How to plan your wedding Day!

How to plan your wedding Day!

How to Plan your Wedding Day!

30th December 2016

Planning your Wedding Day

Did you get engaged over Christmas? Congratulations from me and the team at Slice of Life Photography. Are you wondering about all the things you’re going to need to do and when you will need to do them? Wedding planning can be quite stressful and the most important thing is to be organised and prepared. This in mind, I have put together a wedding Planning countdown for you to use in your preparations, a guide of what to do and when to do it. I have based my timings around a 12-month engagement / planning time but your engagement maybe longer or shorter than this so you may need to jiggle the timings slightly 🙂 Allowing at least 12 months will help when hoping to secure the best venues and suppliers at the best prices.

Approximately 12 Months before Your Wedding Day

  • Sit down with your partner and discuss your ideal wedding, hopefully your thinking along the same lines.
  • Draw up a budget.  Be realistic about what you can afford.
  • Decide whether you want to plan your own wedding and if appropriate research and hire a professional wedding planning.
  • Pick some potential wedding dates – beside to check with important guests to avoid clashing with other events.
  • Consider your possible guest list.  It is helpful to have an idea of approximate number of guests when picking venues.
  • Book your venue(s) – The sooner you book your venue the better.  Some popular venues will be booked up months or even years ahead for significant dates.  You’ll need a venue for your ceremony (church, registry office or licensed civil wedding venue) and a venue for your reception.  Things to consider when making your choice are seating capacity, catering facilities, indoor and outdoor areas for your wedding photos.
  • Send out Save the Date cards
  • Decide who you would like as Bridesmaids / Groomsman
  • Book your Photographer – Find a wedding photographer who offers the style of photos you are looking for. Do you want traditional wedding photography, a reportage story telling style or maybe a mixture of formal and relaxed wedding pictures).  Meet with your photographer and view their portfolio and a whole wedding album. Popular dates get booked up early. I have had weddings in my diary 2 years ahead of the wedding so it’s important to find your photographer early.
  • Book your Videographer – The same principles apply for the videography, its worth considering if your photographer can recommend someone that compliments their style so you know they will work well together.
  • Start to think about wedding dresses and styles – dresses that are made to order need to be purchased at least 6 months before the wedding.
  • As soon as you start booking anything make sure you organise wedding insurance to protect any deposits you pay.
  • Have an engagement Party.


8 -10 Months before your Wedding Day

  • Decide and book what type of entertainment you want.  A pianist, violinist, DJ, Band, wedding singer?  Some people book magicians or children’s entertainers too.
  • Contact decor hire companies if you need to rent anything such as marquee, chair covers, centre pieces.
  • Order your wedding dress
  • Research and secure accommodation for guests that may be traveling from out of town.
  • If your reception venue is not providing the catering, then you will need to book outside caterers.
  • Book your cars – You’ll need a bridal car for you and whoever is giving you away and possible a 2nd for your mother and bridesmaids.
  • Book your florist – Decide how many flowers you would like and where. 

6 – 8 Months before your Wedding Day

  • Order Bridesmaids dresses.
  • Order your wedding cake.
  • Book Groomsman’s suits.
  • Book your honeymoon – don’t forget to check your passports are in date.
  • Meet your minister / registrar – they will be able to answer all your questions and you’ll need to think about music and readings.

4 – 6 Months before your Wedding Day

  • Order or make your wedding stationary – invitations, order of service, place cards and thank you cards.
  • Attend pre-wedding counselling (if required).
  • Book your makeup artist and hairdresser – book a trial complete with tiara and veil if possible.
  • Book your honeymoon suite (if it’s not already part of your reception package).
  • Bridesmaid wedding photo cropland Abbey

3 Months to go to the Big Day!

  • Buy your wedding shoes and accessories – get your shoes in plenty of time for your first dress fitting. And remember to break them in.
  • Decide on prayer, readings and music.
  • Arrange vaccinations for honeymoon if required.
  • Start gathering address for the guest list.
  • Buy your wedding rings.
  • Decide on a gift list – this is usually sent out with wedding invitations.


