The wedding planning process has changed significantly in 2020.
I’m here to share some good news, and give you the tips that I’ve learned over the past few months.
‘I’m Michelle and I’m a wedding photographer from Newcastle. I’ve been working with my couples since March to re-plan their weddings. Along the way, I’ve learned a number of things
1. SMALL IS BETTER
For the past number of years, I’ve watched wedding guest counts (and price tags!) get really out of hand when planning. In my experience, this is usually due to family pressure. At some point, a lot of my couples have started to feel like it’s not even their wedding any longer. That they’re along for the ride.
THIS YEAR IS YOUR EXCUSE TO HAVE THE WEDDING YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO.
You now have full control over the guest list. You get to invite the most important people in your life to be there, and you actually have time to be with them-
2. YOU GET TO SPEND TIME WITH EVERYONE THERE
Traditionally, it’s actually rare for my couples to actually talk to everyone that attends their wedding.
With a smaller wedding, you can now spend time with everyone you’ve invited.
Couples this year are saving so much money on weddings. Prices really have gotten out of control, and now you can spend the money you save in other places.
4. YOU CAN NOW GET MARRIED ANYWHERE
This is one of the most exciting things with micro weddings – you can get married anywhere.
You no longer have to look for hall to accommodate a certain guest count, while also meeting the budget.
Now you get to be creative. Some of my couples are getting married in forests, in front of waterfalls, and at restaurants that would not have been possible with a larger guest count.
5. BETTER WEDDING PHOTOS
As a wedding photographer, this is the most exciting part of micro weddings for me.
Weddings have become much simpler overall. Which means, less stress for you on the day. No problems to troubleshoot, you just get to enjoy the day.
This lack of stress on the wedding day, really comes through in the photos.
We have all the time we need for photos, and we’re in control of the time of day we take them. At a traditional wedding, the photo session just kind of fits wherever it fits – which means non-ideal lighting conditions where you might not look your best.
Micro weddings, we can schedule at the best time of day for photos.
To add to that, you can now use the budget you saved to spend a little more on the details you’d really like to have.
SO HOW DO YOU PLAN THE BEST MICRO WEDDING?
Pick your dream location. There are no longer any rules to where you should have your ceremony.
Parks, locations, and businesses are all really going out of their way to be super accommodating these days, and that makes your life a lot easier.
Spend some of the money you’re saving on bringing in great vendors. Budgets usually get stressed really thin because of the number of guests at the wedding. This is your excuse to involve all of the vendors you would want to have for your dream wedding.
Set up an on location dinner, or move to a restaurant. With smaller guest counts, it’s now possible to set up a small reception wherever you’d like. Again, whatever your dream location is for this, this is probably the only year that it will be possible to do.
TO GET THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHS:
Schedule your ceremony when it’s good for photos. 2 hours before sunset will give us the best light for photos.
Hire a photographer (me!) for 2-3 hours. That will cover a little of the getting ready, the ceremony, family photos and photos of the two of you. (There are also packages if you’d like me to come to the reception)
My photography is primarily candid, so it’ll be a more relaxing experience than you might think right now.
Safety in this time is a priority for me. I will respect all current local rules.
If you’re interested in working together, please send me a note in the contact form below, and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
Thanks for reading and if you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch!
Considering an Engagement Session
I love pre wedding shoots! They are a great way for us to break the ice and also a good opportunity to get some relaxed portraits of you together documenting this exciting time in your lives. Let’s face it is not often you have an excuse to get have yourselves photographed as a couple in this way. People are often a little uncomfortable about the idea of it, but it’s a great way to see how you can get beautiful, relaxed images.
It really is a fun thing to do and nice to look back on when you hit your milestone anniversaries.
Seriously though a pre wedding session is a great way to get over the negative mindset of “I hate having my picture taken” it can help to get over the deer in headlights stage and give you the chance to relax in front of the camera.
