My Approach to Your Wedding Day

 

It’s not easy choosing your perfect photographer.  That one person who'll capture your wedding in the way you want to remember it. 

Every experienced photographer will document the big moments, but is that really your unique story?  For me, that's just a tiny part of it.  It's all the little moments, that sideways glance, the interactions between you and your guests.  I want you to look at your photographs and remember the raw emotion of how you felt, not just how it all looked. 

The photograher you choose will also in themselves be an important memory of your day.  How they mingled with your guests, how they made you feel.  I want you to just be you so I can capture real memories of genuine, unposed moments.  That can only happen if you feel comfortable and relaxed with a photographer you trust.

 

"The photos were absolutely exquisite and captured every magical moment perfectly, from the ceremony itself to the smaller details and moments of the day.

Jenny always had a smile on her face and put everyone around her at ease. We are so glad we picked her and know we couldn't have found anyone better."

Lucienne & Pete

 

It's just as important to me that we're a great fit for each other.  I take on around 20 weddings each year and am completely invested in your day.  I’m a people watcher with a passion for telling stories of human connection.  Endless posing and directing?  Not so much. 

To help you decide whether I could be the right photographer for you, I’ve put together this little 12 point summary of how I would go about telling your own authentic story, as it unfolds on your wedding day.

To start, here's a little video of me in action, captured at an beautiful intimate wedding in 2020 at Two Woods Estate:

Jenny Rutterford wedding photographerShort video showing Jenny of Jenny Rutterford Photography at a real wedding ceremony at Two Woods Estate in West Sussex

 

1. The pre-wedding shoot

If you've booked me for the whole day, we’ll get to know each other beforehand with a pre-wedding shoot.  It’s a fun, super-chilled session, and especially helpful for couples who might feel a little nervous about being photographed. 

Couples always tell me that this time we spent together really helped them feel more relaxed and confident about being photographed on their wedding day.  And I love it that wedding guests often assume I'm a long-term friend of the couple.

 

Pre-wedding shoot by Sussex wedding photographer Jenny RutterfordFun and relaxed pre-wedding shootTwo brides-to-be enjoying their pre-wedding shoot on the beah

 

"We both hate having our photos taken so Jenny had a real challenge!

However a few minutes into our engagement shoot she had us laughing and running along the beach in gale force winds producing some
lovely photos."

Sarah & Pat

 

Image received a Diamond Award by the Wedding Photojournalist AssociationAward winning engagement photography by Jenny Rutterford PhotographyBrookfield Barn Couple by beach huts on their pre wedding shoot.

 

2. The Preparations

Today's the day!  Every emotion will be heightened on the morning of your wedding.  It'll go by in a flash and it's such an important part of your story to remember.  You'll hardly notice me as I observe and document it all from my fly-on-the-wall perspective.  It's not just the nervous excitement of getting into your dress, but all those seemingly normal, insignificant moments that will later remind you how you were feeling. 

Whether you’re quietly getting ready with your best friend, or in a house packed to the rafters with family, there's usually plenty of humourous stories to tell too!  We’ll discuss beforehand where you want me to be (I always allow extra time for two brides!) and if you’d like a second photographer for your significant other getting ready elsewhere.

 

Natural photo of bridal prepBridal Preparation in SussexBride prepares for her wedding at One Church Brighton and Worthing Pier

 

"Dear Jenny, thank you very much for being such an amazing photographer for our special day.  It was a pleasure spending our day with you. 

You were so warm and friendly and really made us feel so relaxed throughout.  We shared the start of our married life with you and you documented it so beautifully.  We can't thank you enough!"

Hannah & Andrew

 

Groomsmen at Pangdean Barn WeddingGroom and Ushers preparing for ceremonyGroom and Groomsmen straightening their ties and getting ready for wedding at Pangdean Old Barn in Sussex

 

3. Before the Ceremony

Photographing guests arriving at the ceremony is a great part of your story!  If you're a bride, you won't get to see first hand the expressions on your friends' faces as they arrive in the rain, or family members seeing each other for the first time in years.  

You'll love viewing these often emotional moments through my photographs.  So whilst I’ll never direct your day, I may gently suggest it’s time to put your dress on, so I can be sure to get to the church on time!

 

Candid, natural photos of Sussex wedding on rainy dayGuests arriving for church weddingGuests arrive in the rain and alight from red London Bus for church wedding in West Sussex

 

"Everybody has said how beautiful the photographs are and how well you blended in with our guests on our day. 

We love that the pictures are so natural and capture our friends and family in the moment. There is at least one photograph of everybody, all laughing and enjoying themselves... my favourites being of the children (you are so talented at catching them just at the right moment!)

There are also photographs that I didn't even realise you had taken that mean the world to me and are so, so special."

