Wedding Preparation - What Can You Expect?

Most of us have been to a wedding as a guest at some point but what actually happens before we turn and watch the bride walking towards the person she is declaring her love for and pledging the rest of her life to? What happens behind the scenes and what are the things to look out for during the wedding preparation?

Bride getting ready
The Bridesmaids help with lacing the bride's dress as a flower girl watches on.

Mrs Angelic has been a photographer at many different weddings over the years and although each wedding is as unique as each bride and groom most English weddings follow a general "order" from the preparation through to the party at the end of the evening. She has picked up tips along the way and often uses them to try and keep the stress levels for all involved down to a minimum. So what happens on a tradition-based wedding morning through the eyes of a wedding photographer?

Overview of Wedding Day Preparation
Bride, Bridesmaids, Hair, Make-up, Dresses - all goes into getting ready

Traditionally the bride and groom will spend the evening before the wedding separate from each other as it is believed to be unlucky to see each other before they meet at the ceremony. This comes from the days when a marriage was more of a business arrangement  between the families rather than marrying for love. The worry was that, if the groom saw his bride-to-be before the day he may decide he doesn't like her and call off the wedding! We have done the odd wedding where the couple have thrown caution to the wind but the majority of the time the couple get ready apart from each other. 

Separate Preparation
A young flower girl relaxes before her important day whilst a page boy checks he has the rings.

The Groom

For the Groom his preparation generally includes the best man, any ushers and occasionally the odd page boy (dependent on age normally). There are checks to make such as are the rings and the speech safe? Have the buttonholes been handed out to all who need them and are they all being worn the same way?

Groom Preparation
Cravats and ties being done up, Buttonholes being pinned. All part of the groomsmen's job to help the Groom.

Mr Angelic generally goes to cover the groom's preparation so Mrs Angelic is a bit vague about what happens but she normally describes it, at wedding fairs, as "Full English, Full Pint, XBox".

Groom Preparation
Shoes polished, cuff links inserted, a wee dram of something to calm the nerves?

She knows there is obviously a lot more to it but her forte is the bridal preparations so she will skip merrily past to there......

Wedding Day Balloon
Saying it with a Wedding Day balloon.

The Bride

The Bride's preparation is often bustling with activity with hair being fluffed, make-up being applied, dresses, shoes, underwear, jewellery, perfume plus lots more. Often there are bodies galore with bridesmaids, flower girls, parents, make up and hair artists, photographers (that's us :D ), flowers are dropped off and handed out, sometimes presents are given to the bridesmaids and cars arrive.

Special Moments
Bridesmaids get their first glance of the bride whilst some are getting emotional with gifts being presented by her.

The Photographers (us)

As wedding photographers our aim is to capture the hustle and bustle of the morning's activity whilst using all our guile to maintain calm. We have certainly honed those skills over the years.

Over the course of our time photographing weddings we have zipped, laced and buttoned wedding gowns, sewn a bridesmaid into hers when the zip broke, fetched, carried and summoned people, found lost car keys, encouraged children to join in a photo, chauffeured bride's mums and children to and from the ceremony, unwrapped, untagged and undone many a dress in readiness for its wearer.  At one wedding (maybe two, thinking about it) we've been seen sewing the actual bride's dress back together literally minutes before the service (not necessarily down to cheap dresses, but accidents certainly do happen).

Flower girls
The flower girls are having the final touches added onto their pretty dresses.

We have pinned button holes, fixed button holes, gently guided people out off a room when they were adding to an already highly stressed bride's stress levels, managed to convince a granny that the jewellery that she had suddenly handed to a very surprised and not so keen bride would detract in the photos thus giving the bride a gentle reason to say thanks but no thanks and, on one occasion, even helped the bride when she needed to visit the ladies'!!! We didn't take the cameras in with us though!!!

Emotional Bride
Capturing the emotion of a wedding day in photographs

We believe that a bride will automatically step up a stress gear as she reaches the back of the aisle and prepares to take her first steps toward married life. We will do everything we can to keep our brides as calm as possible so that when she does take that first step she is in a good place ready to say her vows. This is simply the minimum we can do.....oh and capture it all in good photographs.

