Firstly, this article is not going to be all about wedding photography. Nope. There’s plenty of those around the Internet already. I’ve already written about my wedding photography tips for couples on how to help your photographer get the best pictures possible. Instead this is going to be some of my top tips for when you are planning the wedding itself.
As a busy Nottingham & Derby wedding photographer, I’ve been to a lot more weddings than your average person. I’ve seen what works and what does not. I’ve spoken to many brides (and groom’s!) and heard first hand what was easy and what was hard to plan. So it gives me a unique position I believe to pass on some pearls of wisdom which I hope you may find useful.
CHOOSING A WEDDING SUPPLIER
The marketplace is awash with suppliers, especially for wedding photography. I’ve seen venue decorators charge £1 per chair cover, I’ve seen others charge £5 per chair. Just how do you differentiate and choose who is good? Well the old adage you get what you pay for is a good guiding principle. That’s not to say the £1 chair cover company will do a bad job. But there does come a point when a price becomes too cheap and you have to wonder what corners they are cutting.
Ultimately when your wedding day comes around, you have to hand over control to your suppliers who you will have to trust will deliver your dream wedding. So trust is the key ingredient. No matter what the price. Do you trust them? Often your gut will tell you.
I remember my wife creating our own invites to save some money. Fair enough. What we didn’t think about at the time was postage. A first class letter is currently £0.64. We had 50 to send out. That meant the cost was £32. Ouch! £32 on stamps…. However, my wife had added a little pretty bow on the invite which meant the invite no longer fitted into the letter slot at the post office. Instead they were classed as large letters. Now it was £0.94 per letter! Suddenly our postage cost shot up to £48 all because of a tiny tiny bow! Even if you’re not a tight fisted Yorkshire man like me it is worth bearing in mind. I’ve heard of couples who have sent them as letters and every guest had to collect them from their sorting office and pay the excess charge!
This is a common complaint. No matter if you send your invites out early or late, many couples find guests simply forget to RSVP. Then you end up having to chase people up. We had a pretty good success rate using a website from GettingMarried. This allowed guests to RSVP online and choose their meal options which we could handily export into a spreadsheet for the coordinator. We did have a few older relatives who didn’t really know how to use the Internet so we just called them and added their details in ourselves. But it did save a lot of chasing around and logistical nightmare.
*Bonus tip* – Number your invites, keeping a list of who got which number. Or make sure guest names are prefilled on the RSVP portion. It’s quite normal to receive a RSVP from someone who forgot to fill in their names. Leaving you to scratch your head over who is coming!
If you’ve been reading the bridal blogs, unplugged weddings seem to be all the rage. This is because often guests are keen to get their own momento of your wedding day but get carried away and spend the entire ceremony staring at their screen instead of all eyes fixed on you. As a professional wedding photographer it’s my job to get the shot but naturally I cannot control guests. And if they’re all staring at their phones then that’s what you will see in the background of your photos!
My suggestion is to ask the officiant to make an announcement before the start of the ceremony that no photography is allowed except by the official wedding photographer. Trust me, they’ll be more than happy to.
Hopefully it won’t be a big deal for your guests. After all they’ve got the rest of the day to take photographs.
It’s well worth getting. The cost is minuscule in comparison to your overall budget. Wedding insurance covers you for all those unforeseen circumstances like freak weather, death of a close family member etc. I have a longer article on why you should buy wedding insurance here. Just bear in mind it won’t cover you though if you decide to cancel for any reason.
This is of course a very personal choice for brides but from a photographer’s point of view, a long veil makes a great prop for photos! Just something to bear in mind.
The idea that you can sprinkle a few disposable cameras on each table and get some great funny shots is a great dream. The reality is the photos rarely turn out. Those that do are rubbish quality and they cost a fortune to develop. I have another article you can read about using disposable cameras at weddings with some sample photographs.
Those are all the tips I can think of right now. I’ll add to them over time as they come up. Hope you have found my wedding tips useful. Drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you have thought of any.