team baxter photography
Thank you so much for choosing me to capture your special day! The honour & privilege of securing a new wedding booking never fades, and I guess that's testament to just how much I LOVE doing this job!
So - What happens now?
It's probably a while till your big day, you will no doubt feel like you have ageeees to wait, but believe me, it will fly around in no time at all! You have been busy choosing your venue & selecting your key suppliers (including me! yay!) ... and I totally get that you may feel a little overwhelmed at times.
I'm officially part of your Wedding Squad - we got this!
So, as a starting point, take a look at my Wedding Planning Tips page - there are all sorts of articles to help plan every stage of your big day, as well as a recommended supplier page for anything you are still to book.
To help from here on in I've put together this little one pager with a few more tips, lots of advice, as well as details of when you can expect to hear from me again. But remember, I am always just at the other end of a message or phone call if anything crops up, you would like to chat further or ask me any questions.
When will you next hear from me?
If you have chosen to add a Pre Wedding shoot to your package I am more than happy to get this booked in asap - I appreciate that people's diaries get booked up super quick so I like to be organised that way. If you are still undecided on whether to have a pre shoot this article may help.
Usually I do a pre shoot 6 weeks before the wedding - or ideally after you have had your final venue meeting, that way we can also go through the timeline & logistics of the day in more details. Don't worry though, pre shoots are completely optional - if you choose not to have one I will arrange a phone call / Zoom around 2 to 4 weeks before your wedding to have a good old catch up! Nearer to the wedding I will also send you across a questionnaire to complete so that I have all the contact info for key people as well as your timings and group shot list.
What happens on your Wedding Day?
I thought it may be useful to give you a general breakdown of how I will cover your wedding day. This is a run down of how my standard full day coverage usually pans out, of course this is not set in stone, and once we have your pre wedding consultation we can thrash out all the details. But hopefully it may help guide your timeline ahead of your final wedding meeting.
I usually start photographing around 2 hours before leaving for the ceremony, whilst I appreciate prep will often start ahead of this, I know from experience that this is more than enough time for me to capture all the important action and the little details, whilst allowing the wedding party time to get used to me & get comfortable with having the camera around. I always like to leave prep around 20 mins before the ceremony start time, this allows me time to capture the wedding party as well as guests arriving and introduce myself to the vicar / registrar. So when planning what time to get dressed, make sure you allow enough time for the technicalities of actually getting into them! (you may be surprised at how long it actually takes to get into a fancy frock with lots of buttons, or to manoeuvre cufflinks and tie that perfect tie!) And then of course you want to factor a bit of time in for those wonderful 'reveal' shots when parents will see you for the first time.
As you know my style is very much documentary & capturing the scene as it unfolds - but I do like to take a little time out in the morning to capture all those detail shots - your dress, suits, shoes, jewellery, gifts you've bought each other - all the items you have spent months planning and bringing together. I totally appreciate that morning preparations can quickly turn into a whirlwind of suitcases, bags and general stuff everywhere! That's cool - it's your day & your morning ... but try think of keeping a little corner / area of calm. All too often I see bride & grooms get stressed out by the chaos and mess around them. Selecting a nice hanger and having a space in the room where your dress / suit can hang beautifully will not only help me out when it comes to taking those shots but you will find it also helps calm your frame of mind too.
I can't stress enough how quickly that last hour or so will creep up on you - you will have a lovely leisurely morning and then before you know it - it can quickly turn into a whirlwind of dresses / suits, shoe scrambling and veil adjusting. Take the stress out of it, allow yourself enough time and don't get flustered just before the ceremony. A good tip is to nominate a bridesmaid / groomsmen to be on 'watch' duty - let them give you the nod for the countdown to getting ready!
When I arrive at the Ceremony I will survey the space & find the best spot to take those all important shots. Ideally I like to locate myself at the top of the aisle for those arrival images - that way I can transfer between the entrance & reaction at the top of the aisle. After that I will always try tuck myself away in an inconspicuous spot to capture the rest of the ceremony as discreetly as possible. But of course - I am always at the mercy of the registrars or vicar - and their acceptance of a photographer always varies greatly! It’s a good idea to have the conversation with your vicar ahead of the day regarding photography - check with them where a photographer is allowed and stress the importance you place on capturing the ceremony shots. All too often I arrive at Church to a vicar who enforces a no photography rule and banishes me to the back of the church - it’s devastating to not be able to deliver those intimate “i do” shots so please please check with them first. The earlier you ask the more chance you have of convincing them that I work discreetly, don’t use flash and will not disrupt the service at all.
Don’t forget that after a Church wedding you need to factor in some extra time before all guests are bundled back in cars and heading to the reception. Allowing time for a wonderful confetti shot and then for guests to chat & congratulate you outside church is a really important aspect of your timeline. The last thing you want is the venue stood with trays of champagne going flat whilst they wait for your arrival. Make sure you factor 15 minutes after your service. Of course if you are having a civil ceremony at the reception venue then this flows directly into your drinks reception time.