Bridal Dress and Shoe Detail
Wedding dresses, shoes and rings - all important parts of the day.

The Caravan Photobooth - Ellie's Story

Having launched our Vintage photobooth onto the wedding fair circuit in Spring 2013 and having seen the popularity of them soar Mr and Mrs Angelic were discussing different themes for their next booth  when, Mrs Angelic joked about buying a vintage caravan to turn into a caravan photobooth. That was on a cold Wednesday in March 2014 and the following Tuesday saw us both on the way down to Swansea to pick up our "new" 40 year old caravan.Vintage Caravan

That was the start of a learning journey like no other for Mr Angelic as he stripped out all the inner workings of the caravan - right down to the outer walls and the chassis. He learnt how to respray, to lay tongue-and-groove laminate onto a chassis, to sew curtains, to refit windows plus much, much more. Inside Caravan During Refurbishment cb7a

He spent a summer converting our Rambler 'van into a gorgeous caravan photobooth which can compliment any vintage style event - from barn conversions to tipi wedding venues with a range of venues in between and Ellie (as she was named) appeared at her first wedding fair nestling beside the gorgeous giant hat tipis provided by Sami Tipi in September 2014.

Refurbished Vintage Caravan

Vintage Caravan Photobooth Outside Giant Hat TipiMany people who use both the caravan photobooth and the vintage booths are amazed that the prints are almost instant and that the technology is nicely hidden away within the theming of the booths, they are impressed by the attentiveness of the attendant who stays with the booth throughout and love the fact that we can help incorporate the theming of their wedding into the props that we provide and the bespoke layout and design of the prints. The fact that all the photos can then be downloaded for free from our online galleries is yet another bonus for them and we often see them being shared on Facebook via mutual friends.

Both styles of booth have been booked across the country from as far north as Liverpool to as far south as Cornwall although we have now had to restrict Ellie's journeys to a couple of hours in length now as she is an old gal you know! We can provide additional extras such as Guestbooks and vintage-style USB memory sticks and are always happy to discuss how we can enhance your day.

Guest Book SigningVintage Booth USB Memory StickAnd yes - we are still discussing ideas for new photobooths with two more already making their way off the drawing board including a booth that "cannot be named". Watch this space and follow us via Facebook and Twitter to see what comes into existence in 2017.

St Paul's Wedding - Bright Lights, Big City

For a Midlands based wedding photographer getting the chance to shoot a wedding at some of the bigger Southern venues such as St Paul's Cathedral is a rare request so imagine our happiness when we met a young lady at the wedding fair at Nottingham Castle organised by Perfect Weddings who told us that she was planning a St Paul's wedding with the reception taking place at the RAF Club. Mrs Angelic's first words were "we want to do your wedding!"

Naomi and Michael popped over to see us a little later and subsequently booked us for their big day with an engagement shoot included. A year ago we met up at the RAF Club to do the engagement photos in and around Green Park, Buckingham Palace and St Paul's Cathedral itself and last week saw us back in London to photograph the big day itself.

st paul's wedding photography

Naomi and Michael had booked the 3/4 day package - from preparation shots to first dance - and also included one of our Vintage Photo Booths to finish the evening off and with all our kit in tow we travelled down to the RAF Club on Friday 14th October in readiness for the wedding itself on the Saturday.

Being a member of the RAF , Michael had arranged for a very smartly dressed Sword Party to be in attendance and a lot of fun was had getting ready - especially when the best man (Michael's brother) managed to get himself stuck in a lift for 40 minutes prior to the wedding. Thankfully Naomi was only made aware of this after he had been released!


The guests who had been staying at the Club were transported over to St Paul's via one of London's traditional modes of transport - a big, red double decker bus with Mr Angelic on board to capture the guests and their arrival at the Cathedral - whilst Mrs Angelic was transported over with the bridesmaids via London's other traditional mode of transport - a black cab. The double decker bus remained parked up outside the cathedral until it was needed to transport all the guests back to the reception and it was a magnet for tourists and school children who crowded around and on it to get their souvenir shots.


As photographers at St Paul's we had some very tight restrictions about what we could and couldn't do which meant that Mrs Angelic wasn't able to get her usual shots from the front however Mr Angelic did manage to get some through the ornate woodwork at the back of the OBE Chapel and it was then off outside to get those all important group shots.


