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Advice

Professional

As an experienced wedding photographer I have accumulated a great deal of knowledge of what makes for a successful wedding and beautiful photographs.

When it comes to photography, don't take any risks, employ a professional. You may expect me to say that but bear in mind that the photographs are all that lasts after your big day has finished. Do you really want to entrust your memories to a person who does not have the experience to deal with the unexpected? Book a photographer who knows the pitfalls and can take it all in their stride. Ask to see examples of complete weddings, will all the images be edited or will you just get a few hundred files straight from the camera? What back-ups and contingencies do they have? What if their camera fails? What if their computer crashes after the wedding? Remember, you get what you pay for.

We wanted to send you an email to say how truly grateful we are for the absolutely wonderful job you did for our wedding, we can't thank you enough.

You put us at ease and made the day so truly fantastic and ensured everything was captured so beautifully with such detail....we think you are so wonderful and are thrilled we asked you to photograph our day. You both felt like you we're a part of our wedding party.

Our guests thought you were brilliant and told us how friendly you were and have taken your details to use you for there events too. They were blown away by how detailed you were and that you blended in as guests.


~ Laura and Ricky King

A professional photographer can help you with the planning of your big day. How many others have been to more weddings than they can count and spend the whole day with you? Professional wedding photographers are in the enviable position of being able to experience the day as whole and can see how a wedding da works from start to finish.

Timings

This, for me is the most important aspect of any wedding day and I am always very conscious that you have time to enjoy every part of it. I'm sure you have been told that the day passes very quickly so making sure you have enough time (but no too much) for you to enjoy it is really important. In my experience, the critical period of the day is that between your arrival at the reception and when you sit down to eat. I would never insist or prescribe to you how your day should run, after all it is your day, but I would highly recommend leaving at least 1½ hours, and preferably, 2 hours for this part. This certainly does not mean that I would expect to be taking all of this time up with photography but it should comfortably allow for photos and for you to have fun with your guests!

Group shots

It sounds very obvious but the more you have the longer it takes. They are easy to underestimate and I have heard many times "I didn't realise how long the groups would take". Please don't be put off by the above as, for many people, they are really important. I normally work on an average of about 5 minutes for each group. This may not sound much but bear in mind that 12 groups could take an hour on that basis. This is an average and shots with fewer people will take less time.

Gareth is a great guy to get on with, managing to be both unobtrusive and also feel like a valued wedding guest. We really enjoyed having Gareth at our wedding…and the photos are amazing! We could not be more delighted!


~ Rebecca and Chris Kennedy

I also advise Brides and Grooms to make a list of what shots they would like as on the day, with all the excitement, it is easy to forget some. It is worth writing the names on list rather than "Uncles", "Aunts" or "friends" to avoid any confusion or possibly embarrassment - I have been in situations where "friends" have been called for a photo and several people have stepped forward whom the Bride or Groom would not define as friends - embarrassing conversations followed!

If you want a shot of all your guests together, which many people do, I usually recommend this takes place just before you sit down to eat. That way we can gather everybody together for the photograph and, once that is completed, they can all be asked to make their way to the meal "killing two birds with one stone".

Wedding Coordinator

If you are holding your wedding reception at a venue or hotel ask if they have a wedding coordinator, a good one of these is worth their weight in gold. Talk to them about timings, how long they need to turn the room around if you are using the same one for ceremony and wedding breakfast, ask them where would you and your guests go whilst the staff do this. If the answer is outside what contingency do they have if it rains? A good wedding coordinator should be in contact with all the key suppliers such as florists, photographer, videographer, Best Man, the kitchen and so on.

Thank you so much for being our fabulous photographer for our wedding, John and I loved that you were there with us and everyone said how unobtrusive you were. We love the photos you sent yesterday.


~ Alix and John Russell

Speeches

The speeches are always one of the highlights of a wedding day and many people now choose to do them before the Wedding Breakfast which is a great idea if the speech makers are a little nervous. This way they can relax and enjoy the meal in the knowledge that their job is done. If you do choose to do this you will need to liaise closely with the caterers as an unexpectedly long speech can easily disrupt their timings especially if the first course is a hot dish.

Receiving lines

Receiving lines are a great way to ensure that you have spoken to all your guests but they can take some time which needs to be accounted for in your overall plan. Should the estimated time overrun this can impact on the caterers timings.

Gareth, thank you so much for the beautiful album, the pictures are wonderful…It was great to work with you and we will treasure our pictures.


~ Lindsey and Barney Kelham

Weather

I usually like to give you, the happy couple 20-30 minutes after the ceremony (or arriving at the reception venue) to spend with your guests and enjoy a glass of champagne before I tap you on the shoulder and mention the subject of photos. If however the forecast is not the best, I might suggest that we start straight away and "make hay while the sun shines". I am always looking at the sky and my watch so you don't have to.

Winter Weddings

Bear in mind it could be dark by 4pm

I've worked with these suppliers and think they're great!

 

Videographers

www.stagescapturethemoment.com

Nicholas is a great guy and very professional. I have worked with him many times and I actually photographed his own wedding! When he’s not acting (his other profession) you would struggle to find a better video person.

 

http://spoolfrog.co.uk/

Ever heard of Marryoke? Check out Spoolfrog if you want something a bit different – It really is a bit of a giggle. Why not give Oliver a call. Click here for a link to a wedding video they produced where I was the photographer

Venues

Cliveden House (www.clivedenhouse.com)

One of the country's most exclusive hotel's and wedding venue, Cliveden is steeped in history and has all you could wish for plus so many photographic options that you could not possibly use them all in one day. I am very proud to be one of a select group know as Cliveden's Trusted Partners.

Sonning Golf Club (www.sonning-golf-club.co.uk)

A lovely venue with lovely staff and great facilities. If you're in the Thames Valley area it's well worth a look.


Florists

www.richeflowers.com

So many weddings I have photographed where Riche De Fleurs have been the florists and they have never failed to bowl me over with their creations!

www.blomsterdesigns.co.uk

Russell is a true artist with some of the most impressive and beautiful arrangements I have ever seen - I don't think spectacular would be an over-statement. He is the floral supplier for Cliveden House amongst many other exclusive hotels - need I say more?


Entertainment

www.surprisesingers.com

This is a real treat and great fun!! These three professionally trained and very experienced West End performers will pose as waiters or members of staff at your wedding until the right moment when they burst into song and entertain your guests with full repertoire. I have know Nicholas (who is also a videographer - see above) for many years and have absolutely no reservations in recommending him, in fact I photographed his and  Ashleigh's (one of the other performers) wedding. As Nicholas is also a videographer he could record your wedding and then burst into song in the evening to everyone's surprise! Like I said, great fun!


Magician

www.samstrangemagic.co.uk

I have worked with so many magicians all of whom are very good but Sam stands out as of the best for me. Not only is he a highly talented magician, but just as importantly, he is a really friendly guy. He is very unassuming and always puts people at ease which I think, is very important especially with “close up” magic. If you want your guests to be entertained at the reception or in-between courses, look no further.









Top Tips

  • If you are having a church ceremony try to move away from the doorway after your exit. This avoids a bottleneck of guests greeting and congratulating you as they leave the church - this can take 15-20 minutes!
  • Try to make time to have sneaky peek at your dining room once it is finished and before everybody goes in, sits down, and messes it all up!
  • Have some tissues to hand.
  • Winter weddings - think carefully about your timings if you want photographs outside, your ceremony needs to be around 12:30 if you do.
  • Allow about 5 minutes per group shot when working out your timings.