When I got married I knew how my day would go. I had planned every little detail and had been dreaming of my big day for years. What could possibly go wrong?
In my mind’s eye I dreamed of getting ready with my lifelong best friend. We would have a few glasses of champagne and she would help me into my beautiful dress and all of this would be captured by my wedding photographer for posterity.
Bride with bridesmaids before wedding
In reality this didn’t go to plan because I never mentioned it to my matron of honour. I sat in my room waiting for her to arrive and was eventually helped into my dress by the girlfriend of my hairdresser. The photographs just show me sitting around alone in a dressing gown and curlers.
With hindsight I should have decided who needed to be where and when and then told them. The best weddings I have photographed have been planned with couples who have then communicated what is happening to everyone who needs to know. Many times the bride will ask me to take photographs of her with parents and siblings before she leaves home for the ceremony only to find that her brother has gone to the pub with the groom and her sister has dropped the flower girls off at the church.
Your wedding photographer will go through your timeline and list of must have photographs with you before the wedding – please share this with the people you want in those photographs.
It is also worth telling your parents what photographs you are having and NOT having. Parents often have very different ideas when it comes to wedding photography. They may think it is essential for you to have a posed photograph with a cousin you have never met that has travelled across the world to share your day, while you want only candid (documentary style) photographs with no posed images.
I vividly remember a huge argument between a bride and her mum at the church door. The bride did not want formal groups but hadn’t told her mum. Her uncle publically berated me for not getting on with the groups and when the bride made her views known a row started.
There are lots of different styles of wedding photography (which I will discuss in my next blog post) – don’t assume anyone will know which style you have chosen or where and when you want your photographs taken. For example many couples choose to get married in hotels now and have their photographs taken in the gardens after the ceremony. To avoid losing guests who may wander off to check in or visit the bar it is worth asking your ushers to direct guests towards the gardens as they leave the ceremony room. Last year I had a bride who gave the bridesmaids and groomsmen a “job description” – it was written in a light hearted way but it worked a treat, everyone knew what was happening and what was expected of them. The wedding was probably the least stressful wedding ever.
So my top tip for a less stressful day is communicate……
- Who needs to be where, when?
- Does the bridesmaid know she is needed to help you with your dress or are you happy to have the dress all scrunched up as you say your vows and take your photographs?
- Who will recognise and round up your family and friends for photographs?
- If you have small children who will feed and change them? (Remember they need to be kept well away from fountains, ponds and lakes too – designate a responsible babysitter for the day as you will be distracted)
- Have they been told?
Here’s wishing you a happy and argument free wedding day 🙂 Feel free to share this post plus your top tips and comments for other brides to see.