Lake District & Broadoaks Wedding Photographer

How to choose your Wedding Venue – pt 2

If you’ve followed all of my Top Tips in How to choose your Wedding Venue – pt 1 then you’ll be well on your way to making a success of your Wedding Day, but before you hit that ‘Book’ button have a thought about your Wedding Photography too and consider your Wedding Venue‘s photographic opportunities; so here’s some of my Top Tips from a Barnsley Wedding Photographer‘s point of view 🙂


Many modern Brides like to have their entire day captured to record the full story of their day as it unfolds, and this often starts with shooting what’s called ‘Prep’

Prep is basically a time for fun & silliness, laughter (sometimes nervous, sometimes hysterical) and contemplating the day ahead. As your Barnsley Wedding Photographer or even your Lake District Wedding Photographer its a time for me to observe, anticipate and capture the fleeting moments and emotions of your transformation from Pajama Babe into Princess Bride – a process that is usually completed by a series of Bridal Portraits

So how can you help make this more successful photographically ???


The secret to successful Prep shots is space & light

Space being…

if you have any option at all then please aim to get ready in the BIGGEST room you can. If this is your own home then of course you may be very limited in your options, but if you’re booking a hotel to get ready in make sure you hire the largest room you can so we’re not all getting in each others way. Remember, there could be me, your hairstylist or two and your MUA, your 5 Bridesmaids and your mum all trying to work in the same room at the same time !!!


while it may sound obvious that photographers need light it doesn’t always seem to occur to MUA and hairstylists that they do too!!! I’ve seen MUAs in particular trying to work in the darkest of corners just because that’s where the chair is, or because that’s the only place with a table for them to put a mirror on, when the simplest of answers is usually to MOVE the chair or table or BOTH !!!

Being close to a large window is ideal, not really ‘in’ the window as it can be too glaring, but just a few feet back can give both your MUA & hairstylist some of the nicest light for them to work in, which funnily enough is also best for your photographer too 🙂



Wedding Ceremony at the hotel


Its increasingly popular for a Bride & Groom to concentrate all their planning efforts into moving as little as possible on their Wedding day. For many, gone are the days of the Bride getting ready in one place, the Groom in another, then meeting at the church for the ceremony followed by a car trip together to the reception venue. Getting ready and marrying in the same place has 3 great advantages

  • TIME – not traveling to your church and then from your church clearly saves time. I’ve known Weddings where Prep to the church has been 40 mins and from the church to the reception venue at least another 40 mins, which is fine if that’s your priority but it can be trickier for Guests, especially the elderly or those with smaller children, and you’ve ‘lost’ well over an hour of your day
  • COST – Wedding cars are not cheap! Doing everything at the same venue means you don’t need a Wedding Car and you may have instantly saved hundreds of £s you can put to a better use – like a BIGGER Wedding Album!
  • RISK – as soon as you introduce travel into your day you are increasing the risk of something going wrong! I’ve heard of some amazing stories of travel based issues but even from my own experience I’ve seen
    • a Wedding Car arrive on fire !!! Admittedly it was only a seized on brake caliper on a very old Rolls Royce, but it was somewhat alarming all the same
    • I’ve known a B&G turn up 20 mins late for Reception as their Chauffeur got lost
    • I’ve seen a couple turn up in the wrong car as the one they hired broke down
    • one Guest car arrived late as they’d had a minor collision en-route from the church, and the ultimate failure…
    • one Wedding limo driver dropped off the Bridesmaids and then WENT HOME !!! Yep – the driver FORGOT to go pick up the Bride & her Father !!!


What makes a Wedding Venue great for photos?


You’re probably thinking “Stately Home”, “Scottish Castle”, gardens by such incredible landscape architects as “Capability Brown” of old, and while all of these can indeed lead to some amazing photos the truth is far simpler and far CHEAPER than that

What you ideally need for great Wedding Photography at your Wedding venue is:

  • that it has character and interesting places, nooks & crannies even, both inside & out – so it has somewhere to shoot inside even on a crappy weather day
  • that its grounds are interesting, varied and small – why small? Because its your Wedding Day not a formal shoot where we can take all day, so we need to be able to shoot a varied selection of images of you both as newlyweds incorporating all the best features of your venue, but ideally without it taking too long. For example… Broadoaks has character aplenty and varied but small grounds, we can easily shoot a wide range of images there and have you back to your partying within 20-30mins; whereas the lovely Wentworth Castle Gardens needs us to take you away on Golf-buggies for anything up to 2 hours, simply as its so vast and spread out. Its obviously your choice and I’m perfectly happy to spend hours photographing you at a big venue, but we can do great things in small places with limited time if you’d prefer
  • that there’s a view to the West horizon, if there’s any chance of a glorious sunset on your Wedding Day then how wonderful would it be to capture that as a great double spread image, perhaps to end your Wedding Album with. I’ve been asked for this sort of shot many times, but sadly at the wrong venue for it in that there is no line of sight to the Westerly horizon. So if BIG skies and sunset images appeal to you, bear that in mind when you book the venue 🙂


CLICK HERE for a Testimonial which shows how useful it can be to have an experienced & professional Wedding Photographer helping & guiding you through your Wedding Day, then CONTACT ME for availability and to discuss me helping you too


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