What To Ask Your Wedding Photographer During Your Consultation?

This is probably one of the most Googled questions relating to wedding photographers. ‘What questions should I ask my Wedding Photographer?’ And it is certainly important to ask your wedding photographer questions, but make sure it’s questions that will actually help you! When we turn up to a consultation it is easy to see whether a couple has genuine questions and queries or whether they have just done a quick panic Google and are asking what they think they need to ask.

Bridal Celebrations, Luxury Wedding
West Sussex Wedding Photography, Country House Wedding

So here are our thoughts on what you should be asking and finding out from your photographer during your consultations. AKA: what two wedding photographers think you should ask your wedding photographer. - but that just seems a bit of a mouthful.


1. What Time do you arrive/finish on the wedding day and do you have restricted hours?

Hopefully this question should already be answered when you enquired or found the packages page on their website. But it is a really good idea to clarify as not all photographers work the same way. Although at Stephanie & Nicole we don’t restricted hour working hours a lot of photographers do and you may have to choose between an 6, 8 or 10 hour package. Also certain photographers may not cover bridal prep or the first dance. Make sure you know how much of your day is being covered and how much it is costing you. One photographer may seem a lot more expensive, but if they are offering all day, non restricted hours and another is offering 6 hours coverage- it may be worth doing the maths to see where your money is best spent.

Bridesmaids, Summer West Sussex Wedding
Ote Hall, West Sussex

2. Do you work alone/ Do you suggest I need a second shooter?

Similarly to the last point wedding photographers all choose to work differently. Some like us, always work together. Some hire second shooters when they feel they need and some prefer to work alone. So it’s worth finding out what you photographer prefers to do, what they suggest for your wedding and if there are any extra charges for having two photographers at your day. Do keep this is in mind if your expecting to have both bridal and groom prep images or if your ceremony has strict rules on where the photographer can stand- one photographer can only be in one place at once.


3. How long do you suggest for each section of our day?

It’s always worth speaking to photographers as early into your planning as possible as we can really help with the structure and timings of the day. Understandably quite often couples don’t realise how long things can take during a wedding day, especially if there is travel involved. Your photographer will have their suggestions and preferences on timings for the day, so it’s really worth investing time in asking these questions because it will certainly help relieve stress on the day and will stop you spending your whole drinks reception being dragged off for group shots! (We don’t want to do that to you!)

Wedding Confetti, Ote Hall
Luxury Gin Wedding

4. We’re having videographer’s, is that ok?

Although this is not essential it’s worth letting your photographer know if you’re planning on having videographers at your wedding day. It’s nice for us to introduce ourselves prior to your big day so we’re aware of each other. Your photographers may have done a scout of your ceremony and reception venue and planned their shots which could all change if they turn up to find a huge tripod in the exact place they wanted to stand. Often videographers and photographers need the same shot and angles so compromise is key. Just politely introducing ourselves is a great way to build a relationship to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day and everyone is aware of what’s going on.


5. Do you need feeding?

Again, I think your photographers will always let you know this pretty quickly but just in case they haven’t mentioned it it’s worth asking. A wedding is a long day and the only chance we get to eat between 9am-10pm is when you’re having your wedding breakfast. Some photographers choose to bring their own food, but some ask to be fed. If the photographer asked to be fed remember to mention this to your caters so they aren’t forgotten. (You’ll often find there will be a group of suppliers that need feeding: the band, photographers, videographers.)

Wedding Speeches, Natural Wedding Photography,
First Dance, wedding, Ote Hall,

6. What’s your back up plan if you can’t make it?

It’s a funny question this one, but worth asking. Personally speaking to other photographers we find that all of us have turned up to every wedding we’ve ever been booked for. Migraines, colds, twisted ankles, we understand this day is HUGELY important to you and unless we have literally lost all our limbs in a freak accident or have died, we’ll be there. But it’s worth knowing whether your photographer has access to a second shooter or is connected to other groups of photographers which they could access in an emergency?


7. When will I see my images after the wedding?

It’s definitely worth asking this and making a note of the date your photographer tells you. We totally appreciate that couples get told so much information from all their suppliers but emailing your photographer one week after your wedding asking to see photos when you’ve been told it will be 6 weeks isn’t the best move. Each photographer will have their way of doing things and will also be trying to get your photos to you as quick as possible (trust us!) So if you have these dates scheduled in your diary you won’t be checking your email every day wondering where they are, and it will certainly take the pressure off your photographer who will inevitably have 4 or 5 wedding edits on the go.

