Tips for your big day

Hey! Thanks for filling out the enquiry form. I will be in touch with you shortly but while you wait why not check out these! :) I have put together a few tips and tricks for my Brides and Grooms from my experience that should help you make the most of your Big Day. You do not have to go by them at all, however these little gems will help you to minimise time spent on taking photos and maximise time spent with your families and guests. If you use some of my tips, Great! If none, that’s OK! I will still do my best to capture your day in the most beautiful way.

With the aim to capture the very soul of your celebration.

The Morning

coolbawn quay
coolbawn quay dress

Relax and Enjoy

As I capture reality, I am not able to add or remove things that did not happen during Your Day. What I mean by that is, if you relax during your Wedding day, this is how you are going to be captured in photographs and video. Yes I know, this is the most important day in your lives and nerves are expected. Surround yourself with only closest of people in the morning. People that you enjoy being with who put you at ease. Have a clear time plan for the morning and add on extra 45 minutes for any delays. Don’t forget to eat a breakfast, that will keep you for bit longer. Work with reasonable people, that will keep you relaxed and excited about your day. Communicate with vendors beforehand to see how much time do they need for makeup/hair/flowers/car etc. Have a good sleep the night before (I know, its impossible ;)).

Tidy room

I worked in various places. I’ve seen it all. I suggest to keep your preparations room in good shape. When the room is tidy, I’ll be able to capture much more interesting shots, as I focus on you and not on avoiding the mess.

Precious Details

The very first thing I do when I come to my Bride, I say Hello 🙂 The second thing is, I start to shoot details. Dress, shoes, flowers, invitations, jewellery and other bits that I find interesting. Maybe there are some things close to your heart that you wish me to capture on video. Just have it all ready for me.

The Dress

This is more of an advise on how not to get late. Make sure, that your maid of honour/mom knows how to zip/tie up the dress. I’ve seen it countless times, where a bride would take up to 45 minutes to put on a dress, running late for the ceremony. If you have a zip dress, likely 10-20 minutes is enough. If you have a tie up, that may take 20-40 minutes if untrained hands take care of you. Do not forget about the shoes, jewellery and other bits, that also take time.

Dad's first look

If you are planning to have a first look with your father, where he sees you for the first time in your dress, make sure that he knows that this will happen right after you get into the dress and that he’s ready for it (dressed and ready to leave the house). I’ve seen too many times where the dad disappears somewhere around the house and everyone is frantically looking for him for 10-20 minutes making you late for the ceremony 🙂

First Look


If you plan on having a first look on your Wedding Day, Awesome! I always suggest to perform a fist look around 90 minutes before the ceremony. That way, you are unlikely to be spotted by early guests (if it all takes place in the same venue) and we have enough time for any lateness. Actual first look will take around 20 minutes, as we can get some quick portraits done as well.


Place is super important. I suggest to pick a quiet spot, indoor or outdoor, where nobody will disturb us. I find first look to be a very magical moment. I feel privileged to be witnessing it. A quiet environment will help You to live the moment to the fullest.


Don’t plan a First look with video or photos in mind. Plan it because you really want to do it! And no matter what happens, whether you are late or not, just enjoy the moment! It will be a highlight of the day for You!


Church Ceremony

This part of the day is quite challenging for me as I have no control over anything. Priest is the person running the show, and I have to go by whatever he says. In the past, I’ve been asked to stop filming, do not go up the altar at any time, do not get close to the bride and groom. And no, I wasn’t in a face of everyone. During each ceremony I always respect the place we are in. I try to make slow moves not to bring attention to myself. I keep myself low. I wait for moments. I always talk to the priests before the ceremony. I try to eliminate any possibility of being pointed at during the mass. But priests are all different. While the most of them are lovely and really open, there are exceptions. Just be mindful of all that when it comes to choosing your church and a priest.

Unplugged Ceremony

Do consider to do an unplugged ceremony. What that means, you let your guests know, in a polite way, to keep the phones in their pockets during the ceremony. I have seen so many people stepping into the aisle with their iPads, or a row of phone screens while the bride walks down the aisle. Let people enjoy the ceremony with their hearts and not their cameras, my images will look better, and I will have greater chance to create more intimate moments of your guests during the ceremony. The best way to do it, is to talk to a priest/celebrant so they can mention it at the very start of the ceremony.

You can also leave a photo frame with a print-out where you ask your guests to be with You with their hearts and not their phones.


