Sunday, 28 February 2016

Baby Steps | Wedding Planning

Apologies for the previously used photo up there, it's getting dark out and I've had a hard day being pregnant so have already retired to my bed! We got engaged almost two months ago now and to say I'm impressed that I've not yet set a date, booked a venue and sent out my invitations is an understatement. Personally I think James timed his proposal to perfection, late enough in my pregnancy that I wouldn't be physically able to make too much of a start on any severe wedding plans but still early enough for us to do some initial rekkies without lugging a baby around and enjoy it just the two of us. Although obviously our new baby will be a part of our big day, I'm very adamant that I still want it to be predominately about James & I. Our honeymoon will (hopefully) be just the two of us and whilst we already adore being a "three", to me a wedding is about us becoming Husband and Wife and she's had enough attention all to herself already!

So, today we went to our first Wedding Fair at Doddington Hall, I was really excited to go as it's the first venue that James has brought to the table and I've never been to a Wedding Fair before so I had no idea what to expect! First of all, it was busier than we thought, we got there quite early which I think on reflection wasn't really necessary as it's not like the stands are going to run out of information or leaflets (and they can always post things out to you if they do!) and when we ducked our heads back in a few hours after it had started, things had definitely calmed down. Secondly, it seemed a lot more about the suppliers than the venue. My intention was definitely more to look around the Hall and see how it could be set out for a wedding however the room we were interested in for our reception was occupied with the stands for the suppliers so it actually looked rather cramped. So my first tip that I have learnt is if you're interested in viewing a venue then I'd make an appointment to view it on a "normal" day as opposed to at a Wedding Fair being hosted there.

We did indulge in almost all of the suppliers and that would probably be my second tip that I've learnt, even if you think you know what you want and even if you know a friend will be doing something for you, have a look at what professional suppliers have to offer too. For instance my Sister will be doing my wedding flowers, however I'm still intrigued to visit the Florist stands just to see what they have to offer as they may have thought of something that I hadn't. It can be quite a dangerous game trusting an aspect of your wedding with a friend or relative just in case they don't get it quite right or things get lost in translation so I would recommend being able to tell them exactly what you want, preferably in the form of a photo that they can match up to.

The other thing we gained from the Wedding Fair was just how many types of photographer there are. I've already been told by my sister to invest in my photographer above all else as it doesn't matter how beautiful your makeup, flowers, dress or venue are - if they aren't captured well then it's all a bit of a waste. I knew that I wanted someone who would be around pretty much all day and I kind of longed for a duo so that someone could be photographing James getting ready whilst also having someone in with me and my bridesmaids. I also had a good idea of the style of photos that I wanted as I like them to look quite candid and we are not good at posing! However at this Wedding Fair there were three different photography companies and they were all so different. One was a husband and wife duo who did pretty much exactly what we wanted, candid shots (with a few posed ones thrown in just in case), a pre-wedding/engagement shoot and all of the photos on a USB stick plus a choice of different albums dependant on what package you go for. The second one had very dramatic, contemporary images that for us weren't quite natural enough. Think a lot of heavy lighting and a large dose of photoshop to enhance the whole "operatic" feel to them. Don't get me wrong they were absolutely beautiful but it didn't feel like our kind of thing. Lastly was another duo (I think Husband and Wife) who were similar to the first however the photos were a lot more posed. I don't think there's anything wrong with posed photos and obviously we'll have some but on the whole I want the photographer to merely be in the background to capture the day as it happens rather than have structured photos rather than memories. If that makes sense?

So that's it for our first Wedding Planning post! Whilst in the end the venue really wasn't for us as it's a huge stately home and we quite frankly don't have enough friends to fill such a venue, we both feel as though we learnt a lot. We're enjoying taking this year whilst I'm on maternity leave to look at loads of different options and enjoy all of the Wedding Fairs we can find before knuckling down next year to start putting concrete plans in place.

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