Clemma & Matt

 

Documentary wedding photography in West Sussex by Jenny RutterfordGroomsmen wait outside church before weddingBlack and white image of Ushers outside the church before the wedding ceremony

 

4. During the Ceremony

This is the heart of your story.  The two of you getting married.  It's so easy to lose sight of what the day is ultimately all about as the wedding planning takes hold.  But if your wedding day consisted of the ceremony and nothing else, you would still have a wonderful, unique story told through the most poignant, raw and emotive photographs. 

If ever proof were needed of this, it came via the wonderful weddings I was priviledged to document in Covid-impacted 2020.  Those ceremonies with just 6-15 people were up there with the most emotional, raw and real wedding stories I've ever told.  I didn't expect it, and neither did my couples. 

Feel free to take a peek into their stories via my recent blog post: Considering a small UK Wedding? 50 Documentary wedding photos to inspire you!

Bride and groom laughing as they exchange their vows during their outdoor Rye Island ceremony in West SussexWedding ceremony at Rye Island in West SussexHappy moment captured as couple exhange vows during their outdoor wedding ceremony at Rye Island in West Sussex

"Dear Jenny, the photos of the day itself are everything we hoped for and more: they are "alive" in a way many photos aren't and you have a
genius for catching special moments, intimate exchanges of
glances, hugs, laughter and joy...  

You have given us the most precious reminder of the most wonderful, joyous, loving day of our lives.   We will treasure these photos for ever"

Emma & Richard

 

Candid image of dog ring bearer receiving a treat during ceremony at Worthing DomeDog ring bearer being given a bribeGroom unties the ring from the canine ring bearer during wedding ceremony at Worthing Dome

 

5. The Cocktail Hour

Technically it’s called the Cocktail Hour, but it’s really all about the post-ceremony hugs and interactions!  It’s one of the best parts of the day to candidly capture the true personalities of you and your guests.  Everyone’s relaxed and laughing after the reverence of the ceremony and I love just to be in amongst it all, hiding in plain sight. 

When you look at your photographs, you'll be transported right back to the the joy and elelation of those special moments.  You'll see things you didn't know were happening at the time (this even happened with my 6-person weddings in 2020!) and each time you view your images, you'll find little details within the frame you missed the first time around.  

My approach is definitely more akin to street photography at this point, and far removed from traditional wedding photography.  I'm constantly moving around looking for creative and often humourous ways to tell your unique story through the people and surroundings.

Whist the wedding itself may follow a set formula, people are unpredictable, and documenting human behavoir is what drives me and how I'll tell your story.  There’ll be plenty of time for a few family photos afterwards, but for now, just enjoy the moment and ignore the camera.

 

Candid photo of girls blowing bubbles after wedding in West SussexGirls blowing bubbles after wedding ceremony Little bubble blowers having fun after same sex wedding at Field Place in Worthing

 

"Our whole day was captured perfectly with so many smiling faces. And scenes full of laughing.  The totally natural and unposed pictures were exactly what we wanted and exactly what we got.

Every time we look back through them we are taken straight back to our amazing day, and that is all down to the amazing skill,  talent and nature of Jenny and her photography.

We can not thank you enough. We totally love each and every one"

Emily & Carl

 

Candid image of bride greeting her new father-in-law after her wedding in West SussexSpecial moment between the Bride and her father-in-lawBride greets her new father-in-law after her wedding in West Sussex

 

6. Group Photos

Yes, I do take them!  It’s important for most couples to have a few posed photos of key family members and the bridal party.  It might well be the only time you'll have family members from different generations or even from different countries all together in one place.  This is part of your story too, but it doesn't have to dominate proceedings.  I’ll usually enlist the help of an usher to ensure things go as efficiently as possible.

It's important to be honest with yourselves on this point.  If you want every combination and permutation of your extended family and friends in group format, I’m not your photographer!  There are plenty out there who will be happy to line people up for hours – for me that would mean compromising on the fun stuff (see point 5 above).

 

Relaxed wedding photography in Sussex and the UKGroup family photo at Pangdean Old BarnRelaxed Family photo at wedding in the grounds of Pangdean Old Barn near Brighton

 

"How lucky were we to get Jenny as our wedding photographer!

Not only is she a top-class professional but also a warm and friendly person who will put you at ease from the moment you meet her! She takes the time to get to know what it is you really want from her on your wedding day, and we couldn't have been happier with the results!

We had such fun with her on our engagement shoot, and on the big day itself she captured all the moments that made our wedding truly unique. We have the most amazing wedding pics and slideshow, and we can't thank you enough Jenny for an awesome experience!"

Chris & Iain

 

Fun, relaxed wedding photography West SussexFun wedding group photo of friends with Bride and Groom on Worthing beachFriends at Wedding jump in the air and are reflected in the sea in front of Worthing Pier

 

7. Couple Photos

I love this time of day!  My couple photos aren't heavily posed wedding portraits in the traditional sense.  I want you to look at these photos of the two of you and remember the fun we had creating them, and feeling relaxed and happy in each other's company.  I certainly don't want you worrying about how long you've been away from your guests, what to do with your hands, or whether your significant other is getting bored.

