How to plan your wedding day timeline

How to plan your wedding day timeline

Mastering how to plan your wedding day timeline can be a tricky beast to tackle. There’s several moving parts to come together, and very often you need the benefit of experience to know how long a specific part of your wedding will take. And that’s where I come in! As a wedding photographer I get the privilege of observing in great detail about 30 weddings a year – and lots of those weddings are very different and unique in their styling and format. However the one thing that binds them all together is how long each individual part takes. So here’s my mix and match guide to mapping out your wedding day timeline!

4 men wearing green wedding suits stride towards the camera.

The Average Wedding Day Timeline

From my experience, the average wedding lasts about 8 hours from just before the ceremony to just after the first dance. It probably seems like a long time, but quite a few different things happen in that time which break it all up. Plus that old saying really is true – time flies when you’re having fun.

Get Started with a Wedding Day Schedule

Working out your wedding day schedule starts with marking out the main event – firstly, what time is your ceremony? This is the main anchor to your wedding day schedule. If you are having a civil ceremony then you will be required to arrive at your ceremony venue between 25 and 15 minutes before your ceremony start time for an interview. Your registrar will tell you what time they need you to arrive.

a bride and her bridesmaids walk in to marylebone town hall wedding ceremony.

If you are having a religious wedding ceremony then the person leading the ceremony will tell you what time each of you need to arrive. There is generally no need for an interview – but the religious leader may need you to complete other formalities before the ceremony takes place.

For any kind of wedding ceremony, either civil or religious, I would recommend telling your wedding guests to arrive 30 minutes before it is due to start. This allows time for your guests to chat to each other, be greeted by one of you (or one of your wedding helpers) and get themselves settled before the ceremony starts.

mother of the bride is greeted by groom at london wedding ceremony.

For example, if your civil wedding ceremony is due to start at 2pm, then tell your guests to arrive at 1.30pm. One of you (or one of your wedding helpers) will need to be at the ceremony venue at the same time to meet everyone. You will also need to have your interviews before, which could start at 1.45pm and then 1.50pm. 

Timing the Wedding Day Preparation

Once you know what time you need to arrive at your wedding ceremony, you can begin to work out what needs to happen before the ceremony. This part of the day can be fairly hectic, so it’s really helpful to have it planned out in the same way that you plan the rest of the day. The wedding morning works really well when it’s planned backwards. Start with the time that you need to arrive for your wedding ceremony and take off how long it will take you to travel to the ceremony – remember to leave some wriggle room for bad traffic.

bride and groom walk across a city road to a registry office wedding after being dropped off by a taxi

For example if you need to be at your wedding ceremony at 1.45pm, for a 2pm start, and it takes 30 minutes to get there, you need to leave at 1.05pm (allowing for 10 minutes of delay contingency time – it’s better to do a couple of rounds of the block rather than risk being late). 

There is generally quite a lot of excitement in those moments before you leave. So give yourself some time to enjoy that moment. I would aim to be completely ready 15 minutes before leaving so you can enjoy the fizz (or even some fizz!). Plus, if you want any photos of your family and friends seeing you for the first time, you will need some time for that. The last thing on your getting ready action list should be putting your outfit on – and this can be quite a production! If you are wearing a wedding dress, or equally anything that needs to carefully put on, give yourself at least 15 minutes to do so, more if you are also having a veil. Tiny buttons can take a long time to do up! If you are having a make up artist and / or hairdresser to help you get ready for your wedding, let them know what time you want your hair and make up to be finished. They will be able to advise you on what time you will need to start.

father gets choked up as he sees his daughter as bride for the first time at voewood house wedding

For example, if you are scheduling to leave at 1.05pm, you need to aim to be completely ready to leave by 12.50pm. If you are wearing a wedding dress, you will need to put that on at 12.35pm. This means your hair and make up needs to finish by 12.30pm, and your wedding helpers need to be completely ready by the same time (to help you!).   

bride is helped in to her wedding dress by two bridesmaids wearing green at anran farm wedding

Wedding Ceremony Timings

Now that you have a good idea of how the wedding morning all fits together, you can start thinking about your wedding in a normal chronological order. The length of a wedding ceremony is dictated by what kind of ceremony you are having – and ceremonies come in all shapes and sizes. Below is a rough guide to how long each kind of ceremony takes:

  • Civil ceremonies – Between 20 and 40 minutes depending on how many readings and music you have
  • Religious ceremonies – At least 45 minutes, depending on what kind of religious blessing you have and if there is any readings or music.
  • Humanist ceremonies and celebrant led ceremonies – Usually between 20 and 45 minutes, again depending many readings and how much music you want. These kind of ceremonies are the most creative and allow you to really craft something that works for you as a couple. Check out Nat Rayboulds Weds for more info.

