Why Is Wedding Photography So Expensive?

Why Is Wedding Photography So Expensive?

Let’s face it, weddings are expensive affairs. From the venue, flowers, makeup artist, cake, dress, shoes, buttonholes, details, food, drink…it all adds up very very quickly.

To add insult to injury, wedding photography is perceived to be yet another dent in the wedding budget, when all us photographers are doing is pressing a button (how dare you!) 😉

So I’d like to dispel a few myths, and explain why wedding photography can be a sizable investment (and is worth every penny!)

Lympne Castle Wedding Photography

Time

The whole process of booking clients, photographing weddings and processing photos takes a lot of time. It may look like we’re only spending 8-12 hours working at your wedding, but that’s just the beginning. To explain it more clearly, here’s a list of tasks the average wedding photographer undertakes for each wedding:

  • Marketing my business to attract couples (ongoing)
  • Meeting the couple (2 hours) or speaking on the phone (15 – 30 minutes)
  • Photographing the wedding (8-12 hours)
  • Downloading, backing up, culling and editing the photos (between 12 – 36 hours)
  • Designing and ordering the album (2 – 4 hours)
  • Ordering USB box and prints (30 minutes)
  • Popping to the Post Office to send the album / USB box (between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours, depending on the queue!)

Five Oaks Events Sussex Wedding Photography

Creativity

A wedding is a dynamic, constantly changing event, and the best photographers don’t just capture what’s happening; they use their creative eye to elevate a simple moment into something much more beautiful. They observe the light, and ensure you and your guests are captured in the most flattering way possible. They pay heed to (and sometimes break) the rules of composition. They’re always on the lookout for great light, reflections, shapes, lines, shadows and highlights.

Anyone can capture a photograph, but it takes years of watching and learning the craft of photography to take a photograph that captures the imagination. Not just once, but throughout the entire duration of your wedding day.

Morden Hall Wedding

Pressure

I’m not going to lie – weddings can be stressful affairs. They don’t always run on time. A key member of the wedding party will disappear (usually at the bar) during the group photos. Emotions will run high (usually from spending too much time at the bar). As a wedding photographer, not only do I have to capture all the amazing moments in a creative way, I also have to manage around 100 people at various times during the day.

Every single moment at every single wedding only occurs once. That means that if I miss the photo of you walking down the aisle, that moment has gone forever. If I miss the first kiss, I can’t ask you to recreate it (well I can, but I’m sure you’ll tell me where to go). Over the years I’ve learned to love the melting-pot pressure of weddings, and I thrive under those conditions.

Speaking about pressure, I have a confession. I’m actually quite shy and introverted, so spending a large amount of time being sociable with a group of people I barely know can be extremely tiring. Don’t get me wrong – I love meeting people, photographing them and having a laugh with them, but I’m happier once all the photos are in the bag and I’m back home with a drink in my hand.

Rowhill Grange Hotel Sneak Peek

Luxury

When it comes to weddings, what would I consider as “must-haves”? Well, after much deliberation, here’s my answer:

  • A couple who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together
  • A building / gazebo / pavilion / arbour / some sort of structure to get married under (this applies if you’re getting married in England or Wales)
  • Someone who can legally marry said couple
  • Er, that’s it!

Notice I didn’t mention a huge dress? Or a massive bouquet of flowers? Or a ring you can see your reflection in? Or a Michelin star three course meal? Or…a photographer?? (gasp!)

As much as I’d like to consider what I do essential, let’s face it, it isn’t. Breathing is essential. As is eating. Drinking too. Having warmth and shelter is also recommended, along with some sort of social network (no, I’m not talking about Facebook, duh).

Wedding photography, as desirable as it is, is a luxury. You don’t need wedding photographs to get married. You’ll have your memories of the day, after all?

A luxury is defined as something you really want but don’t actually need. I really want an Aston Martin so I can visit friends and family in style. I don’t need one, and my twelve year old Astra will have to do for now.

My point is this – good wedding photography is a luxury. Knowing you’ll receive beautiful photos of your wedding, no matter what the weather conditions are on the day, is a luxury. And it’s a luxury I believe is very much worth paying for.

Solving a problem

My brother has worked in car sales for a while now, and something he said a few years back resonated deeply with me. He said, “Sales isn’t tricking somebody into buying something. It’s finding out what their problem is and then solving it.”

That’s always been my approach to my wedding photography business. For example, one problem a lot of couples have is they detest having their photo taken (as do most people, myself included). To solve that problem, I reassure them by showing them photos of other couples who also thought they hated having their photo taken, but were absolutely thrilled with their wedding photos.

Or I mention how I like to have an engagement / pre-wedding session with some couples, which helps them relax in front of the camera before the big day.

Or I talk about how most couples forget I’m even at their wedding, because I’m very discreet and merge into the background. This means people can relax and be themselves, which results in brilliant photos.

Problem(s) solved!

Christ Church Erith Wedding Photography

Gear is expensive

Of all the reasons I’ve talked about here, this is possibly (in my eyes) the least valid. Why? Because you shouldn’t have to foot the bill to compensate for my spending habits.

To photograph a wedding successfully, you obviously need to know what you’re doing. You also need equipment that’s up to the task of what you’re trying to achieve. The equipment I use, for example, isn’t brand new. It’s not the latest kit. It certainly isn’t top of the range. However, it’s professional quality, I know how to use it with my eyes closed and I can capture some brilliant photos with it.

