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Short Wedding Photography in London, Bristol & Cardiff

For More Intimate MICRO-Wedding Photos

Short Wedding Photography in London, Bristol & Cardiff 2023-24

**Scroll down for my reduced hours’ wedding photography prices**

 

The groom punches the air as he leaves his Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding with his bride

Short weddings often mean fewer people, but this doesn’t make them less memorable.  Here, the couple enjoys the moment as the guests throw the confetti outside London’s iconic Old Marylebone Town Hall.


Everything You Need to Know About Short Wedding Photography

I have come to specialise in short-day wedding photography and micro-weddings:

Couples frequently contact me who are having a short wedding day.  They often require good value, limited-time wedding photography for just one, two or three hours.

These may be couples for whom the wedding day photography isn’t a big deal, but they still want the critical events documented.  It’s often a small party of guests consisting of very close family and friends.

Whether you’re planning your short wedding in London, Bristol, Cardiff or elsewhere, on this page, I aim to offer the benefit of my experience to help you when planning your small big wedding day!  I go through your various options with tips and ideas you may not have thought of and include many examples of my work to illustrate throughout.


Bride and Groom leaving their Catholic wedding at Brompton Oratory, London

This couple booked me for their London wedding at Brompton Oratory for just one hour.  For a church wedding, this was very unusual, but I was delighted to accommodate.  On the day, I ended up being there for one and a half hours.


Short Wedding Photography for Under £500

I love to document all weddings, but there’s something very intimate and special about wedding days celebrated in a low-key way with few guests.  I have shot many 2-hour micro-weddings where the only people present were the couple and their witnesses.  They often end up being the loveliest of weddings, and I feel privileged to be in attendance.

I feel I am more “let-in”, giving me much more of a chance to focus on the individuals present and the personalities and relationships between them.

Brides (and even grooms sometimes) often comment on how personal and emotive my wedding photographs seem with a unique personal touch.  This reflects how easy-going and joyful short and register office marriages usually are.

I cover short weddings in London, Cardiff and Bristol, but I will consider other locations, so do get in touch to discuss your short wedding photography requirements.

All of my short-wedding couples have been delighted with the finished photographs, and I am happy to accommodate your need for a short wedding photographer (length of time, not size!!).


The groom holds his bride at their short wedding in Fitzrovia Chapel in Central London - taken from the balcony.

Another small London wedding:  Jemima and Simon’s marriage at the beautiful Fitzrovia Chapel was so intimate that they used two people that worked there as witnesses!


Many couples have a strict budget (sometimes requiring a professional wedding photographer for under £500).

Planning a wedding on a budget will dictate how extravagant you can be when planning your wedding day.

It’s so lovely that people are still willing to shell out for decent photographs worthy of the occasion despite limited funds.

Remember that your photography will be with you to reflect on for the rest of your lives! 


Extreme confetti storm over couple on steps on Chelsea Old Town Hall

I’ve never known this much confetti in one photo at a wedding.  It was a short wedding at Chelsea Old Town Hall, but they certainly made the most of the couple’s exit from the venue!


What is Micro-Wedding Photography?

Micro-weddings are generally considered weddings with up to 20 guests, usually very close family and friends.  They are generally shorter (typically 1-3 hours), often just the ceremony and an intimate meal afterwards.  The photographer may just be needed for the arrivals, ceremony, confetti and posed shots or attend the early part of the meal too.  Some couples choose not to have their small wedding day photographed, whilst it is crucial for others.

Even before 2020 and Covid-19, the need for short wedding days rose, but the global pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated this.  As a result, many engaged couples choose to marry first and celebrate later.  I embrace this and am happy to take short, intimate weddings, whether on a Saturday in summer or a mid-week winter marriage.


Bride in pink shoes kisses smart groom in front of pink door with 'Love' written above it

Paulina & Wojciech met with me 2 hours before their civil marriage ceremony to have a pre-wedding photoshoot around London’s beautiful Chelsea area.


Top Short Wedding Photography Tip:

When choosing your wedding photographer, don’t go for the cheapest quote – pick the one that resonates best with you.

Whilst there are many cheap wedding photographers, this is one area where you get what you pay for.  So if your wedding photography is essential for you, don’t compromise!


