Can you remember all the details about that family holiday you went on 10 years ago? If you are like me then the answer is no. BUT as soon as I see a couple of photos I can recall pretty much everything! Wedding photographers are story tellers. After 10 years these photos will be your memories.
It's part of my job to be super creative and get those absolute bangers but for the most part your photos are going to be super candid. I'm not going to downplay my importance but it's super important to plan for those good story telling moments. You want the story of your day to be the best it can be!
So here are a few little tips to help you out.
1. PLAN TO BE RELAXED
I'm not going to lie, it can be stressful. You've spent money and probably a lot of time planning the wedding. And stressed brides and grooms don't look good on photos. So please be nice to yourselves and give yourself more time for everything. Don't feel the pressure to pack lots of things in. If you have no wiggle room between different parts of the day it can feel far too strict! So give yourself lots of time.
It is also really handy to have a few people organising the little details on your day. Brides, you want to enjoy getting your makeup done not worrying about the flowers on the centre pieces. Grooms, you don't want to be running all over the venue making sure the garden jenga and confetti is in the right place!
2. ENJOY BEING IN THE MOMENT
Don't worry if things aren't going to plan. It's very cliche, but if you are living in the moment, enjoying every glance, smile, kiss and hug you will love your photos. Nothing will ever run how you have planned it to go. Whether that's because of the weather or your Dad left his shoes at home (yes it actually happened). I'm not saying hide your Dads shoes but moments like these can make for some amazing photos. The best advice I can give is enjoy what is because if you loved the moment you will love the photo!
3. LEAVE YOUR PHONE ALONE
This is an easy one for brides, dress's don't usually have pockets! I am a massive fan of selfies BUT leave your phone somewhere safe until after the food. I'm being a bit selfish here but grooms with phones in their pocket for the ceremony don't make for good photos. And it takes ages to photoshop them out! Leave them in a room and get all your selfies after all the big bits of the day. Your full attention should be on what's happening and not your latest TikTok notification! It's also a good idea to have an unplugged ceremony. There is nothing worse than wedding guests watching your wedding through their phone.
4. YOUR DRESS WILL GET DIRTY
That perfectly white dress that was hung up in the morning ain't going to be perfectly white by the end of the day. If it's a longer dress it will pick up every bit of dust, twig and stone as you are walking round. And some of the best photos are standing in the middle of a farmers field during sunset. The only way to get those shots is to embrace the dirt! Obviously I'm not going to force you to go anywhere you don't want to but sometimes it's worth it. I can always photoshop the twigs out!
5. PLAN TIME FOR COUPLE'S PHOTOS
All I ask is two 20 minute slots to get some photos of just the two of you. But it's not just for the photos. You've just married your best friend, the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with. I know it's cheesy but I love it! Your wedding will be full of eating, drinking and celebrating with friends and family. But when you think about it, it's all about how much you love each other. So having 20 minutes just to yourselves is really important, it gives you chance to actually talk each other. YES, I'll be there taking photos but I won't be making you do lots of awkward posing. It's all about telling your wedding story and part of that is sneaking away from everybody else.
6. BRING LOTS OF CONFETTI
You want a lot. When you've got the confetti in the basket go back and double it! You want every guest with two handfuls of confetti. I'll organise everyone into two aisles all you guys have to do is walk down the middle. I will tell your guests to throw it up in the air so it floats down in front of you. HOWEVER, I can't stop over excited uncles launching it at your face. I apologise in advance.
7. TRUST ME
I will get some absolute bangers! But sometimes I might end up telling you to do something that might seem a bit stupid or crazy. I love getting creative so when I ask you to do something that might feel a bit weird just go with the flow. Do these ideas always work out? Nope! But we will definitely have fun doing them.
8. GET RID OF THE CLUTTER
This is specifically for the morning preparations. You don't want empty glasses, food from the night before and last nights clothes in the back of your photos. Especially when everyone is looking super clean and tidy. Just spend 10 minutes getting rid of the clutter. The photos will be a million times better!
9. BOOK A PRE-WEDDING SHOOT
Whether you like having your photo taken or not booking a pre wedding shoot in is priceless. You will look amazing on your wedding day but it's also really nice to have some photos of you wearing normal clothes. And if you're anything like me you hate having your photo taken. I always end up having a weird smile or a double chin... But having an engagement shoot will make feel so much more comfortable in front of the camera. And it'll make having couples photos on the wedding so much more fun!
It is also a great opportunity to get to know each other. It's pretty much like going for a walk with a friend. We will chat about everything and by the end of it you'll feel perfectly comfortable in front of the camera. If you want a behind the scenes look just click HERE!
10. ENTERTAIN YOUR GUESTS
There can sometimes be a weird couple of hours after the food/speeches but before the dancing where nothing happens. And sometimes this means I have nothing to photograph because everyone is sitting down. Great candids come from people doing things. So, get some entertainment! It can come in the form of a magician, artist, musician, garden games, photo booth etc. For my own wedding we had crazy golf!
11. FAMILY PHOTO LIST
Love or hate tradition getting some formal family photos is probably a good idea. Maybe it's an older generation thing but grandparents love them! The best and easiest way to do this is to stick to 10 photos. You and your partner will stay stood in the middle and everyone else can do all the moving. It's also a really good idea for a bridesmaid or groomsmen to have a list of who is in the photos so that they can round everyone up. Because waiting 10 minutes to find an aunty that has gone to in her room freshen up is super annoying for everyone!
12. DANCE YOUR HEART OUT
Not directly involved with photos BUT if you and your partner are pulling your best moves on the dance floor everyone else will be too. Which means I'll be able to get some super fun dance floor photos. It doesn't matter if you are having a band or DJ, talk to them to make sure that the first 5 songs are absolute bangers! There's nothing worse than the first song being really boring and everyone ends up sitting down. I'm not going to be at your wedding until the last song so make sure the Spice Girls megamix and Mr Brightside are at the start.