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Supplier Spotlight – Dru Dodd

4th September 2022

How to get the wedding photos you’ll cherish forever!

We asked Northumberland wedding photographer, Dru, of Dru Dodd Photography, to offer some tips for our couples to ensure you and your photographer record your memories in the best way possible.

Dru a recommended supplier of Ellingham Hall, says ‘When it comes to your wedding, it’s so important that it is recorded in the best way to reflect every aspect of your special day, these are memories to cherish forever.’


1. Be prepared

When you’re getting ready at your venue, a decluttered environment makes for great photographs.

At Ellingham Hall, it’s great that the Lady B’s Wedding Suite is not just a bedroom, but it has its own lavish dressing room for hair and makeup. The large bay window features a fabulous circular seating area for even the largest of bridal parties. And the impressive bed and ottoman is the perfect place to capture the girls in PJs, before the preparation begins.

The  suite’s stunning oriel window is great for capturing your dress hanging in all its glory and always makes a perfect shot for the bride with bouquet in her wedding gown.

2. Don’t be late

Aim to be ready with some time before the ceremony, or before you or your photographer need to leave for it. Rushing for the ceremony will leave you flustered, and you won’t take in the first few moments of the big occasion.

Being ready beforehand gives you time to get photographs in your dress and with your bridesmaids.

I’m saying this twice because it’s really important: Don’t be late. The time just before the ceremony is one of the most precious moments of your life. Being late has knock-on effects for the rest of your day and invariably it’s your photo time that gets cut.

3. Buttonholes for Bridegrooms

Despite its name, it doesn’t go through your buttonhole…it should be pinned to your left lapel a couple of inches below the buttonhole. If you can’t get it right, your lovely wedding planners at Ellingham Hall will be happy to put it right for you!

4. The Ceremony

Find out the photo policy of your venue asap. Some ban all photography, some allow it from the very back, and some don’t allow your photographer to enter the building during the ceremony. For many, the photographs of the exchanging of vows and rings are the most important part of a photo story. Don’t leave it until the day to find out, or you might be left disappointed.

At Ellingham they work with Northumberland Registrars, who have no photo restrictions. They offer many indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces, which all create different vibes for your wedding photographs.

5. Here come the Bridesmaids!

Think your entrance through carefully. Are your bridesmaids going before you? Give them time to get up the aisle and into their seats before you take your turn.

You are going to look amazing; your fiancé wants to get a clear view of you because it will be one of their favourite memories, and photographs.

Let your bridesmaids have their moment, but don’t let them block your big moment! The wedding planners at Ellingham set the bridesmaids away with an even gap, which provides a great opportunity for the photographer to capture those all-important shots.

6. Last to arrive, first to leave

You’ll be the last person to arrive to the ceremony and as newlyweds you’ll be the first to leave. You’ll head outside while all your guests slowly follow to congratulate you both and before you know it, your whole wedding party is backed up in a queue.

This can eat up time straight after the ceremony, which is crucial for getting your formal photos done. Best advice is, once you’re outside, move around the crowd sharing hugs, to allow your guests to filter out quickly, as your photographer gets your confetti shot set up.

At Ellingham Hall, they take this into consideration and take you both away into the bar area and allow the party to flow outside, ready to greet the couple with confetti.

7. The Confetti Shots

The confetti shot is that moment, captured for eternity. It is the most common photograph shared on anniversaries years after the wedding. Why? Because the confetti shot shows so much emotion. It’s a traditional shot but it’s not often on guests’ list of items to bring along so it’s worth buying confetti yourself.

Make sure you know what the venue will allow. At Ellingham Hall they only permit biodegradable or flower petals, so do make sure you buy the right confetti.

Let your photographer arrange a nice long aisle of guests for you to walk up and then walk up slowly, take your time, let it shower you!

8. Frustration Free Formals

The formal photographs can take quite an effort to get people in the right place at the right time, when time is of the essence. Make a list of who you would like in each photograph and get it to your photographer. This is something I help with. Also think of people who could help on the day, who know a lot of your guests and can get them to the photographer quickly when needed. Start big and get progressively smaller, down to the VIPs. Doing this can save you up to half an hour!

If you place a list of the numbered groups on display or into your order of service, you can create extra time for yourselves on your wedding day.

9. Rain shouldn’t stop play

Always have a wet weather contingency for your group photos. Ask your venue if it’s raining, where your photographer can take you and your guests for the photos. You should plan for 2 weddings in the most part: a sunny wedding and a wet wedding.

Ellingham Hall is an all-weather venue which makes a huge difference, so if it’s raining outside there are plenty of spaces within the Hall for all your formal shots without any disruption to your wedding day. This isn’t the case with all venues.

10. Grandparents

If you have any of your grandparents at your wedding, then you are wealthy beyond measure. I love to give grandparents special attention so get them in amongst your group photos and I’ll do images with them separately with you. A photo together will make their day as well as yours.

11. Take your Seats

Spare a thought for the photographs and how you want this to be documented, when you’re planning your wedding reception room layout and running order.

The norm is to have your wedding breakfast 2 hours after the start of your ceremony. Adding an extra 30 minutes to that time will make a huge difference to your group photos and the mingling time you will have before sitting down for your meal.

12. Speeches

I recommend having your speeches before you eat, as it takes pressure off the speakers and allows them to relax and enjoy their meal. This time is also when most of the ‘candids’ of your guests will be taken. You want your tables to look stunning, rather than messy with napkins and empty bottles lying around.

You may not have control over the position of your top table, but try and face the largest window or light source. If you sit in front of a window then a lot of your photos of the top table will be against pure white back drops, rather than the beautiful surroundings. At Ellingham Hall, the Chapel wedding breakfast space has the original high stone windows so regardless of your top table position, you don’t get any unwanted glare.

13. Videographers

I’ve been photographing weddings for over 10 years now and have encountered videographers of all styles and persuasions. If you want relaxed, mainly candid photography then it’s not a good idea to book a hands-on videographer who will direct your wedding in scenes. It’s highly recommended that you consult your photographer as to who they would recommend.

I’m lucky to know some unbelievably talented videographers, who also know how I work. Together, as a team, we can produce photos and a movie that you will cherish forever without us battling for the same piece of flooring or standing in each other’s way! Ask who’s the best in the business.

14. Throwing light on the subject

What time of year are you getting married? A summer wedding will have many hours of sunlight left after you’ve finished eating. An autumn wedding will see very limited light after the meal and a winter wedding will see the sun set during your meal.

If you want to catch that epic light, then speeches first is definitely a wise idea as you can sneak out as soon as you’ve had your desert and make the most of the sunset light. It’s not something a photographer has any influence over, so you need to take the sunlight when it’s at its best.

15. The Night

Taking good photographs in the dark isn’t easy, so find a photographer that knows how to create their own light to make dramatic, dynamic photographs.

I want to make you look like movie stars and your photos, like stills from a Hollywood film. But you shouldn’t need to be working like actors to achieve this! It’s my job to be doing the hard graft, lighting scenes and capturing your love, joy and happiness.

At Ellingham Hall you’re spoiled for choice for stunning settings to capture those moments both day and night.

If you are looking for a Northumberland wedding photographer or one based in the North East, contact Dru Dodd Photography . If you are planning your dream wedding in Northumberland, contact us to speak to our wedding team today.