Photography Preparation

Preparing for your Wedding Photography

We want you to enjoy your wedding day and we always try to get our job done with the minimum of fuss. That’s why we need to gather all of the information beforehand and ensure that we will have the correct access and permissions to take your photographs. We also need lists of who is to be included in your photos and a copy of your wedding day itinerary. The list below will provide you with a complete checklist:-

1. Access to Parks and Gardens

Please make sure that you have permission to have your photographs taken in the locations where you wish them to be taken: Access for wedding photographs in many public parks requires permission from the local council. Access to private gardens is only allowed with the consent of the owner. Often there are small fees which require to be paid in advance. In some popular garden locations there are also designated ‘time slots’. If possible try to get confirmation in writing.

2. Bad Weather Contingency

We very much hope that your wedding day will be dry and sunny, but this is not always how it turns out. Even in the middle of summer it might be too wet or too windy to have photographs taken outside; so it is important that you arrange a suitable indoor photo location with your wedding venue and/or reception venue in advance of your wedding day. This is all the more important if you wish to have photos of larger family groups where some larger space is required.

3. Permission to Take Photographs During the Wedding Ceremony

Most ministers and priests are fairly accommodating in allowing photographs to be taken during the wedding ceremony. However you should not assume that this will be the case. Some ministers and priests, and even some civil registrars, impose some restrictions on the photographs which can be taken. Unfortunately there are a small number of ministers who will not allow any photographs to be taken at all during the ceremony. To avoid disappointment, please check with your own minister or priest or registrar. Our minimum expectation is that we will be allowed to take the following photographs:-

  • Bride and Dad Up the Aisle
  • Exchange of Rings
  • Kiss the Bride
  • Signing the Schedule
  • Bride and Groom Down the Aisle
  • Bride and Groom at Doorway

4. Lists of Photographs

We need to have lists of all the people and combinations that you want to appear in your photographs. To help you prepare your list of photos, we have provided various blank forms for you to print, fill in, and return to us. On the day, we will also need some assistance in gathering guests together; ideally from a member of the wedding party who can recognise your guests. This could be an Usher, Bridesmaid or Best Man. If there are guests that you ‘must have photos with’ in your list, it’s a good idea to let them know shortly beforehand to prevent them from wandering elsewhere when they’re needed.

5. Wedding Day Itinerary

We MUST have a copy of your wedding day itinerary (or running order of events) so that we can advise whether or not we will have enough time to take all of the photographs you request, and also to help us plan ahead with regard to choosing the most suitable times to get particular photographs. It is simply a list of what is due to happen and when. Typically, you should allow at least one hour for the wedding party and other guests and fifteen minutes for the bride and groom. To some extent the time required depends on the number of photographs you wish to have taken, but also on how easy it is to locate the guests to be photographed. We will be better able to advise when we have your completed photo lists.

6. Balancing Your Requirements

In an ideal world there would be plenty of time to get every photo you can think of, but in reality, time is very limited and you may need to rationalise your photo list. It is important that you get photos with you family and friends, but it’s also important that you leave enough time to get the photos that you want of yourselves. It is often the case that couples want so many photos with their extended families and friends, that they don’t leave enough time for their own personal photos. Ideally we would like to have half an hour with the bride and groom in a suitable location – but 15 minutes as a minimum.

7. Being on Time

It’s a popular thought that a bride is allowed to be late for her wedding day, but what you may not realise is that the wedding ceremony is fixed in length and that the meal or speeches will start at a pre-arranged time, regardless of when the ceremony started. So if your wedding is running late, it is your photography time that will be cut. For example, if you’ve only allowed an hour to get your main photos done and your ceremony starts half an hour late, you are effectively cutting the photographer’s time by half, with obvious consequences for your photo list! Being on time is especially important if your wedding is a ‘later start’, e.g. 2:30pm or 3:00pm. If your start time is 1:00pm and you’re half an hour late, there’s a good chance that we can catch up. If your start time is 3:00pm and you’re half an hour late, there is absolutely no chance that we can catch up.

Please ensure that you provide us with all the information we require by completing the three forms that we need. We must have them no later than three weeks before your wedding. Go to the Forms Page of our website.

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