Wedding Photography

Is investing in a good wedding photographer worth the money??

Recently I noticed a debate on Twitter about whether investing in a good wedding photographer was worthwhile? Many argued that the heavy outlay usually involved could have be spent elsewhere.

That is certainly one train of thought when you are planning your wedding, you want everything on the day to be perfect and when budgets are tight it is easy to think that a family friend who is a keen photographer could do just as good a job.

The reality of it is you don’t realise what you have got until it is all over. Your day only happens once and you wont be able to go back and redo the photographs. You can be left with set of terrible shots, which you may not be able to even create a wedding album with.

Our advice is always use a reputable photographer, where you have seen many examples of their work. Often new companies offer special deals, but remember if it seems to be to good to be true, then very often it is.

Here are some tips provided by wedding photographer Ciaran O’neill Photography for brides and grooms.

  • Don’t take chances. You can’t retake the photographs so make sure you get a qualified professional photographer who is a member of a professional organisation PPANI, MPA or BIPP.
  • Look at lots of photographs by the photographer. Make sure you see complete albums and not just the best shot from lots of weddings.
  • Look at how the bride’s dress is arranged. You want a photographer who knows how to do this quickly and properly. You will spend a lot a money on you dress. You want it to look stunning.
  • Look at the family shots. Inexperienced photographers will often fail to organize groups properly resulting in awkward and unsightly arrangements.
  • Leave enough time. As a general rule you need to leave roughly 4 hours from the start of the ceremony to the start of the meal plus driving time. This may seem excessive but it is better to have a little extra time to spend with your guests instead of having to rush and maybe miss out on some photographs.
  • Have a Plan B. If you are planning an outdoor location for your photographs consider the possibility of bad weather.
  • Consider the time of year. If you are getting married during the winter months remember it might be dark as early at 3.00 pm. A wedding at 1.00 pm or 2.00 pm may mean little or no outdoor photography.
  • Insist your hairdresser and makeup artist finish with you first before they start the bridesmaids etc. They will want to leave you until last but this will mean you are not ready for photographs until the last minute. This causes two problems. Firstly your photographer may have to leave for the church without any photographs of you ready. Secondly, if someone has to be photographed candidly without makeup let it be the bridesmaids and not you!


Wedding Insurance

Wedding Insurance was certainly not one of the first or even top 100 things i thought about when i was planning my wedding. When i finally did come around to the idea it just seemed like another extra cost, but is it really worth it.

In my opinion for that small extra outlay you have the peace of mind that if something goes wrong you have have it covered.
Although we try to select reliable businesses when planning our big day, things can go wrong, and the unthinkable can become a reality!

What would you do if your venue had a fire or flood weeks before you big day and could no longer hold your wedding reception or even worse if they went bankrupt how would you afford to pay out for everything again?
That’s what the insurance is for, dealing with the worst case scenario and giving you the finances to fix it.

There are lots of companies that can provide you with a suitable cover within your budget and if you are even more savvy, if you purchase it through a cash back site you may even get back the money you spent!! Every penny counts when planning your wedding, I know!!

Here are a few links to get you started

Proposals and engagements

I recently read about a young man who for 6 months took selfies of himself and his girlfriend with ‘will you marry me’ messages in background. She was completely oblivious to it all and told him when he finally proposed to her face to face that she thought it was a project he was working on.
This lead me to think about proposals and what is the best way to pop the question?
A romantic meal followed by a ring placed in a glass of champaign or a dessert of choice, on a birthday with the ring wrapped up in a large box, at Christmas surrounded by family and friends or on the holiday of a lifetime.

I think it all depends on the people involved and what they like to do. It’s a very personal thing proposing, so perhaps do something different rather than the clichés mentioned above. Here are a couple of examples of proposals that we really liked.
Here is a video clip of a friend of mine who proposed to his now wife through the use of a giant TV screen in the middle of a city centre. It certainly was a very big gesture and also very public, I guess he knew the answer would be yes. Here is how it looked!

For another couple I know, the now husband used their much beloved dog to deliver the ring on a beach when they out for one of their usual Sunday walks. She was caught very much by surprise.

All we can say is that every proposal is unique and should certainly be a day to remember.

Where to start….

Where to start with your wedding plans? 

The ring is on the finger and the bubbly has popped, so now the planning begins. Where do you start to get the best day you can?


We would recommend that the newly engaged couple sit down with a pen and paper (old school i know) and start to make a few notes. Think about what you both want from the day and any ideas that you may have had. Lets be honest the majority of grooms wont have even thought about it so ladies this is a good time to get the day of your dreams. (Your groom to be will do anything for a quiet life in my experience).

Once you have your grand ideas down in black in white, the next big obstacle you need to consider is how on earth you are going to afford the 14 bridesmaids (you cant possibly leave anyone out, social media is not very forgiving) the biggest party band in the world (everyone needs a good band to show off their bad wedding dancing to) and the outfits of the century (cant be outdone when you are the bride or groom).

The average cost of a wedding today is around £25,000. Now don’t pass out, this is an AVERAGE cost and varies considerably depending on what you want. So this is why you need to consider what your budget is right at the start and where the money is coming from? If you are lucky enough to have wonderful parents/inlaws to be, that want to help you out and contribute to your big day, have these conversations early and that will help you in the planning process.

Know what your limit is a stick to it otherwise before you know it things can spiral out of control!!!!!!! Everything can add up very quickly so you need to be realistic about whats possible. This is supposed to be the greatest day of your life so try not to give yourself unrealistic expectations.

Here are some planning tools that you can use to keep your wedding on track. Once your start going out and looking at different suppliers you can keep a check on how it is all looking. You never know you might be able to save some money on essential items leaving more wiggle room for the more extravagant touches. Shop around for the best price from good suppliers.  Do watch out and remember if a deal seems to good to be true it usually is!!!


Happy Planning