2 – 3 Months before your Wedding Day

  • Dress fittings and alterations.
  • Buy gifts for best man, ushers and bridesmaids and bouquets for mothers of bride and groom.
  • Send out invitations. These are traditionally sent 6 – 12 weeks before the wedding.  Include information for your guests on overnight accommodation, transport, parking, dress code, gift list, RSVP details and ask about dietary requirements.
  • If you’re having personalised vowels now is a good time to start writing these.


1 Month to go to the Big Day!

  • Final dress fitting – make sure you take your maid of honour or mum with you so they know how to fasten your dress. As a wedding photographer, I have seen a few brides panic when they realise no-one knows how to lace the dress.
  • Finalise details and order the order of service (usually only given out for church weddings).
  • Reconfirm the wedding arrangements with all your suppliers – You should receive a timeline from your venue. Your wedding photographer may want to meet with you to discuss group photographs and timings for the day, your DJ or band will require song reuse, including details of your first dance.
  • Review your RSVP list and chase any outstanding responses.
  • Finalise seating plan.
  • Arrange the wedding rehearsal if you are having one.

2 Weeks to go

  • Write speeches.
  • Have a facial (this allows time for any imperfections drawn out to settle down before the big day).
  • Have your Stag and Hen Parties.

1 Week to go

  • Have a haircut and colour if needed.
  • Final head count to venue / caterer.  Remember to consider if you are expected to provide a meal for any vendors, some DJ’s and Photographers request that they are provided with food).
  • Create table plan.
  • Print Place cards.
  • Have the wedding rehearsal, this is helpful so everyone knows where to stand and when to speak etc.
  • Pack for your honeymoon and order currency.
  • Break in your wedding shoes (around the house with socks on is a great way to stretch them).
  • Have any beauty treatments (waxing, pedicure, manicure etc.).
  • Pack an overnight bag for the reception.
  • Create a wedding emergency kit – Include make up, a compact mirror and powder, lipstick, tissues etc., anything you might need on the day.  Ask your chief bridesmaid to carry it for you.
  • Collect groomsman suits.
  • Buy ivory brolly if the weather looks to be wet.
  • Ensure you have your something old, something borrowed and something blue.

The day before the Wedding

  • Ensure you have payment organised for any final balances that need to be paid.
  • Deliver any final items to the reception venue (favours, table plan, place cards etc).
  • Relax.
  • Give the best man the wedding rings and the fee for the minister (if he hasn’t already been paid).
  • Get an early night.

Your Wedding Day!

  • Relax.
  • Have fun.
  • Remember it isn’t the end of the planning but the beginning of your marriage.

I hope you have found the information helpful and can use it to create a list to aid your planning.  I wish you every success with you planning and your future married life.  If you would like more helpful tips for organising your wedding why not subscribe to my newsletter.



Book a Wedding Photography Consultation

To find out more or check my availability for your wedding date, please contact me via the form below.

3 + 7 =

Keywords: Wedding Photography, Wedding Planning Tips

Slice of Life Photography

Specialising in Baby Photoshoots, Wedding Photography and creating stunning Fairy Photography.

The purpose built garden photography studio near Spalding, Lincolnshire is easily accessible from Peterborough, Stamford, Bourne, Boston, and Kings Lynn


United Kingdom


07545 778016

How to chose your Wedding Photographer

How to chose your Wedding Photographer

How to chose your wedding photographer

29th December 2016

What to look for in a wedding photographer

On Friday evening, I headed into Peterborough to meet with a lovely couple to discuss their wedding plans. One of the things that came out of the meeting is that couples often don’t know what to look for in a wedding photographer or what questions they should be asking when choosing someone to photograph their wedding day. Consequently, I thought I might be a useful thing for me to write about. My intention is not to sell my wedding photography services but merely to help couples make the right choice for them.

1. Do you feel comfortable with them?

Your wedding photographer is likely to be with you from when you start getting ready right through to the evening reception. They will be sharing some intimate and personal moments with you, standing at the front of the service, watching you wipe your tears as you say your vows and capturing your first kiss as Mr and Mrs. It is really important that you feel relaxed and at ease with them otherwise your discomfort may be reflected in your wedding photos.

2. Do you like the style of work they do?

All wedding photographers have their own style and way of working. Do you want a photographer that works in a reportage style, telling the story of your wedding day in a relaxed manner? Do you want stunning posed images that are very artistic or a mixture of both?

