I met Anouska & Tom twice prior to their wedding day. That’s quite rare. I recommend and normally meet all my clients at least once, but with Anouska & Tom, it was twice.
The first time was because it was convenient. I needed to pop up to the venue which is local (to me) to drop a new sample album off and as Anouska & Tom were staying that weekedn to do some ‘wedmin’, it made sense to meet up. We had a good walk & talk recce around the whole site, discussing options for various parts of the day and timings. This kind of thing is INVALUABLE.
It doesn’t matter so much where (as in which venue, which is more important to you, less so the photographer), but it matters a HUGE amount specifically where on site and when, events are due to take place. What might seem like a great idea at the time…in say November, might not actually work in mid August! Or at that time of day. But might work in mid-August, but another time of day.
And this is the thing with a lot of couples getting married abroad/in France, especially the British. I can say these things because I am British and that is too many couple come to France and then try to have a British wedding. It rarely works!
Why is this? Because France is not the UK for one thing! The wedding season in the UK is year round for one thing. In France it’s pretty much May-Sep and other than a few outside of it, that’s it. So just 5 months. Why?
The why is because most want the weather. But why do you want the weather? Why that is do you want the weather if you are then going to plan a virtually indoor wedding?! You may as well get married in the UK! No, most couples getting married in France are doing so because they would like a mainly outdoor wedding and do you know what? They are generally the best and usually by a large margin.
Why? (There are a lot of why’s in this post!). Because they tend to have more; atmosphere and opportunity, especially in regard to photography.
An outdoor wedding though does need careful planning in regard to where the various parts of the day take place and when. It’s a little bit thoughtless to have 100 guests sat in 35 degree (celcius) heat for 1/2 an hour, never mind 2-3 hours for a meal, so locations and timings are key.
So how can you get it completely wrong? Here’s how, – it’s quite simple:
1: Get married at 1pm in a tiny chapel that can barely seat 30 and has no windows (worth speaking of) and try and cram 100 people in there.
2: Come out into blazing sunshine when it’s at it’s harshest, everyone is squinting, sweating profusely and soon diving for shade everywhere except where you planned everyone to be.
3: Sit down to eat, indoors, around 4pm.
4: Have a somewhat strange and extensive lull after the meal & speeches before trying to start the evening dancing off around 8pm.
It can work in the UK, but doesn’t in France. It just doesn’t!
Or you can do what Anouska & Tom did and many others do and that is get married in the late afternoon, outdoors, but in the shade. OK, they didn’t get total shade, but not so far off. Then drinks & canapes outside in the glorious sun, but late afternoon/early evening sun when it’s more bearable. The eat, outdoors, as the sun goes down making the best use of golden hour. And then party when it gets dark!
As with all these featured weddings, there is little need for me to say to try and describe every detail of the wedding day because the production above and the pictures below do a far better job than my words ever can.
Oh and that second meeting? The day prior with 1/2 a day’s additional coverage which is so valuable and recommended to all clients.