Planning a wedding is notoriously stressful, and the last thing we want to do is add to your stress. Instead, we want to give you as clear a picture as possible of what it is actually like to work with us. In this guide we lay it out for you: what to expect and how to get the absolute most out of our services.
Of course not everything in here will apply to every wedding. This is a guide, not a rulebook. Respecting the individuality of each and every couple we work with is one of our highest priorities. At the end of the day you make the decisions and we take the photos. But this has been our recipe for success so far, and it’s the best place to start (after making sure you love what you see in our photo and video galleries) if you’re looking for some clarity regarding our process or just a few wedding tips in general. We’ve found that whatever makes our job easier is bound to make your day better.
Though it might sound epic in theory to spread the day out over multiple locations, we’ve found that doing this rarely works in practice. It eats up time, allows more opportunities for small mistakes to create big problems and is overall stressful for everyone involved.
Instead, spend a good amount of time researching different venues and settle on one amazing one. There are actually many venues which offer a diverse array of scenery all in one place (for example: a farm property with a homestead, barn, garden, forest and fields all accessible on foot). A little creative thinking before the day can save a lot of time and stress later on, and often results in much better photos and videos as we also have more time to canvas the area for good shooting spots.
Similarly it is preferable to get ready as close to the wedding venue as possible. Avoid hotels and motels if you can. Not only does the cramped size make it harder for you to get ready, but they also usually make a fairly bland backdrop for photos and videos. A little searching on AirBnB can most likely find you a much more spacious accommodation with some personality and flair for a similar price.
As stated above, it’s best to get ready close-by. Choose something that suits you and will flow well visually with later locations. Decent lighting is also a must! We are more than happy to advise and assist with finding the right place, so don’t hesitate to ask for our help.
TIP: If you want us to capture any details before you put them on (jewellery, cufflinks, cologne, veil, etc.) please put it all in once place before we arrive as this saves a lot of time.
Grooms | 50 – 90 min
Grooms, it may seem like you have little more to do than get dressed, but there is much more to it than that. This is a sacred calm before the storm. It’s important to us to get footage of you getting ready surrounded by your chosen loved ones. Tying your tie, putting on your cufflinks and jacket, having a drink and a chat with your groomsmen, making all the final little tweaks and touches; it’s all significant. And if you’re doing any other activities (a morning surf, writing your vows, video-calling a friend or relative abroad) even better! Just let us know and we’ll be there to capture it.
TIP: Wait for us to get there before you start getting ready. What might seem like unimportant moments to you can make for a great shot to us.
TIP: Learn how to tie your own bow tie/tie and flower pin. We love to get a shot of you doing your own!
Brides | 60 – 120 min
We understand that this time can feel very chaotic! Even the thought of having people there with cameras “in your face” might sound like too much. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Be thoughtful about who you’re inviting into this part of the day. Limiting the amount of people all getting ready in the same place at once will prevent you all getting in our way and each other’s (and using up certain resources like power points, mirrors and hot water). If you do have a larger party who you want to get ready with, take this into consideration when choosing your prep location to ensure there is enough space for everyone.
And remember: while some people thrive in noise and crowds, some people definitely don’t. It is going to be a very busy, social and emotional day, so do whatever is right for you.
Whatever you choose, we suggest scheduling in some champagne and camaraderie with your inner circle/bridal party. It’ll be a nice little reprieve with your absolute closest friends and family before everything gets going.
As for us, we usually start shooting when your hair and makeup are almost done. If, for any reason, we are going to miss this part and you still want a few shots we can always get you to mimic doing some touch-ups on yourself. If you have hired professionals there is no need to pay them to stay longer – it makes for a more intimate feel when we can get shots of you doing your own makeup anyway.
TIP: If you do decide to get ready with your bridal party, investing in some matching robes or PJs makes for great photos – plus it feels special and they double as mementos for you all to keep. Stick to a pastel palette as strong colours don’t photograph well.
We suggest that as part of the pre-ceremony ritual, the couple write one another letters that they can each read before seeing each other on the day. This always makes for a touching moment in the film but more importantly it is a powerful reminder to the couple of what this day is really about and why this person is their person. Gifts can also be a nice addition.
Something else you can do before the ceremony is to organise a “First Look” with one or both of your parents. If your parent/s was not with you while you were getting ready this can be a really lovely, emotional little moment – one that will most likely be a tear-jerker in the film! You will do this in a private location with just you, your parent/s and us, however we will be at a reasonable distance so it still feels intimate and not awkward for you. If you would like to do something like this please let us know beforehand, and of course make sure your parent/s is in the loop.
