How to plan a photogenic wedding

HOW TO PLAN A PHOTOGENIC WEDDING: Why you need a Wedding Coordinator/Planner

If you’ve followed me for a while you know that I lament the absence of a Wedding coordinator. Today I’d like to dig into the reasons why I think this person is an essential member of your Wedding Team, and how to pick the right one.

Obviously the best thing you can do is have a professional Wedding Planner to help you make your vision a reality, they are experts at what they do and have the experience of many *many* Weddings to draw on. If it is out of your budget or you don’t have access to a great Wedding Planner, I recommend conscripting a day-of Coordinator from among your extended family or a family friend.

While I’ve never encountered an all-out disaster at a Wedding because of a Wedding Planner (or lack thereof), there are moments in every wedding where I have experienced frustration. Myself and my assistants have been routed on several occasions by other vendors who don’t know where to go or who to talk to when they arrive at the venue. This has caused us to be missing when something should be photographed, simply because we are the only people on-site who have been given the big picture by the Bride and Groom. I’ve missed great intimate moments between brides and their parents because I was distributing flowers or briefing the DJ on the order of events. Your photographer should be free to be a fly on the wall all day – there’s no scheduling a special moment between sisters or the ring bearer jumping into the arms of an out-of-state relative. If we miss that moment it’s our fault, but we should at least be free to do our absolute best to catch all of these great little interactions.

If you are hiring, I recommend looking for someone who has worked at your venue before. They already have a relationship with the owner, they have worked in the building and know where things are, and sometimes they will even have a little more freedom with what can be done because they have the trust of the building proprietor. Look for a Planner who is well spoken but not too loud (you don’t need a general running around screaming at people on the day of your wedding!), and someone who can get their point across without a 10 minute lecture. I’ve encountered Wedding Planners who obviously enjoy talking and wind up slowing down the timeline with pointless chatter and repeat instructions.

If you are going the DIY route and asking a friend to help be your day-of coordinator, never fear! I have some great guidelines that will ensure success. First, do not ask a close family member. They are going to want to visit and chat and enjoy the day right along with you. Choose someone who will not be directly involved in the wedding in any other way, but someone you know well. We all have that person who is like a second mother but not actually related – find her and ask her! But, only if she meets the following criteria.

Your Wedding Coordinator should be polite but direct, organized, punctual, and above all a self motivated problem solver. She or he should be calm in a crisis and great at keeping a schedule. Be direct when asking your Coordinator to be involved with your wedding. Setting expectations with your initial request will save you headaches later on. Be sure to be clear about when they will arrive at your venue, and how long they are willing to be on duty.

Some duties of a Wedding Planner that should not be overlooked:

Helping to schedule the order of events

Executing the schedule on the Day of your Wedding

Greeting and directing vendors, and sometimes paying them

Overseeing the distribution of decorations, flowers, and wardrobe accessories

Organizing the Wedding Party for the Ceremony

Keeping the flow of events as seamless as possible by working closely with the DJ, pastor, photographer, and caterers

Contacting late or lost vendors (your Wedding Planner should have contact info for every person involved in the planning and execution of your wedding)

Things I would not expect of a Wedding Planner, but you should ask someone for help with! These are great jobs to delegate to responsible siblings or other close family (cousins, etc.):

Contact info for all members of the Wedding Party – making sure they arrive at the right time and place

Contingency plans for disagreeable children

Emergency kit – (makeup remover, nail polish remover, touch up tools for hair and makeup, safety pins, duct tape, eye drops, tissues, pain meds, allergy meds, chap stick, nail clippers, scissors, crest mini toothbrushes, tweezers, febreeze, stain remover pen, bobby pins, etc.)

Your wedding photos are records of your wedding day for the future. However, these photographs are not just about documenting the events of the day; they should also capture the happiness and special moments of the day in the best way possible. Planning a photogenic wedding is easy, when you have the right photographer for the job and when you give them the time and materials they need to capture the uniqueness of your wedding day. Here are some tips to help you ensure your wedding is photogenic.

