You got engaged, you already had some ideas for your wedding. Then you got carried away and now you have 3000 Pinterest photos of amazing themes you’ve not seen at a wedding before but could be amazing.
It’s something most people say to me – not word for word – but the overwhelming amount of things you can choose for your wedding adds stress to most couple’s planning.
So below I’m going to attempt to explain what we’ve seen over the years and what works best. I’m not telling you what to do at your wedding – just giving you some pointers of the kind of things that make your day that little bit more enjoyable – and the planning a little easier!
I’ll cover specific suppliers and products in another post but for now, lets just think about the overall theme of your day.
Use your history together
This wedding is obviously about you ;) so why not style it around yourselves? Likely you have something in common – at least one thing maybe?!
Some of the best wedding themes we’ve photographed, have simply been based around something special to the couple. Below are a couple of examples which were both well received by the guests either because they share the same interest, or because they instantly knew it was the perfect theme for the bride and groom to have chosen.
Your theme doesn’t have to feature in every part of your day
Be ruthless! Once you have your brainwave of the perfect theme, don’t feel like you have to weave it into every part of your day.
Whether your theme is traditional/whacky/glamerous/laid back it doesn’t mean you have to use it for everything, and it doesn’t have to be in-your-face obvious.
Here’s a well thought out example that didn’t take over the day.
Consider your venue & Date
Work with what you’ve got! The venue is one of the early decisions which makes a huge difference to what you can and can’t do. I mentioned in another post from this series how venue size makes a difference. But the layout also affects the vibe of your wedding.
If you’re trying to have a relaxed summer wedding and have loads of guests you’ll find it much easier with a venue like Barmbyfield Barn. The place is already perfectly set up for that type of day.
In contrast, if you’re looking for somewhere with a more grand, traditional feel, then Rise Hall could fit your dream wedding plan.
If you’re having a winter wedding, why not embrace the cosy time of year like Katie & Chris did below.
My point is, don’t burn yourselves out making a venue into something entirely different. Putting your stamp on the place is different to stuffing a load of clashing decorations in!
Mess with the traditional dress code
Something that’s often overlooked when theming a wedding is the guest’s attire. It’s probably not right to describe them as decorations at a wedding – but they do tend to feature in a lot of photos.
You can massively change the feeling of your wedding day, by relaxing the dress code. Louise & Simon sent out a mood board of ideas to inspire their guest’s wardrobe choice. The result was ace – you could tell thought had gone into it, but everyone just looked so relaxed and I’m convinced the mood board played a part in that!
You and your entourage of bridesmaids and groomsmen also set the tone for the day. One of our most complemented weddings is Jess & Adam’s for amongst other things, their choice of suits and dresses for them and their wedding party.
But hang on, what about before your wedding? If you’ve booked with us you have an engagement shoot coming up, so why not use it to its full potential.
Save the dates and invites
This is it, the very first part of your wedding the guests will see. No pressure!
You’re going to be sending something out anyway, so make it fit with your theme. We’re happy to help design some personal invites using your photos – and if sending your smiling faces to everyone isn’t your style, don’t worry, we’ve designed super subtle ones before where bride and groom are walking through woods and only take up a small part of the invite!
Stationary Sets the Scene
Best to just let the photos do the talking here, but the way you decorate your venue doesn’t have to take over the entire place. Picture your guests sitting down at the table. If there’s just basic name cards, that doesn’t spark conversation if you’re sat next to someone you’ve never met.
Upgrade your Drinks n’ Snacks
Drinks reception? How about a pimp your own Prosecco reception!
For not much extra effort you can transform a traditional part of your wedding into an even better experience for everyone. You don’t have to hire in a million suppliers to amuse your guests, just give them a few strawberries and syrups to go crazy with!
This can be applied to many parts of your wedding. Instead of thinking of things to add to the day, why not just add a bit of wow to what you’ve already got!
Evening snacks at Sophie & Joel’s wedding were provided on a stand with crisps pegged to it. Guests loved this, Sophie’s Dad’s handiwork paid off!
Helen & Danny added their signature cocktail to the bar’s menu for their special day. All it took was a sign on the bar and everyone was trying the Topham Tipple! Or if beer is more your thing, Caroline & Ricky made sure there were a variety of speciality beers available to their guests – both at the bar and as floral decorations throughout the barn!
Our Favourite Favours
Favours add interest to your tables and give guests something to remember the day by. Thinking up something brilliant can be difficult though, you’re going to need a lot of them so it needs to be manageable, but memorable.
Sarah & Christian bought a book for each and every guest. And not the same book – a personal choice that fitted each guest. I can’t even imagine how long this took, but seeing their faces when they unwrapped them, it was clear they’d got every single one right.
Jess & Adam presented the guests with a vinyl style CD of the soundtrack of their day, with the cover being designed by Adam. For a very musical bunch of people, this was such an amazing way to remember the wedding, as the soundtrack was a very important part of the day.
Daniella & Aubrey included a cute pot of home made jam at each place setting. Each of these ideas is completely different but show that you can do whatever suits you best, there is not one way of planning a wedding after all!
Book Us to Tell Your Story
We only photograph 15 weddings a year. Some photographers take on 50 a year with no interest in whether the day was enjoyed by you and your guests. Afterwards, they’ll give you only files, not a story that will be cherished by you and your families for generations.
Visit our wedding page to see how we go above-and-beyond the average photographers, guaranteeing you are proud to show off your photos for generations!