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My Guide For The Best Wedding Photographs

November 1, 2022

Guide To Getting The Best Ever Wedding Photographs

Great wedding photos don’t happen by chance; they’re the result of certain considerations. Read on to find out how you can be certain to get them for your special day.
I have been a Northern Ireland Wedding Photographer for over 10 years so I have insider tips to make your special day more memorable, including candid shots and posing the bride and groom without awkwardness.

Northern Ireland Wedding

 

Planning Your Morning Prep

Approximately two hours before your service, I will arrive at the location where you are getting ready. There is no doubt that you will start doing hair and makeup much earlier than me, but no one wants to see images without any makeup on. I know I wouldn’t.
The bride should not go last in case of delays across the morning in terms of hair and make-up. It is also important that the person who is helping the bride sit in the middle of the ceremony.
VERY IMPORTANT TIP :- It is my advice to you all to get dressed a good 45 minutes before the start of the service but especially the bride. Before I leave to get images of the groom and his family, I’ll have 15-20 minutes with you in your dresses. You can also factor in the travel time to the church or service venue. Then you can relax, enjoy some family time, and maybe even have a drink before you head off to become a wife!

Morning Prep

 

Take The Wedding Dress Out Of The Bag

Many times I arrive and the dress is still in the bag, which can cause it to be creased at the end and around the front in places that will look bad in photographs or when you are walking down the aisle! In order to blow dry the creases, you must take a great deal of time.
So before the day of, remove the dress from the garment bag, unrolling the wrinkles by themselves. NEVER USE AN IRON ON A WEDDING DRESS, and a hair dryer can also help if necessary.
Get a nice hanger! Don’t have your dress on a wire hanger or one that doesn’t swivel around at the top. Think about your dress beautifully draped on a door frame hanging on a beautiful wooden hanger or fabric covered one. You can find these online in a variety of places including Esty.
Any accessories that are part of your bridal look should also be with your dress so I know what to photograph without interfering with your preparations. Veils should also be hanging somewhere to ensure no creases.

Wedding Dress

 

Guests Do NOT Step Into The Aisle

Asking the celebrant before the ceremony begins not to allow guests to cross the aisle as the bride and groom are walked up it will help ensure that the critical shot is not spoiled.
It happens so often now with everyone trying to get that shot on their smart phone but this can really ruin one of the most important shots of the day for you.

Bride Arriving

Restrictions

It is advisable to get in touch with your celebrant before the day to clarify whether photography is allowed and under what conditions, so that no misunderstandings or unnecessary conflicts arise. There have been times when I have been explicitly forbidden to photograph during the ceremony, either at all or even during the vows. Naturally, this can be extremely disappointing if you do not know the rules of the house prior to your day.
In advance of the ceremony, I always introduce myself to whoever is conducting it, and assure them that I do not interfere and that I use natural light only. Ideally, the couple should inform me of any restrictions before the wedding day so I can reassure them.

The Bridal Shoot

As soon as you arrive at your venue or location choice, I will take you right to the photography area. If you go into the venue you may be delayed by guests wanting to congratulate you again. It will delay your photography and affect the light on the day.
Typically, I get all of the bridal party together first and, when I’m done taking their photos, I have them step out of the shot and have the bride and groom move to their favorite locations for those precious couple shots. For instance, members of the wedding party could take charge of organising one’s relatives at this point.
Depending on where your event starts, the timeline can be different. I can accommodate any changes, as my clients can tell you. I also like to move quickly and would like to try and wrap up the bridal photos in an hour. Don’t forget you have people waiting to have their picture taken with you and enjoy the day, too.

Natural Bridal Party Image

Stay Together For Family Photos

As family photos can take the longest on the day, I leave them for after the bridal shoot is finished. Unless have already been covered at the church or ceremony venue.
Organisation is KEY if you want things to go smoothly. For example, all family members/bridal party members can convene for family photos in one location and be finished with the task quickly. You might want to select two members from your extended family or bridal party to play the role of personal assistants and carry an air of authority to the wedding day; these two family members should ideally be from different branches of the family tree, or from your side of the family and his.
My typical family photography shoots involve the couple with their parents, their parents and siblings, their parents with their siblings and their partners, and their kids on each side. If you choose one location, you’ll be able to have time with your guests quickly. I would be glad to include any other family members (grandparents, etc.) you would like to include in the family pictures.

Don’t Stress About Little Things

Inevitably, something will go wrong, but the only people who will know about it are the bride and groom and those around them. Don’t let it ruin your wedding. You should enjoy the day and not be tense or stressed as it will be reflected in your photographs. You will laugh it off the next day and regret it ruined your day.

And Finally, Enjoy Every Minute

I can guarantee you that the day will go so quickly. Make sure you take 20 minutes with your new spouse before you head out for dinner.

After your photos are completed, you can relax while everyone is called into dinner, taking time together to take in the fact that you are now married.

I hope you have found this blog a little helpful for tips on your day. Following this advice will help to make your day run smoothly and you have the best photographs EVER.

Love Melissa x

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