I could upgrade to Hasselblad or Phase one cameras for £50k+ each, and then increase my prices tenfold. Would the photos be ten times better? Of course they wouldn’t!

Professional gear is essential, for a myriad of reasons – resolution, low light capability, durability…I could go on, and that’s another subject for another time. However, even though all this kit needs to be paid for, I don’t believe my clients should cough up for my gear choices.

Value

Possibly the most important reason of all. I’ve no idea who originally uttered the following, but this quote perhaps sums up the thrust of this article best of all:

Photos are the only part of your wedding that INCREASE in value over time

A while ago I was looking through some of my Mum and Dad’s wedding photos, and it struck me how many people in those photos are no longer with us. My Dad’s parents. My Mum’s parents. My Dad’s sister-in-law and brother, who sadly passed away recently. These very special people have been preserved in time by the wedding photographer.

I mean – who could put a price on that?

How To Choose A Wedding Videographer

How to choose a wedding videographer

Time for another guest post, this time from Matt @ Matt Roper Films!

More and more of my clients these days ask for videographer recommendations, and I’ve worked with some extremely talented people over the past few years. Of course, you just can’t beat the still image, but I can see the appeal of video I suppose 😉

(I’m joking, before I start receiving sackfuls of hate mail from irate videographers!)

I recently worked on a wedding assisting Sian from SJC Photography, and Matt was the videographer. I thought it would be nice to ask him for his top three tips in choosing a wedding videographer, and these were his responses.

Take it away Matt!

1) What are your top 3 tips for anyone choosing a videographer?

i) Watch examples

Choose someone with the style and flow that connects with you. I’ve been told my examples have made prospective brides cry, which is why they booked me.

ii) Don’t leave booking a videographer until the last minute

Why? Because you’ll end up paying a lot more! We all have aspirations to earn a decent living, and as we get better with experience our prices naturally rise £1-200 per year. So book as early as possible, you could save £3-500 by booking 2 years in advance.

iii) Don’t worry about finding a local videographer

We’re all happy to travel!

2) What’s the biggest mistake people make when choosing their videographer?

Not sure I can answer that, but I’ll try!

When it comes to wedding videography, the biggest mistake couples make is not prioritising it as high as photography for example.

It’s a given that if your planning your wedding, you will 100% book a venue, buy a dress and book a professional photographer, but video is still considered a nice to have.

But, it’s also widely known that the thing couples regret most about their wedding is not having a video to relive their day.

3) What’s the best or most unique thing about your service?

I think the best thing about my service is the way I work:

  • I’m really easy to work with.
  • I’m responsive to messages.
  • When it comes to the shoot I try to build a working relationship with the photographers and become a team to ensure both the pictures and video are the best they can be.
  • I also blend into the background to capture those candid moments that couples miss…
  • I’m also told I’m a good story teller which comes across in the final edit. ?

Some really helpful tips from Matt there, and here’s where you can find out more about him and his work:

How to Choose a Wedding Makeup Artist

How to Choose a Wedding Makeup Artist

I know what it’s like – you’ve recently become engaged and wedding planning has begun in earnest. However, you soon realise there’s a billion and one things to organise and think about, including photography (obviously), the venue, flowers and a makeup artist.

Luckily for you I’ve interviewed Sam from SJB Hair and Makeup (that’s her in action up there) to find out her top tips for choosing a makeup artist for your wedding day!

Here’s what she had to say:

1) What are your top 3 tips for anyone choosing a hair and makeup artist?

i. Do your research

Unless you’re one of the lucky few and you’re 100% sure about what kind of hair and make-up you want for your big day, you need to do some research. Start by researching online at websites like Pinterest and in wedding magazines to gather ideas of the look you hope to achieve for your wedding day. Once you have an fair idea then you can start to look for your hairstylist and makeup artist in your local area.

Most professional artists use social media platforms to showcase their work like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…start following those artists you like, look at their galleries on their websites. Focus on their “real life brides”. Models are models for a reason, and are easy to make look good. The best way to judge someone’s work and get a feel for their style is to look at their work on real brides, so you can see the actual hairstyles they have created to last all day – not just for a photo shoot – and make-up that makes us “normal” folk look amazing. Ask yourself – do you like their work? Do the pictures show a variety of styles? Don’t forget to check out their testimonials!

ii. Choose whose work you love and someone you click with

It’s super important that you “connect” and feel at ease with your chosen artist as you are placing a lot of trust in this person on the day. Your chosen hair and makeup artist will be spending most of the morning with you on your big day, so it’s important you get on with them. It’s more than likely you’re going to feel nervous, anxious and excited, so you need to feel relaxed and at ease with the person you choose. Call them before you book anything to have a chat; are they friendly? Do they make a good impression on the phone? Are they willing to give you their time and come across as flexible and open? Do they listen to your ideas about hair and make-up? When you find the right one, book them!

iii. Book early.

Remember, like all your suppliers there is only one of them and if you like them and find you have a connection to them and their work, get them booked in and your wedding date saved in their diary.

2) What’s the biggest mistake people make when choosing their hair and makeup artist?

Not doing their research to see if the artists is the right fit and offers the right service to you the client….that includes style as well as cost.

3) What’s the best or most unique thing about your service?

