Planning a Kent Wedding?
You’re engaged! Yeeha, wonderful news & many, many congratulations. You’ve found the love of your life & now there’s a wedding to organise – eek! It’s such an exciting time. So, how to plan a wedding in Kent?
Where & how to start can be a little overwhelming. As a wedding photographer, it’s a question I’ve been asked many times. So in an effort to help as much as I can, here is my humble opinion! Remember it’s only my opinion – everyone has one, right!
My blog is focused on the wedding supplier side of your big day, in terms of which wedding products & services you may like to use/have at your wedding. I’ve not focused on the personal side, for example how many guests you are going to have. There’s no guidance on appointing the important jobs of Best Man & Maid of Honour etc. I’m pretty sure you’ve got that bit covered!
Do you have a Wedding Day Vision?
So the first question to ask yourself & your partner, of course (!), is do you have an idea of what you would like your wedding day to look like? A wedding day vision for want of a better word. Most newly-weds-to-be start with the wedding service/ceremony as that helps them to decide WHERE & WHEN you would like to get married. Do you want the big white wedding or do you want a smaller, more intimate, affair?
Religious Service or Non-Religious Ceremony?
Another question you will need to ask yourselves is: do you want a religious service or would you like a non-religious ceremony/partnership? Here’s a bit more information on both.
Here in Kent, we are blessed with over 220 (at the time of writing this article!) licensed venues which include Castles, Country Houses, Country Barns, Hotels, the list goes on. You literally have hundreds of venues to choose from & the great thing is that your chosen licensed venue can be anywhere i.e. you are not tied geographically to you local area.
In addition to licensed venues (which are sanctioned for wedding ceremonies conducted by a Registrar) you also have the choice of appointing a wedding celebrant. This is not a legal service and you will need to marry legally first to tick the UK legal wedding requirements. But if you wanted to marry in a location other than a licensed venue, for example your back garden, this is indeed possible. You can do the official bit at the Registry Office first & then have a more personal & tailor made service wherever you like!
We also have a great number of churches/religious venues within Kent providing wedding services. However the location of such a venue can often linked to your local parish i.e. family parish where you live or grew up or religious faith.
When to get married in Kent?
The other big question is WHEN to get married? As you know in the UK we are blessed with four gorgeous seasons. Seasons bring about change to our landscape & of course temperature! Each season offers something different. When I think of Winter, I think of Christmas! Most venues put their Christmas decorations up around the middle/end of November so you can take advantage of that! Spring brings about tepid temperatures & blossom! Summer is darn hot, especially the last few years so you may want to consider this when planning your wedding. Autumn is probably my favourite time of the year in terms of photography when that golden light is in abundance. Sometimes the decision of WHEN is dictated by your chosen venue & it’s availability. The other thing to consider in terms of when to get married is of course your savings plan!
Appointing your Creative Team
Once you’ve decided WHERE & WHEN, the next thing to do is to pull together your ‘Creative Team‘. This is the team of wedding suppliers that are going to make your wedding vision a reality. This list includes everything else apart from where & when. For example, it includes us i.e. photographers!
Lee (female, despite spelling!) is on the left & Jon is on the right. To find out more about our products & services please visit our Home page. There is a host of information on this website but we’re at the end of an email/phone if you want to know more.
Your wedding day vision also includes the Dress & there’s so many great designers out there. We’ve been fortunate to photograph many stunning dresses including a Vera Wang!
A good bridal boutique is what’s called for to give you guidance on what design of dress will suit your body shape.
A Wedding Day Theme/Style
A wedding theme/colour scheme is also something you will want to think about as well as a wedding day style. Would you like say a vintage wedding set in a fairy tale venue, a rustic wedding set in a country barn, a contemporary wedding set in a modern hotel. So much to think about! Take your time & think each decision through carefully. Break your decision making down into manageable chunks. You will get there, I promise & all these decisions will be made. Remember to talk to your partner about other things as well i.e. not just the wedding!
