Plan the best day of your lives. Not the day your parents want you to have. Or the day wedding you think Facebook or Instagram would like to see. Plan the day you want to have. If you think a certain wedding tradition seems odd – the don’t do it! Want to do something completely unconventional – fill your boots. You’ll only be getting one shoe at it – so make it intirely your own!
But then – reardless of all the planning beforehand be prepared to let go of everything on the day and just enjoy each and every moment! The right people, the right day, in a place you love and having best time ever celebrating you two with all those that matter to you is what it is all about. By yourselfs!
You having fun and loving each moment – the most awesome pictures – much more than everything being ‘perfect’.
Before the “Big Day”
Around a month or so before your wedding day I’ll send you an online form with more detailed questions about your wedding (the final balance will also be due at this time). Not only will it include schedules and locations, it will also give you the opportunity to list what shots are important to you and allow you to highlight any thing out of ordinary I might need to know. There’s no need to worry about sending over Pinterest boards or things like that, but if you have specific examples of types shots you love from my website then please feel free to let me know. Other than that, I totally appreciate that you trust me to approach your day with an open mind, that we will create photographs that are truly and uniquely and yours!
I don’t usually visit venues in advance of the wedding as I genuinely feel there isn’t a need. Altough I might arrive the night before or check out a venue early on the morning.
Unless your plans make sense to do otherwise, I’ll usually arrange my own travel and accommodation dependant on your preparation and reception, and for the most weddings will arrive the night before and stay close by on the wedding night.
The final balance is due month before your date. You are welcome to pay in instalments at anytime, just drop me an email to let me know you’ve sent a payment and I can confirm it’s arrival.
In the run up to the wedding you can add a la carte items to your wedding package at anytime (for example pre-wedding portrait session or an album) just drop me a line if you want to do this!
Your Wedding Day!
For most of my weddings, I work alone if I am able to cover the bride and the groom in the morning. As a rule, I aim to see guys first thing before heading over to girls and staying with them until the ceremony. This all depend on the logistics and timing of the day- again we’ll firm up plans in the weeks before your wedding. For larger weddings – or if the logistics and locations are to difficult o cover alone – a second photographer is a great addition to your wedding package. They will generally cover the boys in the morning and we will meet up for he ceremony. If you didn’t initially book a second photographer and now think you’d like one, no worries just let me know and I can sort this!
I always like to arrive as early as possible – not so much from a photography point of view, but because it’s great chance to meet everyone and get to know who’s who and start to see all the relationships and characters that I can then look into documenting during the day. Plus it gives everyone more time to get over the – “Look! there’s a photographer in the room” syndrome! – It might initially feel a bit odd that some weird guy with the camera (hello!) is crashing your wedding but just ignore me and get on with enjoying your day – you’ll soon be used it!
As a photographer I love to capture the things that matter and the moments as they happen – so I want you guys to do what you need to do and just let me document. I really want to capture your wedding as it was – so you can remember in that way – so, if things are chaotic then don’t worry too much about tidying up, or hiding the chaos for ‘me’ – but if you do want things to look neat and minimal then just be mindful of that.
One thing you might consider is the light in the place you are getting ready. I love natural window light – it’s always super flattering and great to shot in – so a nice room with the big windows is always a good choice!
In the morning, if the are certain detail shots, or items your wan to photograph of, then try make sure these items are out and on display. (I don’t want to miss real, awesome moments because I’m unboxing shoes!) – This could include things like the rings, the shoes, and hanging up your dress in a good position. If you are not to bothered about that, then no worries. Personally I think the dress will look better on you than a hanger!
If you are getting married in a church, it will be worth checking the Priest’s/Vicar’s rules and any photography restrictions in advance of the wedding day. If there are restrictions on photography then perhaps see if they would at least be happy with me being at the front just to photograph your entrance and when you see each other for the first time – that is such a great moment to capture for you both – then I can move out of the way when the ceremony starts. However, some churches don’t allow the photographers to be anywhere except at the back – the important thing is fo you to be aware of that in advance – to avoid any upsets on the day. If Vicar has concerns, I’m happy to call them and have a discussion in advance!
