How to plan a wedding in a pandemic

It is a difficult time to feel positive about the future and plan ahead, especially when restrictions are constantly changing. In some ways it’s the perfect time to plan, as suppliers are available and putting everything into the services they offer, compared to a usual year of balancing everything. Also you may have more time at the weekends and evenings to plan and if you are still working then you may have more money to spend on the things you love.

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There are still things you can do to bring the planning to you at home, so I thought I would share some of the events I know of coming up in the next month. To hopefully get you excited for your wedding day in 2021, 2022 or even 2023!

To begin with you can order a Wedding Fair In A Box from Noahbella Weddings, it includes lots of goodies you would normally pick up at a Wedding Fair. Each item comes from a local wedding supplier based in Northamptonshire. You get 2 cocktails from The Occasion Bar, a cake treat from The Greenhouse Cakerie, Too Faced mascara (travel size) from Makeup by Liv, Wedding Planning Tee from Bridal Gift Boutique, Lolly favour from Emily’s Lollies, planning consultation from Noahbella Weddings and lots of other goodies. Vouchers include a free pre wedding shoot with me when you book your photography package!

Have you always wanted to go to a wedding fair? Well there are plenty to choose from that you can attend online in your PJ’s if you like! The wedding fair includes videos from various suppliers talking about the services they offer, showing you what they offer and even some virtual venue tours to give you a glimpse into your favourite venues.

northamptonshire-wedding-photographer

The next one to add to your diary is the Midlands Online Wedding Fayre with more details on their Facebook Page. This takes place on Sunday 28th March. You can even meet some of the suppliers live!

Another is the national Just About Weddings wedding fair. This gives you a chance to book one-on-ones with your favourite suppliers and with their online chat feature you can share the experience with other brides and grooms to be. This will be happening across the 17th and 18th April, all weekend!

Both are free to attend so definitely worth a visit to help you tick off the suppliers on your wedding planning to do list! If you are at the beginning stages of planning your wedding, firstly congratulations! Secondly, please check out my blog from earlier this year with advice and tips on where to start with your plans.

How to choose The Wedding Dress

What you wear on your wedding day will stay with you forever. It seems like there’s a lot to choose from these days. So I wanted to share my advice from my own experience personally and professionally. Firstly, make sure it is comfortable and makes you feel absolutely stunning! Feeling good helps you to look good and your positive vibes will pass onto everyone around you.

I’d recommend booking your first bridal appointment as soon as possible, particularly if you are looking at getting a new dress as it can take months for it to be made and shipped to your bridal boutique. Once it arrives in the boutique you then need to have a couple of fittings to make sure it fits perfectly. You don’t want to worry about the length, straps and back of the dress on your wedding day.

Do you know the style dress you would prefer? I think I tried on about 20 different dresses before I found the one as I wanted to try on as many styles as possible to make sure I knew I had chosen the right one! There’s all different sizes and lengths to fit every body shape and preference.

This dress was from the lovely ladies at Courtyard Bridal. It had a huge skirt, with beautifully delicate lace details at the top and the body of the dress. You can see the the detail better when Lucy wears the dress below.

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wedding-photographer-northamptonshire

Next I wanted to show you some dresses from the lovely Maisie Darling bridal boutique. Charlotte has provided dresses for a couple of styled shoots I’ve been involved in.

Hopefully one of these recommended bridal boutiques is the one for you. I know at the moment virtual appointments are all that can go ahead. Why not book one in?! It’s a good opportunity to speak to wedding suppliers who will be as excited as you at finding the perfect wedding dress!

Make a statement on your Wedding Day!

Should you hire a Wedding Planner?

You may need help planning your wedding as soon as you get engaged! There is a lot to think about and plan for your wedding day. Once you start searching for venues, themes and ideas it can be a lot to organise and quite overwhelming.

A Wedding Planner is there with you from the beginning of your Wedding planning journey, for all your organisation and booking needs! Contacting various suppliers, searching for your perfect venue and providing you with their expert knowledge. They are after all as passionate about your wedding as you are!

I hadn’t considered a planner until I became a wedding supplier myself. I have worked with a few and can see how valuable they are to the planning process! Your wedding is probably the largest/most important event you will plan and chances are you haven’t had the experience to make sure everything runs smoothly on the day itself.

