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.
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.
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)!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
Both families and you and your partner
Your extended family, you and your partner
Your immediate family, you and your partner
Your partner’s extended family, you and your partner
Your partner’s immediate family, you and your partner
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!
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!
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.
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.
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 actually), so if there are last minute changes and additions, that’s cool.
Are you just getting started with wedding planning? You can sign up to my exclusive Club Tropicana to get the low down on everything you need to know when planning a wedding. Plus the first bonus is a free super useful guide on how to choose your wedding photographer.
Want to know more about my informal wedding photography?
Woooooooo weeeeeeeee WHAT A YEAR?! So 2018 was the first full year for Parrot and Pineapple, and I can hand on heart say it’s been ALL KILLER NO FILLER. I’ve absolutely loved every wedding that I’ve photographed. And, just as I planned for, they’ve all been different and unique in their little ways. But there’s been one over riding common theme – couples that just wanted to get married without any of the traditional patriarchal bull shit that is all too often associated with weddings.
Here’s a tiny fraction of the images that I took from all of the weddings I photographed. All of these images are my absolute faves. I got a little bit emosh putting this video together. Because these images are exactly what I set out to capture. Little moments. Joy. Strength. Love. Big fun.
Sit back, relax, hit full screen and most importantly turn up the volume.
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. Next I will send you info about my prices, tell you exactly what you get for your money and some links to a wedding that is similar to yours. It’s really important that clients 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. 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.
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, we each get a copy for our records.
Confirming the Booking
To complete the booking I ask for 50% of the fee. Once I have received the signed contract and 50% of the fee then the wedding date is reserved in my diary. 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 plus if you’re looking for any wedding insight, handy tips or even venue ideas check out the rest of this blog which can help too. 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.
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.
One Month Before Your Wedding
Once I have received the completed day in detail form I meet up 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. I send my clients a written plan for their wedding photography, which I also bring with me on the day.
After the wedding
It will take me 6-8 weeks to edit the 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 initially as an online gallery; from which images can be downloaded as high resolution jpgs, shared on social media and prints can be ordered from my selected print house. 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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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.
Planning your wedding can be stressful, there’s so many things to consider and what started off as a little list suddenly becomes HUGE. I’m going to be focusing on one of the things on the list in this post, your wedding photography.
I have been around countless couples and the discussion about how much should your wedding photography cost always comes up. The real answer is – there’s no answer and it’s true , there’s no answer on what it “should” cost. It’s all about what you want for your day. So how do you figure this out? How do you know who’s a real photographer from the phonies?
Let’s start with the need
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 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 high resolution jpg files, if you get a memory stick or disc with the images on and if there are any prints or albums included in the price.
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 £1200 – £1500*. 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.
This 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.
Things to look out for
If you find a photographer that is offering a too good to be true deal – it could well be that it is. 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 research is so important, look at their website, look at their social channels and how active they are as a business especially during wedding season and google for reviews. Word of mouth and checking out their testimonials page can be like gold dust, you want to find the right photographer for you.
However averages are made up from a full range of figures, and if you happen to find a photographer that is charging way over the average, it could be for a variety of reasons. As photographers become more experienced, their skill level increases and becomes more valuable. They may also be offering a luxury service, 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.
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 lots of people, it’s likely that you will need more than one photographer to capture your day.
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.
And finally…THE WANT
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’re currently planning your wedding, then congratulations! Whether you describe yourself a feminist or not, planning your wedding together with your partner and including some feminist wedding elements is a great way to set the scene for a lifelong equal partnership.
Last year I shared some feminist wedding ideas on planning a wedding day around equality and inclusivity. Since then I’ve been inspired by even more clients and friends who have planned a unique day that included personal touches to emulate their individual personalities and feminist beliefs. So I’ve combined them all in this ultimate list of feminist wedding ideas!
Of course planning your own wedding is about cherry picking what feels right for you. I hope this list is a source of inspiration that gets your creative juices flowing. Most importantly have fun planning your wedding day!
Women who want to take the lead on the engagement can find inspiration from these eight women who proposed. Or this feminist who wanted both herself and her partner to experience the proposal. And sod waiting for the 29th February to come round, you choose the timing!
Ditch the Bridesmaids and groomsmen gender roles and choose who you want to be at your side for the parties on the day. You’re a guy and your best mate is a girl? You’re a hetero girl and your bestie is a gay man? Great! Choose the people who know you best and will keep you relaxed and happy on your big day, regardless of their gender: best woman, man of honour, wedding squad, usherettes and bridesmen all work the same. Even your dog could get involved!
