Some wedding days can be crazy. We-haven’t-got-time-to-take-a-breath kinda crazy. Time is like gold dust and it can disappear quickly without you realising. So what tips can I give you from a photographers point of view? Well this is assuming a) you want more than a handful of bride and groom photos, and b) you don’t want to feel like you’re in a race on the day. The below is just advice from my point of view but if you allow plenty of time for your photographer to ‘do their thing,’ they’ll be forever grateful.
The less tight the schedule, the less stress on the photographer = the better the results. By tight I mean you’ve got no room in your timings to be late or allow for the unexpected, you’ve got lots of driving time between venues, you only have a short amount of time for photos or there’s no time at all to visit the bathroom. A less tight schedule allows for more creativity, everyone involved is more relaxed and the photographer has time to think about trying other shots – ones they wouldn’t have time to find otherwise.
This applies to the both of you… for your ‘getting ready photos’ it’s worth planning to be ready to leave at least 15 minutes before you actually need to. You’ll have time to have some photos taken with family/bridesmaids/groomsmen or just you on your own. It will allow your photographer to get some portraits done beforehand and allows you to have a few minutes breather alone. We’ve often stopped off at a specific location on route to the ceremony venue to take a few photos of the bride/groom. Even if it’s just a nice tree up the road, you don’t have to go far! Why not, if you have the time?
For your bride & groom photos (and bridal party if you’re having one), if you want variety in your shots and want your photographer to experiment/be creative and not just stick to ‘safe shots,’ then only giving them 30 minutes will limit what they can do. 95% of our weddings we spend at least 1-1½ hours on this part of the day. It may sound like a lot, but time is quickly taken up with travelling between venues, bathroom visits, reapplying lipstick, getting in and out of cars, walking from cars to trees, having a drink/nibbles. And boy does time fly by at this part of the day – you’ll be having fun so it will go quickly! Guests expect you’ll be going for photos after the ceremony so as long as you keep them fed and watered, they’ll be happy.
But if you only have 30 minutes or less after the ceremony to spend on your bride & groom photos because you have lots of travelling time, you don’t want to be away from your guests at all or because your ceremony is later in the day and the sun sets earlier… here’s 3 possible scenarios you could consider.
1) Have your B&G/bridal party photos done before the ceremony. You get two ‘reveal’ moments and it can help settle the nerves before the ceremony. Every couple we’ve photographed who’ve done their photos beforehand has said how lovely the experience was and how in no way did it detract from the walking down the aisle moment.
2) If you don’t want to spend any time away from guests then how about having a portrait session of the two of you the day afterwards? You’ll still be on a high from the wedding day and you won’t have to worry about time. Plus it’s an excuse to put the dress back on!
3) If you only have a short amount of time allocated for your B&G photos but still want to get variety then you’ll have to lower your expectations as to how many variations of photos you’ll get. Most weddings we show on our website have had 1-1½ hours spent on B&G photos so if you hired your photographer because you liked their variety, don’t expect they’ll be able to get the same amount in a third of the time. We can only go so fast! Stick to visiting one location for photos and be prepared to go go go. Listen to your photographer and focus on enjoying being with your new husband/wife!
If the photographs are really important to you then it’s worth seeking the advice of your photographer about your timings. Working together you can come up with a plan of action that suits everyone and helps get the most fabulous photos possible! I hope this has been a helpful insight and happy planning!
Jel Photography – Alternative Photojournalist Wedding Photographers – We are James + Eleanor and we photograph weddings with a twist! Based in Auckland New Zealand and specialising in creative wedding photography.