How to plan a wedding in Cumbria

Firstly, woohoo and congratulations! You or your partner decided that they liked it and put a ring on it. Once the ‘we’re engaged!’ excitement starts to settle down, you may wonder where on earth do you start when planning a wedding. 

The first thing couples usually do is ask friends and family for any tips, advice or vendor recommendations. They mean well, but this can usually become quite overwhelming as you are usually inundated with how they planned their wedding, and how they think a wedding should be.

Your friends may have had a more traditional wedding, with a more posed/fine art photographer and ceremony in a church – if you are on my website, chances are that you don’t want that!

So, don’t take your friends’ word on how to plan your wedding if you want something that’s more unique. Instead, read this blog and figure out what to do next and what’s most important for you as a couple!

Decide on the time of year and your ideal date

Weddings at any time of the year are amazing, but you might want to some time to think about when would be best for you. If you are all about natural light photos, the last thing you should do is book a wedding for the middle of winter when the sun sets at 3pm. If you (like me), burn at the mere sight of the sun, you may consider having a wedding in spring and not July. 

Top tip: A summer wedding is usually a longer day with the sun setting later, whereas winter weddings are usually a much shorter day. If you fancy a winter wedding, I’d always recommend an earlier ceremony time so that there’s more time for photographs in daylight. Summer wedding? Why not book a later ceremony time so you can party harder into the night!

Who’s coming?

Make a list of people you know (your first list is scarily big, FYI), this number is great to have when visiting venues so you can see accurate costs up-front. No doubt your parents will probably want their random school friends to come (they’ve probably not spoken in years, right?!) It might be worth asking your parents if they could just come to the party instead.

Top tip: People won’t be offended if they aren’t invited to the daytime shizz! Also, 9/10 guests prefer a tasty buffet over a wedding breakfast (who doesn’t love finger food?!)

Find your Cumbrian venue

It’s incredibly easy to get sucked into page 24 of Google, searching for ‘Cumbrian wedding venues’ over and over again. From manor houses to barns, Cumbria has SO many different options. Ask your friends where they got married, or think back to weddings you really enjoyed.

Make sure to go on plenty of venue tours and open days – they usually dress the venues up especially, and it makes visualising your shindig much easier.

Top tip: Peak prices for venues are usually on a Saturday in May-August, so don’t discard the idea of a Friday wedding or in an autumn month like September. 

Book your ceremony

You can’t say ‘I do’ without the registrar/officiant! These can book up well in advance, so make sure you contact them as soon as possible to get your date booked in. There are quite outdated laws in England, and you can’t legally marry anywhere unless it’s an approved structure.

If you don’t fancy a traditional wedding, why not have a small ceremony at the registry office and then have a humanist ceremony or a celebrant? Humanist ceremonies and celebrants are AMAZING! They are an awesome way to celebrate you and your partner in a very special way, and these ceremonies can take place anywhere. Humanist ceremonies/celebrant ceremonies aren’t classed as a legal marriage, so make sure you make it official at the registry office for legalities.

Top tip: For the Cumbrian Registry Office, you can provisionally book your ceremony up to 24 months in advance. 

What’s important to you?

For some people, a cake is EVERYTHING. For others, all they may have dreamed about for their wedding could be a fun table magician to entertain your guests. The usual suppliers include photographer, videographer, florist, stationery designer, make-up artist, hairdresser, cake, band/DJ and table favours.

You may want to DIY a lot of your wedding – it’s always a great idea to make a list and figure out what you want help with (what are friends and family for, right?!) and what you’ll do yourself.

So, think about what’s important to you, and prioritise getting in touch with them first. Suppliers

Top tip: Make a list of things you’ve loved about the weddings you’ve attended. Love a photo-booth for drunk guests to have fun with? Add it to your list! 

Start enquiring

Start making a list of suppliers you want to enquire with (add these as a new tab into your spreadsheet so you can compare packages and quotes). Photographers typically book up around 18 months in advance – I’d always recommend enquiring as soon as you can with photographers, videographers, florists, hairdressers and make-up artists.

Top tip: As a wedding photographer, it’s always so nice to read enquiries that are unique/compliment an aspect of my photography. Throw in an emoji and a compliment for good measure and to make their day.

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