Tag Archives: wedding planning

Spend the Day Together

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Hey you, loved-up-engaged-planning-my-wedding you, can I have a word please? I hope all your planning is going well and that you are gearing up for the day of your dreams. Me? I’m a wedding photographer and I have been for many years now. And here’s a funny thing that after all this time, I’ve only just realised. Like, it’s hit me smack in the face like a wet kipper, realised.

NOBODY TELLS YOU TO SPEND THE DAY TOGETHER

And you know what? Unless you make a concerted effort to, then chances are you simply won’t. Think about weddings: Most couples spend the entire morning apart, they come together for the ceremony (you won’t actually remember much of this bit) then as soon as the confetti has been chucked, you will be talking to the people you know and your lover will be talking to all the people they know. Then apart from your portrait session, chances are you won’t come together again until it’s time to sit for dinner.

Take a good look at most of the weddings on Rock n Roll Bride over over and over again the images with the couple actually together are portraits and formal moments. Cake cutting, speeches, first dance.

Now why do I care? Well, because as a wedding photographer this is the conversation I’m probably going to have with you:

“We love your photography, it’s really natural looking. We hate being in photos, so don’t want to do lots of posing. It would be great if you could just capture us in little moments over the day.”

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I love a challenge but natural and little moments is pretty tough when your couple are on opposite sides of the room or the only significant time they are together is the obvious ‘wedding moments’. I feel like I’m always doing my best to orchestrate ‘natural’. In your couple session, I’m actually hoping to catch those little seconds in between when you think you are being shot, when you are lost in a giggle or just finally looking your favourite person in the face without 100 guests trying to congratulate you. I’m thinking I will get natural when we are walking back from the couple session and you are relaxed as you think formal photos are done with. I’m stalking you all day, camera poised ready but more often than not, I won’t get another shot with you both in it until you are sat at the dinner table.

Once I really thought about it, I began to wonder, is there anything I can do to make a difference?

I shot a wedding last Saturday and I knew that the couple felt super awkward at their engagement shoot. So in the morning I explained to my very lovely bride that if she wanted lots of natural photos to consciously spend the day together with her husband. I told her to make sure they walked together from the ceremony venue to the reception, that they worked the drinks reception together talking to both of your friends and families, that they didn’t just do a first dance together, they did a few. I told them spend the day together to be present through it all.

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Wedding Day Survival for Introverts

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Dear Kat
I’m sure this isn’t something you struggle with but I was wondering if you might be able to use your infinite wedding wisdom to help me none-the-less. I am a painfully shy introvert. I suffer from crippling social anxiety and although I desperately want to marry my fiancé, the thought of being the centre of attention for the day fills me with dread. I’m worried about so many things especially what our guests will think about the wedding. We don’t have a huge budget and I’m worried it will be boring because we can’t afford more than an iPod playlist as entertainment…

I was just hoping you might have some tips or advice you could share?

The wedding industry is pretty much built around the idea that your wedding is supposed to be this big entertainment circus where you are the main attraction. It’s enough to make even the most extroverted of us hyperventilate with stage fright. Of course this couldn’t be further from the truth and if I try to do one thing more than anything else with this blog, its to demonstrate to you that you can – and should – do YOUR wedding YOUR way!

For the record, as you probably guessed, I am not an introvert. While I love spending time at home with my husband and my cats, I adore nothing more than being surrounded by people – laughing, chatting and catching up. I feel energised by talking to others and much prefer to be with someone else than spending time alone.  

You probably know this already but while extroverts draw their energy from others, introverts recharge their batteries by being on their own. Gareth is a classic introvert by the way (which actually works well for us, I can be out doing my thang while he’s perfectly content to hold the fort at home!) The fact the we are at opposite ends of the extrovert/introvert spectrum is not a problem for us, as long as we respect each other’s needs.

But I digress…

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Here are a few simple tips for those introverted babes amongst you who are feeling worrisome about being the centre of attention on your wedding day:

Realise that it’s not all about you

The notion that this is “your big day” can be terrifying for introverts but weddings are as much for the family and friends of the couple as they are for the couple themselves. Weddings bring people together. In fact your wedding day will probably be the first day in a long time that everyone you know and love is in the same room.

