Ten tips to make your Hoath House Kent Country Wedding picture perfect.
Couples crave that image; the one that captures love, happiness, and celebration. So here are my top tips that give you the best chance.
- Find the right one. Rather obviously the most important decision is that of photographer. Budget is always the starting point, but a bad photo is for life. Most photographers put up blogs of their work and it is worth doing some research on the look and feel of the photos they have taken. Having worked with 70 different photographers at Hoath House I can genuinely say that there are not many bad ones out there, but the really good ones have three things in common; they do a recce; they have prepared shot lists with the couple before the day, and they work hard through the whole day to keep finding good shots.
- Don’t just let the photographer turn up and get on with it. However much you are reassured by their experience; have a plan. Support him or her with time and prior preparation and you will get the reward of less stress and better photos.
- Enlist help. Photos turn out soooo much better if the photographer has some help. Before the day with recces and lists but especially on the day by ushers, bridesmaids and best men helping the photographer. This is where the best man and ushers can really earn their suit.
- Get some action. Giving people something to do rather than just stand around awkwardly always helps break the ice between people who may not know each other. And when the fun starts with a game of croquet or boules or garden Jenga the photos get a lot better because people are smiling, pointing, chatting and the enjoyment of the day comes through.
- Use the golden hour. You may be awake at dawn but you won’t want to have your photo taken then. At the other end of the day, the light in the hour before sunset, is better than any other part of the day. It will light up your portrait shots. Even if you can find 10 minutes at that time for a few shots you won’t regret it.
- View Halloo. In grounds with large formal gardens you can’t always be guaranteed a particular flower at a particular time. Seasonal variations will change by up to three weeks. What you can almost guarantee is a view. A stunning view in the background always helps to make a great shot. Big day – Big view.
- Locations, Locations, Locations. You cannot guarantee the weather so choosing somewhere that has a variety of locations for indoor as well as outdoor group shots gives you some peace of mind.
- An inevitable compromise. Art or documentary, formal vs informal, general vs detail. Most couples want it all; which is tricky because good shots often take time to set up and the last thing you want is having a wonderful set of photos but cold food. Agree the priorities and compromises before the day!
- There are some details that every couple wants captured. The dress, the rings, the shoes, the suits, the cake, the flowers and table decorations. Some of the best of those type of shots are not them on their own, but placed in the context of the day. Photographers will often hoover up detail shots as they wait for guests to arrive, but if you ask for the detail to be included in the narrative it adds context and makes for better memories.
- How long? What a photographer wants and what they need are two very different times. Work with them but agree a finite amount of time and stick to it. Time is the scarcest resource of a wedding day. Having timings and sticking to them is the hardest thing, but those that do have a far more enjoyable day. In my experience it is photographers and speeches that are the two most unpredictable things. For photographers give them a time limit and ask what they can do in that time. P.S On speeches give people a word limit. (1500-2000 or about 10-12 minutes)
- Last one for luck. Guest photos. You will often get a really good photo from one of your guests. Some couples ban phones and social media posting on the day, but our experience is if you give them that freedom and a # just helps you to get that photo.
Gentleman of Chiddingstone