Below are some useful hints and tip on how to make your day go smoothly.
1. Place your wedding bits and bobs into a quiet room to be photographed – treat it as the dressing room. And make sure its tidy.
Things to keep available for me:
Dress and Veil
Bouquet (if arrived)
2. If you have a big window, hang the dresses on there (if its strong enough), remove from bags and cut tags off. You can buy white wooden hangers at Ikea for £4.50 or at Matalan, a cheaper alternative to the personalised ones while ensuring no horrible plastic ones are around.
3. Everything to a photographer is a photograph putting on the veil, putting on the jewellery, the shoes etc, give me a shout and I’ll be there.
4. Order of dressing – mum – bridesmaids – bride, so that the bridesmaids and mum are in their dresses for the ‘doing up the dress’ photos.
5. Dress with time to spare for those gorgeous window portraits, and photos with your parents and bridesmaids.
6. Dads first look is an organised shot, dad, mum and bridesmaids need to be placed in the best position for the room to give the best view – please let me know if you want this so I can direct people.
7. Putting on the dress can be a difficult task with all those little loops and manicured nails, but don’t fear with the help of a crochet hook, hair pin or a fork – yes a fork! plus I am brilliant at doing up buttons when I need to.
8. If your dress is a corset with ribbon, allow an extra 10-15 minutes for dressing.
9. Have a little tidy up before I arrive, hide bags, put sofa beds back, hide spare pillows etc – a tidy room or at least an organised room will equal tidy backgrounds for your photos.
10. Keep any bridesmaids gifts to give when I’m there – the giving makes great photos!
11. I will leave 10 minutes before the bride to ensure I’m there, parked and in place to photograph you arriving at the ceremony, if for any reason such as traffic jams etc the bridal car got to the venue first, stay in the car until I’m with you.
1. Late Autumn or Winter Wedding? The most important tip is to book an early ceremony, anything from 11.30-1 – any later you’ll be unable to get the same amount of photos as you would with a Summer wedding. The available light will fade quickly, in Winter sunset is at 4pm.
2. Its a good idea to have a social media and photo policy whether thats unplugged i.e. no phones during the ceremony, no photos at all, no posting photos before the evening (so that night guests don’t see beforehard) the choice is yours.
3. Bridesmaids, take your time to walk slowly down the aisle, keep your eyes up and smile.
4. Walking down the aisle. This is your first chance to see each other on your wedding day, grooms look at that beautiful bride walking towards you, don’t be shy.
5. First Kiss – hold it for a second to give me the chance to capture it. Some priests don’t announce it like a celebrant would so linger a little.
6. Walking back up the aisle as a married couple, keep your head high wearing that huge smile on your face, and as you reach the end have a kiss.
Post Ceremony Drinks Reception
1. If you really want fun confetti shots bulk buy some confetti and put it in a bucket to get the bridesmaids/groomsmen to hand out to the guests as they leave the ceremony.
If you’re having an Autumn wedding you could use Leaf confetti, all you need is a lot of leaves and a craft punch – DIY!
Very Important! Assign at least 2 hours between arrival at the venue/end of ceremony and seating the guests for the reception for photography. Not only do you get to mingle as well as have your groups taken, but I have enough time to complete my photography.
2. Limit the amount of groups you want to maximise mingling time. There are ways to do this such as having bigger groups to include all the people that you’d put in the smaller groups.
3. Group photos with your nearest and dearest are always advised, many photographers don’t tend to do group photos but I feel they’re important, especially in the future when you want to show your future family. However as I have mentioned previously limit the amount of groups you want to maximise mingling time, people are not fond of waiting around.
1. In the Spring and Summer I photograph the portraits after food/speeches. Less stress of having to get all the photos before food, more time for hugs, Prosecco and congratulations! Plus the sun is kinder when its not directly above, less squinting, nicer shadows and nicer colours and tones, plus if you’re fortunate to have a sunset – incredibly epic photos! The only time this will change is if the weather dictates an earlier shoot.
2. In photos if you’re a romantic couple be romantic, give each other kisses, use your hands – if you’re a fun couple, groom pick her up, dance and twirl her, tickle her – lets see those genuine emotions!.
3. Look at each other, not me – my style is to photograph you in the moment as if I’m not there. If I need you to look at me I’ll call you. Just by looking at each other it will ease you in the moment.
Take a moment during your portraits to stop and look around, take the day in, breathe in the moment, feel the sun on your face – this is the perfect time to break the day up and slow it down.
1. The first dance, the perfect opportunity to spend some time to yourselves, you may want to call others onto the dance floor to join in but try and make sure you have a couple of minutes to yourselves to ensure you’ve got enough lovely photos. After a couple of minutes go for it.
2. Always let me know if you’re using sparklers as I need to ensure I have the correct camera and flash equipment ready for it. Make sure you assign someone in charge, this can’t be me as my eyes and concentration will be on getting the shot not any safety issues. Make sure you have a metal bucket with water in it, two trigger lighters and 18 inch sparklers – this is to ensure that the first sparkers are still alight by the time they’ve all been lit. Hold those sparklers up!
I don’t photograph while people are eating, smoking or vaping, if I notice this is happening I delete – so don’t worry.
This is an example of my wedding day timeline.
As you know I have my times on me all day on a lanyard, I ask you for the times the venue have given you such as:
cutting the cake’
and first dance
I then work out the best opportunity, time, weather and length to photograph all the different elements of your wedding.
The timeline should be seen
as a guide as times could
change if anything