The Wedding Playbook

Welcome to The Wedding Playbook!

We designed this blog to be a ‘go-to’ for RLP couples – some are calling it their ‘Wedding Bible’. It covers a bunch of wedding day questions because we get it, it’s not every day that you plan a wedding.

Keep in mind, this is based on our own experience from shooting weddings for the past 5 years and it is important that you plan your day around the things that are important to you!

Enjoy

TIME ALLOCATION

45 minutes - 1 hour with the groom (‘Groom Prep’)
1.5 hours with the bride (‘Bridal Prep’)
15 minutes pre-ceremony for set-up
30 minutes for a civil ceremony (please allow longer for church ceremonies)
30 minutes post-ceremony for congratulatory hugs + family portraits

1 hour for on-location bridal party photos // 1.5 hours for off-location bridal party photos
Reception coverage is completely up to you but we usually recommend about 30 to 60 minutes of dancing is enough time to capture all of the formalities and your wicked dance moves to complete your wedding day story.

*Please note that you will have to add in travel time between locations if necessary.

GROOM PREP

Generally, we will arrive at the guys getting ready first (as the girls are often working to a stricter timeline with hair and makeup and the guys are more flexible). The ideal scenario is that the guys are showered, hair done, suit pants and shirt's on, this allows us to capture them hanging out casually. Then we will capture the finer details: the groom doing cufflinks, ties, mum helping with the buttonhole, the best man helping the groom with his jacket etc. Once everyone is fully dressed, we may still have time for a couple of portraits with the boys and any family members that are there at the time.

LOCATION / LOCATION

Speaking from experience, if you are looking to keep things relaxed and stress-free, try keeping the groom and bridal parties close in proximity to each other. Having the Bride closest to the venue will also be a godsend on the wedding day. If you have a large bridal party and need more than a hotel room, no worries, you can find some absolutely amazing places on Airbnb, they will not only look beautiful in photos but you could make a whole weekend of it with your friends and family.

THE LADIES / BRIDAL PREP

We will then head over to the girls getting ready and ideally hair and makeup is in the final stages. We like to capture a few ‘makeup’ shots to help tell the story of your day - it is particularly good for your wedding film. One quick note, we highly recommend hiring a professional HMUA team who are familiar with weddings and who use quality products. We can’t stress this enough, hiring professionals will always yield a better result. Your face will thank you.

We also love to capture all of the pretty details, for example, your wedding dress hanging, shoes, perfume, rings, love note from your groom (basically anything that is important to you). If you would like those things captured, we ask that you have everything together, set to one side and ready to be photographed prior to our arrival. This streamlines our flow and allows us to get straight to work.

When we arrive, the girls will often be in matching PJs or dressing gowns and that gives us a chance to capture those candid moments - maybe popping some champagne etc. This is also a good time to give any planned gifts to your bridesmaids/parents. We ask that you try not to give those out before we arrive - some of the nicest, most genuine reactions and moments can happen during this time.

Once the bridesmaids are dressed, it will be time for the bride to get into her gown. This is a good time to get your mum/sister or that special someone involved. (Making time for your loved ones will always yield the most precious memories). We capture the final stages of getting dressed then shoes, earrings, veil and everything in-between. Depending on your preference - now would be the time to do a reveal to the girls/mum/dad and then we may still have some time for a couple of portraits with the bridesmaids, any family members that are with you and hopefully some stunning bridal portraits.

Our aim is to leave the girls 15-20 minutes prior to the bride departing for the ceremony - that way we are at your ceremony, set up and ready to go by the time you arrive. It may also give us a chance to capture your ceremony details, guests arriving and the groom waiting nervously.

FAMILY PORTRAITS

These are the family photos that are done straight after the ‘post-ceremony congratulations’. We will send you a detailed email one month prior to your wedding day outlining how to plan these portraits but in short, we gather a list of your combinations and we systematically run through the list.

Note: if your family portraits are not organised effectively during this time it can quickly descend into chaos. We also suggest keeping this time for close family members. Remember that there will be time to shoot various friend groups during the reception.

We ask that you allocate a loud helper who knows the majority of the people on the list and who can assist in rounding up the various family members. On average, it takes about 2-3 minutes to gather and shoot each combination, we recommend about 8-12 combinations is the perfect amount to cover the important family members - This method really works in creating beautiful family portraits in a short amount of time.

*Tip: asking your celebrant to make a small announcement about the family portraits prior to your exit back down the aisle can be helpful too!

ONE BIG GROUP PHOTO

This isn't a shot that we usually include as standard, as we feel the time taken could be better spent on small groupings. Trying to take a well-composed, evenly lit image where 80-200 people are all visible at once takes time to organise (about 10 minutes) and for some venues, it's near impossible to capture effectively as we require elevation, however, if this is important to you, let us know before the wedding and we will do our best to make it work.

BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS

These are the photos taken with the bridal party after the post-ceremony congratulations & family portraits.

If everything is at the same venue and there is no travel required, we have found about an hour or so is enough time. If you will be travelling from the ceremony to a portrait location it is best to allow one and a half hours just to give you enough time to travel.

Generally, we will do the photos with all of the bridal party for about 15-20 minutes or so, then spend a little time with just the newlyweds.

We let our couple have a moment to chat and take it all in and that’s when we can capture some beautiful, unscripted & natural moments.

BEST TIME OF DAY FOR BRIDAL PARTY PORTRAITS

The best time of the day for photography is during ‘Golden Hour’ (about one hour prior to sunset). We try to avoid shooting when the sun is at it’s highest in the sky so planning portraits in the middle of the day or early afternoon will not yield the best possible images.

