Where to start

It almost feels like a race or a long journey which is about to start. I get emails stating that they have begun their wedding planning, as if the starters gun has gone off and now they are in the race, all in, raring to go, collect as much information as possible, get those files filled with printed emails of quotes, populate the Pinterest board and spend the next 20 weekends driving from venue to venue looking for that perfect spot that suits their tight budget. It all sounds possibly normal doesn’t it? Familiar? Can I be so bold as to suggest something. See the planning process as an enjoyable one with your future spouse where you guys calmly put together a wedding that reflects your character, personalities and interests.

Before the flip files and petrol guzzling missions, sit down together, have a cup of coffee or ice cold beer, or glass of red, look each other in the eye, hold each other’s hand and talk. Talk about who you are as a couple, how you would like to spend your wedding day, how you would like your friends and family to enjoy the day with you, envision it together. Don’t get caught up in the logistics quite yet. Let your hearts speak – flip, that sounds so cheesy and soppy but I guess it is true. So many guys often feel left behind in the process or take on the world given attitude of, “It’s not my area to offer opinion in, she knows what she wants.” You are in this together and you may not think it, but you do actually have a lot of value to add to this process. Do it together.

Bring up things such as guest list size, in other words, is this going to be a celebration where you feel compelled to invite everyone on your Facebook friends list including your work colleagues who end up sitting in the corner table scrolling through Facebook, and your parents’ friends from the golden era or are you more interested in having people that truly mean something to you as a couple, there to witness your commitment of love and celebrate with you. This is important as it has a huge impact on your budget. Remember, you end up paying large amounts of money for that Facebook scrolling guest, and often this leads to compromise in other areas where money could have been spent better. We were fortunate enough to photograph a friend’s wedding in Sri Lanka, it was a week long time of just close family and close friends being together with this lovely couple. It was an incredibly meaningful time, a guest list of about 30 odd.

Having a chat together and putting down the vision and heart of the wedding is incredibly important, it will set the tone for the rest of the planning and will be evident in the day itself. Prioritise this, remember, a wedding is not a production, a show of wealth and class, we have lost the true sense of the depth and weight of the occasion, don’t lose sight of that, You are taking a day out in your lives to celebrate you as a couple, to dedicate your love and commitment to each other, for the rest of your lives, not until you get bored and lazy and feel like an upgrade on your contract. This is a joyful occasion so make sure the planning is joyful. If you clear the noise and keep things simple, it will be.

In my next post I will give some pointers on selecting the venue which will host your celebration, it is definitely one of the first things you will finalise as this dictates the exact date and to a lesser extent the nature of the day.

Till then, happy planning, ciao.

Sean Kelland is a professional wedding photographer who has been involved in the industry for about 8 years and loves telling the story of lovely couples’ weddings, the love, the conversations, the emotions and the laughter.