Lisa Webb Photography – Shropshire Wedding Photographer » Alternative Wedding Photography

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Couple portraits are my favourite part of a wedding day. If you look on my website or social media it makes up the main bulk of what I share. Your wedding day is about the two of you and your families and I think having some beautiful natural photographs of all elements of the day is really important. This is why I think it’s really important to set aside time for your couple portraits in your wedding day and to trust anything I ask you to do while we do them, I promise you’re going to look amazing! 

What are couple portraits?

Couple portraits are simply photographs of the two of you, if you look basically anywhere on my website or social media you’ll see lots of them dotted about everywhere. We set aside a bit of time in your wedding day after your ceremony to get some photographs of the two of you. I usually always do these after your confetti and group shots. They’re usually photos of the two of you having a cuddle, a kiss or just simply holding hands and looking at each other. They’re the photographs you’re most likely to use on social media to announce your wedding. They’re the photographs that you’ll get printed and hang on your wall. They’re the photographs that you’ll dedicate a full page spread to in your album. And they’re the photographs that future generations will look at and marvel at how beautiful you look. Just by setting aside a bit of dedicated time to your couple portraits on your wedding day you get some gorgeous photographs to look back on of just the two of you that will transport you both back to how the day felt. They’re my favourite part of a wedding day to shoot because I think it’s one of the most important parts of your day. It’s the time of the day where you both have a breather and spend time completely by yourselves with me in the background. Your wedding will go by in the blink of an eye, it’s so important that you take this moment to treasure this time and know that you will look back on this day in all the years to come. I can guarantee that your couple portraits are going to be one of the main parts of the day that you can remember.

My approach

My approach to your couple portraits is very relaxed. I’ll give you a bit of gentle direction but there won’t be any super stiff posing and I promise I won’t manually place you in awkward positions. You don’t know it yet but you know how to pose yourselves. I want you to look back on these photographs and remember the moment, I don’t want you to remember feeling super awkward because your photographer placed you in a weird position. To give you a general idea of the gentle direction I’ll give, I’ll probably ask you to have a cuddle or for one of you to go behind the other, for you to hold hands or for you to whisper silly things in the other persons ear. I’m not interested in putting you into poses that I think will look good for a photograph but will in reality, feel really awkward. I want to give you a bit of an idea and for you both to interpret the direction however you want. Not only does this feel a million times more natural but it means you’ll remember the moment more than whatever it was I asked you to do. The main thing I am always looking to photograph is moments between the two of you. This usually means I’ll ask you to do something that feels silly but it will be guaranteed to make you laugh. Whatever I ask you to do, just trust that I haven’t completely lost it, I know we’ll get good photographs at the end of it.

Most of my couples hate having their photo taken and this is the part of their wedding day that they’re probably most nervous about. Every single one of my couples look amazing in the photographs so you definitely don’t have to worry about anything. If you are worried though and you’d like to get to know me a bit before your wedding and have a bit of a practice before the day itself then I can’t recommend an engagement enough. Full disclosure, engagement shoots start out with feeling a bit weird. I’m someone you’ve most likely just met and I’m taking photos of the two of you having a cuddle, it’s a bit weird. As the shoot goes on though it becomes really normal and you’ll go from dreading the couple portrait part of your wedding day to really looking forward to it. I don’t think anyone should dread any aspect of their wedding day so if this sounds like you then please do book in for an engagement shoot so I can show you exactly how awesome you’re going to look on the day itself. After the shoot I promise you’ll be completely chilled and looking forward to it!

How long should we set aside for couple portraits?

Setting a wedding timeline is no easy task, there are so many parts of the day to think about. I recently wrote a guest blog on Shropshire Petals site which will give you more info about setting an overall wedding timeline. For your couple portraits between 20-30 minutes after we’ve done your ceremony and group shots is ideal. This is the perfect time for us to leave your guests to their own devices for a little while and for you to have some time to yourselves. Giving yourselves a dedicated 20-30 minutes in your wedding day to get some beautiful couple portraits is just the right amount of time for us to go for a bit of a wander around your venues grounds or nearby and to take a breather so the two of you actually get some time together on your wedding day. If we get chance after your food we may go out again for some more photographs if we get a beautiful golden hour and you’re not too photoed-out. However I always get some photographs of the two of you before you sit down to eat. This is for a number of reasons, it ensures we won’t lose the light, you’ll both look your best, no one will be too drunk and there’s no chance you’ll have spilt food down yourself!

Couple portraits can be such a lovely part of a wedding day and I’d really recommend that you make the most of this time, you’ll have so many amazing memories from it!

