After photographing a great deal of weddings over the years I wanted to share a few tips, maybe a few things to consider and ponder. The information below is a collection of observations and experiences I have gained over the years and wanted to share with you in an effort to try and help you on your wedding day. Most of the points are very small and could seem quite insignificant, things that are not even considered but they could make a big difference to you and your big day. Hope this helps you!
Most florists will pack your flowers with the stems of each bouquet in water, so your flowers look perfect for as long as possible. Suggestion - Ten minutes before you are due to make your way to the ceremony dry off and pat down the stems of the flowers with a hand towel to remove as much water from the bouquet as possible to prevent a damp patch on yours and your bridesmaids dresses.
If you are getting ready away from home take a little emergency kit; Needle and cotton (cotton same colour as your wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses) a couple of safety pins, pair of scissors, headache tablets and couple of plasters for the backs of your heels just in case.
Dress & Veil
Make sure your dress shop gives you (and mum, bridesmaid/s) a thorough run through on fastening your dress and in particular your veil. I have seen so many veils discarded as fitting them securely just before the bride leaves for the ceremony was an issue.
Remeber to have a list of telephone numbers with you for your providers for your wedding day, Photographer, Make up, Hairdresser, Flower supplier, Cake maker, DJ, Car/Chauffer company, Dress and Suit provider.
If you are going away somewhere hot on your hen do or are out in the sun before your wedding day spare a thought for strap marks on your shoulders for your wedding day.
Keep hydrated for a good few days before your wedding, lots of water will keep your eyes looking fresh.
Make sure you put your engagement ring on another finger before the ceremony.
Walking down the aisle
When you walk down the aisle with your escort be sure to keep your head up. Your pictures look so much better when you are looking ahead.
Seats for Bridesmaids
Prior to your ceremony ensure your bridesmaids, flower girls and page boys have had their seats reserved for them by the ushers to ensure there is somewhere for them to sit when they arrive into the church/ceremony room.
Entrance into the Ceremony
Are your bridesmaids coming in before or after you? It is entirely up to you. If they are coming in after you, pictures of them will be limited as they walk in as they will be behind you. If they come in before you make sure you leave a good space for your bridesmaids to walk down the aisle and find their seats (which have been reserved for them) before you enter. This will ensure you get great pictures of you making your entrance with your escort.
If you would like formal/group, family pictures after your ceremony I would advise putting together a list of what you would like so nothing is missed. You should also be mindful that group pictures can be time very consuming. I am more than happy to do group pictures, but just make sure it does not take too much time out of your day. As a suggestion or a starting point;
Bride & Groom with the brides parents.
Bride & Groom with the grooms parents.
Bride & Groom with the both sets of parents.
Bride & Groom with the bridesmaids.
Bride & Groom with the groomsmen.
Bride & Groom with the brides immediate family.
Bride & Groom with the grooms immediate family.
Bride & Groom with the everyone.
Bride & Groom portraits.
Before or after the wedding breakfast? Again this is your choice. Most venues prefer you to do the speeches after the wedding breakfast as they can be certain of the timings for sitting down and serving each course. However if you want the speeches before you eat discuss this with your wedding co-ordinator at the venue.
Some Ministers/Vicars will not allow any photography during the ceremony at all and I mean none whatsoever!!. If you are having a church wedding please, please check this out with whoever will be conducting your service. I, as your photographer will always attend a rehearsal to ensure I can have a conversation with the Vicar to go through photography on the day. This always works well and I think is a must for a church wedding. I switch my cameras onto silent shooting mode for the ceremony so no annoying clicks. Modern high end professional cameras can cope with taking pictures in low light very well, so this will negate the need for flash.
An engagement shoot or pre wedding shoot is such a great way of getting used to being in front of the camera and most importantly feeling comfortable, something you should really consider. You will also get some great images!