Hey, I got married last month, and I’m happy to say, it was a brilliant day and really couldn’t have gone any better, so here’s a few photos of the big day and a few hints and tips for those of you who have still got your main event to come.
As with any wedding, we’ve got around a million photos and a video to boot, which also turned out really well, but I’ve been ordered to keep the privacy of our guests intact so I’ve just picked a few that give the general idea, but if you like the look of some of the services we used to make the day a success, give them a call and I’m sure you’ll have a great time.
First you’re gonna need some rings, a white and yellow gold ring for me and something nice and neat that compliments the sparkler she got for the engagement. Lucky for me I had an ancient family heirloom to give for an engagement ring, which saved me at least three months wages… wicked !
Then you’ll need a big marquee from a marquee company like these guys. A 30 x 70 footer will do, for about 80 guests, the bar and catering tables.
These things are huge and have an extra section added on to the main area for the caterers. They cost a bomb but if are lucky enough to have one you’ll need to include the dance floor and a starlit sky for effect. They’ve also got opening side panels for when things get too hot.
Make sure you’ve got plenty of mates to help clean the dance floor
and some kids to test it out.
Then stand around and drink tea whilst one person hoovers the entire marquee.
add some table decorations, balloons, crystals, butterflies, favours and presents etc. for the kids to keep them busy.
Spend all bloody day making a guest list with table names of your favourite bands. e.g Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Metallica etc. and let the Mrs pick hers..
..but she’ll probably pick naff groups like Take That or Robbie Williams and ruin it’s cred.
Next you need a grand looking pad to hold the event.. (special permission only)
..that’ll do !
a place to get married.
Decorate the church
Get a groom, stick him in a suit (for once in his life !).
Add ushers and best man, hit the church an hour early and get a few swigs of your mate’s whisky flask to calm the nerves.
(guess which one of these dodgy blokes carries the flask !)
Some black and white photos
Get a Room !
A bouncy castle for the kids
And some posh toilets for the guests.
If you really want to make your bride happy, get her to the church in one of these.
but don’t let her forget the champagne for the ride to the reception. Tut !
Meet Ronnie and Reggie. These guys were fantastic, absolutely massive and getting close up to these magnificent beasts (and my wife of course) was awesome.
Ronnie & Reggie
These shire horses were huge powerhouses towering above us all. After carrying us a couple of miles from the church to the reception we just had to take a closer look at these champions, and the coachmen were happy for us to get a photo of Ronnie and Reggie to remember them by.
Watch out cause when one of these guys sneezes on you, you’re going to get a face full, as my Mrs found out a few seconds later.
Once you’re married and the technicalities are over, you can really enjoy yourself. Give your guests Pimms or fruit juices on arrival and those who want beer can hit the bar.
Do a hastily prepared but devilishly brilliant wedding speech.
..not to many mother in law jokes or you’ll be in deep s*^t.
Get your speeches over and done before the meal so you can all relax and enjoy your food.
If you’re thinking of serving a decent wedding buffet and are not sure how it will work out for the guests, you could do what we did and ask the caterers to serve a nice sit down starter to begin with and when everyone’s tucked into that and got into the mood, the top table can head up and start the buffet, inviting the guests to help themselves at their leisure. The politeness of your guests will hopefully ensure a stampede does not ensue and it should work out pretty well.
Allow at least 1/2 bottle of wine per person on each table, plus sparkling and spring water for the non drinkers and kids and champagne or prosecco for the toasts.
Grab a cake
(That’s a bit wonky !)
Some colourful scratch masks for the kids
Get your first dance over and done.
Loads of booze.
A well stocked bar.
Some fire lanterns.
These things will really make your evening celebrations something special, but be careful and if you are going to use them, try and buy the eco friendly ones made of wood instead of wire to protect the environment.
Keep your ushers on the ball to throw any drunks out and make sure you’ve got a decent baby sitter to look after your kids when they flake out.
Book yourself a wicked hotel for the night.
Jump on a plane to Cyprus
Relax by the pool
And get beered up !
