Phones at weddings – what’s your view?

Guests with cameras and phones at a wedding

You may have read the post by a fellow wedding photographer that has been shared all over the world, about the problems he has encountered with guests with camera phones.

Guests taking photos with their phones at a wedding
Would you mind seeing a sea of phones as you walk down the aisle?

It’s an interesting one and there were certainly some points he made that we could identify with. But there were also some other points that are worth considering for couples as they plan their weddings and choose their photographer.

First of all, Thomas Stewart says guests with phones, iPads and cameras get in his way and ruin shots. That’s certainly a possibility, but it’s something that experienced photographers can cope with. You pick a spot that will give you the best images and that isn’t dependent on guests staying in their seats like robots. You give guests the opportunity to take images that will remind them of their loved one’s wedding day. And you have the confidence to direct people and have a quiet word if that is what is needed.

Mr Stewart also says the devices mean brides and grooms miss moments of their wedding. It’s an interesting one. There are plenty of couples who have asked guests to keep their phones off or in their pockets so they can focus on the events, but would it really spoil your day? It’s the day you marry the love of your life, it’s the day you have dreamed of and planned and the day your wishes come true. Memories created on your wedding day will last forever. And a few cameraphones can’t change that.

A guest takes a photo using his phone
Say cheese – does it matter who’s taking the photo?

He goes on to say the resulting photos taken by guests are poor. Well, some of them may be, but some of them are not. And they often have a different angle to the professional photographers. They may be watching the little bridesmaid at just the right moment to catch her poking her tongue out at the page boy, or they may be able to get granny to pose with the bouquet when she would decline politely if professionals suggest it. There’s a place for everyone.

However, when Mr Stewart urges guests to watch with their eyes and minds, not their phones, we can’t help but agree. So often at weddings – and other events – people are only seeing things through their phones. We spend a lot of time looking through a lens, but there are times when you need to see the whole picture and really live the moment. And trust that your professional photographer will be recording those memories for you to look back on.

 

Why keeping children entertained at your wedding is child’s play…

Winters Barn Country Wedding
The best weddings have roles for all members of the family

September traditionally means a fresh start, with the beginning of a new school term for thousands of children.

For brides-to-be, too, it can also signal a renewed vigour in wedding planning now the holiday period and the summer season of socialising are over.

So if you are returning to that to-do list, have you thought about how to entertain any little ones who will be at your celebration? If, of course, they are invited – but that debate is a whole other blog post!

Your options will depend on the age of your young guests, but are not necessarily constrained by budget. If you will have mostly tweens and teenagers, a games corner with electronic and other entertainment options may suffice. They can bring their own devices, or you can supply them – just add a power supply, comfy seating and maybe a screen or two to allow more people to follow the action. Or raid your cupboards for board games – try Scrabble, card games or anything like Pictionary or Charades that everyone can join in.

Toddlers can be kept amused for an amazingly long time with bubbles (and that can also make for some adorable photos!), or colouring – just make sure it’s pencils rather than felt tip pens unless you’re happy for your dress to end up with some additional colours! If there is enough space for a dedicated children’s area, you could bring some dolls with bridal outfits they can dress them in, Lego (but be prepared to lose some of the adults to that!) or even cars and a race track.

If you have any friends who are great with children, perhaps they could be in charge of entertaining them for the day as a wedding present. Alternatively, there are agencies who will supply qualified playworkers or nannies to look after young guests, leaving the adults free to enjoy themselves.

A bouncy castle is a popular option for all ages, including grown-ups, and will also create great memories as well as photographs, but if space is tight or the weather is unkind, how about giant games, such as Connect4, Snakes and Ladders or Noughts and Crosses? They are designed for use in the garden but work just as well indoors.

During the ceremony, it can be a good idea to have an area at the back where parents can retreat if their children get restless but where they can still see as you exchange your vows.

And for the meal, it’s often a good idea to have the children sit together and be served first, avoiding the risk of hunger and boredom. When they are finished, they can return to whatever fun entertainment you have laid on, removing the danger of them disrupting the speeches. Or, again depending on their ages, you could add things to their place settings such as a word search, a book to read or a picture to colour.