I often get asked how much time you should allow for your drinks reception - I always advise than an hour and half is ideal. But remember that is an hour and a half from arriving at the venue - so do allow for any travelling time from church. This allows enough time for you to (most importantly!) relax, have a drink and chat to your guests allowing me time to capture those natural images … as well as factoring in time for couples portraits, some family shots and a chance to go check your wedding breakfast room before guests are invited in.
Whilst my style is very relaxed and natural, I always always advise its worth taking a quick 10 / 15 mins out to capture some group / family shots - how often are all your nearest & dearest gathered together? But that doesn’t mean they have to be formal and stuffy! As a guide I advise a list of between 5 to 10 shots … of course it’s absolutely your day and you are welcome to have more! But the more you have - the longer it! Bank on it taking around 2 minutes per group …. it doesn’t sound like a lot but it can soon add up to a chunk of your hour and half drinks reception.
So you’ve booked me because my couples shots are natural, relaxed and unposed … the one thing I promise is that I will never ask you to look at the camera and say cheese! When we head off for couples shots, it will be short, fun and enjoyable! I always split my couples shots into two section … so around 15 minutes during your drinks reception and then another 10 / 15 mins later in the evening after all the formalities are done with, and you are generally feeling a bit more chilled. Embrace your couples portraits … they are probably the only part of the day where you are together away from your guests … enjoy the time to chat, relax and generally soak up your big day.
One of my favourite times of the day … an opportunity to capture people unawares and the full spectrum of human emotion! Something I often hear is “we don’t know whether to do our speeches before or after the meal?” … ok so there are two trains of thought on this. Before the meal is often chosen when some of the speakers are petrified of delivering a speech, the idea being - get it out of the way and then relax and enjoy the food. I totally get that and that may be the right option for you. But my preference and what I would always suggest is after the meal - and here is why … you have a room full of people who have been up travelling or getting ready since early morning …. they have likely missed lunch and been on their feet most of the day. Lets be honest - they are looking forward to the grub! All too often I have seen speeches done before food and you can actively see people becoming more twitchy and agitated … no one really knows how long the speeches will go on for! Some can be 20 minutes … I’ve shot a set of speeches over an hour and half long before! If your speakers can handle the nerves … speeches will be much better received after a full belly of food and of course a few more drinks - I promise any speaker will be funnier and more entertaining after that! Another thing to consider in this is your caterers … the whole team of chefs waiting in the wings to deliver up to 100 delicious and hot meals … imagine peeking out of the kitchen trying to second guess how much longer the speeches will go on for - trying to judge exactly when they should start prepping and plating up … as a waitress in a past life I have huge empathy for the stresses and complexities involved in food delivery. Give your chefs the best chance of delivering you the tastiest food possible!
During your meal service I will disappear … the last thing people want is a camera in their face when they are chewing their food! This is when I will take my break, re charge my batteries & download / back up your images.
The Evening Celebrations
After the meal & speeches have finished, dependant on your venue set up, you may be required to vacate the room for it to be turned around for the evening celebration. It is naturally a bit of a down time in your day - often guests will go freshen up, check into rooms and get ready for the party! This is when I may nip you back off for your second set of couples portraits and make the most of hopefully some gorgeous evening light!
Around 8pm is an ideal first dance time - it gives evening guests a chance to arrive, but more importantly is signals the dance floor being officially open! I’m with you through to just after the first dance … I will always capture some dance floor action so make sure you tee your DJ / band up to get some good floor fillers on straight after the first dance (and more importantly forewarn the bridal party that it’s their cue to get the dance floor going!)
After the Wedding
I totally get that after the wedding you’ll be dying to see some professional images! I always offer to share some sneak previews on social media within a day or two … your full set of images will be lovingly selected and edited and this stage does take some time but I promise it will be worth the wait! In peak season it can take up to 8 weeks to receive your full set - but of course I always aim for sooner than this.
Your images will be delivered through the post in one of my handmade pouches on a branded USB drive - please do ensure you also backup these up on your computer hard drive! After you have received your package, I will also send you the link to an online password protected gallery which you can share with family & friends - they will also have the option to order prints from this link too.
You’ve got full print rights to create prints or albums if you wish - please please please print your images! They have been created to be viewed & cherished - don’t leave them stored on a computer.
If you have added an Heirloom Album to your wedding package I will be back in touch with details on exactly how to make your image selections and get the ball rolling! Remember it’s not too late to add an album at any point leading up to your wedding to take advantage of the early bird offer. They really are a stunning investment piece to be cherished and handed down for years to come.
Thanks for taking the time to read this guide!
I hope it has helped prepare you for your next stages of Wedding Planning - it really is a magical time - enjoy every second!
I can't wait for your big day to come around and capture all that love & happiness,