For example, if you are having a civil ceremony that starts at 2pm, with two readings, then it will take approximately 30 minutes and finish at 2.30pm.

bride and groom stand at the front of timber walled room in coventry registry office exchanging vows.

How Long Does Confetti Take?

I absolutely LOVE confetti – so if your wedding venues allow you to do it, I would highly recommend planning a confetti moment. In terms of your wedding day schedule, adding confetti to the occasion depends on how many guests you are having. The more guests you have, the longer it will take them to move around between locations (and this is true for all elements of your wedding day – large volumes of people move slowly). Confetti moments are orchestrated by getting everyone in to two lines, getting the confetti distributed and ready to throw. Here’s my rough timings guide for organising the confetti moment right through to you and your beau skipping down the tunnel of fluttering glee. These are based on the number of guests that you plan to have, and can be considerably squeezed by having a team of wedding helpers who are absolutely ON IT in terms of ushering your guests along.

  • 20 or less guests – maximum of five minutes
  • 20 to 80ish guests – Approximately 10 minutes
  • Over 80 guests – between 15 and 25 minutes

For example, if you are getting married at a registry office and have around 50 guests, and will have you confetti immediately after your ceremony finishes at 2.30pm, then your confetti will be finished by 2.40pm

bride and groom hold hands in the air while walking down steps at islington town hall getting showered in confetti

How Long Do Wedding Group Photos Take?

I tend to let couples decide how many family group arrangements they want. The most important thing to remember is that group photos take time, you will need to allocate enough time for all the group photos that you want. I find it takes me an average of 4 minutes to take one group photo arrangement – and this is usually with the help of your wedding helpers sourcing the various people for me.

bride and groom stand with bridesmaids and groomsmen laughing for a wedding party group photo

For a big group photo of all of your guests together, again, this takes longer than 4 minutes and entirely depends on how many guests you have.

  • 20 or less guests – approximately 5 minutes
  • 20 to 80ish guests – approximately 10 minutes
  • Over 100 guests – approximately 20 minutes

For example, if you want 5 family group arrangements then I would recommend to start these after you’ve had 15 minutes to hug and kiss your guests (and give yourself a break!). They would start at 2.55pm and finish at 3.15pm. 

group photograph of all guests at a cultural fusion wedding

How Long do Couple Portraits Take?

I am yet to meet a couple who is really excited about having their photograph taken for the couple portraits. And I can completely understand! However I tend to find that the couple portrait part of the day is a really nice way to step away from the energy of your wedding and just have some 1:1 time. You can make your couple portraits as epic and adventurous, or as simple and intimate as you like. I generally recommend that couples schedule about 20 minutes for some couple portraits to be taken during the day. If you fancy taking advantage of a beautiful sunset, then it’s well worth setting aside an additional 10 minutes during golden hour on your wedding day. 

groom leads bride wearing jumpsuit along pavement littered with autumnal leaves

For example, if you wanted to have you couple portraits on the way to your reception venue (which is both time efficient allows for a variety of portrait locations) then you should schedule to leave your ceremony venue at 3.15pm and arrive at your reception venue at 3.45pm – assuming that it takes 10 minutes to travel between the venues and giving yourselves 20 minutes for couples photos and the chance to have a breather.

bride and groom stand laughing out loud outside the front of a green and yellow double decker bus

Wedding Breakfast Timing

Your food is usually one of the big focal points of your wedding day. Your caterer will be able to advise you on how long the food service will take from start to finish. They will also need to know roughly what time you want the service to start. So if you want to have a lot of activity (like group photos) between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the food service, let them know so that they can help guide you on what time the food service should start.

wedding guest bites in to burger at pink themed wedding

It’s worth remembering that some things wrap around the food service also take up time. If you want to have a receiving line to meet all of your guests as they go in to dinner, then you should allocate about 30 seconds per guest to estimate how long a receiving line will take. Guests also need a bit of time to actually find their seats at a wedding – they need to find their names on the seating plan, find their table and then their seat. I would recommend to allocate between 15 and 30 minutes for guests to be fully seated after being called for dinner. 

