Sydney Weddings and the Weather Considerations

 

Do you want to know something that many photographers around the world have discovered?  This phenomenon proves to me that the number one concern for most bride & grooms is the weather they will experience on their wedding day.

 

What is this truth that I write of?  On any day of the week (even within the busy wedding season) if it is raining outside then our phone will not ring.  I have even noticed that we will not receive emails from wedding couples who live in Sydney when it rains.  It is as if couples don’t want to even think about their wedding plans on a rainy day. 

 

So with that realisation shared, here is some information to consider in the planning of your wedding day in regards to the weather.

 

Tides

Having a beach wedding ceremony on the sand?  Then check when the tides are due to come in.  Sydney Tide Times 

 

Sydney Tides at Weddings

 

Light

Unless you are living in Norway during the middle of summer and can enjoy the benefits of the midnight sun, fading light will be an issue for you and your photography.  You can check the sunrise and sunset months before your wedding day and thus can book your wedding ceremony & reception based on these times.  Sydney Sunset & Sunrise Times  

 

Photographic useable light is different than sunset.  The last 10-15 min before sunset is usually very dark, however I have used this light at times for some moody, creative ‘end of the wedding day’ type photographs.

 

Sunset Photographs Sydney Weddings

 

Wind & Rain

Your best defence is to be thinking of wet weather alternatives at the time of booking your ceremony and reception.  Hoping the weather will be ok is not a plan and denial is not a strategy.  It isn’t a bad idea to start your search for photographers at the same time as ceremony & reception venues, as they can be a wealth of information on wet weather locations and strategies for bad weather.  If they don’t help with this kind of information then it will quickly help you work out the better photographers to book.

 

Once you have planned for any weather conditions, five days before your wedding you can start to check the weather forecast.  Don’t do it any earlier as you are only going to drive yourself crazy and the information is not going to be accurate (be kind to yourself). Sydney Forecast 

 

If the forecast predicts rain then contact your photographer and venues if you need to discuss those wet weather strategies.  With the rain can come a change of light and often really moody cloud cover, which I see as an opportunity to get some really creative photographs.  Having a number of large golf umbrellas on hand is a really good idea.  Black ones help with the moody shots and the all white ones (though really hard to find) are great for keeping the rain off but allowing some light through onto the face.  Be careful that the umbrellas selected does not have any company logo’s or writing on them – as they will show in your photographs.

 

Rain Wedding Photographs Sydney

 

May the sunlight warm your face, the wind be blowing gently and there be no mention of rain on your wedding day.  Have a wonderful day!


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Being ‘Present’ On Your Wedding Day

Firstly I wanted to say sorry for my little absence on this blog.  We were having some internet and computer issues at work.  Even though I have other forms of internet access like my black berry, the extra work curriculum; like writing blogs was difficult.  For me it felt like I had fallen off the face of the internet world i.e. two weeks without checking facebook, blogs etc is a very long time!

 

The topic of this post is one I try to bring up in conversation with all my wedding couples before their wedding day.  ‘Helping couples not only survive their wedding but thoroughly enjoy it’ is my mission behind all I write for this blog.

 

Days, weeks, months and even years can go into planning a wedding.  Everyone’s day will be different but every couple will desire to enjoy their wedding day. 

 

Unless you are a celebrity, it will be unlikely that you will have experienced total attention from all your family and friends at the same time and for a whole day.  For many couples it can be a little overwhelming at times.

 

I expect that the attention is also one of the major reasons why many couples after their wedding day will say “our wedding day flew by so fast”.  Sadly many couples will share with me that the wedding day was one long blur as it went by so fast.

 

Stop and think about this for just a quick second as I can imagine no one really wants their wedding memories to be a blur.

 

How can you stop this from being your wedding reality too?

 

I believe it is about being ‘present’.  Being consciously aware of what is happening around you and savouring the experience.  By allowing all your senses to be activated. 

 

Listen intently to conversations.  Feel the wind in your hair and sun on your face as you walk to the car.  Take deep breaths while smelling the fragrance of your wedding bouquet. Taste the texture and flavour of your wedding cake in your mouth.

 

Of course your sight will be your number one active sense on your day.  If however you ignore your other senses you may very well miss out on the full wedding day experience.

 

By being consciously prepared to allow your senses to take in all that is around you on your wedding day, will help you not only enjoy your wedding day but also help you to remember all the wonderful memories.

 

 

 


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Wedding Day Timing

My post entitled ‘A Wedding To Do List’ is helpful in working out what needs to be done leading up to the wedding day.  What about the actual wedding day timing? 

