TIPS AND ADVICE TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR WEDDING DAY
I’m super excited to be photographing your wedding!
I know you’re both going to have the best time of your lives, and I’m going to capture those memories that allow you to relive each moment, remember each guest and enjoy the day over and over again.
Planning a wedding is no mean feat , and you are probably going to not only have a lot of things to decide and arrange, but also potentially various people to keep happy on the way!
Well it turns out that I’ve been to the odd wedding or two in the last few years, so I’ve put together this guide to not only make sure you’ve got all the information and advice you need regarding the photography (before and after), but also to give you some general advice on planning and things to consider etc.
Top Tip – It’s YOUR day!
Plan the best day of “your” lives! Not the day your parents want you to have or the wedding you think Pinterest of Instagram would like to see. Plan the day “you” want to have.
If you think a certain wedding tradition seems odd – then don’t do it! Want to do something completely unconventional – fill your boots! You’ll only be getting one shot at it – so make it entirely your own!
But then – regardless of all the planning beforehand be prepared to let go of everything on the day and just enjoy each and every moment! the right people, the right day, in a place you love and having the best time ever celebrating you two with all those that matter to you is what it is all about. Be yourselves!
You having fun and loving each moment = the most awesome pictures – much more than everything being ‘perfect’
Before The Day
In the run up to the wedding you can add a la carte items to your wedding package at anytime, (for example a 2nd photographer, pre wedding engagement sessions or an album) just drop me a line if you would like to do this.
The final balance is due 1 month before your date. You are welcome to pay in instalments at anytime, just drop me an email to let me know you’ve sent a payment and I will confirm it’s arrival.
If you have already booked an engagement shoot please contact me when you’re ready to arrange a time to capture some wonderful images of you both. The location for this can be anywhere you choose within 1 hour travelling time of Louth, LN11 8YL.
2 months before your wedding, I’ll contact you again regarding your wedding questionnaire. This is a great way for you to tell me more about the people and events taking place so I can capture the moments that are important to you.
Around 1 week before the day I will also get in touch to talk through the final details and timings for the day. This will also be the time where we can catch up and I can answer any final questions you may have before the day itself.
I don’t usually visit venues in advance of the wedding as I genuinely feel there isn’t a need, although I might arrive the night before or check out a venue early on the morning.
For me the best photographs are made by going with the flow on the day. Of course I’m happy for you to mention any locations that you really want to make pictures in the questionnaire.
For most of my weddings, I work alone if I am able to cover the bride and groom in the morning. As a rule, I aim to see the girls first thing before heading over to the guys and then staying with them until the ceremony. This all depends on the logistics and timing of the day – again – we’ll firm up plans in the weeks before your wedding.
For larger weddings – or if the logistics and locations are too difficult to cover alone – a second photographer is a great addition to your wedding package. they will generally cover the boys in the morning and we will meet up for the ceremony. If you didn’t initially book a second photographer and now think you’d like one, no worries just let me know and I can sort this!
I always like to arrive as early – not so much from a photography point of view, but because it’s a great chance to meet everyone and get to know who’s who and start to see all the relationships and characters that I can then look into documenting during the day. Also it gives everyone more time to get over the – `Look! there’s a photographer in the room` syndrome! – It might initially feel a bit odd that some weird guy with cameras (“hello”) is crashing your wedding but just ignore me and get on with enjoying your day – you’ll soon be used to it!
As a photographer I love to capture the things that matter and the moments as they happen – so I want you guys to do what you need to do and just let me document. I really want to capture your wedding as it was – so you can remember it that way – so, if things are chaotic then don’t worry too much about tidying up, or hiding the chaos for ‘me’ – but if you do want things to look neat and minimal then just be mindful of that.
Top Tip – Light
One thing you might consider is the light in the place you are getting ready. I love soft natural window light – it’s always super flattering and great to shoot in – so a nice room with big windows is a always a good choice!
It’s all in the details!
In the morning, if there are certain detail shots, or items you want photographs of, then try to make sure these items are out and on display (I don’t want to miss real, awesome moments because I’m unboxing shoes!)
This could include things like the rings, the shoes and hanging the dress in a good position with any labels cut off. If you are not too bothered about that, then no worries personally I think the dress will look better on you than a hanger!
If you’re getting married in a church, it will be worth checking the Priest’s/Vicar’s rules and any photography restrictions in advance of the wedding day.
If there are restrictions on photography then perhaps see if they would at least be happy with me being at the front just to photograph your entrance and when you see each other for the first time – that is such a great moment to capture for you both – then I can move out of the way when the ceremony starts.