Wedding Day Flowers, Cake & Transport
As well as the above, decisions will need to be taken around your florist, your cake, your transport (if so required). Apologies if this seems a little overwhelming – it’s not sent to frighten you.
Depending on your wedding reception venue you may also like to appoint a event decorator to include things like drapes, backdrops, chair covers, centre-table decorations, wedding favours to set the scene for your Wedding Breakfast (so called, as it’s the first meal that you will take as Mr & Mrs rather than a fry up!). Your Reception Venue can usually help with this in terms of providing you with suppliers they have worked with in the past & recommend.
Basically, the list is as large as you want it to be & as large as your wedding budget will allow!
Appointing your creative team is great fun. Well at least it should be. The most important thing is to breathe & relax, safe in the knowledge that you will get there. Like all good things, it just takes a little time to pull together.
Wedding Suppliers to Suit All
There are an array of talented wedding suppliers out there to suit ALL visions & ALL budgets. What you need to do is to find the suppliers that suit YOUR vision & YOUR budget. They don’t necessarily have to the best supplier in their chosen field BUT, (& breathe!) they do have to be the best supplier for you! Remember the appointment of your ‘creative team’ is totally your choice.
So let’s get started!
You will need to get yourself a wedding file. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy just a place that you can collate information. Then we need to roll up our sleeves & get stuck in! We need to do some research, in other words information gathering! There’s an abundance of help out there just waiting for you, I promise!
Why not start by visiting some local Wedding Fairs, getting hold of some local wedding magazines & even go on line for inspiration. If you have a mobile phone (let’s face it, who doesn’t!) start taking pictures of anything that inspires you! Instagram & Pinterest are also great sources of inspiration for wedding related topics. Most weddings are organised by the Bride-to-be but remember there are two people here so, don’t forgot to involve your partner in your wedding day choices.
If you like the look of something, don’t stop to think why. Just save it, print it, or copy it to that all important wedding file. Sooner or later you will see some kind of pattern develop. Trust your inner voice & your gut feeling. Most of us already know what we want, but it was a sub-conscious decision we made some years back!
Wedding Fairs in Kent
Kent Wedding fairs are a GREAT way of seeing for yourself what is available out there & there’s lots to choose from. A Kentish Wedding & KC Weddings & Events will detail many of the Wedding Fairs that are taking place in Kent . Another great source of information for Kent Weddings is A Kentish Ceremony is also a great source of information & they will also feature up & coming Wedding Fairs.
Wedding Fairs offer you the opportunity to speak with wedding suppliers on a 1-1 basis & you can see for yourself what they have to offer in terms of service and/or product. Wedding fair season normally runs from September to November & then again from January to April. They are rarely hosted during the busy summer months when wedding season is in full swing. There are very large wedding fairs, with literally hundreds of suppliers to choose from, or there’s smaller wedding fairs which are a little less hectic. The choice of which ones to visit is again yours.
Wedding Fairs featuring Blushing Bride Photography
I’ve listed here some up & coming wedding fairs that Blushing Bride Photography will be hosting a stand at, if you fancy dropping by!
When planning your wedding, it’s probably helpful to appoint your suppliers in terms of their priority to you i.e. tackle one thing at a time. Of course the information gathering doesn’t have to be in any particular order as all of this can sit patiently in your wedding file awaiting your review!
A Few Words of Caution
In closing this blog, I would like to give you some cautionary words. I have been photographing weddings for over a decade & I would say that 95% of the time everything runs smoothly & accordingly to plan. The day is everything the Bride & Groom hoped it would be. However, the law of averages dictates that occasionally something goes wrong.
I would recommend that you obtain wedding insurance to ensure you cover yourself as much as possible. Weddings are expensive occasions & it’s prudent to be street wise!
Enjoy the Process!
Whatever your preferences are, have fun & enjoy your wedding planning. Remember everything comes to he/she who waits & it WILL be wonderful. You just need some time to decide what you want & to appoint the right people to make it happen!
Good luck & lots of love, the team at Blushing Bride Photography xx
p.s. All the images featured in this blog were taken by Blushing Bride Photography xx