Do whatever you want - it’s your day.
Don’t let everyone tell you what you should be doing – and that includes us. There’s a bunch of tips in here, some big some small, that we think will help people get more awesome photos on their day. But the most important tip that overrides all of them is you should do whatever the f*ck you want.
You don’t have to cut the cake. You don’t have to wear a white dress. You don’t have to have a first dance. You don’t have to wear shoes. You don’t have to have an unplugged ceremony. But if you want to do all these things because you want to, then you definitely should do them.
Just do your thing and let shit happen.
The last thing you need to do here is worry about photos. This is usually a pretty slow-going time for us so if we need anything in particular, we’ll let you know - but otherwise just be excited for all the awesome stuff you have coming up for the rest of the day!
If you want, let your family and bridal party know the same thing (to not worry about the photos) because there’s always that one bridesmaid that thinks they have to come up with ideas for photos (you probably know exactly which of your friends we’re talking about too).
Crank some music - it helps with the mood (it is a day for partying after all). Bonus points for Kanye. Negative a million points for Going to the Chapel.
We love a bit of a messy room. Lived-in and imperfect beats clean and bland any day. And if one of you is getting ready in a Premier Inn - that’s cool - we’ll still make it look good. It’s not about the room you get ready in, it’s all the little moments that happen & you chilling out with your friends. And it gets you used to the camera so try not to skip that part of the coverage (looking at you 50% of grooms who say they don’t want photos).
And have your pets there if it’s logistically possible - cos why wouldn’t you?!
Weddings are supposed to be fun! Registrars in this country for some reason think ceremonies are supposed to be dull and lifeless occasions full of sombreness and seriousness. F*ck. That. Noise.
You should totally look at each other as the bride walks down the aisle - my favourite part of our whole wedding was watching Lauren cry her heart out (nearly literally) as she walked down the aisle - I can’t imagine missing that because someone told me to face the other way and only turn around once she got there - that’s like our least favourite tradition that still hangs around.
And you can hug or squeeze hands or talk for a bit or even kiss (shock!) once you get down the aisle - don’t stand there like strangers at an arranged marriage. And you can hug peeps after they’ve done a reading or something - stop being so formal!
Unplugged ceremonies are the bomb. You don’t walk down the aisle to a sea of phones, and people in the aisle don’t lean out and block our shots. Nobody has ever taken a good ceremony photo with their phone. And more importantly - it’s better for you AND for the photos if everyone is present and actually watching you guys get married, so you can get rad images of peeps smiling or crying rather than a photo of whatever horrible iPhone case they’ve got at the time.
Definitely do hugs & congrats. Make the time to hug all your friends and family, preferably straight after you’ve walked out of the ceremony or after a confetti shot if you’re doing one.
Hugs & congrats is always the first thing wedding planners and venue planners cut out of the schedule - but what the shit?! - you’ll get the best photos of your guests during this time.
Everyone’s super excited for you guys - they’re running in, crying for/ with you, squeezing you way too hard, smooshing your buttonholes, laughing with each other - this is one of our favourite parts of the day as photographers and way too many people skip it because they think a ‘receiving line’ will be too awkward. It’s not. Do it. Do it do it do it.
Yeah you possibly don’t want to do family photos, but they’re a necessary evil - and they’re actually pretty painless (with these tips anyway) and they’re probably photos you’ll love down the track.
It’s great if you make a list of the family/group photos you want, so it’s less stress at the time trying to make sure you’ve covered everyone important to you.
Don’t give that list to us, cos we don’t actually know who anyone is - but give it to a (bossy) family member or bridesmaid/groomsman (what else are they there for?) who can quickly round up the needed people.
Each combo probably only requires a couple of minutes max (including the inevitable parent or uncle stopping for a chat five times on the way over to where family photos are happening) but if you allow around 20 minutes in your timeline for family photos - you’ll get through them all easy and have time for the few that you probably forgot about on your list (just pretend they were on the list so you don’t get written out of anyone’s Will).
Usually the combos we run with are both of you with (and we’re going to go all ‘nuclear family’ here just because it’s easier);
Start with one set of parents, add in siblings, add in the extended family; both sets of / all parents if you want; then same again the other side - the other set of parents, add in siblings, add in extended family. This isn’t a limit obviously, it’s just a good starting point.
Friends & wedding crew photos are good to do at the end of the family photos cos they’re more fun, and then family members don’t have to hang around unnecessarily.
The big-group-photo-of-everybody - we never recommend this shot. It’s a pretty useless photo where everybody’s face is tiny and most people are hidden, and most importantly it’s a major mood-killer and time-suck. Instead of trying to corral everyone into an awkwardly big group and being the buzzkills of the day, we could be shooting more mingling and hugs and congrats and laughing and getting really good photos of lots of people instead of just one meh photo of everybody. If you want it though - tell us - we'll nail it!
The important bit! Not just for the photos, but cos it’s also the part of the day where you don’t have to entertain anyone but yourselves, you don’t answer to anyone, and you get to go and chill out and celebrate that you just got f*cking married! (and you won’t even notice the cameras in your face…)
We recommend at least 30 minutes of actual shooting time (not including the 12 minute Uber ride each way that leaves us with six minutes). Sure it can be done in five or ten minutes, but if you want some relaxed shots of you guys being yourselves and for it not to feel like a rushed photo-shoot, half an hour of shooting is good for that.
Yes it feels awkward. At first. It gets easier pretty quickly (again, why a bit more time is good) . And IT’S YOUR WEDDING DAY so that excitement will see off any nerves. And just trust us that we’ll make you look awesome.
PS awkwardness is great to photograph cos it’s usually just people laughing due to the awkwardness - so embrace it! We’re just going to be making fun of you anyway throughout the shoot if that helps?
Having stuff to do at the reception (or before the reception, during canapés & mingling) will lead to better guest photos. This could be games on the grass, temporary tattoos (or real ones for the hardcore guests out there), personbingo, photo-booths - whatever works for you guys - you know your guests!
The more light the better. Cameras are amazing little things, but as stupidly expensive as they are (ugh), nothing will get you as good photos at night as a well lit reception. We’re not saying flood the place with light, but some festoon lighting around the place to brighten it up (if it needs it) definitely leads to better (and more, because the camera can focus so much faster) photos.
Speeches we just recommend that you guys sit/stand next to each other and, same as the last tip - that it be in good light so we can snap the laughs and tears and realisation during the best man speech that you may have made a huge mistake.