For example, you many want to schedule the start of your wedding food after all your guests have had a chance to settle in to your reception venue and enjoy a drink. If everyone has arrived at the venue by 3.45pm, has 30 minutes to settle in and are then called to dinner at 4.15pm and are then fully seated with the first course on the tables at 4.30pm.

groom stands at the bar of a pub wedding with dad drinking pints of beer

How Long Should a Wedding Speech Be?

There’s no strict rules with how long a speech ‘should’ be, and this is one part of the day that you fully control! From hearing many wedding speeches over the years I would recommend to ask your speakers to keep their speeches to a maximum of 10 minutes long. Especially if you are having a lot of different speakers. While the speeches are very often the most entertaining part of the day (and what gets talked about as people reminisce about your wedding), guests can get a bit fidgety and distracted if an individual speech goes longer than 10 minutes.

For example, if you have your speeches after the main course has been cleared, but before the dessert is served, then you may want to schedule the speeches to start at 6pm. If three people speak then they should finish by 6.30pm, after which the dessert is served. 

asian bride in purple and pink wedding sari giving a speech as husband looks on

Cake Cut and First Dance Timings

If you’re cutting a cake, or a stack of cheese, then that actual moment doesn’t take very long at all – usually between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on whether you want your guests to crowd around and cheer, or whether you want it to be a simple and intimate moment. The lengthy task is actually the cutting up of the cake / cheese – which is thankfully done by your catering team!

bride struggles to cut cake tower with groom at clapton roundhouse wedding

If you are having a first dance (not everyone does!), it’s another speedy ritual that takes less than 5 minutes. But it can be a great way to mark the start of the most fun part of the wedding – the party!

For example, if your dessert is cleared away at 7pm, then you may want to mark the end of dinner by cutting the cake at 7pm. Then clearing the dining room and meeting your evening guests from 7.30pm, and getting your party started with a first dance at 8pm.

bride and groom welcome guests on to dance floor after first dance at Shustoke Farm Barn Wedding

Other Wedding Day Schedule Considerations

This schedule won’t suit every wedding, but hopefully it gives you a rough idea of how long individual elements of your wedding actually take. If you are getting married at one venue, where single rooms will need to be turned around by venue staff, then you should also build that turnaround time in to the plan for the day (you will thankfully save time and money by not having to travel between venues!). Getting married at a single wedding venue generally means that you have the help of a wedding coordinator who will able able to assist with timing. Alternatively you can also hire in help just for the day, and an ‘on the day wedding coordinator’ is a really effective use of your money to assist in everything running smoothly while you concentrate on having fun!

wedding guests hold white shoe up in the air on wedding dancefloor at ikon gallery wedding

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Guide to choosing a wedding photographer

Guide to choosing a wedding photographer

YAY! If you’re reading this then the chances are that you’re at my favourite stage of the wedding planning process – choosing your wedding photographer! While I am a wedding photographer, I’m super passionate about couples booking the photographer that’s right for them and their wedding. So I’ve written this guide to help you reduce the overwhelm of choosing a wedding photographer. After all, there are so many of us, and so many of us are absolutely flippin great!

How to choose a good wedding photographer

I get it, it’s hard even on a website to know who will be the right photographer for you, but there are things to look for that help make the choice a lot easier. When you have found one the first thing you want to check is their portfolio.

Portfolio consistency is key

I know it’s fairly obvious that you should check out a wedding photographers portfolio to see the very best of their work, but it’s also worth reviewing it with critical eyes. Look for consistency in both the kind of photo and editing style. When looking at the portfolio if you see images that look like they could have been photographed by 4 different people, the chances are they could have been and a lack of consistency can raise the red flags. An experienced photographer develops a signature style that can instantly be recognised in all their photographs. When you choose a wedding photographer that has a consistent style, you are going to be more certain about what your wedding photos will look like.