5 Who pays?
If you have family who want to contribute, that’s great. To keep all things equal, why not split the cost of your wedding 50:50 or crowdfund your wedding instead of receiving gifts?
6 Equal wedding planning
There has been much recent discussion about the mental load of household planning and chores that falls mainly on the shoulders of women. A truly equal partnership shares tasks, and this goes for wedding planning too. Divvying up the wedding to do list means you can both be equally involved in planning a day that best represents both of you.
7 Feminist hen and stag parties
If a giant fluffy pink penis or “LADS LADS LADS” holidays and strippers aren’t your thing, what about a joint party where everyone gets together for a knees up? Most people socialise in mixed groups with their mates and their partners nowadays. Some of my friends organised “Hagfest” – a “hen and stag festival” for all their friends with a marquee, DJs and camping in a field. Perfect!
8 Choosing the venue
The venue is probably the first thing you tick off the list. But it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or an onerous task. Not religious? You don’t need a church. Keeping it simple? Sign the registry office paperwork and celebrate in the pub with your friends and family (FYI pub weddings are my fave!).
9 Wedding dress colour
Hands up who’s still a virgin when they get married? OK we know nowadays that most couples live together before the big day and so the traditional wearing of white to signify virginity is pretty dated. If you want to wear a red, purple, turquoise or black dress on your big day then why the hell not. Floral wedding dresses and big splashes of colour on wedding dresses will be on trend in 2018. Or don’t wear a dress, wear a jumpsuit or two-piece outfit instead – it’s entirely up to you.
10 Guest sides
Are you from the bride’s or the groom’s side? Which side guests sit on in during the wedding ceremony has never been less relevant. You probably met at a mixed social event with mutual friends anyway, so picking a side seems silly. Forgo the formalities and let your guests sit wherever the hell they like. Alternatively, have your guests sit in the middle of the room with an aisle at each side rather than down the middle, walk down the opposite aisle to your partner and meet in the middle.
11 Giving you away
If the idea of your dad handing you over to your betrothed like a property transfer doesn’t appeal, then you don’t need to do it. Perhaps your mum, both parents, a step-parent or your best friend could give you away. Or the groom’s squad could give him away to his bride. Whatever works for you!
12 Walking down the aisle
Who will accompany you down the aisle? You might decide to walk down the aisle together as a couple, or with both your parents. You might both walk in at the same time from either side. Or you might want to strut your stuff down the aisle alone while high fiving all your mates along the way!
13 Bride on the left
And talking of sides, why should the bride stand on the left during the ceremony? You might not have even noticed this before. But according to The Knot, the groom traditionally stood on the right so he could keep his right hand free to grab his sword and avoid “marriage by capture” should he need to defend his bride from “other suitors who may wish to whisk her off at the last minute”. Of course, you can handle yourself and make your own decisions, so stand on whichever side you want!
14 Feminist wedding vows
The whole spiel to complete the official part of your nuptials is packed full of gender role assumptions that frankly should have disappeared with the dark ages. Honour and obey? No thanks. Write your own vows with personalised promises or take inspiration from these feminist wedding vows that show you and your partner are true equals.
15 Feminist wedding readings
Wedding readings are a lovely way to include some of your favourite people in the ceremony. But choosing the right words can be tricky. Here are some feminist wedding readings to inspire you.
16 Feminist wedding speeches
Traditional wedding speeches don’t allow for any female voices. Yet often it’s the women who have the best stories to tell. Why not let any parent give a speech, or ask both parents to collaborate. Both parties in the wedding couple give a speech. Or don’t have any speeches.
“I did a speech because my husband didn’t want to. When I spoke about my bridesmaids, I said more than just how pretty they looked, but also why they were awesome people and friends.” – Lizzie
17 Wedding cake
From cupcake trees to blocks of cheese, your cake doesn’t have to be traditional. One of you has a sweet tooth and one prefers savoury? One likes chocolate cake, one likes like Victoria sponge? Have a half and half wedding cake or a tier each.
18 Cutting the cake
Alternatively, what about having two cakes and cutting one each?
19 Bouquet toss
The idea of your female mates scrabbling to be the next to symbolically “put a ring on it” might be ludicrous to you. Here are some fun alternatives from The Feminist Bride and Bustle.
If your surname is important to you, keep it. Pick the surname you both prefer, make up a joint family name, hyphenate or just make up an entirely new family name. There are no rules here.
Don’t want to spend a load of time planning? Elope instead! Registry office, paperwork, DONE. No fuss.
However you both choose to celebrate your love, I hope you have a ton of fun doing it! And if you want colourful documentary-style photos that capture the action and emotions of the day, I’d love to chat to you.