1. Allot enough time for your photo sessions
Beautiful photos happen when the couple are relaxed and the photographer can exercise his/her creativity. It is never the same when the photos are taken in a hurry. So, give your photographer enough time and space to work some magic.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

2. Keep everything pretty for the getting-ready photos
Give some thought to how your surroundings will look in your getting-ready shots. A spacious and well-lit room will look better than a dingy, dark, and cluttered one. Hang your wedding dress on a beautiful hanger and arrange accessories to look attractive. It will look pretty when everything is organized and generally neat in the background of your pictures.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

3. Create a shot list in advance
Plan your group photos and decide on the photo sessions with your photographer ahead of time. This will help to streamline the entire process. Discuss the group portraits and other must-haves with your photographer so that he/she is prepared to capture those moments. Inform family or friends who are to be in the different photos in advance, so they are where they should be at the time they will be needed.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

4. Take time to enjoy the special moments of the day
Take your time to relax and enjoy the special moments and events like your wedding day first kiss or tossing the bouquet. When you do them slowly, your photographer will have enough time to capture the expressions and joy of that special moment. If you are too hasty, your photographer will just be able to take a quick picture and it won’t be as perfect as it ought to be.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

5. Plan photogenic settings
Choose your venue, food, décor, and bridal party outfits with the aesthetic factor in mind. Opt for bright colored food, beautiful decor, bridesmaids dresses, and accessories that enhance the beauty of the scenery and that will look good on camera. Choose contrasting and complementing colors in your wedding palette carefully, for the best effects.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

6. Trust your photographer
Your photographer has the expertise to plan your shots in the best way. This is not the first time he/she has shot a wedding. Avoid too much supervision or a long list of planned pictures, and you are likely to get the best results. Follow his/her suggestions, even if you aren’t sure of it. The more freedom you give your photographer, the greater the chances are for your wedding pictures to be fantastic.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

Author Bio: Best For Bride is Canada’s top bridal destination. They feature wedding dress collections, bridal party outfits and offer a range of wedding services for the modern bride. More details are available on the Best for Bride website here.

Photography Credit: All of the photography has been brought to you by KS Studios Photography. KS Studios has been voted Toronto’s #1 photography studio by Wedding Wire. This photography company services the Greater Toronto Area, York Region, Simcoe Region, Durham Region, and Malton Region. They also offer destination and travel services. For more details, check out their website by clicking here.

The relationship between a bride and her photographer is one of the strongest ones you’ll have during your wedding planning process. Along with your wedding planner, your photographer will be there by your side to capture all your favourite moments during the day. They need to know exactly where to point the camera and when to take pictures, emphasising the moments they know you’ll want to look back on in the years to come.

As more bride’s bond with their photographers before their weddings, the trend of photogenic wedding menus is coming up more often. Brides want everything to look perfect, since the pictures that will come from your wedding will be the ones you keep in frames forever. That means everything around you during your big day should look its best, including what you choose to serve guests at your reception meal.

To get picture-perfect food, you have to start by planning a photogenic menu. Read on to learn what makes a menu camera-ready, and all the elements you can personalise to make your wedding menu your own. With a little bit of extra planning, you’ll have gorgeous food ready to please your guests and wow anyone looking back through your wedding photos.

1. Rent White Plates

The plates you use to serve your guests have a significant impact on how any food will look at your wedding. Plates that have themes that don’t match with your wedding, such as stripes or shape designs, will clash immediately with even the centrepiece on each table. You may worry using white plates will look boring, but it’s the best thing you can do for your food.

White plates make every dish look more vibrant, enticing people to take a closer look and maybe even a bite or two. They’ll especially stand out in pictures. They’ll be crisp and have clean edges against any tablecloths you might use. Check out trendy square plates to give your reception meal even more character.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

2. Plan for Colourful Vegetables

Imagine a boring dinner. What colours do you see in that mental image? A boring meal may look to you like roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy. While that’s a delicious and classic pair to serve together, there’s nothing about it that makes it very visually appealing. What you need is colour, and that’s where vegetables come in.

Vegetables pack a bright punch in any course during your reception dinner. Plan to load up salads with bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers or even fruits like blueberries or strawberries. Mix veggies like carrots, cauliflower and broccoli into the main course. Decide what your main dish will be before pairing it with sides, but when you do, look for veggies that are the most colourful.

3. Research Food Preparation Techniques

Your chef or caterer might know how to make food taste exquisite, but if the presentation looks lacklustre, the whole dinner might fall flat. Research food preparation techniques for whatever you decide to be your main course. See if you can talk with your caterer not only about how they will prepare the food, but also how they will serve it.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

4. Decide on a Serving Style

Making your wedding food look pretty will depend on how you choose to serve it. Have you thought about that yet? Your guests can get their food from a buffet-style setup, or have servers bring the plates of food out to them. Dressing up buffet food versus plated meals will be different, so be sure about your serving style before you start planning how to make the food as appealing as possible.

