Jade Maguire Photography

Blogging adventures for Alternative wedding photograper in North Wales

Read all about Jade's latest work and adventures as a North Wales wedding photographer covering the UK and beyond, for alternative, fun, relaxed and unique weddings.

The laid back wedding that's really YOU!

So this year I've heard soooo many brides and grooms talking about wanting the untraditional... I call these the untraditional traditionalists, the couples who want the true authentic alternative wedding, and boy do I have some bloody amazing alternative weddings coming up over the coming 12-18 months. Anyway... I thought, seen as I get asked lots of questions about the balance of how to get alternative without basically upsetting mum, or making sure nan will still have fun even if you heavy metal band (yes I've seen nans full on rock out to metallica ... so it's possible) I thought this blog post may help you all out.....

Here it goes, my list of super helpful tips for planning the wedding you REALLLLY want, the wedding that has your name written all over it. The wedding which is so free spirited, stress free, it breaks away entirely from tradition, now who doesn't want that type of wedding?!

Take it all In

You will only do this day once... this is the biggest, bestest, most time vanishing day you will EVER have in your life. You need to be able to stop and take a breather. You'll probably be hearing off married friends and family saying 'take it all in as it's goes in the blink of an eye', and they are right...totally bloody right. I literally didn't understand what they really meant, I couldn't comprehend how in the blink of an eye, a day I'd spent a serious amount of coin on could just vanish. Well do you know what, it just does.

alternative wedding photographer captures bride and groom exploring the lake in cheshire

I will be sure to take you two away and leave you to have ten minutes alone together, to breathe that sigh of relief, that full on 'holy shit we did it' kinda moment. I never had that, my day was so hectic, I remember snippets, I literally look back at photo's and don't remember stuff physically happening, it's like I'm looking at a person who looks like me but isn't me. So STOP, you guys have to schedule time for you.

bride and groom walking hand in hand for their rustic farm wedding photography


Only invite the people you really want

Listen up, this is your day... let me say that again, it's YOUR day. Do not listen to your mum who thinks you need to invite the cousin of your great aunty Edith, or the sister of your 6th generation cousin, or even Mable the old dear your moth likes to gossip with in the hair dressers. STOP.. this is your day, only invite the people who you are close to, the people you like, the people you don't have to make small talk with, the people who appreciate you and you appreciate them. I promise this will make for a much more pleasant day with no beady eyes to judge and go and gossip in the salon, lets be fair there's a few peeps around who love it!

fun and quirky bridal portrait at the belle epoque


Be comfortable

Let me tell you something, when selecting your dress be sure to sit down in it for a while and see how you feel in it! I made a silly mistake, fell in love with the dress, it was so comfortable on, until I sat down for my wedding breakfast and I physically couldn't eat more than the first course because my tummy was so constricted, perks of a fitted strapless dress eh!

quirky boho bride for alternative wedding photography shoot in liverppol

Underwear - does the other half want to see you in saucy underwear!? think whether you'll be comfortable rocking a bit of sexy lingerie under your already heavy dress...naaah you won't! sure enough still buy it, but put it on when you go to bed :p

Shoes - so I'm a total shoe addict so to me rocking a pair of killer heels all day was no problem. But, I know there's loads of people who struggle in heels, go be different...if you want to wear a pair of converse or wellies under your dress, or even flat sandals...do it! firstly, who's going to see!? who's going to care?! it's your day, and do what you want, if you struggle to walk in heels, why put yourself through it, the last thing you want is to be struggling to walk down that aisle when you should be flowing freely and elegantly. BE COMFORTABLE and more importantly BE YOU!!!!

beach wedding bride wearing alternative blue for a rustic welsh alternative wedding

Your make up

I can't stress about this enough, if you are hiring a pro MUA, then girlies... get a trial! go through what you realllly want, what really suits you, I certainly would totally recommend getting a pro all the time because their make up is professional make up, it stays on, it lasts...it's stay put during the tears or when you spill that jagerbomb on your chin and wipe it away. The lippy can stay put if that's what you want.

bridal prep image from north west wedding captured by the liverpool wedding photographer

Select a make up look that's YOU and one that you are comfortable wearing, so for example when you go out out do you rock pink eye shadow, dramatic false eye lashes and winged eyeliner that goes on for days... Yeah? well great, go for that dramatic look. No? well don't do it just because you've seen a shit load of pictures of pinterest, tone it down. your make up artist will find a good balance with what you want, what your skin tone really wants, what your eye colour really wants, what your new husband or wife may really want and what will look awesome on your wedding pictures for the rest of your lives.

So remember girlies... BE YOU!!!! Go Pro... Relax, and get a pamper whilst you sit back with a gin or a champers in your hand.


The morning prep

Everybody wearing matches white robes saying bridesmaid, and bride is the done thing right? ...

Everybody sits around drinking prosecco that nobody really likes because it's giving everybody heart burn is the done thing right?...

