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.


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.

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.


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.


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


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
(Image taken from

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
(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
(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!

Just Engaged…Some tips and advice


Congratulations to all you new engaged couples!! How does it feel? Where did you get engaged? Did you get engaged over Christmas or New Year? What’s your ring like?

I’d love to know!


It’s such an exciting time when you are in that newly engaged stage. Where, for some of you, you’ve never started thinking properly about how you would like your wedding to be and all the finer details of planning your ACTUAL wedding.

You may have lots of questions, what to do first when engaged? where do I start planning my wedding?

From my personal and professional experience I’d like to offer some tips and advice.

Don’t rush – engagements on average last just over a year so no need to rush into getting everything booked straight away!

Pinterest – start pinning your ideas on a board on Pinterest. I kept sending my husband ideas for our wedding and he did the same. It helped us visualise our day together.

Start with your guest list – then you know the size of the venue you’re looking for.

Date – think about the time of year you’d like to get married (Christmas? Autumn? Summer? Spring?) The date can have a huge effect on the cost of your venue due to demand.

Get a planner – this is the one I used but I’m sure there are many just as effective available.

Get a planner (b) – or hire a professional wedding planner! To help direct you and take care of a lot of the planning so you can enjoy a relaxing engagement.

Plan ahead – some suppliers are booked early (venues and photographers) so make sure the ones you want are available.

Enjoy being engaged – the engagement is about you and your fiancé (though I never personally liked to use that word!) so make the most of the next stage of your relationship.

Hope this has helped you begin your wedding planning. If you have any questions please send me a message!

Styling, Hair & Makeup – Brides by Rachel Williamson
Jewellery & model – Dalia Jankus
Model – Toma White
Faux and real floral crowns – Jane Elizabeth Bespoke Bridal Hair Accessories
Veil – Rebecca Anne Designs
Bouquet – Fauxever Blooms
Lingerie and dressing gowns – The Nottingham Lace Garter Co
Garter – Hayze Boutique


Happy New Year to you all!

Millie’s Cake Smash

I thought it would be nice to share more photos from Millie’s cake smash in February this year. It was the first and last photoshoot I’ve done in 2020 with a backdrop and props due to lockdown restrictions.

These were new props that I’m looking forward to using again, it made a nice change to the props I’d used in my previous cake smashes.

My Cake Smash photoshoots will look very different to this for the foreseeable future, with the idea of having them outdoors either in the garden or a meadow filled with daisies and other types of wild flowers. I’m excited at the prospect of changing the set up and trying something new!

Millie needed a little time and guidance from her Mum as she wasn’t 100% sure what she was meant to do.

I’ve found this happens a lot during cake smashes. When the young toddler is placed in front of a colourful cake, although it looks and smells delicious they just look to Mum for help!

Usually they will either begin to crawl or stand in excitement. I think it’s because of the attention they are getting, but could also be that they are encouraged to giggle and smile so much!

Millie seemed to enjoy it once she’d started and forgot all about the headband she was wearing. Although they look cute, headbands and head pieces can be a nightmare. Usually the baby or toddler is not happy to keep it on their head for long!

Alex, Millie’s older brother, was patient throughout the shoot, watching his sister have her fun with the cake. He then joined her later on, which I think she enjoyed from these photos!

It’s always exciting when a sibling joins in the fun, the bond between them is lovely to see.

After Millie had eaten her cake, crawled towards us and played with her bubble machine she was getting tired. Her Dad helped her towards the end, just in case she wanted any more.

To be fair she did pretty well (along with her brother’s help), this was all that was left…

For more cake smashes I’ve captured why not take a look through my other blogs here.

Emma DB Photography