15 Top Tips For Your Brighton Wedding Checklist
Let me guess, you’ve bought a pile of wedding magazines and now you feel like you are drowning in them? Well take a break and let me help you make your wedding planning easy with our Brighton wedding checklist.
Wedding planning is overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out our Brighton wedding checklist. We’ve boiled it down to 15 simple items so you can stress less and enjoy this important time.
If you recently got engaged you will still be riding the ‘the getting married!!!’ high- so why lose that momentum by booking your wedding WAY too far in advance- you’ll soon get bored of waiting. Getting married within 6 to 12 months will mean you can keep up the excitement and enjoy the build up to the big day. Granted thats not much time to plan or save for it, but weddings don’t have to be huge and expensive to have a great time. In fact most of the best wedding I’ve ever photographed have been the smaller and personal weddings. So to help you with the planning here are 15 recommendations for your Brighton wedding checklist to help you make sure you’ve got everything covered!
1. Choose Your Venue
The first things on your Brighton wedding checklist should be deciding where you want your wedding to be held. This will influence the whole wedding so it’s a really important decision, and it will determine the date (due to the venues availability), and also food would suit the venue, and even your dress (for example a meringue dress won’t suit a festival field type of wedding as much as a floaty relaxed number would).
The first thing to decide is- do you want a church wedding? This will usually involve quite a lot of commitment in advance, you usually have to attend the church regularly in the lead up to the wedding. So if you’re looking for something more relaxed how about a Town Hall wedding, where you can write your own vows? Or how about having a Humanist Ceremony– which can be held pretty much wherever you want (you’ll just need to legally get married at the Town Hall before or afterwards).
Once you’ve decided on the type of ceremony you want you can then start planning the reception- do you want a formal sit down reception in a grand stately home? Or a relaxed reception with canapés and bar snacks at small local pub? A lot of places can host both the ceremony and reception, but often you’ll need two venues (plus it’s fun to mix it up). So once you know what type of ceremony you want, you’ll be able to look for venues near each other. I’ve written this Brighton wedding venues guide to give some ideas and the pros and cons of different venues throughout the city.
2. Plan Your Food
This may not seem like it’s that important, but it is likely to be the biggest single expense of the day so it will have a huge impact your budget and how may people you can invite. Decide if you want a sit down catered meal, a help-yourself BBQ/Hog roast or a buffet. Or if you’re having a pub reception you could just have a constant flow of canapés instead like Laura and Jez did at their Coach House Brighton Wedding. It kept the atmosphere a lot more party-like, and everyone could enjoy socialising rather than spending 2 hours sitting at a table with the same people. There are lots of choices, so do what you’ll enjoy most, there a no rules any more to what a wedding should be like!
Do you have colors or a specific theme that mean a lot to the two of you as a couple? If so, those are the colors to choose. You don’t necessarily need to follow rules when it comes to what goes together and what doesn’t, this is your big day and your wedding should reflect that. Rosie and Stace’s Walled Garden Cowdray Wedding had a South American theme, which influenced all of the colours, flowers and decorations. The flowers were some of the most beautiful and interesting I’ve ever seen at a wedding!
4. Buy Your Rings
Buying your rings is a huge step in the wedding planning process, but a crucial one. You’ll need to ensure you have something you’ll love for life. For the couple who is interested in less traditional jewellery, consider opting for an eco-friendly lab grown diamond or a classic but original moonstone. There a lot of jewellery shops in Brighton’s south laines, and a few of them will allow you to design your own ring to get exactly what you want!
5. Decorations and Personalising
Do you want your decor to be elegant or would you prefer something down to earth? To save on money, you and your friends and family can make some of the decor yourselves. For a natural vibe, include wildflowers or leaves.
6. Make the Guest List
This one is very tricky and can include a lot of drama, so you’ll need to choose wisely. If you want a no fuss wedding, you can simply elope with just your family and new spouse. This way, it’s drama-free and simple.
If you want more friends and family, you’ll have to negotiate and decide who exactly to invite. Often food costs have to be factored in when it comes to setting up the guest list, so the more flexible your food options are, the better.
