Wedding day tips

Although I’m not a wedding planner and there is a tonne of planning blogs out there written by some great wedding planners, I have photographed a few weddings in the last few years and thought I could put a few wedding day tips together in a form of an article.

I hope my or any other couples will find it useful to see it from a photographer’s point of view.

Be prepared


Be prepared for the unexpected and don’t worry about little incidents throughout the day. Everything is possible during a wedding day. Don’t panic and enjoy every moment of this special day. Not every wedding goes according to plan. In fact most of them don’t!

I’ve seen all sorts things going wrong on a wedding day and it’s vital how you react to these. Stay positive and enjoy the day as it happens. After all, you will remember that moment better. I’ve seen flowers arriving late, wrong size trousers being delivered for groomsmen. I got a parking ticket while on a sneak away photo shoot with a couple on their wedding day and witnessed a fire alarm going off during the ceremony. Everything can be turned into a positive and a positive attitude is all you need. That lucky bride who heard the fire alarm going off just as she walked down the aisle ended up walking down the same aisle twice!

Wedding ceremony


Registrars are normally pretty relaxed and allow photographers quite a lot of freedom during civil ceremonies. There are no restrictions usually but you have to remember we can’t photograph the actual register. Usually after signing the register, you’d be given a dummy one so I can take a photo of you pretending you sign it.

However we don’t often get that freedom at churches and places of worship in general. Whether it’s because of bad experience from another photographer or something else, some vicars are very strict about where we wedding photographers, can go during religious ceremonies. I have had cases where I was only allowed to stay at the very back having to use a telephoto lens, shooting most of the ceremony from behind couple’s backs.

It is worth clearing this with your vicar in advance and giving them reassurance that you are using a professional photographer that is very quiet and discreet and does not use flash in churches.

Group shots


Family and friends group shots are an important part of the day. You may not see a tonne of group shots on my or other photographers websites but I’d like to think most of us photographers take these. I do anyway! Unless you don’t want me to then of course it’s fine.

I will take any photograph you want me to on the day however it’s important to realise that these group shots take time, especially those large group shots. The larger the group the more chance there is of someone wandering off just as we need them. Each group photo can take a few minutes with large group photos taking even 10-15 minutes so I recommend no more than 15-20 group shots on the day and a list of those would help you remember which ones you wanted to take on the day.

The bottom line is that the more time we spend taking these group shots, the less time you will have to enjoy your party and the less time I will have to take creative and fun candid shots of you and your guests. Remember the guests also get tired of waiting while the group photos are being taken.

I would usually ask your best man, bridesmaid or a member of your family to help me gather people for these group shots and this can speed things up.

Weather


This is one of the things I can’t control, and I don’t think you can either, unless you went to Hogwarts!

You know British weather can be unpredictable and on a few occasions I did find myself and my gear soaking wet on a wedding day. This is not a problem though. Not for me anyway and unless you mind getting wet, we can create some amazing wedding photos in the rain.

This is when umbrellas come handy as well and remember to have spare wellies or a pair of trekking shoes as well just in case so you don’t have to be walking in your heals soaking into wet and muddy field.

For us creative wedding photographers, the rain or snow can provide some amazing opportunities usually not available on sunny days. I don’t shy away from wet weather and if you don’t then let’s create some magic!

Don’t panic if it rains on your wedding day.

Lighting


Chances are that you booked your venue because of the breathtaking view of the sea or the gorgeous garden. To make the most of these views and to utilise the best light possible, it’s important to allow your couple’s session within an hour before sunset. The so called golden hour is the best time of the day for these sort of photos.

Time around midday should be avoided when planning your photo shoot. Due to many ceremonies taking place around this time we often conduct group shoots shortly after. This is when we will be looking for shady areas around the venue or try to shoot into the sun if it’s outdoors. As far as your couples photos are concerned, leave these for later.

Another reason you chose your wedding venue was probably its spectacular decor or original features. When planning an indoor shoot we’ll be looking for natural window light. This is often the most flattering light you can find indoors and doesn’t require the use of additional artificial lighting.

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I hope you found this article useful and it will help you plan your wedding day.

If you have any questions (wedding related of course!) or if you’d like to enquire about my availability then hit the button below and let’s chat.


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