I have photographed well over 200 weddings and 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. Most of the points are very small and could seem quite insignificant. 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. Suggestion – Before you are due to make your way to the ceremony dry off the stems of the flowers. This will 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, a couple of safety pins, pair of scissors, headache tablets and couple of plasters.
Dress & Veil
Make sure your dress shop gives you (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.
Remember 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/Chauffeur company, Dress and Suit provider.
If you are going away somewhere hot on your hen 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.
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 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 always advise putting together a list of what you would like so nothing is missed. You should 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 over your day. As a suggestion or a starting point I would suggest the following formal/group pictures;
Parents of the bride with the bride and groom.
Grooms parents with the bride and groom.
Both sets of parents with the bride and groom.
Bridesmaids with the bride and groom.
Groomsmen with the bride and groom.
Immediate family of the bride with the bride and groom.
Grooms immediate family with the bride and groom.
All the guests with the bride and groom.
Bride & Groom portraits in various locations, daytime and evening.
Before or after the wedding breakfast? Again this is your choice. Most venues prefer you to do the speeches after the wedding breakfast. They can then 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! If you are having a church wedding please check this out with whoever will be conducting your service. As your photographer I will always attend a church 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.
An engagement shoot or pre wedding shoot is the best way of getting used to being in front of the camera and it will be great fun. You will also get some high class professional images!
You may be considering having your wedding day professionally captured on video. As with photographers, each videographer has his or her own style and way of working. I have worked with several videographers over the years, the vast majority of whom have an ethic and a way of working which is very compatible with mine.
If you employ a videographer, we will both be capturing similar moments potentially composed slightly differently. It is inevitable that your videographer and or their camera equipment will appear in some of your pictures. I make every effort to ensure that this is kept to a minimum. If you are having a video of your wedding it would be invaluable to know this before the big day. I am also very happy to share recommendations of videographers.
This section may be worth sharing with your guests, entirely up to you. It is YOUR day and your decision. As a professional wedding photographer I see so many different things at weddings, most of them utterly fantastic full of emotion, love and tears. The moments that really make wedding days special. Weddings are truly the best things to be involved in. One thing I will guarantee you. Your wedding day will be, without doubt one of the best days of your life!! Just ponder that for a second….
When I am booked to photograph a wedding I always give every wedding 100% to ensure couples’ pictures are as good as they possibly can be.
If I were planning a wedding I would without doubt do the following. Send an e mail, letter and or text message to every guest attending the ceremony. Politely asking them not to take pictures at any point during the entrance of the bridal party, the ceremony and the exit of the bride and groom. If they do take pictures they will potentially ruin the official pictures. So many images are spoilt due to camera phones being used during the ceremony.
As a guest you will honestly enjoy the ceremony so much more if you watch the day through your eyes and not through the back of a camera phone. After the ceremony get your cameras out.