The Blog

Planning your wedding photography in Devon & Cornwall

Confetti Photo ideasA little planning goes a long way so here are my top tips to get the most out of your wedding photography experience.

So you wanna ace your wedding photos?

My number one top tip really is to just let go and throw yourself in deep into feeling all the feelings all day long. Embrace the ride. Those who have the most fun get the best photos. Every. Single. Time. When you get to the big day you really have done all the hard work so it’s time to reap your harvest.

There are some things you can consider to make things flow more easily too;

Getting ready

Allow 1.5 to 2 hours for this to be photographed.

The room and space you choose to get ready in will play a big part in the feel of this part of the day. A spacious light room will help you feel calm and give the photos a cleaner more editorial look.  If you have a choice of rooms to get ready in choose one with the biggest windows and the most space. Light is everything in photography. If the room has artificial lighting it is likely I will turn it off. If you have a make up artist they will more than likely choose good even light so natural window light is a good call here too.

Getting ready at home – if you are getting ready at home or your family home? This is great because this tells so much of the story of you.

Have details ready if you want them photographed – if you have some specific items you would like me to photograph then please have them close to hand.  I usually do a photo of your outfit/dress and shoes but if you really want shots of your stationery or anything personal that means a lot to you then please do let me know and have them available in the morning.Bridal Veil  with Latin embroidery

Want both partners getting ready covered? You can book a second photographer for £350. Let me know well in advance if this is something you are considering. If both partners are getting ready in the same building or super close by then we can look at timings and how I can cover both.


Outdoor Ceremony in Devon

All in one place? If your wedding is all at one venue then there is no real need to plan travel time! Hooray!

Church wedding – If you are getting married at a church I will need to arrive at the church 30 minutes prior to the ceremony to allow time for parking which is notoriously difficult at some village churches, getting some guest arrival shots and some of the grooms’ party. Church wedding photography St Neots in Cornwall

Ceremony at a different location to getting ready? I will need to leave time for travel and parking plus extra time for traffic if your ceremony is in a town on a Saturday. Plan for me to arrive around 30 minutes prior to the ceremony plus travel time from where you are getting ready.

Why you might consider an unplugged wedding. I get it – everyone wants to get their instagram story of your day but maybe you might want to put an embargo on where and when that happens. If you don’t want to be greeted by a sea of phones when you walk down the aisle consider having an unplugged ceremony – no phones or cameras allowed until after the ceremony (other than mine ha!) You can ask your registrar or celebrant to specify this for you and even tell your guests that they will get a link to your gallery and free access to all the photos from the whole day – which they will of course.

Confetti and Family photos

Pretty much as soon as you’ve had your first kiss as a married couple people will want to throw stuff at you. For confetti my rule is more is more and go for biodegradable paper or a mix of small and large petals. If you think you have enough, double it. The best confetti shots are the ones where everyone goes nuts.  I will arrange folk for you to make this a walk to remember!

Once the confetti is done I will crack on with group photos. Get them done asap then you can relax and forget I’m there. It also means that Auntie Jean will feel she’s had her VIP moment with the newly wed couple and will get off your case wanting photos with you 😉

I recommend a maximum of 10 different family/ bridal party photos- any more than this and it can start to feel like a chore – see my ‘more group photos’ bit below.  My approach is ALL about the natural real moments BUT I really do value the purpose of having these more traditional shots. They don’t have to be formal or fussy but they are something that grows in value over time.  It’s so valuable to have a handful of your nearest and dearest in a photo with you.

Church wedding – if you have a church wedding I 100% recommend doing these photos there. Once people leave for the reception and find the bar/ stop at the garage for a sandwich/ nip home to feed the dog/ fill the dishwasher/have a nap/ check into their room* it will take twice as long to locate the right people for the photos. Fast and loose is the way forward with these. I promise you’ll thank me for it.

*All true stories.

More group shots?

Do only the bare minimum. Weigh up if you’d rather be having a laugh with your guests and scoffing canapés or standing in a row? Let’s do this sharpish.

Drinks Reception

Allow a good chunk of time from arrival drinks to being seated – 2 hours hits the sweet spot. This is when you will get to catch up with everyone and I can get all the good stuff…

Couple Portraits

Hooray you get some time out together!! This will be like a mini version of the engagement shoot. 20 mins max. Less if you say so. The last thing I want to do is take you away from your party of a lifetime. We will plan where and when this happens. Ideas include stopping off at a fave spot (usually a beach in this part of the world) on the way back from the ceremony to the reception, going off site to come pre scouted locations or choosing some quiet spots for a walk at your venue. This is all down to you, let me know what you feel up to!  


When everyone sits down to eat I will leave you be. Nobody likes having a camera in their face when eating (apart from this one little girl who didn’t see me coming). This is when I will refuel and rehydrate too and do some stretches, well out of the way!


Oh man all the choices! Here is what works best in my humble opinion;

After the meal is the traditional choice. It works well because it fills the gap between the meal and the party getting started.

If you have nervous speakers do it beforehand! Do check that you run on time, as caterers will be ready to go.

At our wedding we did them during the afternoon cream tea outside and I have to say I do love an outdoor speeches session. I have seen some done in great locations!

Sunset shots

If you want sunset shots (I will be asking you as it is killer light if the skies allow) then it may be worth planning in a gap for this time of day on your date.

Mid summer weddings; your sunset will more than likely be after the first dance so we can plan that we do this once you have had the chance to dance. If you are having a band I recommend timing it so that you get to dance to the entire first set. We can then slip away for the sunset shots to end the photography for the day.

If you have a Spring or Autumn wedding then look out for clashes with sunset during the meal or speeches.  If you aren’t too worried then that is fine, but if you do want those dreamy golden hour shots then let’s plan for that to happen!

Winter weddings are great for all day low light which if the sun shines can be SO incredible! Sunset is early so we’ll make sure we plan any important shots into the hours of daylight. This may mean a first look before the ceremony so you get your couple pics done if you have a later winter ceremony.

Cake Cut and First dance

When you want to cut your cake let someone know to announce it. It works well to do it just before the first dance then folk are already gathered together to watch you step out together. If you don’t fancy doing a first dance then don’t make it something you’ll dread all day… just get everyone to pile onto the dance floor with you! Cake Cutting Pizza Wedding CakeFirst dance – aim for a first dance to happen around 7pm to 7.30pm – get the party started! First Dance under the stars

Hidden time sucks/ wedding traps

Line ups – greeting everyone as they get seated – how to avoid this happening – get a master of ceremonies or your best mate or the wedding planner to get everyone to take their seats whilst the two of you slink off to get some portraits or just some alone time!

Travel times – it is so easy to underestimate how long it’ll take to get from A to B – be realistic about this and you won’t feel rushed.

Last words…

If all the above doesn’t fit your day then don’t worry at all! I capture what really happens when it happens so if that’s a pre wedding surf or swim in the sea or jumping into the pool in your wedding dress then so be it! It is your day. Do it however the hell you want.

HelloIm Emma!

Praesent commodo cursus magna, vel scelerisque nisl consectetur et. Maecenas faucibus mollis interdum. Donec ullamcorper nulla non metus auctor fringilla.


Featured Posts

Open Post

Contact Me!
+44 7870 185277
Devon, UK

Lets Connect!