DIY Wedding Photography

SLR camera for wedding photographyIs it possible to DIY your wedding photography? Well obviously the bride and groom can’t really take their own wedding photographs, but what about if you have a keen photographer in the family?

The first thing you have to ask yourself is how high are your expectations of your wedding photographs?

If you want gorgeous glossy pics of yourself looking glamorous, in perfect lighting conditions and a coffee table book set of pictures from the day, then go for a professional wedding photographer. It’s too much to ask of even the best amateur to come up with a perfect set of pictures. Wedding photography is an art that the professionals have spent years perfecting.

If however you are on a tight budget and are happy to get a nice set of pictures with perhaps a few lucky stunning shots among them, then do go the DIY route. There are several approaches you can take:

1. Ask several guests who you know have good cameras and know how to use them to act as the official wedding photographers. Appoint one person the photographer in chief and ask him or her to assign different positions to each of the other photographers. That way you’ll get lots of different angles of the ceremony and reception, and no one person is under too much pressure. You should have a good selection of photos to choose from. One person could have a long lens and concentrate on getting close ups, another wide-angle to get overall impressions of the whole scene and so on.

2. Do the above in a less formal manner – just ask everyone who attended your wedding to send you their best photos and put together a selection for your album.

3. If a member of the family is keen to take on the role of photographer and you like their photography, then make them the official photographer. If wedding photography is a new field for them, consider offering to send them on a specialist photography course to learn some of the tricks of the trade. A few hours of a one-on-one workshop with a professional photographer, should give them more confidence in the difficult parts of wedding photography, such as managing the group photos and shooting in low light conditions in the church or wedding venue. You can still request photos from the other guests to fill in the reportage shots of the day.

If you do decide to look into photography courses, choose one run by a professional photographer who has experience of wedding photography. It is quite a specific form of photography and it’s always best to learn from someone who has been there and doe that already!

DIY wedding confetti idea

DIY wedding confettiI love this idea for DIY confetti. The idea is to use a heart shape craft punch and recycle all the cut offs and spare paper from your wedding decor into confetti. It looks wonderfully pretty and is a good green recycling idea… check out the article at SAWeddings for more detailed instructions.

However now I think of the practical aspects, I’m slightly daunted at the thought of it. Maybe it will be a little time consuming, unless you can get a whole bunch of heart punches and involve all your bridesmaids in the task.

Just think how long it would take to fill a jar, even a small jar. One evening of constant hole punching? Multiplied by how many guests?

There is also the other green issue to consider – how biodegradable will your finished confetti be. That all depends on what paper and decor elements you convert into hearts, so unless you are already using eco-friendly paper in all your decor you may have a problem with your venue allowing the use of your confetti, which would be enough to bring a bride to tears after all that effort spent producing all those lovely little hearts!

So perhaps it’s back to flower petal confetti for me, though I still love the heart punched confetti label on the re-purposed jar.

What DIY confetti ideas have you got in mind?

Wedding Planners and DIY Weddings

Wedding Gazebo

© Lanae Christenson |

Are you thinking of a DIY wedding, but then wondering how you can keep it together on the day itself and still enjoy it all? Well there is an option that would work for you. Plan your wedding yourself and then hire a wedding planner just to coordinate the actual day for you.

DIY weddings aren’t for everyone. They involve a lot of hard work, clever budgeting and thinking of nothing else in all your free time for months before the big day. However if you enjoy planning, love details and are keeping your wedding fairly small then they can work well. But the bride can’t exactly run around with a clipboard instead of a bouquet, checking arrangements on the day. So this is where hiring a wedding coordinator for the day comes in.

Generally you will meet with your ‘day of’ wedding planner about a month before the wedding to go over your arrangements. She will be able to point out anything important you’ve missed in time for you to make any final adjustments to your plans. On the day she will have all the details, contact numbers and timings and will be able to oversee things, with or without clipboard, so that you don’t have to worry about whether the flowers have been delivered, if the wedding cars will be on time and so on. Of course the bride could ask a family member to take on the role of organizer for the day, but often entrusting it to a professional is easier and allows that touch of experienced wedding planner  polish to bring all your plans together beautifully, smooth out any wrinkles and make sure the bride can just focus on the essence of the day.

Check out the directory on SAWeddings, to find wedding planners in South Africa that offer both full wedding planning packages and the wedding coordination outlined here.