Also find out whether your photographer releases a couple of images early. We personally put one photo up on social media the day after the wedding and then a larger selection of about 20 1-2 weeks after that. This way we know our couples will get their wedding photo fix whilst we can carry on editing the rest.

Wedding Cake Cut, Marquee Wedding
Bridal Portrait, wedding bouquet,

Hopefully those tips will keep you prepared in meeting your wedding photographer and help you make the decision on whether they are right for you. If you’ve just got engaged and are wondering what else you should be thinking about, give our ‘ 5 bridal blogs every bride should be reading’ blog post a read to help start planning your day.

Top 6 Tips: How to have a stress free wedding.

So you’ve just got engaged and everything is rosey. You start thinking about your dream wedding, you start planning it and before you know it you’re swamped in 50 unread emails and trying to answer questions you have no idea the answer of!

 Robyn & Paul. The Kennels Club, Goodwood.

Robyn & Paul. The Kennels Club, Goodwood.

This is NOT how wedding planning should be, and it’s definitely not how you want to feel on the actual day. A well planned and prepared wedding equals a relaxed and stress free day, trust us, we’ve seen it!

So here are our top 6 tips on what you can do to ensure a stress free wedding!

 Sarah & Nick. The Weald & Downland Living Museum, West Sussex.

Sarah & Nick. The Weald & Downland Living Museum, West Sussex.

  1. Connect your suppliers together.

This may not be obvious straight away, but quite often wedding suppliers will have questions which will involve other suppliers. Instead of you having to do all the back and forth explaining everything to both sides it can be much easier to connect both sides via email. This way we can sort out minor on-the-day admin that you do not need to worry about.

As photographers this is also super helpful as we have regular requests from all suppliers for photos from the day. So already knowing and having a relationship with these suppliers makes the process a lot quicker and easier.



2. Plan everything to the minute...then forget about it.

This is our favourite phrase we like to tell couples during their consultation. But it is important! The more planning you do prior to your big day the better. This can be to the minute (we’re not even joking.) Don’t ever worry about having a wedding spreadsheet that is too detailed with timings, it will only help us and in turn make your day run more smoothly.

But the most important thing is...to forget about your timings on the day. Weddings rarely run exactly on time, all suppliers and photographers especially are used to it. (this is also why we personally don’t charge per hour.) The more organised you are prior to your big day the more likely it is to run on time anyway. But if things do get behind, don’t stress. Stressing on your wedding will never solve any issues and only ruin your day!

 Alice & Danny. Horwood House, Buckinghamshire.

Alice & Danny. Horwood House, Buckinghamshire.

Natural Wedding bouquet

3. Give Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Jobs!

You’ve picked them because they are your closest friends and family, they are there to support you on your big day, so give them jobs! They honestly won’t mind once the jobs are spread out amongst everyone. This is also helpful for them to understand the day and know what is happening when. So if we have any questions on the day we’ll always come to a groomsmen or bridesmaid in the know before we ask you.


4. Tell You Photographer Everything!

There is a bit of a theme with this blog post, can you tell? Details, details, details. We can only photograph things we know about or see, so the more we are aware of the more we can be prepared to photograph it. If you’ve organised a surprise car for your fiance, let us know! If you’re parents are divorced and don’t speak to one another, let us know! If you’ve plan to get up and do an impromptu speech, let us know!

 Eloise & Jordan. Woburn Sculpture Gallery, Bedfordshire.

Eloise & Jordan. Woburn Sculpture Gallery, Bedfordshire.

5. Don’t stress about the weather.

You can see it in a brides face in the morning, it’s pouring with rain outside and it’s ruining her entire day already! Don’t let this happen. You’ve put so much effort into this day, you cannot control the weather. As long as you have a solid wet weather plan in place this is nothing to worry about. Also as long as you are up for some fun, we can get AMAZING photos in bad weather, you just have to be open to it.


6. Keep parents in the know.

Now, we love parents, but sometimes they like to get very involved in the day. Just explain to them it is your day and this is what you would like to happen. Let them know your plans and especially what photos are being taken. Show them your photographers website, so they can understand their style. It’s been known for MOTB to be looking over our group shot list and complaining that Great Aunt Sally isn’t in the family shot. Or for them to start art directing shots that we SHOULD be taking. At the end of the day you are our clients, you’re the ones that are paying us. Of course we will try to get as many shots as the parents want, but you are our priority. Just keep keen parents informed of what’s going to happen to keep the stress out of your wedding day.

 Alice & Dan. Private House, West Sussex.

Alice & Dan. Private House, West Sussex.