This one is a little more time-consuming (around thirty minutes) but is definitely well worth it: A private ceremony with just the two of you and us – again at a respectful distance. This is always an emotionally charged moment, full of love and intense vulnerability. There is an energy that cannot be put into words. But you can try! By exchanging your vows here, alone together, if you aren’t so comfortable speaking in front of everyone. You can start this little ceremony off with a “First Look” (one of you is blindfolded or facing away) or a “First Touch” (touching hands with a wall or door between you), both of which are incredibly special and sweet and a way to ensure you have some real quality time together before the day kicks into high gear.
TIP: It is enormously helpful to let us know in advance of any specific photos or video shots you have in mind that you absolutely do not want missed. Most of the time it will be something we would naturally capture anyway, but for all of our peace of mind it is best to be clear about your expectations.
Outdoors – Sunny Weather
A gloomy wedding day is rarely wished for, however a sunny wedding day is not always the blessing it might seem! Direct daylight sun is actually some of the worst light to shoot in, and creates some other issues as well.
First and most importantly is sun safety; if you are having your ceremony and/or reception outside please provide both adequate shade and sunscreen, even if it is not spring or summer. If you are getting married in the warmer months also ensure you provide cold drinks to keep everyone safe and cool – or hey, if you want to do something different, why not hire an ice cream truck for the day?!
Keep in mind where the sun will be at the time of day you are having your ceremony. You want to avoid having the sun directly in your eyes. If you’re not sure yet of the time, we cannot recommend more to have your ceremony either in the morning before the sun gets high or in the afternoon/evening, about three hours before the sun goes down. These are the best times of day for natural lighting. Again feel free to consult us and we will help you pick the perfect time.
If you do have to have the ceremony during these harsh middle hours, it is imperative that you find a shady spot for it. This will help keep everyone cool and protected from the worst of the day’s UV rays, and it will also create much nicer, softer and more natural-looking photos. There are plenty of options for shade, such as patio umbrellas, gazebos, event tents, trees and more. As always we are happy to advise.
It may surprise you that overcast weather is what we as photographers pray for! Cloudy days make for much better and more consistent lighting, and even a little rain is no problem so long as preparations have been made beforehand to allow for it. No matter the season, it is always best to consult with every vendor involved to make sure you both know what to do in case of rain. This will help alleviate stress both before the wedding and on the day, knowing that your wedding day is weather-proof. If you’re expecting the day to be dry you should still have tents, umbrellas etc. for sun protection, so make sure these are waterproof as well and bam! You’re ready for anything.
Relax! When you let your heart speak – it will be beautiful.
Your words don’t have to be perfect, just real. Start observing your relationship, the daily routines, special moments in between.
Have a closer look: Where is love? Maybe you can find it in the coffee your partner brings you to bed every morning. Or in the way, she looks at you when she thinks you’re not noticing her. In his hand on your leg while driving. Relax and start writing down everything you notice.
Just start! Do you have a nice collection of moments? Now go through the questions and let them inspire you. Some will make you remember beautiful stories; some won’t fit you and your relationship. Skip those. Choose what feels right; choose the ones that help you say what you want to express. Look through memories: Old pictures and videos, WhatsApp chat records, journal entries or love letters.
Listen to the music that reminds you of the beginning of your relationship. Remember how you‘ve felt back then and seen every step you took to come to this day. Let your thoughts out! Write them on paper or type them. Just start and let them flow.
What’s the best way for you to get into a writing mood? Maybe with a glass of wine on the sofa? Cuddled in blankets with your favourite music playlist on? On a bench in a park or sitting in a cafe watching the world around you? Maybe while moving? Hiking in nature or a cabin somewhere without phone connection? Or when you get moved? On a train, a plane or in the passenger seat? Be ready for the writing flow to catch you. Think about which situations you‘re a little more open and emotional than usual. Maybe after going to the cinema? After watching a touching story on the big screen? If you’re in a hurry because your wedding is close – create your favourite situation because last-minute vows are full of love too!
Get creative! You can‘t put into words how much you love your partner? You don’t have to. Try to describe it. How do you feel when you‘re thinking about him/her? What do you see? How would you explain your feelings to a five-year-old child? How to an alien? What’s the most absurd thing you could say to your partner in front of all your loved ones? How would a Hollywood movie with your unique story look like? Be open to your ideas and forget all the “You have to do it this way“ – thoughts.
