My Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Wedding Day
Wedding planning can be a tricky but rewarding experience. You must consider so many things and down to the smallest detail. That includes the photographer and the photos you want to try and get. Good job I have created this blog to give you some cracking tips on not only how to plan for the day but how I would run the day too. Before you read on though, you should know that whatever you chose to do or plan, remember that it is your day! Great photos don’t happen by accident so follow your gut and do things your way!
Getting Ready: Morning Preparation Photos!
Will I be there when you’re getting your makeup and hair done? Absolutely! Morning preparation photos are a great chance for you to get used to me being around all day. So, expect to see me there bright and early! Don’t worry about getting killer shots, just relax and go about your morning and call on me when you need me. If you need to get into your dress or have a moment, send me away and I will come back when you’re ready to get some great shots! To get the best out of the morning photos then I recommend natural lighting, so get those blinds open! You should also turn off the lights as well! (It sounds counterproductive, but it mixes with the natural light and adds a yellow hue to the pictures.) But this is a great way to start the big day, getting used to me being around and getting rid of any camera anxieties!
This will sound odd, but don’t be too serious! It’s a massive day in your life, so try to relax and have fun. Do whatever you want with your husband/bride to be. You can kiss each other when you first meet at the top of the aisle if you want too! Hug, laugh, cry, hold hands, whatever, embrace the emotion of the day. I also recommend having an unplugged ceremony! Usually, the registrar, vicar or official will tell people to put their phones away. And that means everyone, including your Uncle Bob! I’m there to take the shots and get amazing pictures, you’ve paid for the service so let the professional crack on!
After the Ceremony!
The ceremony is done, what next? A confetti shot outside? Why not! Confetti shots are great so let’s make it happen for you and get a killer action shot! It’s easy to set up too! We get everyone lined up either side of the entrance to the venue, hand out biodegradable confetti (lets be kind to the environment), and then we get you to walk through whilst confetti is thrown in the air! It’s also a good time to mingle with your family and friends, which is a great alternative to a formal receiving line which is usually planned for the reception. Most venues will also serve drinks at this point! (Please, do this after the confetti shot. You do not want your uncle taxing a bottle of bubbly into the air instead of the confetti!)
Overly posey group photos aren’t usually my style but you have to get those photos for Grandma’s photo album, right? So, start by making a list of which people will be with who and what the groups will look like. This can be done when I send my questionnaire out to you 6 weeks before the big day, so make sure you fill it out! On the day, its great to have photographer helper, someone who can organise the groups and bring people together to save time and stress. And if you want that one big shot, now’s the chance! Whilst we have everyone together there is no better time to take advantage, so let’s get it done!
Now to the good stuff, the couples shoot! I love this shoot and you will too. It’s a chance to get some killer shots of you and your new lifelong partner! It’s usually done after the ceremony and before food is served, so the guests will be well distracted if they’re near a bar! If you’ve been to the venue beforehand, then you will know some good locations. A garden, an archway, a long driveway, a wooded area, whatever, let’s go on a walk! Once we’ve found a spot, get in the zone with your partner. Be in the moment. Hold each other, laugh, smile, kiss, hug, do whatever, you have just gotten married! Don’t shy away from public affection, embrace it! You really can’t go wrong in this shoot, its great fun, and a great chance to be together and for me to capture those amazing moments!
Now we’ve arrived at the Reception and my best advice here is this, keep people active! Once the meal is out of the way, have activities going on. Getting people moving is a great way for me to get some great shots! Think of the lighting too. No floodlights please. But neon lights, fairy lights, disco lights can all add cool effects to various photos! Make sure there is a buzz, and that plenty is happening!
(P.S. this is when I usually take a break, when the meal is being served, so fill me up with energy so I can crack on afterwards!)
First Dance and Dance Floor!
Dancing time! Everyone should be up and moving at this point, until we get to your first dance! This is a special moment, so I would advise that the DJ turn off his lasers as they can leave red spots in your shots that cannot be edited out! Once the first dance is finished, tell the DJ to let loose and go all out! If you’re unsure or stuck for song suggestions, then you can add a section on the RSVP, or some DJ’s create booking links where song suggestions can be sent to!
Look at the above tips, but remember, these are just suggestions! Run the day how you like, and I will work my magic and get some great photos. If we keep people laughing and happy, the photos will follow! Give me a shout if you need any recommendations or suggestions, I’ll do my best to help. If you’re thinking about booking a videographer, make sure they are a documentary style videographer. Otherwise, they will keep stopping the flow of the day to pose you all. (Which stops me taking great unscripted photos of you!)
Are you worried you have a lot planned and that I might miss something? If not, have you considered adding a second shooter to your package? Between us, we can capture both parties getting ready in the morning, and two sets of eyes will capture more magical moments during your day.
My standard packages include 10 hours coverage, but if you would like me to stay longer then consider upgrading to unlimited coverage! Staying if needed to capture the full wedding day, from morning nerves to bad dance moves after too many tequilas! If so, give me a shout and we can discuss this.
Blog Writer - Jon-Jo Armstrong
Photographer - Chris Thompson