Your family and friends are not there to be vicious energy sucking vampires. They simply want to share in your joy and to show their love and support for you and your marriage. The bride and groom do not have to be constantly at the centre of everyone’s attention. You are but the reason for everyone to be there together.

Most of your guests will be perfectly happy catching up with each other, reminiscing, laughing, drinking, dancing… I promise, you do not have to put on a massive show for them! For many people forced entertainment is a lot more annoying than the old classics anyway – flowing wine, good tunes and a little bit of dancing!

Have a small wedding

If having all eyes on you is something that fills you with dread then why not have a small wedding? Or at least keep the ceremony (often the most nerve-racking part) intimate? Legally, you only need to have two witnesses at a wedding ceremony (in the UK) and there is no law saying you have to invite everyone you know along for the ride! If a full on elopement is out of the question for whatever reason, a low-key ceremony followed by a more casual reception might be the way forward.

Take the focus off the bride

There are definitely small adaptations you can make throughout your wedding so you are not the focus of everyone’s attention. Have a think about what parts of the day are making you the most anxious – is it walking down the aisle, saying your vows in front of everyone, the first dance? Then change them!

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5 Things You Must Do To Ensure Your Wedding Goes Off Without a Hitch

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It’s not something we ever want to think about, but the likelihood is that everything won’t go perfectly to plan on your wedding day. A couple of weeks ago I actually asked via my Facebook page if anyone had anything go wrong and I was blown away by the response. I even had people emailing me separately to tell me their stories of woe! While I was at first a little nervous that all those comments would be scaring the bejebus out of you brides-to-be, I think it is important to realise that while things may not always go to plan, it will all be OK in the end. Whatever happens your wedding will still be awesome. Pinky swear.

Some of these hiccups will be minor, others could be quite major, but instead of trying to second-guess the future and stressing yourself out about it, here are five tips on how to handle anything that might go a little pear shaped.

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1. Accept that things might go wrong… and be OK with it

If I learnt anything from reading all those Facebook comments it was that more often than not something does goes wrong. Accepting that fact and being OK with it is ultimately going to be a lot less stressful than worrying about something you can’t control the whole time. Realise that for most people (well, maybe except Bridezillas but I haven’t got any of those reading my blog do I?!) it’s the little hiccups actually end up making for a great story after the wedding.

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Want Great Wedding Photographs? Follow These Ten Simple Tips…

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When I talk to brides and grooms-to-be, one of their biggest pre-wedding jitters is how they’re going to look in their wedding photographs. For most of us, our wedding day is the first time we’ve worked with a professional photographer and what with it being a pretty important day and all we want to get it right. Not being shy to a camera or two (!) here are ten simple tips from me to you which will ensure you get the very best results possible.

1. Book a decent photographer

“Yeah duuuh!” you’re all thinking, but choosing the right photographer can be a minefield. How do you know who’s good and who’s not? How much is right to spend? Will your friend who’s great at taking photos of cars be good at shooting your wedding? (I think we all know the answer to that one…)

Do your research. Wedding blogs are a great place to start. Look through the real weddings on your favourite blogs, check out the photographer’s sites and make a shortlist. Pricing fluctuates massively depending on the photographer’s location, experience and what kind of coverage they offer, but as a rough guide I’d certainly never recommend someone spend under £1000.

Yes, you can luck out by getting an enthusiastic and super talented newbie, but finding someone like that is certainly the exception and not the rule. The average in the UK for a wedding photographer is somewhere between £1200 – £2500. Spend as much as you possibly can to get the very best photographer. You’ll only regret it if you don’t. The number one thing people tell me again and again when we speak about what we’d do differently if we were to get married now is that they wish they’d prioritised the photography more.

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2. Have an engagement shoot

If your photographer offers an engagement shoot as part of the package then take it! They are a great way to not only practice in front of the camera but to get to know your photographer before the wedding day. They’ll also be able to find out how you photograph and you’ll get some cute shots of the two of you to display on your walls or at your wedding.