Knowing when to live the moments
I’m totally happy for your quests to take as many photos during your day as they like – but for your parents, encourage them to put down the camera for the important moments, they need to see you as you really are, they need to live.
Group And Family Photos!
I firmly believe it’s important to get some nice photos of those you with those people who are genuine close to you. Depending on your schedule and the weather, a good time to do this is usually between end of the ceremony and before you sit down to eat.
We can finalise the groups you want in the questionnaire I’ll send out, but be aware that on average a larger group photo could take 4-5 minutes or more to arrange. So if you have 10 different group shots then you’ll need to factor in around 45 minutes.
The Less Standing Around The Better!
With that in mind, I’d advise doing as few group shots as possible as the less time stood round wondering why you can’t find auntie Sue and the more time celebrating the better. Also I’ll be at your wedding until the end, so there will be plenty of time to grab more informal shots of you with fiends/family when everyone is relaxed and having fun later on; you, or any of your guests, can just tap on shoulder and ask for a picture! All images from the day will be available for all guests to download or buy prints after the day.
I’ll be working all day and night – and hungry photographer is a sad photographer – so if you can sort out a meal for me that would be fantastic. No worries if not – just let me know in advance so I can bring food. The best time for me to eat is when you guys do – it’s really only time I stop taking pictures all day – guests with mouthfuls of food don’t always make for the best photos! It also means that if I’m fed and watered then I am ready to capture the speeches or the next part of celebration.
Let’s eat together
The best time for me to eat is when you eat. This way it means I’m ready to capture the speeches and maybe w can do some portraits in between courses!
With portraits photos I prefer to sneak a few quick, short sessions in through the day rather than a long single shoot where you are away from your guests. I usually like to play this by ear on the day – especially as weather, timings changing etc can all play havoc with any plans. As a rule later in the day is better when you are relaxed and have socialized with guests – plus crucially the light around sunset I always makes for wonderful pictures. Most couples love this part of the day, as it’s time away with just two of you two, taking time out as a married couple and having 5 minutes to yourselves during golden hour.
As I mentioned, working “around” your day is very important to me – However, if taking more time out for portraits, or leaving the venue and travelling a short distance to make some epic pictures, is important to you and something you are interested in the let me know – and I’m more than happy to do this. Just get in touch and we can arrange the plans.
The key to documentary photography is knowing I’m there but learning to ignore me If you find yourself looking at me, look away! It may feel strange at first , but as the hours pass you’ll forget the clicks. I take a different approach during portrait sessions and will direct you a little more but then it’s really about you being yourselves and capturing your personalities. The shots have to reflect who you are, that way they will be meaningful to you and those close to you!
The advice here is simple – have an amazing party and go crazy! I’ll be on the dance floor and at the bar – where ever action is! Capturing you and your awesome guests having an amazing time together!
After your wedding
I always aim to get a sneak preview image on my FB page or Instagram – or to you via email – arond a week or so after your wedding. This means you’ll have a professional image to share on your social media if you should choose. If you prefer to keep your photographs from the wedding private, that is no problem, just let me know.
You can find me here on Facebook and here on Instagram.
Your full online gallery should be within a 5-6 weeks after that. I refer not to rush the process as I want to make sure I spend the right amount of time editing your photo’s so they are the best they can be. During the summer period, it occasionally takes longer, but I can promise you that the images will be worth the wait!
If you bought an album in your package, once you have your online gallery you can start to choose the images you want to be showcased by selecting them when you log in. I’ll send you an email that explains the designing process, ad once you are happy with the final layout I’ll order an album that you will love, and moments you can live again and again.
If you didn’t initially choose an album package – no worries! you can add an album anytime after your wedding. Ideally I would love all my couples to have this perfect memento of their day in an album that is made to be passed around and loved.
Thank you for reading my wedding guide. Hope You enjoyed the article.