5. Talk with Your Caterer

Most likely, your wedding is not the first event your caterer has worked. They’ve probably helped serve food at many kinds of weddings over the years, so they’ve probably met with several brides who wanted their food to look pretty. Talk with your caterer to see if they have a history with making food into picture-perfect plates. They might be able to suggest types of food or preparation techniques that will change what you picture people eating at your wedding.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

6. Consider the Lighting

Your photographer will know more about the specifics of lighting, but you’ll want your reception venue to have good enough lighting to capture the reception meal in all its glory. Tour the reception venue if you’ve already chosen it or keep lighting in mind if you’re still looking around. You may want to fill your reception venue with fairy lights or other aesthetically pleasing light fixtures, but those may not be the best options for capturing the food as well as the people at your reception.

7. Aim for Variety

Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to planning your reception menu. Your guests will want at least some kind of choice in their food. Whether they get to serve themselves at a buffet or choose between two entrees on a menu, they’ll appreciate having a variety to choose from. It especially helps those who have food allergies or kids who are picky eaters.

Having a variety of food will also make your pictures turn out much better. You won’t end up with a million identical photos of baked potatoes. Instead, you’ll get to look back on guests having a great time while eating different salads and desserts.

What variety would you look forward to if you were attending a wedding reception? Starting from there might help you decide which foods to include. If you remember any food allergies your guests might have, variety will get you one step closer to that perfect menu.

Your photographer will also love having multiple food subjects to work with. Talk with your photographer about what you want from pictures of the food you end up serving. They’ll discuss lighting, angles and what courses you specifically want photographed. Together, you’ll end up with happy guests and fantastic photos.

Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more!

Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!

What does having a photogenic wedding day even mean? Wedding days are beautiful no matter what. What’s better than marrying your best friend, right? But there are a couple things you can do to make you wedding day photos even more perfect!

Keep those hair ties off your wrist girl!

As soon as your hair and make up are done make sure you take any hair ties off your wrist. They don’t look good in photos and can leave weird marks! Assign someone the job of “wrist police” and have her make sure none of your bridesmaids, flower girls, mother of the bride have hair ties on their wrist. In the same vein- have a conversation with your bridal party before hand on whether or not smart watches are okay.

Keep the room as clean as possible.

No matter how many bridesmaids you have, getting ready areas clutter up fast. Try to keep a designated zone for “stuff” and throw away trash as you go. Crumpled plastic garment bags, water bottles, remains of lunch don’t look so great in photos. When you’re having getting ready photos done or putting your dress on you want the area to be free and clear of clutter!

How to plan a photogenic wedding

No plastic hangers.

Get a wooden hanger for you dress and the bridesmaids dresses. It doesn’t have to be a super expensive custom hanger off of Etsy, just plain ones are fine! They just look so much nicer with dresses than plastic! They’ll also hold a heavy wedding dress a lot better.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

Kiss proof lip color.

Make up artists are pros and will help you pick a product that will stay and not smudge, but if you’re doing your own make up its super important to pick a lip product that won’t get everywhere. You don’t want your grooms face covered in lipstick or have it all over your teeth or be worried about it smearing while everyone is hugging you. Matte liquid lipsticks are a great stay all day option and come in a price for every budget.

The guys shoes need to match.

This might sound so strange, but the groomsmen need to be wearing the same colored shoes. Its very distracting if they all have different colored browns, blacks, and tans and looks more cohesive if they’re all the same color. Having them all wear different cool/funny socks is a fun detail though!

Natural light is the best.

One thing to pay attention to when choosing a venue and/or getting ready space is the amount of natural light in the getting ready and ceremony areas. Natural light is the most flattering and helps create the best environment for good photos. Fluorescent lights can create weird shadows on people where natural light helps keep things more even.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

Plan around sunset.

When thinking about what time you want your ceremony to start talk to your photographer about sunset. If golden hour bride and groom photos are important to you, you want to make sure your timeline lines up so you can have them! Once you determine what time sunset is, you can plan backwards from there.

How to plan a photogenic wedding

Wear shoes you can walk in.

