Wedding Planning Tips. Gill + Barney

Plan a stress free wedding with insightful tips from real couples who have already walked down that aisle. Wedding photography by Benjamin Toms.

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Couple : Gill + Barney
Location : East Sussex
Wedding Photographer Website : Benjamin Toms
Ceremony Location : The Grand Hotel Brighton
Reception : The Grand Hotel Brighton
Wedding Date : 18th of October 2014

Wedding Planning Tips

1. When you start dress shopping, try about 8 dresses on which are all completely different, even ones that on the peg you're not sure about. You might be surprised at what suits you and what doesn't, but equally trying too many can be confusing.

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2. Don't agonise about making it 'perfect'. Decide what is most important to you and invest time in those decisions, but keep some perspective on smaller decisions.

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3. Candelabras seem old fashioned but actually have some great benefits, being higher off the tables so they don't restrict the view, cheaper than large floral arrangements, look really dramatic and provide intimate lighting later in the evening. Put flowers around the base if budgets allow.

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4. DIY table decorations always take longer than you think, so allow plenty of time and start early

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5. write a personalised note to each table as an ice-breaker and a chance to thank guests. We made postcards which were places as table names on one side, and a short note to our guests on the other, and they are still being talked about months later!

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6. Civil ceremonies don't have to be short and functional. Give some thought to music beyond just the entrance, signing and exit, and ask musical guests to contribute. Include lots of readings, create a dramatic entrance, personalise your vows and do take the time to make order of service cards. With a bit of attention to detail, it can be just as grand as a religious service.

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We booked our wedding photographer, Benjamin Toms, exactly 10 months before our big day. We didn't give the decision much thought! We saw Ben's photos from previous weddings on Facebook, thought the price was reasonable, and booked.

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With hindsight, even though we chose quickly, it turned out to be one of the best wedding decisions we made. We honestly couldn't be happier with the photos! Ben was really thoughtful and considerate on the day and we hardly knew he was there. He captured the informal and fun day we had perfectly, with really clever and well-considered photos that look natural and beautiful. His interior photos are as stunning as the outside ones, with great use of light, colour and angles. We hoped to have 2-3 'hero' photos, and we ended up with hundreds. They will be treasured for generations to come and I would urge anyone to look through his galleries as they speak for themselves.

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Tips for choosing a photographer - talk to them and make sure you gel with their personality, and go for someone gentle yet assertive. Remember that this is someone who is going to share some really intimate moments with you on the biggest day of your life and the last thing you want is someone who will be too dominant or who might irritate you. Tell them what sort of photos you like and ensure they listen to you. And talk to them about key guests that you'd like them to focus on too.

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Wedding Dress Details

The Ozone, Brighton

Wedding Shoes Details

The Ozone, Brighton

Wedding Flowers Details

Go Botanica, Hove & Brighton

Wedding Hair & Make-up

Tea and Trim, Brighton

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