In the evening, any music should help keep them entertained along with the grown-ups and there’s usually a more relaxed feel so if they need to run around it won’t really matter. But again, a quiet corner with some books or games could mean their parents get more of a chance to let their hair down.

Whether your young guests are little angels or little devils, a little bit of planning and creative thinking can help make your wedding day stress-free for guests of all ages – but don’t forget to let parents know if you are providing child-friendly areas so they can decide whether they want to bring their offspring or enjoy the day without them.

Roses are red, pink, blue, yellow…

 

Roses are red,

Violets are blue.

What sort of flowers

Will be best for you?

Okay, so there’s a reason we don’t write poems – but as roses have been a key feature at several of the weddings we have attended this summer we couldn’t resist starting off with that little rhyme.

The answer to the question, of course, is whatever you want – as with all things wedding, there are no rules and it’s entirely down to personal choice.

Wedding rings on a bouquet
Choosing flowers that are in season has so many benefits for the bride and groom

But if your knowledge of flowers is about as good as our attempts at poetry, these tips on some of the flowers that are in season throughout the year may be of assistance!

We’re in the height of summer now and there is no shortage of flowers, of almost every colour, shape and size. So where do you start?

If you’re having a country-themed wedding, take inspiration from gardens or parks. Asters and cornflowers are pretty and simple, and a bouquet of sweet peas will give off a heavenly scent.

A bride and her bouquet
Flowers can help bring your wedding theme together

If you want something more sophisticated, the lily family may meet your needs, or try orchids or delphiniums. And nothing says summer like the bright bloom of a sunflower, or a showy bunch of chrysanthemum or dahlia, or peony if your wedding is early in summer.

Autumn brides may choose the season’s golden hues and perhaps the tiny yellow flowers of the Mimosa, or acacia. If September is your month, many of summer’s flowers will still be available but if not try amaryllis, with its large, trumpet-shaped flowers, the delicate blooms of the anemone or the giant flowerheads of the hydrangea.

Gypsophila’s tiny white flowers work throughout the year, along with carnations, and contemporary brides often choose the daisy-like gerbera for a statement bloom.

Celosia’s flame-like heads are also fantastic for a dramatic display, or try echinops for something different – it would also work as your ‘something blue’!

If you’ve been put off the idea of a winter wedding because of the bare stems and terrible weather, think again. We can’t promise bright sunshine but there are plenty of flowers to add colour to your day, and need we mention Christmas as an added inspiration?

Winter brides may like to use the gorgeous scents of hyacinths, or the narcissus or daffodil for a cherry burst of colour. Lilacs also add fragrance, and Irises can be used as long as you don’t expect them to last too long.

Lisianthus goes well with roses, or try tulips or phlox for echoes of sunnier days to come.

If you have chosen spring for your nuptials, then there is a floral fantasia to choose from. The bridal staple of the Calla lily is in season, but for something different try blossom – cherry is one of our favourites. Lily of the valley also makes a gorgeous addition, or the tropical blooms of heliconia or stephanotis.

For added romance, try ranunculus, or Sweet William for a country wedding.

Winters Barn Country Wedding
Get ready...the bride is about to throw her bouquet

Whatever you choose, remember your bouquet should not overwhelm you and should complement the feel of your wedding. And if you’re thinking of throwing it, make sure it isn’t too heavy to avoid any accidental injuries to guests!

How to stay cool on your wedding day

wedding photographer kent-1234Most brides want the clouds to stay away for their wedding day, but is there such a thing as too much sunshine?

Perhaps, if you want to avoid looking hot and bothered in your wedding photographs!

It may not seem like a priority if you’re planning a ceremony in the UK, as the British summer is not exactly known for its scorching temperatures. But heatwaves are possible, even here in Kent, so we’ve put together some tips to help you stay cool on your big day.

As with most things, preparation is key. If you’re planning a summer wedding, pick a venue that will offer you and your guests areas that are out of the sun. Air conditioning inside is always a winner, or the thick stone walls of an old church or historic venue. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time outside, trees will provide natural shade, or consider marquees with fans to provide respite from the heat.

It would be unwise to pick a heavy velvet dress for a summer wedding, so think about floatier fabrics and a looser fit – it can still be fitted, and lace-up styles are ideal because they can be adjusted throughout the day. Grooms may want to bring an extra shirt to change into before the reception if it is forecast to be very warm.

