Something I chat to my couples a lot between them booking and their wedding is their timings. I routinely send out Questionnaire form ahead of the wedding to check and confirm locations, ceremony time, meal time, when the speeches will be.. you get the idea. The weddings I cover each year are really varied in that a lot of my couples are having weddings at venues with co-ordinators, and a lot are organising a lot of their own timings.Hopefully this blog post will help cover any questions and give some advice that I’ve picked up along the way over my years shooting weddings.


For bridal prep I like to arrive 2-2.5 hours before the ceremony. This gives me enough time to photograph all the details like the dress hung up, ceremony room etc as well as capturing everyone getting ready, laughing, having a glass of bubbly and dad crying. It also builds a bond between me the bridal party.
To get the lovely fun getting ready photos, I ask that any clutter in the areas you’ll be using is removed – ask a bridesmaid or groomsman to do a quick five-minute tidy up every so often, so things like empty water bottles don’t end up in the background!
If both of you are getting ready in the same place (hotel, venue, at home), I can cover a little partner prep myself too, but if you want more dedicated partner prep (or they are getting ready in a different location) I can provide a second shooter for that portion of the day for an additional fee.

Any hairdressers and make up artists will usually already be there and will have organised their own timings depending on how many of your party they are doing hair and make up for that day.
Ideally, I would advise that you are ready 30 minutes before you are due to leave before the ceremony. Also take into account how long your outfit takes to put on – some take longer and are fiddlier than others! Especially as I will need to leave before you to get wherever the ceremony is being held.



The person conducting your ceremony will advise you of how long it’s expected to last. This is, of course, depending on whether it’s a religious or non-religious ceremony and whether you have hymns or readings.
Whether you have a church or civil ceremony I’ll always aim to arrive 20 minutes before so to get the groom sweating and looking nervous. I won’t leave for the ceremony until you’ve got your dress on though.
If you have a church ceremony, please be aware that not all Vicars allow photography and some send us to the back.




If you’re having confetti as you exit the ceremony, it’s great idea to have your bridal party hand out confetti as you sign the register, or round guests up before you exit so they know where to go to get their throw on. Everyone will want to give you a congratulatory hug at this point, so bask in it!
Great for venues which won’t allow any other type of confetti, and no mess left behind. You generally need loads of bubbles to show up nicely in photos. Traditional children’s bubble pots produce bigger and better bubbles than the smaller pots made specifically for weddings. For shedloads of super epic bubbles, consider bubble guns! (also loads of fun to be had with those at the reception)



If your ceremony and reception venue are different, it’s up to you whether you would like your group photos at ceremony venue, or once you arrive at reception. Some couples opt for reception if it has a nicer location or more space, and others opt for the ceremony venue to save time
The only part of the day that is truly posed
Personally, I advise my couples to allow time for group photographs as early into their reception as possible. As soon as guests have arrived at the reception venue is the best time to get these shots ticked off the list for a number of reasons; people don’t typically like being bothered by the photographer when there’s a bar and canapés being handed out .
Because I don’t know anyone in your wedding party, I require a couple of “helpers” to round up people in the group photos list for me.
I usually ask couples to nominate a helpful person who knows people from the group shot list to help round people up – it helps things run smoothly and is generally the most efficient way to move through these formal shots. You’ll have better things to do on your wedding day than stand in line-ups for hours on end.
I try and get this done as quickly as possible so you and your guests aren’t stood around for ages, but this does depend on how many groups I get given.
This part of the day I like to keep as short as possible. I suggest choosing no more than 10 groups.
Each shot usually takes around 2-3 minutes and depending on the size of each group the total session can take up to 30 minutes. More than 10 groups can extend this time leaving less time for your couple time and even less time to talk to everyone and enjoy those canapés.
For help on deciding, this is what your list might look like:

Bride & Groom+ Everyone

Bride & Groom + Brides Parents

Bride & Groom + Grooms Parents

Bride & Groom + Brides Grandparents

Bride & Groom + Grooms Grandparents

Bride & Groom + Bridesmaids & Groomsmen




One of my favourite bits of the day!
For couple photographs, most times we’ll stay on site at the venue, but occasionally there’s a wonderful opportunity that’s too good to miss either an route to the reception from the ceremony or a short drive away. It depends what your priorities are (obviously I love when people prioritise a bit of extra time for couple portraits) but I’d advise leaving around 20-30 minutes at this point in the day so we can make the most of this time.
Pretty much straight after the groups we’ll go for a wander round the grounds for 15-20 minutes. Really relaxed, casual and minimal posing. Basically I’ll let you two catch up and have cuddle away from everyone.
I mostly do simple, light posing – asking you to hold hands, have a walk, or hug. If you’ve had an engagement shoot with me then you’ll already know how I work. Please do let me know if there are any places you would particularly like pictures, and if you want to bring pets or props, go for it. I like my couples to have some time alone together – as the day is so busy, the couples session really is one of the few times it will be just the two of you, so I vary between shooting far from you as well as closer. It’s where my super mega zoom lens comes in:)
I may well grab you for a handful more photographs after the meal depending on the light (and the weather!) because sometimes it just too good to miss:)


