Wedding photography Tips and Tricks
Hello, we would like to introduce you to Tips and Tricks on how to keep your wedding stress free and get the best from your photography
This section contains some thoughts and tips for you to consider – some from the photographer’s point of view and others which may have become lost in the extensive planning and organising of a wedding.
We’re not attempting to arrange your wedding for you –that’s up to you to make the decisions and plans. We’re just passing on our thoughts on what we have seen over many years of photographing weddings and the pitfalls that can happen if not addressed in advance of the day.
SO, WHO CAN DO WHAT TO HELP?
Bridesmaids/Maid of Honour (MOH)/Chief Bridesmaid (CB)
Your bridesmaids are there to help and attend you. There are things that they can do to make your day perfect and keep the stresses away. To be honest, you need to talk to them and tell them what you would like them to do. They are usually family or best friends etc so they are going to want do their best for you but unless you tell them they will be unaware of what you want of them. They will need to do more than look pretty to help you through your day.
- Your MOH/CB should be on the ball making sure everyone is keeping to a schedule including the other bridesmaids, that the flowers have arrived, cars have arrived, etc.. Have she and the bridesmaids been made aware that you need them to be ready by a certain time. Give her all the suppliers’ phone numbers you think she might need in advance. She should keep any problems arising to herself and deal with them if she possibly can.
- Put together a “Bride’s emergency kit” and make sure your MOH/CB has quick and easy access at all times during the day. Comprising essentials such as make-up, deodorant, perfume, headache tablets, tissues, hairspray, a nail file and a packet of mints – hopefully you won’t need it but it’s comforting know it’s there.
- Sometimes the bride wants the photographer there during the actual getting ready but most would prefer to have the photographer arrive and mock up getting ready – without the stress! Make sure you AND the bridesmaids are ready on time and if you can get that timing right then the rest of the day should also run on time.
- Your MOH/CB will usually travel to the wedding ceremony venue with the other Bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride. Once you arrive at the wedding venue she should assist you out of your vehicle and help you with any last minute adjustments to the dress and veil.
She should also:
- look after your bouquet during the wedding service and pass it back to you before you walk back down the aisle.
- Accompany the Best Man (on his left hand side) as they depart the wedding ceremony.
- Accompany you and your husband with the photographer for personal shots away from the wedding party to help with your dress/train/make up etc.
- Stand in the receiving line to greet the guests.
- During the day the bridesmaids and, in particular, the MOH/CB should be around you to help with getting into your dress (or you may prefer to Mum to do this) and help you in the ladies (always a tricky one if you have a long dress!) and checking your make up and hair is looking good, particularly during the photography.
- It is quite common to find that the bridesmaids feel that their duties are finished as soon as you are married and disappear off to the bar or join their friends abandoning you to look after yourself. Of course you want them to enjoy themselves but you just need them to be nearby until the formalities are over i.e. after the wedding breakfast.
- Your MOH/CB and the Best Man should be aware of and help with any problems arising such as helping guests to booking into their rooms if they need it. We have seen brides at the reception desk for hours on end sorting out endless problems for their guests. Or they should chase up suppliers if things aren’t happening e.g. the flowers have not arrived – the best man should make sure the groom gives him the wedding rings. You should not be stressed by problems and you should therefore delegate to the MOH/CB and BEST MAN to sort these problems for you. NOT Mum or Dad – they have their own responsibilities caring for and socialising with your guests.
If you haven’t already chosen your best man just bear in mind “the speech”. If you have someone you feel you must choose for whatever reason and he is really shy and doesn’t want to do the speech, or not used to public speaking and will therefore be very nervous, consider having two best men. Either they can do the speech together which will give the shy guy some confidence having someone with him or the second best man can do the speech on behalf of both. Remember it would cost an extra outfit though!
Get him/them to:-
- help plan the stag night keeping track of who is invited and who is attending. Does anyone need accommodation and ensuring each person pays his share.
- organise the ushers and ensure they attend fittings and get their outfits on the day.
- attend the rehearsal.
- organise the ushers on the day – making sure all your guests are seated in the appropriate places
- Help the groom get dressed
- Look after payments for the wedding official, musicians and other participants. Put these in sealed envelopes for him with the recipient’s name.
- Get the groom to the wedding on time.
- Take charge of the wedding rings. If there is a ring bearer check to make the sure the child knows what to do and when.
- At the reception help to host by welcoming guests, mingle and make introductions.
- Organise families and friends for formal photography,
- Best man’s speech.
