Four Things We Know You’re Asking Yourselves About Wedding Photography

by Owen Relfe

We spend months (sometimes years) getting to know our clients, helping them to create their perfect wedding. So when couples send us their wedding photos and we get to see the end result of all the planning we absolutely love it! We know that wedding photography can take up a sizeable chunk of your budget and we bet you’ve asked yourselves these four questions when considering how to ensure the memories of your magical day are captured for you to treasure forever more…

Should we just ask our friends to take photos?

In a word, no. Well, yes, you can, but we think you’ll probably regret it. When you hire wedding suppliers, you’re paying for expertise and experience. Wedding photography is a great example of this. Capturing a stunning set of images that tells your story is a skill, and one that takes time to develop. Professional photographers come with years of experience. They know how to capture the emotion of the day, they know how to use the light to make your images even more spectacular and, they won’t miss a moment – you are their focus and they won’t get distracted.

If you’re considering using a friend, our advice depends on the scenario. If you’re literally going to ask all your guests to snap away and then send you their photos to put together an album we’d strongly advise against it. Not only will you end up with a set of images that are poor quality, they will differ in style and feel totally disjointed from one another. Friends will inevitably end up taking snaps of their own circle of friends and once the drinks start flowing photos either get worse or forgotten about entirely.

We posed this question to Dorset based wedding photographer Laura Dean ( and this is what she had to say. “If your friend is a fully-fledged wedding photographer then go for it! You spend most of your day with your photographer so it’s a double win if they’re your friend as well. If they’re not experienced in weddings then I’d ask them to join as a guest and hire a professional wedding photographer to capture your magical day”. There is a big difference between hobby and landscape photography and it might put a bit too much pressure on them and end in disappointment for you.

Why are wedding photographers so expensive?

Refer to our answer to the question above! But not only are you paying for a skilled professional for the day, you’re paying for way more than just the set hours that they are with you on the wedding day. It’s estimated that wedding photographers spend 28-40 hours working on each wedding. This includes initial meetings and site visits, travel, equipment preparation, the day itself, uploading and backing-up and editing. They’ve also invested in high quality equipment and software and this all comes at a cost. How much you decide to spend is something only you can answer but do your research and remember that your wedding photos will last forever – think of them as an investment!

Do we need more than one photographer?

This really depends upon the size of your wedding and the moments you want to capture. Generally you won’t need a second shooter but there are a few things to consider when deciding. Firstly, where are you both getting ready? What wedding photographers can’t do is be in two places at once (sounds obvious right?), so if you want coverage of both of you getting prepared but you are in separate locations with a trek between, a second shooter may be an idea. Secondly think about how big your guest list is and how much of their wedding experience you want captured. You’ll naturally spend time as a couple working your way around the venue chatting to your guests and this will give your wedding photographer a chance to get loads of great candid shots of your friends and family. Make sure you have given them a list of key people you’d especially like included. Perhaps consider a second shooter if you have a really large guest list and don’t want any of their fun moments missed while your photographer is focussing on you as a couple.

What shall we do about photos if it rains on our big day?

The unpredictable great British weather is one of the most common worries for couples. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding with us, then the chances are you’ve all ready considered wet weather options (and if not, we’ve got some great tips here on a previous blog). But when it comes to wet weather and photography, the key is to remain flexible. You probably won’t be able to change the timings of your ceremony and meal, but as long as you’re happy to deviate a little from the rest of your schedule, the chances are that even if it is wet, there’ll be a break in the weather and you’ll be able to get some outdoor couple and group shots. Often, when the sun breaks through a dramatic sky and the rain eases you’ll end up with the most beautiful light and if you’re really lucky you might even get a rainbow!

Although we’d suggest trying not to get too fixated on the long-range forecast, by keeping an eye on the weather in the days leading up to your wedding, it will allow you to plan. Have a few props on hand like wellies and umbrellas – not only are these practical, they’re also great fun and can create some really special moments. Go for white if you don’t want to cause colour casts, or, match them to your colour palette if you want to have some fun.

Talk to your photographer about a plan B if the weather really does take a turn for the worst. You might want to just embrace it - a brave choice and brides often aren’t keen (dress, hair and make-up), but it can be great fun and create some amazing shots. Also, plan an area in your marquee where you can do indoor photos. As Laura Dean goes on to say, “rain has never made anyone have a less incredible wedding! Your photographer will make beautiful images regardless and you’ll have THE best day come rain or shine”. Smile!

Our final piece of advice is to chat to a few photographers and go with someone you like, trust and feel at ease with. If you feel relaxed around them it will help them capture beautifully natural shots that you will treasure forever.

We cannot wait to see all your gorgeous wedding photographs and don’t forget to ask us for recommendations, we know some of the best photographers in the area (just look at our Instagram!!).

Lots of Love

The Coastal Tents Team xxx