As a wedding photographer I am given a very unique perspective of a wedding day. I am privileged with the task of silently witnessing every aspect of a wedding, from bridal preparations through to the dancing.
Over the past 9 years I have been documented and observed hundreds and hundreds of weddings. I have watched as things go to plan…..and also when they haven’t!!
So today I thought I would share a few insights on how to keep your day on track….by having conversations BEFORE the day!
The Vicar or Registrar
Did you know that it is totally up to your Vicar or Registrar what images you have of your actual wedding ceremony?
A photographer has to formally request to take images of the ceremony. What we are allowed to do and where we are allowed to stand, is completely at the discretion of the person conducting the ceremony. Each one has their own rules. Church ceremonies tend to be much more restrictive, so if you are keen to have photographs of the exchanging of rings, the kiss and the blessing, then you will need to talk to your Vicar in advance.
Formal photos can be such a contentious subject! Most couples these days don’t tend to want them. Parents often do. Usually there’s a compromise to be had. However, I have seen many a fabulous day become unnecessarily stressful because of crossed wires on this subject.
Making sure that everyone is on the same page as you in advance will stop the most enthusiastic of relatives from hijacking your day!!
- Talk in advance with your parents about their expectations of the formal photos.
- Be clear with your family & guests about what you have decided.
- If you have split families, then plan for any additional photos so that you don’t leave anyone out or make anyone feel uncomfortable. Talk to those involved beforehand.
- Always make your Photographer aware of any situations where people might feel uncomfortable being photographed together.
- Inform everyone included in the formal photographs in advance, that they will be required for formal photos at a specific time.
The Other Parents
I have seen more tears about this than everything else combined!!
Here are 2 biggest misconceptions that I have witnessed:
‘Lots of people will be there – everyone will look after the kids’
If you have children yourself then it really helps to nominate someone who will be responsible for your children throughout the day. Remember, even the most ‘Mary Poppins’ of friends can get seriously side-tracked by a glass of champagne and a crab nibble!! Remember too that if you choose a parent or bridesmaid then they have to get ready too! If in doubt, there are so many fabulous wedding nanny services out there to take the strain off your nearest and dearest.
Everyone will love the chance to have a day without their kids!
The child–free wedding….now this one divides a nation! It is getting more common to keep a wedding ‘child-free’ for many reasons. However, be prepared for some delicate pre-wedding conversations about it…and maybe even the odd compromise.
Even if you are having a wedding planner, it’s good to nominate someone who will help with the running of certain aspects of the day; whether that is gathering your family and friends for the Formal Photos or for making announcements throughout the day. Again, a canapé can be the most distracting thing on the earth at a wedding, so make sure your nominated helper understands fully what is required of them before the day. Hiring a Master of Ceremony is another great alternative.
The Social Media Fanatics
At one wedding I photographed, the Groom was unable to see his bride walking down the aisle, because it was filled with so many i-pads! If you don’t want your guests to watch your wedding ceremony through the screens of their smart phones, then make your wedding ‘unplugged.’ See here for more details. How much of the day is unplugged is up to you.
Or maybe you want your own wedding Hashtag, personal Instagram feed & Facebook Live Speeches?! Whatever your preference, prepare your guests in advance so that they are prepared and not disappointed.
Happy Chatting lovely people!