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The Changing Face Of Wedding Photography in the UK

Wedding photography is a major part of wedding preparations in the UK. Capturing the special day in pictures provides lasting memories for the couple and their guests. In this article, we'll examine key aspects of wedding photography in the UK, from popular styles and trends to challenges photographers face. With lists, diagrams, and real-world examples, we'll explore what it takes to create stunning wedding photos in the UK's one-of-a-kind culture.

There are a few main styles of wedding photography popular in the UK:

Traditional Wedding Photography

This classic approach focuses on posed portraits of the couple and wedding party along with candid shots throughout the day. The goal is to document all the key moments chronologically. Traditional wedding photos range from formal family portraits to pictures of the ceremony, reception events, and wedding details like the cake, invitations, table settings, etc.

Reportage or Photojournalistic Wedding Photography

With a documentary style approach, the photographer captures candid moments as they unfold throughout the day without heavily posing people. The goal is to tell the story of the wedding celebrations through a visual narrative of natural moments. Common shots include getting ready, spontaneous interactions between guests, dancing, speeches, etc. It has a fly on the wall feel.

Vintage Wedding Photography

Vintage style wedding photography applies filters and editing techniques to mimic the aesthetic of wedding photos from past eras. This could include faded, muted colors or a sepia tone for a retro feel. Vintage style photos have an editorial, dreamy quality.

Fine Art Wedding Photography

Fine art wedding photography takes an artistic approach with creative compositions and lighting. The goal is to produce dramatic, visually stunning images by focusing on elements like shadows, silhouettes, negative space, and interesting perspectives. Fine art wedding photos look like they could be displayed in an art gallery.

Lifestyle Wedding Photography

With a lifestyle approach, the photographer captures authentic moments and genuine emotions. Instead of posing people, they let real-life moments happen naturally and find beauty in imperfection. Lifestyle wedding photos have a casual, unscripted look and feel. The focus is on the atmosphere and connections between guests.

Some current trends shaping wedding photography in the UK include:

  • Natural Looking Editing - Couples want photos to look polished but not overly edited or filtered. The goal is for images to look natural and true to life.

  • Documentary Style Shooting - Many couples opt for a documentary shooting style to capture authentic moments as they unfold naturally. Posed photos are decreasing in popularity.

  • Increased Importance of the First Look - Capturing the groom seeing the bride for the first time before the ceremony has become a treasured moment many couples stage.

  • Focus on Emotional Moments - Moments packed with emotion like speeches, reactions during vows, or candid interactions take priority over posed group shots.

  • Drone Photography - Using drones to photograph the wedding from above is an increasingly popular creative trend, allowing for unique aerial group shots and venue images.

  • First Look Photo Shoot - Couples often do a "first look" photo shoot before the wedding, allowing more time for excellent portraits of just the two of them.

Common Challenges

Wedding photographers in the UK face some unique challenges:

British Weather

The unpredictable weather from region to region and quick changing conditions make lighting and outdoor shoots a tricky task. Photographers must be prepared for all weather eventualities.

Historic Venues with Restrictions

Many couples dream of having their wedding in historic castles, churches or stately homes which often have restrictions on allowing flash photography or access to certain areas which creates challenges for photographers to work around.

Lack of Time with Couple

With busy schedules leading up to the wedding, photographers often get limited time with the couple for consultations, engagement shoots, or to scout locations. This restricts the ability to build rapport and familiarity before the big day.

Tight Schedules

The wedding day schedule is usually very tight with limited windows for certain formal photos between the ceremony, reception events, and celebrations. Photographers must work quickly and efficiently.

Low Light Situations

Dim churches, candlelit receptions, and evenings dusk mean photographers need to have skills to adapt to low light situations when flash cannot be used.

Multiple Locations

Having multiple shooting locations from getting ready to the ceremony and reception makes coordinating transport, equipment, and working with multiple videographers/photographers challenging.

Expectations from Wedding TV Shows

Couples sometimes arrive with unrealistic expectations of achieving flawless shots under the unpredictable realities of a wedding live environment influenced by Hollywood portrayals of weddings.

The Wedding Gifts

Selecting the perfect gift for a couple can be difficult. Here are some top wedding gift ideas for celebrating brides and grooms in the UK:

Experience Days

Give the gift of memories by booking the newlyweds a fun experience day like hot air ballooning, zip lining, pottery workshops, wine tasting or couples massages.

Learn more about experience day wedding gifts.

Bed Linens

Newlyweds setting up their first home together will appreciate high-end bed sheets, pillowcases and luxury duvet/quilt sets for the bedroom.


A set of new pots and pans, elegant glassware, stainless steel cutlery or modern kitchen gadgets makes a practical present.

Photo Album

Customize a beautiful bound photo album with the couple's engagement or wedding photos inside to become a treasured keepsake.

Honeymoon Contribution

Help the newlyweds enjoy their dream honeymoon by contributing any amount to their travel fund.

