Yay, you’re engaged…what happens now?

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS, you’re engaged! Planning your wedding is an incredibly exciting time.  You’ve found the love of your life – your one special person – and you’re going to spend the rest of your life together.  That’s huge.  Now it is time to start thinking about how you’re going to celebrate your love for each other.  I’m here, not just as a photographer, but also as someone that has been through the process, so I am here to listen, offer advice if I can and give you some suggestions along the way.

When we got married back in 2009, there wasn’t any Pinterest to get inspiration.  Now you have so many resources at the end of your finger tips.  Research wedding blogs like Braw Brides & Rock N Roll Bride or hashtags on Instagram to search for some wedding ideas.

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Advice #1 – Try not to be overwhelmed

Planning your wedding can be a bit overwhelming.  People like to tell you what you might be doing wrong because they think they can, but all you really need to keep in mind that your wedding should be exactly how you want it to be.  Also, at the end of the day, your marriage is the important part.  If something doesn’t quite go according to plan on the day, will it really matter?

Advice #2 – What type of wedding should you have?

Are you having an intimate wedding in the country side? A huge wedding at Dumfries House? Or having a city elopement and just taking a couple of witnesses with you? Whatever you decide, try and stick with what you have always wanted.  It’s hard sometimes because others may say that you should have a certain ceremony for certain reasons, but ultimately talk to your partner and make sure you’re on the same page.  Remember the reasons why you’re getting married in the first place.

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Advice #3 – Stay organised… & delegate!

Chances are you’ll have a bit of time between now and your wedding day, so prioritise what needs to get done first.  Consider things like, are you sending out Save the Dates? If so, it might make sense to decide on a theme first.  See if your invitation designer (like Jack + Jess) maybe they do bundles with ‘Save the Dates’ included.  What about pooling the resources of your friends and asking them to come along to meetings with you?

Advice #4 – Do you really need an engagement shoot?

If you hate getting your photo taken, or just feel a bit awkward in front of a camera… then you should absolutely take advantage of having an engagement shoot.  I offer an engagement shoot when couples book a full day.  Simply because it really gives me and the couple a chance to have a proper chat about the wedding day, any concerns they have about getting their picture taken, really drill down how your wedding day might run in terms of fitting in the couple shoot, group shots, etc & more importantly you get to see how I work as a photographer.  It also gives you some awesome pictures for your wall at no extra cost.  I love them.  Bear in mind though that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have an engagement shoot.  I’ve been in situations where I’ve only met with a couple before their day to have coffee and cake.  I am bubbly & friendly (I don’t bite) so I like to think that I can still bring the best out in people 🙂 yes, it’s a bit nerve wrecking being in front of a big camera, but honestly, it’s worth it for the end result.

woman-man-embracing-couples-shoot-in-lochcarron-fieldStill not sure, then watch this video and maybe I can convince you.

Advice #5 – Where do you start with suppliers?

Consider the space that you’re having your ceremony in? Do you need to organise outside caterers? Or a bar?  Do a bit of research to see what their food is like.  Check out Bespoke Catering or Lazy Sunday Catering, they’ll be able to talk you through their menus and what they can do differently for you.  Or what about a pizza van like this one below from Flaming Indulgence?

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Prioritise things that are really important to you.  Is that making sure that all the details are perfectly handmade? Is it having an awesome photographer? What about a kick-ass videographer?

Music is a hugely important part of your evening and what type of music are you in to? For Gary & I, we are both musicians and were really keen to make sure that we had a great band.  We went to a band showcase, and we knew when we saw how they performed, the small fact that the levels were perfect for the room they were playing in – and not just whacked up to 11 – that they were the band for us.  If you love funk & soul what about Nick Bruce & His Blinding Lights?  Seriously, this band is incredible and another band that have perfect showmanship and legit, you will be dancing all night.

Advice #6 – Celebrants…what’s the right choice for you?

When you get married in a church, it’s easy.  Chances are you’ve known your minister for years and it’s a straightforward choice.  If you’re going down the route of non-religious ceremony, there are a lot of choices.  Personally, we went for a civil ceremony.  We got married in Troon, so we met with the registrar for Ayrshire.  We didn’t personalise our vows, we picked out a reading that we wanted to have featured, but the important part for us was being in the moment and celebrating with family & friends.  Our wedding venue was registered for marriages, which an important thing to remember when you’re booking your celebrant – make sure you choose one from the area you’re getting married in!

In 2009, we hadn’t really heard about humanists, but I think I would have considered this as an option.  They personalise your ceremony further by the celebrant offering alternative traditions, like, telling more about your story, as well as digging in to more about what attracted you to each other.  You can meet and choose the person that you really connect with the most.  Fuze Ceremonies could be worth a look.

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Advice #7 – Try to soak up every second. It whizzes by.

I honestly don’t really know where time went on our wedding day.  Why not pop over to a table or two inbetween courses to catch up with your guests? Most of all, make sure you dance the night away.  A dance or two with different people is another great way to make sure you’re catching up with everyone.  Because we had mostly family during the day, a lot of our friends came for the reception so we ended up making sure we had a good boogey with them.  Especially when it’s great music that you love.  Most importantly, have the best time.  Both of you will want to look back on your wedding day and remember how awesome it was.  I know that’s something that I do.  “Remember when your Uncle was diving about on the dance floor to Kings of Leon?!” or when I remember the feeling of anticipation and excitement before I walked down the aisle.  If something doesn’t go according to plan, don’t worry about it.  The happy moments will completely over shadow any moments that don’t quite go perfectly.

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