Wedding planning for the photographer bride

January 2, 2018

If you’re anything like me, you like planning, writing lists, write things down by hand, best start a brand-new notebook, a nice one, with butterflies on it, or a really nice quote. Somehow, writing things down by hand makes me feel a bit more organised than an Excel spreadsheet.

Our wedding is soon, like real soon! We have got all the big things in place, and now it’s down to the nitty-gritty.

We got engaged in June 2017, and within 24 hours we had set the date, chose the venue and booked it, and also chose the ceremony location. We made a list of the things that were important to us. Rather than getting carried away about what we “ought to be doing” we decided on the things we love.

For Mo the following things are important (not in order of priority):
  • Location of ceremony (very specific location on Isle of Harris)
  • Really good local food
  • Closest family and friends to be there
  • The cake to be tasty
  • Preferably Humanist ceremony
  • Use local suppliers as much as possible 
For me, the following things were important:
  • Closest family and friends to be there
  • Get married somewhere on West Harris
  • Really good photos of my man and me on the island
  • A boho-style bouquet for me
  • A really nice hair-style for me
  • A dress that I feel great in
  • Somehow have a Game of Thrones spin in our ceremony (we both love it!)
  • Preferably Humanist ceremony
  • Use local suppliers as much as possible 

Every wedding has their own list of bookable elements, such as: wedding venue, wedding decor, flowers, bridal hair, make-up, wedding dress, groom's outfit, photographer, videographer, entertainment, cake, band or DJ, rings, invitations / RSVPs, favours and so on. The wonderful thing is that nowadays you can really create the wedding of your dreams, the possibilities are endless!

Every couple has their own likes and dislikes, and just because everyone has a wedding cake, doesn't mean you need one! We decided pretty quickly what were the most important things for us and where our budget would go.

Things we didn't want
  • Videographer was not important for us. Even though Mo is the video man in the relationship, we decided against a video of our wedding.
  • Because we only have a small number of people at our wedding, a band or DJ would not be required.
Nice to haves

We both wanted a Humanist ceremony, but we realised that there are no Humanist celebrants on the Isle of Harris. After we spoke to the lovely registrar Helen in Tarbert, we are both totally happy with her conducting our ceremony and amending it to make it our own.Wedding flowers: With time spent on google and asking for recommendations, I found a florist in Stornoway. After meeting with them, I am confident that they can provide the style of bouquet I am after.

Wedding cake: I take photographs of the most amazing wedding cakes, and I see a lot of different styles. From a photo point of view, the naked cakes are amazing, but I know they can dry out quickly. Also, Mo and I have this lego thing going on between us (we just click), so after a bit of research, we found a highly regarded cake designer North of Stornoway. We went for a tasting and wow, this lady can bake!!

Paper invitations: We decided to send out online invitations using RSVPify.com. We are both Geeks and loved the easy way of receiving our RSVPs on the phone and keeping track of them that way.

Must haves

Amazing Food - The Wedding Breakfast

This is a biggie for us. When I take photos at weddings in Edinburgh, I often get the same food as the wedding guests. I must say - in my humble opinion - that Heritage Portfolio provide THE best wedding food in Edinburgh, but it’s a bit far for them to travel and cook for 20 people on the Isle of Harris. We asked far and wide and got recommendations from our friends on the Isle of Harris and we ended up choosing Taste. We enjoyed one of their pop up restaurant evenings, which will always be a highlight from one of our visits to the island. Chris and Nicola, a young couple who moved to the island just recently, love providing locally sourced food, served in a modern and stylish way. Our guests will be blown away with it!

Photographer: Hugely important!

I started my search on the Isle of Harris and Lewis but I was not happy with the results. Even though we were adamant about choosing local suppliers, I had to widen my search. Bearing in mind the photographer had to make their way to Harris from either the Isle of Skye of Ullapool on the mainland, they would need to stay over one, possibly two nights. Google helped me to find Lynne Kennedy who specialises in what I call Landscape Wedding Photography. She has the skill of combining the landscape with the wedding couple in a very stylish way and I love that in her images.

Our guests convenience

We organised a bus to take everyone from our reception venue to the beach and back and also for taking them home to their accommodation at night.

Head in the sand - this is normal!!

Planning a wedding can be stressful people say. So we thought with just 20 people attending it will be a doddle... We have had our ups and downs with it, mainly because we care so much about our closest family and friends being there and for some a trip to the Isle of Harris is quite far. My parents and my brother and family are travelling from Germany, One of Mo's brother's is coming from Paris with his family. We totally appreciate the distance we are asking them to travel and realise that this is quite an undertaking for most of them.

After we had booked most of the big ticket items, we pretty much had our head in the sand. For months! Not a week would go past and one of our friends would remind us "not long now" or "how are the wedding plans coming on". We just smiled and said, it's all in control. But secretly we knew, we had to sit down again... and plan, a bit more. So...

1st January 2018 - Wedding Planning Marathon

  1. Make tea and coffee. In regular intervals.
  2. We started with a brainstorm session of the things we have to look at and make decisions about. We simply made a list of single words that came to mind, in no particular order.
  3. After that, we wrote each word on its own sheet of paper, and we wrote down the notes, and tasks that are to be done, and by whom.
  4. We called family to double check when they would come, and how they would arrive.
  5. We discussed options A, B, C for bad weather.
  6. We decided who has to contact who from our supplier list, with a number of questions that are still outstanding.
  7. We looked at our vows, were totally in tune with what we both love, amended as necessary and included our own personal words.
  8. And then we had dinner.
  9. Success!

We now know exactly what's left to do, and we are in a much better wedding planning place, and feel more in control. I have a pile of paper, a to-do list. Happy days!

Hen-do

One of my friends asked me to create a WhatsApp group with all the girls and then make her an admin of the group. And the agreement was to remove me from the group and they can all plan together. So I have nothing to do with it. I just have to turn up. Easy! Thanks Kim!! x

Stag-do

I think the same is happening for Mo, his mates are up to something... something is brewing!