One of the most important days in a couples life is their wedding day. You spend weeks, months, maybe even years planning your dream wedding. When it’s all over, you want those special moments captured, to have on hand to relive and share for years to come. You only get married once after all (or more hehe! nothing wrong with that), so it is important that you do whatever it takes to set us, your wedding photographers up for success.
Want the best out of your wedding ceremony photos? Well, read on accompanied by loads of pretty pictures from our weddings.
What kind of things will we be chatting about?
- Ceremony timings for seasons
- All about lateness and why it’s important to try and be on time
- Why you should confirm if we are allowed to take photos
- Not the traditional type? Read up on why we recommend a first look
- Confetti? What we recommend to get the best out of these photos
- Why we would always suggest an unplugged wedding ceremony
Along with loads of info on the above points, we will also throw in more hints and tips along the way.
Grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy!
Ceremony timings for seasons
You should always choose the time of your ceremony based on the light during the season you are getting married in. This will ensure you have plenty of light for the formal photos and your photo session photos. For example winter weddings which are from approx. mid-October to the end of March we would suggest changing the ceremony to 1pm or 1:30pm. For the rest of the year, a 2pm ceremony is perfect.
Deciding on your ceremony time and setting it in stone by discussing it with us is also wise to do before printing up those wedding invitations.
Why it’s important to try and be on time
Well, this is simple really if you are late it will have a knock-on effect on the rest of the day. It is always the photo session that takes the hit as your wedding venue won’t always be able to delay the wedding breakfast due to strict timelines in the kitchen.
It’s okay to be fashionably late by 5 minutes or so as there are always those few guests who are always late for everything including weddings.
Take a few moments outside before walking down the aisle. This time is always amazing for capturing emotional and beautiful moments filled with anticipation with what is to come.
Read up on our Bridal Prep Tips here, to make sure you have a few moments to get a breath before you walk down the aisle.
Have FUN! Have a LAUGH with the girls! HUG your girls and your parents and flower girls!
Don’t rush out the door. When things aren’t rushed we have the chance to capture photos like the above.
When secret handshakes are a family thing, do it! LOVED this moment! Had no clue it was about to happen! Even though the composition is not perfect the moment is.
Why you should confirm on if we are allowed to take photos
If we are assured beforehand that we are allowed to capture photos of your ceremony it puts us at ease and gives us the confidence to capture those key moments in the best way possible.
As we are two photographers I usually go to the front while Scott takes photos from the back. It is always a good thing to ask your officiant if they are happy to have one of us at the front and if need be that we can use flash. As a rule, we don’t like to use flash but sometimes it is needed.
We are very respectful and unobtrusive so rest assured we will not disturb or bring attention to ourselves during the ceremony.
Why we would always suggest an unplugged wedding ceremony
As seen in these photos, these couples asked their guests to be fully present for their ceremony and put those phones, tablets and cameras away.
You may feel a bit guilty asking your guests to do this but we cannot recommend this enough. This is the highlight of the day and having photographs of such important moments captured without a sea of modern technology or guests stepping into the aisle to get the shot (and ruining ours) is refreshing. It gives those moments more impact. We have so many beautiful moments which are dulled down by all the business going on in the background.
If it’s not your thing don’t worry but we always recommend it. If you are on the fence about it, have a read of this article. Also here are some ideas of signs you can put outside the ceremony for your guests to see.
After your first kiss, try and take your time and take it in like these two. That wee moment is absolute photography gold!
Why we recommend a First Look
We’ve been photographing weddings now for over 7 years now and we continue to find that weddings with a First Look tend to go a lot smoother and are much more relaxed.
We understand it is not for everyone as it goes against what tradition dictates but if you are not too traditional anyway then this may be right up your street.
A First Look is a simple way of saying, “Will you be seeing each other before the ceremony?” Traditionally, couples will wait until the ceremony before seeing each other for the first time. However, it’s becoming more and more popular to see each other just before the ceremony for a number of reasons.
Scroll down for a breakdown why First Looks are most awesome! Also, have a peek at a city first look wedding we did in Canada here.
We want you to live in the moment and not just relive it through the photos afterwards. We want you to be present with your guests as they were carefully picked to join in this special day. A First Look gives you the flexibility to get all your portraits totally out of the way so you can engage with the people you love the most.
- It calms the nerves. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to be the centre of attention, then this is a great option for you. We’ve found that most clients are quite nervous just before the ceremony. Let’s be honest here, your wedding is probably one of the biggest days of your life. However, doing a First Look will give you peace of mind knowing that your significant other will be there for you to help calm those nerves. Time and time again we see the stress fly away just after the couple see each other for the first time. It’s almost like a weight is lifted off their shoulders and the rest of the wedding day activities are a breeze.
- Allows for any hiccups. The reality is a wedding day only happens once. You set a date, pick a venue and organise everything else. Whatever happens, happens. Your wedding day is not guaranteed to fall perfectly into place. There are a lot of moving parts that you can’t control. Like bad weather, people running late, traffic jams, etc. The list goes on and on for the potential of what could possibly go wrong (but don’t let this scare you). So instead of betting against the odds try planning things out with as little risk as possible. Plan for the worst and your day will never let you down. If you decide to do a First Look, it basically means you can get all your pictures done and out of the way. Seeing each other before the ceremony lets you finish all your portraits, couples session, bridal party portraits and family portraits. So after the wedding, all you have to think about is actually attending your own reception and mingling with guests who are eager to congratulate you. It also provides you with a backup time slot to finish your portraits just in case something kept you held up earlier in the day.
- Those feelings don’t go away. You’ve been thinking about how precious that moment is going to be when you see each other for the first time. Right? Well, what if it’s not everything you imagined it to be? What if it was special but just not as special as you thought. I don’t mean to be negative here, I just want to lower the expectation level a bit so you don’t have mega high expectations for something that might not be exactly what you imagine. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some AMAZING moments in between couples who opted out from doing a First Look. Times so emotional, we even thought maybe we should stop trying to suggest a first look. But at the same time, we’ve seen incredible moments at the ceremony just after a First Look.
- Be present for your wedding.Everyone says “Your wedding day will go by so fast!”. There is so much going on on your wedding day that sometimes taking it all in just isn’t possible. Even more of a reason to have a photographer capturing those unseen moments right before you.Time and time again couples have thanked us o the day itself or after the wedding for convincing them to do a First Look. If we sense they are really not about it, we definitely would never push it because ultimately we really want what’s best for you. But if someone is on the fence we want to lead them to make a more logical game plan for their big day.
It’s okay and very photogenic to be in your own little bubble like these two in the photo above.
This photo above was beautifully captured by Lauren Stirling Photography.
Wedding vows should include… “Do you promise to always help him find his stuff that is right in front of him” because you will be doing that forever : )
Thanks to Zoë Alexandra Photography for the beautiful capture above.
When coming back down the aisle be happy, throw your arm up in the air, HAVE FUN!
Confetti. How to get the best out of these photos.
Organisation is key here! Everything needs to be put in place in time for us to capture you walking through all that fun confetti. Get your officiant to announce that there will be confetti immediately following the ceremony. We shall take it from there and guests into place and brief them on what to do.
Have FUN with it! Laugh, smile, stop and kiss… anything really but most of all enjoy it!
Use bright colours as to light colours as these show up best and are a lot more fun.
Thanks to Lauren Stirling Photography for the above photo which I adore.
Thanks to David Ruff Photography for these two amazing photos.
As a conclusion to all of this, these are only tips at the end of the day. The main thing is to ENJOY your day and take it all in as best you can.
To see more of our work follow the links below.
Chantal and Scott x