I get the appeal of wearing decadent heels, I really do. But, if you don’t normally wear heels and find them hard to move around in, go with something else. With most dresses you can’t really see the shoes anyway and you move around a lot on your wedding day. If you’re thinking “well, I’ll just change shoes before the reception”- don’t underestimate all the things that have to happen before then. There’s walking to your first look, bridal party photos, walking down the aisle, bride and groom portraits, family photos. If you’re feet hurt, or you’re having trouble walking its going to show up in your photos. You don’t want to look back on your wedding photos and only remember how much your feet hurt!

It’s super cute when all the girls match.

Weddings have so many expenses, so sometimes it can be hard to justify adding yet another thing to the list. Especially when its something like matching robes your bridesmaids may never wear again. But those pre-dressed photos where everyone is matching? So cute. There are so many options too- you don’t have to do robes you can do shirts or sweatpants. Make sure its still representative of you!

The sun matters.

The trick to beautiful glowy photos, no matter the time of day, is to keep the sun behind you. When looking at venues or planning ceremony areas, think about where the light will be. For example, if a venue has a beautiful mountain background in the east, but the sun sets in the west, its going to be really hard to get good photos with the mountains in the background as the sun will be in your face.

HOW TO PLAN A PHOTOGENIC WEDDING: PART III: HOW TO BE A STELLAR WEDDING GUEST

At this point in my career I have planned or helped plan a dozen weddings, and have been the pinch wedding coordinator at another dozen or more. No, this is not included in my list of services, but as the photographer I often have the best view of the wedding as a whole… especially on the wedding day. If someone is missing their flowers or an important family member has gone MIA, I’m usually the first to notice.

This year a common theme I’ve noticed at every wedding I’ve been to, is the importance of the guests.

Let me give you some perspective, especially if you haven’t planned a wedding in the last decade.

Weddings have become a melting pot of cultural traditions, pinterest ideas and quirks special to the couple. People spend hours of their lives… and sometimes years, planning what they expect will be the best and biggest party they ever throw. Couples spend tons of money and time and energy.

Fast forward to a few months before the wedding. You receive an invitation. Women are excited to have an excuse to dress up and attend a party. Men… well they get excited if there’s an open bar, normally.

You look at your calendar, decide if you can rsvp, and respond to the invitation. Now the day of the wedding rolls around, and you just haven’t had a great day, or you really want to catch up on a tv show or Netflix series. So, you decide not to go.

Please don’t think I’m climbing up on a soapbox here, because I’m as guilty as anyone. My introverted nature but love of big events has put me in this position countless times. I RSVP, and then my introverted nature intervenes hours before the wedding and I convince myself I shouldn’t go for one reason or another.

I submit to you that this is incredibly selfish.

We can assume that the bride and groom invited people they love, people they sincerely want to celebrate with. But I didn’t go because I was afraid I’d get stuck at the singles table, or I forgot to eat lunch and don’t feel well, or I’d rather go country dancing.

What I didn’t think about on those occasions, was the effort that went into the wedding. The money that a new couple probably could use for something else, but they’ve chosen to throw a great party so I could come rejoice in their union with them.

And now I feel like a horrible friend for an RSVP that I didn’t honor.

I get that things happen. your car breaks down, your kids are sick, your husband had the worst day at work and you need to stay home to comfort him. But I urge you to really weigh weather or not ‘I’m tired’ is a valid excuse for essentially dishonoring the invitation that was extended to you.

So you make it to the wedding. And if you are like 80% of the population under 45, you will spend over half of your time on your phone.

This is frustrating for everyone involved in a wedding. The bride is trying to get her cousins to pay attention to the photographer so they can get through family photos and get to the reception. The photographer misses the golden shot during the first kiss because an aunt stepped right into her shot with her DSLR complete with built-in flash. The flower girl is camera shy and freaks out on her way to the altar because every guest on the Isle is shoving their phone in her face to get a photo. The groomsmen have all gotten intoxicated before the ceremony and look like overripe tomatoes. I’m not making this up… I’ve personally witnesses these and many more situations.

Say you’re a conscientious guest, and you leave your phone in your purse… but you’re the aunt of the groom and you continually wander off during family photos, or you let your kids run wild during the reception and they trip the bride’s father during his dance with his baby girl or cause a scene in the middle of a toast. Again… all things that I’ve witnessed.

I’ll stop beating around the bush: this day isn’t about you. it’s not about me. It’s about the bride and groom, and if every guest would remember to arrive on time (or early, heaven forbid), then things could start on time. If all family members would just pay attention and follow instructions, family pictures would take half the time and you could get back to the reception sooner. If all members of the wedding party could refrain from becoming intoxocated, there would be a fewer ashamed brides too embarrassed to introduce their friends.