Things start to get busier as the days count down, with more adding onto the long list of suppliers you’ve booked with. We left our stationary quite late which meant it was a bit of a rush to get everything sent out giving guests enough time to plan ahead – particularly important if you are getting married on a weekday! I remember the day before our wedding, as we were setting up at the venue we had planned to use a couple of rooms for entertainment, our own polaroid photo booth and roulette/black jack tables. To our surprise these rooms were not empty and ready for us to use, so had to be cleared last minute, just in enough time! Also I had a call from our stylist and florist who wasn’t able to provide the table centrepieces we had planned. These things happen unfortunately and is usually out of the control of the supplier, but unfortunately if planning the wedding yourself it’s another thing to worry about on top of everything else!

With a Planner, they could have dealt with all of the above, taking away any stress and worry to ensure an enjoyable, exciting build up to the wedding day! I can definitely see the benefits to booking a Planner and have worked with two in particular who I would recommend to any newly engaged couple.

Firstly we have Jellan from Noahbella Weddings, we celebrated our 1st business birthday’s with a few other wedding suppliers almost 2 years ago now and I have worked a couple of times with her since then. She has a great eye for detail and is able to style a venue beautifully to suit the wedding theme. For an Elopement we worked together on last December she had planned everything to perfection and kept a lot of the elements a surprise for the couple which I think made things extra special and a testament to the trust the couple had in Jellan’s choices.

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Hannah from Hannah Rose Weddings is another fantastic Wedding Planner that I would highly recommend. She is super organised and has an impressive selection of local venues she can easily suggest. She specialises in luxury weddings both locally in Northamptonshire and further away in London. We worked together most recently on a summer styled shoot last year which was beautiful and well planned. There was a mood board, itinerary of the shoot and introductions to all the suppliers involved. We were even featured in the latest issue of Your East Midlands Wedding magazine!

Both suppliers I have suggested are based in Northamptonshire, but are happy to travel a bit further if required to do so.

I hope I’ve helped with the next part of your wedding planning journey, by giving an insight into my own experience of using/not using a wedding planner and the difference between working on a shoot with and without a planner.

To answer my earlier question – should you hire a Wedding Planner? Yes, definitely!

Choosing your Wedding Photographer

Next on your Wedding Planning list is your photographer! Well that was next on our list after we’d decided on our venue (we chose Rockingham Castle for those who read my last blog post about Northamptonshire venues).
I spoke to a bride the other day about her wedding plans and surprisingly she had booked her wedding band first as she’d had her eye on that particular band for years! So there’s not a right way to plan your wedding, it’s all dependant on what is most important to you as a couple.


The main reason for booking your venue and then photographer as early as possible is that they get booked up fairly quickly. Particularly on the peak Saturdays during Spring and Summer.

I know there are so many questions you can ask your wedding suppliers. To keep it simple, when looking for your photographer, you may want to consider these few points:

Do we like their style?
Are they within budget?
Do they have enough experience?

Style is important as it draws you into a photographer’s images. Although there are a lot of wedding photographers available, they are all different and unique. Not only are you hiring a photographer for the images they can produce, but also you will be spending all day with them! So it’s always a good idea to meet them before your big day, whether that’s over a video call, meet up for a consultation, to arrange timings of your day (if it is possible) and even have a pre-wedding photoshoot. I like to offer both a consultation and pre-wedding shoot as I get to meet my couples before their wedding. That way I get to hear more about their plans, potentially visit their wedding venue and help make them feel as comfortable as possible in front of the camera.

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Daisy & Adam had their pre wedding photographs at their venue the Aztec Hotel & Spa in Bristol.

Wedding photographers prices range on average from £500 to £2000, depending on the package you choose. The price incorporates all the prep work before the wedding day (emails, messages, meetings and consultations), the wedding day itself (10+ sometimes!) and then the hours of editing and culling afterwards.
Any packages cheaper than £500 may be from an amateur starting out so be sure to look through portfolios and ask as many questions as you can think of!

The amount of brides and grooms to be I have seen online ask for photographers with little experience or still studying in the hope they will save money on one of the most expensive parts (after venue and food) of their wedding day. Though you are saving money initially, is it worth it? Typically suppliers ask for an initial deposit to secure the date and the rest of the payment a month before the wedding. So there’s usually a lot of time to save for an experienced, good quality photographer with beautiful images that you love and will cherish forever.

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It can become overwhelming when looking for suppliers and some may start to look the same as the next. So make a list of your top 5, then revisit these after a week or so and see if your top 5 still looks the same. Or has your favourite changed?
I saw our wedding photographer via a friend’s Facebook post of her own wedding. I looked through a number of other wedding photographers, no idea exactly how many, but narrowed it down to our top three. I couldn’t stop looking through our photographer’s images. Once he confirmed he was available. That was it!