3. Can they show you examples of previous weddings they have photographed?

Most wedding photographers will be able to produce a portfolio of their best work but also ask to see examples of entire wedding collections or albums from previous clients. It is important that you know that the whole day will be captured successful and not just a few best bits.

4. Can they provide references or reviews?

Any good photographer will be able to point you towards testimonials or reviews from previous clients, they may also be able to produce references from previous clients if desired.

5. Will they accommodate your ideas?

Some couples have quite clear ideas about the sorts of images they would like to have. Your photographer should be willing to help you make these ideas a reality and maybe even build on it.

6. Are they insured?

Any reputable wedding photographer will be insured with both public liability and professional indemnity insurance. Many venues now ask to see copies of this and won’t let the photographer in without it so please do check.

7. Are they a member of any professional body?

Professional bodies are an important part of most professions, and being a member of one demonstrates commitment to their chosen career. BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photographers) and SWPP (Society of wedding and Portrait Photographers) both offer training and qualifications that photographers can tap into and work towards to build their skills. Both also have a database of photographers that we can tap into should the unmentionable happen and your photographer was ill or otherwise became unavailable.

8. What happens if their equipment malfunctions or fails?

Sadly, living in the electronic age the reality is this does happen, however any reputable photographer will take precautions to ensure the risk and consequences are minimal. Regular servicing and cleaning of equipment is important. It is also useful to operate on two cameras and maybe swap memory cards throughout the day, doing this would mean minimal lose should the worst happen.

9. What would happen if the photographer were ill on the day?

Any wedding photographer worth their weight in gold will have a contingency plan in place for this. It is useful if they have a network of photographer ‘buddies’ they can contact to save the day or being a member of a professional body also allows for them to tap into the pool online.

10. What is included in the price you pay?

Make sure you know what you get for your money. Wedding photography can be expensive so it is important there are no hidden extras. Do you get prints, album or USB? Is the travel of the photographer included? Will there be 1 or 2 photographers? If you are particularly uncomfortable in front of the camera it might be useful to look for someone that offers a pre-wedding session.

11. How soon should you book your photographer?

My advice is the sooner the better. Once you know your date and venue, get them booked, that way you get the pick of the bunch.

12. Do they do any post processing on your wedding photographs?

You may or may not have heard of ‘shoot and burn’. This is a service that some photographers offer to allow you to get your images straight away, however this does not allow for any post processing. Although any good photographer will aim to get everything correct in camera, sadly the occasional thing is missed and needs correcting, uncle Jerry gave the groom rabbit ears and it wasn’t noticed or the brides worst fear came true and the biggest spot appeared on the morning of the big day. Ensure you know what if any post processing is included in the price. Basic editing like spot removal, Black and white conversions should be standard, there may however be an additional charge for certain types of edits.

13. Who will take my photographs?

If the photographer works for a large company, make sure you know who will be attending to take the pictures. It is important you build a relationship with the photographer not the sales rep.

14. Ask to see the contracts.

Any reputable company will happily let you review the terms and conditions prior to committing to using their services. Ask to see a copy of the contract you will be signing, so you have time to read and digest this without any pressure.

15. Experience.

Although this is an important factor to consider, don’t rule out the new kid on the block. Photographers that have been in the game 30 years may be stuck in their ways and produce out dated results. A new up and coming photographer may have fresh bright ideas and is still keen to improve and try harder. Seeing their work will provide a greater indicator of their skills then length of service.

I hope that you have found this a useful article. Maybe you know someone planning a wedding and can share this with them. Have I missed something that you think should be included, why not let me know with a comment.

Thanks for reading.


Book a Wedding Photography Consultation

To find out more or check my availability for your wedding date, please contact me via the form below.

2 + 6 =

Keywords: Wedding Photography, Wedding Planning Tips

Slice of Life Photography

Specialising in Baby Photoshoots, Wedding Photography and creating stunning Fairy Photography.

The purpose built garden photography studio near Spalding, Lincolnshire is easily accessible from Peterborough, Stamford, Bourne, Boston, and Kings Lynn


United Kingdom


07545 778016