first dance wedding at warwick house

Top 10 Wedding Tips

For a stress-free, fun wedding!

So you are planning your dream wedding and yes it’s so stressful! A wedding is just one day that you experience that will be in your memories forever and you want that to run as smoothly as possible. A wedding isn’t just a traditional church ceremony and a party with cake, it’s a celebration of your love for one another so it’s great fun gathering all the perfect suppliers along with your beautiful wedding venue to make your wedding day truly amazing!

This blog post is here for future couples to read and get my opinion on what are some important tips to think about before your wedding day takes place.

Enjoy reading my wedding top tips!

Top Tip Number 1

Plan enough time to get ready (bridal or groom preparations): Allow yourself time to make sure you have a filling breakfast and time to wake up properly before the makeup and hair routine takes place. I strongly advise considering how many in your bridal party there to get ready and hiring the right amount of hair and makeup artists to get your bridal party ready quickly, ready for you to be transformed after them.

Once your hair and makeup are complete make sure you have enough time to get your wedding dress and accessories on along with some time left aside to have some bridal or groom portraits before you head off to say I do. I highly recommend having at least 30 minutes of spare time from the moment you are dressed until you have to leave or see the registrar this will allow the perfect time to get some amazing photographs of you all glammed up!

bridal prep makeup shot
The beautiful Jessika getting her makeup completed at Warwick House in Warwickshire.

Top Tip Number 2

Choose a ceremony time that isn’t too early or too late (especially for winter weddings). For my 2022 weddings, I typically captured the ceremonies mostly between 12 and 2 pm and these were great times as that allowed the couple enough time to get ready along with enough time afterward to get married and not rush about at certain aspects of the wedding day.

I also advise that during winter weddings (November to February) not to have your wedding ceremony any later than 2 pm simply because you lose the light and if you’re wanting bright formal photos outside in the wedding venue grounds it isn’t going to happen. Also, the weather often deters my couples from standing outside in the cold for a long period of time for their formal. Of course, it can be done but this is just my advice from my experience as a professional wedding photographer.

clearwell castle walking down aisle
My bride Paige walking down the aisle with her dad at Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire near Wales.

Top Tip Number 3

Take your time to take it all in as a wedding can be overwhelming. My couples will often end up inviting anywhere between 50 to over 150 wedding guests and it takes a long time to actually say hi to everyone. All I like to advise is after your ceremony to do a greeting line, this is where you stand where all the guests are exiting, and take your time to say your hellos and give emotional hugs to them as many have traveled far to celebrate your wedding day. My next piece of advice after this is to take a moment just you two and go have some time to yourselves for 10 minutes.

You plan this whole day and some couples often don’t get the opportunity to stop and breathe and give the person they’ve just married a hug and ask them if they are okay. Don’t worry though, your wedding photographer will capture many beautiful candid photos of your guests during this time.

romantic wedding photo in wedding car
Alyce & Ray enjoying their beautiful wedding car on their way to the wedding reception at the Cotswolds Hotel & Spa.

Top Tip Number 4

Do have wedding confetti! The reason is it’s so fun and makes for beautiful wedding photographs. I always get my couples to do an exit line outside their wedding venue (if permitted) and have my couple walk through the middle of the two lines of wedding guests. The results I receive are absolutely amazing with the majority of my couples laughing and smiling with a small percentage of them looking terrified! I highly recommend bright and colourful confetti and lots of it too, this makes it stand out so much more in the photographs I capture rather than having a pale colour. Places that sell confetti include Adam Apple, Confetti Direct and you can also consider making your own from your used flowers which is always a cheaper solution!

Lisa & Kieron enjoying their confetti shower at Spring Grove House (Safari Park Venue) in Kidderminster.

Top Tip number 5

Please let your wedding photographer know your timeline and plans within the day, including the list of shots you want. I love knowing the timeline of a wedding day this gives me time to plan what can happen where and of course when the most important moments of the day are such as speeches and the first dance. Every wedding couples wedding day is different so you can’t presume your photographer will know what you plan to do at what point so it’s always so important that you communicate with them at all times.

From experience my couples have had surprise gifts, singing waiters, and also choreographed first dances and without my couples mentioning this to me I may not have been set up correctly to capture the moment. Another important thing is to tell your wedding photographer what photos you want to capture. By this I mean shots that mean the most to you, of course, there will be the usual shots captured like the first kiss and exchange of the rings, etc… But with my requested photo list I mean certain shots with family members, more requested shots of an elderly grandparent or your children, a shot of your beautiful jimmy choo heels or Rolex watch.

