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Planning Your Wedding In Brisbane

and how to structure your wedding photography timeline

How do we get started?

The Process

Having photographed hundreds of weddings over the last 10 years, we have developed a relaxed and hassle free way of providing the wedding photography experience to our clients. See below for our wedding photography process and how the booking process works:

I always recommend meeting with your Brisbane wedding photographer before booking their services. It is important make sure the photographers personality is a match to yours and that they will fit into your day, not take over it! I normally meet clients half way at a local café for coffee to discuss the details of the wedding. Otherwise you are welcome to join me at my home studio for a chat. Quite often client’s are to busy to meet up or will be booking interstate. If this is the case we can have a chat on the phone, pay the deposit and we can arrange to meet up closer to your wedding. It is always a good idea to have a list of questions to ask your wedding photographer so be prepared and check out their packages and pricing.

To book our services, we require a 20 percent deposit paid via bank transfer. You can either call me on 0423 722 286 or send me an email. This will lock in your date and we are good to go! The balance is payable is on the day of your wedding, however most client’s like to pay it a couple of weeks before hand which is perfectly fine. Clients also have the luxury of paying in instalments, because lets face it, weddings are expensive!

I will always make sure I give you a phone call a week out from your wedding to create a timeline and to discuss the proceedings of the day. It is also a good way to catch up on any changes or alterations made to your wedding since our meeting. I will create an official photography timeline that is agreed upon by the client and will send it for approval prior to the wedding.

The big day has arrived! Let our experience and knowledge guide you through your big day so you can remain calm and focused. I have photographed over 800 weddings and developed a confident but relaxed approach to weddings. There is nothing I have not seen or witnessed and will ensure your day will go smoothly. 

Usually by the time you get back from your honeymoon, I will have your USB ready with all of the edited photographs and will be sending it to your Brisbane address. This will arrive straight to your letterbox. Once you have received it, you may select 80 wedding photographs to be used in your photobook. Once I have your selections, it will take approx. 4 to 6 weeks for me to design, publish and send your high quality photobook to your address.

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Planning your wedding

When do I book my wedding vendors?

The first thing on your list of things to book, should be your wedding venue. Some couples may already have a planned date for their wedding, which may narrow your choices when selecting a wedding venue. Other couples might have their dream venue in mind, which means you may have to be flexible with your day and date. The most popular day for weddings is Saturdays and in my experience Saturdays book out extremely early. If you want to host your wedding on a Saturday, then it might be a good idea to book your wedding venue 18 to 24 months in advance. Another aspect to take into consideration is if you are having your ceremony in a separate location to your reception. Many wedding ceremonies I photograph occur in a park, garden or beach, and then everybody heads to a traditional reception venue. If this is the case then you will need to make sure that your ceremony location and reception location both have the same date available. 

Church weddings will normally have a priest or pastor included. Otherwise, a wedding celebrant should be next on your list. In my experience, celebrants come with different level of skills, experience and credentials. The price they charge will be an indication of this, and like many suppliers, there will be good ones, and not so good ones.

Some of the better ones can cost upwards of $1500, whereas others can cost $400 to 500. Personally, I believe it is wise to spend more on a wedding celebrant who you feel comfortable with, and somebody who you know is going to have the ability to create a atmosphere suited to what you want.

In my opinion, wedding celebrant’s have the most important job at a wedding and requires a lot of natural ability as well as professional experience. The celebrant I selected for my wedding, Stephen Lee is perhaps the most popular wedding celebrant in Sydney, and for good reason. He is friendly, welcoming and tailor made a script to suit our wedding. As I had photographed many weddings with Stephen in the past, I knew his style and knew he would do an excellent job.

However, I would highly suggest you check out some videos of celebrants so you can see them in action, and check out some reviews from previous couples at the very least. Believe it or not, I have been at weddings where the celebrant has be rude to guests, impatient with the couple and read from a generic script. Click here for handy tips on how to write your own wedding vows.

A wedding photographer should be pretty high up on your list of things to book. I personally have bookings over 18 months in advance. While there are plenty of wedding photographers out there, it is a good idea to scout around early and meet up with a couple of wedding photographers that you like the look of, as the good ones get booked out pretty early.

Over the years, I have tried to determine how long before the wedding does a couple book their photographer, and from my very un-scientific analysis, it is about 12 months. Having said that, sometimes I may take a booking and the wedding is in just a few weeks so there is no golden rule as to when you should book your wedding photographer.