Iscoyd Park Wedding

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Shropshire petals engagement shoot

I can’t believe quite how long it’s taken me to share these gorgeous photos of Becky and Mat’s engagement shoot from last July at Shropshire Petals! When Becky and Mat suggested Shropshire Petals for a place to do their engagement shoot I was absolutely 100% on board! I’d never shot at Shropshire Petals before however having shot Ashley’s wedding earlier in the year I knew Shropshire Petals are a lovely bunch and I’d been dying to do a shoot there ever since. I met Becky and Mat at the reception and then Mat very kindly drove us to one of their many fields for us to do the shoot in. We couldn’t have picked a hotter or sunnier day to do the shoot! Bright sunshine isn’t actually ideal for photographs, it can cause people to squint and casts really harsh shadows on everyone’s faces so we had to have a little battle with the elements to get the right angles for this one! It had been raining a fair bit in the few days before the shoot so we had originally worried that it was going to continue and we’d potentially have to postpone but it turns out we needn’t have worried, it was an absolute scorcher! We did however have to deal with lots of mud in the fields, thankfully I’d come prepared with my docs on so I could happily walk in the mud if needed.

It was so lovely meeting Becky and Mat and having a good chat about the plans for their wedding. They were originally supposed to be getting married this December but they’ve postponed it until next year, so they’ve got even more time to look forward to it! At the point when I met them they were renovating their house and were telling me all their plans for that and some of the nightmares that came along with it. I love getting to know my couples before their wedding on engagement shoots, we build up a really good relationship on the shoot so by the time their wedding comes round we’re like old friends!

If you’re thinking about having an engagement shoot check out my video here all about why I think they’re the bees knees! 

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unplugged weddingUnplugged weddings have become more and more popular over the last few years. If you have a smart phone (which is like, all of us by now right?), chances are it will give you a weekly update of how long you spend on average a day on your phone. Generally, I don’t actually want to know about the hours I’ve wasted scrolling through Instagram and I’m trying hard to use my phone less. We all know that using our phone less and going on social media less will make us more productive, more present and less anxious. If there is ever a time to be more present it is on your wedding day. Chances are you’re not planning to use your phone on your wedding, why would you need to? All of your favourite people are in one place with you already! Your guests however may have a different idea…

What is an unplugged wedding?

An unplugged wedding is a wedding where phones and cameras are banned. Your guests may feel the need to use their phone or cameras (or ipad…) during your ceremony to take photos. If you opt for an unplugged wedding you’re basically just very kindly asking them not to use their phones or their cameras. You can just do this during your ceremony or you could do it for the full day! Most couples opt to just have an unplugged wedding for the ceremony bit of their wedding. I think this is a really good idea as this is when it matters most for your guests to be fully present. You could ask your guests to refrain from using their phones and cameras for the entire day but chances are that probably wouldn’t go entirely to plan!

There are a few different ways to go about letting people know that you’re having an unplugged wedding and to let them know what this means. Prior to your wedding it’s probably best to have a quick chat to your closest family and friends to let them know that you want all your guests to be fully present and enjoy your wedding so you’re asking everyone to leave their phones and cameras in their pockets. Telling your closest friends and family before your wedding will give them a heads up so they’re not shocked on the day when they’re asked not to take photos. These are the people that are the most likely to want to document your wedding and they’re definitely doing it from a place of love, it’s because they care about you and don’t want the moment to go by without having photos and videos they can look back on. So it’s best to let these people know first before your day arrives. On the day of your wedding you can put up a sign at the entrance of your ceremony room reminding all of your close friends and family that you want to see their faces and not their phones. This will also let all your other guests know, if you put it at the end of the aisle then it’s guaranteed that all your guests will walk past it so they’ll all be able to read it before your ceremony. It’s also worth asking your celebrant, registrar or whoever is leading your ceremony to remind your guests to keep their cameras and phones away during the ceremony once everyone is sat down. This quick reminder always does the trick! I would also add that you ask the ceremony leader to tell your guests not to take any photos until you’re outside the ceremony. A few times I’ve photographed unplugged weddings where no one has taken any photos until the signing of the register, then it becomes a bit of a free-for-all and some guests thinking it gives them the green light for taking photos from then on, sometimes ruining the shot of the two of you walking back up the aisle. Again, this comes from a place of love, some of your family members are probably dying to take their phones out and grab some photos, it’s just best for them to save that until you come out of your ceremony.

How does an unplugged wedding benefit you?

The main benefit to you for an unplugged wedding is that you get to see all your guests faces! It can be a bit daunting walking up the aisle anyway, but walking up the aisle to lots of phones and cameras pointed in your direction can be even more nerve-wracking. It’s a bit like being faced with paparazzi! It’s much more welcoming to see all of your guests smiling faces turned towards you to greet you into the room. Trust me when I say you won’t remember walking into your ceremony room and being greeted by a sea of phones but you will remember walking in and seeing your mum and best friend’s faces. It also means you won’t be distracted during your wedding by random clicks and flashes going off because Aunty Gladys can’t turn off the flash on her phone or Uncle Bob’s using his camera on auto and it’s REALLY loud.

