I’ve photographed a huge number of weddings in and around Cheltenham over the years. Every single one of them has been completely different. Many follow the same format and structure for the day, but that’s about where the similarities end. There’s a really helpful Frequently Asked Questions page on this website. That should cover a lot of the questions you may have, but in this post I’ve compiled a list of practical wedding photography tips for brides and grooms.
Whether you’re planning on booking me, have already booked me or are even having your wedding photography with someone else there are a few things you can do to make sure that you get the most from your wedding photography on the big day.
Wedding Photography Tips for Brides & Grooms
1. Communicate with your photographer
This is probably seems like an obvious one, but I think it’s the one of the most essential tips on the list. Here’s why.
Every photographer captures weddings differently. You may have some ideas for things you really want pictures of, or you may have a surprise for your other half, you may want no posed photographs at all, you may decide you’re doing speeches before the wedding breakfast…whatever it is each and every couple is very different, so the more I know in advance the better.
2. Buy twice as much confetti as you think you’ll need
Here’s a practical wedding photography tip for brides and grooms. If you want confetti pictures then buy lots and lots of confetti. The more confetti you have the better so I usually recommend getting the amount you think you’ll need then doubling it.
Bear in mind that my photographs are designed to put you back in the moment and amongst many other things are supposed to be fun to look back at. Some photographers perhaps won’t be as keen on loads of confetti, but for me it’s brilliant.
3. Employ the help of your groomsmen / bridesmaids
If you’re having a confetti line and/or any group shots I always recommend getting some help from your groomsmen, bridesmaids or anyone else who’s nice and assertive. I want to do my absolute best to blend in wherever possible, and it’s helped quite a bit if I’m not having to call out every person for group shots. It also speeds the process of group shots up quite a lot, as I can stay put and take photographs while bridesmaids and groomsmen collect the next group of people.
4. Supply a group shots list (if required)
Some people don’t want group shots, which gives me a lot more time to capture guests enjoying themselves, but the vast majority of people do. If you do want groups then I strongly recommend supplying a list of the groups you want. I’ll always photocopy it and give the bridesmaids / groomsmen a copy to help gather guests. Guests can get bored, as can the bride and groom themselves so try to limit the number of groups shots you have.
5. Understand your photographer’s style
This is very closely linked to the first point on the list and is probably even more important. If you’ve booked a photographer you need to expect them to take photographs that are similar to those on their portfolio; it sounds really obvious but is so crucial, as you’ll just end up disappointed if they don’t take photographs in the specific style you’re looking for. Some may be happy to emulate certain shots but I don’t think I’ve ever met another photographer who would willingly break from their own style for a whole wedding day.
6. Completely ignore your photographer
After going on about communicating with your photographer this is perhaps a bit of an odd one. For 90% (or more) of the day you’re not going to be posing if you’ve got me as your wedding photographer. With the exception of group shots I’d recommend that you do your best to ignore your photographer completely; your pictures will be much better for it. To an extent, even if you’re having couple pictures with your other half for 15 minutes or so the less ‘posing’ you do the better – if you can just enjoy each other’s company for this section your couple pictures will look so much more natural.
By the evening reception blending into the background isn’t normally as big of a challenge though…
7. Plan realistic timings
It’s not unusual for timings to get a bit loose on wedding days. A good rule of thumb is to allow:
- at least 20 minutes after the ceremony to have a drink, greet your guests etc
- 3-4 minutes for every group shot (that’s probably an overestimate in most cases, but it’ll be worth allowing more time than you need in the long run) assuming you’re having formals
- 15-25 minutes for couple pictures if you’re having them. This is depends on how big your venue is and how many of these kinds of pictures you want.
Finally, it’s a bonus point but the most important one…
…enjoy your day.
If you’ve got the help of bridesmaids and groomsmen, you understand the kinds of pictures you’re going to be getting with the photographer you’ve hired and you’ve got realistic timings for everything then do your best to have a great time! When people enjoy themselves at weddings it’s totally clear in the photographs afterwards.