At SJB hair and makeup, I like to offer a full and comprehensive service to all my clients, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do. For me it’s about creating a hair and makeup style that works for each individual, so I consider the clients wedding dress, personal style, venue and personality as a whole, to ensure the hair and makeup we go for works for every aspect of them and wedding their day. I develop a strong bond with my clients, and for that moment in time we become friends – I never forget that for most my clients it’s their first experience of a wedding day, and its important I make their experience a positive one. One bride I worked with recently said, “When we met you said you look after your brides and you do 100%!” This is and will always be my aim for every bride I work with.

Thanks Sam – fantastic advice! You can find out more about the brilliant service she offers here:

Why You NEED an Engagement Photography Session!

Cannizaro Park Wimbledon Pre-Wedding Photography

It’s video time! I know engagement (or pre-wedding) sessions / shoots aren’t for everyone, but here I explain what they are and why you really need one before your big day!

Also, if you scroll down you’ll see I’ve added some of my favourite photos from recent engagement sessions. For those of you who can’t be bothered to watch the video in its entirety (shame on you), I’ve kindly transcribed it for you below. I know, I’m good to you aren’t I? 😉

Hi folks! I’m Dan from Dan Biggins Photography and today I’m going to talk to you about why you need to have an engagement photography session.

So, first of all you’re probably asking yourself, “What is an engagement photography session?” Well, it’s basically where we meet up in a location of your choice and we take photos of you to celebrate your engagement. That is it really! That’s how simple it is. It can be any location of your choice:- it could be in a park; it could be on the beach; it could be up a tree! It could be down the aisle in Tesco’s. I mean whatever you want we could take photos, and it’s basically a chance to celebrate you as a couple, celebrate your impending marriage and you could share the photos with family and friends on Facebook, Instagram and MySpace if you want to.

(Is that still a thing – MySpace?)

So there are five reasons I think why you should have an engagement photography session before your wedding day, and the first one is:

1. It helps you relax in front of the camera

So I’ll be honest with you – having your photograph taken…it’s a bit weird. I mean, it is a bit weird basically. That’s why I tend to sort of work behind the camera instead of this side, because this feels a bit weird at the moment, me talking to you into a lens. It’s just a bit weird. So I fully appreciate how strange it is having your photo taken. Most people don’t like having their photo taken which makes my job a little bit more challenging! Occasionally I meet people who are just gorgeous and they model for a living and they quite like having their photograph taken because that’s their job, but 99% of the time people just don’t like it. I don’t like it, so it’s my job to make you look amazing which hopefully I do.

So after the session pretty much every single couple has said to me how much they enjoyed it, and that it’s made them look forward to the wedding even more. So by the time I turn up at the wedding they’re not thinking, “Who’s that weirdo following me around with a camera?!” They know exactly what to expect and you’ll know exactly what to expect, meaning you can relax and enjoy your day even more with your loved ones. Result!

Onto point two, which is kind of tied into point one, and that is:

2. It helps us get to know each other a little bit better

So obviously your wedding day will be…let’s say it’s from getting ready in the morning…let’s say 10, 11 o’clock. Say your ceremony’s at 1, it’ll go through to sort of 10-11 o’clock. So realistically I’m going to be with you for about 12 hours…I’m going to be following you around for 12 hours. There’s a lovely thought, isn’t it…

So, I’m gonna be there all day, so really it’s good that we get to know each other as much as possible. You get to see how I work as well, so you’ll see I’m pretty laid back. I don’t shout at people people generally…no, I don’t shout at people…generally…and yeah, so again, by the time I turn up at your wedding you’ll say, “Oh, it’s Dan, it’s that photo bloke innit!” and everyone’s happy and you can relax once again and enjoy your day.

Which brings us onto point 3, which is:

3. It helps you celebrate your engagement even more

So obviously when you get engaged you tell all your family and friends. Everyone’s really excited and then it’s kind of…gone, and then you start planning the wedding, and then people start asking you, “What size of rose would you like?”, and, “How many flavours do you want in the middle tier of your cake?” Stuff like that. So having a photo session just allows you to kind of milk a little bit more, and just keep the excitement going a little bit longer really. You can again like I say share photos with your family and friends, whack it up on Facebook and everyone can go, “God you’re so lovely you make me so jealous!”, and yeah, you can kind of extend the excitement of your engagement for as long as humanly possible. And why not?! It’s something that most of us do hopefully once in their life, so yeah, bloody well celebrate it I say!

Onto point four which is:

4. It helps build trust in me and the final product that you’ll receive

So obviously you’ll have a good idea about what my work is like from my website and my social media channels, but you won’t exactly know what to expect as far as you’re concerned. You know, what your photos will look like. So after you receive the engagement photos…again, every couple I’ve ever photographed has been absolutely thrilled with their engagement photos, and then it will give you a really good idea of what to expect after your wedding, which hopefully increases your trust in me, which allows us to relax even more on your wedding day, which means that we’re both happy campers basically!

And onto my fifth and final point, and that is:

5. Your engagement photos are useful

So what do I mean by that? I mean that, for example, you could use your engagement photos for Save the Date cards. I know I did an engagement session…it’s a couple of years ago now in Hyde Park, and the couple used one of the photos for their Save the Date cards which they sent out to family and friends, which was a really nice thing; and everyone receives the card and says, “What a lovely photo!”, and everyone’s happy basically.

Again, you can print those photos out and you can put them up in your living room. You could print a poster and whack it up on the side of a bus shelter. You do whatever you like basically but yeah, the bottom line is that your photos can be used for lots of lovely things.