Upon exiting the Cathedral we were greeted by a mass of waiting tourists who had congregated to see the bride and groom emerge and a big round of applause greeted the newlyweds as they walked through their sword arch, being stopped at the end of the arch for their kiss which generated another display of encouragement from the waiting tourists.


It was initally rather daunting for Mrs Angelic as she then took up her role as "loud-mouthed, bossy boots" to get the big group shot done on the steps at the front of St Paul's as there were hundreds of people about all, seemingly. with cameras pointing in her direction as she prepared the guests for their shot but they were all very obliging and moved out of the way when asked.


Naomi and Michael were extremely obliging when asked if they would like to have photos done on the Millenium Bridge and were rewarded by an impromptu "wedding march" by the buskers as we passed by and many well wishers passing on their congratulations.


Back at the RAF Club we were, once again greeted by the sword party and a wedding breakfast room decorated with  games as table placements. From Cluedo to Scattegories all of the games were playable by the people around the table with the exception of Monopoly but we were already on Picadilly so we were living that particular game.


The speeches were a lot of fun - especially the ribbing that Chris, the best man got for his lift escapades. His speech definitely had a lot of ups and downs!!

Our day finally finished with the arrival of Craig to run the booth, bringing the Angelic Munchkins down with him for us to head on down to Devon for our half term holiday.

Many thanks to Naomi and Michael for inviting us to capture their big day. Congratulations to you both and may your futures be happy, healthy and prosperous.



Wedding Madness Continues!

Traditionally July, August and September is classed as wedding season with those three months often being the busiest for marriages. More recently though, with July and August no longer guaranteeing the dry weather October has started to tag itself onto the madness. The weather has been consistently dryer albeit a little chillier and more couples are looking to tie the knot during the tenth month.

For us here at Angelic and Booths HQ it is a manically busy month. This weekend alone has seen us at two weddings  both with photo booths, two wedding fairs and a standalone Vintage Photobooth (which is still out working as we type).

Friday saw Mr and Mrs Angelic at Shearsby Bath in Bruntingthorpe for the wedding of Gemma & Tom. They had booked us on our most popular package which covers both bridal and groom preparation up to the first dance and also had one of our vintage booths as part of the evening entertainment. The civil ceremony took place in the Old Spa Room with its tree of wishes in the corner - a lovely idea that Mrs Angelic may just steal when we get settled into our new home (one day!) and we then shot the formal shots in the gardens just outside the fountain marquee. There may not have been many guests but they certainly kept us on our toes. We were extremely honoured to have been included on the table plan for the wedding breakfast and that placed us perfectly for the speeches. An early cake cutting (cake was being served with teas and coffees) left us with just the first dance to do as a formality and we then had a great time with the photobooth to end the day.

Saturday had us travelling to Market Harborough where Mrs Angelic met up with Charlotte and her supporting cast at Wainwrights as hair and make up was completed and Mr Angelic headed over to take Ellie, our caravan photobooth, to the reception venue at The Big Barn, Ashley where he met up with our groom, Alex. We then completed preparation shots back at Charlotte's parents' house before we made our way over to one of the most ornate Anglican churches we have been in for a while. Listening to the choir as they sang their hearts out beautifully for their first performance it was a joy to photograph at St Mary The Virgin church. The day was full of laughter, madness and a lot of love and again we were treated to food in the barn with another early cake cutting. Finishing off the evening Ellie proved extremely popular yet again and was continually busy.

Sunday saw Mr Angelic taking Ellie to Boughton House as part of Silver Linings wedding fairs and Craig took our vintage booth to Dunchurch Park as part of My Fair Weddings fairs and we have already had phone calls enquiring about availability or bookings and Strictly Come Dancing hasn't even started yet!!!

Lauren is still out at her big event at Keythorpe Manor for Kiran & Kulwinder so we can't really say much but we do understand that the booth is being well used.

To all of our brides and grooms this weekend we wish you huge congratulations and many years of happiness, health and love to come....

Now if you can hear snoring coming loudly from the corner it might just be Mrs Angelic (if Baby Angelic lets her!).