Tell a story from your lives in which your love becomes visible. Anecdotes and special memories will make your words unique. Also, have a look at the dark hours you experienced together. Often we grow even closer together when it’s getting intense. What has your partner been to you when you were whirling around in a storm? Maybe you will find a picture to describe the situation—a fitting metaphor. You don‘t need to pull out painful details on your wedding day. Maybe you‘ll talk about how this has strengthened your relationship. Maybe it’s a good moment to say thank you.
Is there a book that reminds you of your love? A story, a movie, a poem, a song? A quote you’ve heard or read somewhere which made you think: YES! That’s us. That’s how I see you, how I see us. Then put it into your vows. Talk about it, quote it and describe how it moves you, what makes it special to you. Replace cliche sentences that have been overused and lost their magic with your own words.
Final Touch. Have you got a collection of beautiful thoughts and memories? Now it’s time to puzzle it together. There are no rules; it’s not an essay with an introduction, body, conclusion. How to begin? With the beginning? Talk about how you’ve met, what brought you here, to this exact moment where you look into each other’s eyes and say I do. Maybe you want to talk about what getting married means to you in general, what you thought about love when you were younger. What changed since you’ve met. You could continue describing your relationship and move on with describing your partner and your feelings. You can have a look at other speeches for your orientation, and always keep in mind: You can do it the other way around too. It should be your words if you feel what you’re saying it will touch others too.
Your speech is ready! If you’re a bit unsure, you can ask someone you trust to have a look at it. Maybe a friend who’s good with words or a relative who knows you very well. That’s not a must – you can also surprise everyone. Read your words for yourself and if you find a sentence that doesn’t sound like you – cross it out. Everything that feels authentic can stay. If you’re scared it might be too short or too much, ask someone for feedback. Maybe even a person who’s reading both of your vows and can tell if you’re on the same page. Now you can write your vows in a little book, and the wedding can start! It’s normal to be a little bit nervous; you don’t share such personal words daily.
PS: To be extra safe, take a picture of your speech or save it in your phone notes, in case the book disappears on your wedding day.
In case you’re feeling stuck try this: Spontaneously write the worst speech you could think of. Now you already know what you don’t want!
Think about a person who’s close to you: What would he/she say about you guys and your relationship?
You’re reading the questions, but they don’t really inspire you? Maybe you’re more of an audio person: Ask a friend to read them to you and record your talk. A natural conversation can start, and you might even remember different stories and get new ideas. Listen to the audio at some point and get inspired by your own answers.
Step 9 | Speak up
Now it’s finally time: The words are about to unravel! Scared as hell? Just imagine the listeners to be easy to impress. Because they probably are! You’re not in university, not on a public stage. You are at your own wedding, the atmosphere is good, everyone is excited to be taken away from your beautiful words. These are your loved ones; they can’t wait to hear what you’re feeling.
Remember: Your speech is allowed to be imperfect. You don’t need to use perfect grammar; you’re not reading an essay. You can improvise, shorten sentences, skip on words, surprise yourself. This makes it more natural and vivid; your partner and the guests will listen curiously. Let your words unfold; take breaks after your favourite parts. You just said a sentence that means a lot to you? Enjoy the reaction of your partner, look deeply into his / her eyes, give your words time to unfold. Take a deep breath before you continue speaking. This is not a “How to get it done as quickly as possible“ – challenge. This is your moment. You just shared a funny anecdote, and people can’t help but laugh? Join their laughter, put another comment on top. Stay flexible and enjoy it! 🙂
Your wedding day
What does this day mean to you?
Which moment are you looking forward to the most? For which reason?
What does getting married mean to you?
Imagine standing at the aisle: How do you feel?
What does marriage mean to you?
How do you imagine life as a husband/wife to be like?
What do you say I DO to? With which meaning?
What do you want to promise to your partner? Always closing the toothpaste? To be his / her support in difficult times? You can add daily things and inside jokes as well as meaningful promises right from your heart.
What do you want to share with your partner? The last piece of cake? The responsibility of a child? Every worry and every bliss? Take your time and think about what you really want to share from hilarious to lovable.
Marriage / Love
What’s your definition of forever?
What is love?
