On Sunday just gone I headed back up to North Yorkshire for Becky & Ben’s Wedding Photography at The Tithe Barn, Bolton Abbey! What. A. Day!
On Saturday I had the absolute pleasure of capturing Rachel and Simeon’s wedding day in the lovely Rhondda Valley area of south Wales.
The day started off at Rachel’s parents house where Rachel and all her bridesmaids spent the morning getting prepped. In our initial emails Rachel had wrote that she was planning a chilled out wedding and it most certainly was the case! It was also such a nice balance of having plenty of traditional elements with a good dosing of their own personalities blended into the day.
The ceremony was held at the lovely Cardiff Chinese Christian Church and it was filled to the rafters with all of their family and friends. With plenty of singing and a conga line leading us out of the church it sure was a ceremony to remember!
The typical wet welsh weather held off, giving us plenty of time for some confetti throwing antics and relaxed couple shots in the local park gardens before we proceeded to The Heritage Park Hotel in Pontypridd for the evening reception. A big shout out has to go to Carys and the team at the venue for doing such an amazing job at ensuring the evening ran so smoothly.
After the evening meal and some really thoughtful speeches it was time for something a little different, a Chinese Tea Ceremony! The tables were then cleared away ready for some dancing…Ceilidh dancing!
Everyone was up on their feet dancing their socks off late into the night!
Enough of me typing away, why not check it out for yourself!
Quite a fun looking day ey?! It was such a pleasure to be part of Rachel and Simeon’s wedding day! Here’s to wishing them the very best for their future together!
1 . Selfie Time!
Let’s all be honest, you’ve probably already done this, but what the heck, post another! You’re engaged! Savor the moment and spread the word. If you have pets, why not think of a unique way to craft the perfect shot that’s personal to you. Spending a little time on this shot will be so worth it when looking back in years to come.
2 . Date of the Wedding
Of course, it’s early days to be deciding on a definitive date, but it’s best practice to discuss roughly when you both want to have the wedding early on. The choices of venue, photographers and other vendors can quickly become quite limiting when booking less than a year in advance. Certain close friends and family members may also have jobs/careers where they get booked up far in advance, or are planning holidays. The sooner you can announce the date, the easier the planning process will be.
3 . How’s that ring feeling on the hand?
It’s common to realise a week or so after wearing your engagement ring that the size could do with adjusting a little. Most jewelers that sold you your engagement ring also offer this service and it’s definitely one job to prioritise, especially if it’s too loose! Jewellery insurance is also worth considering too for extra protection.
4 . Mood Board Galore!
Now for the fun part! Time to get that pinterest account created and start searching for ideas. Instagram is also a great place to browse by searching for hashtags relevant to your wedding. Here are just a few examples if you’re planning a wedding in Yorkshire (replace Yorkshire with your county): #YorkshireWeddingInspiration #YorkshireWeddingSuppliers #YorkshireWeddingStylist
Try searching for the venues you have in mind too, such as #PrioryCottages #YorkshireWeddingBarn #TheTitheBarn
This way you get to see photos showing how different couples dressed the venue for their wedding and see which suppliers they used, which all helps to get a clearer idea in mind of how you want yours to look.
5 . Finding the right suppliers
Florists, venues, bands, DJ’s, wedding planners, venue dressers, videographers, and of course photographers. It’s quite a list, right? There is a an abundance of suppliers within each category too, so the question is, where do you even start to look to find the people that are perfect for you?!
Google is always our first option to get some ideas together, so here are some tips to keep in mind when searching and once you’ve found some suppliers that you’re interested in.
The first options on a list of Google results are sponsored ads. This means that the supplier has paid to be at the top of the list, thereby they may not be the most relevant result to what you have searched for. Avoid clicking these and instead click on the 1st of the actual results below.
Once you find a supplier that you love the sound of, make sure you do your background checks. My favourite method is to check out their blog posts, instagram page, and instagram stories/highlights. These sections should be kept up to date by a business that is active and busy with work and can be a great insight into the work that they are producing. Alarm bells always start ringing for me when I can’t see much recent work being posted.
Who actually is the person behind the business that you are enquiring with? Are they the type of person that you would enjoy hanging out with? Do they share some of the same interests as you? Once again, instagram is a great place to see the behind the scenes of the business and see who it actually is running the show.
e.g. If you’re planning a festival themed wedding, is the photographer a fan of music and festivals. You’re a big fan of 80’s rock music - does the band you’re looking at love playing these types of hits too? Sure, it’s not 100% necessary for each supplier to be fully like you, but given the option, I think it’s great to find some who ‘gets’ you and your plans.
