Wedding Day Advice : A Wedding Photographer's Guide for Couples
Planning your wedding day can get a little stressful, so we’ve put together a last-minute wedding day advice checklist to help you along a little with your wedding plans. We’ve pulled together what we think are some useful tips and things you might want to consider to help your wedding day run smoothly.
None of the information below is gospel. Please don’t go rushing around making lots of changes. It is your wedding day and you should totally do whatever makes you happy on your wedding. But these are just a few little things that we think work well.
So here we go; our hints, tips and wedding planning advice :
Group & Family Photographs
The group photographs can sometimes get a little chaotic as we round up the guests required for the photos. Our advice is to make sure you’ve allocated two friendly people to help organise the groups. It really helps if they know who the people are in each of the group photos. Also, and this may seem obvious, but is sometimes overlooked – make sure they have a copy of the groups’ list! Either send them a text with the names, so they have it on their phone. Or go old school and hand them a printed bit of paper the morning of the wedding.
Bride & Groom Preparation
We love LIGHT! Try to get ready in as bright a room or a room with a nice big window. For the bridal prep, ask your hair/makeup artists to set up next to or near a window for the best light with you facing or half facing it. Or if you are doing your own bridal makeup have this in mind
If you have any gifts, try to save them till we arrive so we can capture real reactions. We won’t ask you to reenact these parts of the day as we love to keep things flowing and try to keep true to a documentary wedding photographer and videographer‘s ethos of capturing natural moments as they happen.
Dress & Shoes
If you’d like us to photograph your dress & shoes, please find a spot and have it hanging ready for us with the shoes close by. We tend not to touch the dress if we can help it. We leave that to the capable hands of your bridesmaids.
Brides to Be – If you are wearing a wedding dress make a plan for getting into it. The morning can go a lot quicker than you imagine, so to avoid the last-minute rushing around, give yourself some ample time. Especially if you’re expecting portraits at this point. But don’t worry as we’ll get plenty of photos and coverage of you in your dress (and grooms in their suits) during the afternoon portraits.
Clean & Tidy
Try to keep the room you are getting ready in tidy if you can. Anything left out will be in the background of any pictures.
The Wedding Ceremony
Try not to bunch up when walking down the aisle and leave a small gap before the bridal entrance so that we can clearly capture this for you.
Try to check with your registrar or vicar (the person conducting ceremony) if they have any specific rules or requests about wedding photography and film. In the past, we’ve had a couple of experiences where we’ve not been allowed to take any photos or place a lapel mic on the officiant during the ceremony.
If the ceremony is at a different location to prep or the reception and the parking is limited, please ask the wedding venue to reserve a space for us. This is because timings can sometimes be tight between the bridal prep and the ceremony.
Consider An Unplugged Ceremony?
We don’t want it to sound like we’re nagging, but we live in a digital age where people are often consumed in their phones, mostly thinking about the next thing they can share. We’re just as guilty here by the way. BUT, when it comes to your wedding day there’s nothing like being present and there in the moment with no distractions. Consider asking your guests to avoid taking pictures; at least during the ceremony. This means that they’ll enjoy more moments with you and also means we can get more photos of peoples faces and less of the back of phones.
TIP! You can either ask your guests in advance, via text, or on your wedding invitations. Or make away with feeling awkward and ask your officiant to do this for you, right before the ceremony. The latter always works a treat!
Wedding Breakfast & Speeches
You can read our advice on when is best for wedding day speeches, but speeches are generally always best after your wedding breakfast. It helps break up the day a little more. You’ll also find your guests find it that bit funnier/emotional after they’ve enjoyed the table wine.
If you’ve booked a wedding film, make sure you’ve allocated time to mic-up the people speaking. This is usually done close to when desserts are being served. So it’s always a good idea to ask the catering staff to serve our food (if you’re kindly providing some) as soon as they can. This way we can fuel up and get cracking without too much delay.
You might also find our blog post, Hints & Tips on delivering the perfect wedding speech helpful here too for yourself or to pass onto anyone giving a speech on your day.
Your First Dance
We love the first dance! And whilst you might still be deciding on whether to have a band or a DJ we can assure you it is something your guests always really look forward to. It’s worth having your first dance about an hour after your evening guests arrive. It’s a great way to open up the dance floor for your guests to get their groove on.
Your Best Men, Ushers & Bridesmaids
One final peice of wedding day advice is make sure you’re utilising these very important people! You’ve picked these guys for a reason; because they are probably your favourite people and your trust them explicitly. So they’ll do whatever they can on your wedding day to make sure you are having the BEST day. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, give them a few tasks that will help you a little. It might be handing out the confetti after the ceremony or making sure your grandparents have always got a seat during the drinks reception.
More Wedding Day Hints, Tips & Advice
Looking for more wedding day planning advice check out our ADVICE HUB.