The one thing you need to know if you’re planning your wedding, is if you decide to go it alone and do it yourself, then yes, it is going to be a nightmare and will take months of your time planning, buying and arranging every little detail – right down to the elastic bands on the kid’s crayons. You’ll need a good few mates to help out and get things done on the day and some contingency plans if things go wrong.
It will be stressful and probably drive everybody nuts for about a year, but the day will turn out great and it will be well worth it, so don’t worry about it and go out and get yourself married.
Some Wedding Tips
If you are looking for a carriage company, these guys were great and from start to finish the level of service the Ostler Carriage Company provided was excellent. The company has many horses but these two magnificent beasts, Ronnie and Reggie were fantastic and really made our day.
Get a Video Made
You may think the photographer is the most important person to capture your wedding, but you also need to get yourself a good videographer. Even if you have a friend or someone who’s a keen amateur trying to break into the business then you can get a great memento of the whole day at a good price. A well made video will really capture the mood and be worth a million photos.
Contact local colleges doing media studies and see if there are any eager final year students prepared to have a go.
Some pros may be expensive and grown complacent and could possibly do a worse job with your video than an eager student raring to show his talent. I know a couple who’s wedding dvd resembled a terrorist video and cost them a fortune. Our guy stayed the whole day and night and as it was only his second or third wedding vid, he did it for a great price.
Check your photographers work before you book. It seems obvious but some of the guys we checked out were atrocious and cost a fortune. Our photographer was recommended by friends and did a great job at a fraction of the price of many others.
Make sure you provide a list of photo’s you want taken and ensure the photographer sticks with it or you may miss out on some precious shots.
Shop around on the net – if you are looking for bouncy castles, marquees, bars and other services, there is a massive difference in price between hire companies. You can save hundreds of pounds in the click of a mouse. Also book months in advance to get the pick of the crop at the best prices.
The same goes for all the other little touches and decorations as prices vary greatly on the net. Things like favour bags can cost upto two pounds each in the U.K but you can import exactly the same accessories for mere pennies from suppliers on EBay from China. Check their feedback out first to ensure you’ve got a legit source. And leave plenty of time to change your mind or correct any problems.
Fire lanterns are a great thing to have at your wedding but can be very dangerous to wildlife, the environment and property if not used properly.
Use the Eco friendly ones and make sure everyone checks each lantern for holes in the fine tissue before they are lit. Patch them up and they’ll go for miles and go out when their fuel is expended, send one up with holes in it and and you might end up burning your marquee down or setting fire to the nearest corn field. Inform the authorities if you intend to use them, just in case.
Book your church at least a year in advance and ensure your vicar doesn’t double book your day as has happened to some of our friends.
Rather than using traditional wedding chauffeur services which can be very costly, contact local taxi companies that may have unmarked cars such as Rolls, Jags etc. for special occasions.
Ours had a Chrysler, a Mercedes and a couple of Jags available at a fraction of the price of the local wedding car companies. They were chauffer driven and spotless.
Dresses & Alterations
It may be some time from the date you buy your wedding or bridesmaids dresses to the actual big day and you need to ensure the shop you have purchased them from is not changing hands or going through major refurbs around the time of your wedding. Ours changed hands which caused major problems for us at no fault of our own.
It’s vital you have a good dressmaker on standby or someone you can turn to for advice in case something goes wrong with last minute alterations. The pros let us down and our friends saved the day.
Also check the venue you have booked is not going to change hands or have major refits that could affect your day. A big venue near us just announced a major refit and cancelled all pre booked wedding receptions, leaving their clients in big trouble with no comeback.
Get insurance or some sort of guarantee that you will be compensated if something goes wrong.
You can get great plain wedding cakes in different sizes from M&S and decorate them yourself at a fraction of the cost of a professional wedding cake company.
Make sure you don’t book your wedding too late in the afternoon. The day will go so quickly you will want to make the most of it. Probably 12 to 1 pm is fine.
Make sure you take time out to take it all in as it will be over before you know it.
You won’t get a chance to speak to everyone on your day as you’ll be in constant demand.
Put disposable flash cameras on each table so your guests can take their own photos. Some of them will be priceless.
