I’ve photographed all sorts of weddings, on all sorts of scales from grand castles to registry offices then onto a local restaurant for celebrations. This I have to say is one of the many joys of my job. Ever wedding is so different, but the sentiment is always the same. LOVE! This blog post is all about the latter mentioned weddings the low-key or DIY weddings, which I have to say are some of my favorite weddings. There is always so much homemade, second hand, pre-loved and unique elements to these weddings that they have a special quality.
Obviously it’s a fair bit of hard work from the couple to arrange this sort of weddings ( with help from bridal party & family), but if you are wanting something unique, are on a budget or want to spend all you cash on your home or dream honeymoon!.. then maybe a DIY wedding is for you.
Venues – Where will I host it?
There are lots of venues that you can just hire as a blank canvas. You pay for function room, hall and you bring in your own catering, decorations, booze, entertainment etc.
Wedding Venues Ideas
- Civic Centre Halls
- Victoria Swimming pools (Victoria baths Manchester:)
Wedding Theme Ideas
- Childhood memories
- Favorite Bands
- Flower based
- Super Heros
Movies Themed Weddings
Movie ideas I’ve had are Harry Potter & Star Wars – not a movie but I did have a Coronation Street themed table plan; which a LOOVVEDD as I’m a mega corrie fan!
Travel Themed Weddings
Wanderlust themes are popular, using all the places you have traveled as table names, adding little travel photos to dress the venue.
Seasonal Themed Weddings
Daffodils for spring, Sunflowers for a Summer theme, pumpkins an autumn leaves in the Autumn and Holly & pine cones in the winter.
Musical themed Weddings
Using your favorite bands is a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your wedding, using vinyl singles, concert tickets, and even record players decorations
Color Themed Weddings
If you are looking for something simpler you could just go for a radical colour theme. Think Hot Pink, Bright Yellow or Multicolored.
Decorating your venue.
Go bold or keep it simple? Everyone wants some sort of WOW factor but remember your guests are with you because they want to celebrate your happiness and not to be impressed with your expensive centerpieces.
There are some fantastic balloons company that offer a super range of balloons, either as a display or individual unique balloons. They can provide you with Mr & Mrs ( Mr & Mr / Mrs & Mrs😊). They can be a room decoration and then used as a photo prop so Double whammy.
Buy it from eBay or get a crafty relative to make tons of the stuff and hang it everywhere for a cheery vibe.
Festive / Fairy lights
Go crazy with the lighting and make the place feel light a cosy den. Ideal for when day turns to night. Party lighting is already done.
- Cheap & Cheerful table decorations
- Candles/ tealights/ wire fairy lighting
- Jars with small flower displays
- Collections Gin bottles
- Childhood photos
- Your Love story in photos
Its safe to say that catering for 50 people is a difficult task to do yourself on a wedding day….but i have photographed some weddings where the couple have been creative.
Afternoon Teas – Caterers may need to be brought in for the sandwiches, sausage rolls, hot drinks and the like…BUT all the cakes, scones, buns have been made by selected guests and brought on the day to complete the spread. Just think up to 20 to 30 plus bakes!
Barbecues – Who doesn’t like a barbecue!. Again caterers can be drafted on to take the stress out of it. Professionals will have a rainy day – outdoor cooking plan too. Option 2 – Get all the boys – grooms men, brothers to cook up dinner?/ Risky but I’ve seen an organized team of 5 guys cook over three barbecues to produce a delicious spread.
Hire a Food Van – Chippy vans, Thai food, vegan food – you name it it can be brought to your venue. Dessert it brought by you! – either via guests baking for you OR you buy from your local bakery. 10 fresh cakes should do it!
Music is essential to any party so unless you decide to do your own with an iPad and hire a good sound system you will need to hire a professional musician.
A DJ, a band or a solo singer for your celebrations? There are musicians that will provide all three elements for you for an all in one package. Providing music throughout your day.
Magicians are good to keep everyone entertained after dinner if you think there will be a bit of a lull. They can keep the guests buzzing until the main party and all the magician that I’ve worked with bring the WOW factor.
- Ice cream cart – van
- Lawn games – giant jenga – sack races
- Crazy golf
- Face painting for the kids…. and adults
Looking for you ideal photographer – Get in touch for your personal quote – Competitive rates for local or unique weddings!