I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be exhibiting at the UK’s best and most alternative wedding fair in Birmingham this year. This November, the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza will be returning to amazing venue that is The Bond to bring to you an impeccable array of everything that is different, creative and EWEnique in the world of alternative weddings. This will be quite a special event because the show has just reached it’s 5th birthday! For 5 years, EWE has brought together unique exhibitors and couples alike; showcasing the UK’s most diverse and talented suppliers in the alternative wedding world.
Who organises this dream alternative wedding fair?
The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza is the crazy brainchild of Jo from The Couture Company (bespoke BAAAdass alternative bridalwear), Sassy from Assassynation Photography (Awesome Alternative Wedding Photography) and Yasmin from Curious Coco Designs (EWEnique Bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen accessories) – this is a wedding fair EWE don’t wanna miss.
The aim is oh so simple; to find all those couples who feel lost in a wedding world abundant with cookie cutter, white wash weddings and welcome them with open arms. EWE is a place for those who want to break free from the ties of wedding tradition and have a day that’s unique to them… Their motto is simple: “Don’t be a wedding sheep, It’s All About EWE!!
Where is all this going off?
This eclectic wedding fair is held in one of the most unique venue’s in Birmingham. Located in the heart of Digbeth, the fabulous flock will be returning to The Bond Company yet again! The Bond Company is based within a unique complex of expertly renovated buildings which combine historic Victorian architecture with high-quality modern facilities. The venue is an attractive setting for events, celebrations and weddings. With planted, cobbled courtyards, the canal-side café, and a host of different spaces for business and social activities, The Bond is an oasis in the heart of Birmingham.
Who is going to be exhibiting at EWE?
The our BAAAAdass Mo Flo’s of course! This eccentric group of over 60 suppliers made up of cake makers, florists, dress designers, photographers, stationary designers, hair and make up artists, DJs, accessory creators, entertainers, videographers, menswear designers, celebrants and SO MUCH MORE.
On top of all this Erica From Mr and Mrs Unique will be returning as official media sponsor for the show. Mr and Mrs Unique is an award winning online directory hosting an array of amazing suppliers alongside a blog and magazine celebrating the quirky, the interesting and above all, the unique aspects of weddings
If that wasn’t enough, Kat from Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride is the new media sponsor for the show!! Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride is one of the biggest wedding blogs in the world and THE go to blog for alternative wedding inspiration. Alongside the blog, Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride magazine comprises of some of the most unique real weddings through to popular DIY tutorials and wedding planning tips and ideas.
As an extra treat, EWE will have THE exclusive launch of the brand-new Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride and Crown and Glory headpiece and veil collection for 2018!!! So you can come and try all the awesomeness on, AND you can come meet Kat! Make sure you grab your new copy of her amazing magazine in person!!
What’s going to happen at The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza?
Obviously you’ll get to meet some of the best alternative wedding suppliers in the UK (AKA the ‘Bad Ass Mo Flos’), but there’ll also be some rather spectacular competitions, amazing demos and workshops for you to check out as well as the ever-popular treasure hunt where you can win some amazing prizes for your wedding! Kids big or small are welcome and we even have a colouring comp for the little (or not so little) lambs to take part in. Witness the fitness in the fantastic Fashion Walkabout and give a cheer to awesome brides and grooms from few shows ago in the Real Couples Parade.
You can make memories in the fabulous photo booths, shear some shapes to the beat of the brass band madness or get top score at the gaming stations. Do a bit of sheep spotting, take part in a workshop or demo or two, take a bite out of some tasty delights from the street food folks and relax and enjoy some fizzy concoctions at the specialist wedding bars. Say hello to all the Bad Ass Mo Flo’s and if that’s still not enough, there will be a Christmas market where you can buy original and unique gifts and treats for your wedding AND Christmas. Two for the price of one!
The Essential Info
Saturday 11th November, 12pm to 5pm Sunday 12th November, 11am to 4pm The Bond, 180 Fazely Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5SE EWE’d be a fool to miss the ultimate alternative wedding fair! But don’t take my word for it – checkout the Happy Bleats page from previous attendees. Want to know more? Have a ramble around the website: www.allaboutewe.co.uk Catch up on all the suppliers who will be at the show in the MEET THE FLOCKERS sections. Tickets on Sale now online from the baaargain price of £7 each. Buy them here. Or, if you prefer to be a maverick and simply turn up on the day, the door tickets are from £8 each per day. Little lambs get in free!!!
Don’t be a wedding sheep, it’s all about EWE!
If you want to chat with other couples planning an alternative wedding you can join the Facebook group . For inspiration follow on Instagram @allaboutewe. You’ll be able to keep up to date with all the ‘newes’ and pre-show competitions.