So that kind of wraps that up really. I hope it’s been useful – I hope it answer some questions about engagement sessions, and I hope that if we should meet and I say, “Hey, let’s have an engagement session!”, don’t throw heavy objects at me please. Just sort of…if you don’t want one, just sort of go, “Yeah Dan, that’s lovely, thanks!” But hopefully it should be something that gets you excited for all the reasons I have just stated.

Okay, my name’s Dan and thank you for watching and listening, and please visit my website at www.danbiggins.com. And I hope to hear from you soon! Okay, take care, buh-bye.

10 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Or, “How To Find The Wedding Photographer Of Your Dreams”

Blimey, hiring any sort of professional is a minefield, isn’t it? Let’s say your car breaks down – how many of us (a) know exactly what’s wrong with the car, and (b) who to ask regarding how to fix it? Also, how do you know what questions to ask, to ensure you’ll receive good value for money and a repaired automobile?

Like I said, it’s a minefield…

Hiring a wedding photographer is no different – it’s a sizeable investment for our service, so it’s good to know exactly what it is we do, and exactly what you’ll receive for your aforementioned investment.

1) Why should I hire you above other wedding photographers in Kent, and what can I expect once I hire you?

The best way to answer this question is to look at my highlights reel (as I like to call it) as well as full weddings from start to finish, and if my style of photography is what you’re looking for we can schedule a time to meet up. There’s no obligation at this point – simply a chance to pop the kettle on and interrogate me regarding all facets of the service I offer. I’m happy to meet up a number of times if it means your mind is at rest regarding your investment.

Meeting up is really important! I need to find out as much information as possible about you – how you met, what happened with the proposal (was it heart-melting or toe-curlingly embarrassing?), how you love to spend your free time, what you’re looking forward to most about your wedding, and so on and so forth. I need to find out what floats your boat, because your wedding day is about YOU, not me!

Also, I need to make sure we’ll be a good fit – for example, you might think that my sense of humour is…erm…an acquired taste, shall we say (which is ridiculous, because I’m BLOODY HILARIOUS). On your wedding day I’ll be with you for around 8+ hours, so we really need to make sure we’ll get on beforehand 🙂

Once you decide to work with me, you can expect:

  • As mentioned above, lots of pre-wedding meetings or calls! I want to be sure that you’re totally comfortable with the service I offer. Also, I need to know timings / exactly what’s happening during the day and when, to ensure I capture all the important aspects of the day (and more)
  • You won’t even know I’m there – I prefer to blend into the background and photograph events as they unfold. Most clients often say that they forget I was actually at the wedding, which is exactly what I’m aiming for!
  • Continued support and contact – let’s say you decide to order another wedding album for a family member a year after your wedding…no problemo!

Morden Hall Wedding

2) Can you guarantee my wedding photographs will be absolutely amazing?

Yes I can! That’s why I have a 100% money-back guarantee – if you’re not absolutely and ridiculously thrilled with the service and photographs I provide, I’ll refund you in full. No questions asked.

Have any of my couples ever taken me up on this? No, they haven’t. Do you know why not? Because all of them have been absolutely and ridiculously thrilled with the service I gave them!

3) Why is wedding photography so expensive?

This is a question I hear a lot, and it’s a valid one. After all, most people think that wedding photography is an easy gig, and only involves pressing a button for a few hours.

Ah, if it only it were that simple. Here’s a brief overview of what’s involved:

  • At least two meetings (often more) to discuss timings, desired photos etc
  • Extensive photography coverage, lasting at at least 6 hours (and often longer). Only one break during the day for food, but on my feet taking photographs for the rest of the day
  • Taking beautifully composed and lit photographs using years of learning and experience. As good as digital cameras are, they still can’t find great light, compose photos or capture key emotional moments without human intervention
  • Editing and polishing around 400+ final images that capture the essence of your day
  • Designing a wedding album, ensuring the photos flow naturally and tell the story of the day
  • Delivery of photographs to client

If you’d like to know more, check out my article Why Is Wedding Photography So Expensive?

4) Do you have lots of satisfied clients and glowing testimonials?

I certainly do, and I pride myself on it. If you navigate through my site you’ll see lots of lovely quotes from happy clients on each page, and this is perhaps my favourite testimonial of all, from Holly & Rich:

“We think that having your wedding photos taken by Dan is like seeing your wedding day through the eyes of a friend.”

Do excuse me, I seem to have something in my eye *sniff*

5) What’s “Shoot and Burn” photography, and why don’t you offer it?

Shoot and burn is the process of capturing a wedding and burning all the images to a CD / DVD without any processing. It doesn’t involve correcting any funky colours (green people from sun bouncing off grass onto their faces for example), removing distracting elements (fire alarms / extinguishers anyone?), and definitely doesn’t involve designing or creating a luxury photo album that you’ll treasure for the rest of your days.

6) Do I need a second photographer?

Well, technically you don’t need one, but think of all the moments that it’s impossible for one person to photograph. Let’s say I’m photographing a tight shot of your first kiss – it’s a beautiful, tender moment, but I’m not seeing how your guests are reacting. That’s the assistant photographer’s job. He or she is also taking wide shots showing off the magnificence of the church.

7) Do I need a pre-wedding / engagement session?

