Sep 24, 2019

8 tips from a Professional Wedding Photographer to help your wedding day run smoothly.

Finn Mooney Photography is a national and international award winning photographer who has shot countless weddings, both home and abroad.

I have been photographing weddings for a little over 10 years now and have shot countless weddings in that time, so I’d like to think I know about weddings, wedding photography and planning of your big day, especially when it comes to time management and the photography element of your big day.

Tip #1 – Hair & Makeup

First tip would be to make sure you communicate well with your talented bridal hair & makeup team to ensure that you have a properly considered and realistic schedule for the morning of your wedding, these talented people already know what’s required to beautify everyone in time but make sure you discuss times, the order that the bridal party should get hair and makeup done and please don’t add extra people on your Hair & Makeup team on the morning of the wedding, they are already working to a tight schedule and this is a job that can’t be rushed !

Also I always advise brides to aim to be getting into your wedding dress one hour before you plan to leave the house to go to the church, and leave enough travel time to get there. Getting into your wedding dress is such an important and special moment and you don’t want to be feeling rushed for this special moment, its nice to have some time to enjoy the moment and experience it without feeling rushed. The last hour before a wedding is a very quick hour and can be a little manic.

Tip # 2 – Arrive fashionably late (5-15mins) or on time but never very late !

Guests arriving on time to a church or civil ceremony location in Ireland is a rare event, often you’ll find not all of the guests have arrived to the ceremony on time so its not the end of the world if you are fashionably late, 5-15 minutes is very acceptable, anything beyond that it meandering into the being quite late category and anything after 30 minutes is very late and puts pressure on your priest/celebrant, your photographer/videographer and puts pressure on your entire schedule for the day. Your photographer will generally take 2-3 photos outside the church so allow this in your travel time and also think about additional travel time that may be required if its an old car.

Tip # 3 – for the Grooms !

A few things I always see at weddings, waistcoats which are too short, trousers which are too long and makeup on the shoulder of every groom, ever – the latter caused by the hugs of your adoring friends, who happen to wear makeup. I am sure there must be a spray you can put on your jacket for this, if not baby wipes are you friend, preferably water based.

The first two parts are easily fixed, speak with your tailor or suit supplier and encourage your groomsmen to go to fittings a week or two before the wedding to make sure everything fits, short waistcoats are tricky to fix in post editing and take a lot of time, so having a suit that is properly tailored makes a big difference to the look of the photos. And lastly the flowers always go on your left, women on the right..because women are always right….easy to remember – right ?

Tip # 4 – Family & Friends Photos

Make sure that if you want some specific images (especially family) that you let your photographer know, this doesn’t have to be a long list, think of a few family photographs that you have to get, for example :

Parents (both sides)
Parents & Siblings (Immediate family)
Parents, Siblings & Partners and kids.
Friend Photos
College friends.

Its important to be realistic and let your family and friends know that this will be happening directly after the ceremony or whenever you decide with your photographer so that they can be close by, the majority of times these photos don’t work out is for logistical reasons, someone has gone somewhere to check in to the hotel, drop back to the house, go to the pub/bookies/shop, you get the idea !

Tip # 5 – Have a plan A for good weather and a Plan B for bad weather.

Truthfully I never worry about the weather in Ireland as a wedding photographer because quite simply I can’t change it, I do however always have a backup plan in case it does rain a lot on the day, planning is key to try and discuss with your photographer what the options are if the weather doesn’t work out. If it does rain, remain positive, it doesn’t ruin a wedding day, it just makes it a little different ! And rain shots can be very cool and you can utilise the wedding reception venues interior and make it awesome, hotel interiors can be amazing.

Ballyna House, Moyvalley, Co Meath

Tip # 6 – Take timeout together , 15-20 mins

A wedding day goes by fast, very fast. It’s really important to take some time to be present in the moment and soak up the day. Take 15-20 mins together on your own and have a little chat about the day, how you’re feeling and it will help to slow the day down a little, a good time to do that is when the dinner bell call happens to allows guests into the room, you have some time here to spend together before you go into the room.

Tip # 7 – Consider skipping the greeting line at winter weddings !

Controversial I know, but when you think about it – it’s worth considering, when the winter darkness sets in it can get dark around 4/4.30pm, if your wedding is at 1pm, its likely to finish at 2pm or so and it can take up to 25 minutes to greet people when they leave the church and sometimes if your venue or photo location is far away its worth considering skipping the greeting line outside the church and get some daylight photos, then you can chat to your guests when darkness sets in , the mammies and videographers out there won’t thank me for this suggestions, but its worth a consideration but remember its always your decision either way !

Tip # 8 – Don’t stress the small stuff

The most important thing about a wedding day for a couple is that you enjoy the build up, the day and the afters part. A wedding can be a stressful event if you let it, my advice is to not stress about the small things, remember you are surrounded by your family and friends and they care about you and want you to have a great day, they don’t care if flowers are in exactly the right place or if some small detail isn’t right, they only care if you had a great day, they get fed and get to dance to some good music, after that its up to everyone else to enjoy the day !

Picking a wedding photographer that suits your style is very important and it should be a partnership, always make time to meet/call your photographer/videographer before the wedding day to discuss the plan and timeline for the day. When the day arrives its important that everyone knows what’s happening on the day to ensure you have an awesome, fun and relaxed day all whilst getting some great photographs to look back on !

Finn Mooney