So here we go! Your wedding day might be 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, or even further away, but it’s never too early to sketch out a plan.
The aim of this guide is to help you sail smoothly through the photography process, and know how the plan of the day would work with me. The nitty-gritty details are likely to change as your plans become finalised, but these bare boned explanations should give you a good idea of what to expect.
Throughout this, I refer to the couple as the bride and groom.
I do not mean to be exclusive of same-sex or non-binary couples!
I cater for any and all, so when reading please mentally replace the words with whatever applies to you :)
In a Nutshell
From Engagement to Album
6-12 MONTHS BEFORE
This is a great time to have an engagement session if you have chosen to do one!
2-3 MONTHS BEFORE
I'll drop you a message to arrange a date for a meeting
2-4 WEEKS BEFORE
We will meet to discuss your timeline of the ceremony, reception, food, speeches, plus any details etc. Ideally, this would be at the venue so we can visualise it together.
1 WEEK BEFORE
Any last minute details, questions, and changes can be discussed if needed. Plus final payment is due.
Yay! It’s here! Enjoy it!
1-6 WEEKS AFTER
Your password protected online album will be ready by now. I will post you the USB drive, and send you a link online. Depending on the time of year, I may get it to you in a week, or it may take up to six weeks
Timeline of the Day
2-3 HOURS BEFORE
I will come to the bride’s preparation venue, say hi to you all, and immediately work on capturing your details like your dress, bouquet, jewellery etc. I figure you’re not going to be ready immediately! Then I’ll get you having your hair and makeup finished, and getting your dress on. I will take the time to capture your bridal portraits before you head to the ceremony, and if possible, I’ll also go visit the groom and take some of his preparation.
30-60 MINUTES BEFORE
I will arrive at the ceremony venue to capture the groom greeting guests as they arrive, perhaps some group photos of the groom and groomsmen, the wedding car arriving with the bride, and be in place ready for the big entrance!
Yay! Vows, speeches, rings, kiss, signing, exit. Done!
After the ceremony, generally I find you mingling with guests, being congratulated etc. I capture candids around now. When you're ready, we can have group photos and confetti. Sometimes confetti is as you leave the ceremony (the guests leave first).
While everyone is eating, I have a little downtime to eat too, and rest my feet. I don't like taking photos of people with food in their mouths. Not attractive! I may also take this time to steal your bouquet and rings for a few photos. Whether it be a buffet or a three-course meal, I will wander back in around desserts. Speeches tend to be after food, so I will be in place ready for them.
Let's party! Cake cutting and first dance kick off the evening once the DJ/Band/whatever is set up. I use two off-camera flashes and one on camera to light up the dancefloor. I get all sorts of random shots at this time! Bust a move!
It’s the morning of your wedding day! How exciting! You’re up, with your closest friends, sitting in dressing gowns, drinking champagne. Your hairdresser has arrived and started on your bridesmaids, and you are so relaxed. Best day ever!
Your bridal preparation isn’t just about putting on your dress and having your hair and makeup done. It’s being close with those you love. It’s seeing your parents tear up as they see you. It’s having your friends around you on one of the biggest days of your life. I know not every bride is fussed about having this time photographed, but to me it is part of the story of the day, and I capture it as such.
Whether or not you choose to include this in your photography package, there are a few things to consider. First, and most obviously, who do you want there? Would you like it to be just your hand-picked bridesmaids, or are you including your mother and grandmother, or maybe your extended family? It’s completely up to you! The main thing is that you are comfortable. Next, are there any people that are having a reveal of you in your dress? The father of the bride is the usual traditional one, but you might want your brother, grandparents, or even your bridesmaids to have that WOW
Finally, and just a little thing, leave putting your jewellery on until last. Having your family help you with your necklace when you have your dress on is a very personal and intimate moment. It’s that rite of passage when you’re finally ready, and your family is ready to pass you to your new life.
Hi guys! It’s your wedding day! I speak a lot like I’m mainly talking to the bride, but I haven’t forgotten about you.
Your preparation is just as important as your bride’s. It’s spending some quality time with the best men in your life, looking forward to the future. It’s getting that last minute advice from your family, your friends telling you how “whipped” you are (just hit them with your shoe!). It’s stepping away from bachelor life and into your new married life – not that it’s going to change much!
Groom preparation is possibly the least photographed moment of the day, usually because the groom isn’t fussed about it, and wants to give his bride the limelight. Very kind of you! But I think you ought to have some photos taken at the very least. It’s less dramatic than bridal prep – generally no hair and makeup! - but having your best man do your tie and your dad straightening it after it was done wrong first; those are beautiful moments to look back on.
The groom preparation is a good time to get your formals taken too. You and your men are relaxed, had a drink, are ready and waiting; so let’s take this time to capture you all together. I love it when the party is messing around a little before all the real formals are taken later in the day when everyone is together!
And if we don't manage to capture you getting ready, I'll still take photos of you in your outfit, with closeups of cufflinks, ties, buttonholes etc :)
Not So Formals!
Traditional, classic group photos with the wedding party and family are lovely. No denying it. They are the photos your family and friends have framed on the mantelpiece. I always take time to capture these shots.
I aim to capture very natural portraits, whether group, solo, or couples. I don’t position you like a mannequin - “put your hand on your waist 2 inches higher!, turn 10 degrees to the left!” - but I will do a little direction to get you at your best. Just a little nudge, look up a little, put your arms around each other. The main reason for this is because I can’t pose myself! I look like a robot. So I prefer you to stand and act naturally as much as possible.
For your couple’s portraits, I like walking. It keeps things informal, lets you both enjoy the scenery and being together.
Saying all this, my favourite type of weddings are the more quirky ones! I love buffet food, bouncy castles, bubbles, colours, laughter! These work so well with your wedding party photographs. I go with the flow, and take whatever kind you fancy!
The details of the day may be small, but they have so much personality! They show YOU. All those little decisions come together, whether it’s the diamante design on your shoes, to the superhero top under your formal shirt, to the colours of your cupcakes!
I like to take my time with these photos so I can get them just right for you. My detail photos match the style of the whole day: if you’re a traditional couple then I will deliver classic images for you, while if you lean more towards the quirky side I’ll capture them in a little more creative way.
I do my best to take the detail photos first, whether it’s during the bridal preparation or at the ceremony venue. That way, I’m not in your way – I’m not stealing your shoes when you’re putting them on, or pushing through guests looking at the cake.
Ceremony and Confetti
I guess the ceremony is the main event, despite it being a pretty short moment of your day!
I've captured hour-long ceremonies with hymns, readings, and personal vows, and I've captured 15 minute ceremonies with simple formalities.
If possible, I move around to get the best shot, but some registrars prefer me to stay in one place. I'll do my best no matter what.
Confetti is always fun! Or bubbles! Or ribbons! I love capturing these shots. Just please, walk slowly. I can't jog backwards!
Now this is what I'm here for! Between all the formalities - the prep, the ceremony, confetti, food, cake cutting, first dance - are all those moments of people being people.
The laughter, the tears, the selfies, the chatting, the dancing, the games, the "hey get a picture of us!"...
The majority of the photos I deliver will be these candid moments; the moments that make up your wedding day.