Wedding at Manor by the Lake

The old saying goes, you can’t polish a turd. Now, don’t get me wrong I HATE that phase - but it is true. You get out of your wedding gallery, what you put into it. So as a professional wedding photographer, I’m going to give you my take on what you need, to make your photos extra special. 

Example of a GREAT marquee (transparent walls to let light in)

Example of great period property (white walls, no horrid signs on walls)

  • The venue 

This is THE most important decision you can ever make when it comes to your wedding photos. Yep even more than the photographer. You could pick those most amazing photographer, but if you're not giving them much to work with, you won't get the most out of their skillset you're paying for. Have you chosen a venue which has beautiful grounds and backdrops for photos? Does it have lots of natural light in the reception spaces keeping it light and airy? Get the wedding planner to show you their photo opportunity spots. Think about how much space you might need for that big group shot, does the venue support that? Stalk the venue on Instagram and see what previous weddings have looked like there. If you've seen a wedding on your photographer's Instagram you REALLY love, see where it was taken and go visit that venue or a venue like it. It's the best way to ensure your photos will look how you dreamed they would.

  • Styling your wedding 

Having a wedding stylist can take a lot of pressure off you when it comes to your wedding. They will speak with you about what your plans are and dress the venue for you so it looks its very best. This also means you don’t have to worry about spending the whole day before your wedding doing it all yourself which can be super stressful, especially as most venues won’t let you start preparing until the evening before. A stylist will think about all those little details so every part of your wedding gallery looks beautiful - flower arches, draping, lighting - you name it. 

  • Pinterest is your friend

Pinterest can be an amazing way to plan your day and consider little details you may have never come across before. Create a board and fill it with inspiration, from colours to signage. Share this board with your wedding suppliers and see what they might be able to do to help you recreate that look. It's always best to go into your supplier selections with a clear idea in mind of what you like. For example, if you keep orientating towards a boho autumnal wedding look - but you pick a light and airy photographer - that may not end up being the right fit. Rather look into photographer's who have a warmer, richer style.

  • Keep it outside

Any photographer will tell you, if you want to have an amazing gallery, keep the big events of your day outside where possible. Bridal prep photos near a large window, an outdoor ceremony, a reception in a marquee (or room) with lots of windows and natural light flooding in. The more light and space you can give your photographer to work with, the more creative they can get and angles they can hit to give you the most amazing photos. 

  • It's the little things

The best wedding galleries happen when the couple have thought about all those little extras which can add ample photo opportunities to the day. Buy LOADS of confetti for a really epic confetti shot, consider getting long gold sparklers if you're having a winter wedding for a magical exit, carve some time out to have some fun wedding party shots with your friends whilst everyone else is having their canapes. Introduce some personalised vows, you're guaranteed to get some emotional, genuine photos from those and make your ceremony so much more personal to you.

  • Tis the season

When you're choosing your wedding date, it's important your consider the season carefully. Winter weddings are becoming much more popular, and can look really beautiful, but the sun sets at 4pm in the UK. So - if you're getting married at 2pm, you'll only have 2 hours of daylight to get all your photos taken and to mingle with your guests outside before you're taken through to the reception space which is usually a lot darker. In America, it's common that couple's have a first look before they say their vows as a way to give themselves lots of time for photographs without having to compromise on their sunset ceremony. Have a chat with your partner and photographer, think about what types of photos you'd like and plan your timeline around that.

  • Keep it tidy

It can be so frustrating when you get your wedding photos back, and you spot that bloomin' Evian bottle or bright orange Sainsbury's bag in the corner of EVERY SHOT. It's forever locked in time within your wedding gallery. Sure the image of you is gorgeous, but you will never unsee that rubbish in the background. I always suggest my couples do one of two things to avoid this. Either, keep all your bags and rubbish in one back corner of the room so it's hidden from view. Or, if you can, have a second getting ready room which is all tidy and clean saved just for photos. This could be your bridesmaid's room, or just another area reserved for photos.

  • Allow for more time than you think you'll need

It’s likely you’re picking your photographer because you ADORE the couple portraits they’ve taken of other people. This is only achieved by those couples allowing a good amount of time for their portraits to be taken. This can include extra time in the morning when you're getting ready to get those beautiful window shots. I always go through the wedding timeline with my couples 6 weeks before their wedding day so we can pre-plan this to make it as stress free as possible. Basically I remember the wedding timeline so you don’t have to!

  • Choose a photographer who speaks to you

Their personality, their editing style, their way of working with couples. All of these things should be what you look into when you’re picking a photographer. Look at how they photograph weddings that are at a similar venue to yours, follow them on Instagram stories, get a feel for their personality. Look through their portfolio and get a feel for how they edit their images. Your wedding photography should be an EXPERIENCE, not just a service, so picking a photographer who feels like a friend on the day is crucial.


Venue: @manorbythelake

Hair: @laurengoslinghair

Makeup: @victoria_abbosh

Florals: @liliarosefloraldesign

Dress: @white_rose_bridal / @lilyjacobsbridal