My approach to a pre wedding shoot is to never really pose my couples. All I ask of them is that they have a little wander and a chat with one another, engage and enjoy being together. The best photographs for me are always the ones when the moments I capture are interaction between the couple and each other rather that the couple and me. It is about getting used to having me there without feeling like you are being photographed in an intrusive manner.
An engagement photo-shot can be a useful way to hear more about the couples story and I can begin to build a relationship with them so that on the wedding day it I do not feel like I am a stranger.
“Choose me. Marry me. Let me make you happy.” ~ My Best Friend’s Wedding
If you’d like to check my availability please head over here.
Many couples have had to postpone their 2020 Wedding Days – but what are weddings going to be like for them after lockdown?
On the 23rd March 2020 the UK-wide lockdown sent shockwaves across the country, bringing an abrupt halt to our lives and future plans. With the lockdown measures put in place to avoid the spread of coronavirus, many couples had their wedding days put in to uncertainty. For some, weddings were days away, others in the following weeks and months and the lockdown was forecast to be at least 12 weeks before the first review. It was a major source of concern for the wedding service industry as well as the couples and families that it would immediately effect.
In the UK, and in fact across the world, this pandemic has meant that those couples looking forward to their spring and summer wedding day have been forced to look at postponing, rescheduling them until 2021 or 2o22, or for others it has meant that instead of the big wedding they had planned it has been scaled down to 30 people maximum at present from July 2020 and has to factor in social distancing. Can you imagine your wedding day family portraits with social distancing, not the happy, fun and joyous images that you had hoped for.
With all the disappointment over postponed weddings in the last few months and calls to suppliers trying to reschedule to their new wedding date, the continual question as a wedding photographer I have been asked is “when do you think that weddings will actually start back up again, and what might they be like post-coronavirus?”. Unfortunately I was as hopeful and helpless as my couples, I want nothing more than to capture the days they have dreamed of, but while things are slowly easing out of lockdown, I do think that any sort of ‘normal’ wedding may still be some months away from being possible.
Today, the 29th June the Government issued new guidance for weddings in the UK, here is an extract from that guidance that will affect your wedding day.
The marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation
- Should only take place in COVID-19 secure environments. Where a marriage ceremony can take place legally in other places not covered by this guidance (such as outdoor weddings that are permitted under the Marriage Act), the legal restrictions on gatherings must be followed for that place.
- It is advised that the ceremonies and services should be concluded in the shortest reasonable time, and limited as far as reasonably possible to the parts of the marriage or civil partnership that are required in order to be legally binding under the law of England and Wales.
- Religious communities should therefore adapt traditional religious aspects, especially where celebrations would otherwise have taken place over a number of hours, or even days, to ensure the safety of those present and minimal spread of infection.
- Large wedding receptions or parties after should not take place after the marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation. See restaurants and other hospitality industries guidance for further information.
- No food or drink should be consumed as a part of the event unless required for the purposes of solemnisation.
- Where the exchanging of rings is required or desired for the solemnisation of the marriage or the formation of the civil partnership, hands should be washed before and after. The rings should be handled by as few people as possible.
- Where an infant is involved in proceedings a parent/guardian or member of the infant’s household should hold the infant.
Social distancing measures
- All individuals involved in the ceremony (including attendees, guests and officiants) should be signposted to the current stay alert and social distancing guidance and that they or members of their household should not attend the marriage or civil partnership if they are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19. If either member of the couple have symptoms of COVID-19 the ceremony should not go ahead.
- Wherever possible, adhere to social distancing of at least 2 metres, or 1 mere with risk mitigation (where 2 metres is not viable), between households. For frequently used venues, mark areas using floor tape or paint to help people maintain social distance.
- You should consider and set out the mitigations you will introduce in your risk assessment. These could include, for instance, avoiding any face-to-face seating by changing layouts, reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces, improving ventilation, using protective screens and face coverings, and closing non-essential social spaces, as outlined throughout this guidance.
