Updated: Mar 19
A wedding photographer captures images that tell the story of your wedding day as it happens, so don't forget that old saying 'the camera never lies!!'
Now keeping that in mind here are a few things you can do to help your wedding photographer capture your wedding day at it's best.
Whether you’re getting ready at a stately home, a barn conversion, hotel, your house or your parents’, a decluttered environment makes for great photographs.
Think of somewhere to get a photo of your dress in all its glory. Four poster beds are brilliant for dress photographs. If you’re staying in a hotel, and your preparation room doesn’t have a four poster but you know of a room that does, put your parents in that room the night before and we can move the dress there for a quick photograph of it.
Aim to be ready in plenty of time before the ceremony, or before you or your photographer needs to leave for the ceremony. Rushing for the ceremony will leave you flustered and you won’t take in the first few moments of the big occasion. Being ready before gives you time to get photographs in your dress and with your bridesmaids.
Guys, this is a button hole, despite its name, it doesn’t go through your button hole, it should be pinned to your left lapel a couple of inches below the button hole. Don’t stress about it, try your best and if you can’t get it right your photographer will be happy to put it right for you!
Ascertain the photo policy of your ceremony venue as soon as possible. Some churches/vicars/priests ban all photography, some allow it but only from the very back, some actually don’t even allow your photographer to enter the building whilst the ceremony is taking place. For many, the photographs of the exchanging of vows and rings are the most important part of a photo story, please don’t leave it until the day to find out and be left disappointed. Remember that you are paying for your ceremony, irrespective of the venue, this is your day.
Think your entrance through very carefully. Some vicars like to walk up the aisle at the beginning of the ceremony, find out if they are going to and ask them to go up quite a bit earlier, to allow for space between them and your wedding party. Are your wedding bridesmaids/groomsmen going before you? If so then the same applies, give them time to get up the aisle and crucially out of the way and into their seats before you make the turn to walk down the aisle. You are going to look amazing, your partner wants to get a clear view of you because it will be one of their favourite memories, and photographs.
Let your bridesmaids/groomsmen have their moment, but don’t let them block your big moment!
You’ll be the last person to arrive to the ceremony, with a big, grand entrance. As newlyweds you’ll be the first to leave the ceremony. This means that after walking down the aisle you’ll be outside while all your guests slowly file out from their ceremony seats. The first people out will obviously congratulate you on tying the knot, and no doubt those behind them will wait patiently so that they can also congratulate you. Before you know it your whole wedding party is now backed up in a queue waiting to congratulate you and get a drink!!. This impromptu receiving line can eat up a huge chunk of your day, and the time immediately after the ceremony is crucial for getting your formal photos done. The best advice is once you’re outside and chatting, keep moving to allow your guests to filter out without being held in a queue. if you're stuck and can't get away, look for me (I'll be there watching in anticipation) and give me that 'help' look and I will come to rescue and drag you away without you having to upset anyone! You can then move around your guests sharing hugs, kisses and congratulation wishes while your photographer sets up the next stage.
The confetti shot is such an iconic moment, captured for eternity. It is the most common photograph shared on anniversaries years after the wedding. Why? Because the confetti shot shows so much emotion: laughter, big smiles, kisses and often friends and family in the background. It’s a traditional shot but it’s not often on guests’ list of items to bring along so it’s worth buying your own confetti. Check with your venue as to what they permit, inside or outside, biodegradable or flower petals only.
Let your photographer arrange a nice long aisle of guests for you to walk up and then walk up slowly, take your time, let it shower you! A kiss in the middle of your walk will provide a beautiful photo opportunity.
The Formal Photographs can take quite an effort to get people in the right place at the right time and at a part of the day when time really is of the essence. Think about who you want in your group photos well before the wedding and let your photographer know. By all means make a list of group must have shots but keep it short. Making a long list is not always the best as you have now given the photographer something extra to carry, look at and hold when he should be taking photographs!! Think of who can help on the day, a couple of people (or more) who know a lot of guests and get them to the photographer quickly and efficiently. If you make a list start large and get smaller, it’s quicker to ask Aunty June and Uncle Dave to come out of a group than it is to have your immediate family stood there and then have to look for Aunty June and Uncle Dave. Start big and get progressively smaller, down to the immediate family. Doing this can save you up to half an hour, which seems ludicrous but trust me, we are all at the behest of your least cooperative guest.
Leave plenty of time for the important pictures of you and your newly wed partner. This is a good time for the two of you to have some time alone away from the guests to reflect on your day so far. Your photographer will want to take you to a few different locations to get a good variety of settings for you. It's time for lots of cuddles, kissing and warm embraces, this makes for great wedding photographs that you will cherish forever.
What if it rains? Wet or windy weather shouldn’t spoil your day. Always have a wet weather contingency for your group photos. Ask your venue if it’s raining where can we do them, it might be a case of having chairs moved from the ceremony room or another part of the venue being cleared but it’s important to have a wet weather space. There is no doubt that photographs taken outside will tend to be better but sometimes the weather just doesn't allow that to happen. Group photos taken indoors shouldn’t be any less attractive than group photographs taken outdoors. I personally bring studio equipment to professionally light group photographs so rain should never, ever mean poorer photographs!
The first dance. Such an iconic part of your day and one that your guests will enjoy every minute of. Your DJ will set the scene and announce your moment all you have to do is dance!! Take your time, slowly turning through 360 degree so every one gets to see you. Stop for a nice lingering kiss, give your guests time to photograph that moment. Oh and very now and then lift your head up so they can see and photograph your faces too!!
Sunsets, sparklers, fireworks and evening photographs. Add a bit of fun for your evening guests with a few sparklers or go all out and have a blast with a firework display. The setting sun can make great colourful skies but again the weather doesn't always play ball with us!!
make sure read this one too...….unplugged weddings