7. Choosing the dress and suit
Your venue and the style of wedding you have having will dictate the type of dress you should go for. If you’re having an afternoon tea wedding in a village hall then a shorter 40’s style dress would be best. If you’re in a stately home then a glamours number would suit. For a garden party or festival type of reception you’ll want a flowy number.
If you’ve ever watched ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ you’ll know that the groom chooses the wrong dress nearly every time! In my experience it wasn’t easy finding a dress either, largely due to the fact that I couldn’t justify £2k on something I would only wear once.
So if you don’t want to shell out thousands for a wedding dress, you can always keep it simple. Many High Street brands have begun to sell more affordable dresses, and one of the most gorgeous dresses I’ve seen on a bride was a slinky number from Coast. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t buy an expensive dress if that’s what you want, but you’ll probably need to cut costs elsewhere to do so- it’s all about prioritising.
Another lovely option is to wear your mother or grandmother’s dress, bringing in family history as you walk down the aisle.
As for the grooms suit- I would suggest choosing something that is comfortable. A lot of people still choose the traditional long tail coat, but I don’t think a jacket is even necessary at all in the height of summer, and when watching a groom sweating his brains out on his wedding day I always think how much happier he’d be if he were cool and comfortable. The best solution is to wear a waistcoat instead of a jacket, as it still looks smart. And if you don’t like wearing ties- don’t! It’s your wearing day, and to enjoy it you need to be comfortable. It’s much more important to enjoy your wedding than to conform to wedding ‘traditions’!
8. Choose Your Wedding Photographer
When choosing a wedding photographer, you’ll need to make sure the two of you share the same vision for your wedding. Do you want a ethereal or rustic feel? Do you want him or her to capture the day in a candid style, or do you prefer a more formal and traditional style? Do you want a photographer that only shoots in only black and white, or do you prefer colour? I wrote this blog on what to look for when trying to decide which of the Brighton Wedding Photographers is the most suitable for you.
9. Choose Your Flowers
Flowers are a lovely part of any wedding, and you’ll probably want a bouquet for both yourself and for your bridesmaids if you have any. However if you decide not to have a bouquet it’s lovely to still use flowers for the decorations. You can choose to save up by mixing and matching a bouquet yourself or choosing simple wildflowers. If you’re more of a free spirit, this might go better with your wedding.
10. Create Props for the Guests
Although this might not seem like it would go on a wedding checklist, you’ll want your guests to have a good time. One way to do this is to have props guests can use for photos. Another way is to hire a photobooth for guests to take fun and wacky photos. You’ll both have a great memory of the occasion for the rest of your life.
11. Take a Dancing Lesson or Two
If you and your fiance are planning a first dance, you’ll want to ensure you’ve already coordinated it. Take a lesson or two so you aren’t tripping over each other’s feet on the dance floor.
12. Decide How You’ll Wear Your Hair
Your hair is an integral part of your look, but you don’t have to spend hundreds of pounds to have it done. You can even have your best friend do your hair for you if she’s a whiz, just make sure you have a couple of dry runs first.
13. Hire a Band or a DJ
Wanting to get your boogie on at your wedding? Hire a DJ or a band to play the music the two of you like. Think about some of your favorite songs as a couple. To save on money, you can even create a playlist on your phone and plug it into the speakers, meaning you won’t even need a DJ. A band are a great focal point and usually get people up and dancing much more than a DJ does.
14. Create Your Cake
The cake is a big part of the ceremony, especially as you slice it together. Ensure you go cake tasting several months before to find the perfect treat. If you’re looking for a budget saver, make the cake yourself or have a friend who is particularly good with baking to do it for you.
15. Enjoy Yourselves!
It may not seem like it at times, but the wedding is about the two of you- so my final and BIGGEST tip for your Brighton wedding checklist is…. ENJOY YOURSELVES! You need to create some time to enjoy yourselves. After all, this is the beginning of the rest of your lives together.
Creating the Perfect Wedding
There is no perfect wedding, and no one’s big day will go off without any type of hitch. But you can work with family, friends and any wedding planners to ensure your wedding is as perfect as possible. Using this Brighton wedding checklist will help to ensure it all gets finished in time.
For more information on Brighton weddings and my style of wedding photography, visit my blog!