Here is a selection of Q&As from Your North West Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
Q. My wife-to-be and I are having a winter wedding and would love to incorporate the time of year into our photographs. Do you have any ideas on how we can do this?
A. Stacey Johnson says: Deciding how to set that scene can be quite challenging, so I suggest you decide on a theme that invokes winter. You could incorporate festive colours such as berry red, black and gold or natural greenery.
A less invasive method would be to use creative lighting. This can be done to emphasise the darkness of winter with soft subdued lights to create a cosy and romantic feel. If possible, use candlelight or firelight to create a more Nordic look.
Stacey Johnson,Darklemoner Photography LLP
Capture the moment
Q. What questions should we ask our photographer before booking?
A. Michael A. Sewell says: I'm assuming you've found a professional with a specific style that you like. From this point, you need to ask questions that can't readily be answered by looking on their website. Are they able to create the images you've fallen in love with if the weather is less than ideal? Not all venues are suitable for indoor portraits, so your photographer must be confident in any given location, with the tools and creative drive to make the best of it.
Do you receive images in web resolution, full resolution or both? Full resolution versions are needed for printing, and you need to check you have permission to have them printed. Print shops are increasingly asking for proof of ownership or the right to print images. Web resolution means you can upload to social media channels without having to resize.
Your supplier must know which group images are required, as it can get quite hectic on the day, and members of the congregation have a habit of disappearing to the bar. It's worthwhile asking the best man to assist in rounding up family members for group shots. That way, your photographer can concentrate on the photography, rather than trying to herd people, which cuts down time considerably, allowing everyone to enjoy the day.
Michael A. Sewell,Weddings by Michael
Come rain or shine
Q. How can we capture amazing outdoor pictures at our December wedding if the weather turns bad?
A. David Hobson says: I've had to shoot in all kinds of weather, come rain or shine so the first thing you should do is make sure you've discussed the possibility of rain during your consultation. Your supplier should always suggest ideas for if the weather turns sour and have a backup plan, which will usually revert to photographing the wedding party indoors. Choose a venue which has lots of outside cover, that way everyone can keep dry, and there are plenty of opportunities to get some great shots. If you're hell-bent on having your photographs outdoors and there's no cover, I would order lots of brollies, just in case. Your photographer should be able to orchestrate some funny and quirky shots of you and your guests braving the weather.
On a more serious note, if it does happen to rain, sleet or snow on your wedding day, then this can be an absolute Godsend for any photographer that knows how to create portraits by using flash to light up the scene. December nights move in fast, so if the weather turns and you think it's all over, think again. Don't miss out on this opportunity and make sure you're confident that your suppliers can produce some epic shots.
David Hobson,David KH Photography
Keep calm and carry on
Q. Our wedding has been postponed due to COVID-19, and we're having to re-book our photographer. What do you suggest we ask before booking?
A. Christina Davies says: In the sad event that your existing photographer cannot cover your new date and you need to look for a new supplier, ask what's their style of photography? It's important to do your research to see if their style matches your personality.
Secondly, find out what their cancellation policy for COVID-19 is. We're in an unknown and extreme situation, and if it were to happen again, it's worth knowing what their stance is. Remember it may differ from the terms and conditions in their contract for rescheduled events and cancellations.
Lastly, meet with them for a brew. It will help you feel comfortable around them, which is important as you'll be spending a lot of time with them on your wedding day.
Christina Davies,Fish 2 Photography
Counting the pennies
Q. I want to book our photographer and was wondering how I can keep the price down without compromising on quality?
A. Simon Kearsley says: - If you're looking to save money, ask your supplier if they can do a half-day package. Most photographers will do this but most likely stipulate that it will only be available on less popular dates.
- Save money by meeting your photographer just before the ceremony and have coverage until the speeches. You could then ask a friend or family member to take pictures of the bridal prep and first dance.
- An alternative would be to save money elsewhere, for example, you could use your photographer as a photo booth. Purchase a cheap background and inflatables and ask your chosen supplier to spend an hour shooting group shots.
- Invite fewer people to your wedding. The average cost for meals, invites, seat covers etc adds up to £70 per person. By removing 10 people from your guest list, you'll have more than enough to cover a full day of wedding photography.
