MY GUIDE TO MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR WEDDING DAY
GENERAL TIMINGS FOR THE DAY
If I can give you one piece of advice it is to allow plenty of time for all the different parts of your day so that you are not rushing from one thing to another and feeling stressed out. And while I can shoot very quickly and with very limited time this is not ideal and it just means we will all be rushed and I might not get those beautiful creative images that I love to give my couples.
Here are some guidelines for you to work with:
Getting Ready – Groom – 45 minutes to 1 hour
Getting Ready – Bride – 1 hour to 1.5 hours
Family photos – 15 minutes to 30 minutes (depending on how many groups there are)
Location photos (wedding party) – 10-30 minutes (depending on size of wedding party)
Location photos (couple) – 40 minutes to 1 hour
Reception – this depends on the package you have chosen as to how long I stay for this part of the evening – if you wish the dance floor to be documented then I suggest you allow about 30 minutes for this (a lot happens on the dance floor in a very short amount of time and I’ve found that 30 minutes is perfect to capture a good amount of the action).
HAIR & MAKEUP
When planning things with your hair and makeup artists I suggest you ask them to be finished no later than an hour before you have to leave for the ceremony. This will allow me time to photograph you putting on your dress and doing those last minute touch ups, as well as to take photos of you with your bridal party and any family members that might be present.
The best time to schedule an outdoor ceremony is about 3-4 hours before sunset.
Spring/Summer Weddings (September to April) – If your ceremony will take place outdoors, I strongly suggest that you schedule it after 3pm (avoid scheduling it between the hours of 10am and 2pm as the light is harsh and shadows are strong).
Autumn/Winter Weddings (May to August) – During these months, and especially in winter, the light disappears very quickly at the end of the day. Your ceremony should start no later than 2-3 hours before sunset.
Where to stand
When planning your ceremony with your venue and celebrant make sure that you will be standing in a spot with even light – you should ideally visit your ceremony space before your wedding and at the exact same date and time as your ceremony is scheduled so that you can see what the light looks like. I’m happy for you to send me photos of the ceremony spot and I can give you my thoughts.
Avoid lots of dappled light under a tree and avoid ceremony spaces where one of you will be standing in light and the other in shadow. This type of light makes it extremely difficult to shoot in and also gives you images that are not very flattering.
It is so important to allow yourself (and me) time to do this part of the day properly. After all, you are not hiring a professional photographer with all their skill and creativity to take a handful of photos and call it a day. When couples say to me that they just want one or two good photos of the two of them together and then allow 5 to 10 minutes for this they don’t realise that beautiful and natural photos don’t happen in 5-10 minutes.
You need time to stop and breathe, time to go for a wander with your new husband/wife and time to just be in each other’s presence.
Please allow some good time for this part of the day. You might think I’ll be constantly shooting the whole time but that’s not the case – I like to use this time for us to explore our surroundings, chat and have a laugh and for you to relax and have some alone time with your partner.
TIME OF DAY FOR LOCATION PHOTOS
You would be surprised just how much light affects a photo and the final result I provide to you. Late afternoon light is the best, it means softer shadows and even skin tones.
If at all possible this part of the day should take place an hour or two before sunset (and not in the middle of the day – in summer this means before 5pm and in winter before 3pm).
I try my best to deal with any lighting situation and to make sure I shoot in even lighting but there is so much that I can do in harsh light (i.e. a beach wedding in full sun at midday).
TRAVEL BETWEEN LOCATIONS
You also need to factor in all the travel time (and parking time for me) to get between all your locations. If you are able to organise a parking permit for me at any of your locations (or have a parking spot reserved for me) that always helps. A good rule is to allow an extra 10-15 minutes on top of travel time if I cannot park nearby.
VENDORS I LOVE TO WORK WITH
If you’re still on the hunt for other vendors to complete your big day, I’d love for you to check out some of my favourites here.