My couples often ask me for wedding advice and I always try to give it from a practical and helpful standpoint. Each wedding day is uniquely different and there is no ‘one size fits all’! The below advice has been curated from years in the business having seen hundreds of weddings!
1. Get ready early – communicate with your hair and makeup team!
I have a whole blog on how to make the most of your wedding morning but I really do think the most important thing is having enough time for everything you want. The morning always seems to slip away at the last minute and it’s always a rush to get out of the door. Get into your dress earlier and have a glass of champagne and some relaxed pictures before you go! Make sure your hair & makeup team know you intend to be done & ready with 30 mins to spare and they can adjust their timings accordingly! Also don’t forget to allow time for your registrar meeting if applicable!
Photos taken at Hedsor House.
2. Personalise your wedding ceremony – have a celebrant or own vows/readings.
The ceremony is undeniably the heart of your wedding day & it should be filled with personal touches. If you are choosing a church or registrar service you can be restricted but there are always personalised vows or readings! If you want a totally personalised ceremony consider a celebrant led service – they really are just wonderful!
Photos taken at Kew Gardens.
3. Pick your confetti wisely!
Not all confetti is created equal but there are so many choices on the market it can be hard to choose! I always recommend biodegradable round paper from Proper Confetti London. It always photographs so beautifully, as it hangs in the air for a moment before it falls. All of your guests will be ‘wow’ed when they see it and it makes for the most incredible photographs!
4. Get your group shots done right away.
The second the confetti hits the ground it’s time to get those group shots done! They get a bad name for being tedious, long winded and exhausting. But that is exactly why I work with you before the big day to make sure we get them done quickly and without fuss! I have a whole blog on Group shots here.
5. Allow enough time for your drinks reception so you can enjoy.
The drinks reception is the most important part of the day for me, as your photographer! We have a lot to get done and one of my top priorities is getting you back into the drinks reception to actually eat some canapés and enjoy too! Within this time we will be shooting your group family photos (see above) – which can take up to 30 minutes. Then we will shoot your couple portraits which can take between 15-30 minutes depending on your venue & videographer. This is why I recommend having a 1h30 drinks reception so we can also make sure you get some time with your guests! While we are away from your guests my second shooter will be with your guests capturing all of those beautiful guest candids that make up such a big part of your gallery!
6. Don’t be afraid to do things your way!
Don’t like cake? Don’t have one! Want to do a joint speech with your new husband/wife? Go for it! Want to host a quiz during the drinks reception? Love it! Want to walk yourself down the aisle? Perfect! Your wedding day should be a reflection of who you are as a couple & your personalities! Whether that’s small touches like personalised table names or big moments added into the schedule – I love it!
Photo taken at Primrose Hill Farm.
7. Make time for a quiet moment away together.
Your day will go by in a flash – carve out some time together to just take a breath! I split your couple portraits into two short sessions for this reason – you will feel like you are away from your guests less and it’s so nice to take a moment together to discuss the speeches or what’s just happened!
Photos taken at Ashridge House.
8. Get your speeches done first!
This one is for your caterers and any nervous speech givers. There really is nothing worse than speeches between courses. It stops and starts the flow of your dinner, causes headaches for your caterers (who are desperately trying to plate & keep 100+ dinners perfect for you) and often slows things down as we have to wait for guests to return to the room. Put all the speeches at the beginning of dinner, get them done right away and then everyone can relax, have a glass of champagne and enjoy!
Photos taken at Primrose Hill Farm.
9. First dance – practise at least something.
Your first dance should be as big or as small as you like but my best advice is to practise at least something together before you take to the floor! Even if it’s going round the kitchen in circles – you’ll be glad you did when you roughly know what you are doing when all eyes are on you! Want to get fancy? Add a twirl or two?
Photos taken at Caswell House.
10. Forget perfection!
When you arrive on the wedding morning I hope you can let go of any stress or worry. There is no such thing as perfection but it will be your own version of it if you let go and just enjoy. The same goes for when you receive your wedding gallery. The world we live in now promotes unrealistic standards of beauty every where we look. So it’s very easy to look for every strand of hair out of place or an uncontrolled laugh that may produce an extra chin and criticise yourself. But what you should see is love and pure joy. Try to look at each image as a precious memory captured forever and let go of unrealistic expectations that the world tells you to see!
I hope this blog with 10 tips to make your wedding day perfect has been helpful and your celebration is as wonderful, unique and beautiful as you are!