Once again, you don’t need one, but I thoroughly recommend you arrange and take part in one. Firstly, you’ll see how I work and just how hilarious I am (see above), and secondly, you’ll have the chance to become used to someone pointing a camera at you for hours on end (which is a bit weird I’ll admit, hence why I’m this side of the camera). You can read more about why you need an engagement session here.

8) Will you view the church / reception venue before the wedding?

Of course! I like to visit a month or two before to take some test images, so I have a good idea of what sort of lighting conditions to expect. It’s also a good chance for me to form a mental image of where you’ll be during the ceremony, and where I need to be to make sure I capture everything! Finally, it’s nice to say hello to people working at the church or venue, so they’ll be able to put a face to a name on the day itself.

9) Do you provide RAW files too?

I don’t, and my reason for this is explained here.

10) The final question!

So, what do I charge?

My all-day wedding collection starts from £1200, and that includes all of the digital files presented in a rather swish USB presentation box.

I also have a selection of beautiful wedding albums, a second photographer and engagement sessions too! You can read more about me here.

Better yet, call me on 07552 808289 or email me at [email protected] and tell me all about your wedding!

I can’t wait to chat with you!

My Favourite Wedding Suppliers!

How I love being a wedding photographer! Not only do I get to meet lots of amazing couples who are deeply in love, but I also have the chance to meet and work with some incredibly talented people. These include dress designers, florists, cake makers, wedding planners…the list goes on and on.

I thought it would be nice to highlight some of them here, so if you’re in the process of planning your wedding please drop these guys a line – you’ll be thrilled with the service they provide, I guarantee it. Oh, and tell them I sent you…!

Venues:

Lympne Castle

Looking for a gorgeous historic Kent venue to get married in? A venue that has been providing hospitality to nobles since the 13th century (blimey, and I thought I was old…) How about one that offers stunning views of the south coast? Well then, Lympne Castle is the venue for you!

Lympne Castle Wedding Photography

More info: Lympne Castle

The Old Kent Barn

Ah, here’s a lovely laidback venue for you. It’s a quiet, secluded venue surrounded by countryside, and did you know it’s been voted National Countryside Venue Of The Year 2019 and three-time Kent Wedding Venue Of The Year as well? Well, consider yourself educated! 🙂

Special mention must go the staff of The Old Kent Barn, who insisted on shovelling food and drink down my gullet at every available opportunity. I will always love them for that.

Old Kent Barn Wedding Photography

More info: The Old Kent Barn

Danson House

An obvious choice for me, because it’s only a couple of miles from my house! Of course, that isn’t the only reason it features on this list. It’s an absolutely stunning building, and I had the pleasure of photographing Grace and Phil’s wedding there earlier this year. If you want regal splendour set in beautiful parkland, you won’t go far wrong with Danson House.

Danson House Bexleyheath Wedding Photography

More info: Danson House

The Keeper and the Dell

This secluded outdoor venue in Norfolk was a recent discovery for me, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I had the pleasure of photographing Mel and Ryan’s wedding there recently, and it truly was a day to remember. It’s nestled in secluded ancient woodland, so if you’re looking for a rustic, bohemian experience for your wedding day, contact Lolly and she’ll be more than happy to help!

Keeper and the Dell Norfolk Wedding Photography

More info: The Keeper and the Dell

Hop Farm

Did you know that The Hop Farm in Kent features the world’s largest collection of Victorian oast houses? Nope, nor did I until recently – every day’s a schoolday, innit? It was also a major supplier of hops to London breweries in the 19th and 20th century. Not that I’m paraphrasing this from their website at all, oh no…

The oast houses make this a unique venue, and on a blisteringly hot day this summer I had the pleasure of photographing Elaine and Luke’s gorgeous wedding there.

Hop Farm Kent Wedding Photography

More info: The Hop Farm

Heacham Manor Hotel

Another Norfolk venue for you, and one where I photographed Charlotte and Joel’s lovely wedding earlier this year. It was during that weekend when I had a rather surreal conversation with a local about stock car racing, but you’ll have to look at the gallery for more info about that…!

Rachel is in charge of organising weddings at Heacham Manor, so drop her a line and she’ll be happy to help. I’m also very proud to say that my photographs are featured on their website, and will also be used in their promotional material for the coming season.

Heacham Manor Hotel Wedding Photography

More info: Heacham Manor Hotel

Wedding Dresses:

Victoria’s Bridal Boutique

As you can imagine, I’ve photographed plenty of beautiful brides over the years. I’ve also photographed plenty of beautiful wedding dresses over the years as well, and one wedding dress supplier crops up time and time again. They are the wonderful Victoria’s Bridal Boutique.

More info:Victoria’s Bridal Boutique

Makeup Artists:

Gemma Pass

I worked with Gemma on Katie & Jake’s wedding at The Old Kent Barn, and Gemma achieved the almost impossible – she made Katie (who was already beautiful) even more beautiful. I’m not quite sure how she did it, but the fact she was friendly, professional and talented means that you should probably contact her to find out for yourself 🙂

Old Kent Barn Wedding Photography

More info: Gemma Pass

Lydia Rae

I met and worked with Lydia on Hannah and Chris’s beautiful wedding at Chilston Park Hotel, and she’s extremely personable, friendly, and a whizz with a makeup brush!

Chilston Park Hotel Wedding Photography

More info: Lydia Rae

Hayley @ Flame Beauty

I met Hayley earlier this year at Elaine and Luke’s Hop Farm wedding, and once again she was friendly, professional and easy to get on with. I find that the “getting-ready” stage can be a little tense sometimes, as everyone is filled with expectation and excitement about the day ahead. It helps when you’re surrounded by suppliers who calmly go about their work, and Hayley was calm personified!

