Although all weddings are different here is an example of a natural/documentary timeline. The order and timings are flexible according to your schedule. This example uses bride and groom, although it could be two brides or grooms for same sex marriages. Take a deep breath there’s lots here.
Wedding Preparations (optional)
I arrive early either at the venue or house and build a rapport with your party, chatting about the day etc. I take unposed pictures of the hair/makeup preparations as well as some accessories such as dress, shoes, flowers and any other special items. I look for unique angles and compositions using both natural and flash light. Once in your dress I’ll take more natural pics and any reactions from your family/bridesmaids. It’s quite nice at this stage to take a couple of images of the bride and I’ll often use nice natural light from a window. Some couples like a couple with the bridesmaids, close family. These photos are easy, fun and quick - 5-10 minutes only. If preparations are at the venue then I can take an opportunity to get some groom, best man and groomsmen photos too.
Arrivals at the venue
I’ll capture the groom and party with lots of varied shots and some natural images of the guests as they arrive - always happy. I’ll shoot the smiles, laughter - selfie taking and of course the kids in their full wedding attire before they trash it :). I’ll capture some images of the surroundings outside and inside as well as the table arrangements and cake at opportune moments throughout the day.
Shortly before the bride arrives the groom and guests are ushered into the ceremony room and I’ll capture them as they settle down. Then when the bride arrives I’ll get a few natural images before returning to the ceremony room whilst you speak to the registrar (if applicable). During the ceremony I seldom use flash so you’ll barely notice I’m there.
Important pics here are the grooms emotions and interactions with guests, the guests themselves as they settle down and chat to each other or take pictures and the children. I’ll be looking for laughter, selfies, last minute words of wisdom from family and friends etc. Most generally I’m positioned where the registrar is when the bridesmaids and bride walk down the aisle - it’s the very best position to capture the priceless reactions of both bride and groom as they see each other for the first time. The rest of the ceremony I’ll document all the special moments as well as guest reactions and emotions. There’s normally a couple of quick formals of the signing of the register before I position myself at the other end of the ceremony room ready to capture the bride and groom as they walk back down the aisle.
Time between the ceremony and the meal
The Family & Friends
Some weddings are documentary all the way but invariably the bride and groom choose to have some sets of family and friend shots - normally called formals, but I don’t like that word as I’ll inject some fun into the process. I’m not the bossy type - so this time won’t feel like a chore but more like a fun part of your day. If they are desired then a good time is once the initial drinks are over. Generally there is between two and two and a half hours before the wedding meal and we can work out how much time to limit these formals to so that you can both enjoy time mingling with the guests. If you’re having a confetti shower I'll arrange all the guests in two lines and take natural images as you walk through through laughing guests. Finally some couples ask for fun type shots, particularly with the bridesmaids/groomsmen - there’s no fake smiles here - its laughter all the way. If that’s you then I have you covered with a repertoire built up over the years, or you may have your own ideas. The most important thing is that it’s completely up to you how much time to allocate for formals and I can help further with compiling your shot list.
Bride and Groom
Again some couples like to have some bride and groom photos alone but again it’s completely personal choice. If required these are typically taken either directly before the family and friends or directly after. I’d recommend a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes to cover some uniques and special images of just the two of you.
The rest of the time before the meal is natural documentary style once again - or all of it if you haven’t chosen formals. Focussing on the bride and groom interactions as well as close ups (from a distance usually) of the guests and children. There is normally lots of laughter with the banter amongst guests and I’ll get plenty of those shots that you’ll love when you look back on them. There’s lot’s here that I’ll capture that you won’t even know happened until you view the photos.
The Wedding Breakfast
First of all the guests will be seated ready for the married couple to walk in with a round of applause, and once you're seated I’ll leave you to eat in peace. I usually capture the guests at their tables. I’ll be ready for the speeches whether they're before or after the meal and will capture a range of close up and wide shots. Guest reactions are always great shots as they’ll be plenty of laughter and sometimes tears of happiness during this time.
Between the meal and the evening I’ll capture candid shots of you and the guests. If children are invited then this is always a good time to capture some lovely natural portraits as they play on the dance floor or in the grounds.
The early evening
Once the evening guests have arrived the evening generally gets going with the cutting of the cake which I’ll capture, then I’ll photograph the guests as they take snaps of you cutting the cake too. The first dance kicks off the evening fun and I’ll capture some special images of just the two of you. Often the first dance is followed by a father of the bride dance, if so I have you covered for some really lovely, often tear jerking memories. Then as the guests are invited to join you on the dance floor I’ll mingle getting some great close ups of the intimacy.
The rest of the evening (optional)
The dance floor is where most of the fun and action happens and I’ll be there capturing all the excitement and fun as it unfolds. Not to forget the guests that don’t make it to the dance floor I’ll be circulating taking some candids of them too. The wedding couple may want to grab me during the evening to capture a shot or two with them and their guests, and the guests will often have some requests too - I’m more than happy to accommodate.
I also offer a Photo Booth type arrangement where I can set up a mini studio area with a plain background and studio light that I open twice during the evening for some fun shots of guests. Some ideas for this are messages that guests hold up using a chalk board or wipe-board. Other ideas are a prop box with those funky glasses, moustaches, hats and wigs etc, or blow up musical instruments. I have a selection or you may want to bring along your own ideas, or both. We can discuss what you’d like in more detail but I hope that gives you some insight. I can also arrange for a Photo Booth if desired - prices will depend on exact requirements as often this is manned with extra personnel.
Phew, I think that just about covers it but I’m sure you’ll have lots of question - fire away and don’t forget to book a consultation where I’ll spend some time with you, show you more of my portfolio and of course discuss your bespoke requirements
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