bride & Groom kissing in confetti tunnel

To capture your wedding day

You're about to tie the knot.

MAN AND WIFE COUPLE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS

First of all, congrats on your engagement and thank you for choosing us to tell your story!
You’re about to embark on a journey that will lead you down the aisle and onto your happily ever after. Despite the planning ahead, that's something to celebrate!


Remember—during the frustrating moments of trying to pull everything together, always come back to the reason you're doing this: joining your life with the one you love.

We've worked as a photographer and videographer for over 10 years, so we've seen how planning for your wedding day can be overwhelming. But do you want to know a secret? It doesn't have to be!
We've compiled all of the tips and tricks I've learned over the years into this guide, and we're here to help you have less stress during the entire planning process. When we get to your wedding day, we're also here to ensure that your wedding images and films are simply stunning and that all of your concerns are addressed.


As both your friend and photographer/videographer, we want you to feel confident knowing that no
matter what happens on your special day, we'll capture every heartwarming moment so you
can look back fondly at them for years to come.


Let's dive in!

bride and groom kissing and hugging under the veil

So Where do you start?

- Since -

- 2012 -

Wedding & Couples Photographer

bride & groom on balcony at Moor park

BUILDING A SOLID FOUNDATION

A wedding can't happen without some kind of plan. Even if all you do is pick a date and choose a venue, hoping the rest falls into place, that's still something! But since winging it won't help you create the wedding of your dreams, it's best to build a solid foundation by getting clear on what you want and what's within your budget.

THE VISION FOR
YOUR BIG DAY

The day you tie the knot is a momentous occasion and the perfect opportunity to plan something truly spectacular. From the décor to the entertainment, every detail should be just how you imagine it. But first...you have to imagine it!

bride and groom walking on balcony with gold trim, white wedding dress and black and white suit

Do you want your wedding to feel romantic and elegant?
Or maybe adventurous and fun?
What is your ideal wedding location?
Do you want a grand entrance with fireworks to grab your guests' attention? Or are you more comfortable with an intimate, relaxed reception?

These (and more) are important questions to consider when talking about your shared vision. I've witnessed couples get derailed because, halfway to the wedding, they aren't clear about what they want and are looking at too many options.

Before moving forward, start a journal dedicated only to your dream wedding. Make a note of every little detail you can think of so you have a quick reference and won't forget any of your brilliant ideas. The journal will also help you stick to your vision so you can narrow your focus and feel less overwhelmed. For example, if you do want fireworks, there's no need to look at getting doves to release! You can narrow your search only to fireworks and ignore the rest.

makeup artist applying makeup

SUPPLIERS

Hiring Help

Even though you've hired a few vendors already (like me), you can hire a planner at any step of the journey to take over. Of course, there are DIY options if you're trying to save money, but I can tell you from experience that even a little help goes a long way.

A wedding planner will make sure everything is running smoothly and on schedule, handle last-minute emergencies, coordinate vendors and guests, secure permits or licenses if necessary, keep track of all contracts and payments, provide décor suggestions, and a lot more.

At this stage of the game, it's important to remember that having an extra pair of hands to assist with planning makes life easier. You don't have to do it all yourself! Also, remember that day-of planners and coordinators are also available. If hiring help for the entire planning process is out of your budget, many planners are available for one day only to lift the weight off your shoulders so you can focus on enjoying your special moment.

BABY blue wedding cake with gold trim

Deciding on your vision and if you want help is half the battle. Next, you need to tackle the budget. This can be tricky and overwhelming, but it's totally doable.

Start by creating a spreadsheet of your expected costs to keep track of what you're spending. Then, decide how much money you're comfortable investing in your wedding. You can research general vendor and venue costs to give yourself an estimate to work with, then adjust as needed.

A note on "must-haves"

It's easy to get caught up in wanting everything you see on Pinterest, but your budget should be the deciding factor when it comes to upgrading or downgrading certain details. This is where research and communication become invaluable.

Sit down with your fiancé and make a list of what each of you deems most important. For example, if the flowers are important to you but you don’t care about music, allocate more funds to flowers and find lower-cost options for music (like a playlist). Making this list is also good practice for your future marriage: if your fiancé ranks music as important and they absolutely must have a band, well, you'll need to find a compromise!