Hope this has made your search for a wedding photographer a little easier.

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Northamptonshire Wedding Venues

To continue from my last blog post, for newly engaged couples, I wanted to share my favourite Northamptonshire Wedding Venues with you all.

I’ve lived in Northamptonshire all my life so know the area incredibly well, some venues I will be listing below have been around since I can remember. Others are new (within the last two years), but definitely as good as any which has been trading longer.

Choosing your Wedding venue is the next step in your wedding planning process, as once you’ve found your venue and booked the date everything else follows. This does come with a few questions, in order to narrow down which venue you would like. I think these include,

– How many guests will we be having?
– What time of year would we like to get married?
– Do we want everything held in the same place (ceremony and reception)?
– Would we decorate the venue ourselves (or hire a styling company) to make it our own or keep it as it is?
– Location?

Once you have these figured out it will help narrow down the search to a select few venues. Hopefully with a style you are both happy with. By style I mean, Hotel, Barn, Stately Home, Castle, Outdoor or any other I’ve not thought of!

I’ve tried to think of a few different style venues to give you an idea of what is available. At the moment Wedding fairs are unfortunately not going ahead, however virtual ones might be. So you still get to have a glimpse of your dream venue before you book it!

These are in no particular order. Some of which I have photographed at previously and other I will be or wish to in the future! And one was mine and my husband’s wedding venue. Can you guess which one? Let me know in the comments!

Brampton Grange Wedding Venue, Northampton

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https://www.bramptongrange.co.uk/weddings-and-celebrations.html

Firstly I will begin with Brampton Grange. This is a barn style wedding venue with country house. It is so spacious, with plenty of outdoor areas as well. They have a traditional courtyard, romantic walled garden, tennis courts and even an outdoor swimming pool!

I organised and photographed a styled shoot here a couple of years ago. The above image comes from that and more can be seen here: Brampton Grange Wedding Venue



Kettering Park Hotel & Spa, Kettering

Kettering Park Hotel and Spa - Kettering | Hotels | Britain's Finest
https://www.ketteringparkhotel.co.uk/
(Image taken from https://www.britainsfinest.co.uk/hotels/kettering-park-hotel-and-spa)



Next on my list is the 4 star Kettering Park Hotel & Spa. This venue has all you need in one place for your special day. With rooms for your ceremony and reception later on and rooms for your whole wedding party to stay in. For some this is a huge part of their venue, to have everything in the same place, without the need to travel further. They also have a beautifully landscaped garden with an Alfresco Garden Room which is a must see! I have recently been added to their list of preferred suppliers which is a wonderful feeling! I cannot wait to be at more wedding fairs here when they are able and also photograph some weddings here in 2021 and 2022!






Rockingham Castle, Rockingham

Rockingham Castle | Rockingham Castle, a home of history, Weddings,  Corporate events and the Rockingham International Horse Trials
https://www.rockinghamcastle.com/
(Image taken from the above site)

If you’re looking for a historic building where you can have your ceremony and wedding reception this is your venue. There is a church just out of this shot on the right if you are looking for a church ceremony. The castle itself is in fantastic condition, considering it is almost 1000 years old! This is definitely my favourite venue and I would love to photograph a wedding here! The grounds are just as beautiful, with a rose garden filled with different coloured roses which smell divine. This venue is exclusive to you on your wedding day as well, as are most of the venues in my list. It means you have the venue to yourselves, which gives your special day a more intimate feel.




Barton Hall, Barton Seagrave

Barton Hall | Grade II Listed Hotel Northamptonshire
https://bartonhall.com/
(Images taken from the above site)


Finally we have Barton Hall Hotel, which like all the above venues, is located in the picturesque county of Northamptonshire. This idyllic award wedding venue has a beautiful Grade 1 listed Orangery next to the hotel itself. It’s such a bright, light room, perfect for your ceremony. I cannot wait to photograph a wedding here later this year!

Award Winning Wedding Venue | Hotel & Wedding Venue Northamptonshire



I hope you’ve enjoyed looking through my venue choices above.

Which is your favourite of the venues above?

If you need any help your wedding planning and need some advice, please get in touch. I’d love to help where I can!

Emma DB Photography

Wedding-Photographer-Northamptonshire