Now, we certainly don’t have to plan all of your portraits around this time, that’s not usually possible (unless you’re getting married in the cooler months when we don’t have daylight savings).

During the warmer months, when daylight savings is in full swing, we recommend planning a little bit of extra time (on top of your Bridal Portraits allocation) to pop out during your reception to grab some sunset photos - we find that 10 or 15 minutes in that beautiful golden light is enough time and will yield some incredible images.

We highly recommend building some sunset portraits into your reception timeline.

You can calculate what time the golden hour will fall on your wedding day via google, search 'Golden Hour Calculator'.

MUSIC

Music is so important, we can’t stress this enough!

We think some people really underestimate the importance of music at a celebration... music can make or break the vibe of a wedding reception!

An awesome band or DJ will get some great tunes going early on in the night, resulting in everyone tearing up the dance floor - resulting in some epic moments!

We have a little saying… if the music is good and the bride and groom are on the dance floor - Everyone is on the dance floor!

We are blessed in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley as we have some amazingly talented musicians locally. Please check out our recommended vendors page for a bunch of amazing artists.

FINAL NOTE

If nothing else, PLEASE make time to interact with your loved ones during your wedding day!

Every photographer/videographer wants to capture something special - but we aren’t in the business of manufacture these moments, we rely on you to create these opportunities.

Taking a moment to go over to those special people in your life doesn’t guarantee an incredible, tear-jerker image but it certainly helps us to capture something special.

We hope this helps as you plan for the biggest day of your life :) Email anytime with additional questions, we are always happy to help!

Happy Wedding Planning!

GENERAL FAQ

QUESTION

Will we receive every image taken from the day?

ANSWER

This part of our service, the sorting and editing process is just as much a part of the job as the actual wedding day itself, which all makes for the final product. In short, no, we don’t supply every image taken on the day, the discarded photos are typically duplicates, test shots, people blinking etc…

Please note: we do not supply any unedited ‘RAW’ photos.

QUESTION

How do we receive our images?

ANSWER

You will receive our custom USB with all your edited photographs in high resolution plus access to a beautifully presented online gallery where you will be able to view and download all your photos in high resolution. The gallery can be shared with your family and friends who are also free to download their favourites from the day too.

QUESTION

Do we feed you?

ANSWER

It’s industry standard for us to be fed at the reception and we really do appreciate a meal and quick sit down. We do have one special request, we sincerely appreciate it if we are fed at the same time as the bridal party. This is the only time of the day that we don’t shoot (while guests are eating). Instead, we use this time to refresh, recharge and have a bite to eat. We don’t have any dietary requirements either :)

QUESTION

How many images will we receive?

ANSWER

The amount of images varies depending on each unique wedding day, the amount of coverage, the number of details etc. On average we yield between 50-80 delivered images per hour.

QUESTION

When will we receive our gallery?

ANSWER

We take great care in the way we approach your wedding and also in how we handle your images. All of our images are backed up in real-time via dual memory cards and are further backed up via external hard drives after your wedding. Our turnaround for your wedding gallery is roughly 6-8 weeks and up to 10 weeks during peak wedding season. We know this seems like a long time, however, the amount of attention and care that goes into editing and curating your wedding is significant and this process can not be rushed.

QUESTION

Can you tell us about your editing style?

ANSWER

Our work has a classic and timeless feel, nothing is heavily retouched. In terms of the edit, colours are corrected and adjusted to maintain a consistent feel throughout the gallery, you can also expect roughly 20-30% of your wedding photos to be also delivered in black and white.

QUESTION

Can you photoshop the photos to make us look better?

ANSWER

For the majority of our images, we don’t use photoshop. If there is something that would naturally dissipate with time, such as a pimple or small blemish, of course, we can remove that in the closer portraits if you wish.

However, in regards to body contouring, removing wrinkles or fine lines, straighten teeth, enlarging a booty etc, this is not a service we offer.

QUESTION

Should we invest in a wedding album?

ANSWER

Yes!! It is the most wonderful feeling to hold your wedding photos in the palm of your hands. Sitting with your friends and family and reliving all of those little memories. It’s a feeling that can’t be replicated! Viewing your images on a screen will never quite do photos the same justice as print does.

QUESTION

What's included in the album price?

ANSWER

Our fine art wedding albums are the most beautiful heirloom you will ever lay eyes on, and we know because we have printed wedding albums with three different suppliers across the world and this one is the best! We offer two wedding albums: 10"x10" or a 12"x12" album including a 25-page spread, debossed names on the front cover and all linen cover options.

QUESTION

How many of our wedding photos will fit in a wedding album?

ANSWER

To maintain a modern and beautiful look, giving maximum emphasis on every each image without looking cluttered, We recommend selecting no more than 100 images. Keeping in mind that some spreads may only include one image, some will include many more depending on the individual images chosen & the design.

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What our couples are saying

ABOUT THE PLAYBOOK

Ashley

OMG, this is amazing!!! Well done!! This is going to be my lunchtime, bedtime reading!! Plus my general bible for the next 10 months in the lead-up! Congratulations. You guys rock! X

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What our couples are saying

ABOUT THE PLAYBOOK

Jaden

This. was. amazing.
I just had to read the whole thing at work - oops! I will go back tonight and read all the other links you put in & write down what I definitely want to include after your great suggestions!

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What our couples are saying

ABOUT THE PLAYBOOK

Jessica

OMG! This is incredible! You guys are so dedicated, it is just amazing! So many tips!! We will be hiring a live band now lol!!

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What our couples are saying

ABOUT THE PLAYBOOK

Alex

Wow, Wow, Wow - This answered pretty much every question that I have been harassed about over the last couple of months! Your time allocation is a total lifesaver! xx

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