Book your stag do at least a month in advance to let your hair and eyebrows grow back in time for your wedding.
Don’t get hammered the night before your wedding or you’ll spend the whole day feeling like death and miss the most expensive party you have ever held.
Make sure you loose shed loads of weight before your wedding. You’ll have to look at those photos and video for years to come. Plus you’ll put on loads of weight on the honeymoon and the weeks after…because you can.
Don’t worry about things going wrong on the wedding day. You’ll put yourself through unnecessary stress for no reason. On the day you’ll enjoy it whatever happens and you probably won’t care if the cake falls to pieces or your speech is crap.
If you are worried about your speech, there’s plenty of help online. In fact when you do your research, you’ll probably find any decent speech you’ve ever heard was copied straight from the net anyway. So the whole time you thought your cousin was an incredibly talented and witty speaker, you’ll realise he’s just a dirty rotten cheat who copied his wedding speech word for word from here.
Rehearse your speech out loud and in the mirror. You may think you’ve got it sussed by reading it through or practicing it in your head, but as soon as you actually open your mouth you’ll screw up. Get used to actually saying what you have to say and projecting your voice properly. Ditch any bad habits like pacing, scratching or saying ‘Err !’ too much. Get used to saying the emotional bits so you don’t start blubbing like a girl on the day.
All wedding ceremonies have a rehearsal the day before and there’s really nothing to it. The vicar will tell you what to do and when so there’s not much that can go wrong, as long as you turn up and your best man has the rings, that’s it.
In fact, you’ll probably be more nervous at the rehearsal than you will be at the actual wedding.
Make sure your ushers know how to do the little things like fold your handkerchiefs and pin buttonholes properly, otherwise you’ll all end up looking a mess, especially if there’s no women around to sort the blokes out.
Take a hip flask to the church
Make a list of songs you want the DJ to play and make him stick to them. The music you listen to on the day will make a big difference to your celebrations and you’ll want to hear your favourite tunes.
Get your guests to text or write down a few of their favourite songs with the return invites. Then you’ll get some great ideas and know people will love the music.
Make sure you put some bangin tunes on for the last hour so your mates can have a blast when the oldies have retired.
Shop around big time before you book your florist, you’ll save hundreds.
Miserable Shop Owners
Don’t give your business to anyone who doesn’t seem enthusiastic or interested in your custom. They are probably charging a fortune anyway and could at least show some courtesy and respect when you are looking to spend a small fortune in their shop.
That goes especially for the wedding dress and suit shopping. My wife left a wedding dress shop who’s owner showed absolutely no interest and would barely give her the time of day. The next shop was courteous and polite and she left there after spending nearly a grand and a half on a dress.
It was the same with our suits. Why spend £500 hiring a bunch of suits from stuck up tailors when the owners won’t even acknowledge you are there. Go somewhere where they deserve your business.
Knock Em Down
The fact is, what ever you are looking for, as soon as you mention the word “wedding” people smile and then triple the price. So be on your guard and don’t fall for the initial price you are quoted on anything. Knock ‘em down at least a third and try your luck, you could save yourself thousands by the end of the day. Especially on the big venues.
I’ve not checked them out yet, but if you really want to get organised, here are loads of wedding checklists available on Excel if you need a hand.
What ever you do, you can’t control the weather, so expect the worst and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. We had a scorcher and got away with it, which rounded off just about a perfect day.
..and don’t step on your wife’s dress or she’ll be really pissed.
So that’s it, I hope yours goes with a bang too. Anyone with any more tips, let us know with the comment form below.
Oh yeah ! and lastly, for all you blokes out there who have been forced to go to wedding fares, watch the wedding channel, countless wedding programs on T.V, magazines, brochures and all that 24/7 for the last 16 months, it doesn’t stop there.
Once the wedding is over you’ll have another six months watching the video, sorting out and printing photos, sending ‘thank you’ notes, talking about it and re-doing the house with new stuff with all the cash and presents you got …and when that’s done, she’ll start planning the anniversary.
It never stops, so you better get used to it.
You know what they say, if you can’t beat em, join em !
Holiday pics up next !