Wedding top tips & questions answered! Advice for planning your wedding


 
 

DO THINGS YOUR WAY

Bryngarw House  in Bridgend - Just a groomsmen casually flicking the bird at the groom Nick!

Bryngarw House in Bridgend - Just a groomsmen casually flicking the bird at the groom Nick!

 
 

“Now, this is much easier said than done & we know this first hand. We made the decision to cut any financial contributions from family. This meant that no Tom, Dick or Uncle Harry that we didn’t know/like/want to spend £90 a head on food for…”

Once you’re engaged, before the bubbles in your champagne have even stopped bubbling, everyone will be ‘offering’ (force feeding) you their advice with the best intentions. With all the insta posts, wedding fayres, advice from family: it can all get a little overwhelming. The most important thing to remember, is to take a step back, take it all in & create your own vision. On the one day that you’re celebrating your love, don’t feel like you have to conform to some standard.

Choose your favourite season, the people who you envisage seeing you say your vows, the food you love to eat and if you need to set a budget, don’t get tied up in the smaller details until you’re completely sure on your style for the day and choose entertainment based on the atmosphere you wish for. 

 
 
Ric & Soph embracing their wedding day at Mumbles Pier in Swansea.

Ric & Soph embracing their wedding day at Mumbles Pier in Swansea.

 
 

With our own wedding, it was important for Amy that she didn’t feel rushed, she wanted to get ready in her own time at her own speed and so, for us a 3pm ceremony was what we wanted. It just meant we partied until a bit later. (Okay, it was 3am when we cut that cake but who’s timekeeping at a wedding, huh?!) We are also massive foodies, we love good burgers and triple cooked chips with a selection of dips. So, after a few trials, we had three mini sliders with different toppings, the crispiest chips with the softest inside, awesome homemade relish & freshly baked brioche buns from our favourite bakery in Killay. 

 
 

It was everything we wanted for our wedding day; relaxed, fun, intimate, filled with people we love and a chilled party atmosphere in the evening. I even took the mic and started off some karaoke with my personal favourite rap: Warren G, ‘Regulate.’ 

There are so many traditions surrounding weddings and just doing them for the sake of it never made sense to us, especially with us being two women. Some of them are very old and may not resonate with you personally. There’s no harm in scrapping any tradition, no matter what anyone else says. If you want to rock the aisle and strut down it yourself, DO IT! 

Just be you, set your own vibe and without regrets make it what your relationship is all about. 

 
 
Pre-wedding photography shoot in Swansea, South Wales. Shot against this bright bold orange wall we found in the Marina after Hamdi’s secret proposal. Tina said YES!

Pre-wedding photography shoot in Swansea, South Wales. Shot against this bright bold orange wall we found in the Marina after Hamdi’s secret proposal. Tina said YES!

 
 

Delete Pinterest

Ok, so maybe deleting it is a little dramatic, but our advice is to just take it all with a pinch of salt. Pinterest is full of beautiful PERFECT pictures, which isn’t always real life. Pinterest weddings are often displaying staged wedding photos in a studio or the ability to delay the shoot for a day when the weather is exactly what they wanted. It is a great tool to take inspiration from, to pluck ideas from and to build an idea of the look, style and feel you want for your wedding, but make it yours. Make sure it is YOU. 

When couples send me photos from Pinterest, and say ‘woooohooo this photo is awesome, I’d love to recreate this on our day’. In the nicest possible way, it isn’t always realistic, it probably isn’t to our style or our natural way of shooting. That doesn’t mean it’s a poor picture but there’s a reason you chose us & by having the ultimate trust in us, it will create a sense of relaxation for you & more likely, even better imagery. 

However, if you go through our website, the blogs are filled with images from the entire day and every single one you can pin. If there’s shot you love from our site, tell us, it’ll plant a little seed in our brains to keep an eye out for similar situations on your day. 

 
 
High Street, probably the shoddiest area in Swansea’s city centre but I love

High Street, probably the shoddiest area in Swansea’s city centre but I love

 
 

Think about looking back in twenty years

Think about those Adidas poppers that were the fashion fad in the 90s. I (Amy) remember wanting them so bad I couldn’t wait until Christmas but nagged and nagged, knowing my mum was hiding them in the back of her wardrobe. When she gave in, I rocked up to the disco feeling the coolest girl, my hair backcombed and hair-sprayed to oblivion. 

