St Pierre Wedding Photography

What Happens on the Wedding Day?

What happens on the wedding day – It is really quite nice to be asked “I’ve not done this before; what do we do?” on the day of the wedding. It’s sort of cute of warm and stuff. I get asked so many times that here is what ‘normally’ happens on the day of the wedding! I have not bothered with times – these can and do change so much.

The only time that really needs to be kept is the Bride and Groom getting married.

Bride Getting Hair Fixed

This is normally the first thing that happens once the bride is up and about in the morning and has had the usual breakfast / tea / coffee / possibly Bucks Fizz (Champagne & Fresh Orange juice).

If the hairdresser is coming to either the house or venue then you need to think about making sure a large mirror and chair is available close to plug sockets (rollers, tongs, hairdryer etc!). I would check with your hairdresser if you wash your hair on the morning or the night before by the way.

The hairdresser will probably do about 80% of your hair and then pass you over to the Make Up Artist (MUA)…

Make Up Artist

This usually comes a close second after your hair has been done. Again the MUA will need to be close to a large well lit mirror (by a window or large light source is good) and would appreciate a table to put all the lotions, potions, colours etc (hey – I’m a guy writing this!) on for easy access.

A good MUA will obviously ensure that all the make up used is water proof (in case you cry) and that only top quality products are used. Your skin is important!

Washing your face before the session is also quite important so ask the question “Should I wash with plain water, soap & water or use facial cleansers?” MUA all have a variation on what they prefer to start working!

The Mother of the Bride & Bridesmaids

When the hairdresser is doing your hair the MUA can be starting on the Mum and bridesmaids and when the MUA is doing you the hairdresser can be finishing off Mum and bridesmaids.

Toilet, Water & Jaffa Cakes

Just before you get into your dress go to the loo, ‘cos once you are in the dress it is pretty damned hard to use a toilet! Drink plenty of water using a straw of via one of those easy to suck bottles. It’s a long day and you will need the water to keep your skin looking good and hydrated.

Jaffa Cakes? Well they are pretty good for you – loads of energy, easy to eat (Full Moon is my preferred option!!) and usually carry a packet myself. You may be getting married at 1pm say but breakfast was at 7am or 8am and your wedding breakfast may not be till 4pm. Long time to go without any food!

The Dress

Don’t think that getting into that fantastic wedding dress is going to be easy – I may be a bloke but I have seen enough brides, mums, brides maids etc struggling to know that you should give it about 20-30 minutes!

This is really important if the back of your dress is laced – this can be a really pain to do so leave time! It is also pretty hard if the person lacing your dress (usually your mum?) doesn’t have the dexterity in her fingers. (I have laced brides into dress as mum has found it too difficult due to arthritis).

Start getting into the dress about 40 minutes before the wedding car arrives!


Once you are in your dress you can get your hair details finished and your make up finished!

For the blokes…

Make sure you give yourself enough time to get washed, dressed, play a round of golf, get showered and dressed again! Seriously if you have never worn a set of cufflinks or used a cravat than make sure you know what your doing -those things will take time to sort out!

The Wedding Car & Photographs

Make sure you know how long it takes to get to the wedding ceremony and add 10 minutes to the time. Things go wrong and being late is one thing, scaring the pants of your groom is another!

Once the wedding care arrives and your in your dress it’s time to do some photographs with Dad, Mum, Bridesmaids, the Car and You! Humour the photographer here if they ask you to do this, especially if there is only one photographer. They need to get to the ceremony BEFORE you so are likely to be in a bit of a hurry!

Civil Ceremony

Both Bride and Groom need to arrive early to have a 1-1 interview with the registrar so plan that into the time frame. The 1-1 is to make sure all details are correct etc. It is also (though officially denied I would imagine!) to make sure that you are both sober, not under the influence of drugs and are doing this of your own free will. (If you have had a glass of champers – use some mints!)

The Arrival at the Ceremony

Yup, more photographs and time for last minute adjustments to the dress etc. Most if not all of the bridal party won’t have bags with them – so ask the photographer to carry the lippy and things in their bags. Just before you get some more photographs done apply the usual makeup touches to ensure you look fab!

Oh – don’t be toooo late. It really is a scary moment for the groom!

After the Ceremony…

More photographs! Working with a professional wedding photographer is really important (I would say that – I am one!) but this is where the really pro’s stand out. They can arrange your wedding photographs quickly, easily and with the minimum amount of fuss so that you can go from the big group shot to Bride & Groom in about 20-30 minutes. Any longer and people start to get bored and wander off.

Professionals are good at getting this organising done; but help them out. Give them a list of what group photographs you want. There is no such thing as a ‘standard’ set of wedding photographs anymore due to family breakups, divorces etc.

Some tips for the photographs…

You know that person you really didn’t want to invite but your mum instead on it? Well just grin and bear it for 5 seconds whilst a photo is taken – you don;t have to have it in the wedding album but helps keep the peace on your big day. Don’t stress it – your wedding photographer and you can discuss how to, erm, remove. the offending person if you really need to!

You may choose to have the photo’s done out side the church if that’s the location, or go to a local park etc. Chat all this over with the photographer before the big day.

More Intimate Photographs

No – not that intimate! These are just you and your new husband. It is also quite nice to get some time to yourselves after all the stress and hassle of getting to the ceremony and then the marriage etc. Photographers differ on the time they ask for here – myself I only want about 30 minutes max. A wedding is a family occasions so I want to make sure you enjoy the special time with your family and friends not with me!

Again some photographers will keep you an hour or so. Check when you book them what the process is.

Remember – they are YOUR photographs so if you feel uncomfortable or don’t want the photo’s etc say so. Don’t be bullied, some photographers like to use wedding photographs for competitions or to show off how good they are. If that detracts from your enjoyment say so.

Reception Line or Big Entrance?

So the main photographs are done, you have had the nibbles and drinks. Now what? Well two ways to do this. You can either have a reception line and welcome all of your guests into the wedding breakfast or you can get all of your guests to sit down first and you get announced to them.

Obviously the reception line is a more intimate way to say hello and thank you, but does take more time. (Photography wise do you really want photographs of you shaking hands or air kissing or hugging all 70+ guests?!)

Cake Cutting

This is traditionally done at the end of dinner but before the coffee or tea is served. This is so that the cake can be cut up and served with tea and coffee straight after the speeches. The speeches give the venue time to remove the cake and slice it for you! It also gives the venue time to sort out the drinks for the toast’s which.

Speeches – when and who does what?

Traditionally speeches were made at the end of the wedding breakfast. Today they can be done when ever you feel like it. If you have nervous Dad’s or such like then it may be a nice idea to get the speeches out of the way early so they can relax

The usual order for the speeches is:

Brides Father:

Proposes a toast of health and success to the bride and groom. He normally also welcomes the groom’s parents and the other guests, and says a few words about his daughter.


Replies on behalf of himself and the bride. First, he thanks his parents for the start they gave him in life, and for their good wishes for his marriage. He normally concludes by proposing a toast to the bridesmaids.


Responds on behalf of the bridesmaids. Although the other speeches may include an amusing anecdote, it is the best man’s speech that should particularly entertain the guests. In fact, the ability to deliver an entertaining speech is a major criterion for choosing the best man.

A word of caution on the Bestman’s speech- make sure they know the bounds of decency!