This is the perfect opportunity for your bridesmaids to play an important role in the day – and not just by standing around fanning you, although that would be perfect too! But they can also keep you well-supplied with water and keep an eye on any guests who look like they may be flagging.

If you’re working with a professional make-up artist, they will be able to advise you on the best way to keep your make-up in place by using a good base. Adding an extra supply of tissues to your bridal bag is a good idea too, to blot away shine as well as any happy tears.

It’s also a great opportunity to show off your creative side – perhaps the programmes or menus could be printed on fans, or you could come up with a range of alcohol-free iced cocktails, or place bottles of water at each table setting for guests to spritz themselves with.

You could even embrace the summer holiday vibe and add some water play into the day – water slides, water balloons or paddling pools could be great fun if you’re planning a laid-back celebration and will make some really fun photographs. But just make sure you’ve taken all the formal photos you want before you get stuck in!

Wedding hair tips

LAL_031_ 1497Crowning glory or mane in need of taming – your hair is as individual as you are. And you’ll want it in tip-top condition for your wedding day. But where do you start?

As with almost anything involved in getting married, preparation is key. Even the best hairdresser in the world will struggle if your visit to the salon on the big day is the first time you’ve been anywhere near a stylist in years, and you have no idea what you want the finished look to be.

So once you have your dress and your wedding theme, start thinking about your hair and how it can complement the style of the day, and your personality.

156_JDG

There are no rules – it’s your day, and your way, so if you want your flowing locks loose and lovely then go for it, or if you want it styled so there’s not a hair out of place for the whole day then that’s fine too. But do practise your chosen look at least once before the big day, and ideally plan a night out with your trial in place so you can check how it stands up to dancing and fun.

If you anticipate spending a lot of time outside on your wedding day, it may be worth considering something that won’t get blown about – you don’t want photos with your hair across your face or in your groom’s eyes!

If you’re having a tiara, they often look best with a little height behind them so think about volume or back-combing to achieve the best effect. And don’t forget to take it with you to your hair trial so you can see what it will look like.

102 RAG_8298 032 NSH_5994 RiaML_030bw2008 191  LGD

Similarly, if you’re having a veil, you may want to take it off for the evening so consider a style that looks good with and without, and that won’t fall apart if the veil is removed.

As with your make-up, you want to look like your best you, not a complete stranger – the groom should recognise the bride who appears at his side! So a perm may not be the best option if you’re usually a super-straight Susie.

Your stylist will know your hair best, apart from you, so do listen to their input and advice, especially on conditioning and treatments before the big day. And if you are planning to be your own stylist for the day, pay attention to any products that are recommended and do make sure you practise.Kelly

Magazines and photo galleries can provide inspiration but no other bride will be exactly the same as you so feel free to adapt and customise to get your perfect look.

And a final tip from us – when you work out how long you think it will take to do your hair, add at least another half an hour. It always takes longer than you expect, and things can go wrong if you’re trying to rush which adds even more of a delay!

Wedding beauty tips

031 Cornfoot 005  AST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you’ve got the venue, the dress and hopefully the photographer too…now to make sure you look your best on your wedding day.

So much depends on the style of your wedding, and of course your personal taste and preferences. But here are some tips to help you get the right finishing touches for your wedding make-up. Check back for some hair tips in our next blog!

Some brides rarely leave the house without a full face of make-up, while others only add mascara and lip gloss for special occasions. But even if you usually prefer a more natural look, it’s worth considering make-up for your wedding day. Not only will it enhance your own best features and make you look truly radiant, but it will prevent you looking washed-out in those all-important photos – and there will be lots of photos!

You don’t have to transform yourself into someone totally unrecognisable but the idea is that your bridal look should be your best you, so it makes sense to take some time to plan.

About six weeks before the wedding, consider indulging in some beauty treatments. Facials can get rid of dead skin and leave you glowing – but don’t leave it too close to the big day just in case your skin reacts.

 

045 Lauren Munn_

 

If you’re planning on using a professional make-up artist, book early to make sure you have time for a trial run and to discuss ideas. But it’s not an essential – rumour has it Kate Middleton did her own make-up when she married her Prince Charming.

