How To Get The Most Out Of Your Wedding Photography

One of the main reasons I got into photography was my fascination that it is one of the only ways to capture a piece of history and carry it into the future like a little window to a moment in the past. They evoke emotions; bring back memories, remind you of something you once felt, thought – or even smelt! Every decision you make for your wedding day is important, but getting the right photographer for you is key – they’re going to be there all day! There’s a lot of work that goes into getting the right shots, and the preparation starts way before the wedding day. Here’s a few tips to help you make the most of your wedding photography!


I spend a lot of time chatting with my couples before the wedding day, making sure I understand what makes them tick, what kind of day they are planning, all of the timings, who’s who, group shots and lots more. The more prepared I am in advance – the smoother everything runs on the day!

If your photographer hasn’t sent you a timings and information sheet to complete, it may be a good idea to make one. I always have a printed copy on me on the day of the wedding, and a back up copy on my phone – it’s a bit like a mini bible to help make sure I’m in the right place at the right time and everything is on track!

The main things to include are:

– Addresses: Bridal / Groom Prep, Ceremony, Reception and any other important addresses for the day of the wedding. One of the most amazing things about Thicket Priory is that you can move in for the weekend to celebrate your wedding day, and not have to worry about being at various locations.

Carla Whittingham Photography - Thicket Priory Wedding Photographer

– Timings: Note down the timeline of the wedding day, and which rooms you will be using for each part of the day, so your photographer knows where to be and when!

– Contact Details: Make a list of useful contact numbers, for in advance of and on the day. I would highly recommend noting a contact number of a close friend or family member for emergencies (we all know that one person you can always rely on to answer their phone when you need them!). This will ease the pressure off you both on the day of your wedding – ideally you don’t want to be checking your phone at all, so knowing that somebody can be a go-between if there are any emergencies or issues will relieve any potential stress!

– Ceremony
Whether you are having a church wedding, civil, humanist or any other kind of ceremony, it’s really important for you to check whether there are any restrictions in place regarding photographing the ceremony, and communicate these with your photographer. You may also want to consider what space is available in the Ceremony room for your photographer to stand in, can they move freely, are there any obstacles or restrictions for them moving in and out of the space? Thicket Priory has a host of incredible ceremony spaces, whether it’s The Morning Room, their very own Private Chapel, the intimacy of the Grand Staircase or the exquisite Ballroom – you’re spoilt for choice!

– Formal Group Shots: This is a big one!
Group shots are important, it’s what our mums, dads, grannies and granddads want in frames on the mantelpiece, and it’s so rare these days to get your nearest and dearest together in one shot – particularly whilst everybody is looking their best! But what nobody enjoys, is standing for the whole drinks reception watching trays of canapés drifting past. You want to be drinking fizz, squeezing your oldest friends and nibbling on Baba Ganoush’s famous mini Beef filled Yorkshire puddings (I can verify – they are amazing).
So the trick is to make a concise list of who you need in each group shot. Try not to get carried away with endless lists of every group you have invited to the wedding. The time consuming element on the day is actually locating those who are needed, so let them know a few days ahead of the wedding that they will be required for photographs and roughly when it will be so they are prepared.
You really can’t get any better than the backdrop of Thicket Priory’s gardens for your photographs, your photographer will be able to pick the best spot on the day depending on the lighting conditions.


– An unplugged ceremony
iPhones are amazing, they really are. There’s no doubt – your guests will take some belter images throughout the day. But there’s nothing that can replace your guests being completely and fully present for incredible moment when you marry the one you love. It’s your choice, but to me, you just can’t compare to having all of your guests fully *with* you when you say ‘I do’, leaving the job of capturing it to the people you’re paying to do so. It’s also lovely to have their faces in shot – rather than the back of their phones! Having a polite ‘unplugged ceremony’ notice visible when guests are making their way into the ceremony, perhaps with a note to say that you will share the professional images with your guests afterwards is a nice way to reassure them that they can cherish the memories with you.

– Surprises
Whether it’s a magician, singing waiters, a caricaturist or something a bit different – TELL US! We LOVE anything like this, it brings out incredible reactions from guests and makes for some amazing photographs. If we’re prepared, we’ll be ready and waiting to capture the fun. As a friend of Thicket Priory, I’ve had the chance to meet lots of amazing suppliers at their ‘Friends of Thicket Priory’ evenings, so if you need any help finding someone that fits the bill for what you’re looking for – the Friends of Thicket Priory list is a great resource to go to!

– Confetti
My opinion – MORE is MORE!! But please please make sure it’s biodegradable. Brief your ushers or family members to help distribute it between your guests, whether it’s in a cone, loose in a basket or in neat little envelopes, there’s literally nothing more exciting than walking through a cloud of floating petals with everybody cheering you on as you take your first steps into the world as a married couple.

This is just a few ideas which I hope will help give you an idea of how you can prepare and make the most out of your wedding photography! The most important part is that you feel completely at ease and relaxed on the day, whilst your photographer works away in the background capturing all of the special moments for you to treasure in years to come.

If you want to chat about your wedding day – I would love to hear from you!

Best, Carla x

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07906 660 167