Who should be attending the bride on the way to the church?

I am not going to make any friends with this particular posting.    But as a couple you really need to know exactly how to achieve the best shots at your wedding – and understand that some stuff is totally outside the control of your photographer.  

With that knowledge you can make decisions beforehand which will affect the look of your wedding photographs – if it is really important to you and if your photography is your priority.  And even though I may think pictures are important it isn’t necessarily the case for everyone.  I understand that  – really I do!  But finding out that things could have looked better by seeing it on your wedding photographs – well, by that time, its just too late.

Last year I photographed two weddings where I felt particuarly frustrated at the shots I couldn’t get.  At the first wedding I didn’t manage to get any shots of the bride arriving at the church door without the car company drivers in attendance. It was a beautiful wedding, lots of emotion and a very pretty church and angelic-looking kids.   An excellent wedding car company, two lovely drivers – but why did they feel the need to take on this ‘role’ at the wedding when there were bridesmaids around who could have done the job perfectly well?  And, sorry to say,  more prettily!

A group of bridesmaids lifting the skirts of the bride’s dress in a lovely procession to the church door is a beautiful moment to capture on camera – it has all the key people you need in there too.  So don’t allow the job to  be done by someone that you’ve only met once or twice – unless you really don’t care. 

At the second wedding the bride walked downstairs to greet her father – his first viewing of his daughter in all her glory – and there in the background the wedding coordinator smiling up at the camera.  Aaagh!  And no matter where I stood during those few moments,  I could not crop out the unnecessary personnel.   So frustrating, as I know that when it comes to your wedding albums, none of those shots will be chosen to go in your final selection.  In fact I don’t even bother putting them in the preview books these days.

As a B&G its up to you both to decide just how much attention you want from your suppliers on the day.  I know of florists who insist on being at the church to instruct on how to hold the bouquet.  Couldn’t that be sorted out at a pre-wedding meeting?   Drivers who insist on the ‘car shot’ with them in it?  Toastmasters who are more interested in the photo for their website than managing the crowds at your wedding.   

Go away, people!  This is an intimate moment – not a marketing opportunity!     

And the really good suppliers – these are the companies and venues that just get on with their jobs and don’t feel the need to dominate.  Their products and services speak loudly for themselves.  In fact, I’ve known businesses lose work because they are so ‘in-your-face’. 

I don’t have a particular gripe against wedding car companies – I have serious doubts about any wedding suppliers other than the photographer, the minister/registrars and possibly,  just possibly, the wedding coordinator at a hotel being present on the photographs in any major way.  I don’t understand why a wedding supplier might consider it to be part of their job description or why they would even want it   (I feel I have failed if I appear on any of the wedding shots when shooting as a team – I want to be invisible!).

So, just to reiterate….decide how much of a role you want your other suppliers to take.  If you have no problem with them appearing on your shots then just go with the flow and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get the shots you may have hoped for (Actually it may be that they are such a part of your day that you want shots of them anyhow).

But if you want to avoid this situation and get the pictures you want and that look nicest  – overcome your embarrassment and tell your drivers/florists/cakemaker etc that you want them to keep a low profile!

Hope I haven’t offended anyone here but sometimes you’ve just got to tell it how it is.   My customers don’t see the things that I do until they’re looking at their photos and by then its too late to do anything about it.  Only then do they realise why I risk life and limb by making posts like this!


Abi and Theo – 19th December 2009

Do you remember the weather just before Christmas?  On the Saturday of Abi and Theo’s wedding the ground was covered in a seasonal coating of frost – we had yet to experience the following week’s deluge of snow.   As Abi walked up the church path at Ansdell Baptist Church she looked absolutely beautiful against the wintery backdrop.

I really liked this picture above – the rush of getting to the church on time.  I just really like the atmosphere of it!

There were these two little chaps – I don’t know their names – but they were just full of mischief!  And all the way through the day they kept on eyeing me with huge suspicion!  It was really funny and it sort of became a bit of a game to try and capture some shots of them!

Abi’s dress was magical and she looked a very beautiful bride – her blonde colouring, the pearls and ribbons of her jewellery, the little jacket with her dress – well she looked like the perfect Ice Princess.  In the nicest possible way, of course!

This was a very special wedding with Abi and Theo’s faith taking centre stage.  So it was important to capture that element.

But by the time we were due to leave the church, rain had turned the frost to ice and made it treacherous for the guests to leave using the church door steps.  So we shot all the groups inside the church.

By the time we left the sun was trying to shine – so we headed to the promenade in Lytham near the shrimping boats.  I managed to get some really lovely shots of the pair of them together before the heavens opened and we had to abandon the idea. 

The rain combined with the cold and then brilliant golden sunshine meant that this was a tricky set of circumstances for Abi and Theo.  But Abi never stopped smiling and Theo was unfailingly polite – it seemed that they were there for all the right reasons.

The reception was at the Clifton Arms Hotel.  I didn’t get any information about the flowers, or the dress or hair and make-up.  So Abi – if you’re reading will you add some information on the end of this post please.  I know that my brides are going to want to know who designed your fabulous dress!

  • Calendar

    • September 2019
      M T W T F S S
      « Apr    
  • Search