It didn’t take long to look back and cringe upon that entire look. Luckily, there is no photo evidence. However, that was back in the dark ages before everyone had cameras on their phones. No such luck now. 

On your wedding day, just take a minute to think about the accessories you choose, the hair style you go for, the make-up. Is it you and will you still love to look back on it when you’re old and grey?

A common complaint from previous brides is that they didn’t look like themselves. Dramatic makeup & hair in a tightly pinned up do, when usually they wear a light natural look and hair always down. Obviously, you both want to feel your best selves, look a billion dollars and strut with confidence like you never have before. Hair & make up trials are fantastic ways to create a look, but check yourself in the mirror and see who looks back. 

The same can be said for your choice of wedding photographer and videographer: styles come and go. Remember black & white photos with partial areas or colour added? NOT COOL. We try and keep our editing pretty simple to combat this but no one can be sure what we will love or hate in the future. 

 
 
What a sunset! Shot at  Margam Orangery  in Port Talbot, a beautiful Chinese wedding with Fung & Michael.

What a sunset! Shot at Margam Orangery in Port Talbot, a beautiful Chinese wedding with Fung & Michael.

 
 

Take some time for yourselves

Schedule some ‘you time’ into your day. Just sneak off together for a few moments to freshen up or walk along the beach and take in your surroundings, the epic vows you’ve spoken to each other and maybe even watch everyone enjoying themselves from a distance. Just take a moment to breath together, play a headspace session if you're into a little mindfulness. Make a mental note that every single person you see, is there to support, love and share this day with you both… that’s quite spectacular in itself. 

When this day has been years in the planning, you’ve worked your ass off to get it right, it’s human nature to want it to go exactly how you’ve pictured it in your head down to the smallest details. Things won’t always go to plan: weather in the UK is unpredictable to say the very least, so always prepare for the rain with a supply of umbrellas, a funky pair of wellies and a plan B for any outdoor games/aspects to be able to be moved indoors at short notice. If you’re going for an outdoor ceremony, most venues will have a plan A & B but if being outdoors with nature is what you really want, warn people in advance to come armed with a pac-a-mac! 

Timings won’t always be kept to, someone important may not make the day or be late. (Amy’s father went to the wrong venue and walked in halfway through the vows but we laughed it off.) The imperfections often make the day more memorable: let laughter be the way to break up the tension and embrace every second. 

Try to let the little things go and just enjoy yourself. And if things are getting a little too much, don’t be afraid to take some time by yourself or with your favourite person. It’s a completely overwhelming day and feeling that it is all getting way too much is more than acceptable. 

Don’t take a second thought about taking some time with the person you trust the most, grab your newlywed by the hand and whisk them away for a few minutes of alone time. Get it all out of your system, dust yourself off and get back to it. 

 
 
A ninja-like capture of Tara & Sam taking a few moments together before they rejoin their guests. Photographed during their elopement to the  Anrán  in Devon.

A ninja-like capture of Tara & Sam taking a few moments together before they rejoin their guests. Photographed during their elopement to the Anrán in Devon.

 
 

Consider an elopement

To Elope - Verb; Run away secretly in order to get married.

Origin; Late 16th century (in the general sense ‘abscond, run away’): from Anglo-Norman French aloper, perhaps related to leap. 

Maybe you’re neck deep in spreadsheets, stressing about details you don’t really care about, inviting family you haven’t seen in ten years and never really liked… Or maybe you just hate the thought of being a part of such a fuss, being stuck indoors for a ceremony you aren’t truly feeling. 
Eloping is certainly not for everyone. I love the origin quote above from the Oxford Dictionary, ‘perhaps related to leap.’ It does take courage to take your wedding and strip back every inch of the planning, fuss & traditional of a big day, leaving something very quiet, intimate, close-hearted and peeled back to the very reason you said yes: the connection between you both, the love, the passion, the shared love for climbing mountains or feeling the sand beneath your toes. 
Of course, it will mean compromise. Generally, the biggest aspect that puts most couples off is family and that is 100% a personal decision that only the two of you can make.
You can still get all dressed up, have a celebrant officiate your ceremony, you can still dance, eat the wedding meal you always dreamed of and you can even do it with a small group of your closest family & friends, or just the two of you. 