- Remember when the day is over one of the few things you'll have to look back on is your photographs, so it's worth investing in them.
Simon Kearsley,Creative Camera Photography
Q. My wife-to-be and I are getting married next summer and would like some shots that reflect the season. Do you have any suggestions?
A. Vicky Dubois says: Living in Great Britain, our weather can be glorious one day and wet the next, so my top tip is be prepared!
Take into consideration that the sunshine can have a positive and negative impact on your day. In the morning and evening, the sun is low and can offer flattering natural lighting, dramatic silhouettes and romantic sun flares. However, the red hot sun at mid-day will make you squint, cause harsh shadows and leave sweaty faces.
Our beautiful country is lush and green because of the rain but don't worry we can use downpours to our advantage! Obviously, we want the best weather for you, but just in case, I always have a collection of stylish umbrellas with me for couples to choose from.
Just remember, you can't control the weather, so whatever happens, a great photographer will be prepared to capture your day with you in mind.
Vicky Dubois,Vicky Dubois Photography
Q. We're looking for a wedding photographer, but we're a bit worried about booking someone online that we've never met. Do you have any suggestions?
A. Simon Kearsley says: Here at Creative Camera Photography, 95 per cent of the time we won't take a booking unless we've met the couple.
- I understand your hesitation, after all, you don't know if they're a real person or company unless you've met them. We have a studio and always encourage our couples to come have a brew and chat about their day before booking.
- It's important you get on with your chosen supplier. If you don't have a connection, then you won't get the best outcome from your time with them. You're going to spend most of your day with or around your photographer, so make sure you like them before you book.
- Sit down with them and decide whether or not you'd avoid them at a family party. If the answer is yes, then keep on looking until you find someone that's the right fit for you.
Q. My hubby-to-be and I are worried about having our pictures taken on our big day. We're not the best posers but would love a few snaps in the venue's wintry grounds. What would you suggest we do?
A. Vicky Dubois says: I hear this question a lot, so don't worry, you're not alone. Most people are nervous in front of the camera, myself included. The best advice I can give, speaking from my own experience and working with numerous shy couples, is to find a photographer who you're comfortable with. Having a friendly and honest relationship is a huge part of the service a photographer should offer. Knowing what your likes and dislikes are is also incredibly important, and it means you'll feel comfortable enough to tell your photographer when you've had enough and need a break.
Walking in a winter wonderland
Q. My wife-to-be and I are getting married next December, and we're worried about the weather ruining our photographs. Do you have any suggestions?
A. Aaron Gilpin says: Working primarily in soggy Cumbria, this is a question that comes up a lot with my clients. Try not to worry there are lots of ways to deal with inclement weather.
- What most people would consider a poor weather forecast can often result in fantastic photographs. The most dramatic light always comes before or after heavy rain showers. I would choose a mixed forecast over a bluebird sky every time.
- Be prepared and purchase wellies and colourful brollies.
- A carefree attitude goes a long way. Your wedding is only going to happen once, so don't be afraid of getting the most out of the day.
- Be flexible with dates for your pre-wedding shoot. It rarely chucks down non-stop for an entire day, and there are often breaks in the rain that can be used for photographs.
- When choosing a photographer, ask what they would do if it rains. They should have several strategies up their sleeve to ensure quality pictures whatever the conditions.
- Wet weddings are often more sociable as people tend to gather together inside, often around the bar. Resulting in some great photo opportunities.
Hold me close
Q. Our December wedding is going to be held in the late afternoon, and it'll be getting dark by the time our ceremony ends. How will this affect our photography?
A. Mark McNeill says: December is a wonderful time of year in which to tie the knot, as the trees still have autumnal leaves and the atmosphere is magical.
As a wedding and astro photographer, I use special lenses and tripods to capture low light images. If you want to wow your guests, you could even arrange a firework display – that will look fabulous in your pictures.
Especially for you
Q. Lots of photographers offer an engagement shoot, but we're camera shy and don't know if it's for us. What are the benefits?
A. Jo Greenfield says: - An engagement shoot is the perfect way to combat any worries you may have about your wedding photos. Use the experience to practice posing and to connect with your photographer. Your chosen supplier will quickly learn what you're both comfortable with and use their expertise to make you feel relaxed.