Hopefully these 6 tips will help keep you on top of your planning and give you the amazing stress-free day you intended to have! If you’re interested to see how we work together as a two-some to reduce our stress on a wedding day then have a look at our blog post here.

Why Two: Do I Need Two Photographers At My Wedding?

 
Glamorous Garden Wedding,

So it’s been the must-have for all weddings couples over the last few years. The rise of the ‘second shooter!’ But do you really need one? What does it actually mean? And how will they help make your wedding the perfect day you’ve been dreaming of.

Having two photographers attend your wedding is a great way to ensure that your wedding will actually be photographed! What happened if one photographer had a family emergency or injured themselves? Although most photographers have great back-up plans for this type of situation, having another photographer guaranteed to turn up already is just fool-proof really!

Outdoor Garden Ceremony

You might have all the perfect ideas of how your wedding photos will look, but occasionally us photographers come against limitations on where and how we can shoot. This is particularly true during the ceremony, we may be told not to move during the service, or only to stand on one side. This is where having two photographers covering two angles can really help. This way we can easily capture everything you want without upsetting the person taking the ceremony, getting you in trouble and still remaining super subtle!

Outdoor Garden Ceremony

Wedding days involve A LOT of people management, and you can often end up with wondering Grandparents who are meant to be in a family group shot. So having one person finding family members, telling them where they need to be and advising on when we’ll need them for photos, whilst the other person is actually taking the photos always makes the day run so much smoother. (And makes the group shots much quicker- So more time for champagne!)

Bridesmaids, Groomsman Group Shot

One little last thing to think about is whether your photographer is offering ‘two photographers’ or a ‘second shooter’. You may not think there is much difference between the two, but there is! A second shooter could be someone who regularly works with your photographer or may just be a junior starting out who has never worked with that photographer before. They don’t know their style, their work flow, or know anything about you as a couple. Or the photographer (like us!) may be a kick-ass awesome-twosome! That is two, fully equipped, fully capable, wedding photography experts, who work together on every wedding and are fully committed to each couple and their big day.

Two Wedding Photographers


So there you go, I think you can probably tell that we think that having two photographers at your wedding day is definitely the way to go and takes the stress out of planning. If you want to know a little more about how we work together then click here to hear more (and meet Poppy the Cavapoo, the brains behind the whole operation!)

5 Top Tips to ask a Celebrant

We are so pleased to release our first guest blog post on Stephanie & Nicole, and for it we have the wonderful Jeannene Powell. Jeannene is an experienced London based Celebrant, who makes it her mission to ensure couples know all their options.  With a wide ranging background in the wedding industry, including civil and religious marriage officiating and registration, she has knowledge and expertise covering a variety of ceremony approaches. So with that in mind, we asked her- What are your 5 top tips to ask a Celebrant before you book?

Take it away Jeannene!

ceremony, celebrant, Woburn wedding,

Their training, experience and background Of course you'll want to know about their training and how long they've been performing ceremonies for.   But being a good Celebrant involves a wide range of skills.  So crossover expertise gained from other areas of life are great.  Being able to manage and direct people, public speaking skills and being able to think on one's feet are all useful.

The legalities There are different legalities covering Celebrant Ceremonies in different parts of the UK.  So do ask if you'll need to get the legal paperwork done just prior to your Celebrant Ceremony, or whether your celebrant can cover this.

Who designs the ceremony? This includes writing the ceremony, the running order, length, choosing readings, vows and incorporating other ideas.  You may be happy for your celebrant to write and design the whole thing.  Alternatively, you and your partner may like to write the majority or all of it, just having your Celebrant conduct it on the day.  Others view it as a collaboration, where you and your Celebrant work together to create an order, words and content which suits you best as a couple.  Think about what approach works for you both, and if a potential Celebrant has a different way of working, see if they're able or willing to match the approach you're looking for.

summer wedding, outdoor ceremony,

Ask to meet with them informally Prior to deciding whether they're the right Celebrant for you, ask to meet with them and check if there's a fee for this or not.  Aside from practical knowledge, you both want to get a sense that this is someone you can both see yourself working with, someone you both connect with and who "gets" your vision for ceremony.  In short, it's an opportunity to see if there's a match.  The Celebrant you choose will be conducting a very important ceremony in your lives, and you want to make sure it's the right person.  This is difficult to do by email or even just a telephone call.  So feel free to suggest meeting up over coffee, if they don't suggest it first.  If distance is an issue, video calling would be the next best thing.

If they're unwell on the day, do they have a back-up? Although this very rarely happens, there's enough stress in making sure everything else goes smoothly, the last thing you want is for the Celebrant not to make it on the day.  Ask what their back up plan for this is.  Many Celebrants know others, from their training or other circles, who can competently and professionally take over if needed. 

