Hey! I’m super excited to be photographing your wedding and I know you guys are going to have the best time of your lives. I’m going to capture those memories that allow you to relive each moment, remember your guests and enjoy the day over & over again.
Planning a wedding is no mean feat and you are probably going to have a lot of things to decide and arrange, but also potentially various people to keep happy along the way!
Having been to a few weddings over the last few years, 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, during and after). But also to give you some general advice on planning and things to consider etc.
Before the big day
Around a month or so before your wedding day, I’ll send you an online form with more detailed questions about your wedding. This is also the time that your final balance will be due. Not only will it include schedules and locations, but it will also give you the opportunity to list what shots are important to you and allow you to highlight anything out of the ordinary that I might need to know. There’s no need to worry about sending over Pinterest boards or anything like that, but if you have specific examples of type shots you love form my website then please feel free to let me know. Other than that, I totally appreciate that you trust me to approach your day with an open mind, that way we will create photographs that are true, unique and yours.
And unless your plans make sense to do otherwise, I’ll usually arrange my own travel and accommodation dependant on your preparation and reception locations. For weddings outside of Cornwall, I will usually arrive the night before or stay close on the wedding night.
In the run-up to the wedding, you can add any extras to your wedding package at anytime. For example a 2nd photographer, pre-wedding portrait session or an album. Just drop me a message if you like to do this.
Your Wedding Day
The Morning: For most of my weddings, I work alone if I am able to cover the bride & groom in the morning. As a rule, I aim to see the guys first thing before heading over to the girls and staying with them in the run up to the ceremony. This all depends on the logistics and timings of the day. Again, we’ll finalise any 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 usually cover the boys in the morning and we’ll meet up for the ceremony. If you didn’t initially book a second photographer and now think you’d like one, just let me know and I can sort this!
I always like to arrive as early as possible, 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. Plus it gives everyone time to get over the ‘Look there’s a photographer in the room’ syndrome’. It might initially feel a little odd that the stranger with the cameras is crashing your wedding, but just ignore me and get on with enjoying your day. You’ll soon get used to it!
As a photographer, I love to cover 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 for hiding the chaos for me. But if you do want things to be tidy and minimal then just be mindful of that.
In the morning, if there are certain details shots or items you want photographs of them, 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 your dress up in a good position. If you are not too bothered about that, then no worries. Personally, I think the dress will look better on you than a hanger!
The Ceremony: If you are getting married in a church, it will be worth checking the Priest/Vicars 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. This is such a great moment to capture for you both. Then I can move out of the way when the ceremony starts. However, some churches 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 Vicar has concerns, I’m happy to call them and have a discussion in advance!
Group and family photos: I firmly believe it’s important to get some nice photos of you 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 4-5 minutes or more to arrange. So if you have 10 different group shots, then you’ll need to factor in around 30-40 minutes.
The Reception: I’ll be working all day and night, and a hungry photographer is a sad photographer. So if you could sort out a meal for me that would be fantastic. No worries if not, just let me know in advance so that I can bring food.
The best time for me to eat is when you guys do, its really the only time I stop taking pictures – guests with mouthfuls of food don’t always make for the best photos! It also means that if I’m fed and watered then I’m ready to capture the speeches or the next part of the celebrations.
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 from your guests. I usually like to play this by ear on the day – especially as weather, timings changing etc can all play havoc with any plans. I’ll usually aim to get a few with the two of you after any group shots and then as a rule, later in the day. This is better when you are relaxed and have socialised with guests, plus the light around sunset always makes for wonderful pictures. Most couples love this part of the day, as it’s time away with just you two, taking time out as a married couple and having 5 minutes to yourselves during the golden hour.
As I mentioned, working ‘around your day is very important to me. However, if taking more time out for portraits, or leaving the venue and traveling a short distance to make some epic pictures, is important to you and something you are interested in then let me know. I’m more than happy to do this, just get in touch and we can arrange the plans!
Your party: The advice here is simple, have an amazing party and go crazy! I’ll be on the dance floor and at the bar, basically wherever the action is. Capturing you and your awesome guests having an awesome time together!
After Your Wedding
I always aim to get a sneak preview image on my Facebook Page and Instagram, or to you via email. I always aim to do this a few days 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.
But if you prefer to keep your photographs from the wedding private, that is no problem, just let me know.
Around 4-6 weeks after your wedding I’ll aim to have your highlights slideshow ready!
Your USB and online gallery should be within a week after that. I prefer not to rush the process as I want to make sure I spend the right amount of time editing your photo’s 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!
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 choose an album package no worries! You can add a Handmade Wedding Album anytime before or 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.