The beauty of elopement is that you can do it ANYWHERE, at any time and feel the freedom. 

“We felt a sense of connection I didn’t know was possible, it left us feeling free, energised, and excitedly in love. I felt the urge to just run, spin and jump for joy at the thought of our future together. The words we spoke came from a true place in our hearts, words that had we been amongst 80 other people, we may not have had the courage to say. What better way to start our next chapter together.”

 
 
greece-destination-photographer and videographer corfu
 

Make The Most Of Those 24 Hours

When the tipi poles are being packed away, the cake is in the freezer ready for your one-year anniversary & your tan is fading, make sure you look back at your day and have absolutely no regrets about any of it. 

It’s only one day; 1444 minutes. It will (like everyone says) fly by. It will go so quick, you’ll wish you had Bernard’s watch to hit pause and take it all in just a little longer. Create memories you want to remember to last a lifetime & truly throw yourself into it. Get emotional, fist pump the air if that’s what you’re feeling, laugh, hug, look at every single person who is there for you both & don’t forget, breathe. 

Like we’ve said, not everything will go to plan. Try to let it slide, look at everything positive going on around you and it’ll lead to a much more stress-free wedding. 

The next morning when you wake up next to your new husband/wife, again, take a moment to take it all in. Your first breakfast as newlyweds, a honeymoon to pack for, lives to plan, dream and live for. This is simply just the beginning! 

 
Embrace every second of your wedding day! Check out Jen & Mike running down the sand dunes to their  Oxwich Bay hotel  wedding.

Embrace every second of your wedding day! Check out Jen & Mike running down the sand dunes to their Oxwich Bay hotel wedding.

 

5.Choose The Right Photographer & Videographer.

Yes, of course we are going to say this: we are biased. 

Photos / videos are life. They are an amazing way of looking back and remembering every part of your day. We go on a lot about it in our blogs, but it is important to have the right fit. Here’s what we urge you to consider. 

Style

Choose a photographer/videographer on the way their imagery makes you feel.  Go through their blogs, their portfolio, do a little social media stalking. You can’t be told whether this feeling should be happiness, emotional, inspired. It could be one or all of these, but they should definitely be images you can picture yourself in. In essence, it should just feel right. 

Personality

You’ve got to spend twelve hours together on the most important day of your life. Make sure your personalities match! Meet them, grab a coffee; you don’t even need to talk weddings. With three dogs & two cats, we can talk animal antics all day long! 

Budget

Price can be a stumbling block when looking for the right people but if you tick the first two boxes, we’d advise getting in touch anyway. You could go for less hours of coverage or even go back to the spreadsheet and see if there are other areas you could save in that perhaps are less important to you. 

 
Just a little bit of wind for Alice & Mike’s couples portraits at Llangennith beach in Gower before their reception awaiting them at  Fairyhill , Gower.

Just a little bit of wind for Alice & Mike’s couples portraits at Llangennith beach in Gower before their reception awaiting them at Fairyhill, Gower.

 

Surround Yourself With The Right People. 

In the same way we discussed choosing your photographer/videographer, choosing the suppliers you surround yourself with on your wedding morning is super important.  Getting ready in the morning, the buzz surrounding you, the people, the champagne flowing: It is all a part of your wedding day. Being surrounded by likeminded people, in good spirits and excited for the day ahead is a way to ensure you start the day the way you mean to continue. 

 
pennard castle wedding friends photo at sunset.jpg
 

Need To Save Time, Then Consider A First Look.