When these happen will largely be determined by the time of year and the weather, but at some point you'll get to take a breather from the busy proceedings.  We’ll head out into the grounds of your venue or a nearby beach or field and I'll simply tag along, offering just a little low-key direction for some natural looking photos.  It'll be just like we did on your pre-wedding shoot, minus the jeans, and you won't be away from your guests for hours.

Pack umbrellas and wellies just in case, and if we’re blessed with sunshine, I definitely recommend making the most of Golden Hour – that last hour before sunset when the light is soft and flattering.  We’ll talk through your timings beforehand to see when could be a good moment to slip out.


 

Same sex wedding at Tunnels Beaches in DevonTwo brides on rock at Tunnels Beaches in DevonSame sex marriage of two brides sitting on moss-covered rock on beach

 

"We can't praise Jenny enough. She arrived in the morning and stayed with us for 12 hours. She mingled with our guests so subtly, that we hardly noticed her at all.

She also has an amazing talent of putting you at ease when taking our 'bride and groom' shots - they are so natural. We have just seen our stunning photos and feel like we've just relived our day all over again."

Emma & Simon

 

Relaxed photo of Brighton wedding couple on beach at golden hourJust married couple walking along beach promenade in BrightonNatural photo of couple walking on beach in Brighton after their wedding

 

8. The Food and Speeches

I really appreciate you including me in your catering – I’m always famished by the time I sit down and it’s good to recharge my creative batteries before your evening shenanigans.  Photos of guests eating aren’t generally the most attractive, but I like to stay close by, and if there’s fun things going on, I’ll be hovering with my camera. 

Photographing the speeches is a wonderful opportunity to capture real emotion in its rawest form.  Your reactions to the words of your nearest and dearest, whether heartfelt, humourous, poignant or cheesy (and often all of these) will say it all.  Seeing the image of you dabbing at your eyes with a napkin will take you straight back to that moment and what was said.  You don't need video to remember how you felt in that moment.

 

Candid photo of ladies laughing and handing out fish and chip cones at Worthing Dome Fish and chips served at Worthing Dome weddingFish and chips are the perfect food for beach wedding at Worthing Dome

 

"All I can say is that our photos are incredible! Jenny completely understood what we wanted to capture on our day, and did it so perfectly.

The pictures really told the story and it made us relive it. They are vibrant and interesting and caught hundreds of beautiful moments.

We are so glad that we chose you Jenny, and we'd like to thank you again for getting it so right!"

Jamie & Peter

 

Bride shows emotion during groom's speech at Brookfield Barn weddingEmotional wedding speeches at Brookfield BarnBride dabs at her eyes with hankie during groom's speech at Brookfield Barn Summer wedding

 

9. The Evening Celebrations

After the Wedding Breakfast is another great time of day for casual people-watching, camera poised.  I’ll just be happily mingling with your guests and on the look out for those unmissable moments. 

You might be challenging your new husband to a game of Super Mario Wii or going for a paddle with your mates on a balmy Summer evening!  As day goes into night, and even more so indoors or in the Winter months, the ambient light becomes trickier to work with.  I make subtle use of flash to balance the scene and make sure that people's expressions are properly lit, always retaining the atmosphere and mood of how it felt to be there.  

 

Everyone cheers as bride wins Wii game against her husband at her wedding at St Audries ParkBride beating her husband at Super Mariocart Wii at their wedding at St Audries Park in SomersetCandid capture of the moment the bride wins playing Super Mario Wii against her new husband. Guests look on and cheer

"Jenny has such an amazing talent for capturing 'moments' which is exactly what we wanted on our wedding day. It's not the formal photos that remind you how great your day was, it's the natural fun and excitement that is so important and we felt should be documented.

Jenny's ability not to miss a moment is incredible, her energy and passion comes across in the photos."

Michelle & Dane

 

Candid image of bride and her besties on the beach at sunset on her wedding day.  Bride and guests on Worthing beach at Golden Hour with fairground big wheel in the backgroundBride goes for evening paddle on the beach with her besties on her wedding day. Worthing, West Sussex

 

10. The Dancefloor

If you’re having a first dance, I’ll be sure to capture it, and afterwards I’ll be joining your guests on the dancefloor!  I’ll set up some off-camera flashes to add to the atmosphere and come in extra close with a wide angle lens for some great action moments.

Those fun photos of your gran strutting her stuff or your rubgy mates nailing the Macarena will trigger amazing memories of your special day, and aren't to be missed.  And don’t worry if your schedule overruns – they often do, but I’m there to capture the story of your day and am always flexible on timings.