Hop Farm Kent Wedding Photography

More info: Flame Beauty

SJB Hair & Make Up

I have a confession to make. I’ve never actually worked alongside Sam and SJB Hair and Make Up. However! She kindly helped me out in answering some questions for my free wedding planning PDF (see that tab at the top of the page? You can download it there). Also, you’ll see the amazing work she does by visiting her website. Finally, I met up with her a while back for a chat about all things weddings, and she bought me a coffee and a slice of cake. Anyone who buys me cake automatically adopts legendary status…!

How to Choose a Wedding Makeup Artist

Make Up By Chloe

I recently met Chloe at Fae and Lewis’s wedding at Lympne Castle, and she was absolutely brilliant to work with. Fae looked stunning once Chloe had finished her handiwork (to be fair, Fae looked stunning before Chloe had started working, but looked even more stunning afterwards. Hey, you get the picture.)

Lympne Castle Wedding Photography

Florists:

The Stylish Wedding Company

I’ll admit the word “stunning” is bandied around far too often these days, but when you see the flowers that The Stylish Wedding Company provided at Grace & Craig’s wedding at the De Vere Selsdon Hotel, only one word spring to mind.

De Vere Selsdon Estate Wedding Photography

More info: The Stylish Wedding Company

Stem Flowers

Mel & Ruairidh’s gorgeous wedding at Belair House may have been a few years ago now, but I’ll always remember the amazing flowers there. They were supplied by the lovely Ruth at Stem Flowers, and judging by her website she’s still providing stunning bouquets and blooms to couples all across the Southeast and beyond…

Belair House Dulwich Wedding Photography

More info: Stem Flowers

The Priory Flower Co.

I first met Beth from The Priory Flower Co. at Vicki and Rich’s King’s Chapel Amersham wedding, although she was actually one of the wedding guests. It was only after the wedding I discovered she’d provided the absolutely stunning flowers that adorned Vicki & Rich’s special day.

Kings Chapel Amersham Wedding Photography

More info: The Priory Flower Co.

Bohotanical

Another amazing wedding florist I had the pleasure of working with recently was Gwen from Bohotanical. I don’t know a lot about flowers, but I do know that the flowers she provided for Hannah & Chris’s wedding at Chilston Park were absolutely breathtaking. I mean, look at Hannah’s bouquet!

Chilston Park Hotel Wedding Photography

More info: Bohotanical

Wedding Decor:

The Enchanted Wedding Girls

You know all those charming little details you see at weddings? Details that make each wedding utterly beautiful and unique? Dena at The Enchanted Wedding Girls specialises in the beautiful and unique 🙂

I first met Dena at Candice and Simon’s fantastic wedding at Rowhill Grange, and was taken aback by her attention to detail. A photo of their work is at the very top of this page, and I’m also very proud to say that my photography is featured across the TEWG website too!

More info: The Enchanted Wedding Girls

Wedding Cake:

KatyBakey

I have another confession to make. Yes, I haven’t actually worked alongside Katy at KatyBakey yet either. Well, I have, but not in a wedding environment…

A few years ago I used to work at a design agency with Katy, and one day she announced that she was leaving to make custom celebration cakes for various events and occasions. A slightly left-field turn of events, I’m sure you’ll agree. However, when she brought some beautiful samples in to work and we promptly devoured them in record time, we were more than convinced…

More info: KatyBakey

Unique Cake Creations

Now this is what I call a cake! I had the pleasure of working with Jen on Fae and Lewis’s sumptuous wedding at Lympne Castle, and everyone commented how amazing the cake looked (before cutting it into chunks and devouring the whole lot. The guests, not me!)

Lympne Castle Wedding Photography

More info: Unique Cake Creations

Videographers:

RKN Aerial Imaging

To say that Russell is one of the most talented (and nicest) people I’ve ever worked with is a bit like saying, “Did you know the sun rises in the morning and then sets in the evening?”

I mean, talk about stating the flipping obvious.

To see some of his fabulous work, pop on over to his website pronto.

Russell Kent Nicholls

More info: RKN Aerial Imaging

Neil Sollis Productions

I met Neil at Elaine and Luke’s wedding at The Hop Farm, and discovered that he lives just down the road from me. Hi Neil! 🙂 I also discovered that he’s a lovely chap, very easy to work with and his work is…well, it’s amazing, and I’m sure you’ll love this as much as I do…

Luke & Elaine

Highlights from Luke and Elaine's big day.Song copyright.Touch – Mattia Cupelhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqsGQVl-_k5qGE-PwGKO5DA

Posted by Neil Solliss Productions on Sunday, 24 June 2018

More info: Neil Sollis Productions

Emmanuel @ Weddings Videographer

I worked with Emmanuel at Candice and Simon’s wedding, and as well as being extremely friendly and professional, he also gave me some great advice regarding Google Adwords. Cheers Emmanuel! 🙂 He’s also ridiculously talented as his website will testify.

(Apologies Emmanuel – I’m unable to embed a video from your site 🙁 )

More info: Weddings Videographer

Magician:

Neil Clement Magician

Last, but definitely not least, is the wonderful Neil Clement, magician extraordinaire. I had the pleasure of working with him at Grace and Phil’s Danson House wedding, and all I could hear as he was working the tables was gasps of amazement and shrieks of laughter. He’s an absolutely fabulous magician, so drop him a line now!