Read their “About Me” page

The person you choose is going to be capturing your wedding day – and probably all day too! It’s a big deal and to help you choose you need to get to know them as a person. Your photographer is with you on a very emotionally charged and intimate day, and you want to make sure you have a good bond and trust the person. Take a look at their About Me page, read about them, get to know them and what they stand for. Do you have similar values? Do you believe in what they are trying to do? Do they sound like they would fit in with your friends and family?

bride and groom standing chatting to wedding guests on london street

Read their blog

Lots of photographers use their blog to share super helpful and informative content to help you and your wedding, but also insight into their recent work too. Take a look at their blog and the advice they share, their experiences and the recent weddings they have shot. You can check mine out here. 

Check out their Social Media profiles

Another way to get to know your photographer is by looking at their social media profiles – Instagram and Facebook can give great insight into their days, how they shoot weddings and some fun behind the scenes too. However, just keep in mind that just because a photographer doesn’t use social media channel, doesn’t mean they’re not any good. They might simply not use social media!

 

Not sure which awesome wedding photographer to choose to shoot your wedding? Leave your email below to get my free and impartial guide on how to choose your wedding photographer

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How to choose your wedding photographer

How to choose your wedding photographer

 

So Many Awesome Wedding Photographers and Only One Wedding!

Choosing a wedding photographer can be a really tough decision – primarily because there’s so many of us. And bearing in mind that most of my friends are wedding photographers too, I know that they are flipping awesome! This has the advantage that we now live in a world where many weddings are being beautifully photographed, but the disadvantage for the people doing the choosing is that it can feel pretty overwhelming when you first scratch the surface. But fear not – I want to help guide you through how to choose your wedding photographer! While I am a wedding photographer it’s worth saying that I’m not right for every wedding. It might be me, it might not be me! In this series of blog posts I’m going to take you through the things to think about when choosing your wedding photographer.

First up, you really need to think about what you both want.

Bride hugs bridesmaid. Image in wedding blog post how to choose your wedding photographer

The Different Styles of Wedding Photography

Firstly think about the style of photography that you like. Have a solid scroll on instagram and see what’s available out there. Do you want things very relaxed and informal? Or would you prefer the photos to be more editorial and posed? How a photographer captures your day will be reflected in the style of their photographs. Some photographers like to create beautifully posed scenes like you find in a magazine – this is sometimes called an editorial or fine art style of wedding photography. Other photographers will be more in the habit of just capturing what happens before their eyes – documenting your wedding as it unfolds. This is the kind of wedding photographer that I am! You might see it referred to as documentary wedding photography, informal wedding photography or relaxed wedding photography.

Bride groom first dance with dog. How to choose your wedding photographer. Parrot and pineapple.

Secondly think about how you want the images to actually look. Taking a photo is only half the work when it comes to photography, there’s so much magic that can be created with the editing. And the editing style of a photographer is as unique as their shooting style. Do you like photos that are brightly coloured? Or something more neutral and muted? Is light and airy your jam? Or maybe something dark and moody? With so many flippin great wedding photographers now available, there is literally one to suit everyone’s personal taste. So be sure to book a photographer because you love the way they capture photographs and their signature editing style.

Bride groom laugh in park. How to choose your wedding photographer. Parrot and Pineapple.

Bearing this in mind I would suggest to completely avoid booking just any photographer and telling them how you want them to take the photos and edit them. It would be very difficult for a photographer to change their style to accommodate your needs in this way, as much as they’d love to. Photographers want to capture the best photos for you and be as helpful as possible, but it’s really hard for us to change who we are creatively. So always choose the photographer because you love the way they capture the picture and how they edit the photos. That way you are always going to be happy with the end result.

bride sequin wedding dress and groom walk through confetti at The Old Library Birmingham. Parrot and Pineapple.

Wedding Photography Packages

Next, you want to think about which parts of your wedding day you want captured. Photographers offer lots of different types of packages. Some photographers will just have a single day rate on offer, others will work by the hour. From my experience, the average wedding lasts approximately 8 hours from just before the ceremony through to the first dance. So when you are allocating your wedding budget to the photographer – think about how much of the day you want photographed. If you want photos of you and your team getting ready through to the mega fun party, then you will need to allocate a healthy budget to accommodate that.

Groom friends laugh. Ikon gallery wedding by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography

Now You Know How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

Finally you want to think about what you want from your photographs after the wedding. This is the super exciting bit! You’re paying a lot of money for someone to create your images – make sure that you get to enjoy them afterwards. Most photographers will offer you your images edited and delivered to you via an online gallery where you can download and share the photos. I would recommend that you want to ensure that you chosen wedding photographer will provide you with high resolution images without any watermark as standard – this means that you can print your photos without any funky logo on them. This is what I provide clients with and I know lots of my photographers friends do too. However some photographers may not, so it’s always worth asking.

