You only get one chance to get your wedding day right, so be careful when choosing your photographer. Prices and styles vary enormously and, as with everything, you should visit a variety of photographers to discuss your requirements. It is also advisable to ask to see their portfolio and some wedding albums.
Often the best photographer will be a local one who knows the venues well and will, therefore, obtain the best shots. Should you decide on someone from outside the area, it is a good idea to take them along to the church and reception venue to discuss your requirements. However, do take notice of their ideas – after all, they are the professionals!
You should also discuss your plans with the minister to see if photographs are permitted in church and, if so, whether a flash is allowed. Civil ceremonies are usually more relaxed, although certain restrictions apply to them.
The registrar will be happy to tell you about these. Good photographers are likely to get booked up early. Once you have made your choice, confirm your booking in writing enclosing all the relevant information such as times, dates, addresses and deposit if applicable.
A video of your wedding day allows you to re-visit the day time and time again. It should not be considered as a replacement for a wedding album, but an essential integral part of your day.
You should choose your video company in the same way as your photographer. Some photographic studios have a video team also, but the local company is more likely to have worked with the photographer before and they, therefore, understand each other.
Prices vary depending on the time of year and the amount of time they will be needed, so always discuss your requirements in advance.
Also, the minister will have to be consulted to see if videoing is allowed inside the church. If this is permitted, there is usually a fee to pay to the church.
The choice of wedding day transport is very personal and, to some extent, will depend on the style of wedding itself.
You may choose a modern Rolls Royce or a vintage car or even a horse-drawn carriage.
Hiring a chauffeur-driven vehicle to take you to the church adds an element of luxury as well as being practical. The added space prevents the bride’s veil and dress from getting too crumpled and it makes an ideal backdrop for photographs.
When making enquiries, ask about the whole package as some companies will include flowers in the car and champagne for the journey.
Flowers are a very important part of your wedding day and it will be one of the few times when you will choose the flowers for yourself.
You will need to think carefully about your colour scheme and style of dress when deciding on the bouquet.
The present trend is towards hand-tied bouquets rather than the large wired types. Make sure that your chosen floral arrangements are co-ordinated; bouquets for yourself and your attendants, buttonholes, corsages for the two mothers, and church and table arrangements.
Consider also the colour and design of the wedding cake and whether you intend to have fresh flowers on top. Prices will depend on the time of year. It is, therefore, advisable to obtain a rough price guide before placing the order.
Whilst it is still traditional to have a tiered wedding cake, do not feel obliged to have the standard 3-tiered fruit cake with icing.
Wedding day cakes range from a single tier with the minimum of decoration to a highly decorated 4-tier affair created to your exact requirements and you do not have to have every tier as a fruit cake; a sponge for one tier could be considered for people who do not particularly like the fruit variety and this will reduce the cost.
Prices will, naturally, vary according to your final choice.
You will need to bear in mind your colour co-ordination when deciding on colour and design; the more intricate the design, the longer it will take to complete.
It is, therefore, wise to book the cake at least three months in advance of the wedding day. You will need to arrange for the cake to be delivered to the reception venue on the morning of the wedding.
Always check that the venue has a suitable cake stand and knife for you too!
Music is the soundtrack of your wedding day – from your entrance into the church to the last note at the reception.
The range of entertainment can be from the local DJ to a string quartet to a full size band.
Although most musicians have a wide repertoire, some will specialise and a visit to an entertainment agency may well be the answer, especially if you want something different, but not really knowing what.
The type of stationery you will have will depend very much on your budget. High street shops have a good range of standard designs to suit all tastes and budgets, but for a little extra, you can obtain much more personalised stationery. The choice of design and wording is up to you, but the traditional formal invitation printed in black in the third person is still the most popular.
The invitations may take 3-6 weeks to be printed, so order them 5-6 months in advance. They should be posted about three months before the wedding day.
You will need one invitation per family, one for the groom’s parents and one for the minister and his wife. You will also need to send them to any close family or friends who you already know will be unable to attend. It is a good idea to order around 20 extra. This allows for last minute guests and any mistakes if you are writing out the invitations by hand.
Carefully check the details before giving the printer a copy of the exact wording you would like on the invitations. Ideally, ask to see a proof before they go ahead as printing errors are not uncommon.
Once you know how the ceremony will proceed, you may want to have Orders of Service sheets printed. You will need, generally, one between two plus one each for yourselves, one for the minister and one for the organist. If you are having a civil ceremony, the Order of Service will not be necessary, although you could have an order of day which covers the service and your reception details, including your menu, as well as the evening entertainment.
You may also choose to order personalised wedding stationery such as thank-you cards, reply cards, evening reception invitations, menus, place cards, napkins, favours and cake boxes.