I also find it massively important to be on the same wavelength as the couples that book me regarding my style. I make sure from my initial messages that I send to clients that it is really clear of what type of photography I specialise in so that they know for certain what I am all about.
Once you have enquired with a supplier how long has it taken them to get back to you? How personal are their emails? You want to have a team of suppliers working on your wedding that are fully invested in you and what you want to create. This means they should be emailing back within 24 hours, being friendly in their correspondence, always giving you all the information that you require, and generally being open to helping you along the planning process in any way that is necessary.
The perfect wedding requires a whole lot of planning. To take some weight off of your shoulders here are a selection of quick tips to keep in mind while planning to create the Yorkshire wedding of the year!
1) What are your own personalities and hobbies like?
We’re all a bit different and weddings are perfect occasions to show off your own personalities in the type of wedding you decide to create. Do you want a very formal and traditional occasion? Or would you prefer a much more relaxed type of day that is full of your favorite music and laughter? This is such an important initial stage of planning your day, as it’ll inform the decisions you make throughout the whole planning process, from the type of venue you book, to the type of photographer that suits your personalities.
2) Have an Unplugged Wedding.
Everyone owns their own camera these days, whether it is a DSLR, or the camera found of their phone. We all love capturing photos or videos to make sure we have something straight away to look back on or share with the world, but at weddings, and particularly during wedding ceremonies, some see this need to take photos have a negative effect on the taking in the moment. That’s why there’s a growing trend in couples using quirky signage to politely ask their guests not to use their phones and cameras during the ceremony, to help them unplug from their technology and be more present in the moment. After all, you’re going to be having a professional photographer at your wedding day and most pros ensure you receive a highlight gallery of 10-15 images a couple of days after the wedding! So put your iPad down, Susan, I’ve got it covered!
3) Don’t underestimate the importance of a great DJ and Band.
Your evening entertainment is the pinnacle of your wedding day so you need to ensure the DJ and/or band are professional and know how to control a crowd and give them a night to remember. A great band will have plenty of live videos from weddings they’ve played at on their website, rather than just studio recordings. Ensure you see them before deciding who to book and only take recommendations from trusted sources.
To make sure you have to most options to choose from aim to have your band/DJ booked at least a year in advance. But, also keep in mind my next point…
4) Don’t rush into decisions.
Although you feel as though the time is flying right past you, make sure all of your choices are thoroughly thought through, as it will save you more time in the long run. Instagram is a great place to check to see how active they are and usually you’re able to gain a greater idea of the supplier’s personality.
5) Who are you actually booking?
Always make sure there are names that go with the company you are booking from. For example, if you are booking a band through an agency, is the lead singer guaranteed to be the same one at your wedding? Or do they have a roster of singers that jump in and out when required? When someone books me for photography of their wedding, it is me, Andy, who is there for the whole day. However, some businesses run things differently and will supply an associate photographer for your wedding. Make sure you are aware of who will be photographing your day before making any bookings, as one photographer can vary greatly from another.
6) Delegate jobs to others.
A great wedding planner takes away a lot of the mystery and stress of wedding planning, but whether you have one or not, you’re always going to have a lengthy list of jobs for yourself. To get through this list it’s really important to have people around you who are happy to help and to delegate jobs to them. Research is one of the biggest time takers, so simply by having a friend do a load of Googling to find 10 awesome cake suppliers for you to check out can hugely help you get straight to important stuff…like doing a load of cake tasting!
7) Have a weekend of no wedding planning at all!
Sign out of your emails and have some me time. Wedding planning should be fun and exciting, so if you ever find things getting out of hand, take a well-earned break away from it all. When you come back you will be feeling refreshed with new ideas and excitement!
These are just a few quick tips to keep in mind while planning your awesome day. Keep an eye out on my other blog posts for more tips and to see what I’ve been getting up to!
Take care, Andy x
Who needs destination weddings when you have summers like this! It has been hot, hot, hot! There has only been one wedding this summer where it rained, and oh boy, it rained like it meant it (luckily after the outdoor ceremony!). But for the other 99% of weddings, it has been absolutely glorious! At times it’s been pretty tough working in such high temperatures, but on a plus note, I’d now say I’m basically sponsored by Lynx!
The photos below show some of my favourite moments of the summer. Enjoy!
On Saturday I had the pleasure of capturing Richard and Jane's wedding in Brinklow, near Rugby. This was no typical wedding day. Richard explained to me that after relocating to the village nearly a year ago they have now become part of the local community and he wanted to ensure that it was local businesses that were part of their wedding day…