As wedding professionals, we get asked all the time for advice. It’s very easy for us to say the lines “just do what you like!” as people who have literally done this hundreds of times, so I feel we need to go a step further. I know that my couples trust me and so I feel totally cool to let them know if an idea is not going to work, or to suggest something else.
This moment here - post ceremony - is one of my favourite things to shoot. People are not only totally natural, but also mostly unaware of what I'm doing that they don't put their guard back up. And I'm not talking about my couples here, but the guests. So here are my tips to you, person reading this potentially planning a wedding, or about to be a guest at a wedding, to make this whole thing the best it can be:
1) Phones and Cameras away for everyone. BE PRESENT! Photographers don't care that you're also taking a photo. We know ours is going to be great, and we're not after a monopoly on photos, that's not why we ask this. The couple want to be able to see their loved ones faces - and they've hired me to photograph those faces, not their faces behind devices.
2) Stay close to each other, especially if it's just the one photographer shooting the wedding. I love being able to get as many of these moments as I can, so not to miss key people like parents and siblings, so let people come to you - it's your day, after all.
2) In your planning, either on your invites or wedding website or whatever, let people know that there will be times for the "official" photos later. A great celebrant will help with this (my mate Married By Josh was here for this one), encouraging people to congratulate the couple now they're married instead of fussing about who's iPhone they're going to use to get a photo for their socials. Great, REAL moments have been, and will continue to be murdered by selfish guests - don't be that guy!
3) Brides - and Grooms for that matter - feel free to hand your bouquet to someone, because it can get in the way of great hugs (and also that fucker is heavy amirite?!) There will always be plenty of photos of you with it.
4) Work with a great venue and planner like Bebe's Country Weddings who knows their stuff, so that there's space for this all to happen and there's also something for the guests to do after they've seen you.
5) How great are dogs during ceremonies, hey! Just remember to organise someone to handle them at a pinch when you want to do all the hugs.
Those are just some ideas, hopefully they help someone. I'm really passionate about helping people make the most of their day because a) I'm a nice guy and b) it makes for better photographs, so expect more of this stuff here and on the blog.