formal group photography at wedding

Planning photography for your wedding.

So now you’re planning photography for your wedding. The key things are booked, venue, dress, photographer (hint hint!). Now you’re getting down to the finer details like what time you will arrive, table plans and a whole bucketload of other things that have to be organised to help the day run as smoothly as possible.

I wanted to try and help with the one part of the day I know a lot about.

How to make the absolute best of your time with your photographer and planning photography for your wedding day.

Here are my top five tips on things you can do to ensure that the photography on the day is as unobtrusive and stress free as possible. While at the same time giving you the best images!

1 – Bridal prep photography.

I know it seems at first like you wouldn’t want a photographer coming before you are ready and I totally get that. But honestly, it isn’t as bad as you think and the last thing we want to do is to make you feel awkward.

The bridal prep photos can form a really important part of the overall story of the day and work really well in any books or albums.

Also, as the photographer is there before everyone gets to the venue, it gives everyone in the bridal part a chance to say hello and I’ve found that its much more relaxed later on in the day having broken the ice earlier on.

So definitely think about allowing your photographer to come and take photos in the morning. Allow at least 45 minutes. I’m happy with around an hour with the girls and 15-30 minutes with the guys.

planning your wedding bridal prep photography

2 – Check for restrictions at your venue, no nasty surprises!

This is a pretty big one and can often get overlooked. Please always check with your venue or church that they will allow photography during the ceremony.

In some cases photography may be allowed but only from a fixed position which sometimes is not ideal.

Its best to know this beforehand, both for the photographer and so that you won’t be expecting a type of shot that was simply unable to get due to restrictions.

I’ve had more than one occasion when its been a total surprise to the bride when I wasn’t permitted to shoot the ceremony, not the kind of surprise you want on your wedding day!

restrictions on wedding photography at church

3 – Formal Group Photos and the power of lists.

I always ask for a list of the group pictures that you would like before the wedding day. I will have a copy of this on my phone and it will be my go to guide on this section of the day.

Please, please don’t leave this until the actual day itself. Having to try and think of what combinations of family and friends you want in pictures in the moments after you have been wed is the absolute last thing you should be thinking about!

As for how long it takes?  Allow up to five minutes per group. It isn’t the taking of the image that eats up the time, its more getting everyone into the shot and ready for it that eats away at the schedule.

The best time to fit it into the day would be soon after the ceremony or arrival at the reception venue if you got married in a church.

Everyone will still be around and will be much easier to arrange at this point. The best man is also your photographers right hand man here so make sure he is briefed on his duties!

formal group photography at wedding

4 – Portraits

To get the best out of the bride and groom portrait session requires a little planning and also flexibility on the day.

The best time to go for the portrait session varies throughout the year but as a general rule I love the times just before and after sunset. This can be as late as 9:30/10:30pm in the height of summer, to 3:30/4:30pm in the dead of winter.

Its important that this session doesn’t feel rushed so if possible plan to leave your guests for a minimum of twenty minutes around these times.

The longer you allow, the more pictures we can give you and the more relaxed you will both be.

This is also a perfect time for the two of you to spend some quiet moments together, it will likely be the first chance you get all day!

planning photography on your wedding day portraits

5 – Special Events

You may have something special planned for your first dance, or perhaps you have fireworks planned for later in the evening.

Its always a good idea to inform your photographer of anything you have planned. Although we do our best to react to anything that is happening some warning of whats about to go down is very much appreciated!

wedding photographer swansea best of 2015

Thats all for now, thanks for reading!

If you’re in the middle of planning your wedding and have yet to find a photographer then drop me a by clicking here or using the link in the menu above. I’d love to hear about your wedding plans and how we could work together to create some incredible memories.

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