Finally, don't forget the hidden costs that might come up during the planning process (gratuity, taxes, credit card processing fees). Talk about these items too so when those moments arise, nothing is a surprise.

Make your guest list the a-list only

It should go without saying that a smaller guest list is better for both your budget and your sanity! No matter how many guests you have, any amount you can trim will help you go from feeling overwhelmed to feeling everything is manageable. An intimate celebration usually requires less money and effort—plus it comes with a priceless bonus: more quality time with the smaller group of guests you invited!

Here's how to trim your list:

  • Make a list of your immediate family and very close friends. These are your "A-list" names that will definitely get invited. Using just this list, estimate your food costs and write down the total.
  • Make a second list of B-list people who you will only invite if it is within your budget. These people may include friends that your parents want to invite, distant family members, and friends you haven't spoken to in over a year.
  • Now, compare how much you'll spend on food for your A-list to what you have budgeted for food and drinks. If there's wiggle room, meaning your A-list people do not use your entire food budget, you can look at your B-list and decide if you want to invite a few more people to your wedding.
  • Be honest with yourself about the numbers: decide how many guests you can comfortably host and be firm about sticking to it.

bride & Groom cuddling under wedding veil

MONEY SAVING TIPS

FOREVER LOVE

Choose in-season flowers and food

wedding reception breakfast room with lots of wood and tables

YOUR ADVENTURE AWAITS.

"Seasonal" and "local" are two words that will help you save money on catering and flowers. When you buy in-season, you're buying food and flowers at their peak of supply, when prices are typically lower. Plus, buying local means flowers/food won't need to be shipped halfway around the world; not only will you save money, but also minimize your carbon footprint - it's a win-win situation!

Find a venue that will let you BYOB

For many couples, alcohol for their guests is a huge expense, so be mindful of cost-per-bottle when deciding on a venue. Look for places where you can purchase and serve your own alcohol so you can keep track of the price.

bride walking down the isle with her dad smiling

Having both your ceremony and reception at the same place can save you a ton of money—not to mention simplify the planning process. If one site is just too costly, consider holding your cocktail hour in a separate area from the main venue or researching nearby spaces for rent that are affordable. If you can have the entire wedding in one spot, you'll also save on transportation costs.

Pick a location that looks great au naturel

Allow nature's beauty to work for you in outdoor areas with stunning views! Venues that already have inspiring natural features, like a beach, garden, or barn, can save you hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars—all you have to do is supply the finishing touches. Scour wedding websites and Instagram for inspiration on how other couples used minimal decorations in beautiful venues. You might be surprised at what kind of impact just a few simple items can make.

The Wedding Timeline

Your wedding day is a beautiful experience to be enjoyed and remembered, so I always recommend to my couples that they have some kind of timeline to refer to. If you're working with a planner, they should have this for you; otherwise, about a week before the wedding, you should create a detailed, hour-by-hour wedding day timeline to ensure your big day runs smoothly.

This will help you stay organised, calm, and on time.

Share your wedding day timetable with your wedding party, day-of coordinator/planner, photographer (me!), caterer, florist, and other vendors once you have completed it so that everyone is on the same page.

While most weddings follow the same format, the order in which events occur may vary depending on your preferences. It's not a one-size-fits-all situation. If you have any questions, please feel free to talk to me regarding the specifics of your day and I can help you work it out!

Here are some suggestions for how much time to give for each event, as well as a general order of events.

bride & groom cutting their wedding cake in the ballroom

NOTE: Depending on the time of year, we can plan a quick "golden hour" shoot for your couple photos. Also, keep in mind that these are just rough time estimates and can vary depending on your specific wedding plans.

Things that matter

wedding vows and gold leaf bowl with lave necklace

This section is all about the photos. There's something special about capturing your wedding day memories. As a photographer, I focus on telling your story in the way that's most meaningful to you, by documenting all of the special moments throughout the day—from getting ready to walking down the aisle to dancing with your guests.

You've probably spent hours carefully picking the various details of your wedding, and I enjoy photographing them as part of your day's story! Example details you may want me to capture are listed below.

Please gather all of your wedding details and have them available for me when I arrive. After greeting you, I will begin taking detail photographs while your hair and makeup are being done. To save time, I suggest gathering the items in a box the day before.

Quick tip: If you want clutter-free images, designate a room at the venue or a section of a room as the "bag area" and keep most of your belongings there.

