What we actually do on your wedding day (Gold Package - speeches must be before meal)
Updated: Nov 13, 2020
We get asked these questions a lot. 'What do you actually do on the day?', and, 'How does it all work?', and 'How will you fit in with my day?', and so on. So we've put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!) to come up with a bit of an explainer. Hopefully, we'll pack in a lot of information and keep it simple and not ramble on too much! Stick with it though, and all your questions will be answered!
Right, let's start at the beginning. You're probably reading this because you're looking for a wedding photographer to capture your day - or you've booked us already and want a little more detail about what's involved. You may be getting married at a church or at a wedding venue or hotel - this guide will cover both options - but what we do is essentially the same.
Our coverage starts here. Usually in the morning (unless your ceremony is later in the day). We tend to arrive around 1 hour before you're due to depart for either the church or, if you're at a hotel, the scheduled time of the ceremony. If you're at a hotel, we will actually be on site for a while before you see us. There are two reasons for this: 1. We always like to check-in with the wedding co-ordinator, introduce oursleves and go over final timings and any other details (just to make sure we are 100% up-to-speed on your day!). And, 2. as a common courtesy (we are very polite!).
So expect a knock at the door and it'll be us! (We will agree and confirm precise timings with you during the 'pre-wedding meeting'). After a quick hello, we go immediately into action and start taking pictures. Working with and around make-up artists, and anyone else that's in the room, we endeavour to get some great shots of your preparations. It's always a good idea to have your dress out of it's protective bag and hanging up somewhere for when we arrive - this will save time on the day itself. With the help of bridesmaids, it's good to gather together things like flowers, shoes and so on, for arranging and photographing too.
Once we've spent a good while with you and got a good selection of images, our next task is to find the Groom! We search all the local pubs and bars until we eventually find him... He's easy to spot: the nervous pacing, the constant checking of his pockets for his speech and the look of anxious excitement on his face! He will probably be busy meeting and greeting guests and making last-minute arrangements, but we'll gently take him to one side with this best man and grab a few pre-ceremony pictures. This is also a great opportunity to have a quick chat with him and help him to relax and calm his nerves (we're quite good at this - having loads of experience!).
If you're getting married in church, we will be waiting outside for your car to arrive. This is a wonderful moment to capture, and one we never fail to do. If you're getting married in a hotel, we will always do our best to photograph you descending a staircase to the ceremony room, and make you look as beautiful as possible.
Are you getting married at a hotel? If so we will position ourselves next to the officials who are overseeing the ceremony. This means we can get some great shots of you and your bridesmaids and flower girls walking up the aisle. We always photograph the following key points of a ceremony, whether it's at a church or hotel:
The groom (looking nervous!)
The entrance of the bride, preceeded by her bridesmaids and/or flower girls and page boys
The groom's first sight of the bride (a very emotional moment!)
The exchange of rings
The first kiss
The signing of the marriage register
The bride and groom's first steps together as they exit the ceremony!
If you're getting married in a church, things are slightly different. When we first arrive at the church, we always nip inside and say a quick hello to the vicar or overseeing official. Again, to be polite, but also, churches can sometimes have restrictions on where photographers can and can't stand during the ceremony. Equally, they usually have the best insight on where we should be to get some great photos during the ceremony. In either case, we work politely and professionally with whoever is taking your ceremony to ensure we photograph the whole thing, from start to finish, without getting in anyone's way!
After the ceremony
You're married! Congratulations! Wonderful! I'll bet you'll feel great! It's a joyous feeling to finally tie the knot with your most favourite person in the world! As you exit, we are quietly and unobtrusively there - you may not even notice us. What we like to do at this point in the day is capture the love and joy of the moments going on around you. Everyone will want to congratulate you and give you a big hug. This point in the day makes for some great photos!
Don't worry - we'll get everyone organised for your 'Confetti Tunnel', and see to it that everyone's knows what's going on. Because, next on the agenda, are the group photos!
This is a big, and important, part of the day. You might want to get the party started - and rightly so! - but it's worth spending a bit of time on group shots. Why? Weddings are family events, and we treasure nothing more than our families (and friends too!). So let's get everyone together for a laugh and a few pictures. We make it a fun and easy part of the day. We are very experienced in arranging and moving large groups of people around - in the nicest possible way! Here's a brief run-down of the suggested group shots:
All the bride's family
All the groom's family
All the friends
The bride & groom with the bride's close family
The bride & groom with the groom's close family
The wedding party
Then individual pictures of the bride and groom with parents, siblings and grandparents.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and we're sure you'll have your own ideas too, which we will gladly accommodate. The whole thing can usually be accomplished in 30 minutes or less, depending on the number of guests! We will not drag it out as we know that you've got some celebrating to do!
Once the group shots are done, we'll spend 10 minutes with just the bride and groom for some portraits. Now, we fully appreciate that not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera, and we always do our best to make you feel relaxed. We will help you to pose, and put you at your ease.
If you're getting married at a church, we always recommend that the group shots are completed before setting off for the reception. If you're at a hotel, we can simply wander out into the gardens and do them there.
At this point, the great British weather is worth a mention! Sunny one minute, raining the next. Cold in July - hot in February! You know the drill... Let's just say, there's no way to know what the weather's going to do - we can only hope for the best. Group photos can easily be completed even if the weather turns bad. One option for church weddings is for everyone to head back inside the church after the service is over and do the group shots there. Church officials are glad to help - and it's often a good option if the space outside is limited. With wedding venues and hotels, there's always a nice staircase or other indoor space to use for this purpose. We work calmly and professionally with your venue staff to sort this out in the event of rain.
Right, so all your group photos are done - it's time to hit the reception! We mingle around with your guests and capture loads of fantastic 'candid'-style pictures. The drinks reception is a great time to do this, as everyone is feeling more relaxed and the initial nerves of the day are melting away. We are very unobtrusive and simply blend into the background.
We love this part of the day! It really gives us a chance to shine and capture some wonderful memories for you - without any direction or guidance. We just follow the action!
Once all your guests are seated, you'll be announced into the room where you're having your wedding breakfast. Everyone will be encouraged to stand and cheer - and we'll be there to get a few great pictures of you both making your grand entrance!
Now we come on to a part of the day that you either love or hate - depending on whether you're giving or receiving one that is! (Please note that with our 'Gold' Package, your speeches will need to be before the meal as the start of the meal is when the coverage finishes). During the speeches we love to capture people's reactions and emotions. We wander around the tables to capture the reactions of your nearest and dearest in an unobtrusive way. The tears and the laughter make for brilliant photos!
Don't worry, we'll also get lots of pictures of the room, fully decorated, before everyone is seated. And, of course, lots of pictures of your wedding cake!
With the Gold Package, we always do a 'mock' cake cutting shot too! The Gold Package ends here, and we bid you goodbye and hope you enjoy the rest of your day!
What happens after the day?
We'll drop you a line a couple of days after the wedding with an update on your photos, when they'll be ready, and how you can view them.
We hope you like what you've read and seen above - why not check your date now!