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What does the coronavirus mean for your wedding?

Weddings can be stressful enough to organise without having to worry about the coronavirus that is now affecting people in the UK.

Following the government’s announcement requesting that people don’t leave the house and to avoid gatherings of more than 2 people, I wanted to create this helpful, positive post about what this means for your wedding day. I want to put your mind at ease and show that, despite it being an awful situation, you shouldn’t let it form a black cloud over your head.

There is a plan of action that you can create to ensure that your day still goes ahead at a time and a place that is safe for you, your guests and your suppliers.

 

Do I need to postpone my wedding?

 

On the 23rd March, Boris Johnson announced that the UK would be going into a 3-week lockdown. This means that you can only leave the house to buy essential supplies, exercise once per day or go to work as a key worker. Gatherings of more than 2 people are not allowed.

 

This means that any weddings scheduled for the next 3 weeks won’t be going ahead.

 

During this time, it’s very important that you stay up to date with news from around the UK and keep in regular contact with your suppliers. It’s likely that many of your suppliers have got in touch with you already to say that they’re closing business temporarily.

 

If you can avoid postponing, then you should.

 

If your wedding is due to take place in a couple of month’s time, have a think about what actions you could take to protect your guests from contracting an illness. You could put mini hand sanitisers on the table as favours, or leave signs around the venue reminding guests to wash their hands frequently. Guests should also be reminded to avoid hugging, kissing or shaking hands when greeting people. For this reason, it may be best to forgo the reception line!

If you’re worried about certain elderly or unwell guests attending, the Church of England is looking into ways your guests can be a part of your day without physically being there. The service could be streamed on Skype or you could have it recorded and send a copy to guests that were unable to attend. Save them a piece of wedding cake, too, so they can experience some aspects of the day.

 

You should avoid cancelling the whole day

 

You will just lose any money you’ve spent on the day so far and it will only upset you further. Instead, by moving the date, you’ll have the wedding to look forward to in the future and you won’t lose your deposits. If you do want to cancel, the Church of England have announced that they will be refunding couples.

Finally, it’s very important to check your wedding insurance policy documents. This could outline that, in extreme circumstances, you may be able to claim the majority of your money back if the wedding doesn’t go ahead due to venue closure or illness of you or a close family member.

If you have to postpone because your wedding is happening in the next few weeks or just because you would prefer to, there are some things you should look into.

 

How to postpone your wedding

 

If you wish to postpone your big day, then there are some things you will need to think about. You can follow the steps below to ensure that you can still have the wedding of your dreams in a few months’ time.

First, you should find a date that your venue can do in the future. Try to avoid rescheduling for a short time in the future, such as 4 months, as it’s unknown how long this virus may be around for. You could book for the same date a couple of years in the future, or pick a date next Spring or Summer.

Then, contact all of your suppliers. This includes photographers, videographers, florists, cake makers, registrars, caterer, DJ, etc. The more notice they have, the better.

Call each of them individually to let them know the situation. It’s likely that they will be extremely understanding and more than happy to help you in any way they can.

If you’ve been able to rebook your venue in the future, let the suppliers know the new date and ask if they can do it. In most cases, suppliers know of other professionals that can help out. For instance, I would be able to supply brides with a list of wedding photographers that I have worked with in the past.

Once you’ve spoken to your suppliers, it’s time to speak to your guests. Where possible, you should phone them to fill them in. If you have a new date secured, let them know what it is and that new invitations will be going out in the future. If you don’t yet have a new wedding date, tell them that you’ll keep them in the loop and will announce it as soon as you know.

 

Try not to get too upset at the situation. As awful as it may seem, there are a lot of other couples in a similar situation. Wouldn’t you rather get married at a time when this situation isn’t hanging over your head? At a time when you wouldn’t be worrying about guests getting ill or being unable to make it? A wedding is about a love a couple share, and that love will still be there in a year or two’s time.

Remember why you’re getting married and that this celebration WILL go ahead. When it does, it will still be the day you’ve always dreamed of.

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How to ask guests not to take photos at your wedding

In a time of mobile phones, social media and the internet, it takes mere seconds to publish something online. Around 300,000,000 photos are uploaded to Facebook every day, as well as over 300 hours of video to YouTube PER MINUTE. This is a lot of online content.

Would you care if someone posted a photo of your wedding before you’d had the chance to? Maybe you wanted to do some kind of social media reveal and a guest has ruined that moment for you. Or what if they tagged you in a particularly unflattering photo? It’s likely that you want the photos that are published to be the ones taken by the professional photographer and published on your terms.

It can be hard to control what your guests put out on social media, but how you ask them to not take photos of your big day and to not publish them online? You want to ask them politely without being seen as a bridezilla.

If you want to ask your guests to not take or publish photos of the day, you’re not alone.