More often than not, even if it rains on your wedding day, it won’t rain the whole day & you can still get those lovely outdoor photographs that you were planning on. As a photographer on a rainy wedding day I always keep an eye on the weather. So we can nip outside for your couple shots between showers, if I know that’s what is important to you. Even if it is a bit drizzly! We can find an outdoor location with some cover – an awning, a bandstand, some tree cover – to have your photographs taken under, ensuring you stay dry.
Have a selection of umbrellas on standby for yourselves, your wedding party & your guests to grab & cover up at short notice, just in case!
If your venue is in the countryside or has lots of lovely grounds that you’d like to get photographs in.  Or if you’re planning a marquee or festival style wedding, then a change of footwear will be a must! Get some wellies for you (& your other half if it’s looking to be really wet) & keep them somewhere handy for a quick change if you need them.
Sure it’s raining, but guys it’s YOUR WEDDING DAY!  Take the change in temperature as a great excuse to cuddle up to each other, particularly during your photographs together. In case it is a bit nippy, then set out some woollen blankets or pashminas in a basket for you & your guests – they will love that they can wrap up & still enjoy the day as the night draws in, without having to bring a spare jacket!
Embrace the weather! Remember the real reason that you’re getting married – it isn’t because of the weather, it’s because you love each other & want to celebrate that in front of your family & friends. So, whatever the forecast may hold you can still have the most perfect wedding day. If your dress gets a little muddy then it’s the sign you’ve embraced the day whole-heartedly; if there’s a storm then it’ll make for a great story to tell the children & grandchild.


During the daytime drink’s reception, we’ll be covering group photos and couples’ photos. Because you’ve hired me as a documentary photographer, I also use this time to shoot candid photos of guests chatting, having fun and playing games, if you’ve set them up.
After your group photographs and before the meal time, because it’s a wonderful opportunity to capture you and your guests taking the day in and enjoying yourselves. I love the natural moments when you’re all mingling and clinking glasses, hugging and kissing.. I capture all of these moments from the sidelines and weave between guests searching for these sorts of interactions. I’ll also find time to capture any details and stylings of the day at this point
Allow time to see everyone before you go and sit down, between arriving at the reception and sitting down you’ll need time for group photographs, some couple portraits and time to see everyone who’s come to celebrate with you. I would personally advise between 2 and 3 hours.


It’s completely up to when to have speeches, although I’d suggest either before or after and not in between each course . Some like to get the speeches out of the way at the beginning of the night so they can relax and enjoy the dinner .
Timings for your meal and speeches varies depending on what you’ve organised for catering and how many guests you have.  A three course sit down meal often takes much longer than a buffet/informal meal.     From my own experience, mealtime – not including speeches – takes 1.5-2 hours on average.
Time for speeches can really vary too!  If you’re having speeches before the meal, it can be a good idea to ask those speaking roughly how long their speech lasts, and then you can advise your co-ordinator or caterer accordingly (they may suggest sitting down for the speeches and meal a little earlier).  But if speeches are after the meal then things can often be a little more flexible. Again, from my own experience, speeches with three speakers tends to last around 20-30 minutes
During the wedding breakfast itself I take an hour’s break to rest, recharge my batteries and get something to eat. I won’t take pictures while people are eating, as nobody wants to see that! I also don’t shoot formal portraits of guests at tables . It’s often an awkward position for them to shift round the table (and gets in the way of the waiting staff) and it doesn’t work with my documentary style – I like to capture them having fun!


Often there is an hour or so after the meal and speeches before the evening reception starts.  As I said before, if the light is beautiful I may quickly grab you for a few photographs in this time. And it’s also another chance for guests to relax after eating before the night-time celebrations begin.  Usually, unless there is a separate space for your evening reception.  This is when rooms will be ‘turned around’ for the evening . Meaning that tables and chairs will be moved to create room for dancing and bands and/or DJs will set up.  If you’ve had an earlier ceremony this time after the meal may be slightly longer. My coverage covers everything from pre-wedding preparations to the first dance .  Aside from big evening reception moments like first dance and cake cutting- I will use this time to capture more candid’s of guests having fun.



Once complete, I’ll email you with login details for your finished wedding photo gallery. This gallery is private and password protected, so only you can decide who you want to see it. And guests can order their own prints, so you don’t need to give your USB to anyone. Low res images can be downloaded from the gallery at any time. Once you’ve viewed your gallery, I will parcel up your lovely USB . Your USB will contain high resolution printable images .

But whatever you do…PRINT YOUR IMAGES! They deserve to be ooooh’d over and shown off! Plaster them all over your house with pride and you’ll remember that one massive fun and lovely day always!

The day will fly by in a blur and will be over before you know it.  So taking time out to savour and remember it is so valuable.

I wish you an amazing wedding day!