I've learnt over the years its quite handy to have a few things to think about photography wise before your wedding day. The majority of the day I shoot naturally capturing moments without intruding or directing any part of the day. I've always found this is the best way to get the most out photographing a wedding. The best images are pretty much always the natural moments when people don't realise the camera is on them, it also means you can concentrate on enjoying your day without worrying about posing.
The only time I tend to get involved and direct a little is for any traditional family formal photos you might like. I'm also pretty keen to take you away to capture some couple portraits, whether thats at the venue or off site, if you're up for making the most of the surroundings. Some of my favourite portraits have been made when we've hopped in my car and found somewhere epic as a back drop. Most of my couples have mentioned this has been their favourite part of the day as they get to take a little break and also get a bit of time together on there own (plus me of course) It usually ends up creating the wall art people display in their homes too.
I therefore thought it might be an idea to put a few points down to think about and maybe plan into your day if you wanted to.
It's really handy for me to have an itinerary for the day as soon as you have this ready to go. I shoot from bridal prep right through to an hour after the first dance so if you could let me know where you are going to be and at what time for every part of the day that would be awesome. Things to think about are;
-what time and where is your hair and makeup prep happening
-what time will you be putting your gown on
-what time is the ceremony and how long will it last
-is there any restrictions photography wise during the ceremony
-are you having a confetti shot, if yes have you provided some or let people know to bring some (the more there is the better the shot will be)
-what time is the wedding breakfast
-can the venue provide any type of food for me as I always take a break when you sit down to eat
-what time are the speeches, are these happening before or after the wedding breakfast
-what time is the first dance
-what time are you cutting the cake
-is there any "surprises" I need to know about
-have you allocated any time in your day for family formals and couple portraits?
* If your wedding is in Winter maybe think about the ceremony time, as light can sometimes be gone by 1530, if your ceremony is 1430 onwards it could be very unlikely there would be an opportunity to take any outdoor photos. *
If you are having any traditional family formal photos if you could think about which ones you might like and let me know that would be great. I usually advise a max of 10 for these, just from experience, as it can get quite time consuming for the couple rounding people up and I never want people to get bored when really you just want to just relax and enjoy yourself with this style of photography. Most people just have close family, parents, siblings, grandparents, wedding party etc but it's totally up to you. No rush with this but if you could get a list over to me before the wedding and also maybe earmark a couple of people who know both sides of the family that would be good at rounding everyone up for the photos. I can then concentrate on lining them up and taking the shots, it tends to run a lot smoother that way.
I'll always try and take a couple of little windows during the day to take a few portrait photos with you both together, whether thats on site or on location somewhere. The best kind of light to do this is in the evening (weather permitting). Ideally its good to use the last hour or so of light before the sunsets to capture the main couple photos but timings don't always allow it. I'm always trying to chase sunsets and the best light so if you wanted these kind of images its worth noting what time the sun will set on that day and it might we worth planning a small window in your itinerary for them.
I've attached a link to a sunset time table so you can check what time this will happen on your day and maybe factor it in if your interested.