When it comes to planning a wedding, keeping in line with your budget is key. With that being said, there are some things which really are worth investing in. It's all about priorities, and if you're a big foodie then you may as well go all out with your canapes and cake! Based on personal experience, I've come up with five key wedding elements which I think every couple should invest in for their big day...
Let's face it - when the day is over, the first thing you'll want to do is re-live it through the photographs. The best advice I can give, is to pay for a professional photographer, and make sure you check out their portfolio before booking them. I personally found choosing a photographer very confusing when I was planning my wedding. It was, and still is, a total minefield, with so many photographers to choose from. They each have their own unique styles and ways of working. I would strongly advise meeting up with your photographer before you agree to booking. Remember that this person is going to be your shadow throughout the entire day so it's essential that you like them and feel comfortable in their presence! Although photographers may seem expensive at the outset, remember they snapping away for the entire day, and then there's all the editing to consider! If your photographer offers a pre-wedding shoot, I say go for it! This really put myself and my partner at ease and we knew exactly what to expect on the big day. It's also worth considering what you plan to do with your precious photos once the wedding is over. Are they going to be for your sole use or do you want to share them with the world? It's becoming increasingly common for couples to submit their wedding photos for magazine and blog articles. If this is something you might want to consider, make sure you choose a photographer whose style fits in with this. Typically, magazines and blogs will only feature weddings shot by a photographer who is a specialist in fine art, documentary style photography.
2. Decoration and Styling
Obviously, I'm biased, but it's surprising how much your guests appreciate all the effort put into making your wedding setting look beautiful. Aside from wedding invitations, the wedding venue is the first thing that your guests will have to go by to help them to determine what kind of wedding it's going to be. In a world full of blogs, social media and magazines, it's easy to get ideas for your wedding. The difficulty lies in putting all of those ideas together on the big day and making them work in harmony together. You might be tempted to copy something you've seen online, but in doing so, you run the risk of your wedding lacking originality. I always say to couples that their wedding should be a reflection of their personalities - all of their likes, dislikes and experiences rolled into one! And then there's the time element to consider. Whilst hand-tying 100 ribbons around your guests napkins might not seem like a big deal, it really is the last thing you're going to want to do on the morning of your wedding! The morning should be hassle-free and enjoyable, which is where a wedding stylist comes into play! I not only offer design and style advice leading up to the big day, but I can also take over the setting up and setting down so you don't have to!
Florists are not cheap, but that's because of the amount of time and skill which goes into creating your beautiful bouquet and flower arrangements. Flowers have the power to totally transform a venue, tying in all of the colour's you have carefully selected in your colour palette. As a stylist, I have great connections with many local florists who I can coordinate with on your behalf whilst styling your venue. Flowers and venue styling really do go hand in hand, so it's important that your decoration choices and flower arrangements work together to create a beautiful setting for you and your guests. Hanging Flower arrangements and plinths can really add a sense of luxury to any event and are set to be on trend for weddings in 2019.
If you have the budget for it, I would most certainly recommend hiring a professional videographer to film your day. There are hundreds to choose from, all with different styles and packages to suit every budget. Do your research and be sure to watch a few examples of their previous films to see if you like the look of them. It's the next best thing you'll have to re-live your special day! I was surprised by how noninvasive being filmed on my wedding day was. I am quite camera shy so I was slightly apprehensive about freezing up the moment a camera was thrust into my face. But the truth is, I barely knew it was there. Professional video cameras these days are tiny in comparison to what they once were, and a good videographer will be very good at being subtly present!
5. Food and Drink
As much as they won't want to admit it, aside from watching the happy couple tie the knot, the majority of your guests will be there for the food and drink! If your getting married at a restaurant or a hotel, it's always a good idea to go out and sample the menu before booking your wedding to assess the service and quality of the food. If you've already booked and have the opportunity to sample a wedding tasting menu - do so! If there's something you don't like or you're not sure about, don't be afraid to say! We actually ended up having two wedding tastings because we didn't like the food from the first one. The head chef was amazing and came up with a bespoke menu inspired by our Italian theme! Always remember, their working for you!
I hope these 5 top tips help you when setting out your budget!