Wedding Planning Survival Guide

If you’ve just got engaged, congratulations!  You’re in for exciting a ride as the build up starts for what is going to be an amazing day and probably one of the best in your life, how cool is that?!

I’m sure there a many of you out there that are completely calm and will breeze through all your wedding planning but as we are all different (something to be celebrated) there will of course be some of us that just need a little more of a game plan to avoid stress levels getting too high!

When we got married 10 years ago we were a little bit naive as to what to do.  We already had our Son Nate, he was 6 months old and we had only been in business for two and a half years.  We were rising stars in the wedding photography world which meant our summer was fully booked up.  We could either wait a year or do it all in six months.  We chose the crazy option and went for 6 months.

As it turned out our wedding day was absolutely beautiful and we couldn’t have wished for more but the build up was a just little bit stressful!

So here is my first tip and one that comes from direct experience: Have a plan.

It sounds obvious I know but you’ve got to start somewhere and that is most definitely THE place to start.  If you do decide to do it all in 2 months or 2 years then having a plan will definitely keep stress levels at a minimum.

There are some great online resources for this and one that we have just discovered and highly recommend is Wedding Wire  You can create an account and it will sync your task list based on your wedding date or engagement date.  Also at the same time set up a Pinterest board as once you have an idea of the theme and the style it’ll be so much easier to find suppliers that fit into your vision for the day.

This timeline will also help to give you a snapshot of where to be in the planning stage

 

If the planning seems all a bit too much then don’t be afraid to enlist a professional.  A really awesome idea is to Hire A Wedding Planner.

Wedding planners are amazing at project managing your wedding and acting as a buffer between you, your suppliers and the stresses that can arrive when planning your dream wedding.  Don’t think that wedding planners are just used by billionaires and rockstars.  There are many planners that operate at different levels and provide different services to help you if you feel like you are going to get a bad case of overwhelm.

Remember Who’s Wedding It Is.  It’s so easy to get caught up in wedding politics and parents, friends and close family might have a say in how they think your wedding should be but ultimately it is YOUR day so make all the big decisions on your own.

Work out what is important to YOU.  It’s definitely worth pouring a couple of glasses of wine and having a chat about what is most important for you both before heading out and booking people up.

Venues, photographers, make up artists get booked up so quickly that setting out some  priorities that you both agree on will help with planning and also keeping on track with the budget.

Some suppliers like the cake, dress, tiaras aren’t necessarily as urgent as they can produce more than one cake for that date.  They can supply more than one dress, they will have more than one tiara in stock.  These are all small artisan businesses so they will still be limited by time as it’s normally one or a few people delivering a very unique item for each wedding but they aren’t as date specific as other suppliers.  Even florists often have teams that can do two weddings on one day.

There are however a lot of vendors that once they’re booked, they’re booked!

Venues, Photographers, Musicians, Make up and hair are all service based businesses that once booked they will only be available for that one client.  If these guys are on the top of your wish list then get in there and get that booking form signed!

 

When planning a wedding it’s so important to find people that you trust to care as much about your day as you do.  Budget is always important but even more is finding people that share your vision, your values and are prepared to go the extra mile.

If you are planning your day the contact us as we’d love to hear more about your plans

Books Books Books!

This week we are totally inspired by books!

What’s your favourite book? Is it a novel, a book from childhood, a comic? We all have one that we’ll never forget and always cherish.

Most photographers I know have a vast collection of books.  Taschen must make a fortune out of photographers! From classics like Cartier Bresson’s decisive moment to mavericks like Terry Richardson and his controversial Terry World, books by photographers are a big deal and our collection of books has a very special place in our lives

With every book there is a beginning, middle and an end. There is a story to tell.

A photo essay book will take you on a journey; even a textbook will be a story of discovery.

A wedding album will be a storybook of your wedding day. How precious will that book become…  Priceless?

It’s weird how things come together but we’re having a sudden inspiration by books and a reminder of just how important and inspirational it is to hold and be inspired by a book.

Every year we take a look at our books and products to see what can be improved. Just this week we took delivery of a brand new Queensberry show album. And a Folio fine-art book with a wrap around picture cover, something we’ve never done before.

Both of our album suppliers Queensberry in New Zealand and Folio in the UK package and wrap their albums so beautifully just unboxing them is an amazing feeling. Add to that having something new and exciting to see and touch is always very cool.

