I’ve been photographing weddings for over 20 years and I’d say I do have a few tips for the bride that I feel would help yours and your guests’ experience. So, here we go, below are my top wedding tips for the bride.
On the day, let go.
A bride spends many hours organising their special day of celebration. I can recall one particular Bride saying that she had been planning her wedding for 3 years. Prior to the wedding, this lovely bride put together an itinerary. The detail was incredible, every minute of the day was included in the details. I remember she had put timings to the minute: Mum arrives 11:15am; Flowers arrives at 11:24am; Groom arrives at 12:05pm and so on.
My tip is your wedding is it’s fantastic to plan, but on the day, let go and enjoy your wedding, unexpected events do happen, changes to timings could and do happen! I can remember this particular bride was checking her watch throughout the day and started to get upset, until her mum very kindly explained that “this day is so special, let go and enjoy your wedding”. Be organised up to a point that makes room for unexpected events, and delegate the day over to your chief bridesmaid or a close friend! This is the most important of all the tips for the bride!
2PM is the Perfect Time to Start
I can honestly say that the best time to set your ceremony to begin is 14:00. All your guests will have had plenty of time to arrive at the location and the day runs beautifully, your ceremony (if a church wedding) would end by 14:45. Photos, canapés and time to enjoy the day before sitting down at around 16:30. Then, speeches perfectly run into the evening, where your evening guests begin to arrive at 19:30.
With a 2PM wedding, the day runs beautifully from one magical event to the next. A 12PM wedding is wonderful. However be prepared for areas in the day where things slow down, arrange for some extra entertainment and nibbles for your guests to help keep things fun for everyone.
The Bride released similar reception time ideas that could inspire the phases of your wedding day.
Limit Formal Group Photos
Keep your formal group photos to a minimum. I recommend no more than 5 because in your wedding album you will possibly only choose the main group photo (weather and room allowing). In addition, you want to enjoy your wedding day and lots of group photos can be quite challenging time wise! Hire a reportage wedding photographer and let him/her capture your day for you.
Dedicated Photography Area
As previously mentioned, we have documented wedding’s all over the UK and abroad. We have had the privilege of working in some of the most prestigious locations, venues, castles, monasteries, villas and hotels.
One needs to remember that the venue wants your wedding experience to be first class. They fully understand that recording memories whether this be through the art of photography, video or both services are one of the most important aspects of your wedding day.
However, on occasions the venue will overlook the requirement to have a dedicated area for photographs should there be weather conditions that make photographing your day outside impossible. So, check with your venue, ask them if they have a contingency plan should the day’s weather make it impossible for outside photos.
Remove the Receiving Line
I have attended wedding’s where the receiving line has taken 80 minutes. You may ask yourself why, well, just remember every guest will want to say a few words to the newly married couple. As an example, let’s say there are 50 guests and each guest spends 1 minute congratulating the Bride and Groom. That’s 50 minutes! My advice here, leave out the receiving line. However, if this is a must for you, then ensure the venue knows about this to ensure the timing’s for the wedding breakfast are included.
If you find public speaking difficult, keep your speech to the minimum, words with love and emotion are better than just words!
Enjoy Your Wedding Day
The most important tip is “Enjoy your wedding day” as it’s a once in a lifetime experience. Don’t stress about the weather or about little details that know one will ever notice. Laugh, smile and have fun and make sure it’s captured, so you can look back and relive the day forever.