2020 - The Year you say 'I Do'
We are soon approaching the end of the first quarter of 2020, what a whirlwind it’s been already. If you’re reading this then 2020 is a big for you and you’re getting married in a matter of months! So whilst the countdown is on, I have put together a blog post to keep in touch with you, offer you some of my professional advice and to hopefully help you prepare for the big day.
Whilst you may still be squabbling over wedding playlists, how much you’re spending on last minute panic buys and whether you need more confetti. Let’s start with where you’re at with the planning process. So you’ve now received your RSVP’s you’re collating dietary requirement and putting together your seating plan. Seating plans aren’t an easy one so the only advice I can give you on that is make sure you’re doing it with a large Gin/Whiskey in your hand.
This is the time for lots of admin, you’re inbox is probably full as well as your brain. Here’s a little checklist of those things that will be included in that…
Discuss final plans with the Florist
Finalise your catering and choose your menu
Arrange seating plans
Book final Bridal Gown fittings
Confirm bookings with all suppliers and obtain everything in writing.
Purchase a Guest Book
Order all Wedding Stationery for the table, such as a Table Plan, Order of Service and Menus
Create a running order for the ceremony and reception to give to the appropriate people
Attend a rehearsal for your Wedding
Give caterer or reception venue the final headcount including any dietary requirements
Write your speech or toast
Pick up your Wedding Rings
Pack for your Honeymoon (If traveling straight after the Wedding)
Book beauty ahead of the big day if required
What I really want this blog post to be about is the questions/answers you need to know from me as your wedding photographer. These are common topics I usually discuss and advice I’d like to offer if you haven’t yet thought about it.
1. Choosing your bridal prep room wisely
For the best photos choose a room with large windows, lots of space and clean neutral decor. Probably something you’ve already made a decision on but be sure you’re thinking of imagery when considering this. Yes mums house may be a little closer to the venue but is her sitting room painted red or the kitchen renovation only half done? Make sure it can also fit everyone in, you will have your maids, parents, hair & makeup artists and me in there. Also keep it tidy! A lot of the time when I arrive you’ve all been up and getting ready for a couple of hours and everyone’s stuff is in one room, have a room dedicated for everyone’s bags to go in, and give someone the fun job of keeping on top of it. You don’t want plastic bags, water bottles and half eaten sandwiches in the background of your images.
2. Bridal Prep Timeline
I will be there two hours before we leave for the ceremony. I am there to photograph the morning naturally, and you want enough time for portraits of you without the stress of time. Have your most trusted bridesmaid be your timekeeper. Allow them to keep everyone on time so you don’t miss out on photos. I always say to start getting into your dress an hour before you need to leave.
3. Flat Lays
You’ve all seen them on my Instagram, an important little detail that I add to bridal prep, for when I arrive please have gathered together all the details I include in these shots:
And any other important details.
Some brides add details like the wax seal that was on the invites, the ring box you were proposed to with, a trinket dish that belongs to your grandma, a brooch that will attach to your bouquet, a locket with missed loved ones pictures or a handkerchief with a personalised message. There is endless details to add to personalise your wedding accessories. BUT don’t go and panic buy even more, I bring things like ring boxes, a coat hanger, trays and silks to help style and tell the story.
4. Group Shots
This part is a decision you and your partner will come to on your own, the advice I give is to try and keep these to a minimal, they can take up some time but here’s some ways to keep them smooth. Limit to around 8-10 photos.
Write me a list with names and their relationship to you. e.g Sue & Phil (Mum & Dad).
Dedicate a groomsman to also have the list, they can help shout the names and line up the next group whilst I’m photographing. Please note the list does not need to include bridesmaids/groomsmen as they are a given.
Group you family together, rather than separating aunties and uncles cousins etc, keep them all to one photo.
Take the photographers lead, is it too sunny and need to be scheduled in later? If I need to stand you under a tree in the shade rather than facing the sun, trust my instructions.
Is your group shot list getting too big? Think of some shots than can be more informal and have them separate, maybe you want a group shot with work friends or cousins, we can do an informal one in the evening whilst the party is in full swing. Although group shot lists are a must, don’t get too carried away and start writing every moment you’d like me to capture, I will be there to capture everything unfold naturally and a detailed list will draw attention away from what’s happening in front of me.