of these that I think you should take a look at if you're getting married in around Derbyshire.
If you do decided to getting married abroad make sure to reassure everyone who can’t make it that you’ll have a second reception when your back in the UK. The next thing that you might want to think about is the wedding dress. You have been dreaming of this day all your life and you have no doubt had the perfect dress in mind, but if you haven’t, then here a three easy steps to help find your perfect dress.
Pinterest Is Your Friend
Yes, the number of wedding dresses on Pinterest can at first seem intimidating, but in reality, it’s the perfect place to source some inspiration. Do a bit of research before you start the big hunt so that you can get a sense of what is available and what your eye is drawn to in terms of shape, details, and fabric textures. Maybe it is an open back or the timeless sweetheart neckline or elaborate beading.
Make a board and pin all the dresses you really love, then look for patterns and similarities among all your picked dresses. Next make sure you go into the salon with the Pinterest app on your smartphone, ready to show your stylist your board.
Colour Makes a Difference
Another element that will get you feeling confident and beautiful is the colour of your dress. Just as silhouette enhances your shape, the hues of the fabric can do the same for your colouring.
Dresses these days vary greatly in terms of colour, from a bright white to creamy ivory to even bold pink. The right colour can nicely accentuate and complement your skin tone. For example, white dresses may wash out those with fair skin, so those brides might look for something with a warmer ivory tone. Be sure to try on multiple shades of white or even colour to see what looks and photographs best on you. Also, look at it in natural light, as the lighting will change how the dress colour looks.
Remember, your dress needs to represent you. Begin by putting your best foot forward while shopping. If you feel your best in curls and makeup or clear lip gloss and flats, then go for it. Buying your dream dress is an emotional decision, so you should ask the girls to come with you to help when finding your dress. This way, you can truly assess how you feel in the gowns. It will also help you picture how you’ll look in the dress on the big day.
Once you’re at the salon, stay true to yourself by considering what fashion you lean toward and what really stands out to you. If you favour clean lines and solids, look for a minimalist gown, or if you love quirky, retro styles, beeline for vintage-inspired designs. Listen to your inner voice and friends, they are there to help and want you to look your best. Of course, you want someone to point out that puffy sleeves are a thing of the past, but you also want to not be overwhelmed.
And, as one final note, when you’re finally ready to say yes, don’t be afraid to do so, this is your dream dress after all and you wouldn’t want someone else getting there hands on it would you. As long as it feels right and you feel like the best version of you, then go for it. It might feel like the long-anticipated search is over, but you have found your dress soulmate. Hey, you will now have more time to figure out the countless other details of the big day, so let’s look into that.
Consider Wedding Insurance
So now that you have the location and the dress in hand, it’s now time to maybe start thinking about Wedding Insurance. Although you don’t want to dwell on the worst-case scenarios, it might be a good idea to consider taking out wedding insurance before you spend too much money.
As with home and contents insurance, wedding insurance prices vary depending on the level of cover you choose. Your policy will often cover scenarios like you're wedding dress getting damaged or your venue going bust so definitely take the time to read what each plan can cover and make sure that you select a plan that’s best for you. Below are a few that I think you should take a look at.
Book a Photographer And Videographer
The booking of some suppliers can be done a little closer to the wedding, but others book up quickly and should be sorted as soon as your venue is confirmed.
Photographers and videographers are examples of those, so you should find one you love using a google search or by word of mouth from friends or family. Photographers and videographers make the wedding fun and create memories that’ll last forever, so don’t take the decision lightly after all, once the big day is over the images are what’s going to last for a lifetime and remind you of the most important day ever. Here are a few things to ask when looking for your photographer and videographer.
Settle On A Style
Before you begin researching photographers, you'll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, with so many photographers out there each photographer has a different way of telling your story.
Get inspired! Spend time making a list of different images that you love, from décor shots to a fashion blogger's Instagram feed. Once you have a good collection of inspiring photographs, try to narrow in on what draws you to them specifically and dissect what feels most authentic to you and your partner. Remember that you don't necessarily need to narrow in on one style in particular, since many wedding photographers can do a blend of portraiture and documentary-style shots, a mix of black-and-white and colour images and so on. But if there's a special style you love, make sure to focus on photographers who specialize in it and don’t be afraid to ask questions to your photographer.
Set Up Interviews
This is not a decision that can be made on looks alone—you must meet your potential photographers in person, this is something that I can’t stress on enough. If you like what you see on their site—and their fees are in your ballpark make a call to see if they're available for your wedding date. If available, go ahead and send an introductory email with a bit about you and your soon-to-be spouse. The more information you can give your photographer the better they will be able to help you with the planning of you day. When talking to your photographer be sure to send a few images of images that you like to give your photographer a feel for what sort of look it is your looking for.