Sometimes you can order a printed album or slideshow, or have the image files on a USB stick too. Take a look at what a photographer offers after they have photographed the wedding, and what will fit with your budget. It’s very common for clients to opt for a digital package to start and then add in print products at a later date. I have some clients ordering their wedding album two years after they get married.

 

Whatever package you choose – always always print your wedding photos! You cannot enjoy them on a memory stick or hard drive!

Not sure which awesome wedding photographer to choose to shoot your wedding? Leave your email below to get my free and impartial guide on how to choose your wedding photographer

Read what previous clients say about working with me

Check out my wedding photography prices

Find out who I am

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What I need to know as your wedding photographer

What I need to know as your wedding photographer

So, the day is near! Once you have booked me to shoot your wedding I tend to leave you alone to crack on with your thing. I’m on hand to answer questions, but on the whole I tend to find that couples want to just get their date secured and then reconvene with me once all the plans are in place. I’m a very informal, documentary style photographer – so I’m all abut photographing your wedding, as it unfolds, rather than setting up shots. You probably won’t need my input in the early stages of your wedding planning, but I will need to know your plans inside and out once the day draws closer.

Bride and groom kiss during wedding ceremony at The Asylum in London. Image by informal wedding photographer Parrot and Pineapple Wedding Photography

About 6 weeks before your wedding, I’ll send you a questionnaire asking some of the big questions I need to know for the big day (although none as big as the “I do”, obvs). It’s a really informal questionnaire, but it’s chocful of super important information so don’t skip it over. But also, don’t be scared by it – sit down with a coffee, tea, G&T or a vino and treat it like a fun date night amongst all the planning madness. (And a cheap one too, which is all the more welcome when you’re on wedding countdowns…). The best thing is, that all my booked couples get their own snazzy online client portal – so you can dip in and out of answering the questions on the form.

Bridesmaid wearing giraffe mask at fun wedding party. Image by informal wedding photographer Parrot and Pineapple.

I’ll be the supplier that’s there the longest, and I have a very important job to do for you  (no pressure!) so I always want to ensure that we are on the same wavelength. That’s why this day details sheet comes in handy. I will constantly refer back to the plan throughout the day, leaving you and your beau to revel in the height of wedded thrills.

To give you an idea of all the exciting details I’ll be asking you, have a gander at the list below and start racking those brain cells/rummaging around in that wedding binder. Here’s my guide for What To Tell Your Wedding Photographer (AKA me)!

Groom leans in to mic during fun wedding speeches. Image by Parrot and Pineapple.

Contact details

I’ll need both contact numbers and email addresses for you and your partner. It’s helpful to have the basics on hand for any last minute messages. You’ll get both of mine too. Most importantly I’ll need both of your email addresses so that I can send you the email link to your finished set of wedding photos!

Venue

A pretty key one to start with, hey? A verified full address is always necessary – not just “my Dad’s farm” or “Citizen M”. I want postcodes, so I can Google Map that shizz and get exactly where you are with no hassle for you. It also helps me scout out potential locations for our portrait session to give you some relaxing celebratory time together on the day without taking you too far away from the party. If you’re having your day across two venues, make sure you include the info for both, plus the info for where you’re getting ready if I’m covering that too.

Bride and groom walk along city street after Islington Town Hall wedding. Image by Parrot and Pineapple.

Timings

Another thing on the list of absolutely non-negotiably need-to-know things is timings. My super informal, caught-in-the-moment style of photos actually require a lot of pre-planning. I will need to know where to be, when and what the intention is for the day. Then I can ensure I’m absolutely in the right place at the right time. 

Having these timings written down has twofold benefits: firstly, it’s good for me to know when all the ‘major’ events are happening, because although I’m constantly on the lookout for the best moments anyway, it’s good to know when things will be changing up. Secondly, it’s good to have the timings written down as I can then advise on when you’ve not allowed long enough for stuff (group photos!), or point out things you may not have thought of.

Bride and groom stand in front of St Pauls Cathedral. Image by informal wedding photographer Parrot and Pineapple Wedding Photography.

