Lisa Webb Photography – Shropshire Wedding Photographer » Alternative Wedding Photography

barn weddingSetting a budget for your wedding is no easy task, it is however a very important step in preparing for your wedding. Unless you’re so rich that money is no object, then a wedding budget will help you plan and prepare for your wedding, ensuring that you don’t spend too much and also making sure you set aside enough cash for the aspects of your wedding that are the most important to you. Setting a budget definitely won’t be the most exciting thing you do during your wedding planning but it will provide you with a clear plan and will set you up to have the best wedding day ever, which is pretty exciting! Here are my top tips for setting your wedding budget:

Research costs before you set your budget

Researching costs before you set a wedding budget may seem obvious but you’d be surprised by how many couples skip this step! You may only want to spend £5000 on your wedding, which is perfectly doable, however if you had only set aside £100 for your flowers, and later realised you can’t achieve the look you want within this budget, this could leave you feeling disappointed. Before you pull a number out of thin air when deciding on your overall wedding spend, it’s important to look into venues, suppliers, outfits etc. Different suppliers and different venues will all be charging different prices based off what they offer, look into a few different options and this way you can come up with an planned and informed budget.

Set a list of priorities

Some people couldn’t care less about a wedding cake, but to others it’s a top priority. Some couples want enough flowers to fill a meadow at their reception but for some couples they don’t want any flowers at all. Every couple and every wedding is different, this is what makes them so lovely! After you have set an overall, informed budget for your wedding you can now start planning a list of priorities with your partner where you’d like to spend more, and also aspects where you’re happy to compromise and spend a bit less. For myself for example, my priority would be a photographer and a band and I would be happy to allocate a large portion of the wedding budget to those things, however I’d be happy to spend less on a wedding dress and a venue. This is something you need to think about together and it’s likely you’ll both have to compromise a little bit to keep each other happy, but they do say marriage is all about compromise, so you may as well start now!

Create a savings plan

Again creating a savings plan isn’t a very exciting part of wedding planning but it is important and I promise it will make the overall process much more stress-free if you’re not worrying about money! You may already have enough set aside and not need to save, your parents might be paying for it for you or contributing in some way. For most of us though we’ll need to save up over a year or so to make sure we have enough to pay all the suppliers balances on time. The best way to do this is to add up your monthly expenditure and take this away from your earnings. There may be some things that you’re willing to cut down on for the time being to help you save a bit more, this could be a subscription box or just going out for less meals. As soon as you’ve decided how much you are able to save each month make sure you set this amount up as a direct debit to a savings account as soon as you get paid. The amount of times I’ve tried to save money by moving over what was left in my current account each month, only for there to have been nothing left. You have to prioritise your savings goals and set that money aside as though it’s another bill.

Create a spreadsheet to keep track of invoices

There are so many suppliers involved in weddings it can be hard to keep track of what money is due when. The last thing you need in the run up to your wedding is an unexpected invoice. All of your suppliers should provide you with a contract when you book them, (please don’t book anyone without a contract in place!), make sure you read the contract as this usually explains when your next payment will be due. You can then input all these into a fancy spreadsheet that will help you keep track of who needs to be paid and when. You can then feel smug about how organised you are and get back to the much more exciting aspects of wedding planning like menu tasting or an engagement shoot!

Ways to stretch your budget:
DIY/Village Hall venue

It’s no secret that I love a village hall wedding. Village halls can be some real hidden gems and they also have the added bonus of being really cheap wedding venues. If you’re not too fussed about WHERE you get married and are up for a bit of extra work to make the venue look beautiful then a village hall is a really brilliant thing to consider. All the DIY and village hall weddings I’ve shot have all been really unique and memorable. Traditional wedding venues are beautiful however they can take up a good chunk of a wedding budget.

Smaller guest list

My parents always joke that their wedding cost them nothing because they held it on a Monday and only invited 10 people. Every time they tell me I roll my eyes, however as much as I hate to admit it, they had a point. Your guest list doesn’t have to be a low as 10, but usually the less people you invite the cheaper your wedding will be, you can hire a smaller venue, you won’t spend as much on food and you can even save on sending out fewer invites.

Get married out of season

A lot of venues charge less for weddings that take place in the quieter seasons. If you don’t mind having your wedding in Autumn or Winter then this could be a great way to save a couple of thousand! Not every venue offers pricing based on season, some have a set price all year round and most suppliers have a set price all year round but it’s definitely something that’s worth considering.

Get married on a weekday

Again, some venues charge less for weekday weddings as they’re less common. You do need to bare in mind with this though that some of your guests may not be able to get the time off work for this, especially if they’re teachers and it’s term time!

