I don’t know about you but I adore looking at other people’s weddings. I love to look at all the details and the personal touches that they’ve put into their day. And the same applies when I photograph a wedding, I love to photograph all the little details but this leads me into talking about an interesting topic which is timings. If you want images of all the beautiful details you’ve worked so hard on you need to allow the photographer time to take them. A untouched room freshly set up for a wedding breakfast looks very different when guests start filing in, putting their jackets on chairs and handbags on tables. Equally if you want to take some time out to do couple portraits you need to balance this with thinking carefully about the number of formal group shots you require.
When I meet couples I advise them about choosing their group shots carefully. There are two reasons for this; firstly because I specialise in natural shots of you and your guests and I simply can’t take those candid shots if I have a long list of group shots to organise. Secondly it’s down to timings. It’s your day, your one day to be surrounded by the people who love you and want to enjoy it with you. By making you line up for endless photographs you simply don’t have a chance to chat and soak up the atmosphere of the day.
I like to enlist the help of a nominated helper to move the proceedings along quietly and quickly. By working in this way I don’t have to shout out people’s names or generally disturb them. Even a well organised set of 8 group shots can take around 30 minutes to execute, longer if there is a bar involved. For this reason I always recommend you leave a minimum of an hour and a half from reaching your venue after the ceremony to sitting down for your wedding breakfast. When you consider it takes 30-45 minutes for group shots, 20 minutes for couple portraits and another 15 minutes for detail and venue shots while leaving time for candid images of guests enjoying themselves. It may sound like a long time for you and your guests to wait but it’s a great opportunity for you to mingle and to have some entertainment for your guests. A magician whilst canapes are being served is a great way for people to relax and join in or some musical accompaniment really gets people in a party mood.
Nobody expects the day to run like clockwork, but one thing I won’t do is make you late for your wedding breakfast. When a kitchen is preparing food for an awful lot of people timing is crucial so if you have a time dedicated to sitting down for your meal by hook or by crook I’ll be finished with you on time.