A Guide to your Wedding Day
The old clique about it being the most important day of your life is true, but rest assured, it doesn't need to be the most stressful, not by a long way.
Here are 15 tips to help you along the way:
(1) The Planning
Do it early, starting with roughly nailing the numbers you intend to invite and be selective. Once you have this you can then decide on the venue, which is purely for budgetary reasons. The perfect location may rule itself out of the running if you invite fifty people but thirty may be manageable.
Midweek weddings can be an awful lot cheaper and certainly for Solid, there is not a defined season in the way it once was, winter weddings are now very popular. Friday, Saturday and Sunday weddings are of a similar price, but the rest of the week could see a huge reduction in cost.
Beware the word 'wedding', you'll find that most suppliers will increase their prices. We, of course, don't.
(2) The Budget
Don't overdo the budget, it is your big day for sure, but prioritise what is important to you. A perfect location may not be your priority, the food may be more so, so make a list of those in order and allow a little extra in each. For example, a wedding dress, once you've chosen it, may need to be altered adding to the cost.
Many photographers will supply you with the top 100 images out of the 1,000 they take, budget for that, or, of course, if you choose Solid, you'll get every wedding photo we take in the price.
Also, we'll give you simple to understand pricing which allows you to easily build your own package based on the budget you've assigned. How refreshing is that?
(3) The Location
This is a difficult one. Of course, price comes into it but from a logistical point of view, what happens if it rains? Does the location have enough areas for your guests to mingle away from the weather, and does it have enough room for your photographer to be able to take large groups should it be pouring down?
If you've decided on an outdoor wedding which is suddenly not possible, does it have an alternative wet plan? Is it a long way away? If so, what are the room charges for those who wish to stay? Is there a local alternative for those guests who'd like another option at a lower budget?
Preferred suppliers to the location, DJ's, Photographers, Videographers, for example, are likely to be more expensive as they generally have to pay to belong to the club and could be a little stale when it comes to creativity.
Our favourite locations are The Master Builders House in Bucklers Hard, The Italian Villa in Canford Cliffs, none of which we are regulars at. Both are very picturesque and cover all concerns should the weather turn nasty.
(4) The Ceremony
The ceremony will last anywhere from 25 minutes to 40 minutes, you'll need to have a 15 minute interview separately beforehand so allow time for that.
During the ceremony the Groom's family would be on the right, Bride's on the left and the ushers are there to direct accordingly. The first two rows are for the immediate family, the best man, the bridesmaids, flower girls and the page boys.
The signing of the register seals the marriage legally and you'll need a photo of this but be aware that it is an offence to get a snap of other peoples marriage details. The facing page of the register itself will show four marriages, not just yours, so it's important that your guests (and your photographer) doesn't show this.
The registrar will replace the register with a dummy book, then once you have been presented with your certificate, you are all ready to go.
(5) The Photographer
Care must be taken with choosing your wedding photographer, as once the cake has been eaten and the dress put away, this is all you have to remember the day. Choose carefully, you need someone who is good with people, discreet, professional and well dressed, yes, we've just described Solid, but you'd be surprised the stories we hear.
Photographers in jeans, interfering during the service, overly priced and slow to deliver the final goods doesn't work for us. Smart, competitive, quick and over-delivery is how we like it.
Expensive is also not necessarily best, and letters behind a name is no guarantee of quality either. Your photographer should also be fully insured should everything go wrong.
Avoid photographers who claim to be Documentary Wedding Photographers, this means that they are unable or unwilling to organise groups, which you really must have, it is a rare family get-together after all.
At Solid, you'll receive your finished photos on a handy USB drive 7 to 10 days later. However, you'll be able to view your photos online by midday the following day.
(6) The Videographer
A discreet videographer who works well with the photographer is key to capturing both still and video. Be prepared to pay handsomely for a videographer though, for a days shoot there would be a week of post-production, which of course, they have to charge for.
Avoid a videographer who also takes photos, they will do neither well and the deal they offer for bringing them both together under one roof is a false economy. We at Solid are stills photographers and the skill sets are very different from videographers and vis versa.
(7) The Food
One of the biggest talking points at any wedding is the food. From hog roasts and buffets to bake offs and mini fish ‘n’ chips, the quirkier the better! Avoid skimping in this area – hungry guests are never a good thing!
A traditional fruit cake has now been replaced by a cake with different flavours in each tier and quirky, more personal designs are popular
Our preferred supplier of cakes by far is Sweet Indulgent Fancies of Bournemouth.
(8) The Little Things
Your wedding is all about the two of you, so try to incorporate as much of your personalities into the day as you can. From the stationery and favours to the outfits and first dance, guests should say ‘that’s so them!’
(10) The Speeches
Keep the speeches short and personal, only make jokes if you are comfortable to do them and practice, practice, practice. Nothing too filthy from the best man and if you decide to have the speeches at the beginning of the wedding breakfast, make them shorter and don't keep your guests away from their food!
With a million and one suppliers to deal with, each with different payment deadlines, it’s impossible to keep track of everything by yourself. Sit down with your partner and make a budget spreadsheet of forecast costs and actual costs as well as when payments are due, and list what things are left to do.
(12) The Girls
Your bridesmaids should be your biggest support throughout the planning process, so choose wisely. Friends you’ve recently made or cousins you rarely see are not the best choice. Instead choose your sisters, long–term best friends or close relatives. The last thing you’ll want is to look at your wedding album a few years later and to be no longer in touch with one of your bridesmaids, or worse than that, you've fallen out with.
You'd be surprised how often this happens and sometimes you find it difficult to look at your photos because of them.
On a couple of occasions, we have even been asked to digitally remove them from photos!
(13) The Checklist
In the week of the wedding day, spend an hour telephoning each supplier to ensure all is still in place. Not only is this good for the supplier to understand exactly where they should be in the timescale but it'll also ease your last minute concerns.
We at Solid will contact you the week before to make a note of any last minute changes and give you the confidence that we'll be there.
(14) The Time
From a month in, the time will fly, so get yourself prepared nice and early then you can sit back and relax. On the day every hour will seem like a minute but if you just let it wash over you, you'll enjoy it even more.
(15) Enjoy Yourself
It's a very enjoyable thing to do, giving your life to the one you love, and it starts today!
So enjoy it, absorb it and cherish it.