The important people

Now I am pretty rubbish with names! I do not take pride in this, so I’m going to try and blunder through getting names right by having a list of all the important people in advance. Knowing in advance who the key people are at your wedding will mean that not only will I be able to call them by their name, but I’ll also ensure that these people feature in your photos A LOT.

Bride hugs bridesmaid. Feminist wedding photographer. Image by Parrot & Pineapple Wedding Photography.

Group shot lists

Even though I’m all about the spontaneous fun and frolics that badass weddings bring, I totally understand that weddings are an opportunity to get together a group of people who don’t come together very often, and you may want to document that. Group shots are totally fine, but I do advise that we keep them as short as possible to maximise the amount you can enjoy your day and minimise the the time you’re stood with a fake smile wanting to be partying! For this reason I ask for a list of the group shots you’re looking for, itemised with the list of people you want in each one. It’s great if you can include both their relation and their name (this makes it easier for me to find missing people!)

I don’t have any rules around who you choose to have in any group photos (if you want them at all). Most couples tend to go for some combination of the following group shots:

  1. Both families and you and your partner
  2. Your extended family, you and your partner
  3. Your immediate family, you and your partner
  4. Your partner’s extended family, you and your partner
  5. Your partner’s immediate family, you and your partner
  6. The wedding squad, you and your partner

This list will take approximately 25 minutes to work through. If you want to add in other combinations, then you will need to allow for extra time. From my experience of shooting lots and lots of weddings, each combination of a group photo will take 3-4 minutes to organise and shoot.

It’s also super helpful if I can have an official helper from each side of the family – ideally someone who knows who the various different people. Doing so will save a lot of time!

Wedding party group shot in a green garden. Image by informal wedding photographer Parrot and Pineapple.

The details

The devil truly is in the detail, and the marketing devil inside of me LOVES to have a solid brief before the job starts. I’ll ask you to describe what you have planned for your ceremony, and to describe what you have planned for the reception. I’ll need to know about any special surprises that you have planned too. If you’re going to let off confetti canons immediately after your first dance, then I’m going to want to make sure I’m in the best position all ready for that!

Red confetti r aining down on a bride and her friends at the wedding party. Image by Parrot and Pineapple.

Any beef

And I don’t mean guests’ dietary requirements – they should be directed to the caterer. Instead, it’s always really useful for me to know if there’s any tension in particular groups or with particular people as I navigate your guests. Context is important for photos! I come from a very modern family, with multiple sets of parents (that don’t talk to each other!) so I know that not every family is a straight-up nuclear scenario. 

Face time

Once this is filled in, I generally meet couples to have a chat about a month before the wedding day. Other than just having a lovely natter, it’s great to sit down and cement those plans, and talk them through in person. This leaves me feeling totally confident that I know exactly what you’re planning and wanting for the day, and most importantly should leave you feeling more relaxed, safe in the knowledge that someone else knows the nitty-gritty too. It’s a very informal chat where pets and children are welcome too. 

Guide dog licks the face of a wedding guest. Image by informal wedding photographer Parrot and Pineapple.

 

If your plans change – don’t panic! This can and does happen. About a week before I’ll send you what I have as the final plan, to make sure that nothing’s changed since we last spoke. I then bring that with me (or an updated version with any changes) on the day as a crib sheet to refer back to. The final plan is by no means written in stone (it’s usually on my iphone and apple watch actually), so if there are last minute changes and additions, that’s cool. 

Not sure which awesome wedding photographer to choose to shoot your wedding? Leave your email below to get my free and impartial guide on how to choose your wedding photographer

Read what previous clients say about working with me

Check out my wedding photography prices

Find out who I am

Get cracking advice and see real weddings on my blog

Contact me here

Working with me as your wedding photographer

Working with me as your wedding photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer is hard! Don’t worry, I completely get what you’re going through right now in the stages of your planning. But I want to help. I want to give you more of an insight as to what it is like working with me as your wedding photographer. I want to share with you what happens when you decide to book me and what you can expect. It’s really important to me that my clients feel secure and happy so I have come up with a process that ensures each client has a similar experience that results in everyone wanting to cheer and carry me shoulder high through their local town (actually, don’t, you might strain something).