Danson House Bexleyheath Wedding Photography

More info: Nicolas Clement

Secrets from the experts! Part 2 – Victoria’s Bridal Boutique

Last year I liaised with a number of other wedding experts and together we wrote a fantastic ebook, full of essential hints and tips to help you organise your wedding with the minimum of fuss. It’s called Secrets from the experts: how to remember your wedding for all the right reasons and avoid a whole world of work, stress and tears! It’s available to download from the bar at the top of the site, so what are you waiting for?!

Vicky at Victoria’s Bridal Boutique kindly offered her thoughts regarding choosing a wedding dress, and here’s what she had to say:

1) What are your top 3 tips for anyone choosing a wedding dress?

  1. Pick a shop with good reviews and feels approachable, you want to feel comfortable trying on dresses. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or drop them an email with any questions about how they run an appointment, price range and sizes they carry. I’m always more than happy to have a chat with anyone.
  2. Turn up with an open mind, this could be the only time you get to try on wedding dresses and you may be really surprised at what suits you. I always say it’s better to leave an appointment knowing what you don’t want as much as knowing what you do. There are so many little extra things that can be done to tweak a dress to make it perfect and until you try it you just don’t know.
  3. On your first appointment try not to bring too many people as it can be an overwhelming experience. When you have four other people telling you what they think before you’ve even had a chance to process how you feel, you can be left feeling very confused. Remember you will always try your dress on a few times and they can always come and see you in it at a later date and help you pick veils or tiaras.

2) What’s the biggest mistake people make when choosing their wedding dress?

Brides coming in to choose their dress with only six months till their wedding. Some designers take up to six months to arrive in store once you have ordered them and then you need time for fitting, I hate putting pressure on anyone to make a decision but I have found more ladies are leaving it late. If they don’t make a decision then we are unable to get the dress in time for their wedding.

3) What’s the best or most unique thing about your service?

From the moment a bride walks in (or rings up) the experience should be fun and friendly; my team and I pride ourselves on having the knowledge to advise on styles, shapes and fabrics to make you look and feel amazing. We are here to help and you will always get an honest response to any questions and what we think you look good in. I have worked with my designers for years and the quality, fit and price is why I have kept working with them. I know I’m here to sell wedding dresses but I would honestly rather you came in and enjoyed your appointment. Even if we don’t have your dream dress I will do my best to help steer you in the right direction as to where you could find it. I think this makes Victoria’s Bridal Boutique a little different.

You can see more of Vicky’s amazing dresses over on her website – check it out and tell her I said hi!

Secrets from the experts! Part 1 – SJB Hair & Makeup

SJB Hair Makeup

Last year I liaised with a number of other wedding experts and together we wrote a fantastic ebook, full of essential hints and tips to help you organise your wedding with the minimum of fuss. It’s called Secrets from the experts: how to remember your wedding for all the right reasons and avoid a whole world of work, stress and tears! It’ll be available to download from this very site soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Sam at SJB Hair & Makeup kindly offered her thoughts regarding choosing a hair and makeup artist, and here’s what she had to say:

1) What are your top 3 tips for anyone choosing a hair and makeup artist?

i. Do your research

Unless you’re of the lucky few and you’re 100% sure about what kind of hair and make-up you want for your big day, you need to do some research. Start by
researching online at websites like Pinterest and in wedding magazines to gather ideas of the look you hope to achieve for your wedding day. Once you have an fair idea then you can start to look for your hairstylist and makeup artist in your local area.

Most professional artists use social media platforms to showcase their work like
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…start following those artists you like, look at their galleries on their websites. Focus on their “real life brides”…models are models for a reason, and are easy to make look good. The best way to judge someone’s work and get a feel for their style is to look at their work on real brides, so you can see the actual hairstyles they have created to last all day – not just for a photo shoot – and make-up that makes us “normal” folk look amazing. Ask yourself – do you like their work? Do the pictures show a variety of styles? and don’t forget to check out their testimonials.

ii. Choose whose work you love and someone you click with

It’s super important that you “connect” and feel at ease with your chosen artist as you are placing a lot of trust in this person on the day. Your chosen hair and makeup artist will be spending most of the morning with you on your big day so it’s important you get on with them. It’s more than likely you’re going to feel nervous, anxious, excited so you need to feel relaxed and at ease with the person you choose. Call them before you book anything to have a chat; are they friendly, do they make a good impression on the phone, are they willing to give you their time and come across as flexible and open, and do they listen to your ideas about hair and makeup?

iii. When you find the right one, book them!

Book early…remember like all your suppliers there is only one of them! If you like them and find you have a connection to them and their work get them booked in and your wedding date saved in their diary.

2) What’s the biggest mistake people make when choosing their hair and makeup artist?

Not doing their research to see if the artists is the right fit and offers the right service to you the client….that includes style as well as cost.

3) What’s the best or most unique thing about your service?

At SJB hair and makeup, I like to offer a full and comprehensive service to all my clients, and I am extremely passionate about what I do. For me it’s about creating a hair and makeup style that works for each individual, so I consider the clients wedding dress, personal style, venue, personality as a whole to ensure the hair and makeup we go for works for every aspect of them and wedding their day. I develop a strong bond with my clients, and for that moment in time we become friends – I never forget that for most my clients its their first experience of a wedding day,and its important I make their experience a positive one. Recent feedback from a bride wrote, “when we met you said you look after your brides and you do 100%!”