- People from different households should maintain social distancing between one another. This may require marriages or civil partnerships to be adapted to remove practices that would otherwise have brought people into contact with one another, unless required for the marriage or civil partnership to be legally binding. Where this is the case precautions should be put in place to minimise contact and ensure the timeframe is as short as possible.
- Visitors should avoid touching property belonging to others, such as shoes which, if removed, should be placed and collected by their owner while adhering to social distancing principles.
To read the rule document please follow this link:
What will weddings post-lockdown look like?
It is very clear that weddings in the immediate future will be far smaller than normal. Weddings with up to 30 guests can take place from 4th July in England. Here are the two clear differences I can see at the moment;
Guest lists could become a lot shorter – by necessity
I expect to see many more smaller, intimate weddings in the months ahead and social distancing still being part of everyday life even if it is reduced to 1 metre apart. We are told to avoid face-to-face seating by changing layout and table plans, at present all hospitality indoors will be table service only, and contact between staff and customers will be limited. Reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces which effect the ceremony and reception space (and of course the dance floor). The use of protective screens and face covering are not going to look fantastic in your wedding photos, and don’t forget to carry your hand sanitiser with your bridal bouquet.
Weekday weddings are becoming a lot more popular
Despite weekend weddings being in much higher demand for obvious reasons, couples who are rescheduling for 2021 had to think about a weekday wedding in order to have their wedding day sooner, rather than wait a year or more for a weekend wedding date. Let’s be honest, the longer you wait the more likely you are to have the wedding day celebration you dreamed of. However if you really don’t want to wait anymore to say “I do” then I would look at having a small wedding ceremony now and then have the reception at a later date with you renewing your vows or having a marriage blessing.
If you are looking at rescheduling your wedding or have become engaged during this lockdown and would like to find out more about my wedding photography, please do get in touch, we can arrange a zoom call and soon be able to meet for coffee or cocktails to discuss your plans.
What are Doortraits I hear you ask, well they are Doorstep Portraits, they have been my way of giving back to the NHS and photographing portraits at this time of lockdown.
Well life does seem to be starting to coming back, okay gyms and nail bars are not yet open but i have a hair appointment booked Yippie! It’s been a very strange time and i am sure it’s going to be a bit different for some time to come. It’s been three months since I was photographing weddings and portraits I really missed meeting people and finding out their story. I was starting to go a little crazy in a household of boys so when it was safe I started taking portraits of people and families on their doorsteps to document life during the COVID-19 lockdown
As the Coronavirus started to spread across the globe earlier this year, a new way for photographers to take family portraits from a safe distance began to emerge
Like everyone else, I saw my work as a wedding photographer come to an abrupt halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting me to start this project and help lift the spirits the people in my area.
I am still working as a photography teacher at our local high school setting students tasks to document their lockdown lives and the environment around them so I put a post out on social media asking anyone in my area to DM me if they wanted to be part of the project. I made it clear that it would take no longer than 10 minutes, families would receive their images via secure download, and, most importantly, I would be practicing social distancing by using a long lens.
I either travelled on the bike, foot short distance in my car (camera bag is a heavy beast) and take the portraits. Of course it always takes a bit longer than it should because of all the chats, I love meeting people and have a good natter.
The Best Wedding Songs That Will Get Your Guests on the Dance Floor
food are all important, but nothing makes or breaks a reception like the music, I love being on the dance floor with my camera, its a great experience, everyone is having fun and letting their hair down!
Whether you choose a band, DJ, or make a playlist yourself, with guests of all ages and preferences it can be hard to make sure everyone’s enjoying themselves on the dance floor. Worrying about whether the music is good is the last thing anyone wants to do on their wedding day so I selected the most popular songs for a wedding that will make sure everyone gets up out of their seat, hits the dance floor and has the time of their lives.
When planning a wedding, the dress, venue, flowers, and
10 songs guaranteed to fill the dancefloor at your wedding reception
1. Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
2. Dancing Queen – Abba
3. Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
4. “You’re the One that I Want” from Grease.