3. Trust them

Of all the wedding photographers I know, one of their biggest gripes is when a client hands them a detailed shot by shot list of every single thing they want photographed – the dress hanging in front of the window, the shoes, bride getting into her dress, dad looking proud… you get the idea. Trust your photographer. They’ve been doing this a lot longer than you and they will be well aware which shots to get… and if not, refer back to point 1. and book someone else!

Obviously if you have something particularly sentimental or unique that you’d like photographed (maybe a piece of jewellery passed down through your family or a DIY project that you spent days on) then be sure to let them know, but don’t hand them a blow by blow list of every single shot you want. Allow your photographer to do their job and to be creative. They’ll enjoy the day more which will result in better photographs.

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4. Think about the light

This is another thing that couples tend to not consider (or not even know they have to consider) but be aware that the light changes throughout the day and different light will result in very different photographs.

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Blogworthy

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It’s a funny old world we live in. One where nothing is private, where photos are uploaded to Facebook and Instagram with frightening ease, and where the inner musing of our minds are shared, 140 characters at a time, without a second thought. The likelihood is that you’ll still be at your own wedding while photos are uploaded and the comments from Facebook well-wishers have started to come in.

When you really think about it, this is utterly bizarre. We live in a world where we feel awkward if we have to ask someone to take down an unflattering photograph, or we want to keep certain things private and offline. The pressure that this curious need to overshare has added to couples planning their weddings is immense. Adding fuel to the fire is the wedding industry’s incessant need to talk about the latest ‘trends’ or what the ‘next big thing’ is going to be at every given opportunity.

How on Earth are you supposed to keep up? How the hell did this even happen? And why do we suddenly care so much?

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The Bridal Shop Experience & How to Come Out Alive…

Photography Credit: Assassynation (full wedding here)

I was blown away by the response to the article I published on Weight Loss and Weddings a few weeks ago. Thank you to every single one of you who was brave enough to leave a comment sharing your own experiences. Even though the post has been up for a little while the tweets, emails and blog comments are still pouring in for it. I never really know how topics like that will go down so it means a lot that you guys put yourselves out there like that. You are all so amazing.

There was one resounding message that came from the comments, and one I didn’t anticipate. It was your concerns of bad experiences with bridal shops and your worries with finding a wedding dress you love (and that fitted/complimented your figure/made you look beautiful). The crazy thing was that these concerns were not even limited to those of you who identified yourselves as overweight. It seemed that nearly all of you, no matter what your shape or size, had concerns or stories to tell about the bridal shop experience.

Today I thought I’d put together a few tips and ideas of how to make the whole experience of finding a wedding dress less of an ordeal.

Make an appointment

While there’s nothing wrong with popping into a bridal shop if you see one on your travels, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to actually try anything on without an appointment. Some smaller shops will only have an assistant per appointment, so without one you might not have anyone to help you even look at the gowns on the hangers. Bridal shops can get extremely busy at weekends, so if you are able to visit or make an appointment for a weekday then you may well be given more time and better service (as they won’t all be rushed off their feet!)

Arrive in plenty of time

Being punctual is also super important. You don’t want to get off to a bad start by making the assistant wait. Your appointment will likely be limited to a fixed amount of time (i.e. an hour) and especially if they have a busy schedule of back-to-back appointments, you won’t be able to have your slot run over because you were late.

Photography Credit: Claire Morgan Photography (full wedding coming soon)

Ask questions

If you book an appointment over the phone, be sure to ask any questions to clear up anything you are not 100% sure of beforehand – i.e how many friends you’re allowed to bring, if you can eat and drink during the appointment, what to bring with you etc… Educating yourself beforehand is the best way to feel as stress-free as possible before you get there. Most misunderstandings or bad feelings between bridal shops and clients is through a lack of communication (from both parties!)

Listen to their advice & be open to possibilities

Although we’ve heard horror stories, not all people who work in bridal shops are witches! Most of them are experts in their stock and what styles suit which body shapes.

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