There is a disaster at every wedding. Some are small, but some become horrible memories for the couple. If we would all just remember to be respectful and to honor the bride and groom, there wouldn’t be half as many wedding disasters.

And yes, show up! I basically cancelled my wedding because I’d photographed so many this year where half the guests who RSVP’d didn’t show. And I’m really glad I did, but pretty depressed that this is the predictable trend. Pretend every invitation is for your sibling’s wedding, and let’s try to make special events special again.

Worried that you might not look photogenic in your wedding photographs?

You’re not the kind of couple that wants to stand around for ages posing so your wedding looks like a magazine cover. Your day is all about having fun and you want you wedding photos to reflect that.

But at the same time, you also want relaxed photos of the two of you together looking AMAZING!

Here’s how you can do just that!

How to plan a photogenic wedding

1) Choose a photographer that makes you feel relaxed

Feeling relaxed is the best way to look photogenic in front of the camera!

The last thing you want is for your photographer to make you feel a little awkward by jamming you into loads of poses.

If you’re left wondering ‘what do I do with my hands’? or ‘which way should I look?’, it’s only going to make you feel self-conscious.

For couples’ portraits, I’ll only ask you to do things that you’d normally do together!

The best way to get natural photos of the two of you is to go for a short walk around the grounds while holding hands (if you feel uncomfortable about doing that, then maybe you shouldn’t be getting married, haha).

We’ll stop off at a few spots along the way where the light is good or the backdrop is interesting and see where the moment takes us.

Maybe you’ll have a little dance, cuddle-up or even, in your sexiest voice, whisper the name of your fave vegetable in your spouse’s ear (this never fails to bring extra laughter)!

How to plan a photogenic wedding

2) Have a pre-wedding shoot

Having a pre-wedding shoot will make you’ll feel even more relaxed in front of the camera.

On your Big Day, having lots of pictures taken together might be a new experience for you. After all it’s not very often that you get to be rock stars for the day!

By spending a little time with your wedding photographer in front of the camera before your wedding, the whole experience will feel familiar to you.

The best thing is you’ll get to see how easy it is to look super photogenic because you’ll have the photos to prove it!

Until the end of the month, I’m offering a complimentary pre-wedding shoot with bookings! (get in touch below to find out more)!

How to plan a photogenic wedding

3) Have fun during your couples portraits

It’s my job as a photographer to bring out your natural loveliness for all to remember. That’s why I’m not big into posing, what a mood killer.

The way I approach taking picture of couples is by remembering, its NOT a photoshoot. I want you to have some fun time-out from the wedding party where you’ll have photos of the two looking amazing and the end of it.

If you’re having a great time, you’ll always be photogenic because you will be smiling interacting naturally.

Plus, this approach will give you photos that’ll capture your personalities too. This is great because you’re not the kind of couple that want the same set of photos as everyone else anyway!

Finally

When your big day arrives, you’re going to be so love-struck that you won’t be able to resist smiling and feeling good. So its going to be hard for you NOT to look photogenic on your wedding day!

Why Renew?

Simply put, a vow renewal is a way to celebrate your marriage. Perhaps you’ve made it to 2, 5, 10, 25 or 50 years together and you want the world to know you’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. Maybe you want to reaffirm your commitment to each other after a rough period in your relationship. There’s no wrong reason to renew.

How Soon Can You Renew?

A reaffirmation can take place anytime after your actual wedding—from the next day to 30 years late. Some couples don’t want to renew too soon or too often, while others do it every year (seriously!).

Who Hosts?

Many couples host their own renewals, and some have their children do the honors. One trend we love is the couple’s closest friends, perhaps the original maid of honor and best man, choosing to host the event. And don’t feel like you have to find a secular event hall or an outdoor space to hold the ceremony—many traditional halls of worship make wonderful, meaningful venues.

Where Should It Be?

You can renew your vows in a house of worship, at home, on the beach, in a pretty garden or park, on a mountaintop or on a cruise—basically, anywhere that has sentimental meaning for both of you.

Who Officiates?

Because a vow renewal isn’t a legally binding ceremony like a wedding is, virtually anyone you’d like can officiate the ceremony: a clergyperson, a judge, your children, a relative or close friends.

Who Should Be Invited?

