I’m at almost every wedding all day, from getting ready to getting tipsy, and beyond! I’ll try my best here to outline where I’ll be at various points in the day and what my couples can expect from me. Be aware that every day will be different, with its own timelines and unique circumstances, so this is merely a guideline.
– Pre-Wedding Preparations
I’ll be at your wedding to capture the entire day. I usually arrive to shoot around two hours of wedding preparations, so that I can photograph the details, the laughs going on, and the bride getting her final makeup and hair preparations.
I aim to be there til the bride gets in her dress, capturing everyones excitement as they see her for the first time. I’ll then make my way to the ceremony ahead of the party.
– The Ceremony
I will always be at the ceremony before the bride, usually aiming for about 30 mins before the scheduled start time for churches/registry offices or about 15 mins if the entire day is happening in one place (I usually only need to walk downstairs from your room to get to the ceremony). This gives me time to have a chat with the officials, shoot a few photos of guests, and get ready for the bridal party arriving.
Throughout your ceremony, I try to be invisible. I usually stand at the front unless I’m instructed otherwise but like to stand back and simply capture what’s going on.
– Right After the ceremony
Every wedding is different, and so the rest of the day can go several different ways. On this note, I’ve put together some tips for planning your wedding, too. usually, after the ceremony, I will give you chance to see your guests, grab a drink, and take it all in! Then we will get started on the group photos. This is a slightly more structured aspect of what I do, and I will be organising your guests.
I do like to get through the group photos with as little standing around as I can. I start with the bigger groups and narrow them down to the smaller setups. I would say an ‘average’ amount of time for this would be around 20 minutes but this all depends on the amount of photos we need to take, the size of your wedding and also how cooperative your tipsy uncles are (i’ve heard all of the “have you got a wide angle lens for my wife’s bum” jokes!). We also don’t shoot these in too much of a stiff way, I don’t pose peoples hands or arrange in perfect height order… Think ‘photos with friends at a bbq’ rather than ‘school picture day’.
At this point, I’ll usually take the opportunity to head off with the happy couple for a little shoot. We keep this fast paced, fun, and casual. Even if you absolutely hate having your photograph taken, I guarantee you’ll still have a ball! We don’t do the awkward “look lovingly into each others eyes, and off into the distance” thing. I tend to do this a couple of times in the day as the light and atmosphere changes, rather than all in one session. This way, I’m not keeping you from your guests for too long.
– for the rest of your reception
Again, no wedding day is the same. This part of the day, I will just be blending in and capturing whatever you have going on, or whatever people are doing. I tend to just blend into your wedding day, get to know your guests a little, and simply look for emotional moments and unique happenings.
The same goes for speeches. I’ll be there and capturing all the moments in my documentary style.
Some couples say things like “I forgot you were here” or “I didn’t notice you through the day, but you’ve got all these photos”. This, for me, is the best way to work through this part of the day. Like a silent ninja. With a camera. And a beard. kind-of…
– As evening comes around
Everything here will depend on the running of the day, but as your evening guests begin to arrive and the party gets going, I’ll still be there with my cameras ready for anything. We usually head off for an evening set of portraits, or cover any shots we may not have been able to get earlier (missing bridesmaids, rain, etc). This part of the day can’t be predicted at this point but I’ll be doing whatever is needed of me to help with the running of things, making sure we have the important photos, capturing what’s happening with you and your guests, etc.
The next ‘structured’ part will be your cake-cutting and first dance. More often than not, these will run together. You will usually cut your cake and then head straight to the dance floor. I will be waiting at both, to help organise the cake and have my lighting ready on the dance floor.
– When it gets messy
I like to stick around after the first dance. This tends to be the ‘standard’ time for photographers to pack up and hit the road, but I find there’s usually some fun to be had! I’ll be on the dance floor with the rest of the party. If people are having fun then I’m there, and if I like the song I might even shake my ass a little… but no promises!
My time to go home is once I feel I’ve captured everything I need to… this is usually about an hour after the first dance time. At this point I’ll come and find you, say my goodbyes, and head home for a glass (ha, bottle) of the (Tesco) finest red wine.
HEY! I’M PAUL
I’m a chilled out, coffee-guzzling Wedding Photographer for relaxed and fun couples who are planning an AWESOME WEDDING!
I live in the beating heart of the North-West (erm, Wigan) with my fiancè and a cheeky cat called Ellie.
I photographed my first ever weddings on board a cruise ship over ten years ago and after working on lots of boring commercial photography jobs, I returned to my love of parties and people in 2016.
Nowadays I spend my working life shooting unique and beautiful weddings for not-so-traditional couples.
I’m privileged to have the best job in the world, and love what I do even when it rains!