A venue bathed in sunshine, drinks on the terrace, garden parties and dining al fresco… summer weddings can be picture perfect. Yet the squinty eyes, red faces and difficult light conditions could mean your wedding photos are less so. Jo Critchley-Saville from Mosborough Hall Hotel, a restored 12th Century Manor House just outside Sheffield, shares this advice on ensuring your summer wedding snaps shine (whatever the weather).
Consider light when choosing a venue
Everything looks better in the sun but bright sunlight can be unforgiving, causing awkward shadows and dappled effects, lighting a subject from behind (where they appear dark and difficult to distinguish) or even worse, squinty eyes and scrunched up faces. Shade and softer light are photo friendly conditions, so take advantage if there’s somewhere shady to take a stroll for your first romantic photos as a married couple.
It’s useful to take your photographer on a recce of the venue if that’s possible. If they offer an engagement shoot as part of the package (as many do) then why not have a ‘dry run’ to find the most picturesque yet practical spots for nailing the perfect shot.
Aim for the Golden Hour
One way to ensure you have optimum lighting conditions is to ask your photographer to stick around until the sun begins to set. Twilight, otherwise known to photographers as ‘the golden hour’, is when some wonderfully atmospheric shots can be taken. If time is an issue, you could shift your ceremony to around 4pm, to ensure the sun is lower in the sky. Decorate your outdoor space with hundreds of sparkling fairy lights and candles and a magical party backdrop will emerge as night begins to fall.
Plan for every eventuality
Don’t forget to factor in the Great British Summertime when a downpour is just as likely as fair weather. Having indoor space as a back-up plan is unfortunately essential for a UK wedding, but it’s helpful on a sunny day where lighting and heat can be challenging for photographers. Some of the most stunning wedding photos are taken indoors near to windows or architectural features (of which there are plenty at Mosborough Hall). It’s just a matter of being creative and finding the right setting.
Pack the essentials
When you’re hot and bothered even the longest lasting make up can ‘slide off’ leaving streaks and shine in its wake. Be sure pack the make-up basics (especially a translucent powder) to fix any issues and limit shiny patches. Other essentials include parasols or fans to keep you cool, and some photographers suggest liquid talc as a lifesaver when inevitable sweat stains appear. Sunglasses can be a cool prop for your pics, especially when cute kids are involved. And finally, ensure there’s plenty of water on hand to stay hydrated. Fainting on photographs is not a good look.