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!

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Rachel and Marc 13th March 2010

Rachel and Marc’s wedding was one where Fotoamour had been recommended as a result of a previous client.  I love this kind of wedding because I don’t have to do any hard sell – they’ve seen the results of our work already and know what we can do.  It was Jane at The Bridal Gallery in Preston who sang our praises and they were also responsible for the lovely dress that the bride, Rachel, wore on her wedding day.  Rachel has a great look – very demure English Rose – and the dress suited her exactly.  She’ll think I’m barking but she’s got great shoulders for a dress like that!  Very elegant and feminine.

Rachel and Marc got married at The Mytton Fold Hotel – which is a new venue to me.  I have to say that the staff there  (my contact was Donna and she was just lovely, so helpful)  bent over backwards to ensure that the newlyweds had a splendid day.  They even planted crocuses in the garden area to match the bridesmaids dresses and flowers – that really is service for you. 

The florist was Jo at Fleur Boutique – telephone 01772 747001. 

I don’t stay for the food at weddings so I can’t tell you what that was like exactly.   But I can tell you when a place has great staff and are intent on making the day special for their wedding couples and The Mytton Fold certainly did that.  And more. 

The two best men were Paul and Neil and both did a stirling job – but they were rubbish with button holes!  Sorry guys – you just didn’t have the knack!

And there were two sweet flower girls – how cute is this little dot?

There were some very cute kids around altogether.  Not least of all Matthew – Rachel and Marc’s son.

The thing about Rachel and Marc was that they seemed very much into each other – which is quite good when you consider that they got married that day!  And I think that there may be the patter of tiny feet in the near future…. time for Bebefoto to swing into action I think.  Though I might suggest leaving it a couple of days after the birth!!

This purple colour (Cadbury’s Purple – someone told me at a wedding fair recently) is a popular colour this year for bridesmaids and flowers and ties and things.   Its a rich colour but seems to suit a lot of people.

And you know how I can’t resist some shots – I just like the ‘I’m having a quick fag in the Banished Smokers Corner’ shot!  Its a good job I don’t smoke because I’d die of hypothermia before I came to grief as a result of cigarettes!

There are a few more shots on my facebook page. 

Anyhow, Rachel and Marc, thanks for choosing Fotoamour as your wedding photographers – it was a pleasure to be with you and you had some great guests at your wedding.

Jo