 

Tell them in advance

The best way to stop your guests from taking too many photos is to give them plenty of notice. This is the kind of detail that could be included in your invitations so that guests are aware of the rule before the day. You could include a short poem on the invite that politely requests the only photos are the ones taken by the photographer, such as:

 

There’s a photographer here,

We asked her to come,

So put down your phones,

Our wedding only needs one.

 

You should also let them know whether the rule applies to just the ceremony or the whole day.

 

Remind them on the day

If you sent your invitations out a few months before the day, it may be worth reminding your guests of the no photos rule. Use a sign that can be hung outside the ceremony rule or put it in their order of service. If you’re having a church wedding, it’s likely that the priest or vicar will remind your guests of this anyway. Some churches are very strict and the officiant may even have rules about the official photographer taking pictures.

 

Bridesmaids taking a photo of the bride on her wedding day

Alter your privacy settings

It’s likely that your guests will still be tempted to put some photos of your day on social media. If you’re worried that this will be the case, you could change your privacy settings so that you can’t be tagged in any photos without pre-approving them first. Alter your settings on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to prevent anyone from seeing the photos appear on your timeline.

 

Post sneak peek photos

If you want to be the first to announce your wedding day on Facebook with a few photos of you and your new husband and wife in your beautiful outfits, you could ask for a sneak peek from your photographer. This works well if you don’t want to wait months for your wedding photos. They could send these to you to publish on social media shortly after your day. At least these will be published on your terms. And why not change your Facebook relationship status while you’re at it?

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Wedding at the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel, North Wales

North Wales is my home, and so I love photographing venues all over this area. Last March, I shot a wedding at the beautiful Grosvenor Hotel and Spa, based in Pulford.

 

About the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel and Spa

Situated in North Wales just a few miles outside of Chester, Grosvenor Pulford Hotel and Spa is a 4* venue that boasts 73 stunning bedrooms, a restaurant, bar, piano lounge and spa. 

Built in the 18th century, the building was originally a hotel as well as a working farm, where ale was sold to workers. In 1874, it was known as the Grosvenor Arms. There have been many owners of this historic building, including the Duke of Westminster. Now it’s run by the Nelson family (hence where the name of Nelson’s Bar originates), who have lovingly restored the building and added exceptional facilities, such as additional bedrooms and full leisure facilities.

 

The wedding of Hazel and Craig

Hazel and Craig’s wedding took place on a beautifully crisp and sunny spring day in North Wales. The Grosvenor Pulford is the perfect place for a dramatic arrival as you can walk down the stunning staircase and into the ceremony room, making for a picture-perfect entrance.

As avid travellers, Hazel and Craig chose to adorn the ceremony room with centrepieces of globes, suitcases, books, cameras and magnifying glasses. These looked really beautiful and were quite different from the traditional flowers that many couples opt for. The globes really stood out during the signing of the register against the white tablecloth and showed the couple’s true personality. 

 

Bride and groom at a wedding in North Wales signing the register

 

The main colour theme for the wedding day was blue. The groomsmen wore blue ties while the groom wore cream to make him stand out. The bridesmaids wore navy and the bride had a bouquet made from white and blue roses that were specially dyed. 

Hazel wore a stunning white dress that was both simple and elegant. The lace sleeves combined with a chic up do made her look beautiful and was a very classic look. The belt accentuated her waist and her shoes added a bit of sparkle to the outfit.

One of the most beautiful aspects of this venue is the bridge that spans over a small pond. The large willow trees combined with the blue sky make for some truly stunning images. I love finding nooks and crannies at a venue that makes for beautiful photo opportunities, and this venue has plenty of those. Discover the daffodils in spring, the many bridges and water features as well as the stunning aspects of the building itself.

 

bride and groom standing on a bridge at North Wales venue

 

It’s for this reason that I visit a venue multiple times before doing a wedding there, particularly if it’s a place I haven’t visited before. It’s so important to see what photo opportunities there are and for me to get to know a place properly. 

The travel theme continued through the wedding day. The name cards on the tables were mini suitcases and their wedding cake was three suitcases stacked on top of each other, topped with mini bride and groom. It’s these small details about weddings that I absolutely love and haven’t seen a theme used as creatively as this. 

 

Bride and groom travel themed wedding with small suitcases as name cards

 

Bride and groom cutting their cake

 

As a photographer, I love taking wedding shots but I also love experimenting with some different techniques. For Hazel and Craig, we tried using smoke bombs and lighting to create stunning pictures like these:

 

Bride and groom against smokey background at night

 

These would look incredible over your fireplace or framed on a table. I always provide a USB containing all of your photos as well as a link so you can download the photos via my website. Downloads are unlimited, so you can go crazy and send them to friends and family, get them printed on mugs, cushions, anything you want!