This also means that your guests can relax and be present and just do what they’re there to do, watch you get married. They won’t spend the entire ceremony trying to work out how to use their camera that they haven’t touched since the last wedding they went to. They won’t spend it trying to get the perfect shot of you saying your vows over everyone’s heads with their Motorola Razr. And they wont spend it trying to work out how to change their phone from selfie mode to using the camera on the back of their phone. They can just enjoy your ceremony and watch you get married. Sometimes they don’t know it, but this is what they’d rather be doing anyway. If any of your guests feel anxious that they won’t have any photos of your wedding, tell them you’ll give them a print or you’ll send them your wedding gallery afterwards!

How does an unplugged wedding benefit me?

I am a big fan of unplugged weddings for a few reasons. The main reason is it means there will be no phones in any of your ceremony photos! The main thing I love doing at a wedding is photographing moments. These moments can often get ruined or fall a bit flat when guests are also trying to document a moment themselves on a phone or camera. I don’t believe there is any such thing as timeless wedding photography. I look back at my parent’s wedding photos and they’re very of their time, the clothing, the wedding album, the weird photo taken upside down in a wine glass, it’s all of it’s time. Your wedding photos will date, no matter what, however when I look at my parent’s wedding photos not a single person has a phone or camera in their hands. Your photos will not be timeless however I guarantee you don’t want to look back on them and see what phones were in fashion at the time. You’ll want to look back and see your mum’s haircut, what your best friend was wearing and the look on everyone’s faces as you walked up the aisle.

With no phones or cameras in the picture, everyone will be more present. Let them know they can trust me to get some beautiful shots and they can just sit back and enjoy it. This will always result in stronger reactions from your guests which will in turn result in better photographs! A big reason I mentioned earlier for having an unplugged wedding is to ensure your guests don’t get in the way of beautiful photographs. I’ve seen way too many guests stick their phone out in the middle of the aisle to get a shot of the couple saying their vows, having their first kiss or to capture them walking up the aisle. Again, I get it, they care about you so they want to have some beautiful photos of one of the biggest days of your life. They generally don’t realise they’re getting in the way of the photographs that you’ve paid for and the person who you want to be photographing and documenting your day. Having an unplugged wedding ensures that no one will get in the way of your professional photographs and will ensure I get the very best shots I can!

Unplugged weddings are my favourites to shoot, I always get the best shots and all your guests and more relaxed, what more could you possibly want? If you’re looking for more wedding planning tips, head to my YouTube channel or my most recent blog post for how to set a wedding budget.

If you’re looking for a relaxed wedding photographer in Shropshire or beyond then drop me a message, I’d love to hear from you!

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Croyde Bay Engagement ShootWhen Lucy and Vic asked if they could do their engagement shoot in Devon the answer was a resounding YES. Despite being based in Shropshire, I love travelling, I love the beach and I love Devon and Cornwall. I will take any excuse to travel to the beach and photograph a beautiful couple! Lucy and Vic are actually tying the knot in Devon at the stunning Tunnels Beaches in March and I am incredibly excited to be there for their day and I can’t wait to shoot at such a beautiful venue. Last year Luke and I headed down to Devon to tie in a holiday with Lucy and Vic’s shoot in June. We decided to do the shoot in the evening for a few reasons, the beach would be quieter (people in the background of couple portraits is my least favourite thing!), and also there was a chance we’d get a good golden hour. We could not have timed the shoot better, we got one of the best golden hours and sunsets of the year during Lucy and Vic’s shoot, I was absolutely over the moon with the photographs!

This was the first time I’d met Lucy and Vic properly, Lucy had been a guest at Martin and Tamsin’s wedding in 2017 at Gorcott Hall and she loved the photographs I’d taken for them. We had a chat over the phone before they booked about their plans and I couldn’t have been more excited for their wedding, it sounds like it’s going to be really relaxed and it’s going to include all the things Lucy and Vic love as a couple. It was lovely to meet Lucy and Vic in person and have a good chat with them about their plans and how they met. They were also in Devon on holiday, they were braving it camping whereas me and Luke had taken the easier option last year and booked an apartment!

I absolutely loved getting to know Lucy and Vic during this shoot and I can’t wait for their wedding in March! If you’re getting married at Tunnel’s Beaches I would love to hear from you!