Home Décor

Consider giving personalized art, fancy candlesticks, cozy throw blankets, picture frames or other home accessories.


Treat the bride to elegant bridal lingerie like a lace robe, silk negligee, or satin pajama set.

Your Wish Wedding List?

Creating a wedding gift list or registry is customary for engaged couples in the UK. Here are some tips for making the perfect UK wedding gift list: [et_pb_line_break_holder] -->

Traditional Store Registries

Many UK couples register for gifts across big retailers like John Lewis, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Argos, Currys or Next. These let guests browse and purchase items the couple has selected in-store and online.

Honeymoon Contribution Lists

Rather than register for physical gifts, some couples now create a small registry asking for monetary contributions towards honeymoon expenses and experiences.

Charity Donation Lists

Couples who live together before marriage often already have everything they need for their home. Registering for charity donations lets them give back.

Learn more techniques for creating gift lists that suit your wedding style, priorities and guest considerations.

Crowdfunding Pages

New platforms like Patchwork allow couples to add a wide range of cash fund experiences, items, and vouchers from various retailers and services in one personalized list.

Multi-Retailer Apps/Websites

Apps and sites like Zankyou allow engaged couples to register for gifts across a variety of retailers and add items from any website they choose in one master list.

Unique Item Registries

Instead of mainstream store options, create a list focused on specialty items like art, plants, board games, vinyl records, or handcrafted wares from independent makers.

Wedding Problems: Handle the Unexpected

Despite the best laid plans, weddings often encounter unexpected challenges and mishaps. Here are tips on gracefully handling problems at UK weddings:

Have a Backup Plan

Develop contingency plans for potential issues like rain, travel delays, booking errors, late vendors or no-shows. Communicate plans to the wedding party and vendors to avoid panic if a problem arises.

Learn strategies to prepare contingency plans for key wedding elements like transportation, attire, suppliers, decor, entertainment, and weather emergencies.

Assign Problem Solvers

Designate trusted family or wedding party members to handle any issues and make decisions to allow you to focus on enjoying the day. Delegate specific roles like point person for venues, transport captain, or decorator coordinator.

Weather-Proof Plans

Have rain plans ready like moving ceremony undercover, providing umbrellas, or offering waterproof wrap ponchos. For heat, provide fans, water spray bottles and extra water. Prepare emergency winter equipment for snow like salt and shovels.

Build in Extra Time

Allow buffer time in the schedule between event components like travel time between the ceremony and reception venue to accommodate any hiccups or delays that arise.

Stock Emergency Kit

Keep an emergency bag with things like backup makeup, hairspray, clothing tape/thread/needles, stain removal wipes, and safety pins to quickly handle wardrobe issues.

Focus on the Positives

If a problem arises, try to reframe positively. Minor issues will likely go unnoticed by guests celebrating your joyful union. Go with the flow and let the little things go.

Who Am I Walking Down the Aisle With?

English wedding traditions offer several options for who will walk the bride down the aisle. Here are common choices UK brides make and considerations when selecting this meaningful honor:

Father of the Bride

Having your dad escort you down the aisle is the most traditional option and provides a touching moment to share. Consider your relationship and if he is up for the physical task.

Both Parents

Walking with both your mother and father offers a compromise that shares the duties and symbolizes their family bond.

Learn more factors to weigh when deciding who will walk you down the aisle.

Mother of the Bride

For a non-traditional feminist twist, choose your empowering mom for this special duty or have both parents participate.

Other Family Member

If your parents aren't able or willing, consider your brother, uncle, grandfather, or a close loved one to fill this treasured role.

Friend or Sibling

For brides estranged from family or who want a more modern choice, a close friend or preferred sibling can provide support.

Solo Walk

For an independent entrance, opt to proudly walk the aisle on your own in a symbol of strength and self-sufficiency.

No Aisle Walk

Alternatively, nix the aisle walk altogether and have bride and groom enter together from the side or already be present.


Include kids from previous marriages by having them walk down the aisle just before the bride's entrance.

The choice depends on your family situation, values and the mood you want to set. Select someone who will reassure and steady you on the big day.

Wedding Fun Ideas

Incorporating fun elements into your UK wedding celebrations will keep guests entertained and make for lasting memories. Here are creative ideas to add playful flair:

Food and Drinks

  • Serve popcorn or fish and chips late night
  • Infuse cocktails with favorite flavors
  • Provide hangover survival kits as favors
  • Use a donut wall instead of cake
  • Have an ice cream sundae bar

Activities and Games

  • Set up lawn games like croquet, badminton, or giant Jenga outside
  • Project live video or photos from a photo booth
  • Organize a casual polaroid scavenger hunt
  • Rent a bouncy castle, slot car racing, or arcade games
  • Appoint wedding party members to be in charge of getting people dancing

Décor and Music

  • Use props and signs with inside jokes for guest photos
  • Create a personalized soundtrack or couple playlist
  • Have the MC lead fun group dances and line dances
  • Use festival lighting like string lights and paper lanterns
  • Display nostalgic items from your childhood at the reception

Special Touches

  • Have dogs involved as ring bearers, flower girls, or ushers
  • Surprise guests with a fireworks show or confetti cannons
  • Provide flip flops for relief from wedding shoes
  • Make the dress code festive black tie using bold colors and patterns
  • Appoint energetic friends as social media correspondents

Getting creative with interactive elements and entertainment will ensure your celebration truly reflects you as a couple and provide wonderful memories of your special day.

