9 Secrets for Planning the Perfect Wedding!

Cork Wedding Photographer Sean Clarke shares 9 Wedding Planning Tips to help you with your big day.


As a Cork Wedding Photographer I have worked all over Cork and Kerry in wind, rain and beautiful sunshine and have had the pleasure of working with many different couples all of whom have unique ideas as to how they want their day to run. From my experiences I have seen many different ceremonies, settings, dances, table plans, dresses, suits, cars, venues and been a huge part of mapping out the day to make sure it runs smoothly and stress free. I love this side of my job.

I believe there is no right or wrong way to planning a Wedding – it is all down to the couple and what their expectations are but I can offer you 9 Wedding Tips to think about and consider when planning your Wedding from a Wedding Photographers point of view.

Wedding planning is so exciting and you often want to fit as much in on the day as you can. Couples often have many ideas - not just for the ceremony and the attire - but also the entertainment for the evening, Wedding flowers, Wedding music, Wedding photographer, Wedding venues…and the list goes on and on. When I got married last year we had three main ingredients - Good music, great venue & food and brilliant wedding photography in which to remember this special day by – but these importance’s will vary depending on what your own ideas are.   

Here are my top nine tips to think about when planning your big day!

1.       The Vision

Envision the kind of Wedding you want. Have a picture in your head. From the morning and the ceremony to the evenings entertainment and what kind of style you like. Visualize the meal with your family and friends and the dancing later that night when the drinks are flowing. How will you arrive at the church? An old vintage style car or a camper? What kind of dress will you wear? What kind of suit will he/she wear? This vision will at least give you a starting point to move on to my next tip:

2.       Needs & Wants List

This list will help get your plan into order. Create a list with things you ‘need’ (like a photographer and a venue) and things you ‘want’ - these are items you can add to the ‘needs’ once you have acquired them like flowers, cakes and table decorations or customized favours.  

3.       Know your budget

This seems obvious but can easily be overlooked and under-managed. Know exactly what you have to spend and spend your money in the right areas. Knowing your budget will help you decide if you need certain “extras” like that candy cart you had your eye on. Knowing your budget will also help you move on to my next tip:

4.       Don’t cut the wrong corners  

This tip is vital. Knowing your budget will also help you to realise where the most important areas of your spend are – for some it’s the venue and the meal, for others the photography and the lasting memories that will be captured on the day. My advice is once you have worked out what the most important things to you are - always speak to the professionals first and get their advice. For example I have met brides who used an “uncle with a camera” or the “taxi driver down the road with a camera” to photograph their Wedding and the photos they received were well below the quality of what they were hoping for! These are your memories and you don’t want to have that disappointment. This can actually be an “expensive mistake”.

5.       Keep it simple – don’t overthink it

Trusting in your gut instincts is the way to go. Once you have decided on the venue or the dress or the cake – trust your decision and move on to the next topic on your list. If you have chosen the right vendor that suits your day and they are professional they will do the job that they do best! It is important to move on and enjoy the rest of your planning.

6.       Time Out

Sometimes, in the months leading up to the Wedding it feels like your whole life is spent discussing this exciting event. Don’t forget to take some time out for yourselves and go for a lovely quiet meal together or even a night away!  

7.       Add that personal touch

This is fun to be honest – think about your characters as a couple and what is important to you. Try to add themes into your decoration or venue that add a personal touch. You might be big music fans, or film fans – you can think about this when choosing table names or when planning the invitations or the entertainment. Your guests will love this!

8.       Be cosy and comfy

Think about your comfort on the day. This may mean having a pair of flat shoes on hand when you are out having your photos taken or for dancing in. You might want a little touch up and have a small make-up bag handy – don’t forget you can always ask your Chief bridesmaid to take care of this for you – delegate, delegate, delegate!  


The most important tip by far! Once you have put all these decisions together and your Wedding plan is complete – enjoy yourself. On the big day let it all go and enjoy the moment – trust me it wizzes by – but with careful planning and hiring of the right team you can leave the wedding professionals to do what they do best. We will look after you on the day and make sure you have a good time! 

Contact Sean to discuss your Wedding Photography or call 0851227243