If the photographer is already booked on your date, you may want to see if they have an associate or can recommend another shooter with a similar style. Set up in-person meetings with three to five potential photographers who are available on your wedding date to look at more of their work and assess whether your personalities mesh. Be prepared to talk about your venue, wedding style and what you envision for your photos.
Make Sure You Personalities Mesh
Don't underestimate the importance of liking and bonding with your photographer, you have to remember that you will be spending most of the day with your photographer so you should be able to talk to your photographer like a long lost friend. Is the photographer excited by your vision when you describe it? When they make suggestions, do they present them in a clear and respectful way, or are they timid? Are their mannerisms off-putting?
In order to get the best photos, go with a pro who has a firm grasp of social graces but is bold enough to go out hunting for great images and who, above all, puts you at ease and doesn't irritate you in any way. Remember they'll be shadowing your every move, and the more comfortable both of you are with the photographer, the better the photos will turn out.
Likewise, you don't want the photographer to offend or annoy any guests, but to shoot them in their best light in an unobtrusive way. Your photographer should be able to capture your day without getting in the way of you or your guests. Your photographer should also be able to help with any questions that you may have about your day.
You won't be able to nail down an exact amount until you're sure of what you want, how many albums you need and where your photographer is based, and packages range from £500 all the way up to £3,000-plus on the higher end of the spectrum. When finding your photographer, ask for a general range based on the photographer's standard "shooting fee" and package, plus their standard rates for the type of album you think you'll want and the amount of coverage you're hoping to book them for.
It's important to find out what's included in the standard package, plus the basic range for any extras you may want, like an engagement shoot, or additional coverage, so you can compare rates. In particular, find out exactly how many hours of coverage are included. Ideally, you want your photographer to be there for your full wedding day—from when you start getting ready until after you make your grand exit from the reception or the first dance as husband and wife.
While packages vary, most include about 6 to 12 hours to cover everything from pre ceremony events, so the getting ready in the morning with your bridesmaids and the first look images that you absolutely must have. It's usually better to pay for more coverage if there's a chance you'll run over and you definitely want your photographer there until the end (overtime is usually charged at a higher hourly rate).
Also, check if there's a second shooter included in the contract, and if there's not, ask about the possibility. It's likely the second shooter can be confirmed later on, but the main benefit to having two shooters is, of course, you get twice as much coverage. For example, during your formal photo session, one photographer can capture the formal photos, while the second one can get behind-the-scenes, photojournalistic photos, like your guests mingling. If you're having a larger wedding, you might even want to ask about having three shooters so your photography team can be sure to capture the event from all angles.
Take Some Time Off—Together
With all the planning that you will be doing over the next few months, its important to make sure that you take some time off for yourself. Its also important to remember why your doing all this planning, so be sure to have a few date nights with your spouse.
If you can, taking the week off from work before your actual wedding date it helps to ensure that all last-minute details are completed and makes the days leading up to the wedding that much less stressful. Below are ten ideas you could do for a date night
1. GO ON A PICNIC.
2. TAKE A WALK.
3. SING KARAOKE.
4. GO EAT AT A RESTAURANT YOU’VE NEVER EATEN AT BEFORE.
5. GO TO A COFFEE SHOP.
6. PLAY BOARD GAMES.
7. GO SEE A MOVIE.
8. GO TO AN ARCADE.
9. GO BOWLING.
10. PLAY MINI-GOLF.
Gratitude goes a long way. Be sure to arrange for small gifts for your wedding party and anyone else who played a big role in your wedding planning journey—including friends who pitched in to help with all of your wedding DIY projects and, of course, parents or other family members who have been there for you and supported you along the way. If your finding it hard to think of some gift ideas, try some of these out that I have seen given out before and have worked really well.
For the girls in your group
Sparkly Stud Earrings
Chic Weekender Bag
Here are a few ideas for the guys in the group
Chilled Whiskey Glass
Custom Cuff Links
Groomsman Accessory Kit
Just Have Fun!
I hope that everything that has been listed above will help with the planning of your wedding and that its put some light onto a few subjects that you might not have thought about while planning.
Ask yourself, what will you’re guests most definitely notice? A stressed-out couple who's overwhelmed with last-minute details, or a couple that look relaxed and has taken everything in their stride. By the time your wedding day rolls around, try to relax and enjoy all of the special moments with your loved ones. Ask any married couple the day will fly by so be sure to enjoy every second of it.