the STORY

of your wedding day

HOW IT WORKS

we were together, I forget the rest
WALT WHITMAN

the ORDER OF THE DAY

Although every wedding is unique in style and personality, sometimes traditional sometimes not, most have a similar structure in the way the day is organised around the main event. I will shoot in a documentary style for around 80% of your day which means that we will be capturing things as they happen rather than making them happen. I will, of course, give you some gentle direction if there’s a small thing that will make the picture better, such as keeping your head up for confetti or keeping the getting ready room reasonably tidy, but my overall aim is to create photos that capture a genuine look and feel of your day.

In addition to documentary style there is a small part of the day given over to naturally posed shots and I tend to give you a little direction for these as you need it. This will include your bridal portraits and groom shots before the ceremony which are very quick and of course, your couple shots later in the day. I’m always looking for the best light to place you in but having done that, the emotion is all yours. I won’t use any stiff poses and I certainly won’t get you to act in any way that’s just not you. I will give you a little encouragement if you need it, but that’s generally enough for most couples.

I will also shoot some formal family groups and line-ups if you want them but I ask that you keep the list fairly small (6-8) and I’ll do these as quickly as possible so that everyone can get on with enjoying themselves.

Other than that, it’s all about the details!

The following will give you an idea of how I work during each element of the day. Obviously none of this is set in stone as your own day is unique to you.

01. the PREPARATIONS

I’ll start the day photographing all of the brides details, the dress, shoes, jewellery, flowers and anything sentimental. I’ll capture hair and make up as it’s being done, the fun with the bridesmaids and the tears when dad sees his daughter for the first time in her dress. If everyone is ready in plenty of time I will also grab a few ‘looking at the camera’ shots of the bride with the girls, with her mum and of course with her dad just before they leave for the ceremony. I also like to have ten minutes to take a few beautiful bridal portraits just before she is ready to go. This also gives her some quiet time to take a breath before the main event.

If you have a second shooter they will join the boys either at the getting ready location or at the ceremony location and will capture the inevitable teasing and laughter as it happens. There will be some casual shots of the groom, the best man and any other boys at the ceremony location as well as a few fun shots if there’s time.

Two Wedding Photographers
Penshurst Place Wedding

02. the MAIN EVENT

I will capture the ceremony as it happens.  How I work and how much I capture during the ceremony is very much in the hands of either the vicar or the registrar. Whatever the rules we are very respectful and very discrete. With church ceremonies, I often capture family groups immediately after and then I will take a few shots of the bride and groom in the church doorway.  After a civil ceremony group shots may come a little later in the order of things.

The reception is all about documenting guests having a good time and catching up with people they haven’t seen in ages.  At this point I tend to photograph the wedding table details such as seating plan, favours, flowers and anything relating to the day.

03. the COUPLE

This is the part of the day where a couple gets to spend some quiet time with their new husband/wife and at this time I respectfully ask that none of the guests tag along. My couples allocate approximately 30 minutes for this part of the day which means that their shots are relaxed and natural. Any less time and it will feel rushed and will show in the photos. I will put the couple in the best light and will encourage them to just be in the moment with each other and that’s usually enough to create some romance!

If we are lucky enough to have nice weather, couples often have a few more shots later when the sun is lower and the light is very beautiful. If the weather hasn’t been quite right we can also capture some night time shots.

Wedding dress
Penshurst Place Wedding

04. the DANCING

The speeches are a great time to capture lots of laughter and tears. I will capture the emotion of the couple and the speakers as it happens and, as long as space allows us to move around a little we will record the reactions of the guests too.

Cake cutting, more often than not, happens just before the first dance and I will stage one cutting shot before letting a couple enjoy their cake as they see fit. Other than that, the first dance and the evening reception is all about going with the flow and capturing moments as they happen.

your QUESTIONS

CAN YOU COVER THE BRIDE AND GROOM GETTING READY IN DIFFERENT LOCATION?

Yes, usually that’s absolutely fine as there are two wedding photographers covering your day.  My second shooter normally joins the groom at his getting reading location or at the ceremony location and I will spend the morning with the bride.  Having said that, if there are unusually long distances between the grooms getting ready location and the ceremony location it may not be practical for us to do so but I will always try to accommodate you within reason.

DO YOU DO FORMAL FAMILY LINE-UP SHOTS TOO?

Yes I do.  Although it’s the more natural and often candid shots that really tell the story of your day most couples want and expect a few family group shots too.  Group photos are important but I ask that the numbers are kept sensible to ensure that there is enough time for us to capture other things too.  I ask that there is no more than 6-8 groups which should be enough to capture the most important people but without unnecessary duplication.  I aim to do your group shots as soon as possible after your ceremony as that way you and your guests can get on with enjoying yourself.

CAN OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TAKE PICTURES TOO?

Yes of course they can!  I only have a couple of requests, firstly that they don’t swarm the family group shots as it’s important that all eyes are on me so that I can get through the groups as quickly as possible.  Other than that they can snap away!  Secondly I ask that family and/or friends don’t come along for your couple shots because they can be distracting and I want all of your focus to be on your new husband/wife!  Also, this time is a lovely quiet time for you both to enjoy being more or less alone together.

DO WE NEED TO FEED YOU AT THE RECEPTION?

No you don’t, but it would be really lovely if you did!  It doesn’t have to be the same as your sit-down meal and only needs to be one course but feeding us something hot ensures that we stay cheerful and won’t faint from starvation!  It’s better if we are fed at the same time as you, not afterwards, as we won’t shoot while you are eating anyway and then we’re raring to go when you are.

Two Wedding Photographers