Your wedding will be one of the most important and amazing days of your life, and the photographs from the day will help you relive it forever - so it's worth thinking carefully about your wedding photography to ensure you get the shots you want for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.
Choosing your photographer
One of the most important choices you will make about your wedding photography is who to hire as your photographer. Obviously, budget will be a consideration here, but your photographer may be with you throughout your wedding day, so as well as choosing one whose style of photography you like, also take the time to check they are someone you can trust and will get on with! You can get some sense of what they’re like from talking to them before you book, but it’s also worth checking photographers’ reviews to see what others say. Do reviews comment on how they put people at ease? Do they mention that guests found them friendly? Do they appear flexible as well as professional?
When checking out potential photographers' portfolios, look to see who might best match your vision for your wedding - for example, do you want a more traditional, formal and posed approach to your shots or a more relaxed, less formal, documentary style? And, do you like natural, timeless pictures or ones that have a vintage, dreamy or other effect applied?
Once you've found a photographer whose style and reviews you like, you can't beat talking to them, either on the phone or in person, to make your final decision.
All day or part day coverage
Once you've chosen a photographer that matches your style and budget, it's time to think about what aspects of your wedding you want photographed. You might opt to have full coverage for the whole day from getting ready, through the ceremony, drinks reception and into the evening with some family portraits along the way. At the other end of the spectrum, you might just have a photographer cover the ceremony with a few family group photos afterwards. If your budget is very tight and you can't afford the photographer you want for the whole day, you might consider hiring your chosen photographer to cover the most important parts of the day and then asking a friend you trust to take candid photos of the rest of the day.
Allowing time for the photos you want
The next thing is to allow enough time during your day to get the photographs you want. This is particularly important if you want group photos of family and friends, together with some bride and groom portraits, in addition to documentary coverage of the day as it unfolds. To ensure you get the group shots you want, you should draw up a shot list with your photographer and allow around 3 - 5 minutes per small group photo and up to 10 minutes per large group photo (more than 10 people) in your schedule.
For larger weddings, it's also a good idea to share your shot list with someone in the wedding party who knows all your guests, so they can help round everyone up for each photo and will know if someone is missing! To help with this, try to plan group photos for a time when everyone will be together in one place - usually immediately after the ceremony - before they have a chance to wander off!
Then you will also need to allow 20 - 30 minutes if you want some bride and groom portraits, as well as travel time there and back if having your portraits taken at a location away from the venue. If you've timed your wedding day schedule too tightly, it's your photographs - the one thing that you can keep to relive your special day in years to come - that will suffer. So, plan your day with plenty of time for the photographs you want and not only will you get some stunning photos to remember the day by, you'll also have a more relaxed day too!