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It’s Our Turn: The little things…

In the six weeks or so following our engagement, we got all the big things out of the way. Venue, photographer, dress, DJ, all sorted, and then wedding season properly kicked in so our plans were put on the sidelines. With less than six months to go now, we realise it’s time to kick our plans back in, but some of these decisions seem to be the hardest.

Our big choices were fairly straightforward, our venue choice being a little stressful, and photographer choice hard, but thanks to being wedding photographers we knew which suppliers we wanted to work with. What we are struggling with is the finer details – is it just us?

Favours

Being Italian, wedding favours or bonbonierre are considered an essential on the day, but I know my mother has a loft full of little ornaments and nik-naks with the dusty labels bearing the names of various cousins, the sugared almonds attached in their organza pouches way beyond their eat-by date. Favours in the UK have taken on their own form in the last ten years; frequently being of the edible kind – cupcakes, biscuits, chocolates or sweets – usually being devoured alongside the bread roll before we’ve even got a whiff of the starter.

Favours can also take on a more lasting memorial of the day, with small ornaments or gifts such as hankerchiefs or pillows being something nice for people to take home. Also popular is a lottery ticket or scratchcard, although we always wonder what would happen if someone won big – that could be awkward! I asked Lucie Taylor, who gave her guests the lovely scratchcard pictured below at her wedding earlier this year. Did she and Ed consider how they would feel with a big win? “We figured that if someone won big then they were at the day because we loved them and would have been happy for them.” Daw!

Tom and I have considered a monetary route on the favours, but with a donation to our favourite charity instead. I can’t help in thinking would our guests think we couldn’t decide what to do rather than a desire to recognise the charity at our wedding? Especially as our choice would be an animal charity. However, if the charity is linked to the couple in some way, for example a hospice that looked after a loved one, then it can be a lovely way to remember them.

Of course, the favour is a perfect opportunity to go a little leftfield and give your guests something that completely fits your theme, and have a little fun with it at the same time. We’ve also seen some great ‘sharing’ favours, bowls of sweets on each table for people to nibble on and interact with each other. A great idea was the lovely Mr & Mrs Bailey putting a big bottle of Baileys on each table for their guests to enjoy.

It is also completely ok not to do favours at all. After all, you spend so much on canapés, drinks and food, if your intention is not to leave them with a lasting memento of your wedding as the Italians do, then do they really need something else to nibble on? So if you don’t see the point, do away with it, no-one will miss it, trust us.

Ceremony Sounds

Music is another subject we are struggling on a little. We’ve never been the couple to have ‘our song’ so we have been trying to think of music that has the right sentiment and feel for our wedding.. We’re going for an Icelandic wintry theme, so given that we’ve been listening to a lot of Icelandic music this year anyway, it feels right to use this style of music. This doesn’t mean we are just going to play Sigur Ros though! I know what I want to walk up the aisle to but the rest, bah, we shall just have to keep on listening!

Same goes for the ceremony as a whole really, we want readings that have words which mean something to us, but there is such a huge amount of material out there, many of which we have heard at weddings frequently. We’d like to have something literary that is more unknown but there is only so much time someone can spend leafing through books for love passages! Much like the music, we currently have one chosen option, an Icelandic poem which talks about shimmering stars in a day in January – it’s so emotive and reminds us of our engagement, I burst into tears trying to read it aloud to Tom!

I think the thing that is hindering us with readings is that we have heard so many and the same ones over and over again. This is absolutely fine in the individual context of one wedding, as long as the words are right for you then go for it, but we feel we are having to look a little harder for something more unique to us. I’d particularly welcome any suggestions for alternative Shakespeare!

So that’s where we are at. A thunderstorm a week or so ago forced us to spend the evening on a laptop making wedding decisions so we got a couple of things done then. We’ve also been listening to a lot of playlists rather than our usual BBC 6 Music during the day, so we think we have now decided on the signing of the register music. The really hard one is the recessional!

I’d love to hear how you reached your choices…

Lina x

 

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It’s our turn: The first step in our wedding planning – the venue!

One thing I truly love about my job is the ability to help couples with their planning. My brain is like Pinterest, filled with huge amounts of wedding related knowledge, not just about wedding photography, but also wedding dress designers, music, schedules, venues, favours, decor, hair and make-up… you get the picture!

So following our engagement in Iceland in January, we are now planning our own wedding. It should be easy right? Many people have said to us ‘Oh I bet you’re all sorted and know exactly what you want.’ That and ‘Who will do your wedding photos?!’ Well the answer to the first question a few weeks ago was, no, not really. You see when you have been to as many weddings as we have, and seen so many lovely styles and ideas, it’s actually quite difficult to pick through all of the Pinterest board that is our brains and ask ourselves, but what is US?

Thankfully, we were already one step ahead of most couples when it comes to choosing our venue, as we have already seen hundreds! One thing was essential, we really wanted a venue that we hadn’t shot at before, so it would feel like ours on the day. We love many of the wedding venues throughout Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire but we just didn’t want to possibly feel like we were going to work. So I set about trying to find the ones we may not have heard of or may be at bit unusual, and OMG how annoying a process was this!!! I envy couples who either a) have always known the venue for them, maybe because they had been to another wedding there before or it may be the Cambridge college they went to or b) they are not that fussed about the venue and just want a good space to have a party. Looking for venues online was such a hassle! How many venues don’t bother putting their specs up? Why on earth would you not write how many people you can accommodate?!

Also, some of these venues obviously have no idea what a good photograph is. Yes this stock picture of a bride and groom kissing may be romantic but does it show me your rooms? No! No help at all! We also seriously doubted what is thought of as a good photograph, with some truly dreadful shots attempting to showcase the venue. So we were ruthless, no proper information or terrible photographs and it didn’t get a look in. I had no idea it was this bad out there, all you couples about to embark on finding your ceremony have my sympathy, you really do.

Tom and I have a love of historical venues, so the terrible websites combined with the need to have not shot a wedding there before narrowed it down to three venues in Hertfordshire.  Thankfully they were all within a half an hour drive of each other, so we had one day of looking round. Now that was weird. Actually being shown around as a bride and groom to-be, with the coordinators not having any knowledge of what we did for a living. Being told things like ‘after your ceremony…’ and not just listening in on a behalf of a client felt strange. After working in the industry for over five years now, it really is our turn!

We instantly loved the Jacobean romance of Fanhams Hall Hotel in Ware. The Long Gallery where our ceremony will be (eek!) has gorgeous wood-panelling which we love, as does the Great Hall where our reception will be. So after a week of, ‘is that the one?’ conversations, having another search through venues, getting frustrated all over again, we knew we needed to return to Fanhams. So back we went with our parents, and after the thumbs up were given all round, we sat down to their popular Sunday carvery, which was AWESOME. If they can do mass catering that well (it was very busy!) then the wedding food must be amazing. We also really liked the coordinator Amy, who we instantly got on with and believed that Fanhams would cater to all our wims and thoughts. So that is it, it’s booked. A Christmas wedding here we come…

 

Lina x

 

 

Hertfordshire Wedding Photographers Lina and Tom are wedding planning!

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