What information does the wedding photographer need?

November 2018

This article is split into two sections:

  • You are still looking for your photographer.
  • You have found your photographer - the information they need about your wedding day (free template download link at the bottom of the page).

You’re still looking for a wedding photographer

Finding the right wedding photographer in Edinburgh can be a scary thing, because you are trusting a stranger with taking photographs of the most important day in your lives! So it’s best to employ a photographer whose work you like and who you personally get on with.

I receive many wedding enquiries and the couple simply tell me their wedding date and ask me if I’m free. It’s a good starting point, but in order to get a proper quote from a wedding photographer, it’s best to tell them a little bit about your wedding and what you’re looking for, so they can reply with lots of details.

When I get an enquiry with lots of details, I get a better feel for the couple and their plans and can provide a wedding quote that’s tailored to their wedding and can also provide additional information.

So here’s a good starting point:

  • When is your wedding date (the photographer can check right away, if the date is still free in their diary). Occasionally, I get a “vague” enquiry. The couple might know their wedding is in Summer next year, but they haven’t fixed a date yet. It’s best to start contacting photographers after you’ve got a definite date in the diary.
  • What is your wedding venue. Why is this important? Your photographer might have been there and they can send you a gallery with wedding photographs they have taken there and you can get an idea about their style.
  • How many people will be at your wedding. If you only have 10 people at your wedding, your photographer can provide you with sample photos of intimate weddings. If yo have 200 wedding guests, an inexperienced wedding photographer might not want to take on such a big job.
  • A little bit about your wedding ideas - you can give the photographer some more information about your wedding, what your plans are, your timings.
  • One photographer or two? Do you think you need two photographers, or would one be enough? Just because a lot of photographers offer 2 photographers in their packages doesn’t mean that’s necessary for you or your wedding.
  • How long do you want the photographer be there? Think about how long you want the photographer to take photos at your wedding. Do you want photos taken during the bridal preparations? Do you want photos of the guys getting ready too (this means you need two photographers - at least in the morning!)? Do you want them to stay only until the speeches, or do you want a photographer to be there until the party dancing in the evening? (you can also read about what's normally included in a wedding photography package)
  • What do you hope to receive after your wedding? Are you happy with all the images on a USB stick? Or do you want a wedding album with a selection of your favourite wedding photos? Or do you want both - album and USB? Do you want to receive a large frame for your wall, do you want parent albums, or are you looking for a collection of prints which you can display around your home?  

You have found your wedding photographer - this is the information they will need

I am super organised for weddings! Like SUPER organised!! I request quite a lot of information from the couple a few weeks before the wedding as this will allow me to be very organised and can make sure that I am not the reason for things running late on the wedding day.

Here’s what I want to know and why:

  • Where is the bride getting ready - so I know where she is travelling from, how long it takes them to get to the venue, what are possible issues relating to this (based on my experience)
  • Where is the groom getting ready (as above).
  • The first names of both parents - I will learn the names by heart before the wedding so I can address them correctly on the wedding day.
  • The first names of any siblings, the bridesmaids, the Best Man, the Ushers - this helps me to look for the right people on the wedding day.
  • When does the bride plan to leave for the ceremony and how (what kind of transport)
  • When is the groom at the venue?
  • When does the ceremony start?
  • What type of ceremony is it? (Religious, humanist, civil service)
  • How long will the ceremony take?
  • Who is the celebrant? (so I can address them correctly)
  • Who will walk down the aisle first? Bridemaids, Flowergirls, the bride - in which order?
  • Any surprises planned during the ceremony / after the ceremony / during reception / during the meal / during the evening celebrations?
  • Is confetti allowed at the church / venue?
  • How will the guests get from the ceremony venue to the reception venue? (walk, drive)
  • How much time is planned for the reception?
  • Will there be a piper at the church and/or for the bride and groom to be announced into the dining room?
  • When will the guests be asked to go into the dining room?
  • When are the speeches? Before or after dinner or during reception? Who will be speaking?
  • Will there be a receiving line, if so when?
  • At what point during reception is it OK for the bride and groom to have their photos taken? (I also take into consideration time of year - in Scotland sunset is very early in Winter. I will try to take the bride and groom photos straight after the ceremony to catch the last bit of daylight during winter weddings).
  • What time during reception is a good for the family group photos? (so the couple know this is happening as planned).
  • What are the family group photos that are an absolute must for the bride and groom?
  • What is the venue’s wedding coordinator’s name? (so I can call them before the wedding and confirm the timings)
  • When do you plan to cut the cake? Before the speeches, before the first dance?
  • What time will the band start / what time is the first dance?
  • Do the bride and groom have any special requests?

With all this information, I create what I call a “job sheet” which I have both with me as well as on my phone. So at all times during your wedding, I know what is about to happen, with whom, who can help me (ushers), who I need to find for certain things etc.

The more your wedding photographer knows about your wedding the better they can be prepared.

When I take photos at a venue that I haven’t been to before, I will make sure to visit the venue a few weeks before the wedding and speak to the wedding coordinator about the timings of your day and things I should watch out for.

I hope this is helpful, so here’s a little PDF you can download and fill in for your photographer.

Who is Nadin Dunnigan - Wedding Photographer in Edinburgh

Hey, I am Nadin! (same as "Nadine" - just without the "e"). I am a wedding photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland, specialising in big family weddings in Edinburgh, Scotland, and internationally. I have photographed so many weddings, and it is my mission to help couples with planning their dream wedding. Any questions I come across repeatedly - either in person or online, I will pop in here and provide more insight.

I hope you will find them useful :)

Nadin Dunnigan Photographer