I hope you are all well! I thought I'd write a little blog with some advice for your wedding day, not just about wedding photography but also just a general running order of the day and bits people forget to tell you.
What qualifies our wedding photographers Essex to do this? Other than being married myself, my team and I have photographed and filmed hundreds of weddings across Essex meaning we have seen every mistake, epic win and trick there is to ensure your wedding day is a huge success.
Eat a decent breakfast
This sounds silly but most couples get a little bit of anxiety in the morning as they want to ensure that everything goes right on the day and nothing gets forgotten. As a result, they skip breakfast.
Doesn't sound like a big deal right? Remember this the day where people are going to be handing you drinks all day from the moment you get married (minus those sneaky last-minute bevvies you had beforehand). I have seen couples get obliterated very early on in the day to the point where I've done a couple of photos and struggled to get a photo where their eyes aren't crossed. One wedding I had to stop the groom falling in a lake!
So in short, force yourself to eat a proper breakfast.
Practice tying a bow-tie if you're wearing one
Fellas, tuxedos and bow-ties look the nuts. However, bow-ties aren't easy.
Yes, there's a Youtube tutorial for everything but honestly, make sure you practice otherwise you'll be flapping about in the morning stressing that you can't get it right. I've shot a wedding in a hotel before where we had to call reception and get 5 different waiters to come to the room and tie the groomsmen bow-ties. It took 5 waiters before we could find someone who could actually tie one!
If you don't trust your groomsmen to practice, practice tying a bow-tie on someone else as that's what you'll be doing.
Don't have a big list of group shots
There aren't many opportunities in life when you get all the family together. Sadly, it's usually weddings or funerals. This doesn't mean you should get every family photo combination you can think of.
We always advise our couples not to go over 8 formal photos. This is because someone always wonders off or someone isn't paying attention and it takes forever. You don't want to spend your whole day smiling at the camera. Put it this way, 8 good group photos takes around 30-40 minutes.
Remember, you have the entire day to get photos of you and your mates or Auntie Karen. They don't have to all be formal and done in one hit. Spread them out and enjoy your wedding day.
Tell everyone to sit down once you get to your seat
This is a simple one. When you get welcomed to the reception "please be upstanding for Mr & Mrs...", tell everyone to sit down once you get to your chair. It happens at every wedding where the guests stand and stare at the couple as they don't know what to do. Just tell them "please be seated" or get your master of arms/toastmaster to do it.
Have your speeches after your meal
Guests get super hungry at weddings, they usually skip lunch as they know they're getting fed at some point. If you want people to listen to the speeches and not just think about how they wish they had a sandwich before coming out, do your speeches before or after dessert.
Write and practice your speech
This is mainly from the grooms and it comes from a personal regret of mine.
At my wedding, I decided to wing my speech on the day. It was mainly a list of thankyous and I said: "my wife looks stunning" (standard wedding go too). This was okay and people didn't think much of it but the reason I regret it is that there aren't many opportunities when you get to publically tell the world how much you love your partner. I hate public speaking but I still regret it to this day.
Even if it's not your style, imagine how taken back your partner would be if you showed a little emotion and told her how you felt in front of her friends and family.
Here's what one of our grooms had to say about doing a speech.
Drag people into the first dance if you hate it
This again comes from personal experience. I'm crap at dancing and I always will be. My first dance resembled an awkward school disco slow dance. We danced for a bit and asked people to join us but no one did so everyone watched us spin in circles for another 2 minutes.
A good little trick that I've seen is once you've danced on your own for a minute or so, let go of each other and pull in your parents and invite people to join you. If they won't join you voluntarily, don't give them the option.
Everyone else joins in after as they're not going to be the first person.
Spend extra on a good DJ or a great band
Once people are on the dancefloor after the first dance, you need a great band or DJ to keep them there and get people dancing. I've done a few weddings where people just walk off after the first dance and stand at the bar and it's another 2-hours before people are back up dancing.
Great music is what makes a wedding epic.