Details Box

For the Bride

  • Shoes
  • The rings
  • All other jewelry
  • Headpieces
  • Perfume
  • Bouquet
  • Garters/handkerchiefs
  • Pretty Dress Hanger
  • Wedding stationary with envelopes i.e. invitations, programs, thank you cards.
grooms details brown leather shoes, watch, tie pocket watch and hip flask

For the Groom

  • Shoes
  • Pocket square / Tie / Bowtie
  • Belt
  • Socks (If patterned)
  • Cologne
  • Cufflinks
  • Watch

Others

  • Vow Books
  • Ring Box
  • Any other special details

Getting Ready

makeup artist applying makeup

I love capturing your excitement and emotion while you prepare—those priceless moments with your bridesmaids, mother, sister, or anyone else who is assisting you. These photographs are often my favourites. There's something about the jitters leading up to the wedding, the small moments of "this is it," and the often booze-induced laughter with your best friends.

Getting ready photos are primarily candid. However, I try to make sure everyone is mostly ready before I start photographing them. You probably don't want a photo of yourself with half-done makeup or hair! So just relax and focus on preparing, knowing that I won't capture anything unflattering.

It's completely up to you how you go about doing so. For some brides, having their bridal party wear matching outfits is the way to go; others may decide to give everyone a customised shirt or robe to wear while getting their hair and makeup done. After all, you're not only making memories on your wedding day—you're also preserving them. By the time I enter the room, you should all be looking and feeling fantastic!

Pick a room with plenty of natural light

After your reception and ceremony location, the “getting ready” space is the most important. It's where you'll spend the morning with your wedding party, prepare, and have photographs taken. When picking a place, look for an open space with plenty of natural light. Consider renting out a lovely Airbnb or boutique hotel room if the space provided by your venue doesn't seem suitable.

Bride & Groom exchanging rings at wedding ceremony

The Ceremony

You made it! This is the moment you've been looking forward to for months. It's easy to get caught up in all the preparations and stress, but remember that the most important thing is that this is the beginning of your lives together. Savor this moment!

The usual ceremony usually lasts approximately 30 minutes, but if you want to incorporate any particular traditions, I'd suggest allowing yourself an hour.

Two important tips:

  • Ask your officiant to move out of the way before the first kiss so they aren't in the background of the photo
  • Hold your kiss longer than usual for plenty of shots!

We're finally here.......

Couple's Photos

bride & groom on balcony at Moor park

If you choose to have a first look, we'll capture some photos of just the two of you afterward. If you're skipping the first look, we'll get these straight after the ceremony.

I suggest that you ask your friends and family to give you space during this part; most people find it easier to relax when they're not in front of an audience. However, if you prefer to have your own personal hype team with you, go ahead! Either way, you'll be overflowing with joy and love, and these images will prove it!

But what if we're always awkward in photos?

Don't stress! That's one of the most common worries I hear. Whenever a couple brings this up, it typically means "I've never had professional photos taken before" or "I'm awkward / nervous in front of the camera." It's one of my favorite questions to answer because I always say, "It doesn't matter!"

This isn't like getting a portrait. You won't be stiffly posed or nervously standing in an uncomfortable position long enough to wonder what your hands should do. I'm sure you've had enough of that with school photos. Expect to be reminded of the power and beauty of your love story by laughing until it hurts and running around like weirdos. I will never try to change you into something you're not; instead, I will give you the freedom to be the fullest version of yourself—that's where beautiful imagery emerges.

This isn’t a photoshoot for Vogue; you’re much more interesting than that!

You'll end your wedding day with hundreds of photographs capturing your love for each other. Believe me when I say you're going to look amazing in all of them!

bridal party walking in the gardens of offley place

The Wedding Party

Once your photos are taken before or just after the ceremony, it's time for the wedding party. I'll capture some shots of just one partner's side, then the other's, and then a group shot of everyone. I will also make sure to grab individual shots of the two of you with members of your party. If you're skipping the first look, we'll also do this section after the ceremony.

Get everyone's bouquets ready and boutonnières on, because these photos are going to be fun!

I know you want your wedding to be a blast for all of your best friends, so, like with the couple's shoot, I will avoid stiff poses. One of my favourite wedding party prompts is to have the couple kiss while everyone else cheers.