Do you believe in the one? If yes: When did you realize your partner is the one? How did you notice, where do you see it in your everyday life? When do you feel truly loved? Collect moments in which you felt the love of your partner strongly
What did your five years old self think about love? Your teenage self? And today?
How did you imagine your wedding as a kid? Is it going to be like that? Or different?
Who have you been when you’ve met your partner?
How have your past relationships been? What was different when you started this one?
What’s the first moment you remember? What was your partner wearing? How did his / her face look like? Which words did you say? How did you feel and what were your thoughts?
What changed because of your partner?
How do you see the world since you’ve been with him/her?
What is one of your favourite memories of your partner?
How did you become the couple you are today?
What challenged your relationship? How did you overcome this?
How was the proposal? What did you think and feel?
What do you believe in? What brought you together?
Which people are especially close to you? Who believed in your relationship?
How would you describe the path you walked together?
In which moment did you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with this person?
What is he/she for you? What could you compare it to? Maybe there’s a fitting metaphor (Home, anchor etc.)
What about your partner impressed you back then? What impresses you today?
Which character trait of your partner impresses you the most?
What is one of the weirdest things about your partner? Make him/her and your guests smile.
What’s a funny story you remember? Something that shows your partner’s character / a „classic move“ of him/her
What inspires you about your partner? To what does he/she inspire you?
What do you respect the most about your partner?
What are you proud of?
How well do you know him/her? What makes you think you know him/her?
If you’d write a book and your partner is the protagonist: How would you describe him/her?
What kind of feeling does your partner give to you? How do you feel around him/her? Which feeling would you like to intensify for him/her? What did your partner teach you?
How does your partner challenge you?
What’s the difference between him/her and other men/women?
What is he/she doing differently?
If you’d describe your partner as an animal – which one would it be? For what reason?
Which little thing do you love about your partner that he/she has no idea about?
What do you think and feel while thinking about him/her? What do you think and feel while looking into his / her eyes?
What are you thankful for?
What’s the basement of your relationship?
What’s your partner’s love language? What is yours? (Words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch) What’s his / her way of showing their love? What’s yours?
How do you deal with problems?
How do you fight? And who says sorry first?
What challenges are you working on? How?
What’s your magic trick for a fulfilling relationship?
What’s the cutest thing he/she ever said to you?
How do you know he/she cares for you?
In which moments do you feel connected to him/her?
When did your partner support you the most? Where can you always count on him/her?
How did you build your trust? What makes you feel safe?
What’s the most precious/valuable (not expensive) present your partner gave to you? What made it special?
What adventures/trips do you want to take with your partner?
How do you enjoy ordinary days with your partner?
If you could do only one thing for the rest of your life – what would it be?
How do you complete each other?
How does a perfect day in your relationship look like?
What’s something you can do with no one else as good as with your partner? When are you truly happy? When is your partner truly happy?
What can you compare your love/relationship to? Is it as good as the feeling of the food arriving in the restaurant when you’re starving? Or as good as the feeling of taking a bath and jumping into fresh sheets afterwards? You can play with your favourite comparisons.
How does it feel having your partner by your side?
How does it feel knowing someone chose to be with you for the rest of his/her life?
Imagine your life without your partner. What would you be missing the most?
And what did you want to tell him/her since forever? Say it now!
Where do you see the two of you in 50 years? Draw a picture in your mind. How do you look like, where do you live, how do you spend your Sundays? Which people are close to you, how do you feel while looking into your partner’s wrinkled eyes?
What do you wish for in the future?
What are you willing to give for this dream future?
Where do you want to go with your partner? How does your life look like in five years, in 15, now with the age of 75?
What’s the most beautiful future vision you could think of? What are you going to do to make it a reality?
Audio is 100% just as important as visuals for your film. Vows, speeches, live music are all dependent on good, clean audio to be useful in your video.
If one of you is wearing a jacket or vest, we can attach a lapel mic to capture the vows as cleanly as possible. Currently, we do not have a way to discreetly attach mics to dresses, however, we are continually looking for ways to do so. As a backup, we connect a recorder directly to a microphone and also to the PA system used by the celebrant. Since this is a highly important aspect of our job, we will, of course, consult with you beforehand to make sure we have a foolproof plan for capturing the best possible audio.
Dedicated Photo Times
Most of the day, we will be capturing gorgeous candid shots, but here are some notes about our more structured shoot times:
- After the ceremony is finished, walk hand-in-hand directly to the pre-arranged area for family photos (without any stops is best). Petals or confetti falling during this time always looks stunning on camera.