Riding the Rainbow Wave: The Revolution in LGBTQ Inclusive Wedding Industry

The legalization of same-sex marriage has revolutionized the UK wedding industry. More venues, vendors and resources accommodate LGBTQ couples than ever before. Here are insights into the major advances:

Celebrating Diversity

The wedding industry has shifted focus to celebrate diverse couples rather than treat them as outliers. Advertising and editorial content now regularly features same-sex couples.

LGBTQ Friendly Vendors

From venues to planners, photographers and florists, couples have an expanding pool of vendors to choose from who proudly publicize that they offer LGBTQ inclusive services.

Gender Neutral Language

Vendor profiles, contracts and wedding websites use inclusive language like "couple" instead of "bride and groom." Menus, invitations and registries also utilize gender neutral wording.

Learn more about the revolution in LGBTQ wedding resources and acceptance.

Specialized Resources

Dedicated wedding blogs, magazines, agencies and fairs exist to connect LGBTQ couples with the best gay-friendly vendors. Mainstream sites also include LGBTQ categories and filters.

Celebrating Authenticity

Couples feel empowered to fully personalize traditions and details to reflect their unique relationship without conforming to restrictive binaries and assumptions.

Marriage-Based Language

Terms like "marriage equality" and "same-sex marriage" are now widely used in place of "gay marriage" or "civil partnerships" denoting marriage rights.

Acceptance Training

Many wedding pros actively train staff on providing an inclusive, welcoming environment and using appropriate language for LGBTQ celebrations.

The UK wedding landscape has transformed to openly embrace diverse couples, letting LGBTQ pairs celebrate their weddings authentically.

Wedding Jewellery Photography: 23 Creative Photo Ideas

Showcasing wedding rings, necklaces and other bridal jewellery creatively in photos offers lots of possibilities. Here are 23 sparkling ideas to inspire dazzling jewellery shots:

On Bouquets

Drape necklaces delicately over flowers or nestle rings amid petals for romantic images.

Against Wedding Details

Photograph a ring sitting atop invitations, menus or fabric from the bridal gown for context.

On Trees

Hang necklaces on branches, nestle rings in the knots, or wrap strands around trunks for an organic look.


Capture rings and jewels reflecting beautifully in mirrors, water surfaces, glassware or other reflective items.

See examples and tutorials for 23 creative ways to photograph wedding rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces.

On Hands or Fingers

Get creative with close up placement of rings and bracelets on hands, fingers or wrists for personalized and intimate perspectives.

With Textures or Patterns

Position jewelry against or on top of interesting visual textures like wood grain, lace, flowers or feathers.

Black Backgrounds

Shooting rings and necklaces against solid black backgrounds really makes them pop. Add creative lighting for stunning high contrast results.

With the Dress or Suit

Coordinate shots of the jewelry with gown or tuxedo details like bow ties, sleeves or buttons.

Geometric Compositions

Arrange multiple pieces in interesting geometric layouts and patterns for visually striking designs.

On Signage

Place rings and necklaces atop individual letters from celebratory signs like "Just Married" or the couple's initials.

Surprise Locations

Photograph jewelry in unexpected spots around the wedding or reception venue to document the day.

With Wispy Fabrics

Capture movement and whimsy by showcasing jewelry dangling from delicate fabrics like tulle, lace, or gauze.

Black and White

Converting jewellery images to black and white adds classic, timeless elegance. Include selective color for extra pop.

On Couples

Feature rings and necklaces in situ on couples' hands or necks in posed or candid wedding day shots.

In Boxes

Nestle rings inside their boxes, on top of the boxes, or beside them to display wedding sets.

With Cake

Group rings artfully atop wedding cake tiers or beside sliced cake for celebratory images.

With Flowers or Greenery

Surround jewelry with floral details like petals, garlands, bouquets or wreaths to enhance the pieces.

In Motion

Capture moving shots of jewellery swaying, spinning or dangling for a sense of energy and activity.

With Books or Notes

Photograph meaningful books, handwritten notes, or typed lyrics related to the couple's relationship alongside wedding jewellery.


Use creative backlighting techniques to make jewellery details pop or appear in silhouette.

Details and Angles

Take abstract close up shots focused on exquisite design details from unique perspectives and angles.

On Figurines

Adorn wedding cake toppers, statuettes, or figurines with necklaces and rings to infuse personality.

The possibilities for creatively showcasing wedding jewellery details are endless! Use these sparkling ideas as inspiration to tell the unique story of the couple's special day.