It is worth investing in a good base; you’re going to be in the spotlight all day and you’ll want to look as gorgeous at the reception as you did arriving at the ceremony. So find a foundation that works for you and again, don’t leave it till the last minute.

For lips and eyes, don’t be tempted to go too dark – the idea is to create a timeless look so your photos won’t look too dated. Pink lips and neutral eyeshadows work best for neutral to cool skin tones, and peach to brown shades for warmer skin. Don’t forget the mascara, and ideally make it tear proof – perhaps try it out while watching your favourite weepie film to make sure!

It’s important not to forget your nails too – after all, all eyes will be on your hands and that all-important ring. Again, neutral shades are best, and you can’t go far wrong with a classic French manicure.

If you’re doing it yourself, do make time for a run through just to make sure you’re happy with the results. And if you have a bridesmaid who has a particular skill with a make-up brush or manicure set, consider asking for her input. If you’ve always coveted her subtle but sparkly nail polish, it could even be your ‘something borrowed’…

Whatever look you decide on, make sure you’re comfortable with it and that it makes you feel beautiful. Then simply relax and enjoy your day!

 

097Powell  9904

How to get the best out of a wedding fair

297_KDB0834We spent our Sunday chatting to hundreds of couples at the south east’s biggest wedding fair, The Wedding Experience at Detling, near Maidstone in Kent. It’s perfect for us as it’s not far from our studio in Herne Bay, and within reach of some of our favourite wedding venues.

It was a great event, and it’s always so lovely to chat to brides-to-be and their fiancés, or mums, or bridesmaids, about their own stories and their plans for the day.

But if you’re new to wedding planning, walking into your first wedding fair can feel a bit daunting and it’s hard to know where to start. So here are our top tips for getting the best out of a wedding fair.

  • Have fun! Make it a day out, take your bridesmaids if you know your fiancé would rather be watching the football or out on the golf course. Give yourself time to enjoy it – try not to pop in ‘on the way’ to somewhere else or you risk feeling rushed and under pressure.
  • We love lists, and a wedding fair is the perfect opportunity to make one. A list of things you’d like, things you still want to book, or ideas you see – lists are your friend.
  • We also love chatting, and talking to suppliers is a crucial part of the day. Yes, you can wander round, pick up business cards and freebies and then browse websites and Facebook pages later, but there’s no substitute for meeting the people who will be part of your day. Wedding photography is so important and so personal that you need to make sure you are on the same wavelength as your chosen photographer and that they understand your vision of your day.
  • Keep it realistic. You’re bound to see some fantastic ideas and some creative displays, but if your wedding is in your local church then a marquee at home do you really need to arrive by helicopter? Equally, if you’re paying for it all yourself or working to a budget, hand-dyed Italian linen napkins may be gorgeous but are there other elements you’ll have to lose in order to afford them?
  • Try before you buy…or have your cake and eat it! A wedding fair is full of freebies, and it’s your job as a bride to take advantage of them. So taste those cake samples, try on those tiaras and sit in the cars. But see point 4, above, and try not to get too carried away..
  • Revisit your favourites. Just because you’v been to every stand doesn’t mean you’ve finished. If you realised you forgot to ask the cake maker if she can produce a nut-free, dairy-free and gluten-free version, pop back and ask. If you liked the style of the images on display at a photographer’s stand but meant to check if they had worked at your venue, go back and ask. It’s the perfect opportunity to find out more about your suppliers and to check they are a perfect match. After all, you can’t tell from an email whether eyebrows were raised when you mentioned your twin two-year-old nieces who will be doing a dance showcase at the reception… how-to-get-best-out-of-wedding-fairs-017 NSB
  • Make time for a debrief. Whether it’s a girly lunch on the way back, or over a takeaway and glass of wine with your other half that evening at home, take time to go through all the goodies you picked up. Pick out the ones that grabbed you, that were in keeping with your day, or that were simply must-haves, and then drop them a line, or simply click like on their Facebook page. That way you can make sure you don’t miss out on any post-fair special offers, you can check out more of their work and you are one step closer to ticking that particular piece of your wedding jigsaw off the list.

Do you have any wedding fair tips? Or did you meet a great supplier at a wedding fair? We’d love to hear your stories!