- You can of course arrange the schedule so that you get to greet guests before photos, however it’s easy to let time get away from you with that so we advise getting photos out of the way first. That way you can interact with guests without any time pressures as soon as possible.
- Family photos will take approximately thirty minutes depending on how many people are there and how many groups you want to capture separately. If you can prepare a list beforehand you will be amazed at the difference it will make as it can get complicated. Assign someone who knows everyone to be in charge of rallying people in and out of photos during this time.
- Wedding party photos will similarly take around thirty minutes. Since these are most likely friends and/or siblings it’s often more suitable to have a casual approach, have a drink and a chat, muck around and just enjoy yourselves and let loose after all the formalities. Of course these – and any – photos can be as posed or as candid as you want, but don’t be afraid to have fun and forget we’re there!
- If you did a private ceremony/got some couple photos before the official ceremony it is up to you whether you want another session before the reception, perhaps with a different tone than before. Just make sure it is scheduled and you let us know beforehand.
- We do highly recommend taking some time during golden hour and/or blue hour (around sunset) as the tones are absolutely gorgeous and should be taken advantage of!
Some things to keep in mind for the reception:
- It’s best if you plan in advance one single spot for people to give their speeches from. This allows us to plan for lighting and audio much better. Try to find a place with a nice backdrop without too much clutter or busyness in the background.
- We record the speeches via the microphone, so please plan for this and ensure one is provided.
- It works out best if you feed us before your guests. We don’t film while your guests are eating, but if we are served last we may miss our opportunity to eat before everyone else is finished and we have to get back to work.
- Give some thought to the tone of your first dance and arrange the lighting accordingly. If it is a slow dance then dimmer lighting will make it more romantic, and if it is an energetic dance then it will look a lot better on camera with more light, and perhaps with your guests joining you for your dance.
- When making your exit, it can be good fun and looks striking to have your guests see you off with sparklers. Just make sure you provide enough sparklers and jet/laser (wind-resistant) lighters for everyone. However, please be conscious of fire restrictions.
Some General Tips and Notes
- Try not to have any more seats than necessary as empty seats don’t look great. If your ceremony is in a church or somewhere with existing seating, have an usher move everyone to the front.
- Have the couple stand 3-5 metres distance from the front row of guests during the ceremony. This makes it much easier for us to capture the whole picture.
- It is preferable for all guests to be seated during the ceremony. If for some reason there are not enough seats, please keep standing guests at the back rather than scattered around the sides.
- Please take our mobility into account! Whether it’s at the AirBnB getting ready, during the ceremony or the reception. We don’t need excessive space but we do need ample room to move around with our equipment. If it’s unavoidable for us to be in cramped areas please let us know in advance so we can plan around it. We don’t want to have to choose between getting in the way or sacrificing an important shot.
- Guests being sited during a walk down an aisle makes photographer and videographer capture from the sides and not in the aisle and in people’s way.
- Make a point of asking your celebrant beforehand NOT to interact with you while you are watching your partner come down the aisle. It may sound obvious, but it happens. You don’t want to be distracted during that crucial moment!
- Stay close to each other during the ceremony! Stay hand in hand and maintain eye contact. We know it can be a nerve-wracking thing being in front of everyone, so don’t worry too much. It can just look a little awkward if you are too far apart.
- Rehearsal can be a life-saver! The steps that make up a ceremony may be simple on their own but there are a lot of them and it can get a little overwhelming and muddled if you don’t have practice to fall back on. For photos in particular, it’s good to have a “mark”, so to speak; knowing where to stand etc. so that everything comes out symmetrical and balanced. These seemingly small things can make a big difference!
- It can be difficult to find a PA setup that doesn’t look out of place and distracting on camera. Most are big and bulky and just simply don’t look nice. If you’re conscious of aesthetics it’s worth thinking about! A way around it can be to keep the setup out of sight at the back of the ceremony. Alternatively, we can recommend a system we consider to be “ceremony-friendly” (link).
- Similarly, try to resist microphone stands or any extras that are not directly part of the decor. It may sound picky, but when you’ve spent so much time, energy and money on making everything look beautiful, the last thing you want is some minor, unnecessary detail to derail it all.
- Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have. We are happy to meet up and chat and even scout out the venue to pre-plan shoot locations wherever possible.