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barn weddingSetting a budget for your wedding is no easy task, it is however a very important step in preparing for your wedding. Unless you’re so rich that money is no object, then a wedding budget will help you plan and prepare for your wedding, ensuring that you don’t spend too much and also making sure you set aside enough cash for the aspects of your wedding that are the most important to you. Setting a budget definitely won’t be the most exciting thing you do during your wedding planning but it will provide you with a clear plan and will set you up to have the best wedding day ever, which is pretty exciting! Here are my top tips for setting your wedding budget:

Research costs before you set your budget

Researching costs before you set a wedding budget may seem obvious but you’d be surprised by how many couples skip this step! You may only want to spend £5000 on your wedding, which is perfectly doable, however if you had only set aside £100 for your flowers, and later realised you can’t achieve the look you want within this budget, this could leave you feeling disappointed. Before you pull a number out of thin air when deciding on your overall wedding spend, it’s important to look into venues, suppliers, outfits etc. Different suppliers and different venues will all be charging different prices based off what they offer, look into a few different options and this way you can come up with an planned and informed budget.

Set a list of priorities

Some people couldn’t care less about a wedding cake, but to others it’s a top priority. Some couples want enough flowers to fill a meadow at their reception but for some couples they don’t want any flowers at all. Every couple and every wedding is different, this is what makes them so lovely! After you have set an overall, informed budget for your wedding you can now start planning a list of priorities with your partner where you’d like to spend more, and also aspects where you’re happy to compromise and spend a bit less. For myself for example, my priority would be a photographer and a band and I would be happy to allocate a large portion of the wedding budget to those things, however I’d be happy to spend less on a wedding dress and a venue. This is something you need to think about together and it’s likely you’ll both have to compromise a little bit to keep each other happy, but they do say marriage is all about compromise, so you may as well start now!

Create a savings plan

Again creating a savings plan isn’t a very exciting part of wedding planning but it is important and I promise it will make the overall process much more stress-free if you’re not worrying about money! You may already have enough set aside and not need to save, your parents might be paying for it for you or contributing in some way. For most of us though we’ll need to save up over a year or so to make sure we have enough to pay all the suppliers balances on time. The best way to do this is to add up your monthly expenditure and take this away from your earnings. There may be some things that you’re willing to cut down on for the time being to help you save a bit more, this could be a subscription box or just going out for less meals. As soon as you’ve decided how much you are able to save each month make sure you set this amount up as a direct debit to a savings account as soon as you get paid. The amount of times I’ve tried to save money by moving over what was left in my current account each month, only for there to have been nothing left. You have to prioritise your savings goals and set that money aside as though it’s another bill.

Create a spreadsheet to keep track of invoices

There are so many suppliers involved in weddings it can be hard to keep track of what money is due when. The last thing you need in the run up to your wedding is an unexpected invoice. All of your suppliers should provide you with a contract when you book them, (please don’t book anyone without a contract in place!), make sure you read the contract as this usually explains when your next payment will be due. You can then input all these into a fancy spreadsheet that will help you keep track of who needs to be paid and when. You can then feel smug about how organised you are and get back to the much more exciting aspects of wedding planning like menu tasting or an engagement shoot!

Ways to stretch your budget:
DIY/Village Hall venue

It’s no secret that I love a village hall wedding. Village halls can be some real hidden gems and they also have the added bonus of being really cheap wedding venues. If you’re not too fussed about WHERE you get married and are up for a bit of extra work to make the venue look beautiful then a village hall is a really brilliant thing to consider. All the DIY and village hall weddings I’ve shot have all been really unique and memorable. Traditional wedding venues are beautiful however they can take up a good chunk of a wedding budget.

Smaller guest list

My parents always joke that their wedding cost them nothing because they held it on a Monday and only invited 10 people. Every time they tell me I roll my eyes, however as much as I hate to admit it, they had a point. Your guest list doesn’t have to be a low as 10, but usually the less people you invite the cheaper your wedding will be, you can hire a smaller venue, you won’t spend as much on food and you can even save on sending out fewer invites.

Get married out of season

A lot of venues charge less for weddings that take place in the quieter seasons. If you don’t mind having your wedding in Autumn or Winter then this could be a great way to save a couple of thousand! Not every venue offers pricing based on season, some have a set price all year round and most suppliers have a set price all year round but it’s definitely something that’s worth considering.

Get married on a weekday

Again, some venues charge less for weekday weddings as they’re less common. You do need to bare in mind with this though that some of your guests may not be able to get the time off work for this, especially if they’re teachers and it’s term time!

Do It Yourself

It’s worth noting that a DIY wedding isn’t always cheaper. This is why it’s important to do your research about costs first and also to bear in mind how long all the DIY tasks you want to do will take you. This way you can work out what is worth doing yourself and what you’re better off paying someone else to do for you. You may think about doing your own venue dressing, this could be cheaper but you need to add up how much time it will take you, how much everything will cost to buy and then make the decision on whether it will just be easier and in some cases cheaper, to hire someone to do this for you.

Good luck with all your wedding planning!

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