Mum flapping because dad hasn't done his cravat and the make up artist is running 5 minutes passed scheduled, is the norm right?!

bride getting ready at trevor hall in llangollen - trevor hall wedding photography

WRONG... it's only the norm if you want it to be. If you would sooner sit there drinking Gin neat out of a bottle through a straw...do it. If you fancy a glass of cider instead...do it. Mum flapping... dish her a few chill pills :p so what! my point being it's your day...have fun...why follow tradition if it's not you, break away from the tradition...do what's you!

fun wedding photography by jade maguire photography in chester, bride and bridesmaid bouncing on bed having fun.


Don't think of guests think of yourselves

Don't think about jamming your day with bucket loads of entertainment because you're worried your guests will get bored... so what, it's your day not their's. Don't feel like you need to be there and be visibly seen with each passing moment of the day, it's YOUR DAY!!!!

Plan things that you want, if you want the giant jenga get the giant jenga, if you want fire eaters or stilt walkers because you enjoy the show...hire them. If you want an epic sax player or a romantic harpist because YOU enjoy that... hire them. But certainly don't be thinking you have two hours to kill after your ceremony before your wedding breakfast and you need a magician and a face painter for the kids, the guests will be bored so I'm going to hire a stuntman for them so they have something to do whilst I'm getting my pictures done for a whole 30 minutes.

Saying that though - a killer rustic tractor photobooth does work a treat :p

photo booth for a rustic farm wedding - north wales wedding photographer


The Food

''I think you should have tomato soup for starters with a crusty white roll and a lump of butter in a butter dish on the table, a chicken roast dinner and chocolate cake for pudding, then you should cut your cake'' - Said mum

Sound familiar? - not that there's anything wrong with that, but lets be fair it's very typical traditional wedding breakfast, which is great for most people, but I know there's so many people out there who like me wanted something different, I mean we head a medieval banquet, guest had to wear bibs... they ate with the fingers or a dagger... now that's a bit of different right?

Or how about authentic pizza from a converted trailer... authentic wood fired oven rustic Italian pizza... Go mad... be you!!! you love pizza, have pizza... jazz it up, have a surf n turf pizza. have a BBQ... just be you!!!! eat your favourite food and make it what you want it to be.

north wales wedding photography capturing bride and groom eating pizza at their alternative wedding.
belle epoque wedding photo


The Party

Dance like nobodies watching is my motto here! Get your DJ or live band to play tunes that YOU and your other half want and like, don't be thinking that nan and granddad won't appreciate listening to hard-core tunes, or mum will be saying she thinks her ears are bleeding from listening to the racket... here's why...

All the weddings we went to as couples, it was full of cheese ball music, and I personally think it's awful, there's no craic at the wedding and next thing you know you get agadoo or chacha slide playing, errr helllll no, this isn't a high school disco in 2002! So we began writing a list of tunes that get people moving, you know the tunes that get the foot tapping, and once that foots tapping we all know what happens. It was so important to us to have a jam packed dance floor that rocked the ass off it all night, so we got smart. We love dance anthems, trance, and well... and Ibiza style rave :D so we started with the tunes that got people going, you know the ones.... as the night moved on we introduced harder stuff and by the end of the night we were full on raving to Eddie Halliwell and yes the parents were joining in with it too...! It worked a treat. Even my granddad was there throwing some shapes. So plan the party how you want it, not what your guests enjoy, write a check list of what's important to you for the party, if you want people to chill out...find clever ways to do it, if you want insane... well do what you would love to see and do!

alternative wedding photography of bride and groom raving


Getting the dress dirty

Oh that beautiful dress that you've spent so much money on, ripped...dirty... oh gosh no how will you ever cope!? Simple... you will NEVER wear this dress again, I get that it cost money, but listen up a dress that's got a splash of red wine on it, a rip in the train from your bridesmaid standing on it in her heels, the dirt caked on the underside because I've got you to walk through a muddy patch in the woodland because I've spotted the most epic location for your photo's, the little pull in it, think of them like battle wounds...the jager trail down the front of your dress....every single mark on that dress tells a fabulous story, the story of your day, the real moments, the funny moments.

If it's still so important to you not to ruin a dress you've spent £2500 on, well maybe re-evaluate your budget, spend a little less and plough the extra money into something else you will enjoy. I'm not saying it's going to be ruined, but in reality, when would you ever wear your wedding dress again, so it's ok to let down your guard...it's ok to have fun...it's ok let the train trail along the floor, it was designed to do that!

So I guess overall, what I'm trying to say is write your list of your priorities...your dreams, the things you want to see and do... make your day about you, not about entertaining the guests or doing what mum wants, because trust me, on the day... your mum will have just as much fun as you! If you don't want speeches, don't have them. If you don't want to cut the cake...don't do it. If you want to do a first look and say your own personal vows to each other, DO IT. Be true to yourselves and do what makes you happy. Be you... be the real honest you!

bride and groom drinking jager on wedding day, tattood bride for alternative wedding photography

So there you have it, there's my super helpful tips.

I hope that's been a big help for you!

And remember my lovelies...

You are you, so be true to who you are... and stick the finger up to anybody who thinks you should do otherwise!


Jade xx