You may want to consider organizing a ‘Confetti Shot’ on the exit from the ceremony. Clear it first with the venue / church that you can actually do it;) Give that task to your bridesmaids and groomsmen where they will be handing out confetti’s. That is usually done at the greeting line. Once you finish greeting all of your guests, I can take control and organize people to stand in a desired way if you so wish. Another great Photo Opportunity!

Family Photos


Make sure to have one or two people for delegation. Usually your siblings/bridal party are the perfect choice. They can round up people for us very quickly. Agree with the photographer beforehand, where about and when we could do the family portraits. We are weather dependant on the day so its good to have two options. Most photographers work very efficiently during that part, and you would be surprised how quick they get these photos done. The longest part of shooting family portraits, is waiting for all of the people involved to turn up. Once we plan that ahead, we will minimise the time to complete that part.

shot list

Most common family portraits with the Bride and Groom are:

One side of parents
Second side of parents
Parents together
One side of siblings
One side of siblings + partners & kids
Other side of siblings
Other side of siblings + partners & kids

If you plan anything extra, please think about sending me and the photographer on a shotlist so we can tick it as we go along and we don’t miss that important set. I also suggest to photograph you with your friends during the drink reception or after dinner.

Group photo

I discourage even thinking about a group photo. I find these photographs to be pretty much useless from technical perspective. Tiny faces and a shallow depth of field which prevents to get everyone in focus. Apart from the technicalities, organising a group photo breaks the natural flow of the day. I prefer to go around and capture people being happy!


mucross park


Light is the most important element for video and photography. I always look for moody, not so obvious, interesting light to create something different. Sun is not always our best friend as it creates harsh lighting conditions that make people squint. But its not an issue for me as I will work around it to turn this difficulty into a beautiful opportunity.

Time and Timing

Think about how much time would you like to spend with me capturing beautiful video. Some couples prefer to be with me for 10 minutes, while some allocate around 1 hour. It all depends on what YOU want from your Wedding Day. I want to make sure you enjoy this part!

When to do your portraits? It all depends on your layout of the day. I usually suggest to do them shortly after the family photos are done. But sometimes it’s better to leave them off until just before the sit down for dinner. We will discuss that over the phone before a Wedding.


While we do the portraits, its important for us to stay away from your guests. I love to create intimacy in the video and we need complete privacy to do so. Other people hanging around us will destroy the moment, that we would need to create something beautiful.

weather conditions

It could be cold, could be super hot, could be really windy (beaches and cliffs!), could be wet. We have to be ready for everything in Ireland. That’s why some plans may change because of that. Have a think if you would mind to go out in rain, would you like to use umbrella etc. brave couples, better pictures! 🙂


Sunset occurs at different times every day. That might be a wonderful photo opportunity to go out and snap something beautiful. If I spot that sunset is going to be awesome, I will run in to you and say ‘let’s go out! we will get something WOW’. Now, I do not want to disturb you during the meal, but quite often that happens. I just want to let you know that light is king, and there might be another photo opportunity. Have a think if you would be up for it. It literally takes only a couple minutes and timing is crucial, but I can promise you it is worth it.

don't worry

Ok, I get it. Everyone is not so comfortable in front of camera. But please have a look at my portraits. None of my couples are! Try not to over think this part, relax and trust in my process of making you feel great! Only this way I can provide you with natural, happy and sometimes intimate portraits from your Wedding Day.

A few more tips

Unusual Stuff

If you plan anything unusual during the day, please let me know. I promise to keep it a secret 🙂 If a groom plans to sing or play the guitar during the ceremony or anything at all, I would love to know that so I can get ready for it.


I always give a call to my couples around 1 week before the Wedding. We will agree on the schedule of the day before hand. That includes when we will complete some of the must-shots. I love to have a good plan for the day, because it eliminates time wasting and wondering what happens next. This also helps you to go back to your family and friends for celebration without spending too long on video and photos. But be mindful of last minute changes (location for family photos due to better light, or a weather condition). I will try to communicate them in an efficient manner.

Sparklers Shot

I encourage every couple to plan Sparklers Send off. This is a great fun for You and your guests. It usually happens after the meal. We involve all the guests and everyone really has some fun. Once your venue is aware of that, they will help us to bring people outside. I will take it from there. I will let your guests know where to stand. We will create something epic!

One good tip about organising this part of the day: Get the longest sparklers possible. We want them to burn for as long as possible so that we can maximise the chances of getting some amazing video and photographs.

End Note

Thanks so much for spending time to read the article above. I hope that will give you a better idea on how to plan the timeframe of your day, and what can you expect from me. At the end of the day, IT’S YOUR DAY and you should live it the way YOU WANT. I’m here to help you out to get an even better experience!