 

Around a month before the wedding day, I chat with all my wedding couples in regards to finalising their wedding photography.  Here are some of my tips, thoughts and suggestions that I go through with all my couples.

 

Start your timing plan with the wedding ceremony.  Even if you are unsure of the exact time you wish the ceremony to commence, write down an ideal time and then later everything can be adjusted accordingly if needed.

 

Let’s say the ceremony ideal start time is 3pm.  Now the ceremony duration will depend if you are having a church wedding or civil ceremony.  As a guide a traditional Catholic mass can be around one hour, while a normal church wedding is around 45 minutes including two readings, minister’s sermon, signing the register and walking out.

 

However a civil ceremony ranges from 15 to 30 minutes.  Speak to your minister or celebrant who will help you finalise a more accurate duration time.

 

After the ceremony, there are three possible areas you need to be aware of in regards to time.  Firstly do you wish to have a large group shot of all your guests (approx 10-15 minutes)?  Secondly think about how much mingling time you would like to share with your guests.  Thirdly are the family photographs. 

 

Working out the time to allocate for family photographs will be hard but as a rough guide allocate 5 mins for the first family photograph and then two minutes for each family photograph after that.  I strongly recommend you speak with your photographer in detail about your family photographs and in particular the timing.

 

From this point, now jump ahead in the timing planning to the reception arrival time for the bridal party.  Let’s say you want to arrive at 6pm to your wedding reception.  Now you can work out the time you will have remaining for travelling and ‘location’ bridal party photographs.

 

Recapping: wedding starts at 3pm and the duration is 30 minutes (civil ceremony).  Afterwards let’s say you want a group shot (10 min), mingling time (30min) and then ten family photographs (20min).  This will mean you will have one & half hours for travelling and ‘location’ bridal party photographs.

 

If an hour and a half is not enough time (or too much time), then you can decide to change the ceremony starting time, have longer mingling time or perhaps even arrive earlier to the reception to share pre dinner drinks with your guests.

 

I will share more information in future posts about timing before the ceremony and at the reception.


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Things to Remember to take with you on your Wedding Day!

I write this post from my sunny balcony overlooking the ocean in Thailand (enjoying some time out).  Back in Sydney soon……..

 

 

8 Things to Remember to take with you on your Wedding Day – for the girls:

 

 

1)     Lipstick for touch up’s during the day.

2)     Hankie or tissues (there may be tears).

3)     Your speech notes for the reception.

4)     Bobby hairpins.  This is especially a good idea if it is a windy day, as your hair and veil my give you some issues.

5)     Needle and thread.  I don’t see bride’s doing this much anymore but from time to time a button will come off or a hem comes down.

6)     Band-aids for the back of your shoes when you can’t take it anymore.

7)     Maybe a sugar lolly or two, which you may need especially if you suffer, low blood pressure (it can be awhile till dinner).

8)     Along the lines of the band-aids, you may consider taking some comfortable slip on shoes when you are ready to ditch your high heels.

 

8 Things to Remember to take with you on your Wedding Day – for the boys:

 

1)     Your speech notes for the reception.

2)     Safety pins because often the florist doesn’t supply enough or strong enough pins to secure the boys flowers to their jackets.

3)     The rings (don’t laugh as forgetting the ring happens more often than you think).

4)     Refreshments for after the ceremony.  Sometimes the hire cars will offer this as part of their service.  You will appreciate been given a drink of wine, water or soft drink along with crackers and cheese as soon as you arrive at the photography location.

5)     Wedding day schedule.  Everyone has some kind of list or timetable for the running of the day.  If you do, don’t leave it at home.

6)     Mobile phone numbers of the photographer, wedding hire cars, videographer, minister/celebrant, ceremony musicians and reception venue.

7)     Are you walking down or up the aisle to your own favourite music?  Don’t forget the CD!

8)     If for some reason you go over your allocated time for the hire cars (e.g. the bride was running late, photographer took longer than they should etc), they may ask you to pay the extra amount when you arrive at the reception.  Make sure you leave with some cash in your wallet for these unexpected expenses.


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Plan for Time Out!

Relaxing After the Wedding Ceremony

Today’s weddings are less formal than they have ever been. Though, it is often the case that ‘relaxed’ weddings take just as much planning as formal ones.

No one wishes to experience stress on their wedding day so here is a tip to think about. Organise a basket of refreshments (wine, water & nibbles etc.) to be served to you as soon as you arrive at your photographic location.

Just imagine relaxing while you sip your glass of wine and enjoy the company of your closet friends (i.e. the bridal party). It may only be ten minutes you allocate for this, but in my experience it can be a wonderful de-stressor and a great opportunity for candid photography.

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