First things first.
Top Tip: Plan YOUR day.
It's so easy to lose sight when planning a wedding that this is actually all about YOU guys. Family politics and keeping the in laws happy can sometimes take over, but it's so important that you plan a day that represents the two of you as a couple and also individuals. The more you can love the day and what you've created together; the better your imagery will be. You only get one shot at it - so make it your own and make it fun for you guys!
You both having the best day of your lives and enjoying every moment together = The happiest photographs/video!
Before the BIG day
Around a month before the wedding date, you will receive a final form to fill in. This is just some questions to confirm addresses and phone numbers plus any specific logistics for the day. There's also an opportunity here to let us know of any difficult family relationships or people who are no longer with us. It's really important to us both that we don't make anyone feel uncomfortable on the day by saying something which may upset them. So this information is hugely useful to us.
On the form there will also be space for you to let us know of any specific shots from our blog or website that you particularly love. There's no need to worry about sending through a Pintrest board or other photographers/videographers work, as mostly we'll work off our own instincts on the day and bounce off all the fun and action thats happening organically. We want to be able to send you images/film which is completely unique to your big day and special because it totally represent you guys.
Top Tip - Venues
We don't usually visit venues before the big day as we genuinely don't feel there is any need. There are so many things which will make your wedding day different to a venue open day or just a random visiting day; so we'd much rather use our instincts and work with what we are presented with on the day. However, if you have chosen your wedding for a specific location or feature, we am more than happy for you to mention it in the final form and we will aim to factor it into the day in some form.
Your Wedding Day
TOP Tip - Ignore us
We mean this in the nicest way...
The most important advice from us is; try and ignore the cameras. We like to try and document the day as it happens and so it's best if you don't acknowledge that either of us are there. There may be times during the day - such as formal photos or during the portraits, that we may ask you to look directly at the camera or do something specific; but for the rest of the day, try and be as natural as possible and act like we are not there. We will move around everyone and capture little moments happening organically so don't worry about us. If you could also make your family and close friends aware of this too, it helps massively with the flow of the day. There is nothing worse than a cheesy Dad's thumbs up/frantic wave in every other shot.
For most weddings we are able to capture both the bride and the groom getting ready in some capacity. We stay with the girls for most of the morning and capture all of the exciting things happening and then head over to the boys just after make-up if there is enough time before the dress goes on. The groom prep doesn't take long, as boys getting ready isn't as methodical as the girls normally are. If logistically this isn't possible for your wedding, I would recommend to opt for a second shooter or maybe think about if capturing the groom prep is important to you. It may be something we can discuss over the phone and work out if you are getting ready further a part than a 10 minute car journey.
We like to arrive around 10am so most of the bridal party are starting to get ready by this point. We'll always try and use this time as well to have a good chat with everyone and get to know your bridal party and family. This hopefully starts to eliminate any "photographer nerves" from anyone who is anxious about us being around. We don't want anyone to worry that they are in our way, or think that they can't carry on getting ready as they would do normally. We are there to document exactly what was happening, so that you've got great authentic memories to look back on. For this reason don't worry about tidying up or moving things. However, if there are things which you would rather weren't in your wedding imagery, please just make sure they are away before I arrive.
As wedding photographer/videographers - We love to capture the moments which just happen naturally between people and so please just carry on getting ready how you want to! If things are messy or chaotic, thats fine with us! However, if you are wanting a more minimal look to your images, please be aware of that as we go along. Maybe just make your bridal party aware too, so they can tidy as they go.
Top Tip: Light
Natural light is a photographers dream, so when choosing where to have your make up done or where to put your dress on, try and think about any possible big windows or natural light source if possible.
Top Tip - Details
If you have any items which are important to you and you would like photographing (shoes, perfume, special jewellery), please make sure they are out and ready for when we arrive. I would hate to miss special moments because I'm unwrapping shoes or searching for perfume.
top tip - Don't rush
Don't start getting ready until we are in the room with you! These photos can be a lovely memory and if for some reason I've popped out, please hold on and make sure I am present and can see whats going on. Always remember; a wedding can't happen until you arrive, so if it takes a few minutes longer than you expected, don't panic!
The ceremony is the main event for us; and there are tons of moments in there that we want to capture for you both, so that you can remember this amazing part of your lives forever. For this reason we will both be moving around during the ceremony. We never want to disrupt anything or take the lime light away from you guys, and so will only move during appropriate moments or when other people are moving - before a reading or during a song. But just so you are aware, if we stand up and move, it's not because something is wrong, we're just getting a different shot.
During the ceremony, try and forget about the rest of the day; just be with your partner and drink in every second. This means that even if you have to take a second to take a deep breath in the middle of your vows - DO IT! Don't rush! This is what all the waiting and planning has been about.
Top Tip: Rules
If you are getting married in a Church, it's a really good idea to have a chat with the vicar or priest before the big day about any rules or restrictions they may have with regards to us being there. Some Churches only allow photographers/videographers to stay at the back of the building, and so it's always important for everyone to understand this before the day to avoid any upset. We will always endeavour to capture these important and special moments to the absolute best of our ability, however, if we are restricted to a certain area, it may limit the images/footage you receive after the wedding. If the vicar has any concerns or wishes to speak about the photography before the wedding, I am always happy to have a chat with them.
Top Tip - Be in the moment
We're obviously more than happy for your guests to take as many photos as they like, however, please encourage your close family and friends to put down their phones and cameras for the main parts of the day and just be present with you both! If they are living in the moment and not viewing it through their screen, you will get much more authentic reactions from them.
Top Tip - Confetti
We will arrange your guests into two lines to make a tunnel for you to walk through as they throw confetti. This makes for such wonderful smiley photographs. However, please don't rush. Walk through at a nice steady pace and enjoy the moment! Also, Brides, please remember to hold flowers down if possible so we can see your lovely big smile. It's always a good idea to check with venues/churches if they allow confetti and where they allow it to be thrown. Based on this, it may be beneficial to wait and do it at your venue if the church only allows it in their car park!
During this middle part of the day, and before everyone sits down to eat, I may take your family and group shots for you. I like to judge what the weather is doing, and if it is too sunny it is often worth waiting for the sun to lower so we don't have lots of squinty eyes.
I think these photographs are still a really important element of a couples day even though it's not always loads of fun. For this reason I aim to make them as quick and painless for everyone as possible. I advise keeping family 'formal' photographs to immediate Family and Grandparents and I try and avoid doing a million combinations of these people. We would much rather you got stuck in and enjoyed hanging out with your guests and having a great day! Other important guests will be captured throughout the day candidly. However, if there is other people who you wish to be included in the formal photographs; that's no problem, just let me know on the final form and we can factor that time in.
Top Tip - Large group photos
If you wish to have a photograph/footage of all your guests together, we will need a high place to stand. This may mean that if you're having a festival style wedding in field, that we will need you to supply a ladder to climb up so we are higher than your guests. If the weather permits, we will always aim to do this shot if you've requested it, however, it may not be possible indoors if it's raining. Most venues will have a recommended window which we can lean out of to capture all your guests standing together
Other than the formal group shots, we will be mingling around the venue capturing all the lovely interactions between all your guests and the general celebrations of the day. Please don't worry about us, just enjoy seeing all your loved ones and getting stuck in with all the lovely elements that you have spent months planning to make your wedding day great!
Top Tip: Food
A hungry photographer/videographer is a sad photographer/videographer. As we will be working all day and night, it's important that we take a break to refuel and keep our energy up for the wild party in the evening. For this reason, if you're able to provide a meal for us during the day that would be fantastic. If it's not possible, please just let us know before the big day so we can arrange our own food.
The best time for us to eat is when you guys eat; as no body likes having their picture taken mid chew. So it's a good idea to mention to the venue that this is the best time for us to have some food.
Top Tip: Portrait Timings
I often find a great time to do couple portraits is in the middle of courses at dinner; however, this is weather/time of year dependant. It may have to change due to the length of speeches and the great British weather. Also, sunset times vary throughout the year, so at points, it may be useful for us to capture a sunset photo during the meal, whereas in the hight of summer we may have to wait until after the first dance. It's always nice whilst your guests are all busy and enjoying some food to just sneak away for a few quiet moments together though.
The speeches are always a lovely part of the day and another opportunity to capture some great reactions and natural emotions. We like to circulate around the room during the speeches to capture as many laughs and different smiles as possible. If possible, try and think about circulation space for us to move in between tables. And don't hold back those emotions! It's great To capture those huge belly laughs and maybe a few tears too.
Top Tip: Throw yourself in!
This is a really small section of the day and can feel strange for some couples. However, for the 10/15 minutes that we spend shooting, its great if our couples can try and get really into the moment with each other. We tend to chat with you both throughout the shoot to try and ease any nerves you may have, but sometimes we may step back and allow you to both to be intimate and relaxed just being with each other.
Depending on the different plans you have for your day, we may take you out for a few separate portrait sessions rather than one long one. This means you get more time with your guests and you don't feel like your missing parts of your wedding day! It also makes for diverse and interesting footage on your film.
If you guys are interested in attempting to get some glorious golden hour shots, and are willing to venture a bit further out to get the best possible sunset; please let us know and we can factor this in when planning logistics of your portraits. We love to capture gorgeous dramatic shots, so really recommend this if the weather permits.
Top Tip: Poses
We may ask you to stand in a certain way or gently suggest a way for you to pose together. However; if you feel uncomfortable with any of the poses and it feels really strained to you, just let us know and we can try something different! The best thing to do is try and do what you would normally do together!
Top Tip: Embrace the weather
The only thing you can't control about your wedding day is the weather. For this reason, we really encourage our couples to embrace whatever is thrown at you! Come rain or shine/ wind or snow; let's get out there and make some epic shots to reflect the weather! Always bring appropriate shoes to go out in different weather/going across fields (trainers/wellies)
THE BIGGEST TIP : HAVE A BLAST!
This is the time of the day where you guys can breathe a sigh of relief! YOU DID IT! Now it's time to party!
We don't have a specific finishing time in the evening. I believe that some of the best images happen during all the dancing after the first dance (when everyone is nice and relaxed). So I make a judgment based on the moments happening around me and decide the best time to leave.
Please let me know in advance if you're planning sparklers or fireworks. It may take some time to organise your guests in a safe way. If you would like all of your guests to take part in sparklers, you will need to ensure that you have lots of lighters or matches in order to light all the sparklers at the same time safely.
The next few days after the wedding I will send you both a preview album. This is such a lovely thing to receive so close to the hype of the day as it means you can announce your marriage on socials and also keep you excited for the rest of the images. I always include some gorgeous portrait shots in the preview incase couples decide they want to use a professional image on thank you cards.
Top Tip: Credit where credits due
If you love the images you've received and want to share them with friends on your social media account, we always politely ask that you give us a little shout out on the first time you post anything. Wedding suppliers rely on word of mouth for a large portion of our business and it's always nice when our couples want to help us by spreading the word. So please give us a little tag or a mention and it will mean the world!
Around 8 weeks after your wedding, you will receive your slideshow/wedding film. This is such an exciting time for most couples as its the first time they get to see a large portion of their images set to music. The timings of this may be shorter if you're getting married out of wedding season, however we don't like to rush the editing process. We always take time and lots of care in making sure all the images/film we produce and send back to you are stunning representations of your day! We always aim to keep our couples up to date with the editing process, so you're not left guessing how long you will be waiting. During the busy summer months, it may take us slightly longer to complete a wedding, however, if this should happen we will always let you know in advance; and we promise it will be worth the wait!
Two weeks after the slideshow, your full gallery will go out online and your wedding box will be posted to you. You can share the gallery easily with friends and family and have the option to buy extra prints.
We've worked with some truly talented individuals over the last few years, so if you're still looking for some suppliers to help you out with your big day, take a look at these guys.
Florists: Nadia Di Tullio Steele (insta @nadiaditullioflowers)
MUA: Stacey Peplow (insta @pep_makeup)
Gracie Glams (insta @gracie_glams)
Hair stylist: Charlotte Tillyer (insta @charlottetillyerhmua)
Event stylist: Jam Jar Weddings and Events (insta @jamjarweddingsandevents)
Top Tip: Enjoy
Just make sure that whatever little things may happen on the day, or if something doesn't quite go to plan; let it go for the day, put it to the back of your mind and just enjoy the day with all your family and loved ones. It's the most amazing day of your life, drink in every second, relax, laugh and have fun!
Winnington + Coe