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…Everything you wanted to know about your wedding photography (*but you never dared to ask)

Table of Contents

INTRO

So, you've found the perfect photographer for you...
What now?

First things first: I don’t want you to think of me simply as your wedding photographer. I am also someone who can help you with the planning process. How? Here are a few examples of how I can make your life a bit easier before the big day

Do you need a cake-maker extraordinnaire? Or maybe you’re looking for an unconventional suit? What can take you a long time to find, can be extremely easy for me to find out! After all, I have been part of plenty of weddings and for you it’s the first one. 

Take a look at my blog, it is full of advice from professionals in different sections of the wedding industry.

YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TIMELINE
(before the day)

  • 5 Weeks Before

    I will send you a questionnaire with all the info I need to know. Your final balance will also be due. After that, I will email you the first draft of your timeline.

  • 2 weeks before

    We will schedule another Skype call to go through the timeline. This is where everything comes together and you will have a clear vision of how your day is going to develop and, in particular, how I am going to work around your schedule. If I have never shot at your venue and time allowing, this is when I am going to scout for the venues.

  • On the Day

    After all the planning, the wedding is here. Breathe and enjoy. Trust me.

Wedding Planner's Tip

If making your guests feel welcome and looked after is important to you, try to put yourself in their shoes and think about the details that will contribute to making the guest journey more personal, comfortable, and considerate. What are the little things that make a difference to you when you're on holiday or staying with a friend? For example, you could pre-book taxis so that your guests can safely reach their accommodation at the end of the night; budget for downtime when planning weekend-long wedding celebrations; offer parents some easy and vetted options for childcare and babysitting; or prepare items specific to the weather you expect - like blankets, umbrellas, or non-alcoholic drinks to keep your guests hydrated. On this latest point, I always recommend using the same flutes for non-alcoholic elderflower water as you do for your bubbly - this way, guests that prefer not to drink can do so discreetly and without being questioned/coerced, and (as an added bonus) all the drinks look consistent in your photographs.

Valentina Ring, The Stars Inside

ON THE WEDDING DAY

Bridal Prep

I will arrive one hour and a half/two hours before you’re set to leave at the location where you and your bridesmaids are getting ready. This is usually because bridal prep can be very hectic and it might take some time to get the right photos.

Bridal prep is actually a good moment for you and the bridesmaids and family to get used to my presence. As in line with my personality and style, I will be as unobtrusive as I can, focusing on telling the story of the moments, the emotions and photographing the details you have so carefully selected.

Please make sure you’re ready at least 30 minutes before you’re supposed to leave for the ceremony. Otherwise, I won’t have any time to take a quick nice portrait of you when your makeup is freshly done and your hair too. Believe me, there is no other moment in the day where everything will be looking so perfect.

TIPs! 

  • Choose a well-lit uncluttered space, if possible
  • Ask your make up artist to sit next to a window… Beautiful light helps with both makeup and photography!
  • Whenever possible, I might have to travel with you to the ceremony and/or reception 
  • The details. If you have something you really care about on the day, please let me know ahead and I will take note of that. Also, make sure they are prepared for me to photograph.

Groom Prep

Unless you both are getting ready in the same location, I recommend hiring a second photographer to cover these special moments as it’s so much easier for them to be with the groom while I am with the bride.

This is particularly important before the ceremony when the groom is waiting for the bride and the other photographer can photograph the reaction of the guests arriving etc.

 

Unlike bridal prep, the groom only takes a short time to get ready, so please make sure you wait for the other photographer to show up. 

 

Please make sure you know how to put the buttonhole or do the tie ahead. 

If possible plan to arrive at the ceremony venue an hour ahead of the ceremony so you can do the last things and be there to greet the other guests arriving.

 

 

TIP

If you are unsure of how to do the tie or attach the boutonniere, make sure you watch some video before the day!

THE CEREMONY

The length of the ceremony varies according to the type, religion etc. During a religious ceremony is extremely important for me to be as discreet as I can, while still being able to photograph the key moments.

I highly recommend having a chat with the vicar/celebrant to get a sense of how they feel about photos during the ceremony. In my experience, that varies greatly and one can go from very allowing celebrants to very strict ones who won’t allow any photos at all. 

Whenever I can, I try to have a chat with them ahead of the day, but please observe that there won’t always be possible.

