When it comes to your boyfriend ‘popping the question’ would you be happy for him to surprise you with a ring he’s chosen or would you want to pick it yourself? If you’ve got to the stage where he’s ready to propose, he must feel he knows you pretty well and what your tastes are so would you happily accept it or say ‘Darling that’s wonderful but not really me’ and make sure he’s kept the receipt so you can go back with him to the shop and get what you want?
Then how do you decide what to choose? Do you prefer a solitaire, three stones, a certain cut or colour or would you prefer to have it designed so yours is unique?
If money is tight and he can’t afford the ring of your dreams would you upgrade as and when he could afford to or would the sentimentality mean you’d stick with the original one?
I used to work with a girl who ‘upgraded’ her engagement ring four times! The marriage didn’t last – maybe she upgraded him!!!
Most brides, when planning a wedding, will pick summer, probably in the hope they will get good weather on the day but, speaking as a photographer, having a lovely sunny day can wash out the photographs so don’t write off the other seasons.
Spring brings about all the lovely flowers and blossoms which look great in photos and as it’s slightly cooler you won’t flag quite so much during the day as heat can be very tiring.
Autumn brings the glorious colours in the trees as their leaves change and can be a great colour palette to base your theme around and the autumn trees look fabulous as a backdrop.
Winter has the bonus that most hotels will be decorated for Christmas (this can save you money on providing your own decorations) and a sprinkling of snow can look very romantic. It also allows the bride to wear a cape or faux fur shrug adding another dimension to her dress and you can get away with vibrant coloured bridesmaids dresses rather than the pastels that tend to get picked in the warmer seasons.
Nature is wonderful so embrace it!
Once-upon-a-time a hen party was judged how good it was by how much you could remember the next morning! All the chief bridesmaid had to do was find some bridal ‘tat’ to dress the bride in, find a pub and if she really pushed the boat out, a stripper (or two). Nowadays, it’s more about doing what will look good on social media and being healthy.
Gone are the bottles of wine and cocktails and in their place are smoothies and juices, the drunken dancing has been replaced by yoga and the only stripping being done is by the hens at the spa getting ready for treatments.
Maybe brides and their entourage are getting more health conscious but these parties don’t come cheap and usually last for two or more days and are most likely to be abroad. When some people are struggling with the cost of just attending the wedding is it really fair to add this extra expense just so it’s media worthy?
When organising an event of any kind, it’s always difficult to let go of the reigns and hand them over to someone else.
Weddings can be particularly difficult as it’s the most memorable day of your life but unless you learn to delegate, it could be the most stressful too. I’m not saying let other people make the big decisions for you but friends and family are there to help and they would probably be thrilled to have been asked.
You may know someone who is ‘arty’ and could do your invitations or someone who has lovely handwriting that could do your seating plan and table names or it may just be getting some friends round a table and and helping you stuff, stamp and address envelopes and if you don’t want them to feel as if they are being used, cook them a meal or throw in some wine and make a night of it. Who knows, you may discover your family/friends have talents you never knew existed.
Are the days when you decided what you wanted your wedding to be like slowly becoming weddings that will out-do the others you’ve been to already?
Is it, how do I make mine bigger, better, more memorable rather than is this what I really want?
Some of the best weddings we’ve been to have been the ones where the budget is very limited. It takes a lot of skill to organise a wedding with very little money compared to having an unlimited budget. Yes, people will remember the crystal fountain, the flamingos on the lawn, the 12ft cake but will they actually remember the day, celebrating your wedding and being with you?!
With so many choices for styles of weddings these days is it easier or harder for brides?
When you had the choice of either a church or registry office and either an hotel or village hall your style of dress, decorations, flowers etc, were pretty easy to decide on, the hardest part was probably choosing the colour scheme but now the choice is vast. Do you go ultra modern, shabby chic, roaring 20s, outdoor bohemian, glamour and glitzy? Do you wear vintage, ballgown, mermaid, long, short? Do the men wear tails, suits, casual? Do you have extravagant centre pieces or hand-picked flowers in jam jars? Sometimes too much choice can be bamboozling but I think it’s exciting as the only thing holding you back is your imagination.
When someone used to say they were getting married 9 times out of 10 you could guarantee it would be in a church followed by the reception at an hotel. Now-a-days when someone says they are getting married the chances of guessing where the ceremony and reception is going to be is like trying to guess how many blades of grass are in the lawn! As photographers we love this! We never know whether it’s going to be a barn, a football club, in a field or as one of wedding was, in a visitor centre overlooking a dam! We’ve been lucky enough to do the very formal to the very informal which means our style of photography has to be flexible and we really enjoy this as it keeps us on our toes!
Back in the day, photography was very formal and the shots limited. Each photograph was posed and it was all very serious but my, how times have changed. Today, anything goes. With couples choosing anything from fancy dress to animals being part of the wedding party, photography has had to become less stuffy and more informal. Couples are now preferring candid shots over posed shots and the photographs are more a story of the day unfolding.
John and I enjoy doing this style of photography as people either don’t realise they are being photographed or are more relaxed about it and this makes the pictures much more ‘real’, Also, with families being much more ‘blended’ these days the request for shots of the brides family/grooms family etc, are getting less and less. Every wedding is different though and that’s what makes it so much fun!
In my last blog I mentioned how our photographer had a problem with his camera and this made me think about how times have changed. In ‘our day’ it was good old film and your were limited to how many rolls the photographer had and heaven help you if it got exposed. I’m not too sure what went wrong on our day – the photographer never did tell us – but he lost a complete roll of film and we lost a whole ‘time frame’ of the day.
The difference now, of course, is you can take anything from 500-800 photographs digitally and if you aren’t happy you can delete them immediately or edit them until you are happy. Also, with film, you were limited on the number of prints due to cost (most people had around 25) but you had less photos to choose from, whereas now, how do you choose from over 500 photos?
John and I pick out the photos we are happiest with but invariably the bride and groom ask to see them all, love them all and want them all! One of our recent couples even picked a photo as their favorite that we had discarded! It just goes to show that a ‘professional’ eye isn’t always as good a an ’emotional’ eye.