Some churches however don’t allow the photographers to be anywhere except at the back – the important thing is for you to be aware of that in advance – to avoid any upsets on the day. If the Vicar has concerns, I’m happy to call them and have a discussion in advance!
Top Tip – Knowing when to live the moments!
I’m totally happy for your guests to take as many photos during your day as they like – but for your parents, encourage them to put down the camera for the important moments, they need to see you as you really are, they need to live the moments too!
Group & family photos!
I firmly believe it’s important to get some nice photos with those people who are genuinely close to you. Depending on your schedule and the weather, a good time to do this is usually between the end of the ceremony and before you sit down to eat.
We can finalise the groups you want in the questionnaire I’ll send out, but be aware that on average a larger group photo could take 3 -4 minutes or more to arrange. So if you have 10 different group shots, then you’ll need to factor in around 40 minutes.
Top Tip – The less standing around the better!
With that in mind, I’d advise doing as few group shots as possible as the less time stood around wondering why you can’t find auntie Sue and the more time celebrating the better.
Also I’ll be at your wedding until near the end, so there will be plenty of time to grab more informal shots of you with friends/family when everyone is relaxed and having fun later on; you, or any of your guests, can just tap on a shoulder and ask for a picture!
All images from the day will be available for all guests to download or buy prints after the day.
I’ll be working all day and night – and a hungry photographer is a sad photographer. So the best time for me to eat is when you guys do – its really the only time I stop taking pictures all day.
Guests with mouthfuls of food don’t always make for the best photos! It also means that when I’m fed and watered then I am ready to capture the speeches or the next part of the celebration.
Top Tip – Let’s eat together!
The best time for me to eat is when you eat. This way it means I’m ready to capture the speeches and maybe we can do some portraits in between courses!
Awesome, Epic portraits: GJA style
With portrait photos I prefer to sneak a few quick, short sessions in through the day rather than a long single shoot where you are away form your guests. I usually like to play this by ear on the day – especially as weather or timing changes etc can all play havoc with plans. As a rule, later in the day is better, when you are relaxed and have socialised with guests – plus crucially the light around sunset always makes for wonderful pictures.
Most couples love this part of the day, as its time away with just you two, taking time out as a married couple and having 5 minutes to yourselves during golden hour.
As mentioned, working around your day is very important to me – However, if taking more time out for portraits, or leaving the venue and travelling a short distance to make some epic pictures is important to you and something you are interested in then let me know – and I’m more than happy to do this. Just get in touch and we can arrange the plans!
Top Tip – Ignore me!
The key to documentary photography is knowing I’m there but learning to ignore me. If you find yourself looking at me, look away! It may feel strange at first, but as the hours pass you’ll forget the clicks.
I take a different approach during portrait sessions and will direct you a little more. But even then it’s really about you being yourselves and capturing your personalities, the shots have to reflect who you are, that way they will be meaningful to you and those close to you!
The advice here is simple – have an amazing party and go crazy!
I’ll be on the dance floor – and at the bar – where ever the action is! Capturing you and your awesome guests having an amazing time together!
I always aim to get a sneak preview image on my Facebook or Instagram – or to you via email – within a week after your wedding. This means you’ll have a professional image to share on your social media if you should choose. If I’ve not managed to do it already, please tag yourselves. If you share, I’m also glad of a tag. If you prefer to keep your photographs from the wedding private, that is no problem, just let me know.
Around 1 week after your wedding I’ll aim to have your highlights slideshow ready!
Your full online gallery should be within 2 weeks of your wedding day. I prefer not to rush the process as I want to make sure I spend the right amount of time editing your photos so they are the best they can be. During the summer period, it occasionally takes longer, but I can promise you that the images will be worth the wait
Once you have viewed your images and are completely satisfied I will place them onto your USB (if this is part of your collection) and ensure it is delivered to you.
Albums & Prints
If you bought an album in your package, once you have your online gallery you can start to choose the images you want to be showcased by selecting them when you log in.
I’ll send you an email that explains the design process, and once you are happy with the final layout I’ll order an album that you will love, and moments you can live again and again.
If you didn’t initially chose an album package – no worries! you can add an album anytime after your wedding. Ideally I would love all my couples to have this perfect memento of their day in an album that is made to be passed around and loved.
When you receive your gallery you, your family and friends will also have the option to purchase a range of prints supplied by one of the country’s top professional printing labs.