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How to Plan a Wedding during a Pandemic

How to Plan a Wedding during a Pandemic

Our hearts really go out to anyone who is currently trying to work out How to Plan a Wedding during a Pandemic. These are tough, uncertain times and the overwhelm is real.

I know so many suppliers are doing absolutely everything they can to be as accommodating and flexible as possible – ourselves included of course! And I count myself extremely lucky to have the nicest clients who have made the process of rearranging their Wedding dates as painless a process as possible by keeping the communication open and clear and just generally being lovely. ☺️

As far as adapting and pivoting what we offer as Wedding Photographers. We have restructured how we offer our Wedding Photography services so it doesn’t matter how big or small your Wedding is or whether you want 2 hours or 12 hours covering, you can decide and and we will do absolutely everything we can to accommodate any adaptations or rearrangements as necessary.

We’ve decided to put this short guide together to try and help in any way with the process of planning a Wedding right now. We have absolutely everything crossed that gatherings will be possible again from late Spring and that we’ll all be back on the dance floor before too long. I for one seriously can’t wait to throw some questionable moves in front of a live band at some point in the near future. 💃🏼

  1. Communication
    With each other, with your suppliers and with your guests.
    To adapt the old adage – Everyone is in the same boat. I think it’s more like, everyone is in a boat… Everyone’s boat is very different but there is without doubt a general acknowledgement that things are not normal! Not even close! Your guests will understand that you might need to reschedule, cut the guest list (see #3) or even hold fire for a little while. An option to ease the stress of communicating with everyone constantly could be to set up a simple Wedding Website so everyone can check in on the latest plans without having to be contacted individually? If you’ve already had a couple shoot you could use some of your images from that to create a simple site. Not to be confused with us The Copper Knots, these guys over at The Knot offer free, simple to set up Wedding Websites.
    Keeping the communication open with your suppliers too is key. You’ve worked hard to find exactly the right ones for your special day and I can assure you they can’t wait to work with you when the day finally arrives! Keep them informed of any possible changes and chat to them about new possible dates. I know everyone in the industry is doing everything they can to support their couples in these difficult times.
    Finally and possibly the most important, keep the communication open between you and your partner. Your Wedding, whenever, however it happens will still be a very special, joy filled day.

2. Be Realistic
Don’t hold out until the very last minute to reschedule, everyone will end up being a bundle of nerves! The latest coherent guidance on Weddings can be found on the Guides for Brides site HERE and of course you can find Government guidance HERE. I certainly have my fingers crossed that Summer, Autumn and Winter Weddings will be possible this year.

bride on roof terrace of hope street hotel

3. Work on your Guest List(s)
If you haven’t done so already it’s probably worth having a couple of different guest lists. This can be a good opportunity to pare your list down to only those that you absolutely want to share your day with. Once you’ve got your ‘definitely not getting married without these people around us’ list, this might help when deciding whether to hold off and postpone depending on the updated guidance later this month or go for it as soon as you can with a more limited number. Don’t forget you can always opt to do the legal bit with a small number of your favourite people when it’s possible to do so and plan an epic Anniversary party for a year or so down the line when you know you’ll be able to have a good old boogie! It’s the perfect excuse to get another wear out of your dress too!

4. Consider Wedding Insurance
I realise this might be a little late in the day and I have no doubt insurance providers will have changed their policies drastically over the past year but it’s definitely worth considering.

5. Check the T’s&C’s of your suppliers
Whether you’ve already committed to certain suppliers or you’re still in the process of deciding who to go with, it’s worth having those slightly tricky conversations about what happens if you do need to reschedule. Everyone we know in the industry is being as accommodating as possible but it will certainly help put your mind at ease to know where you stand with each of your suppliers.

6. Be kind to yourselves
These are difficult times and I can only imagine trying to plan a Wedding in the midst of it all isn’t making them any easier. Try and take some time out from it all and if you think taking the pressure off entirely and pushing it all back is the right way to go then do it. And if you’ve already had to push things back a little, you never know, you might end up with a more bespoke day that’s more you by taking this extra bit of time to plan…and replan… We love Whimsical Wonderland Weddings and Magpie Weddings and of course Rock & Roll Bride for inspiration!

7. Keep the big picture in focus
It’s easy at the best of times when planning a Wedding to get so caught up in the minute details that you lose focus of the big picture. Add the pandemonium of the pandemic and who knows what can happen! Try and stop stressing over the tiny details and things you can’t control right now. I’ll let you in on a little secret… no one really cares whether the colour of your chair bows match your Wedding invites or your something borrowed is different to your something blue… or at least they shouldn’t be on your guest list if they do! 😆 It should be about celebrating something truly beautiful with your nearest and dearest. So ditch anything that doesn’t serve you and don’t forget about the truly important aspects of why you are doing this.

8. Have a Plan B
I think it’s becoming clear that things are not just going to be bouncing back to normal in the next few weeks. This doesn’t have to be the end of your Wedding dreams though. There are so many alternative options for you and your loved one. From eloping to having a small and intimate ceremony and a plan to party when things allow or simply holding off for a little while, having a Plan B will certainly take the pressure off and hopefully allow you to enjoy the extended planning period and just build the anticipation for when you finally get to say your ‘I do’s!’

