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Is a blow out honeymoon a treat or irresponsible? Lina on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Those lovely folk at BBC Radio Cambs asked me to participate in a discussion regarding honeymoons and the rise of the honeymoon gift list, as the new trend is for couples to splash out on holidays of a lifetime, despite having spent a large amount on the wedding itself. Those of you who read my blogs regularly will know that I am firmly in the ‘do what you want to do camp’ however many of the Andie Harper Mid-Morning Show listeners disagreed saying it was irresponsible.

Irresponsible is a big word I don’t like – apparently couples should be saving for house deposits instead of blow out honeymoons!  But surely a couple has the right to spend what they like on their wedding and honeymoon? Many couples already have a house together when we meet them but even if they don’t, why is house ownership considered so much more important than having fabulous memories, and starting your married life together with an amazing experience? Especially when the days of owning a house to be financially comfortable are pretty much a thing of the past…

I put the question out to our Facebook audience and Hertfordshire bridal shop Brides of Berkhamsted hit the nail on the head:


Our client Nik, who married the lovely Rachael at Easthampstead Park in April, agreed:


Nik makes a really good point here that I discussed on air. Many couples don’t need the toasters and cutlery sets as they already live together, so a great gift list can be developed to help pay for the honeymoon, which Nik and Rachael did. As a guest, I would be so much happier knowing I had contributed to an amazing experience rather than just buy ‘stuff’ – but then I am the sort of person who regularly buys experiences as presents anyway.

If you are considering the honeymoon to be part of your gift list, you can either use agents such as Kuoni or Trailfinders who will sort vouchers or websites such as Buy My Honeymoon or Honeymoon Promises, where you can have a list of those upgrades, special meals, treatments or essential kit, like you would your toasters, and your guests can purchase what they want. I personally think these lists are lovely!

You can see samples of these lists here


As Nik says, saving for a house deposit is a much bigger deal. You may spend 3k on a honeymoon, yet need 13k for your house deposit, so it’s not really the same thing. Book your honeymoon of a lifetime and start your married life together with an amazing experience I say!

You can listen to me on air here



Are cheap weddings really the trend for 2013?

Those lovely folk at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire invited me to speak on the breakfast show last week, as new figures show couples are apparently opting for more registry office weddings so they can marry cheaply and then just have a big party. Their roaming reporter out on the street found this was the case and also that people didn’t want to marry in 2013.

Well, somewhat awkwardly I couldn’t confirm these findings as we have not really had these trends in our Cambridgeshire wedding photography bookings! We’ve been busier than ever in 2013 and have had a great mix of church weddings, registry office weddings and civil weddings at venues.

The discussion has got me thinking about the words used to describe certain choices though, and on the programme they were exploring the idea of ‘cheap’ weddings and how cheap you can do things. When it comes to weddings there are two words I really dislike: ‘cheap’ and ‘expensive.’ This is because they have connotations which just don’t reflect  what you can and can’t achieve or how personal the day will be to you for example.

Let’s look at ‘cheap.’ Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean DIY and DIY doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. Everything is relative to the couple. You can definitely have a fantastic wedding on a low budget, the key is making sure you prioritise in the right places. Ask yourself what is going to last a lifetime; what needs to be of quality to make sure you have a great day or if it lasts your marriage?  Getting Nan to make a version of her amazing Christmas cake into a wedding cake for you can save in the budget, but maybe give that wedding photographer charging £295 for all day coverage a miss. These types of savings were talked about by wedding planner Anna Lee-Munroe who was also interviewed earlier in the programme. Anna also made the point where people are having less guests, and there is definitely a viable option to have less for the meal (where the bulk of the cost comes) and then more evening guests for the party.

You only have to look at Pinterest to see the DIY look is a huge wedding trend right now, and I have seen some real weddings in wedding magazines of late that had the whole craft/vintage trend going on, and they definitely were not cheap to create! Personally I think individual touches made by yourself, family and friends are a really lovely addition to any wedding, and can stop your wedding looking like you just stuck pins in to a wedding magazine and said ‘I’ll have that, that and that.’

I also dislike the word ‘expensive.’ I don’t like it because people tend to use it with no real connection to what they may be paying for.  Fees are about context. Yes a £3000 wedding dress may be described as expensive because it is something that is only worn once, but, if you really take a look at the craftsmanship that goes into those dresses (and I have seen a lot of dresses of all different price ranges) then the price tag I believe is justified. Same goes for photography, and I have to talk about it as it’s what we know. Our pricing is based on how hard and for how long we work on your images. There are things we add in that other photographers may not. We shoot for longer on average for example. Our albums are bigger than average. Our travel is included in a 50 mile radius (when many others do 25.) Above all, and this is a controversial one with other photographers, we process every single image, rather than what just goes in your album. I’ve been told we shouldn’t but we want to. And this takes time. Above all, you are buying a huge amount of passion, expertise and a genuine love to give you amazing wedding photos.

I once had an email conversation with a bride who told me we were top of her photographer choices but we were ‘too expensive.’ I couldn’t get my head round this. Surely we were top of her list for a reason, because she saw the extra quality and passion we put into our work, but no, she insisted we were expensive, and I felt like she was accusing us of being greedy. I think this is a common train of thought about the wedding industry. Yes of course there is a ‘wedding premium’ for some services (I for one have never understood a DJ’s pricing being different from a birthday party to a wedding reception,) but for a full time wedding photographer, we have to make the job pay our bills and it is in line with how much time and effort we spend on the job. I can completely appreciate being out of someone’s budget, which is fine, but expensive suggests you are charging too much for the quality, which is almost insulting…

The most important thing here is that you have the wedding you want; not what mum and dad want, your sister or what Brides magazine tells you the new trend is. Sit down together and ask yourselves what you love and what the day needs to achieve. As long as you get married with the people you want around you, and then have the type of celebration you want, this is what matters. Medieval fancy dress? Go for  it! Vintage afternoon tea party in the village hall? Go start on the bunting. Lavish London hotel affair? Start saving… 😉

You know I always love to hear your thoughts and experiences so do comment below 🙂


You can hear me on the breakfast show by listening to this link


You can also look back at my previous BBC Cambs interview on brides giving wedding speeches



Lina x