- It's beneficial for you to see your photographer's editing style before the big day. Initially, you're probably going to hate your shots because it will reveal all your imperfections. I'll be the first to admit that I hated my wedding images, but once I saw the way my husband looked at me, I began to get really emotional and saw them in a whole new light. I didn't have an engagement shoot, and it's one of my biggest regrets.
- If your supplier offers a pre-wedding shoot as part of their package or as an extra, take them up on it. Your pictures are a big part of your day, and knowing what to expect will make the process a lot less daunting.
Moments that matter
Q. We're looking for a wedding photographer, but we're a bit worried about booking someone online we've never met. Do you have any suggestions?
A. Jo Greenfield says: In this day and age, the majority of photographers will have a good online presence. Look at their work and do some research into them as a person. Most use Instagram stories to give you an insight into their life, and others will have about me sections on their websites.
Once I've received an email enquiry, I send over six full galleries that are on a password-protected part of my website. Potential clients then have two weeks to have a good look through, ask any questions and, most importantly, contact other photographs to get a comparison.
Finding the right supplier is a balance between budget, images and personality, so it shouldn't be a quick decision. However, be aware that most book up quickly.
If you're apprehensive, ask to meet up or have a Skype conversation to run through any queries you may have.
Love through a lens
Q. We're getting married next July and want the pictures to reflect the season. What do you suggest?
A. Mark Copeland says: Summer is a great time of year to get married; the days are longer and the weather is glorious. Here in the North West, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to venues. Many offer outdoor ceremonies and are surrounded by fields of long grass and oak trees that look stunning in photographs.
Perfect blue skies and uninterrupted sun can create challenging conditions. When choosing a photographer, ask how they intend to tackle these issues. Do your homework, and ask to see examples of their work taken in similar weather conditions.
Q. We're clueless when it comes to photography. Is there a list of shots we should ask our photographer to capture?
A. Kellianne Newiss says: - I love the getting-ready shots; it's the calm before the storm, and all the girls are together enjoying themselves.
- The first look with the bride's dad or bridesmaids is a beautiful moment.
- Guests throwing confetti is always fun and full of laughter.
- The first kiss and walking down the aisle as husband and wife are both important moments.
- A group snap is a great way of making sure the whole wedding party is photographed.
- Couple pictures are essential.
- The speeches reveal fantastic emotions, from tears to laughter.
- Taking photographs at sunset isn't always possible, but if you have a few minutes, I'd definitely recommend it.
- Make sure your chosen supplier captures your first dance.
Q. We're getting married soon, and I'm worried that I won't be able to look natural in the photographs. What should I do?
A. Jo Greenfield says: Try to be natural with one another and forget your photographer is there. Brides, in particular, are often self-conscious when they have their photos taken and are quick to judge their appearance. Remember these photographs are for you and your family. Your loved ones will want to see you looking happy – this means double chins, wrinkles and silly expressions are perfectly OK. Try to capture your emotions rather than focusing on your flaws.
Be aware of your chosen supplier's style, as heavy editing can affect the finished product.
Q. We want lovely photographs, but we're limited by our budget. Do you have any suggestions?
A. Christina Davies says: - Sit down and go over your budget. Work out a maximum price you can afford and research local suppliers.
- Don't go for the cheapest or most expensive option; look for someone you like, and make sure you meet them in person before booking.
- If you find a supplier that you love but can't afford their services, ask them if they can create a bespoke package that covers the most important parts of your day.
Capture the moment
Q. We want lovely photographs, but we're limited by our budget. Do you have any suggestions?
A. Mark Copeland says: - With so many photographers around these days, it's easy to get overwhelmed and make the wrong decision. Remember some suppliers aren't full time and haven't been professionally trained. The cake will get eaten, the flowers will eventually wither, but your photos will remain, so be picky and get the best you can with your budget.
- Enquire and see whether your chosen company offer partial coverage. If so, decide what parts of the day you want to capture the most.
- Some of the more established suppliers often have trainees who can be hired. They will shoot in the same style but for a reduced price. You'll also have peace of mind knowing that they are backed up by a professional outfit.
- Keep in mind that you'll spend more time with your photographer than anyone else on the day, so it's important you feel comfortable around them.
When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your North West Wedding when making any enquiries.