Again, Saturdays book out pretty quickly, in fact, nearly every Saturday in 2018 is booked out for me. If you are getting married and looking for a wedding photographer, send me an enquiry for my availability.

I suggest booking in the florist, the baker, the band and the transport around six months prior to your wedding day. This will give you enough time to look of alternative suppliers if they are already booked on your date. Again, it is a good idea to check out their music, photos and reviews before booking.

Wedding suppliers live in a world where reviews can determine their reputation and can also be a deciding factor for couples when booking. Try to do as much research as possible, as the last thing you want on the biggest day of your life is your DJ not showing up or your bouquet not being what you wanted.

bride and groom posing for photo holding hands and looking at each other
groom kissing bride on cheek as she looks outwards

Where to stay the night before your wedding?

When planning your wedding, consider ways to ease the process. From experience, I’ve learned what works, what doesn’t, and how brides can reduce stress before their big day. One key tip: stay at a motel near the ceremony venue the night before.

Being late to your own ceremony is incredibly stressful. Choosing a motel just 5 to 10 minutes away can prevent this. I’ve encountered numerous delays due to long travel times. Traffic, lost limos, or forgotten items can all cause delays, especially on busy days like Saturdays or Friday afternoons.

Getting ready at a nearby motel solves many potential problems. It provides peace of mind and streamlines your day. Motel rooms are spacious and well-lit, ideal for photography. Large sliding doors offer soft, diffused light, perfect for photos. Pull-across curtains create stunning silhouettes, and ample space allows for group photos. Plus, with room service, you can leave the cleanup to them, reducing post-wedding stress. These simple steps can greatly enhance your wedding experience and minimise stress on your special day.

Can I photograph both the bride and the groom getting ready?

In Brisbane, clients often inquire about having both bride and groom preparation covered on their wedding day, sometimes asking for a second photographer. While I can provide a second photographer, I prefer to handle both preparations myself to maintain consistency in style, crucial for album cohesion. Each photographer has a unique approach, and I follow specific routines for both groom and bridal prep. For groom preparation, I allocate 30 to 45 minutes, advising the groom to be ready with pants, socks, and shirts.

Upon arrival, I assist with final touches like shoes, ties, and jackets, capturing group shots and individual portraits. For bridal preparation, I set aside 60 to 90 minutes, usually arriving during makeup application to capture details and candid moments. I coordinate shots of the bridal party, focusing on robe moments and the bride getting into her dress with privacy in mind. Clear communication with your photographer about timelines and logistics is essential to ensure a smooth day without any delays.

sunset wedding photo of bride and groom in front of tree
night wedding photo of bride and groom with lights in background

What happens after your wedding ceremony?

After the ceremony, it’s common for couples to feel unsure about what’s next. Typically, I allocate 5 to 10 minutes for guests to congratulate the newlyweds, fostering a natural and inclusive atmosphere. However, timing is crucial, especially if your ceremony nears sunset or your reception begins shortly after. In such cases, I prioritise capturing family photos and a group shot of all guests, ensuring everyone is included.

For larger weddings or time constraints, I expedite the process, focusing on efficiency while still capturing meaningful moments. Following the group photo, I proceed with family portraits and bridal party photos, allowing 20 to 30 minutes for variety and relaxation. Ideally, I spend 45 to 60 minutes with the couple for intimate portraits, known as a Location Shoot, ensuring a relaxed atmosphere and stunning results.

To optimise photography time, aim for a 90-minute gap between ceremony and reception. This allows ample time for all essential shots and ensures a stress-free experience. If time is limited, I adapt to capture key moments efficiently, maintaining quality despite constraints. Ultimately, adequate time allocation ensures a seamless transition from ceremony to reception, with cherished memories captured beautifully. For examples on this, check out our wedding photography gallery

Do I need a wedding photographer for the entire day?

For your Brisbane wedding, prioritise essential reception moments for photography, such as speeches and first dances. While additional shots like dancing or bouquet toss are optional, capturing the departure and intimate moments, like leaving in a car, can be memorable. Discuss your preferences with your photographer for a tailored wedding photography package.

Bridal preparation photos are invaluable for your wedding album, capturing intimate moments with loved ones. Groom preparation is optional and depends on your budget. An additional 1 to 1.5 hours may be needed for groom preparation shots. My standard 8-hour package covers both preparations to the first dance.

photo from behind bride and groom kissing