Initial Video Call

When you enquire I will look at your date and see if I am available. If I’m available I will send you info about my prices, and tell you exactly what you get for your money and some links to my portfolio. It’s really important that clients choose me because they love the kind of images that I shoot – which are generally really informal and full of laughter. I like to snap what happens.

If you like my photography style and if my prices fit your budget, then the next step would be to have a chat via video call. It’s a good opportunity for you and your partner to ask lots of questions. Plus I can tell you about the booking process, how I work, the contract and how to approach planning your wedding photography.

After the call I’ll send you two full and complete wedding galleries to look at. lt’s really important that you look through at least two full wedding galleries of any wedding photographer’s work because by doing this you get a very good idea as to how consistent the photographer is with their style and what your wedding photos might look like.

The Contract

I issue a contract to every client so that everyone is clear as to what they are buying, how much they are paying, what happens if anything goes wrong, what they can do with their images after the wedding and what I do with the images after the wedding. I am always happy to answer any questions that a client might have about the contract – ultimately clients are booking me to photograph their wedding and I want them to be really happy with what they get. Once the contract has been signed by both parties, your contract (along with all your other wedding photography info) will be stored in your own personal client portal. Only you and your partner will have access to the portal and it will contain all the important info relating to your wedding photography – you can access it any time you need to.

fun wedding photography- camden town hall wedding ceremony documentary photography

Confirming the Booking

To complete the booking I ask for a £500 booking fee. Once I have received the signed contract and the booking fee then the wedding date is reserved in my diary! Woo hoo! Clients are then left to crack on with planning the rest of their wedding. I’m always on hand to answer questions or provide recommendations of other suppliers. If you’re looking for any wedding insight, handy tips or even venue ideas check out the rest of this wedding planning advice blog posts. I’m always taking names and contact details of people who do a great job for their clients, plus I’m in a big network of wedding professionals, so I can generally make a recommendation of someone that is good.

Bride groom and wedding party pose for a group photo at The Asylum in London.

Six Weeks Before Your Wedding

I’ll drop an email over to clients 6 weeks before their wedding date.  This is to start planning the wedding photography in detail. Clients are asked to fill out an online form with how the day is going to run and all the essential info like timings, places, names and contact details on the day.
Battersea Arts Centre Wedding - couple and guests toast the wedding speech

Two weeks before your wedding

Once I have received the completed day in detail form I will meet up (or have a video call) with clients for a chat and some drinks to go through everything. The purpose of this meeting (apart from to have a nice time) is to help me completely clarify what clients have planned for their day. My aim is to photograph the wedding day in a documentary manner as it unfolds – this means that I have to be really clear on what is happening and when. I also find that clients relax when they are really secure that I know their wedding day plans like they do.

One Week Before Your Wedding

I will drop you an email to check in and confirm plans. I know that weddings can be a bit of a moveable feast and plans do have a habit of changing at the last minute. Don’t worry if they do – I’ll check in with you to ensure we’re singing off the same hymn sheet.

After the wedding

Because I know that people are excited about their wedding photos I will share some highlight photos with you 1 week after your wedding. You can share these photos as much or as little as you want. After that it will take me approximately 8 weeks to edit the full story of images. I like to deliver lots of images, and I go through the final pack many times to make sure they are perfect. Clients will receive their wedding photos via a private online gallery; from which images can be downloaded as high resolution jpgs, shared on social media and prints can be ordered. I also offer wedding albums, and once clients have seen their final photos they very often want to make up a wedding album from their favourite images.

If all of this sounds exactly what you are looking for in a wedding photographer then you can get the process started by contacting me here.

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How much should your wedding photography cost?

How much should your wedding photography cost?

You’re engaged! Firstly congratulations, you are about to embark on a great journey towards becoming married, and I bet I know where you are right now – PLANNING. One of the best things you can do in this early stage is to research how much a wedding costs. Which is why I’ve written this blog post! I want you to fully understand how much wedding photography costs, so you can get fully prepared to seek out the best wedding photographer for you and your budget.

I’m going to start with some bad news – but don’t worry – good news follows! The real answer is – there’s no answer to how much should your wedding photography cost. It’s all about what you want from your wedding photos. So how do you figure this out?

