People often ask how I work on a wedding day….and the answer is always “however your wedding day dictates” because I want the photography to be something all my clients can trust to put in my hands and then just get on with enjoying the biggest day of their lives (without me getting in their way!) But to be a bit more specific, I thought it might be useful to outline a ‘typical’ 9 hours with a brief description of the various ‘unmissable’ parts of the day….. Don’t forget this is very much a moveable feast as every wedding is different.
I like to spend at least an hour with the bridal party as it’s one of my favourite parts of the day…so much fun, giggling, nerves and excitement crammed into such a short space of time. It also gives me a chance to give a large number of the wedding party an introduction to how I work i.e don’t move anything for my benefit and just carry on as if I wasn’t there as I want to give the bride a true memory of this and every part of the day! So no staging or worrying about which is your best side ladies ! I take lots and lots of shots..some which may seem strange at the time but the first part of my editing process is to eliminate the strange expressions or angles that didn’t quite work so just open the champagne, enjoy the pampering and dance along with Destiny’s Child 😉
If the groom is getting ready on location or at least very close by to the bride then I get the chance to spend 15-30 minutes with him and his best man as they struggle with their cravats, put their cufflinks on back to front and have a final spray of lynx (other much better smelling body sprays are available). But as this is rarely the case I always get to the ceremony location or adjoining pub in plenty of time to grab some shots of the boys looking nervous and hopefully not too drunk (I suggest a 2 pint pre-ceremony limit)
This is the part of the day when all the guests think they need to strike their best “fake smile, tense body, look down the lens” pose. That is until I explain that all they need to do is ignore me, find their seats, straighten their hats and go and get the groom from the pub
The bridesmaids fussing, the page boy crying and then that special moment when the car door opens and the realisation that 18 months (or even 25-35 years) of planning is about to culminate in you getting married….. and it hits you right between the eyes. A great moment to capture.
I always introduce myself to the registrar/vicar/rabi/celebrant/priest…etc as soon as I arrive in a hope to soften them up and explain I am nothing like the last typically annoying photographer who took over and got in everyone’s way. Hopefully they believe me and allow me to capture the proceedings from a safe distance and if space permits move between a couple of locations with ninja like stealth so I can capture the groom’s face as the bride enters the room, the father of the bride bursting with pride, the mother of the brides tears (of happiness) and of course the first kiss.
Whether it be a face full of confetti, a wet sloppy kiss from Aunty Maureen or a massive bear hug from the Bestman there will be a wall of emotions to greet you as you emerge as man and wife. And my job? To capture it exactly as it happens.
The Formals (aka The Team photo)
Everybodies least favourite part of the day (let’s be honest) so a quick, non fussy approach is best for all involved! I ask for a list of essential shots the bride and groom would like and a loud mouthed usher or guest who can collect the people listed as required…and hey presto done and dusted and back to the celebrations (although if time permits I can’t help having a bit of fun with the formals as well)
I always make time to capture the shoes, the flowers, the table plan, the ribbons, the wedding cars, the favours, the gifts, the tower of cupcakes and all the little touches that make your day unique to you.
Whenever they may be I will be there to capture them..and not just shots of the people making the speeches but the reactions (embarrassment, laughter, tears, shock etc) of those listening, especially the bride and groom. It’s a great point within any wedding day for me to capture some real true emotion.
The moments that make any wedding a party! The lawn games (does anybody know the rules of croquet), the collapsing jenga, the fat cigars, the drinking games, the food fights, the sugar fuelled kids, the dirty jokes, the tipsy bridesmaid, the air guitar, the drunken karaoke. If it happens at your wedding then it gets captured exactly as it happens so your photos give you a real ‘guests eye view’ of your big day
The Newlyweds Shots (aka The Portraits)
At some stage in the day it’s nice to get away from the crowds, enjoy the venue’s surroundings, catch your breath, spend 30 minutes to take stock of all that’s happened and just enjoy each others company. All I ask is that you let me tag along at a distance and bring my camera! Nothing forced, nothing staged, just some quirky, cheese free shots for you to treasure and make your Facebook profile.
If I am still around when the band or DJ fire up then your first dance and the resulting mayhem that occurs during black laces superman are all captured.
A personalised USB (The little stick of memories) full of fully edited copyright free high resolution images, a slideshow with music telling the story of your day and a lifetime of memories. (usually within a month of the big day)