Planning your wedding is an exciting process, as you put together plans for the start of a special new chapter – but you’ll quickly find that it can also be stressful and occasionally overwhelming! When there is so much to organise it’s inevitable that you will get a bit frazzled every now and then. Don’t worry though, because after years of holding weddings here in the Lake District, we’ve picked up quite a few tips on how to get your plan together with as little stress as possible.
If you haven’t read part one of our guide you’ll find it here. Start there and come back here for part two – don’t worry, we’ll wait.
Back? Okay, let’s get started with part two!
When it comes to choosing a photographer for your wedding, two things stand out as being particularly important – that you love their work, and that you like them as a person. If you don’t feel at ease around your photographer, then this will be reflected in your photos and you won’t look very natural, no matter how skilled they may be. After some research and narrowing down a shortlist of people whose style you like, you’ll want to meet up in person with a few different photographers, so you can get to know each other and make sure you ‘click’.
You should also ask to see one or two complete wedding albums from their previous work – you may love the sample images you’ve seen, but these will naturally have been chosen as highlights of their best work. Consistency is important. If possible, try to see work from a wedding that took place in a similar setting to yours – outdoor ceremonies or winter weddings will have different lighting requirements, for instance, so it’s a good idea to make sure they can still get great results in those circumstances.
Finally, you should make sure you get this done in plenty of time. Many top wedding photographers will be taking bookings for one or two years in advance, so after you’ve sorted a date and a venue you should make finding a photographer a priority. There’s nothing worse than finding a photographer you love, only for them to be booked up on your wedding day.
Another thing to consider in plenty of time is the entertainment. As with photographers, the best wedding bands and DJs will be taking bookings for popular dates not just months, but years in advance. Before this can happen though, you need to consider a few factors:
- Do you want a band or a DJ? Each brings their own benefits, but offers a slightly different atmosphere. Some budgets can accommodate both.
- What kind of music will suit your special day? Do you have a theme that you’d like it to suit? Are you looking for something laid-back and intimate or do you want a party atmosphere?
- What requirements does the venue have? Take into account the size of the space – a small stage will not be able to accommodate an eight-piece band, for instance. Some venues also have a sound limiter, which controls the supply of electricity if the decibel level in the room exceeds a set level.
- Do you want music during the ceremony, drinks reception or meal? If so, remember that this will cost more. If your budget covers that then great, but if not, keep in mind that the main thing people will remember about the entertainment is the evening band or DJ, so prioritise getting the evening entertainment that you really want.
You should research what’s available and get several quotes – and discuss the playlist with the band or the DJ. Most bands will have a repertoire of 100-200 songs, while DJs will have a vast number of tracks curated and available, so you can work with the act to tailor their set towards your likes and dislikes – but keep in mind that they will have performed at hundreds of weddings previously, so know what set list will work to get a full dance floor.
Make sure to stay in regular contact with your entertainment in advance of the wedding. There are a lot of things that can change from the point you book through to the big day, and they will need to know any changes that may affect them.
Florists are another vendor who tend to book up quickly, not least because they are often small, one man/woman operations who can only take on a limited amount of work at a given time – so this means, again, making sure you get your preferred florist booked in plenty of time. While we’re not talking about a year or more in advance, you should be meeting with potential florists when there’s still around eight months to go to the wedding day.
Of course, before you meet up with your potential florists you should be working to make things as easy for yourself as possible – this means research. Identifying the style you want to go for is important, as is getting an idea of what flowers will actually be in season around the time of your wedding. Putting together a ‘moodboard’ or even a Pinterest board to give your florist a starting point is a great idea – just try not to fixate on a particular image or bloom that inspires you, as it will be nearly impossible to replicate exactly. Your inspiration should be used as a springboard for your own unique interpretation.
Once you’ve worked out a budget and drawn up a shortlist, try to have a chat with anyone you’re seriously considering – even if it’s just over the phone. This is your chance to really pick their brain, find out their design process, style, and what you’ll be able to achieve with your budget. That last point is particularly important – you’ll be surprised by what you can achieve without spending too much.
Looking for the perfect Lake District wedding venue? Come and take a look at what we offer at New House Farm. Our beautiful lakeside location and rustic Hayloft Barn makes for the perfect fairytale wedding! To arrange a viewing please contact Hazel on: 07841159818.