You might choose to have an intimate reaffirmation, inviting just close family and friends who’ve known you through the years. But you can definitely throw a large party for your extended family and a wider circle of friends. A word of advice: Unless you’re opting for a big bash, limit your guest list. This isn’t the time to entertain work acquaintances.

What Should the Invitation Say?

The invitation is similar to a wedding invite, except no hosts’ names are at the top:

“The honor of your presence is requested at the reaffirmation [or renewal] of the wedding vows of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Smith [or Susan and Jonathan Smith].

If the invitation is issued by the children of the couple:

“The children of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Smith [or Susan and Jonathan Smith] request the honor of your presence at the reaffirmation ceremony of their parents.”

What Should You Wear?

Feel free to dress up. If you’re the bride, you could even wear your original wedding gown if you’re comfortable with it. Or choose another dress—a pretty cocktail dress, formal evening gown or a nice suit, depending on your taste and the formality and style of the celebration. Skip the veil if you want, but wear a hat or flowers in your hair if you’d like. Carry flowers or pin a corsage.

If you’re the groom, you might wear your original tuxedo or suit (or uniform if you’re in the military), updated with a new tie or vest. Or choose a new ensemble for this celebration. Wear a gift of jewelry your wife has given you—cuff links, a watch—and a boutonniere in your lapel.

Should You Have a Wedding Party?

Attendants are unnecessary for a vow renewal, but you might choose to invite your original bridesmaids and groomsmen to stand up for you informally, for sentimental reasons. (They don’t have to wear those outfits again, although they definitely could.) Many couples also involve their children and grandchildren, perhaps being escorted down the aisle by them or having them perform a reading during the ceremony.

Who Walks You Down the Aisle?

While there’s no hard and fast rule, you could have your children escort you, or better yet, walk down the aisle together.

What Actually Happens During the Ceremony?

You’ll exchange vows, recalling what you said when you were first married. You could also vary the verbiage and write original vows. This is an opportunity for both of you to really think about how you feel about your relationship, especially if the last time you exchanged vows was decades ago. After you’ve both spoken, exchange rings. These can be your original bands with new engravings (perhaps the date of your vow renewal or a meaningful quotation) or new rings purchased expressly for the reaffirmation (a great time to upgrade those bands, if you want to). Children, close relatives and special friends can do readings, and you can have meaningful music playing, just as you would at a wedding ceremony.

Should You Have a Reception?

Of course! The party can be any style, from a casual backyard barbecue or an intimate family dinner to a cocktail party or dinner as large and complex as a traditional wedding reception. There can be champagne, dancing, a cake—the works. You might bring along your original wedding photo album so you can take guests on a trip down memory lane (if you’ve just eloped, bring the recent pictures), as well as family photos through the years of your marriage. At some point during the celebration, the two of you can thank or toast family members and special friends for what they’ve contributed to your marriage over the years. And you’ll probably be toasted by many of them. Be sure to hire a photographer to capture the event.

Should You Register?

A vow renewal is not the time to upgrade your kitchen or china collection. Skip the gifts and don’t hold a shower—there’s no need to turn this intimate soiree into a four-day festivity. If guests insist, suggest they make donations to your favorite charity.

An intimate vow renewel deserves just as much style and personality as a big, traditional wedding. Ready to define your style? Take our fun Style Quiz and we’ll pull together a customized vision that’s perfect for you, plus the right pros to bring it to life.

Once you are engaged

“Guess what?” – You can announce it in local and national papers if you wish or even the local village newsletter.

“HOW much??” and decide on what your priorities are. If parents are helping with the finances then make clear who is paying for what and how much – this will avoid any arguments later!

“Where when how?” Book the church/registry office/registrar and licensed venue – if you don’t book it straight away someone else might get in there before you!

“I know the perfect place!” – Decide on a venue and book it – some venues get booked up 12/18 months in advance!

“And this next tune is for the newlyweds!” – Book your entertainment – be this DJ, musicians, magicians, pipers or casinos.

No Aunt Maud IS NOT coming – Draw up a guest list – if parents are helping financially then it’s only polite to consult with them. If you don’t want aunt Edna and uncle Bob then the best way of avoiding having to invite them is to find the wedding yourself. Unless you have a guest list you won’t know if your venue will be big enough or too big and might incur extra charges for being under the minimum number for avoiding fees.

12-6 months to go!

Wedding stationary – if you are going to order it then start shopping around for deals now. Keep your eyes peeled for special offers and see the thread about wedding stationary for ways of keeping costs low.

