So you’ve planned your wedding day down to the last minute and even created a complete blow-by-blow timeline using a spreadsheet. All those minute details have been covered and you’re now wondering to yourself what else is there to do.
My question to you would be, ‘Have you planned for the unexpected? Do you, for example, have a wet-weather option for both the ceremony and the location photographs?’
Now if you’re having a church wedding then you should be fine unless the church leaks. But it may be useful to ensure you have some large golf umbrellas to keep you dry when entering & exiting the wedding cars. We always carry at least half-a-dozen extra umbrellas for just such an occasion and are constantly surprised by wedding car hire companies that don’t do the same. What’s more, our umbrellas don’t have loud corporate logos emblazoned on them.
But what’s the plan then for your photos after the ceremony? Hopefully you’ll be able to get some family photos inside the church provided there isn’t another wedding service straight away – a common occurrence at many of the more popular churches.
Typically, you’ll then want to head-off to have some photos with the bridal party in a picturesque location. Is it to be indoors or outside? Again, do you have umbrellas for the entire bridal party? It looks better too if they’re colour coordinated. Solid black or white looks particularly smart although alternating white with a colour can also tie in nicely with the bridesmaids’ dresses.
So umbrellas can work well if it’s a light drizzle. But as soon as it’s pouring or the rain is coming at you sideways you’ll need to be undercover. Clearly it pays to have created a Plan B with your photographer before the day so that you have an easy alternative if the need arises.
A number of good wet-weather locations are listed below. Over the coming months I will endeavour to post a separate entry discussing each of their benefits.
However, if on your wedding day there should be some dark and ominous clouds on the horizon, consider too that it might be the perfect, albeit dramatic, backdrop to your photos.
The Strand Arcade | Queen Victoria Building | Martin Place | State Library of NSW | Art Gallery of NSW
Of all the places you may want to be on a hot & humid summer’s day, the beach has to be number one. Especially when you’re the groom wearing a three-piece suit!
That’s why when we’re asked to shoot a wedding in summer, we’re relieved that the bride & groom have selected a venue like Mobys’ Whale Beach.
Now you probably don’t need me to tell you that it’s located at Whale Beach, one of Sydney’s stunning northern beaches, but I can tell you that the magnificent panoramic view out to sea is, well, magnificent. And if you keep your eyes peeled from June to November you may even catch a glimpse of the whales making their annual migration.
But a good reception venue needs more than just spectacular views. And in the case of Mobys’ Whale Beach they really come up with the goods. From my experience, their food is consistently a cut-above the norm which is pretty important in my books.
What’s more, the venue has a nice relaxed yet stylish feel to it with a separate area set aside for the band and dancing.
So if you’re planning a summer wedding you can’t really go past the beach – actually, it’s pretty damn good any time of the year!
Moby's Whale Beach
One building I have enjoyed using for wedding location photographs over the years is the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) in the City of Sydney. However, it is a very busy place and it can be difficult getting photographs of the bridal party or even just the bride & groom without nosey tourists popping up in the background.
So I was pleasantly surprised to find another location with similar grand architecture also dating from the late 19th Century, namely, The Strand Arcade.
Home to some pretty ritzy retail outlets including Alex Perry, Allanah Hill & Lisa Ho, the open plan design of the building means there is lots of natural light. But the roof is covered so it also makes an ideal location if the weather turns bad.
The stairwells have some beautiful tiling with warm colours and gorgeous light fittings that particularly suit shots of the bride & groom together. And it can’t hurt to get a nice image or two with some of the fancy stores in the background.
Although I personally prefer to avoid “setting up” shots where at all possible, the location did lend itself to more of a “model-like” shoot than most. And mind you, if the bride & groom have gone to all that trouble to dress up for the occasion and that’s what they want, then why not?
The Strand Arcade
Where do you go to have photographs taken with your bridal party that hasn’t already been done before? That’s often the dilemma…
Well I think I’ve found just the spot!
There is an awesome location in Birchgrove at the end of Ballast Point Road called, not surprisingly, Ballast Point Park. It’s the former Caltex site and it has been re-created with a lot of elements from it’s past. It has a terrrific mesh of very graphic, industrial compositions combined with large grassed and fine gravel areas. It also has sections that have been heavily planted that will only get better once they become more established.
As the park was only recently opened in July 2009 it is a spot that hasn’t been over utilised. And given that there are countless nooks & crannies you could easily return again and again as a photographer and find some new angle to “wow” your clients.
It has views across the harbour where you can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the distance. What’s more, it receives a good deal of light at the end of the day (although it doesn’t face west) providing you with those few extra precious moments to have some great images captured.
It’s so good, you just have to see it for yourself!
Ballast Point Park, Birchgrove