Thanks for choosing to read this blog post on wedding planning. Now I am not a wedding planner. However, as a professional wedding photographer I am lucky enough o be one of the earlier things newly engaged couples consider after the date and wedding venue for their wedding. We have plenty of conversations and discuss the plans a number of time in the run up to the day as it’s helpful for me, as a largely documentary wedding photographer to know how the day is planned to unfold. Meaning I can not only be in the right places at the right time but also be gently instrumental in ensuring my clients gain the best images in the time we have - always a tight balance I pride myself on achieving.
Once you’ve had a wave of congratulations from all your friends and family, getting into the wedding planning can seem daunting. I certainly found that when my wife (Sarah) and I went through ours.
So where do you start when planning a wedding?
Jot down everything you have in your head on a large blank piece of paper - A3 is best. This could be anything from your wedding’s colour scheme to an overall theme or from the bridal flowers to guests food. Start with the big items as they will be important to you and then naturally, other elements will grow. You may be a digital planner, in which case there are tonnes of apps to use; Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are the big ones for inspiration. I always find pen and paper the best - at least at the early stages. I follow this route when going through client meetings when discussing their wedding plans for their wedding photography and what they are looking for in their images or style of photography.
Now, see which parts of your plan link together. Generally, the marquee (if you’re having one) and the caterer are good things to do together as an experienced caterer will know how much room they need in the kitchen to plate up and serve your number of guests with the food you like for example.
This means, you should probably speak to them both before making a decision on either or how the wedding is to be catered. The Bridesmaids dresses and the colour scheme is an obvious link. Your wedding dress and the flowers maybe… By the end, there’ll be links all over the place and it’ll look like a web of ideas but it’ll start to take shape.
This ‘wedmin-web’ process is a great way of breaking the day down into separate chunks or sections grouped together as units based on their logical connections.
In the end, you are likely to have the following headings with some sub-headings for the similar or linked things.
You may well have more or less topics depending on how much detail you went into but there should be some obvious divisions in here where things can be bunched together. This can always be revisited and it’ll naturally grow out from the initial thoughts.
You can then begin to prioritise them based on how important they are to you. This is where being able to selectively pick through the ‘advice’ friends and family will no doubt offer - sometimes in unmanageably vast quantities - will come in handy. This is also the time to start thinking about your wedding budget. Budgets are a great way of working out how much you want something.
Remember this is your day. What you want has to come first.