Friday, 7 August 2009

Ten Top Wedding Tips from a Wedding Photographer

  1. Brides – tell your Dad to get ready in good time. Dad has worked out that if the service is at 1pm, it takes 10 minutes to get there, it takes him 10 minutes to get dressed and 10 minutes to have a shower, so he can start to get ready at 12.30. In fact the photographer might be getting there at 11.15 and leaving to go to meet the groom at the church at 12.15, so there are now no pictures of bride and dad at the house.
  2. Hair and makeup can often take up to 40 minutes longer to do than the make-up artist estimates. Having overrun their slot and left you running late, they can walk away, not having to face the consequences of the bottleneck that follows. Book them a bit earlier and if they are swift and you are ready early, you can have an extra glass of champagne.
  3. Take the labels off your shoes before the day and before you have had your nails done.
  4. Don’t forget to turn your mobile phone onto silent before the service starts.
  5. Wedding photography can be great in the rain. Don’t stress as you can often still have great pictures in all weather but don’t get caught holding a brolley when there is lightening about.
  6. You can ask the florist to make you up a cheap throwing bouquet, with flight in mind. This saves your main bouquet, in case you want to keep it or give it as a present.
  7. Warning: Catching the bouquet can be the end of a relationship. Mind you maybe it wasn’t meant to be and it just focuses the mind.
  8. Try not to lose any friends in the run-up. Organising a big event can be quite stressful, so try and be aware of your new stress levels when you are dealing with people. And enjoy it and if possible share the organising with anyone else who would also enjoy playing a part.
  9. If you have booked the honeymoon suite and want some portraits in the room, during your portrait session time, make sure the groom has the key, not Mum, as come the portrait session, Mum could be anywhere and then half the portrait slot time is lost trying to find her to get the key.
  10. Make sure the DJ knows your first dance song and even consider taking it on disk, just in case they cannot locate it on the day.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Tips for Wedding Guests . Part 2. The Reception

Is it your first time being a guest at a big British wedding? Or first time with your young children in tow? Part of your stress is the not knowing. Forewarned is forearmed, so here is a bit of an explanation of what to expect and a few tips to help you avoid confusion, faux pas, relax and enjoy your day.

  • At the wedding reception, there will most likely be a seating plan. You can check this and then you’ll have an idea where you will be going once inside the room in which you will be eating.

  • If it is a formal affair, there will be a greeting line or line-up। This is an opportunity for the couple and sometimes parents and even bridal party to greet guests personally and thank them for coming. Its handshakes and hugs.

  • After not eating for hours, you are approaching tea time and depending on the time of year, possibly darkness. It is now it is time for the Wedding Breakfast. Clever eh?
    The couple will be introduced and all the guests greet them into the room। Once they are seated, everyone else can sit down. You can usually expect 3 courses + coffee and champagne and 3 speeches: Father of the Bride, Groom and Best Man, along with a few gifts to key persons. The champagne is for toasts during the speeches.

  • There may be disposable cameras on the table, for you to snap the other guests. It’s a good idea to make use of them but don’t forget to charge the flash before making a picture. Then keep your fingers away from the flash and the lens when making your picture.
    You may well be asked to fill in a guest book। If you are not the kind of person who can make something up on the hoof, you may wish to have a sentence or two worked out in advance, perhaps saying something positive or just wishing the couple good luck and happiness.

  • During the meal, circulation time or in the evening, try and spend some time with the couple। They invited you so clearly want to spend time with you. All too often, everyone thinks the couple are too busy and try and give them space. In the end they can end up feeling lost at their own party. The couple may circulate during the meal but they may feel too overwhelmed themselves. Remember they are the same people you normally see in jeans and a t-shirt and now they are sandwiched between parents on the top table and would probably appreciate you giving them a temporary rescue of a chat about the stag or hen do, their honeymoon plans or just whatever it is you normally do together.

  • On the whole, most couples prefer to be the only ones on the dance floor for at least the first half of their first dance, so if you have children with you, please hold them back between the time the DJ or entertainer introduces the first dance and a point when they invite other people to join them on the floor. This is not the case 100% of the time and some couples can’t wait to not be the only ones on the floor. It’s worth checking if you think you’ll have a job holding the kids back.

Tips for Wedding Guests . Part 1. The Service

Is it your first time being a guest at a big British wedding? Or first time with your young children in tow? Part of your stress is the not knowing. Forewarned is forearmed, so here is a bit of an explanation of what to expect and a few tips to help you avoid confusion, faux pas, relax and enjoy your day.

  • Eat well before-hand. It’s generally a long day and there’s a lot to get in before the meal.

  • If you haven’t bought gifts on-line, through a gift-service, label your gifts and cards clearly. Upon arrival at the reception, place your gifts on the gift table. There will often be a cardboard post box for cards. All too often, unlabelled gifts are thrust into the arms of the groom, at the church, just before he gets married or into the arms of the bride in their receiving line and there’s really nothing they can do with them at those times. Usually someone has to rescue them and remove the cards and presents, so that they can perform their duties. Then later they are unable to thank people, as gifts have not been labelled, which is unsatisfactory for guests and the couple.

  • Bring some confetti or rose petals . Rose petals are environmentally friendly and some venues do not allow the use of traditional confetti.
  • Arriving: For most guests the ideal time to arrive at the church or register office is 20 minutes or so before the service begins. If you arrive earlier, before the groom an ushers get there, just wait until they have arrived before entering the church. But do not arrive after the bride. This is a sin and you must do the walk of shame.

  • Once at the church or civil service location, you must be seated before the bride and (typically) her father arrive. Although it is the ushers job to ensure that everyone is inside and seated in good time, it is often their first time at the job and will be nervous and may not wish to tell people they don’t know, what to do. Get inside around 15 – 20 minutes before the service starts.

  • You may be asked by the ushers whether you are ‘bride’ or ‘groom’. To clear this up once and for all, they have not confused you with the guy in tails or the lady in the white dress. They wish to know whether you are a relative or a friend of the bride or the bridegroom, so they know where to seat you.

  • Guests with children: It can be stressful taking small children to a wedding. More and more churches have taken this into account and provide a designated play area, with a selection of toys and books, towards the back of the church. The vicar probably won’t mention this until you are seated by which time it’s too late. Look out for this on arrival and if you are lucky and they have one, head straight for it. Don’t battle on in the isles, attempting to maintain silence, until the inevitable explosion occurs, just go for the play area. You’ll find quiet play a lot less stressful and no one minds the sound of parents talking to their children and introducing toys to them. They’ll just be grateful it’s not screaming.
  • At some point you will most likely be asked to pose in group photos and engage in the tradition of throwing confetti. I’m sure you’ll do a grand job.