However, one thing you do have control over is your photographs and with wedding photography you don’t get any second chances. If your photographs aren’t exactly the way you want, you can’t hold your wedding all over again to retake them. So it’s best to get everything in place before the big day. Here’s our key advice on making sure you get your wedding photographs absolutely right.
Choose a professional wedding photographer. Yes, we know that you might be tempted to save money and use a friend who is a good photographer who has offered to capture your big day. But we wouldn’t advise it. Taking photographs as a hobby and professionally are two quite different things. A professional photographer will be experienced and know how to gather people together quickly and efficiently for group shots and how to capture a spontaneous moment. They’ll also keep their mind on the job – whereas a friend might want to wander off and enjoy the party (and who can blame them). Meaning that there will be big chunks of your day that you have no visual record of.
Look at the style of wedding photography you like. Reportage style is having a bit of a moment but you might want to go down a more traditional, formal route. Maybe make some Pinterest boards of wedding photography you like and show them to potential photographers so they understand the look and mood you’re after.
Once you know the sort of wedding photography that would suit you, look around for some photographers that fit the bill. You can ask your local venue, Google photographers and get ideas from wedding magazines and wedding fairs. Then get in touch, find out their fees and where they are happy to travel to.
A good wedding photographer will be sought-after, so if you’re getting married on a summer Saturday, you may find that they are already booked. If your heart is set on somebody in particular, then you might have to be flexible with your date.
When you’re chatting to potential photographers, show them the sort of images you like and ask to see their portfolios. It’s also a good idea to ask for testimonials from their clients.
Always walk around your venue with the photographer before your big day. You can point out areas that you’d like to be photographed in and their professional eye will also notice suitable backdrops, like statues, trees and fountains.
Your photographer should also know the time of day you are getting married and the time of year as this will affect the light (and the weather of course).
Write a list of your must-have photographs. These might be shots of you in the wedding car with your dad, a photograph of your wedding dress on a hanger with your shoes, your bouquet and your flower girls.
You might want the photographer to arrive early at your house to take shots of you and your bridesmaids getting ready.
Think outside the box a bit with your wedding pics and try and be a bit individual – you don’t have to follow the crowd.
Have a photograph taken of your wedding cake but skip the food. Food photography is a very specialist skill and anyway you want the emphasis to be on the people at your wedding. A tray of drinks and cocktails however is another matter! They photograph well!
Have some detail photographs taken of your reception – for example the backs of decorated chairs, table centrepieces, seating plans…
If you can afford it, try and have your wedding videoed. Not having footage taken on a wedding day is top of the list of bride’s regrets and something they wish they had done – so bear it in mind!