Now that we have paid our retainer & signed our contract, what else do we need to do?
Nothing at all! I have everything I need initially so from a photography point of view you can relax. Please jump on over to Facebook and join my JFL tribe – it’s full of past, present & future couples – JFL INSIDERS GROUP. I do FB lives in there once a month to touch base with everyone and answer any questions that might pop up – so when I say, I’m here for anything you need, I mean it (whether it’s photography related or not!) If you’ve booked an Engagement Session, we’ll chat about when you might want to organise that – otherwise, I’ll be in touch roughly 10-12 weeks out from your wedding day to get the ball rolling and collect your final information & organise your timeline. Easy as that!
How does the day normally run?
The timings of your day will depend on a number of factors including prep location, ceremony start time and duration, family photos list, destination for bridal portraits, sunset time, reception timings and your package/coverage booked. Here is an example to display how the main part of your day may unfold – please note, this is a rough guide for a 3pm, non-religious NSW summer wedding, with a sunset time of 7:30pm.
When will you be starting and finishing on our Wedding Day?
The start & finish times will depend a lot on the details of your day, along with the package/coverage you have booked. Generally, I’ll spend 1 hour at groom preparations and 2 hours at bride prep prior to the Ceremony – then photograph throughout the day & evening, finishing after all the formalities at your Reception have been completed. Normally this is around 9pm.
What time should I book my hair and makeup to finish?
I recommend that your hair and makeup finishes one hour before I need to depart for the Ceremony (keep in mind, I’ll need to arrive at least 15 mins before the Ceremony commences to document the setup and guests arriving). This guarantees enough time to photograph all the final details, getting dressed photos and portraits before I have to leave for the Ceremony.
Can I incorporate a first look (Bride & Groom portraits before the Ceremony)?
Yes, of course! I personally love First Looks! Please let me know if you are thinking of having a first look as soon as you can. Once I find this out, I can look at how a first look might best fit into your locations and timings of the day, and in conjunction with the package you have booked (but I do think this is a GREAT decision – and will result in an even more relaxed wedding day!)
I’m not sure what times to schedule my Ceremony and Reception for?
I recommend working with your venue and/or wedding planner for the best timings of your day. If I can offer any advice it would be to take into consideration the sunset time for your date + location and aim for a Ceremony start time of 3 hours before sunset. I love shooting during golden hour (1 hour before the sun is due to set) but in the summer months this will be quite late into the evening and the winter months quite early. I am also a big believer in making sure you have time on your day to stop and enjoy! So when in doubt give yourself more than enough time for each component of the day, so you don’t feel rushed and can take some time out with your loved ones!
How long do I need to allow for our Bridal Portraits?
I recommend allowing at least one hour to shoot on location (not including travel time if you’re wanting photos in other places than your venue). For larger bridal parties I recommend at least 1.5 hours to shoot – more people equals more time. I find allowing more time than necessary allows your bridal party to relax and have fun (and perhaps enjoy a drink and some nibbles too). If we are travelling off site for your location photos you will also need to arrange transportation for your bridal party.
Location photos – where to go?
I can make suggestions for your location photos after we create your photography timeline together, taking into account the best use of time according to the package you’ve booked. If you wish to go off site I also encourage you to take a drive around the area to see what you find! I generally recommend 1 stop for location photos, however I’m more than happy to accommodate a second location where time allows.
What tips, tricks and other great advice can you give me?
Here are my top tips to get the most out of your photography on the day…
Accommodation – Take the time to research and book suitable accommodation. Find somewhere that is spacious, light and bright – this will ensure you get great prep photos.
The Details – Choose a room where you are getting ready, and make sure it is clean and ready for when the photographer arrives. Pick a room that is light and bright. Put all of your items on the bed that you would like photographed, and hang up any clothing for the day in the room. Some of the details include; jewellery, perfume, rings, sentimental items, shoes – and make sure your florist delivers your flowers before I arrive. Check out these must have checklists for Groom Prep & Bride Prep:
Hair & Makeup – Chat to your hair and makeup artists and work on suitable timings for your day. It’s best to have everyone ready at least one hour before I need to leave for the Ceremony. This will give you time to get dressed, get some great photos, and then enjoy a drink before leaving for the Ceremony yourself. For larger bridal parties, I recommend a little more time to get ready – which will accommodate for any delays. I’m happy to advise on when to have your hair and makeup completed once we chat about your specific timeline for the day.