Do It Yourself

It’s worth noting that a DIY wedding isn’t always cheaper. This is why it’s important to do your research about costs first and also to bear in mind how long all the DIY tasks you want to do will take you. This way you can work out what is worth doing yourself and what you’re better off paying someone else to do for you. You may think about doing your own venue dressing, this could be cheaper but you need to add up how much time it will take you, how much everything will cost to buy and then make the decision on whether it will just be easier and in some cases cheaper, to hire someone to do this for you.

Good luck with all your wedding planning!

Pimhill BarnThe Mill BarnsIscoyd Parkmytton and mermaidiscoyd parkdevon beach

wedding stationary

KnockKnockPenny Studio is run by the lovely Hannah, who is a super talented graphic designer and wedding stationer. She is someone that I would recommend to all my couples for any of their wedding stationery needs. I caught up with her recently to ask her a few questions.

How long have you been doing stationery weddings and how did you get into doing it?

I have been running KnockKnockPenny Studio for roughly 4 years now since I had my little girl. I am a Graphic Designer and fell into wedding stationery purely because I loved planning my own wedding so much I wanted to stay involved with weddings. I think I may have a problem because i’m still watching Say Yes to the Dress now!

What’s your favourite thing to make and design?

I love wax seals. I think they really add a luxury level to stationery. I use them in a modern way so it suits a more stylish wedding but it is a nice throwback at the same time. I also love menus. I think some couples under estimate what a lovely layer/element they add to your tablescapes. One of Lisa’s previous brides Sarah didn’t miss those final touches and it really showed in the photographs Lisa later took.

What’s the best bit about being a wedding stationer?

I love working with couples and hearing all about their plans. I love watching their ideas come together in the final package. I have to be honest but I also like it because it’s the type of job on the most part you do in your PJ’s with Gilmore Girls on and a good snack. I set my own time table and it fits around my family.

What’s your favourite style of wedding stationery?

I love a more fine art style of stationery. Tactile stationery is the best. You want people to want to tough it and to keep it. Anything with wax or ribbon or even Hot Foil on it is just exciting now as it was when I started out.

Out of all the weddings you’ve done stationery for, what has been your favourite design?

That’s really tough as I think the final product has a personality so it’s kind of like saying what couple you prefer in a way. I love my semi-custom designs as I like to see the different ways couples style them with ribbon wax or even the colour scheme. I also love it when couples add personal things like Venue Drawings.

If you were going to recommend any other supplier to a couple, who would it be?

I would go for the one and only The Flower Lounge based in Didsbury, Manchester. Not only do I have first hand experience of her skill in creating my own wedding flowers but from day one she has gone out of her way to support me and my business. Sian is an amazing bundle of energy and she knows exactly what you need and she knows how to do it.

Go and check out Hannah’s website if you’d like to see more of her work!

wax seal wedding invitationsIscoyd Park weddingIscoyd Park marquee

chirk castle engagement shoot

Steph and Sam had their engagement shoot at the beautiful Chirk Castle near Wrexham back in November 2018. I can’t believe it’s taken this long for me to share this amazing shoot! When Steph and Sam first got in touch they were a little bit nervous about having their photo taken, I hear this a lot and I always tell couples not to worry, an engagement shoot is a great thing to do if you are nervous. Steph and Sam have quite a big height difference, they were worried about posing together and if it would look a bit strange or if certain poses wouldn’t work for them. I give all my couples similar directions and I always say if something feels weird and awkward, it will probably look weird and awkward too, so don’t do it! Steph and Sam’s height difference was no problem at all, and their engagement shoot made them feel really confident that their wedding photographs were going to be an absolute breeze!

When we first arrived at Chirk Castle we were met with lots of mist, and it was very atmospheric, however I was a little bit worried at the start of the shoot if Steph and Sam would be visible at all if I wanted to get a wider shot of them! I needn’t have worried as while we walked around Chirk Castle’s grounds the mist eased off and gave way to bright, even light which was perfect! For their shoot we really dealt with everything the elements had to offer, we had mist, sunlight, overcast skies and finally torrential rain! We were lucky that we were heading back to our cars just as the heavens started opening. This was my first time shooting at Chirk Castle, I was blown away by how beautiful the gates were and we knew that we wanted to get a shot in front of them before we ended the shoot. Even though the rain was pouring down Steph and Sam were completely up for standing out in the elements, getting drenched so we could get some photos in front of the gates. I was so pleased they were up for that, I know I would have been gutted if we hadn’t managed to get that shot!

I loved doing this shoot with Steph and Sam and I can’t wait to share their beautiful wedding at Iscoyd Park with you on the blog very soon!