An American-born idea, becoming more and more popular in the UK. The idea is that, once you are both ready, you see each other with your reactions captured on camera before the ceremony. It’s an intimate moment, full of emotional and a beautiful experience. 
Once the emotion has settled, it’s a great opportunity to have a few images taken together. It means getting ready a little earlier than planned, an ideal situation for a later ceremony because it means that after the ceremony, you can have so much quality time with your guests, without having to leave the reception for photos to be taken. 
After a freshen up, you’ll be surprised how much emotion is left when you see each other again walking down the aisle. OR… You could even walk in together! 


First touch 

If you aren’t feeling quite brave enough for the first look, a first touch is a more-subtle approach. We arrange a set-up, using for example the corner where two walls meet. With one of you on either side, you simply touch hands and have a little chat. It doesn’t sound much but after not seeing each other for a while and with the anticipation that builds up on a wedding morning, it causes a little eruption for the senses. 

 
Philip-Danielle-Wedding0096.jpg
 
 

Marry. Sleep. Repeat. Do It All Again (Just Because You Can!)

There’s a few reasons why you may choose to get all dressed back up again: 

  • You are seeking photos of the two of you at a location that realistically can’t be reached on your wedding day. WE LOVE THIS. You’ll know from our images, we love dramatic cliff tops and to reach them, sometimes you need to drive a little further, hike, or maybe even take a helicopter. 

  • Shit weather on the actual day, like the type that is beyond the use of an umbrella. 

  • You want to make sure you spend every second of your day with your family & friends. We totally get this. As we’ve mentioned previously, it goes SO damned quickly, so why the hell not? 

You can do it the next day preferably, when you’re still high on all the memories and feelings from the day before. 

 
 
 
clifftop aventure wedding photo swansea
 
 
 

Get A Little Emotional With Overlaid Audio On Your Wedding Film; Letters, Readings & Personalised Vows. 

The sound you hear on a wedding highlights video sets the atmosphere for the way you see your memories. Sections of the speeches are great to use for this, but speeches don’t always go to plan.

Readings are common for ceremonies, more so for churches and a fantastic way to entwine meaningful words into your ceremony & at the same time, sound that we can use for the final edit. Choose someone confident at reading and someone whose voice you’ll be happy to hear for years to come! The reading itself can be anything: a poem, a section from a book, song lyrics or even better, something written especially for you. 

Persolised Vows are a much more personal approach, to let your own personalities & relationship set the tone. It doesn’t necessarily need to be all soppy romantic if you aren’t those people, just what you do love about each other, it can be witty, funny, anecdotes, as long as it’s you. And ofcourse, the promises you vow to make to each other.

Letters

If you’re not quite down with reading your personalised vows during the ceremony, there’s another option. Either at your pre-wedding shoot or during your couples’ photos on the wedding day, the idea is that we will take a couple of minutes aside for you to read it to one another, in private. It can be in the form of the personalised vows or a letter addressed to each other. It’ll all be in private, so no need to get nervous.

 
 
During their hand fasting ceremony outdoors at the Anrán in Devon, Tara & Sam read their own personalised vows they wrote for each other.

During their hand fasting ceremony outdoors at the Anrán in Devon, Tara & Sam read their own personalised vows they wrote for each other.

 
 

Treat Your Pre Wedding Shoot Like A Test Run

Every journey starts with a pre-wedding shoot. Choose the location based on a place you love together, somewhere you shared your first kiss, your favourite bar, or just somewhere you think is really cool looking or a dramatic landscape. 

The main aim is to break the ice, get to know each other and find out where your comfort barriers are in front of the camera. Unless you’re a seasoned model, it will be awkward at first, so embrace the awkwardness. A little tension makes people laugh and, in our eyes, laughter is a good thing. Gradually, you’ll ease into it and even start to enjoy being in front of the camera. 

I (Amy) will lead the session, try out a couple of lighthearted poses with you both, get you to interact, and I’ll encourage you to avoid looking at the camera. I’ll get you walking, talking, playing a couple of games and we will create some beautiful photographs. 

Sometimes, when couples are nervous, we get asked to remove this from the package, but we see this as one of the most important parts for us as much as it is for you as a couple. Treat it as a practice run ahead of the day: it ensures that on the actual day, you aren’t nervous, you know what to expect and we’ll know what you’re comfortable with. 

 
 
alternative wedding photographer swansea, south wales