Getting married is something that you should (fingers-crossed) only do once. As a result of it we are all amateurs when it comes to our wedding day and we usually rely on advice from our parents, friends who've got married at some point in their life or to be guided on the day by your wedding coordinator or wedding photographer Essex.
At Capture House Weddings, we have spoken to our brilliant now-married couples who have recently got married and asked for their advice and top tips for your wedding day.
"Decide on what’s most important to you"
As a couple decide on what’s most important to you from the start, you’ll be making lots of big money decisions and it’s always helpful to know what elements are most important to you. For example we wanted a great atmosphere over lunch and a good party. We opted for 3 street food vans and each van had at least 3 choices, guests then had a choice of 9 options for lunch / evening food it worked really well and guests still 3 years later talk about our wedding food. We choose our bands carefully to start we had a duo Me & Him who were great for the first dance and first half of the party. Followed by a ska covers band Sax on Fire who really got the party going late into the night. When we were making choices it made it easier to dedicate money to the things we already knew we really wanted.
"Try to get some time with each other"
When it is your wedding day it is ironic that you don’t actually see that much of each other alone. I realised that I had not actually gotten to talk to my partner very much if at all away from the crowds of people who want pictures and to give their congratulations. If I could have changed one thing about my wedding it would have been to take some time to sit and talk somewhere quiet about the day, our feelings and anything else that may be on your mind.
"If something goes wrong, don’t blow it out of proportion"
So on our wedding it rained. It came with a vengeance, and I remember thinking “well that’s it, the whole day is officially ruined.” How stupid I was to let such a small issue affect me so negatively. We also ran out of food at one point and the same thoughts went through my head. The catering company went to the shop and it stopped raining after an hour or so. Everything was fine and it will be for you too if you just relax and take a positive attitude towards tackling any problems.
"If you are going to make a speech, make sure to prepare and don’t make a big deal of it"
Speaking in public is a nightmare for some of us. Many cannot imagine anything worse than having a load of people watch you give a speech. Let me tell you, you will never have a more supportive audience of people listening to you speak in public than on your wedding day. Everyone wants to listen, wants to support you, wants to laugh at anything that gives the smallest indication that it is meant to be funny. People were laughing at things in my speech that I didn’t even intend to be funny, but apparently they were! Try to make the speech honestly and authentically you.
If you don’t know what to say, the bare minimum of thanking everyone for coming and expressing your love for your partner is guaranteed to get rapturous applause. If you are confident enough to wing it and improvise, go for it! I would generally suggest however, that writing the speech plenty in advance, to give you enough time to learn it well is a good method to calm any nerves you might have about it. Having a copy of it written by your side is also a comforting safety blanket, for if you forget what you are saying.
"Surrounding yourself with positive people who share your vision is crucial"
We didn’t really stress because we knew what we wanted to do and they weren’t always the ‘traditional wedding things’ that family and friends expect or ask for. We knew what we wanted and just wanted to have a great day. We didn’t spend time making sure grannie was happy with Mel’s dress or grandad was happy with the food or whatever. We just spent no time (because we didn’t have much of it) stressing about how other people will enjoy the day.
‘Build it and they’ll come’ my dad always says. If you make something the way you want it to be done and in your vision, people won’t be able to find fault in what you’ve made because you’ve made it for yourself!
Having said that, it wasn’t a solo pursuit building a wedding, and surrounding yourself with positive people who share your vision is crucial. Flowers, food, location, so many things we owe to family and friends who worked selflessly. So yeah, get a team around you and anything can be achieved!
"Make sure you take a moment to be with the people you really love"
We took 10 minutes to sit on a bench with our closest friends and share a drink and a laugh and it’s one of my stand out memories of the day.
"Give your photographer a list of people you want photos"
Make sure you give your photographer a list of people you want photos with, including informal ones. When we got our photos back I realised I didn’t get a single photo of one of my best friends and I, to this day I regret that.
"Do an engagement shoot before the wedding"
This really helps prepare you for the day as you get to know your photographer, and makes taking photos on the wedding day much more relaxed and easier.
"Listen to your photographer"
Jordan gave us a load of advice during our engagement shoot and we took it all on board. We incorporated bits he said into our schedule and it made everything run smoothly and allowed us to have more time together. They know what they are doing and it makes life so much less stressful!
"Ask for a second shooter for your wedding"
We wanted to capture every moment at our wedding as we knew it would just be a blur. Doing this allowed a photographer to capture the gents and the ladies at the same time in the morning as they get ready. It also allows two perspectives to be snapped of the same image at the same time, providing different angles. One is formal, while the other appears more candid. Also, two minds are always greater that one! Having now recieved our wedding photos, we are so pleased we made this decision. Something we didn't think about too much was gathering people for photos and getting people organised, having another professional there just made our lives so much easier!
"Do take time to get evening wedding photos"
Do take some time after the first few songs in the evening for some photos. The lighting creates fantastic images and they are definitely some of our favourites!
"Don't have a massive list of formal photos"
This was some advice that Jordan gave to us during our engagement shoot. The formal photos barely ate into our day and the candid / unaware photos are brilliant! They really capture the day in a natural way which is just what we wanted!
"Don’t miss the first three songs of your DJ/band"
Everyone will be there on the dance floor following your first dance!
"Do not overthink it!"
It’s your day so do exactly what you want, don’t let others change your mind, tell you who you should/shouldn’t invite or how the day should be run, everyone who attends will love it and have a brilliant time celebrating with you.
Make sure it you enjoy it.
We hope you found that advice useful! If you have any questions or want to hear what our team at Capture House Weddings recommends for a stress-free wedding, get in touch!