“Say CHEEEESE” – book your photographer and Videographer if you are hiring them. Of course you really should book this earlier if possible. At the same time or soon after the venue would be best. Venue and photographer are the two things that get booked up the quickest.

“Bring round the car Parker” – if you are not having your ceremony and reception at the same place or need to get there in the first place in style – now is the time to book your transport.

“Let them eat cake!” – Decide on whether you are making your own or paying someone to make it. If you are not DIYing it then start thinking about where to get it from and how big, how, tall and how pink/blue/yellow etc you want it.

“HELP!!” – If you haven’t already now is a good time to pick your bridesmaids, ushers, best man and pageboys.

“Like a princess” – Start looking at wedding dresses – decide on style and colour – this could seriously affect your colour scheme so deciding now is a good idea! Also start thinking about attendants outfits. If your partner is Scottish you might want to check what colour their tartan is and whether this might affect your decision in colours on your dress and accessories.

6-3 Months to go!

“Pretty as a Rose – Order your flowers – check with your venue and see what florist the use. It might be possible to match the venues own decorations with yours saving money – and they might be open to negotiation as they will be delivering flowers to the venue anyway.

” Tahiti ? Bermuda ? Inverness ?” – Start thinking about where you want to go on your honeymoon – are you flexible about where you are going? Can you book last minute to save money? If you are going in high season and you ONLY want to go to Hawaii – book early!

“But where shall we go?” – look a possible accommodation for relatives near to your venue. Not everyone will want to drive home after the reception. Include a list of places to choose from with your invitations.

Three months to go!

“I want THAT one!” Wedding gift lists need to be organised too. If like most people you have lived together for some time then chances are you have all the toasters you need, and waffle irons are not going to be top of your list. Some shops give you £50 if you set up a list with them but can be poor value for your guests. Or maybe money would be more helpful? A donation towards your honeymoon?

“One ring to rule them all” – pick your wedding rings – don’t forget that wearing two rings of different metals will usually wear one down faster than the other. So if you have a white gold engagement ring, don’t get a platinum wedding ring – it will rub the white gold and eventually wear it down.

“Walk this way” – Run through the order of the service, choose music and what readings you want and check them with the minister/registrar.

“Is this going to hurt nurse?” – get your jabs if you are going to places that needs them and make sure your visas are in order and passports are showing the right names and if you are not going last minute then BOOK the honeymoon.

“Please please please come!” – Send invitations at least 6 weeks before the wedding. Ideally 12 weeks before. You could send “Keep the date free” cards out if you want to make sure that people don’t pre-book the date.

“It was an Act Of God!” – Wedding insurance. get it!

“It was a magical night!” – book your first-night hotel. And if you have any sense you will keep its location secret and secure from the best man and probably the maid of honour and anyone else not trust worthy. bribe the hotel staff if need be!

“A face to launch a 1000 ships” – Make-up practice sessions are a must.

Only 4 weeks to go!

“DON’T do that!!” – Give ushers instructions for the day – write them down if you want to have ANY hope of them remembering them.

“Another toaster? Thank you!” – as your presents start flooding in write the thank you letters. Or you can leave it till after the day and use a good picture of you both and write a thank you note on the back and send as a thank you.

“So that is bright green and pink you wanted?” – Confirm everything for the reception, flowers, catering and the final guest numbers. Some places are happy to accept last numbers as late as a week before, others want much longer.

Uncle Bob next to uhmmm” – Seating plan. decide on your layout and who sits where.

“Organize organize organize!” – Wedding rehearsal, hen and stag do’s, best mans duties and don’t forget FINAL DRESS FITTING!

OMG only a week to go!

“So much to say!” – Remind the groom to write his speech – he’s a man, he WILL forget!

“Last chance Saloon” – Confirm everything! Reception, photographer, caterer, florist, cake maker, travel and so on.

“OUCH!” – Wear your wedding shoes around the house for a few hours during the week. Last thing you want is sore feet on your wedding day.

It’s the BIG day!!

Make sure everything is organised and pre-planned, leave yourself NOTHING to do other than get ready – have a nice bath in the morning, if you have time then book a massage and manicure and pedicure but avoid facials on your wedding day.
Enjoy your wedding day and remember – this day is about the two of you – everyone else are there to celebrate you and it’s not your job to worry about them now This is why you have best men and bridesmaids – they are your peacekeepers!