It’s amazing that after 12 years we still get a buzz from the arrival of a new album at our door

To add to this excitement we also had delivered a copy of Brand Brilliance, a new book from the very talented Fiona Humbertsone aka the Brand Stylist.

Words cannot capture how excited and humbled we feel to be featured in this stunning new book on branding.

We’ve worked very hard to create a brand that is authentic. To be asked to feature in this book is something that is truly inspiring and humbling.

Also being in a book that is number 1 on Amazon is a pretty great feeling!

Being involved in Brand Brilliance and seeing it come together has really made us look at how we produce our books and what it means to work with you our clients in telling the story of your day.

Having 500 images on a USB is great but it’s not really a story, it’s more like a Pinterest board.

It’s great to see your wedding day in all it’s entirety but flicking through 500 pictures on an ipad is not the same as seeing the story unfold as you turn every page of a handmade book.

With this new realisation we are now booking album design sessions with you our clients.

This is a brand new service and one we couldn’t be more thrilled to unveil!

We will invite you to our studio armed with your favourite wedding images and together we will design your wedding story. Using the latest album design software you’ll get an amazing insight into the design process but also be able to share your thoughts on something so special and personal to you.

You know who and what was special about your wedding and we know what makes great album design so between us we will tell your story exactly how you’ve dreamed of.

We are so excited about this new service and feel it will be the ultimate creative collaboration between us.

Contact us now to book your design session and if you’re interested in design and marketing don’t forget to check out Fiona’s new book Brand Brilliance.

 

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Danesfield House Wedding Photography – Amanda & Dennis

We have witnessed some very emotional weddings over the years but Amanda & Dennis’s gorgeous Danesfield wedding was filled with so much joy and emotion.

So many of their friends and family made the trip form America to be with them and enjoy this amazing day.  We didn’t get to meet Dennis until the actual wedding day itself but he and his family were so welcoming we felt a part of the day from the very start.

For anyone planning a UK wedding it is nice to include some traditions from across the pond like all the grandparents and the bridesmaids, parents and groomsmen all walking in together ahead of the bride and her father.  This was such an important moment and it showed such respect for the generations that had lead us to this day.  It definitely ramped up the emotions as well!  When it got to Amanda & Dennis seeing each other for the first time they were already struggling to hold it together!

Seeing people express their emotions is such a beautiful thing and this carried on all through the day well until the evening and the father/daughter + mother/son dance.

 

It’s Our Anniversary!

Wow we’re both in complete shock! As of Friday 4th May we have been married for 10 years!!

(that’s right, we got married on Star Wars day!)

How is it possible that a decade has gone by?!?!

How do you celebrate this sort of milestone? (after you have got your head around the fact that something that seems like yesterday is now 10 years ago?!) especially when there is so much else going on in our lives like running a business together and parenting two children?

First of all I need to say, we are a bit crap when it comes to anniversaries. Mainly because 3 years after getting married our daughter decided to arrive ON our wedding anniversary. (that’s right, she was born on Star Wars Day!)

It is very sweet that she decided to arrive on our anniversary but needless to say the 4th May is now all about Marnie!!

We haven’t got each other a card or a present for quite a few years now and I know, that sounds bad.

With all the energy that goes into a kids birthday – organising the party, picking up the cake etc. we haven’t actually celebrated or gone out to a restaurant for our anniversary in years either! We are a bit crap!

Now what’s really important here is that this has no bearing on our friendship or the strength of our marriage.

We are solid!

That’s not to say we are perfect. We are most definitely NOT perfect!

But that is where the magic is. The imperfections.

The biggest thing that I reflect upon now that we’re a decade into our marriage is that we always stick together. When business is tough, when the kids are arguing non-stop, when the house is a complete shit-hole – we may be stressed but we’re unified in our stress!When I gave my speech at our wedding I said the thing I love most about Anna is that she makes me want to be a better person.

Despite all the changes that have happened in our lives, that has and is always remained the same.We will get around to celebrating our anniversary at some point and it will be something very special. I’m hoping, fingers crossed, that it’ll be a photo shoot with my favourite photographer in the world Jonathan Canlas – We just need to book a trip to Hawaii!

Photography is life and it is history.  It’s a celebration.

Contact us now and lets celebrate together.  20% off all our services for the month of May. X