 

Atmospheric fun photo of wedding dancefloor inside marqueeGuest on dancefloor in marquee at weddingFun shot of guest making shapes on dancefloor at marquee wedding in Sussex

 

"Hey Jenny!!

There are no words to describe how thankful we are for you being our photographer.  The photos are absolutely amazing and caught all the magic of the day and more!

From meeting you all those years ago, to our engagement shoot and even after the wedding we consider you not just one of our suppliers but a good friend.  We're so grateful to have had you not only snapping away but for being our guest.

All the best for your future couples!  They've no idea how lucky they are."

Kaylee & Bradley

 

Candid photo of two flower girls and best friends at wedding, lit by gridded flashTwo little flower girls on dancefloor at weddingTwo cute flower girls walk across wedding dancefloor with arms around each other

 

11. After the Wedding

I take time to process each individual image in my signature style.  How an image is edited can dramatically alter the mood of the final photograph and is a vital part of the storytelling.  Consistency of style at all times of day and in all lighting is important to ensure the story of your wedding flows well and will look great in an album. 

From the images on my home page to my portfolio and wedding stories blog, you'll get a good feel for my editing style.  It goes without saying that you need to choose a photographer whose style you'd love to have for your own wedding photographs.

If you choose me for your special memories, about 6 weeks after the wedding you’ll receive a personalised, beautifully packaged USB with your images – high resolution and watermark free, with a license for unlimited personal use.

Included on your USB will be a wonderful and emotive slideshow, telling the story of your day to music, and perfect for viewing again (and again!) over drinks and nibbles with family and friends.  My couples love their slideshow so much that I now include it even with shorter part-day wedding coverage.

 

"Hi Jenny, we wanted to say a massive thank you to you for our wedding photos. We were completely blown away by the presentation of the USB and it really is something for us to treasure. We were so impressed at that point and we hadn’t even got to the photos yet!

 We started with the video as you recommended and it made us both laugh and cry and it’s such a lovely thing to share with others who weren’t at the event. It really tells the story of the day.


We really love all the photos and some of our favourites are those where we just didn’t know they were being taken at all..."

Emma & Dan

 

To give you an idea, here’s a short-story version of one of my couple’s slideshows that you can view in just 2 minutes by clicking below:

 

Wedding Short Story: 2 minute slideshow of a Bartholomew Barn wedding2 minute video telling the story of a Bartholomew Barn Summer wedding

 

12. Your Wedding Album

If you’ve pre-ordered an album, now's the time to make any final decisions on album syle and fabrics.  And one of the most difficult tasks - which images to include!  I usually suggest sending me a list of your top 20 and leaving me to choose the rest.  It's way quicker, I'll make sure your album perfectly tells the story of your day and you'll be able to make any changes you'd like via a quick and easy online proofing service.

And if you haven't already ordered an album, it's not too late!  You can ask me anytime for a quote.  Whatever you do, don't leave your USB languishing in a drawer.  Digital files are convenient and great for sharing online, but there's no comparison to seeing your gorgeous wedding photos professionally printed.

You can read a little more about ordering your wedding album by clicking here and most couples ask me to bring samples along to their pre-wedding shoot.  Photos just can't do justice to the matt fine art paper or tactile covers in wood or silk.  

 

"We have had no end of compliments on the beautiful photos, how comfortable our guests felt and how unobtrusive Jenny was.

For us, photography was our most important decision as it is the way that you relive your wedding and we truly couldn’t be more thrilled with our photos!  Thank you so much!"

Sarah & Matt

 

Could I be Your Photographer?

My aim in compiling this article has been to give you a really good feel for how I work and the style of photography you can expect to receive if you choose me for your special day.  Being transparent is vital to ensure the right couples find me and have the confidence to trust me with one of their most important wedding investments.

Feedback from my previous couples is also really important to me, and their testimonials are a great way for you to get a feel for me as a person and whether I'd fit into your day.  In addition to the excerpts included above, there are plenty more to be found on my Client Reviews page.

I hope you now feel armed with plenty of information to help you choose, but of course, you’ll need to know if I still have your date available and whether we’re also a good fit in terms of budget.  Simply click here, fill in a few quick details, and I'll check my availability and email you my current Brochure.  I very much look forward to hearing from you!

 

"Jenny was fantastic at our wedding, keeping a low profile but managing to take the most amazing pictures of our family and guests.  We were delighted with the collection of photos and how they were presented.

Jenny is a professional, discreet, very accommodating and so friendly and approachable.

  If I was to do it all again, I'd book Jenny!"

Bex & Steve

 

FRONT COVER JENNY RUTTERFORD PHOTOGRAPHY WEDDING BROCHURE 2021-2022REQUEST JENNY'S WEDDING BROCHURE

 

I'd love to know more!  Please send me your Wedding Brochure