Wedding Planner's Tip

Forget the rushing around and the planning... that’s what the planner is for. Take time to take it all in ... look around at everyone there and think about how much they all mean to you both. Enjoy every second of the day, from start to finish. Don’t panic about the small details... this day is about the love you have for each other and the love you have between your family and friends.it will be a day filled with love and laughter. Spend as much of the evening with your new husband/wife as you can, it will be the most romantic of evenings and you will feel so so in love and so happy. Then hold those feelings of happiness in your heart to remember forever, when normal life resumes.

Bernadette, One Fine Day Wedding Consultants

So you’re married… Right after the ceremony

The hugs

This is one of the most hectic and exciting moments of the day. Please, budget some time for you both to greet your guests after the ceremony. I always step back in these moments and let this beautiful joyful moment to flow freely. I focus on the reportage and not on the posing.

Confetti!

‘Cause nothing says we’re married more than a confetti photo

Make sure you ask the venue whether you’re allowed to use confetti and what type (most of the time it will be degradable ones)

A wedding is not complete without a confetti shot and when it comes to confetti, the more the better. The confetti shot can be handled in many ways, most of the time I will go ahead and organise the people on both sides to coordinate the shot before you go out, but sometimes we will have to stage it completely.

TIPs

  • Whenever it’s possible, I tell my couple to postpone the formal photos later on, at the reception venue and just enjoy this pure moment of celebration.  If I find the ceremony venue to be the best location and moment for the formal photos, I will let you know in one of our Skype chats ahead.
  • Get in touch with your venue to ask if they have some specific requirements re confetti. Some venues only want biodegradable confetti, so it’s better to ask ahead.

THE COUPLE PHOTOS

Ta-dah! This is the moment most couples fear. You and the camera, the camera and you. As you already know, I pride myself of producing mostly unposed photography. This means I will limit my directions at the bare minimum and just let you relax and be yourself.

In terms of time, couple photos might last anything between 10 and 40 minutes. I will attempt at keep them efficient and painless. 

We can do them after the ceremony or before the wedding breakfast is served. If an epic sunset is expected on the day or I have a genius idea, I might call you quickly again later on the day for a couple of quick shots.

My goal on the day is avoid dragging you away from your guests and let you enjoy the day as much as possible, while taking the perfect photos to represent the day faithfully.

If you’re really nervous about stepping in front of the camera, it might be worth booking an engagement shoot before your wedding date. 

THE GROUP PHOTOS

On the day group photos are often not the favourite but once the day is over, they are the ones we will get framed and maybe even hang on the wall. Because of that we don’t want them to drag to long, but also we don’t want to underestimate them.

As mentioned above, traditionally, group photos are done right after the ceremony. Whenever possible, I try to avoid that. The moment after the ceremony is the most hectic and exciting one. All the guests start chatting with you and it is the best moment for some lovely candids. 

What we want to avoid is for group photos to turn into a chore, hectic and chaotic. Trying to find people while everyone hangs around.

Because of this, in my questionnaire I will ask you to nominate two helpers on the day. These have to be people who know pretty much everyone in the group photos and can help me grap them quickly and efficiently

TIPs

  • Have a long thought about the group photos you want, but keep it limited as they are extremely time consuming. I usually recommend a maximum of 6. I cannot stress this enough, we might not be able to do every single group photos, but you will have lots of candid photos to make up for that.

THE SPEECHES

DOs 

  • We love couple’s speeches or bride’s speeches. They make things interesting and a bit different. Don’t just follow the tradition, unless you feel it’s right for you
  • You do you. Make it personal and don’t force yourself to be funny. The guests are there for you and will enjoy whatever you say.
  • Keep it sweet and short

DON’Ts

  • Don’t start saying you google groom’s speech, it’s a bit cliché
  •  

CAKE AND FIRST DANCE

CAKE

Cake cutting is traditionally done toward the end of the wedding, before the first dance. There is not much to add about it in terms of photography. The main thing is to make sure the cake is in a lovely well-lit location, but that is usually left to the staff of the venue. 

FIRST DANCE 

Choose

PARTY TIME

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WHAT IF...

it rains?

-          Embrace and laugh about it! Those are the details that makes your day unique

-          We’ll make it work

-          Don’t stress about the dress


...The bride is too late?

...The flowers are not the right colour?

A bride in a pink wedding dress holding a heart-shaped bouquet

–          More moments

–          Different perspective

–          It’s good value!

–          Groom prep

–          It’s recommended in any case, but More than 100 guests highly recommended