Oxford Wedding, Oxford town hall,

So, those are 5 top tips to ask.  And just remember, it's your ceremony, so make it count for you both, by having the best and most memorable ceremony you can imagine.  

Jeannene@innerworldouterlife.com www.innerworldouterlife.com

 

Top 5 Wedding Blogs Every Bride Should Be Reading!

Gone are the days where newly appointed brides would wonder down to WHS to buy every bridal magazine they can get their hands on. With a huge variety of online inspiration the ‘wedding blog’ has become the new way to shop anything and everything wedding. The question is now, what blogs do you read, which ones can you trust and which ones are right for your big day? So we’ve taken five very different but equally beautiful blogs so you can find what is right for you.

Magnolia Rouge, wedding blog.

 

Magnolia Rouge

First up is one of the most beautifully crafted blogs in the industry. Founded in New Zealand six years ago by Kate Holland, Magnolia Rouge has amazing inspiration for destination weddings, anywhere from chilly Iceland to the coast line of Montenegro they have it featured. But be weary, a lot of the weddings are styled and not real which is great for ideas and styling, but doesn't always work on practicality. If you’re loving what you’re seeing they also have a magazine, which is to die for!

Rock My Wedding, British Wedding Blog.

Rock My Wedding.

Anyone who is anyone in the British wedding industry knows Rock My Wedding, it is one of the biggest blogs on the UK market. If you’re looking for modern, rustic, country wedding inspiration then this is the one for you, RMW features a real variety of weddings, which are separated into real weddings and wedding inspiration- so you know you’re not being tricked! On top of this they have a great suppliers list the ‘Love Lust List.’

BlovedBlog, Luxury wedding blog.

BlovedBlog

Obviously we have to mention our lovely friend Louise from Bloved Blog. Louise runs one of the most beautifully curated blogs. If your wedding style is super white luxe with lovely shades of bush pink then this is the blog for you. BLoved has a variety of weddings and lifestyle giving a great insight into venues, how to’s and wedding suppliers. More heavily based on beautiful inspiration over real weddings Bloved is the one-stop-shop of wedding dreams.

Coco Wedding Venue, Blog.

Coco Wedding venues

Coco Weddings is a great venue finder for any bride that is stuck on where to have their wedding. whether it’s an urban warehouse or country retreat Emma from Coco has any UK venue you can think of (and some Europe based venues too). There is a great search feature based on location, capacity, venue type and wedding style, so you know you will easily find exactly what you’re looking for.

Love My Dress, Wedding Inspiration Blog.

Love My Dress

Love My Dress covers everything in super chic and sophisticated weddings. This blog is great if you’re into reading articles on difference aspects on weddings not just scrolling through endless images. LMD features a real mixture of styled and real weddings that all ooze wedding luxe with soft pallet tones. If you're interested in wedding tips there are some fab posts about how to survive weddings, wedding industry costs and insights into wedding fairs.

Planning your perfect winter wedding

Whilst there are many things to think about when planning your wedding - (we don't need to tell you this!) we feel this is one thing that shouldn't be overlooked. If your planning a winter wedding then timings are one thing you need to think about for many reasons but this is key - (of course this post however is a little bias to our needs), but we really feel this will benefit you!  In this post we are talking about winter light!! 

Yes its winter, the weather isn't predictable (but really when is it!) but what is predictable is the fact the sun will set much earlier, it will get dark earlier and on an overcast day its going to be getting dark very early! 

To combat this - Timing is everything!  
It is really important you think about the time of your ceremony. Yes a 2 or even 3pm ceremony is wonderful, in the summer when you can bask in the afternoon sun at your reception, have beautifully lit couple images, find time for group shots and sip pimm's without a care in the world. In the winter you will need to plan your timings a little more carefully to make sure you have enough daylight to be able to capture those precious moments outside.  Now depending on what month you are tying the knot the timings will vary, but it is really worth talking to your wedding planner and photographer about. 

Benefits
Now this is really what you came for, so lets talk benefits of a winter wedding and that light we are banging on about. Winter light can massively work in your favour, the light is low in the sky so there is more chance of those beautiful golden couple shots if you plan your day right.

Winter Sunlight

Golden 'hour' typically is about half an hour before the sun sets, on a crisp winters day this is magic. 

If the day is rainy or overcast this also isn't a problem, provided the couple and groups shots are scheduled in daylight this weather can have stunning softbox effect on the photographs. 

Discuss your vision with your photographer, they will help you schedule the day.