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Tips for Relaxed and Natural Wedding Photos.

Nearly all of my clients tell me that they want natural looking wedding photos, lots of real emotion, laughter and tears, and nothing too posed or cheesy looking.

Well, there’s no secret to achieving this: basically if you’re relaxed, stress free and having a great time on your wedding day then it’ll come shining through in your photos.

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Contact & bookings: Penny Young Photography

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Here’s a few tips that you can put in place before the big day to help you get ready for a wonderful relaxed wedding.

Leave some breathing room in your timeline so that you don’t feel rushed.

In my experience most wedding timelines run behind by at least 15 minutes but normally more. If you pad your timings then everything you’ve planned will happen seamlessly and without stress.

For example, get into your dress 10 or 15 minutes before you think you need to as it always takes longer than you think.

Gorgeous weddings by Kent photographer Penny Young on the English Wedding Blog (12)

Make sure you have enough time during your drinks reception to actually mingle with your guests as well as have your family photos and couple shots.

Most importantly, give yourself time to step away for a few minutes together to take it all in.

Your photographer will always be on hand to give you some guidance on your timeline and how to fit everything in.

Decide which family/guest photographs are important to you beforehand, make a list for your photographer and then stick to the list, within reason, on the day.

If your photographer expects to have 8 family groups to shoot and it turns into 20 then this is going to have a big impact on not only your timings, but also your photographer’s ability to document the natural and candid shots of you and your guests having a great time.

I usually say allocate around 5 minutes per shot as it can sometimes take time to round everybody up and get them in the right place.

Gorgeous weddings by Kent photographer Penny Young on the English Wedding Blog (30)

Think of your couple shots as time for just the two of you and allocate the time for it in your timeline.

Your wedding is a busy and social day and you won’t get to spend much time alone with your new spouse so this can be a special and treasured part of your day so make the most of it.

Be in the moment, just enjoy being together and your photographs will be beautiful.

Don’t get caught up in the Pinterest effect.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest and it’s a wonderful tool for gathering your ideas when you are planning your wedding.

But from a photographer’s perspective there’s nothing more off-putting that being given a long list of shots taken directly from Pinterest that bear no relation to your venue, the possible weather and the style of your wedding.

You really don’t want to waste time or stress over whether you are posing exactly like the picture. Instead, trust your photographer to create something new and beautiful just for you that other couples will be eager to pin.

Having said that, if you want to run through a field with big balloons or wear silly glasses while holding a Mr and Mrs sign then I’d be happy to oblige, but in my style of course!

In the days leading up to your wedding delegate any last minute tasks or things that will need to be done on the day to your bridesmaids, ushers or family and then trust them to do it and don’t worry.

If there’s some special table decorations that can only be placed on the morning of the wedding or if an extra chair needs to be provided for grandma, let other people take charge of it.

The only thing you need to focus on is getting married and having a good time.

And finally, here’s some smaller things that can make a big difference.

Ask your bridesmaids to keep your ‘getting ready’ space fairly tidy. There’s only so much strewn clothing, suitcases and general stuff that your photographer can tidy out of the way or avoid getting in the photos.

Make sure one or all of your bridesmaids know what time they need to get into their dresses so that it doesn’t delay you getting into your dress.

Make sure that you have told your photographer beforehand about any special or sentimental items or people that must be photographed. Are you wearing granny’s jewellery or do you have an elderly relative or someone from abroad that you must have photos of?

Make sure the key people in your group photos know when the photos are due to be taken so that they don’t wander off at the important moment.

Have a pair of flat shoes on hand just in case the ground is a bit wet or soft. You don’t want to miss the opportunity of that perfect shot of you and your new husband just because your heels are sinking!

Be flexible. Sometimes the weather can be a little unkind and it may mean that the timings of your couple photographs need to be swapped around a little. Both your groups and couple shots can be taken indoors but if there’s a short break in the weather it’s always good to be ready to make the most of the opportunity to get outside, with umbrella or not!

Last but not least, take a breath, slow down and enjoy it, it’s going to be the most wonderful day of your life!

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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