Wedding Cake is for life… but the photos will be eaten on the day

These stories contain various scenarios of a wedding day and a pre-wedding planning. While I’m no expert on wedding planning, I have seen the clients often making wrong choices when it comes to whom do they book to capture photographs of their special day.  

While the actual story below is made up, just to give us a full picture, the endings are not. Although the names have been changed, the endings are true and they indeed occurred to clients which I have met over the years. Although you can’t do anything to change the past, you can indeed learn from other peoples mistakes. 

Once upon a time there was a very nice lady called Mary. Mary dreamt of having a perfect wedding since she was a little girl. She knew what flowers will she have, how will the invitations look like, what sort of venue she wanted to book, how many guests will be enjoying a beautiful meal, and how wonderful will the memories be, which she plans on cherishing for a lifetime. All the ideas were there, written in a book titled “My perfect wedding day”. The book contained all the details, magazine clippings, images, drawings and ideas. The biggest dream however was, to get married on the beach, at sunset.

As the years gone by, she met a perfect partner (in every single way), the one to share life’s moments with – the good ones and the bad too. When the time was right, wedding planning was underway. Mary didn’t want to have an event planner, because this was her special day, and she wanted to have it her own way, she wanted to plan every single aspect of the wedding, and ensure it will be the most perfect day of their lives.

Mary’s partner loved simpler things in life, while Mary wanted a lavish ceremony with all the trimmings. Her partner decided not to get involved much in the planning, and left it all to Mary who was enjoying every part of it.

Mary had quite a healthy wedding budget at her disposal, which was great as it meant she will have the wedding she always wanted to. Part of it came from her own savings, (her being very smart and saved most of her adult life); other part (as a backup funding source) came from parents as a gift – to make the transition into her adult life easier, and something to give their daughter to remember them by. This was quite a helpful sum.

“Budgeting for a wedding won’t be so difficult” Mary thought to herself, knowing she has more than she needs. Or did she?


The first, and the largest proportion of the event was securing a wedding venue, hotels & flights abroad. She decided that she will pay for hotel for her wedding guests, as she wanted to ensure they can all afford to come. It also seemed to her that the venue gave her a reasonable discount. She was determined that her perfect day can only be perfect if the wedding is on the beach, at sunset. That way, it’s highly unlikely a bad weather would spoil it. Not sure how did a sunset play a role in this, but this is Mary’s story not mine so I won’t interfere.


Flights for herself and her partner had to be 1st class, because after all this is a wedding not a budget holiday or a cheap last minute break.


Next thing on the list was a wedding dress and outfits for bridesmaids. Nothing less than a designer gown was acceptable, so the amount of money needed was quite significant (not even including jewellery and shoes, this was a huge chunk of the entire budget). But nobody will stop Mary from looking like a princess, queen and a fairy at the same time.


Mary got a bit of a shoch when she got informed that the costs of a wedding venue and hotel, didn’t actually include the food/drink and service on the day. Luckily she knew that there still is her large backup funding source, so why not to choose the best tier and a wedding reception package? Caviar/lobster and champagne, you name it – Mary got it.


‘Oh yes! I need a beautiful designer wedding cake, like they bake in Fortnum & Mason for example, can you imagine I would just have a basic one for fifty quid??  That would be so embarrassing!’ Mary thought to herself. Luckily there was a very good baker she found abroad who could do this for a fraction of a price – but it was still little over £50. How wonderful!

Then came the important bookings for the day, car, band, flowers and smaller expenses such as stationery – wedding invitations, guest book, wedding card box; and extras such as flip flops, decorations and other bits. It was all perfect and how excellent, there was still a little bit money in the budget. ‘This is perfect, I have extra for emergency expenses’ Mary was convinced, this was the case.

Showing off to her friends and family, that she managed to organise and plan her entire event herself, without minimum outside help, Mary was extremely excited and couldn’t wait for their big day to come.

Few weeks before the event, she had a hen do with her friends, which was also kept classy and in style. Gorgeous champagne brunch and a spa break, which she paid for her and her bridesmaids herself. Why not? ‘I can splash out on things, there is still money in the budget – yay!’ Mary said to Karen as she was enjoying a bottomless bubbly in the worlds renowned brunch place-  Posh & Richie.

“I’m so happy for you Mary, can’t wait for the wedding! Oh btw… who did you book as your photographer?”

Mary’s eyes widened and jaw fell to the close proximity of the table. “OH NO! I completely forgot about that!!” Mary bellowed.

Now I offer you three alternate endings of this story. Which one would YOU choose?

NEXT WEEK: I’ll provide you with the first version of ending – A Friend with a Professional Camera.