Planning a wedding advice

My brother is getting married and I’ll be helping a lot with the planning, to keep costs down, will be doing the photography myself and tbh i am terrified, if anyone can share any experiences, advice, anything at all to help it would be amazing. Idk the numbers but a lot of people will be offended if they aren’t invited, and there is a vague plan to do the whole thing in a beach airbnb but idk if people even do that or it’s legal without a licence, gotta look into this as they need an islamic ceremony first and i guess this will just be a party so it is legal

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Also they want to have it at the end of next month :sob::sob::sob:

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There’s a lot to unpack there!

If they want to get legally married in the UK they’ll have to get a marriage licence at least 28 days before the actual wedding.

If they just want to have an Islamic wedding I don’t know what the rules are, but as I understand it that won’t be a legally recognised wedding in the UK.

Of course they can have a wedding-style party anywhere they want, but to have a legal ceremony it will have to be at a licensed venue.

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This is absolutely inevitable and as far as possible you/your brother and his partner are going to have to desensitise yourselves to it otherwise you’ll all go insane.

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In terms of planning and costs, I’ve been to amazing weddings that were totally DIY, ask everyone to bring some food / drink (if applicable) and have a big buffet, just have a speaker and playlist instead of a DJ or band, buy some normal cakes instead of an expensive wedding cake… there’s very little you need to have if you’re not desperate for the traditional ceremony and reception.

Standard wedding advice is not to skimp on the pictures if you want a good record of the day, but I don’t know how much that holds now. Even setting up an Instagram hashtag and getting guests to use it will help get all the fun party pictures together, then the other key things are just trying to capture things like vows and speeches - if you have a decent camera and eye for it there’s no reason why you can’t do it. For group shots, be pushy about what you want and make sure you get shots you’re happy with.

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So much this, a million times. Easily the most fun weddings I’ve been to have been the cheapest. But then it’s about the bride&groom’s expectations and what they want out of the day.

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100% ^this. We set a hard cap on numbers first and worked it out from there. Would have been impossible otherwise.

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I think i have to get a better camera, due an upgrade anyway and i was thinking i could practice, idk how but ill find someone who wants free photography at a wedding or something, it’s a lot (usually people take photos and videos at the same time right??) and tbh i have been to 3 weddings ever so not very experienced (one sikh, one muslim, one non religious)

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Cannot like this comment enough. Do constantly remind them both that this is THEIR day and it’s the one day in their lives that they don’t need to worry about pleasing everyone else.

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I think the most important thing is to figure out what’s important to the bride and groom and focus mainly on that. It’s very easy for ‘small’ things to take over if you let them, and you won’t have unlimited energy, so focus is important. My partner’s sister decided for her wedding that it would be nice for every guest to get a pair of Havaianas in their size. What started as a ‘nice thought’ completely took over and became a huge thing that everyone could have done without. So you could encourage your brother and his partner to pick, say, 3 things that they want out of the day and really focus on those…especially with the short time that you have to work towards it.

For a legally binding wedding ceremony I think the venue needs to be licensed for weddings and you need to book a registrar as well as giving notice beforehand. It might not be possible to achieve that in a month so check that first and it will tell you what can and can’t be done on the day.

My top tip in all other respects is to make sure there is enough food. People will always remember if they’re hungry at a wedding. Feed the guests at every opportunity.

yeah, I was gonna say in order of importance - food, nice speeches, dancing. Everything else is just decorations for people and the place

You would usually have a separate photographer and videographer if you wanted both.

Not sure how much luck you’ll have offering your services for free but if someone is game I guess it’s worth a try.

I guess there are usually three sets of photos from a wedding:

General pics of the day - this will come naturally to you, and as above, everyone can contribute these
Staged pics of the wedding party - for a “traditional” (in a UK/US sense) these are usually done after the ceremony and before dinner while the guests mill around with drinks waiting for food. Again, this is just getting the right people together with a nice backdrop and ordering everyone to smile. Easy enough, but you have to take control of it.
Pics of the key moments - first look, vows, speeches etc. When it comes to these you need to know where everyone will be and make sure you’re in the right place at the right time, and probably want to take a lot of shots to make sure you have a few frames that capture the moment. Probably worth thinking about the lighting and stuff for these but that will likely be out of your control.

It’s a big job, and you only get one chance to do it, which is why people pay a fortune for it, so I wouldn’t pressure myself to give that level of service - obviously you want to do right by your brother but there’s only so much you can do and only so much he can expect. You should get to enjoy the day too and not have to work throughout.

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Fresh off organising my own wedding…

Our goal was easy as possible. I didn’t want the fuss of hiring chairs/tables/bar staff so we went for a pub wedding where there was no hire for the room, just a minimum spend on everything. The space was so nice that you really could have done nothing to it and it would have been great, but we did some minimal decorations (under £500) and had my florist friend do the flowers which really made it.

We also did some non traditional things: no bridal party (couldn’t be arsed plus extra expense), joint bride and groom speech only, no favours.

Don’t bother with anything like giving out bags of sweets (hardly anyone took them), a cake made of cheese (only my dad ate it??!!) and the wedding cake (I had an entire tier the next day). Although I would still get the cake cause it looked so cool but would get it smaller. I also did evening food which was a total waste of money as only a handful of people ate it.

I didn’t scrimp on much tbh but my money was best spent on my photographer and my wedding day coordinator.

Could they get legally married at a town hall then do an unofficial humanist ceremony at the beach?

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Get this part tight!! Know who will be in each shot and get someone to help go “GROOMS IMMEDIATE FAMILY” cause fuck me does that get boring soooo quick. My photographers got all the ones I wanted in 15 minutes then we could just go do our own stuff for a quick 30 mins.

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Yes! That’s why said you have to take command of it (or get someone who will), nothing worse than waiting five minutes for someone to drag a random brother from the bar or something.

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Straight after ceremony is best cause people want to stretch legs and mill about for a while.

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Photos wise, ask bride and groom for a list of those they absolutely want, so you can get those done without keeping guests waiting too long. Charge someone else in the party with running around gathering the correct people for the formal ones. Do encourage them to do some formal ones, even if it’s just parents/grandparents/b&g, they might think they don’t want them but it does ensure you get at least a handful where everyone is looking at the camera. We had various bridal party and family ones and then a couple of massive groups ones (which some people were already drunk for, we have it printed on a canvas in our bedroom and it makes me smile every time I look at it).

Everything else was much more casual photo-wise - mostly people didn’t know they were being photographed so we have loads of nice natural ones, and lots in black and white too.

I don’t know many people who have bothered with wedding videos, I don’t think they ever really get seen again.

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Yeah, we try and watch ours when our anniversary rolls around but we rarely get very far through it (there’s a short edit which we sometimes watch instead). My five-year-old loves it though and I expect that will only grow with time.

Also, Mrs HYG’s mum passed away not long after our wedding so there’s a massive poignance in seeing her on screen, but that’s kind of true of all home videos, not just wedding ones.

Our two would probably love watching it to be fair - think it was my self-consciousness that got in the way of us doing it. Plus our photographer came as a pair so we already had a lot of extra people around, I think a videographer would have made it impossible. We have about 400 photos instead :grimacing: