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12 wedding photography tips you didn’t know you needed

As a wedding photographer I’ve had the pleasure of working with couples on their wedding day for almost a decade, and during that time I have garnered a huge amount of knowledge and expertise on how to really get the most from your images. So I thought it would be helpful to put together this blog post full of tips and tricks so that you feel fully equipped with all you need to know ahead of the big day.


Please have a read and take note!


bridesmaid helping bride get ready

The Morning Preparations


Understandably, during the morning preparations on the wedding day the space is bound to get a little chaotic. However, it really makes a difference when the backdrop for the photos is nice and tidy – this is a job I would ask your bridal party to help with.


Also, ensure that all your bridal details are together and in one place ready to be photographed when the I arrive. This can include the dress, shoes, flowers, jewellery, perfume, and any other sentimental elements that you’d like to have a memory of.


It’s also essential that you (or your planner) allow for extra time during the morning – things usually run over and it’s better to be ready early and reduce stress. Plan for you and everyone getting ready with you to be ready at least 20 minutes before your photographer is due to leave. Remember if you’re having a civil ceremony you will need to have a meeting with the registrars around 15 minutes BEFORE the ceremony, so you need to allow time for this too.


If you have booked a second photographer, ask the Groom’s party to be dressed and ready in trousers and shirts for when they arrive. Your second shooter will be there to capture the final touches, such as putting on ties, jackets and cufflinks. With that in mind, you may want to have a little practice beforehand of putting on a bowtie, folding a pocket square and carefully attaching your buttonholes. The majority of people I meet at weddings have never done this before and you’ll be surprised how long googling it and trying to figure it out can take on the day!


groom getting ready with groomsmen

Check Photography Permissions


You may just assume that you can have your wedding photographs taken anywhere, but sometimes religious venues in particular, have restrictions on photography so it’s always best to double-check this in advance. There would be nothing worse than being disappointed on the day itself! Over the years, I’ve found that there are no set rules regarding this, and it is usually down to the specific venue/ person conducting the ceremony. So it’s always worth asking in advance.


Unplugged Ceremony


If you want your guests to be fully present throughout your wedding ceremony, rather than taking pictures or videos on their phone, I wholeheartedly recommend hosting an unplugged ceremony. You can set up a stylish sign at the entrance of your ceremony space that politely asks guests to pop their phones away and enjoy the moment. As a wedding photographer, I can confirm this makes for the most beautiful images, as opposed to a sea of phones being held up by your guests.

wedding photography tips

The Group Shots


You’d be surprised to know how long it takes to gather your guests together for group photos, which is why I’d recommend a maximum of 8 – 10. Allow for 3 – 5 minutes per group, and remember that the larger the group, the longer it will take. A couple of months ahead of the wedding day, I always send out a questionnaire asking for a list detailing the group shots you’d like taken and who you’d like to be in them. It’s also worth asking one or two people from your bridal party or immediate family to organise and gather everyone together for a seamless and efficient experience for you. This means you’ll have more time to enjoy the drinks reception with your guests and relish the day, which I’m a big believer in when it comes to documenting your wedding!

bride and groom at gaynes park epping

Couple Portraits


I’d recommend 15 minutes during the drinks reception for your couple portraits. Make the most of your wedding venue and go for a wander together – this is the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy each other’s company amid the wonderful chaos of your wedding day.


And if you have your heart set on those gorgeous golden hour shots, schedule 10 – 15 minutes into your timeline later in the day for this too. Golden hour takes place an hour before sunset and I’ll keep an eye on the light for you and let you know if it will be worth taking some of those magical golden hour moments.

bride and groom laughing at sunset

Be Yourselves


Couple portraits are always best when you embrace being with one another and enjoy the moment. If you’re super affectionate with your other half, let this shine through when you’re having your photos. If you’re always laughing together, keep laughing! Don’t feel like you have to follow traditional poses. You don’t even have to ‘pose’- natural movement photographs the best and will look and feel authentic.


These are your images, so be yourselves.


There’s no need to look at the camera or even acknowledge that we are there! Be yourselves and you can trust us to capture your connection authentically.


Capturing Speeches


Your speeches are without a doubt one of the most memorable and emotional parts of any wedding day – there’s laughter, there are happy tears and so much more. For a flawless photography experience documenting the speeches, I recommend hosting these either before or after the dinner. During the courses can make things a little difficult, with staff serving food and clearing plates in the background.

father of the bride speech

DIY Wedding


If you’re having a DIY wedding, it’s worth having a wedding coordinator on-hand to run the day so that it unfolds smoothly. This means you’re much more likely to stick to scheduled timings (while having the time of your lives) and therefore make the most of your wedding photography.


Weather Woes


No matter where you get married, you really can’t take control of the weather so try not to stress too much about it. Whether it’s pouring with rain or the sky is filled with sunshine (fingers crossed), we will ensure we still get the most beautiful wedding photographs no matter what. Plus, I always keep a close eye on the weather and will be sure to get you out for those gorgeous outdoor photos during any dry spells.

bride and groom with umbrella on wedding day

Feed the Photographer


Photographers work incredibly hard throughout your wedding day, so if you’ve booked us beyond the wedding breakfast, a meal is very much appreciated! There isn’t enough time for us to leave the venue or anywhere nearby for us to grab food without risking missing an important element of your day. It’s also a good idea to ask the caterers to feed us early to ensure we are back with our cameras in hand ready for your wedding speeches.


Embrace the Unexpected


Despite all the hard wedding planning, there are guaranteed to be a few hiccups on the day. Try to mentally prepare yourself for this so that you can forget about them and just make sure you enjoy every second of your celebration – you’ll always end up with the most amazing pictures if you can roll with it and enjoy the magic no matter what happens!

confetti shot at positano wedding

And Lastly, the Final Wedding Photography Tip…


That leads me onto my final tip for your wedding photography which is - ENJOY IT! Remember why you’re here and focus on the fact that you are surrounded by people you love, having the best time. You’ve done all the hard work and on the day, it’s time to let it go and just embrace it. Trust me, it’s going to be magic.


I hope that’s been helpful and you’re feeling fully clued up on all-things wedding photography related! If you need any more help at all or would like to enquire, just fill out my contact form here or drop me an email at danielle@danielle-smith-photography.com

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