Whatever the weather

Whatever the weather

Q. How can we capture amazing outdoor pictures at our December wedding if the weather turns bad?

A. Hannah Brooke says: I love photographing December weddings - lots of festive cheer, twinkly fairylights and beautiful deep colours! You can't predict the weather at any time of the year in the UK, but one thing we know for sure is that December has the shortest daylight hours. My number one piece of advice would be to book an earlier ceremony if you can, 1pm is ideal! This will give you more time options for outdoor photos in case of bad weather. Other things to bear in mind are that it'll undoubtedly be cold outside, so consider wearing a wrap or a stole over your dress or you could wear a dress with long sleeves. Also, talk to your photographer to get a plan in the event of bad weather.

My go to wet weather options are:
1) I always carry a pair of clear umbrellas in my car to weddings in case of a downpour.
2) I sometimes position the couple and/or bridal party in the doorway of the venue so they are sheltered (I'll be outside but under a golf umbrella!).
3) I make sure I've scouted the venue for suitable indoor options too in case it really is just too bad for outdoor photos.

The main thing is that whatever the weather decides to do, you have a wonderful day and you get some beautiful memories captured.

Hannah Brooke, Hannah Brooke Photography


Save the first dance

Save the first dance

Q. I want lovely photos of my first dance. What tips can you suggest?

A. Francesca McCarthy says: First things first, those disco lights your DJ is providing might bring a vibe to the party but you don't want to be shades of green, red and blue in your photos therefore I recommend asking the DJ to hold fire on any coloured lights till after the first dance.

Secondly, don't feel like you need to pick a song that's 'traditional' pick something that has meaning to the both of you. Songs have such an amazing nostalgia, pick something that takes you both back to a moment.

Thirdly, confetti cannons during the first dance are epic! My next tip would be to make the next couple of songs after the first dance bangers! People tend to save their best songs till later on in the night but put on the songs that are guaranteed to get everyone up and dancing and start the party like you mean to go on.

Lastly, embrace your moment, no elaborate dance routines required (unless you want to!) don't overthink it, enjoy your moment and soak up all the feelings of the day.

Francesca McCarthy, Love Francesca


Midnight magic

Midnight magic

Q. What are your suggestions for creative night-time shots?

A. Michal Ufniak says: I love night-time photos and if my couples are up for it, I never say no. There are always plenty of opportunities for these kind of wedding shots whether you plan them or not.

Sparklers exits are very popular and seen as one of the most romantic shots. They're supposed to happen when you exit your ceremony site although these are often taken a lot earlier during a wedding do.

Fireworks. If there are any fireworks during your wedding, a picture with them will make an amazing photograph that you'll never forget!

During your wedding when everyone is dancing the night away, I'll always look for creative night-time shots. These can literally happen everywhere and most of them don't take much time.

Venue lights always make for a nice backdrop. If you're working with a photographer who knows how to work with light, try taking this shot at night when there's low lighting! It will capture the romance of the evening and add some mystery to your shot. Whether it's your venue lit up at night, dimmed lights of your reception room or street lights, combined with a touch of flash light it can inject a magical touch into your wedding photos.

Michal Ufniak, Ufniak Photography




Q. Following the last 18 months, how has the wedding industry changed?

A. Mark Bamforth says: During the past 18 months the wedding sector, regarding photography, has changed dramatically for me. Weddings are no longer a big, extravagant event with couples now going with a small intimate approach.

Traditions seem to have gone out of the window and I've seen many couples getting creative with family members for some aspects of the day, such as making bunting right down to the bride and groom making their own bars. Going forward I believe this could be the approach many people take, cost-effective and you have an equally a great time!

Mark Bamforth, Mark Bamforth Photography


Picture perfect

Picture perfect

Q. We're having a small, intimate wedding. How can we make sure we get amazing photos, while including our small guest list?

A. Lisa Kershaw says: In the last year I've photographed more intimate weddings than ever before, with guest lists of just six to 30 people. Small weddings often give you more control over your day, resulting in a relaxed feel and beautifully natural photos. There's no need for a long list of group shots with endless aunts and uncles, instead you can take the time to be with your close family and friends.

With a small group, I like to involve everyone in a confetti shot by having a semi-circle of guests with you in the middle to create a petal storm; this also works well with sparklers in the evening. You can use the extra time to go off with your photographer to take some lovely couple portraits that you'll treasure forever. You could even head to a special place that means something to you both. You might like to consider splitting the time for portraits – one half just after the ceremony and the second half later in the day close to sunset.

Lisa Kershaw, Drawn by Light Photography