Yay! Youre getting married! Thank you so much for choosing me to capture your wedding. Im so excited to be with you along the way, to help pin those button holes, to witness your vows, to laugh and cry and dance with you and capture it all on camera! Now the fun begins. This brochure contains a few little helpful hints, tips and tricks which Ive picked up both as a bride and from years of experience as a professional wedding go-er. All these ideas are just ways to help us get the very best record of your day we possibly can, and help keep things running smoothly all day and Ive thrown in a few recommendations for wedding suppliers to help make your day even more awesome!
Before the big day...
People often ask, but believe me, I never get bored talking weddings and Im always around in the run up to chat about the flowers or dress, offer advice from my years of experience and generally get excited with you! I have loads of wedding supplier friends and if youre searching for an awesome band, the perfect rustic style florist or a vintage ice cream van I can usually point you in the right direction! As a first port of call check my little black book at the back of this brochure. (Psst....as one of my brides my friends at The Couture Co. will even offer you 10% off a beautiful, bespoke dress! Just ask for the discount code!) Once a booking has been confirmed, you want to might opt for an engagement shoot, which will take place a couple of months before the big day. This will be a great chance for us to get to know each other better and for you to get comfortable in front of the camera, as well as creating some beautiful images. Whether youre super chilled out or more camera shy, everyone looks better when they feel relaxed around the camera, and an engagement shoot allows you to experience first hand what shooting is like which will help you feel like a pro in front of the camera when the big day arrives. They can take place somewhere pretty or special to you both, or at your venue to scout some locations for the wedding day photos, but where ever they take place engagement shoots are followed up by a pint or a cuppa and a bit of cake to catch up about how the plans are going. The photos are ready for you to download around two weeks after your shoot, some people opt to use their engagement shoot images for invitations or save the dates or just to enjoy and pop in a frame. Around a month before your wedding well set up a meeting or a Skype session, so I can find out more about the exact timings and all the crucial details of the day. Im happy to give you advice or guidance on timings based on my experience too. From this chat Ill provide you with a detailed breakdown of how Ill be covering the day so you know what to expect and to help everything run smoothly.
The Wedding Morning When the big day arrives Ill be with you for around two hours before the ceremony, capturing all the beautiful details like the dress, the flowers and any special jewellery, and I always seem to end up with loads of photos of the shoes! Most of the time Ill be a fly on the wall, getting gorgeous documentary shots of everyone getting ready and once your dressed I like to factor in fifteen minutes for a few relaxed portraits of you and your friends and family enjoying the calm before the storm!
Top Tips: 1) Have all your trinkets ready to go and gathered together in one
place so I can just come in and get going with the photos without interrupting you every five minutes.
2) Choose a large light, bright room where possible, and minimize clutter as it really shows up on film.
3) Think carefully about what to wear during bridal prep as youll want to share the images with friends and family as part of your album, a pretty dressing down is ideal as it will unwrap without needing to be pulled over the head, so it wont disturb your hair and make up.
4) Choose a good hanger for your dress- this will just finish off the photograph of the dress beautifully. Theres nothing worse than a beautiful dress hanging on a wire hanger! Where possible, also put your bridesmaids dresses on matching hangers.
5) Eat something before you get dressed. Trust me, if you have butterflies you may not feel like eating, but it will help settle your stomach. Youll also be drinking a fair bit of fizz, and eating later than usual so make sure you have something to eat mid morning.
The Ceremony At the ceremony venue Ill capture the groomsmen and guests arriving, and Ill double check any photographic guidelines with the officiant before the ceremony takes place. The rules do vary and can range from no photos at all, to photos from the back only, to my preference, which is to stand at the front to capture all the emotion on your gorgeous faces. As you know, I work in an unobtrusive way, and during the ceremony I will move as little as possible, and I never use flash. Also, you may want to ask your guests not to take photos during the ceremony, or opt for an unplugged ceremony. Often my shots of the the happy couple walking down the aisle, or the first kiss are obscured by ipads, cameras and camera phones. Youll want to enjoy that moment and see your friends and families beaming faces in the moment and when your look back on the official photos. In the past some of my couples have included this in the order of service: Our ceremony will be short and sweet, and we have an excellent photographer (Lydia Stamps- do say hello) who will be capturing it. We love you all very much and cannot wait for the moment we turn around as husband and wife to see all your smiling faces! So please, no photos or filming during the ceremony*. We want to be able to look at you, not your cameras! *Just during the ceremony, photograph as much as you like afterwards! Of course this is personal preference and you dont have to include this, its just a suggestion to help us get the very best record of the wedding. If you do include it its also worth mentioning in advance.
Top tips: 1) Walk up the aisle slowly- you might be nervous and tempted to run, but
especially in smaller venues go slow & enjoy the moment 2) Check any rules about photography in advance, especially if youre having a
church wedding. 3) Check if youre allowed to throw confetti afterwards- I whole heartedly
recommend you do if its allowed. The general rule is you cant have too much!
Your Couples Shoot After the ceremony well whisk you away for some time alone & a couples shoot in a beautiful spot at or near your venue (in the past its included beaches, walks into the woods, corn fields, and grafitti-ed urban streets!). I dont want to keep you from the party too long, so this usually lasts for half an hour or so. Its really important that this shoot takes place somewhere away from prying eyes of friends and family, who will probably be distracting and take the piss a bit! I want to get you as relaxed as possible to get the very best results so taking time out just the two of you is important for getting that perfect portrait. Rest assured Im not going to make you do anything posy or awkward, well just have a laugh together to create some beautiful natural images. If youre having a winter wedding when it gets dark earlier, it might also be worth considering a First Look, when you have a special meeting & your couples shoot before the ceremony, or have your ceremony earlier to ensure we can still get gorgeous portraits in natural light. If you want to know more about first looks just ask!
Top Tips: 1) Get away from the guests to help you relax. 2) Go with it, and trust me- if I have a creative idea its because I know the
resulting photos will be epic. In the past my couples have sat on hay bayles, and laid in fields to get the perfect shot. Its only a moment now, and youll enjoy the results forever!
3) Light- if its winter think about the timings in advance, the earlier the ceremony the better! At sunset the golden light is like magic for portraits. Sometimes I might ask you to put your dessert spoon down for five minutes to get a beautiful sunset shot, or depending on the time of year we might do this after dinner. Popping out again for five minutes at sunset (once youve had a drink and are more relaxed) is often when the best shots happen.
The Party At your reception after the couples shots Ill spend time taking natural, candid shots of the guests laughing and enjoying the day, as well as capturing the details that youve been planning. And well also arrange a time to do your group shots which I aim to keep as quick and painless as possible with no cattle herding from me! Bear in mind that each group shot takes about five minutes once people are gathered and in place. So I recommend having up to five, which will take 25 minutes out of the day. When planning your timings for dinner please consider this, as well as time for your couples shots and the relaxed photos & details. An hour and a half is the ideal amount of time, but please factor in any necessary travel time too! If youd like me to stay for the evening after the meal I love capturing the tears and the laughter throughout the speeches before the cutting of the cake, and the first dance. I have been known to get onto the dance floor myself to throw a few shapes camera in hand to pap that Dad dancing!! Finally, weather permitting I might sneak you outside for one final moment in the sunset before you party the night away!
Top tips: 1) Keep the groups to a maximum of 5/6 & also give your bridal party or key family members a copy
of the shot list, Ill need them on hand to help gather people as I wont know your guests. Make sure you choose people who will get the job done, rather than getting drawn into chatting while theyre on the hunt!