I would love to hear from you if you have any other ideas or experiences to add to this. In the meantime, take care and lets hope for some simpler and more certain times ahead.

Until next time,

Ciara x

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Andrea & Dotun // Sopwell House

Andrea & Dotun // Sopwell House

The sun is most certainly back out to celebrate Andrea & Dotun’s one year anniversary and I really hope that there is time in both Andrea & Dotun’s crazy NHS schedules to allow for a little celebrating today. Most definitely not in the way I’m sure they were expecting but I’m sure there will be many many years in the future to make up for it.

I hope some of my favourite images from this day last year can transport you back to a time pre-pandemic when the only things to worry about were co-ordinating incredible outfit changes and making sure no one knocked over the Wedding cake while performing an impressive ‘dance to the Wedding Breakfast’ number!

Andrea & Dotun’s day was incredible. There was everything you could expect from a Nigerian Wedding combined with everything you could expect from an Irish Wedding and the results made for a day full to the brim of emotion, colour, laughter, epic dancing, excellent food and a pair of very cute ducks… a nurse and a surgeon fittingly!

I hope you enjoy the selection of images below and lets hope everyones Wedding plans can get back on track soon!

Stay well, stay safe.

Ciara x

epic wedding sopwell house

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Ben & Sharmila // Ballinacurra House

Ben & Sharmila // Ballinacurra House

Where has the past year gone? It feels like it’s absolutely flown by and here we are wishing Ben & Sharmila the very happiest of 1st Wedding Anniversaries already!

I wanted to (finally) share some of our favourite images from their beautiful day at Ballinacurra House in Co. Cork last February.

I hope you enjoy them and please get in touch with any questions or to have a chat about your plans for your big day!

Ciara

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Wedding at Ballinacurra house
Jude & Mick // Mess the Dress Post Wedding Shoot

Jude & Mick // Mess the Dress Post Wedding Shoot

When Jude announced that she was going to be making her Wedding dress no one was that surprised. Jude is just like that and talented enough to pull it off! It was clear to us from the beginning that we simply had to do a ‘Mess the Dress Post Wedding Shoot’ as you don’t get to work with a bride in a homemade Wedding dress all that often!

However concern did begin to grow as the date of the Wedding drew nearer but the ‘dress’ was still a pile of fabric and a vision inside Jude’s head.

There were some veiled threats about Jude being banned from her own hen do by her sisters if she hadn’t finished her dress by then but that didn’t work and so I turned up the morning of the Wedding to Jude’s childhood home in Co. Cork to find her in her pyjamas at the sewing machine ‘just making the finishing touches….’

Somehow she was still as cool headed as they come with the clock ticking down to the hour she was to say ‘I do’ and her Wedding skirt still to be finished. I don’t think there are many brides who could pull it off. Jude is however one of a rare kind!

We will come back to share our favourite images from Jude & Mick’s big day itself but for now we would like to share the full set of images from Jude and Mick’s ‘Mess the Dress Post Wedding Shoot’ first!

What is a ‘Mess the Dress Post Wedding Shoot’ you may be asking yourself? Well, it’s quite simple really. It’s a Photo Shoot which is (ideally) just after the Wedding day itself but where you head off to an epic location (one you probably wouldn’t have time to get to on the day of the Wedding itself) or somewhere you run the risk of messing up your beautiful dress (but don’t have to worry about walking around for the rest of your Wedding Day with a mud patch on you!) Or if you simply want to spend a few hours, exploring, adventuring and taking some awesome couple photos in your Wedding gear without the nagging worry of whether your guests have drunk the free bar dry yet or whether Aunty Marge has punched Uncle Albert in the nose yet…. I hope you get the picture (& enjoy the pictures below…)

On this particular occasion myself, Jack, Jude & Mick all bundled into the car and headed off down to West Cork with a rough location in mind. We took the afternoon as it came, stopping on the side of the road and climbing into fields if we saw a beautiful patch of light or simply stopping in the middle of the road (it was rural West Cork, we barely passed another soul) to get a shot of Mick & Jude dancing down the grass verge in the middle of a country lane. The shoot finished up on a mountain pass on the Beara Peninsula right on the Cork/Kerry border and very near to a spot called ‘The Hungry Hill Bog.’ It might just be us that find that name amusing…?

I think it’s fair to say there was a ‘nip’ in the air… it was the 3rd of December after all but it really was a dream team effort and Jude was an absolute warrior stripping down to her sparkly top under her gorgeous jumper for a few shots right at the end of the day.

To work with couples who are up for an adventure, will brave the elements to get ‘the shot’ and who ultimately have a vision for their Wedding Photography is an absolute dream. Jude & Mick ticked all those boxes and we had an absolute blast (and some excellent cake and tea in the middle of the day!)

If you would like to find out more about the Photography services we offer please get in touch and I hope you enjoy the images below.

Also isn’t Jude’s skirt simply amazing?

Ciara + Jack

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