I like to read wedding blogs and wedding magazines – it helps me to know what the latest trends are and I’m always on the lookout for inspiration. The other day I came across an article on Wedding Ideas Magazine blog (so I can take no credit for doing any of the research!) in which they had asked real brides for a list of stuff they wished they had done differently.

It made pretty interesting reading, particularly as at least 3 of the regrets concerned photography!

First one in the list is “I wish I had given a detailed list of shots I wanted to the photographer“.

This one surprised me a little as it’s been a standard question I have always asked couples in the pre-wedding meet. Even when it’s not been possible to meet face to face with a couple (well I guess I could have flown to Germany!) we had all the ‘must have’ photos sorted out by phone and email.

Another side question I get brides and grooms to think about is “Is there anyone I need to keep a special look out for and ensure I get some shots of?” I know all of the guests at a wedding are important but it may be that a relative has made a trip half way round the world or something.

The second one is “I wish I had had bridal preparation photographs and video footage and captured what was the perfect family morning“.

The bridal preparations are one of my favourite parts of the day. I love the build up, the nervous excitement and seeing everything come together. For me this is a huge part of the whole wedding experience and also a great opportunity to get both candid shots and lots of the detail shots. Another thing to remember is the groom will almost certainly not have any idea of this part of the day and the photos will be the only real way of him having any idea!

The third directly related to photography is “I wish I’d asked the photographer to stay longer and take shots of the evening reception“.

The evening reception is something which often gets cut out of the photography and I’d guess more often than not due to budget, but this is the time when often the fun really begins. The couple are married, the formalities of the speeches and cake cutting have been done – time for some serious partying! Again I love to be able to capture at least some of this period. And, if I’m really honest, it’s in the dark party setting where ‘normal’ cameras and equipment that guests usually have really struggle. Whereas professional equipment coupled with a good dose of technical know-how and experience can make a massive difference to the quality of the photos.

And lastly there’s this one. “I wish I had set aside more time for chatting to our guests“.

So what’s this one got to do with photography? Well I think it’s got a lot to do with the style and approach of the photographer! While I believe the photography is incredibly important (of course I would!) I also truly believe and remember that it’s a wedding and not a photography shoot! Therefore the time allocated to group shots and formals is entirely up to you. I will always discuss your ideas and requirements and can give you advice on how long it will probably take to carry them out. I will advise on what I know works best but will never dictate – it’s your day not mine!

The other thing to remember is that an experienced photographer will be able to work quickly and efficiently, be able to organise groups (with a smile!) have all the right equipment and know how to get the stunning shots first time so there’s no hanging around. Put all of that together and you’ve got more time to spend relaxing, chatting to your guests and I’ve got more time to shoot the relaxed candid stuff.

If you’d like to read the full article and loads more besides here’s the links to Wedding Ideas Magazine and What Do Brides Wish They’d Done Differently?.