To help the best man and ushers to get everyone in place in the church and you have booked a large church which you don’t think you will fill - get some ribbon (matching the colour scheme of course) and just loop the ribbon across the entrances to the pews at the back. It will look pretty and entice your guests forward.
Whoever you choose to take photographs on your very special day (and of course we hope that’s us!) any good photographer will ask you what you want and what you like (not what they think you want). There are so many styles and it is important you put some thought into what you like and don’t like. Look at our Wedding Gallery and you will find examples of formal, posed, natural, journalistic etc.
What to consider:-
- Experience – how long have the photographer/s been involved with wedding photography? A photographer who has been involved in other areas of photography may not have the experience of dealing with people i.e. grouping guests correctly for formal shots, being assertive in getting people into the groups without upsetting them – too shy and the guests will take no notice – too bossy and they are likely to upset someone. Do they know how to photograph a white wedding dress and keep the detail sharp – it is an art!
- Venue – does the photographer know the venue? If not, will they familiarise themselves with the church/hotel etc, beforehand? If we have not photographed at a venue before we will always insist on viewing both the church, if relevant, and the reception venue so that we are familiar with what is wanted and know where the best areas are for photography both for formals and personals.
- Personality - do you like your photographer personally? Remember they are going to be spending a lot of time with you on your special day. If you don’t get on, it will show in the photographs.
- Guidance - Most bride and grooms are not accustomed to being in front of the camera and need guidance and help to look their best and that goes for the guests too! We know what looks right and will help you look your best in your photographs.
- Cosmetics – We always say to the bride wear your make up so you feel at your best – there is a myth that you need to wear heavy make up to look good in photographs – not true – if you feel self conscious because your make-up feels over the top it will show in the photographs – you need to feel confident and beautiful so that even if you are the shyest person in the world your photographs will show a relaxed happy bride.
- Stick around – after the wedding ceremony it is usual for the guests to be given welcome drinks and this is when the “formal” photography usually takes place. Talk in advance to your parents and close family and friends if you can and ask them to stick around at this time. People are prone to dashing off to book into their rooms and/or move their luggage in! There should be plenty of time for this after the formal photography and before the wedding breakfast. Mums & Dad’s will be needed in most of the photographs so don’t let them dash off to check on arrangements – leave this to the wedding co-ordinator that’s what he/she is there for.
- TIP – Instruct/plead/beg your Mums NOT to get involved in the arrangements ON THE DAY especially when the photographer is doing the formals. Also most couples like reportage style photography as well as the formals and the Mum’s tend to get missed out because they are spending most of their time “making sure everything is running smoothly”. Remind them that they are hosting your wedding and therefore need to spend their time with your guests not checking on the wedding arrangements. If there are potential problems let the Best Man or Chief Bridesmaid deal with it.
- Bride and Groom Availability – Firstly, don’t go off looking for people during the formals – get someone else to do it – the Best Man or Chief Bridesmaid perhaps. After the formals and personals if the photographer is staying on there will usually be gaps in the proceedings when the more reportage/spontaneous shots are taken. Try and stay around for a while so you are also included in these shots – it’s quite normal for your guests to have cameras and they will want to form groups and also get bride and groom shots. Your photographer should shoulder people and try to get these shots too so they can be added to the official collection.
- Personals - we like to take the bride and groom away from the wedding party for 10 -15 minutes just to take some personal shots on their own – this is usually in the gardens of the venue or a nearby park/woods etc., If the bride is wearing stilettos it might be worth thinking about having some pumps (or even some funky wellies) available at this time especially if the weather has previously been inclement leaving the ground soft.
- Cutting the Cake – this is the shot everyone goes for – so it might be prudent to ask your photographer to do a “mock up” just in case he/she is jostling for a vantage point at the actual cutting. (It would also be a good idea to arrange with your photographer if he/she is leaving before the actual cake cutting.)
- First Dance – not always a favourite for the bride and groom and a lot of couples just cuddle up to each other and bury their heads in embarrassment. However please remember this is a lovely end to your photograph collection and of course it also kicks off the evening party very well. So do be aware of your photographer and let him/her “see” you during the dance – open out with an underarm manoeuvre or something similar. Of course, if dancing is something you enjoy and you have choreographed a dance then “whoohoo” no problem with that!
- Most importantly – enjoy your day – stay stress free and be happy.
Well, we hope this section has helped you in some way to make your dreams come true for your wedding by getting family and friends to help and also provide you information for you to ensure you get the best out of your photography. If we can be of any further help or you would like to talk to us about your wedding photography then do give us a call on...
- 01420 476956
- email email@example.com
- or contact us on the contact page.