5. Never Forget – Take That
6. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
7. Hold My Hand – Jess Glynne
8. “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.
9. Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston..
10. Best Day of my Life by American Authors .
Are you unsure if an engagement photoshoot something you should be thinking of booking?
So you are engaged and planning a wedding, and you have started to look at wedding inspirations posts on social media, looked at your local wedding venue options, and started to find your wedding photography.
You have started to notice that some are offering Engagement Photo sessions or Pre Wedding photoshoots and you are not sure what they are? You have not considered having one? And not sure if you want or need one.
Here are my 7 reasons why I think that you should say yes to the Engagement Photoshoot.
1. INVITES/SAVE THE DATES
You can create something really unique with your invites or maybe you are sending some of your guests save the date cards. Using your professional photos can create something unique and personal to your wedding day.
2. A CHANCE TO RECONNECT WITH EACH OTHER
Yes, wedding planning can be stressful, planning your wedding day and day to day life can be overwhelming and time-consuming so using this time we spend together as a chance to reconnect with your partner. It sounds corny, but trust me you’ll come away feeling that you have shared at a really nice time and more in love.
3. DOCUMENT YOUR ENGAGEMENT, IT IS AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF YOUR LOVE STORY
Your story together started the day that you met! your wedding day is only a part of your story together so why not add to collage of images that you have together with something that marks your engagement, this is a really special time in your lives.
4. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DRESS UP – YOU BE YOU!
On your wedding day, you’ll probably be all dressed up, and sometimes this can limit your movement. For your engagement photos, you can take a more casual approach. Where what you feel comfy in, be yourself! We can go walking in a field, sit on the ground in the long grass, or dip your feet in the sea.
5. PRACTICE AT RELAXING IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA
Having engagement photos gives you the perfect chance to warm up to the camera and start to feel a bit more relaxed around it. Then come your wedding day, you won’t feel so nervous or worried about being posed.
6. GET TO KNOW YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know your photographer! To work with them before the wedding day, it gives the photographer a chance to show you how great they are! You get to know each other, it makes you more connected and relax.
7. BETTER WEDDING PHOTOS & LESS STRESS!
Because you’ve had your engagement photos you’ll be feeling less stressed on the day of the wedding. You know the photos will be amazing, you know what the photographer is looking for and how it feels to be in front of the camera lens. It becomes a relaxed experience and a more relaxed you equals less stress on the day of your wedding AND amazing wedding photos – that’s what we all want!
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I hope you found this helpful, and are starting to consider engagement photos.
To talk to me about arranging your engagement photoshoot please send me a message, and we can have a chat about how an engagement session could work for you.
North East Wedding Photography at Walworth Castle
Stephanie and Andy’s Wedding | Documentary wedding photography at Walworth Castle
Stephanie and Andy booked me as their wedding photographer because they loved my natural and relaxed style.
The bride and groom to be requested a few family group pictures and couple portraits but the rest of the photographs would be all unposed, unscripted and just how it unfolded, which is what documentary wedding photography is all about,
When you have a wedding in a castle such as Walworth Castle you already feel like you are a princess, and that is what Steph my Disney made bride wanted, and when you have a wedding in a castle you just know it’s going to be fabulous.
Everything about this wedding was just lovely, the bridal prep through to the ceremony was just constant giggles,
It was a really great atmosphere, lots of fun and a brilliant celebration for this lovely couple. Though the whole day I found everyone was laughing, chatting and just having a great time. Especially when Andy had his future mother in law was down the aisle to Star Wars Imperial March… yes, Darth Vader!
The speeches tear-jerking and hilarious in equal measures, and the first dance through to the party had an electric atmosphere.
What a great wedding!!!
A huge thanks to Stephanie & Andy for inviting me along to capture their big day but making me feel a real part of your family and friends.
If you are looking for documentary wedding photography please click here to get in touch.