The Family

bridal party sitting for a photograph inside moor park with old paintings

My goal is for you to have the most enjoyable and efficient family photos possible. Although they may seem daunting, I am here to make them go smoothly. Here's what to know:

Tell your family about the photos

Make sure the family members who will be in your group shots are aware ahead of time. You can also have your officiant make an announcement, asking family members to meet for photos after the ceremony in a designated location.

Designate someone to be in charge

Having a friend or family member who knows your family can be a huge help in making sure everyone is present and ready for the photos.

We will work big to small

I suggest starting with the largest group and working your way down to smaller groups so that any guests who are no longer required can be dismissed. I also recommend taking photos of grandparents or older guests first, so they can be dismissed earlier.

Ask everyone to put their phones away

When a guest takes a photo over my shoulder, it can confuse folks about where to look and slow down the process. Please ask guests to refrain from taking photos with their phones. They will have plenty of time for that once we're done, I promise!

The Reception

bride & groom make entrance to main hall moor Park

Finally, some rest and relaxation.


You're married, and it's time to celebrate!


During the reception, I'll take some candids and group shots, so if you have any friends or extended family members you need photos with, now is the time. During this time, a lot of things happen and I'll photograph everything. So don't worry about me because you have the freedom to make the reception yours. The possibilities are endless!

NOTE - During your wedding breakfast is when we take our break, back up cards and refresh.

Unplugged Wedding

bride & groom kissing with viel

When you marry the love of your life, you ask all of your closest friends and family to be there to rejoice and witness your union, sharing this special moment with you and your partner. You want to see their faces, their grins, and their tears of joy and excitement as you walk down the aisle.

You probably don't want to glance around and find people taking pictures of you with cameras and phones obscuring their faces.

Unfortunately, I've witnessed many situations where a guest's phone is sticking out into the aisle, obstructing not only the moment but also the images I'm capturing as your photographer. I strongly recommend having an unplugged ceremony to avoid phones popping up in the background of shots and to allow guests to be more present.

There are a few ways to inform your guests if you decide to have an unplugged wedding:

  • Tell them early through the invitation. Add a line that reads, “We would love for you to be there, but we are having an unplugged wedding; we kindly request that you do not take any photos during the ceremony.”
  • Ask the officiant to make a brief announcement. Before the ceremony, your officiant can request that guests turn off their phones and refrain from taking pictures.

Self Care

Don't forget about the most important person at your wedding: you! Wedding planning isn't just time-consuming; it can also be intimidating. You might be feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and spread a little (or a lot) thin as your big day approaches.

Self-care is a vital aspect of wedding planning, as well as life, which many people overlook. No matter how overwhelmed you may be with wedding planning, your physical, mental, and emotional well-being shouldn't be taken for granted.

Sure, there may be snags along the way or even on the big day, but the most important thing is that you're getting married and all of your friends and family will be there to celebrate with you. Couples that have the most fun during their weddings are those who focus on the important things and don't sweat the small stuff.

Self-care tips for your journey:

  • Take a break from wedding planning and do something that you love.
  • Try yoga or meditation to relax and reconnect with yourself.
  • Spend quality time with your partner, friends, and family. Don't forget to go on dates!
  • Talk to a therapist or counselor if needed.

My Shot List

Getting Ready

Bridal Party

dress

suit

shoes

jewelry

bouquet

boutonnieres

rings

invitations

getting makeup done

putting on wedding attire

Putting on jewelry

putting on shoe

candids of everyone

each side separately

Silly or fun set ups

entire party

The family

Every family situation is different.
Please prepare a list of family combinations that you want photographed.

We try to capture as many candids of family throughout the day but cant guarantee to capture everyone.

The ceremony

reception

ceremony site & details

everyone walking down the aisle

each partner's reaction if possible

exchanging of rings

reading of vows

first kiss

guests

grand entrance

cake

decorations

guests interactions

toasts & speeches

first dance

parent dances

guests dancing

cake cutting

bouquet toss

The couple

shot of rings

individual photos

couple together

Talk Soon

get in touch

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything else I can do to assist you beyond this guide! As a reminder, one month before your wedding, please fill in the Wedding details form then we will have a final phone conversation and walk through everything. In the meantime, happy wedding planning!

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram

@shrigleyphotographyfilm

Louise@shrigleyphotography.co.uk

07472075344