The photos you request need to be moments that you wish to look back on and have certain shots of. Along with this bare in mind, your family formals list and these are the traditional photographs that you will hang on your wall for decades. Please consider though how many you choose as they take time and my couples often end up bored after 20 minutes of standing and smiling whilst I yell out the next lot of family members to join in.

family wedding formal photographs
Fun group photo for Kirsty & Carl’s wedding day at Nunsmere Hall in Northwich.

Top Tip Number 6

Plan when you are going to have your couple portraits. These are your wow images and the images that I show off in my portfolio for my future couples to see. They are romantic, intimate, and truly fun and I adore capturing these for my couples. You and your partner have to decide how you both want to be captured whether that’s more documentary or if you want to be adventurous and let me have some fun in capturing some artistic shots for you both to love!

I always say to my couples the perfect time to capture the portraits is after the family formals when its daylight and the sun is often high, secondly when the sun is setting and you get the beautiful golden hour images, and lastly to go out in twilight or the dark and let’s capture some shots with my off camera flash. At the end of the day, it is your choice how much you want photography to be a part of your day whether it’s more candid or planned.

sunset golden hour photos
Alyce & Ray portrait session during golden hour at the Cotswolds Hotel & Spa.

Top Tip Number 7

Plan out what suppliers you want and how much you plan to spend. Weddings can cost anything from a few hundred by popping to the local registry office to thousands of pounds and no matter what you plan on spending your day will be perfect for you two and that is all that matters. When I got married back in 2019, I started planning two years prior and the first things I booked were the wedding venue and the registrars as they were the most important things because without them I wasn’t getting married.

After those two I began looking for my wedding photographer (this took me ages around 3 months I was so indecisive!). Wedding photography was one of the most important aspects of the day for me and I know yes I’m going to say that I am a wedding photographer. However, in 2017 I wasn’t a photographer but these were memories I wanted to capture of an event that will only be happening once in my life (I hope). I was delighted with who I chose who crazily has a style very similar to my own being very colourful and fun and I suppose that’s where I gained my inspiration and love for wedding photography when I began the search for my own wedding photographer.

I then began booking my DJ, and cake and I booked a harpist because that’s what I wanted. If I was to plan a wedding for myself now I would do certain things differently in terms of I would have hired a band as I feel like they are more fun and interactive and I would have chosen to do a choreographed first dance as these are what I love about weddings I have been at. The most important thing is to consider what is important to you both, put down deposits as soon as possible for the suppliers you love, and don’t get yourselves into debt for the sake of having something you may not need but want to purely make others happy.

wedding cake cut
Kirsty & Carl enjoying their wedding cake at Nunsmere Hall

Top Tip Number 8

Don’t fret about the small details. Yes, all the small items of decor look truly beautiful and I do photograph them however if the favors get forgotten or your speech doesn’t go the way you planned do not worry about it. Often the guests won’t notice any mistakes or things missing on your wedding day as they are there for you and no matter how your day goes or looks they will love it.

funny bride and groom shot fox inn stourton
Sarah & Tom. I love how they make each other laugh like this. Their wedding day at The Fox Inn Stourton in Staffordshire.

Top Tip Number 9

Get wedding insurance! Some of my couples have never heard of this and it is so important. It covers emergency situations such as venues closing down, and suppliers pulling out last minute. It’s basically your security net that I highly recommend you get as soon as you book your wedding venue. You can get it at a reasonable price from places such as Wedinsure and comparison sites. The fee is worth it even if it’s not used it was there just in case.

Alex & Melissa dancing the night away at Pendrell Hall in Wolverhampton

Top Tip Number 10

My final tip is to enjoy your wedding day! This is a day not many do more than once so I encourage you to treasure it and make the most out of every little thing you have planned. From the moment you wake up until your head hits the pillow, please laugh as much as possible, drink steadily but plenty and eat all the delicious food you have paid so much for because once it is over you will be wanting to experience the day over and over again. Once again this brings me back to your wedding photography and why the service I offer is so important to every one of my couples because they get to look back on their wedding images and re-live their day once again.

celebrative first dance confetti
Jessika & Luke during their amazing first dance which they choreographed with a fun confetti and sparkler finish. Venue Warwick House in Warwickshire.

Get in touch

It’s important we get along so let’s talk. I can’t wait to hear all about your fun, unique wedding plans! Fill in the contact form or give me a call/email always happy to have a natter.          07791674700

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