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garthmyl hall confetti

Craig and Rhiannon chose the beautiful Garthmyl Hall for their wedding day back in September. It was the perfect venue choice for their super relaxed wedding! They opted for a 5pm ceremony with around 30 of their closest family and friends present, this made it such a wonderful, intimate day and also meant that when they came out of their ceremony we had some gorgeous late summer golden light. I hadn’t met Craig and Rhiannon before their wedding, however I could tell from their emails that they were really relaxed and just wanted a chilled wedding with their closest family and friends. When I arrived at their venue I was blown away with how they had styled everything, Rhiannon is a designer who makes and sells prints, ceramics and stationary. Little did I know at the time of her wedding that I had lots of her Etsy shop items already favourited! Rhiannon had poured her designing skills into their wedding and had created the most beautiful seating plan and order of the day. I was completely blown away by these little details, it was clear that a professional had made them and when I asked Rhiannon who they were by I was so impressed when she said it was her! If you like the way Rhiannon and Craig have styled their wedding, you need to go and check out her shop, Wilonne. I met Rhiannon and Craig as I was taking photos around Garthmyl Hall that morning of their beautiful set up, they were together before they got ready and I loved how chilled they were about it. There really are no rules when you get married, if being with each other on the morning of your wedding will make you feel more chilled, then do that!

Late Summer Ceremony at Garthmyl Hall

As Craig and Rhiannon only had around 30 guests, they were able to have their ceremony in the Summer House at Garthmyl Hall. This is usually the place that the drinks reception is held but it is such a beautiful space I think it worked perfectly for their ceremony. It is quite a tight squeeze in there so it only really works for a wedding with smaller numbers, this also works really well because the smaller room makes the ceremony feel more intimate, rather than having so few people in a large ceremony room. Garthmyl Hall has so many beautiful areas that you could have your wedding ceremony. There is the main ceremony room, this is where Craig and Rhiannon had their wedding breakfast, the summer house and the walled garden which is a wonderful option for an outdoor ceremony. Having such a late ceremony in late summer meant that we did have to be a bit more mindful of their photographs. We knew that we had to do their group shots and their couple portraits before it got too dark outside, and that there wouldn’t be an opportunity to get any more after their meal because the light would be gone completely by that point. Craig and Rhiannon made sure there was ample time between the end of their ceremony and their wedding breakfast for us to capture all of their group shots, some natural shots of them and their guests and of course their couple portraits. And they even managed to disappear up to their room for a quick snack too! This meant that for their couple portraits we had the most beautiful golden light, I was honestly living the dream photographing these two in Garthmyl Hall’s dreamy walled garden!

Florals by Ivypip and Rose

Flowers were a big feature at their wedding which I absolutely adored. They hired Ivypip and Rose for all of their floral needs and it all looked beautiful. I loved how romantic their flower arrangements were and I would honestly recommend them to anyone looking for a florist! The flower arrangements in the summerhouse in particular gave their ceremony such a gorgeous, romantic feel. I truly believe flowers are such an important element of a wedding and can change the entire look and feel of a wedding day.

The relaxed theme for Craig and Rhiannon’s day continued throughout the entirety. They had speeches before their food, including a speech from Rhiannon and her maid of honour. And for their evening bash they had a PA system and a playlist! This worked just as well as many DJ’s I’ve seen and their dancefloor was full from the moment the music began until well into the night!

Thank you so much Rhiannon and Craig for having me there to celebrate with you, I loved every second! If you’re planning a wedding at Garthmyl Hall then get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!

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Venue: Garthmyl Hall
Flowers: Ivypip & Rose
Wedding Dress: Pronovias at Brides of Chester

bumble bee on lavender

It’s been a long time since I shared a photo of the week. This is mainly because this year has absolutely knocked me for six and there’s definitely still a part of me that’s stuck in March, I can’t believe it’s almost August! I’m slowly starting to get back into the swing of things and I definitely want to start doing my photo of the week feature again as I love sharing my favourite images with you all and it’s a space I can show my work and my personal work. This year the photo of the week feature will mostly be of personal work due to COVID. Most of my weddings for this year have postponed, I was lucky enough to shoot one at the start of February and have only shot one small wedding since then last month. It’s very strange for me as I love my job so much, having to stay at home and not being able to photograph people has been hard. It does however mean that next year I’m going to appreciate my job even more. Next years bookings have come through thick and fast and I’m only accepting two more weddings next year so please get in touch soon if you want me to be there for your wedding! Whilst I’ve been off work I’ve been busy working away at decorating our house. We’ve managed to paint two rooms so far and only have four rooms and the hall, stairs and landings left to do! We’ve also been working on our garden, when we first moved in it was landscaped with lots of different plants, not many flowers and not a blade of grass in sight. We much prefer a more natural garden with grass and an abundance of flowers so we’re currently getting rid of lots of the plants that are in the garden to make room for what we want! While I was spending time in the garden yesterday I noticed this little bee doing his bit for the planet in the lavender, I absolutely adore the colours in this photograph!

This week I have two couple shoots which I’m really excited for! It’s been a while since I’ve had two shoots in one week! Check back here next week to see my next photo of the week!