How to budget for wedding photography

When budgeting for your wedding photography the first thing to think about is what you need from your photographer. Below is a list of the minimum things you should look for when researching:

  • A portfolio of consistent work that you really, really love
  • Insurance for public liability and professional indemnity (at least)
  • Professional standard equipment, with spares in case of failure
  • A clear process to understand your wedding and what you want from your wedding photos
  • Clear and understandable pricing that shows you exactly what you get for your money and if there are any extras to pay. You should instantly understand the number of hours the photographer will be at your wedding and what you get in terms of high resolution jpg pictures from the wedding.
  • Also think about the after-wedding goodies. You will need to know if you can download the digital files (preferably as high resolution jpgs), if you get a memory stick or disc with the images on, and if there are any prints or albums included in the price.

What is the average cost of wedding photography in the UK?

A wedding photographer is generally around for 8 hours of your wedding day. Looking at this number the average cost for wedding photography in the UK is around £1300 – £1600*. This price bracket usually included all the edited high-resolution files – which is perfect as it means you can download and print the photos for friends and family too.

Wedding photography prices vary by region

Location is an important factor to consider when looking at potential wedding photographers because where they are based can make a big difference in costs. A London wedding photographer will cost more than a photographer based in Newcastle – simply because it costs a lot more to live and work in London! Also, if you happen to LOVE a photographer living in one place but you’re based somewhere else, take into account they may charge for travel/accommodation if needed. Your photographer doesn’t have to live close by your wedding venue – if they don’t ask them if their quote price includes any travel and accommodation that they might need. I like to keep things very simple, so my wedding photography prices include any travel costs.

Groom places mark on brides forehead during Hindu wedding ceremony

What to look for when choosing a wedding photographer

If you find a photographer that is offering a too good to be true deal – always trust your gut instinct. As a wedding photographer I would advise to be very wary of anyone charging less than £750 for a full day of wedding photography and all the edited images. This is where your research becomes vitally important, look at their website, look at their social channels, google for reviews. If you chat to them, ask them how many weddings they have photographed. New photographers can be very inexpensive so that they can build experience, which is perfectly understandable. Just make sure they have enough experience for YOUR specific style of wedding. Click here to read my guide all about how to find a wedding photographer

Why is wedding photography expensive?

As GCSE maths told us many moons ago, averages are made up from a full range of figures. So if you happen to find a photographer that is charging way over the average, it will most likely be reflected in the quality of their work. As photographers become more experienced, their skill level increases and their time becomes more valuable. They will also have invested in a considerable amount of money in training, equipment and software to turn their business in to a very slick experience. They may also be offering a luxury service, such as providing a team of professionals to capture your day, or offering up a super duper package that contains lots of extra goodies like fine art prints and fine art albums.

How much of your wedding budget to allocate to wedding photography?

Creating an overall wedding budget is one of the best things that you can do in the early stages of planning a wedding. As a general rule of thumb I tend to find that most people will allocate roughly 10-15% of their total wedding budget to the cost of a wedding photographer. If you are having a very big wedding with a big budget to match, then you will want you wedding photos to do justice to your wedding. Conversely, if you are having a small, low cost wedding, there’s no reason why you can’t find a wedding photographer for just a couple of hours. that will fit your budget. Click here to check out some of the small weddings that I have shot. 

Professional photography is a little bit like the restaurant trade. You can buy food very cheaply in lots of High street establishments; yet you can also buy very expensive meals in beautiful restaurants where you very much buy an experience. You’re still buying food, but the experience, service and quality is very different and that is what you will pay for.

Bride and groom having their first dance at the Londesborough pub

Choose a wedding photographer that you love

As well as the necessities required from a photographer which affects costs, also think carefully about what you want. What do you want from your wedding photographer?

Do you want someone who is going to sit back and take standard wedding shots or do you want someone who will get in the thick of it and capture the moments you didn’t even know were happening, the grins on friends faces or that little tear secretly being wiped away by Auntie Denise.

It’s so important to choose a photographer who understands your personalities and what you want. The wedding day itself is just one day, but the moments captured make that day last a lifetime.

If you are interested you can check out my wedding photography prices and packages here.

*Figures taken from research on Planyourperfectwedding.com, Bridebook.co.uk and yourperfectweddingphotographer.co.uk

 

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Not sure which awesome wedding photographer to choose to shoot your wedding? Leave your email below to get my free and impartial guide on how to choose your wedding photographer

Read what previous clients say about working with me

Check out my wedding photography prices

Find out who I am

Get cracking advice and see real weddings on my blog

Contact me here

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