It might sound obvious, but if you want good photos, book a professional, rather than giving the responsibility to a friend with a good camera. Wedding photos serve as a reminder of your wedding day for the rest of your lives and so if you want professional images, call on the services of an expert photographer. Seek recommendations from family and friends, check out bridal magazines, websites and blogs for work that you like. As you review their portfolio of work, consider what you'd like to capture at your own wedding. Does this photographer's work meet what you envision for your wedding? Do the couples look relaxed in the photos? When you find someone who meets your criteria, get in touch to find out if they are available on your date and set up a meeting to discuss costs and key elements.
A great way to get to know your photographer and to get comfortable posing in front of a camera is with an engagement photo shoot, which is a great warm up for the wedding, and also offers a perfect momentum of your engagement glow. I offer couples a half hour session in front of the camera to allow them to get used to it, and a few digital images to take home. Furthermore, for an additional cost, I offer a full engagement shoot at a location of your choice, with a diverse range of images.
You've booked this photographer for a reason - you liked their work and you've got a report with them so don't spend weeks worrying about your photos. Put your trust in their capable hands, safe in the assurance that they'll capture every detail of your day. Obviously if there is something a little different that you'd like captured, make sure to bring this up but you don't need to send them a list of every single obvious shot that you want. Plus, instilling your trust in them will allow them to do a better job so it's a win-win.
When it comes to wedding photography, one major aspect to consider is lighting! Light changes throughout the day, which will result in very different photos. If you're having a winter wedding, the light fades much earlier so you may need to consider having your ceremony a little earlier to afford your photographer more time.
No doubt you'll want to look your absolute best on your wedding day and so calling on the expert skills of a professional hairdresser and make-up artist will help ensure just that. Having a trial with both prior to the wedding will also offer reassurance as to how exactly you'll look, and so it's one less thing to worry about. While no doubt there are many skilled brides out there when it comes to hair and make-up, nerves on the morning can lead to shaky hands so why not sit back and relax and let the professionals take care of it?
When it comes to your hair, Claire from Moods Hairdressing, has some fab expert advice! She said: "Having your hair in tip top condition for your wedding won't happen overnight so you really need to start thinking about your hair at least six months before your wedding. Healthy hair is like healthy skin so you need to look after yourself from the inside out. Small steps such as getting plenty of sleep, upping your water intake and eating as clean as you can will all go a long way towards healthy hair. It's also important to try not to let the stress of organising a wedding affect you too much as stress can lead to hair thinning and loss.
Here are a few tips to ensure your hair is looking great for your big day...
When it comes to prepping skin for your big day, celebrity make-up artist, and proprietor of RAW Make-up, Rosemary Wright has some amazing expert advice! She said: "Many women attending the wedding will get their glam on and attempt a red carpet look for your event...but what smart bride wants to look like the rest of her guests? I feel the same way about brides that turn to runway and fashion trends - I'm not a big fan.
You have to be super careful with trend or runway look as they become dated very quickly! The last thing you want to hear is your guests murmuring in amusement at your 'interesting' bridal beauty choices. Do you want to be that bride? You know the one who looks at their bridal album a couple of years later, wondering "What was I thinking?"
Don't believe it happens? Well then go and ask an on-trend bride from five to ten years ago...ouch!
I'm a bridal make-up artist. A women should look like the most beautiful version of HERSELF on the big day. Looking timeless is the key, but timeless doesn't mean you can't look modern. Always keep the bridal 'ahhhhh' factor in mind. You want to hear the soft sound of recognition, confirming you are the undisputed star of the event. Beautifully applied make-up that accentuates all your best features is the only way to bring on the 'ahhhhhhs'."
Rosemary has also used her years of experience to share some top tips for your wedding day make-up. She said: "Between the cheers, tears, hugs, kisses and endless photos a bride needs to look fabulous throughout the event. It is imperative for make-up to not only look great, but to hold up...even under extreme circumstances. With thoughtful application and carefully chosen products, you can create what I lovingly call 'The bulletproof bride.'
Prepping the skin correctly is the ONLY way to ensure flawless, long-lasting make-up. The key here is well prepared skin that is cleansed, exfoliated and moisturised/hydrated properly. Proper skincare should be followed by a make-up primer. If you have a skin challenge like oiliness, enlarged pores or a rough skin texture, there are fantastic primers out there that address each of these concerns.
Choose a foundation that suits your skin type and coverage needs. Your foundation colour must be an exact match to your neck and should never look heavy or obvious, even if you need full coverage. Modern full coverage foundations are amazing, offering opaque coverage without looking thick or heavy. Here's where I jump on the new technology bandwagon. Silicone based make-ups float on top of the skin (not down in the pores) and create a long-lasting, water resistant, natural look.
I use a lot of waterproof, water-resistant and transfer resistant colour cosmetics in my arsenal of bullet proofers. Foundations, eye make-up, blushers and lip colours that have long-lasting properties will stay put and fresh looking, no matter what happens. Just remember to choose your products carefully. Make sure they're comfortable on the skin and have a natural look (not dry or cakey)."
Wedding photographers tend to be a creative bunch and we relish the opportunity to dare to be a little different. So when it comes to those intimate portrait shots of you and your other half, if you'd love to do something off the wall, don't be afraid to speak up. No doubt your photographer will jump at the chance to get creative and the result will be some truly memorable wedding day photos - a perfect addition to your album.
It's no surprise that the more relaxed you are in your photos, the more natural the end result will be, so let loose! Avoid rigid arms and awkward mannequin poses, and if you need to, jump up and down to shake out your limbs.
Knowing your angles and different pose options will definitely work in your favour so while your photographer will guide you on the day, if there's a way you're more comfortable standing, practice this with your other half for effortless photos.
It's a good idea to have someone on hand (such as your partner) to make you laugh. The trick here is to keep it natural and not suppress it into a frozen smile. Natural laughter offers your photographer the opportunity to get some fabulous natural shots of you and your other half.
Living in Northern Ireland means that the weather isn't always kind to us and facing the possibility of having rain on your wedding day will mean that you are well prepared to handle it. Be prepared for cold, wet weather with appropriate footwear, blankets and umbrellas. Check out my post on winter weddings here for great advice on how to handle adverse weather conditions.