The Dress – Make sure you try your dress on several times before the day so you know exactly how to put it on and how it all works. If it is a difficult dress to do up, make sure you have one of your bridesmaids or your mum prepared and ready to help you on the day – you might also want to factor in a little more time into your timeline for your wedding day so you don’t feel rushed!
Family – Invite family to your getting ready location if you wish to have photos with them before the Ceremony. I recommend asking them to come 15 minutes before I have to leave. For family photographs after the Ceremony, make sure you have your family photo list (using the template provided by me) ready to go with several people to help pull the combinations together (it will make it quick & easy!)
Bridal Portraits – I recommend allowing at least 60 minutes shooting time. If you have a large bridal party or would like to travel to multiple locations, we will need to allow more time. Do some location scouting, ask your venue for the best locations, and also liaise with me – as over the years I’ve gotten to know some hidden gems at most wedding venues!
Wet Weather Plan – If you are planning on having your Ceremony or Reception outdoors, having a wet weather plan in place will eliminate the stress on the day if the weather doesn’t go as you hoped. Check if your venue has a backup undercover space or marquee. Invest in some great clear umbrellas and gumboots for your photos (I also carry some backup clear umbrellas too!)
Ceremony & Reception Times – If your wedding is during winter, please remember that the days are much shorter. I recommend having an earlier Ceremony to allow time for bridal portraits before the sun sets. If you are getting married during daylight savings, I recommend a late afternoon ceremony, as the sunset is a lot later in the day (and we might even schedule some time to pop out for some sunset photos during your Reception if the sun is due to set while your Reception is underway!)
For more tips, see our blog on Wedding Tips and Advice!
Which suppliers can you point me to that you work with regularly?
I have a QLD wedding directory full of suppliers that I adore and trust – click here to check it out:
I’m also in the process of creating one full of talented NSW wedding suppliers so if you’re getting married in Sydney, Newcastle or the Hunter Valley, keep your eye out for that to drop! In the meantime though, feel free to email us to seek any recommendations you may be looking for!
What happens if it rains on my wedding day?
I love the rain, it makes for some amazing photos! I recommend you purchase some simple clear umbrellas and gumboots and embrace it! Also be sure to chat to your venue coordinator about your wet weather plan. Read more on our blog about wet weather advice. I do also offer a wet weather guarantee to all my JFL couples in the off chance that it does rain on your day and we can’t get the photos you would have loved in clear weather. We’ll organise a date & time for you to get dressed up again and we’ll meet on a clear day to do a little re-shoot. It’s so important to me that you feel 100% happy with your portraits and if you’re heart is set on a beautiful blue sky & stunning sunset, I’ll make that happen for you anyway I can!
Can I send you inspo pics or a list of images that I want captured on the day?
I’ll definitely work with you to capture any images that are important to you, but at the same time I’ll never copy or recreate an image – I love to shoot in my own JFL style! What you see on my website, blog and socials will give you a good idea of the way I love to shoot. Your wedding day will be different to anyone else’s and my focus will be on capturing your day as it naturally unfolds. I’ll work with the surrounding environment, natural light and you as a couple to create images that are as unique as you! For this reason I don’t really like to work from inspo pics or extensive lists of photos (other than family photos of course!) and I try not to stage too many photos on the day. From my experience, this approach results in the most genuine, relaxed and romantic wedding day images and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I cannot wait to create some of these types of images for you both!
Can I add on extra hours if my package doesn’t have enough?
Absolutely. I block out the entire day for your wedding so you can let me know exactly what you think you’ll need. You can contact me at any time to upgrade your package or add hours. Simply get in touch via email to make the arrangements. Not sure about how your booked package will work with your planned timings? I’m more than happy to make suggestions after I put your timeline together, and add coverage then if required.
Do I need to arrange a meal for you during our Reception?
Yes please! I love to refuel and recharge (you’ll get better photos that way too!) Just ask the venue to provide a staff meal – it doesn’t need to be fancy – just enough to get me through until the end of the night for you!