This is, and always will be, my aim for every bride I work with.

You can see more of Sam’s amazing work over on her website – check it out and tell her I said hi!

Choosing A Wedding Cake: By KatyBakey

Choosing A Wedding Cake: By KatyBakey

A little while ago I wrote an extremely handy guide to choosing your wedding supplier, containing interviews with some of the most talented people in the industry. One of the interviews was with Enfield cake designer Katybakey, and if you didn’t download the PDF you can do so at the bottom of this article.

So if you’re looking for a wedding cake, here are sage words of advice from Katy herself…

1) What are your top 3 tips for anyone choosing a cake?

  1. Think about the size of the cake in relation to the size of the venue, not just how many people you want to feed.
  2. Give your cake designer as much information regarding the rest of your wedding as possible so that they can match in the cake and pick up on the little details.
  3. Think about how much cake you actually need, how much other food is there in terms of puddings and sweets. This can also help when thinking about flavours.

2) What are the two biggest mistakes people make when choosing their wedding cake?

Not wanting to tell the cake designer what their budget is. There are many different ways of decorating a cake, different techniques that achieve a similar visual result can vary massively in cost. If your designer knows what your budget is they can help you create the cake you will love at the right price. Rather than just receiving a quote that is out of your budget and you thinking you will have to change your mind completely. The more information we have the more we can help you.

Thinking they have to come up with the design themselves. I find some brides assume that I just make the cake, that they have to pick one they have seen already so that I can then replicate it. This is not the case, in fact cake designers prefer not to make someone else’s design. The best cake is going to be one that has been designed for you, around your wedding and includes all the elements personal to you.

3) What’s the best or most unique thing about your service?

Although I make wedding cakes I also can do carved and character cakes. This means I can add in any unusual requests I might have from brides. I really can make you anything for your special day.

4) Any final thoughts…?

Make sure you research the previous work of your cake designer; if their cakes don’t look good in a photo then they aren’t going to get any better in real life. Someone will always put out their best work for you to see, so make sure you are happy they have enough examples to the quality you are happy with.

Vary the flavours of the tiers – your favourite might be coffee, but not everyone will like it.

And don’t leave the cake until the last minute, most cake designers are booked up in advance, and designing a cake does take time.

More about KatyBakey:

5 Reasons Why I’m A Wedding Photographer

Kent wedding photographer

“It’s a bit stressful isn’t it? You know, photographing weddings? After all, you only have one chance to get it right, and it’s one of the most important days of people’s lives? Why put yourself though it?” – Everyone I Ever Meet

I’ll never forget the first wedding I ever photographed. An old school friend reached out and wondered if I’d photograph his wedding, because he’d heard I was a keen photographer and he liked my photos. Of course I would! I mean, how hard could it be (despite the fact that up until that point I’d only photographed architecture and landscapes, and hadn’t photographed people. Or wedding ceremonies in dark churches. Or a bride walking down the aisle. Or the first dance. Etc). It was, without doubt, the most stressful thing I’d ever done in my life, but it triggered a desire and need deep within me that I’ve been following to this day.

So why do I photograph weddings?

1) I feel I make a difference

Photographing a wedding day is an enormous privilege. These are exceptionally special moments that will never be repeated, and it’s my job to ensure that these moments are captured for all eternity. I’m effectively the bride and groom’s backup eyes, as I’ll see and photograph things that they’ll miss, because they’ll be busy mingling, catching up with loved ones and having the time of their lives. I love visiting couples after the wedding and presenting them with their photos, and watching their eyes light up or fill up with tears of joy (and quite often both). To bring that level of happiness into people’s lives is a thing of wonder.

2) It allows me to be creative

I’ve always loved to create, ever since I was young. I remember spending hours as a kid drawing superheroes such as Iron Man, Spiderman and Superman. I’ve always loved music and have been playing the guitar and writing songs for longer than I care to remember. Photography affords me the same level of creativity – in essence it boils down to pressing a button on the camera, but on a much deeper level it involves composition, using existing light or creating my own, photographing with different lenses / utilising depth of field for maximum effect, recognising and  capturing emotion and so on.

3) I meet new people and make new friends

Wedding photography is an incredibly social activity. You get to meet lots of couples, and you’re given an insight into their hopes, fears and desires. You get to meet their friends, family and loved ones. At the wedding itself you’re effectively a guest, (albeit one with a very important job to do!) and you laugh and cry with everyone who’s there. Some of the couples I’ve met have become good friends, and that’s something you can’t put a price on.

4) I share in people’s happiness

What other event or occasion do you know where everyone is deliriously happy for the entire day? Where everyone has assembled for one reason, and that’s to celebrate the love of two people? There have been occasions where I’ve arrived at a wedding not feeling one hundred percent (a bad night’s sleep thinking about the day ahead, or maybe the weather has just made a turn for the worse), but by the time I’m capturing photos I find that I’m beaming from ear to ear.

5) I love playing with tech

Yes, I’m a sad geek. Not only do I love meeting people, sharing in their happiness, indulging my creative streak and feel I’m making a difference, I also love cameras and computers. Which means that I experience almost as much joy editing and processing a wedding as I do photographing it. Yes, I really need to get out more…

Now, when’s my next wedding…?