Bride looking lovingly at her groom during her Westminster Register Office wedding ceremony

Ruth and Chris had only their witnesses present, but it was vital to have their short 1 hour wedding day photographed well.


For Full Pricing Details>> Wedding Photography Prices & Packages


Newly-weds share their first kiss in Southwark Register Office for their wedding

Danielle & Mitchell booked me for just 2 hours: It was ample time to photograph the arrivals, ceremony, congratulations, posed shots afterwards, and their passionate first kiss!  An image like this would be more challenging to achieve at many larger weddings.


More Top Tips When Planning a Short Wedding Day

    • Communicate with Your Venue Contact:  Every venue has different rules and regulations for photographers.  Be sure to speak with your contact at the venue and tell them that your photography is important to you.  Find out exactly what they allow.
    • Break with Tradition:  There are no hard and fast rules to follow in organising your day.  Micro-weddings give the chance to throw tradition out of the window and do things your way!  For instance…
    • …Change the Running Order:  If your photographer covers your drinks reception and/or early part of the meal, bring the speeches forward to shorten the photographic day.  Heartfelt speeches are a lovely wedding memory to have!

Hair and make-up artist spraying the bride's hair in a hotel room at Celtic Manor Resort wedding preparations

I attended this Newport wedding for 3 hours, giving me time to capture some bridal preparations.


    • Plan a Weekday Wedding: Weekdays or weddings out of season are likely to be quieter at wedding venues, with less chance of you being rushed.  You might also get better deals as suppliers and venues may offer reduced rates!
    • Don’t Be Afraid to Think Small:  Don’t feel obliged to invite lots of guests to your short wedding.  I’ve photographed tiny weddings with just the witnesses present, and they were equally meaningful.
    • Spend the Whole Day Together: No one says you need to spend the morning apart.  Many couples now choose to get ready together as a shared wedding day experience.

Bridesmaids pick confetti out of laughing bride's hair at Arnos Vale in Bristol

Every moment is captured, even the bridesmaids picking confetti out of the bride’s hair!


  • The Wedding Day is Yours:  Many couples have told me that a well-meaning relative has taken over their short wedding planning.  Remember that it is your day, so do everything the way you want to.  Of course, some couples enjoy having everything organised, so that’s fine too.
  • Ensure Your Photographer is Flexible:  You might misjudge the time you need.  Find out what happens if you need more photography time on the day.  I’m very flexible and can add more time if you need it.
  • More is More:  Each register office tends to have packages to choose from, from the very basic to the more extended, featuring readings, music and a much more personal touch.  If your budget allows, choose as much as you can.  The more you have going on in a short time, the more images you should receive.
  • Church Weddings are Longer:  The ceremony will go on for an hour or more, and there will likely be more guests.  So I suggest no less than 3 hours of coverage for a church wedding – but ultimately, it’s up to you.

Newly-weds with Champagne at Old Marylebone Town Hall Wedding

Jennie and Andrew had only a handful of guests on their short wedding day in London, but it was no less memorable.  Quick weddings are very popular with the more mature couple and those doing it for a second time.


See More>> My Wedding Photography Gallery.


Couple laughing as they are showered with confetti by guest

Many couples booking a photographer for their reduced hours wedding want an excellent natural record of their day.  Marcin and Shweta only needed me for 1 hour, but even one guest throwing the confetti can produce a fun and dynamic image.


Short Wedding Photography Prices

*Starting from 1 Hour Photography Coverage*

 

2 Hours Coverage:

**£480**

1.5 Hours Coverage:

**£430**

1 Hour Coverage:

**£380**

Extra Hours above 2 – £140/hour

Prices include natural photographic coverage of all the key moments.  Photos are edited in a mixture of colour & black and white and supplied by upload for easy download.

Wooden Presentation Box with Printed Lid & 8GB USB Stick with Highlights Slide Show and a Soundtrack of your choice – £125


**How you use the time is up to you, but below are examples of how your day might run…**


The grooms laughing at their same-sex Southwark Register Office wedding

Andy & Chris’ LGBTQ wedding was full of fun, with just a few of their closest friends present.


Typical Short-Day Wedding Photography Coverage

 

1 Hour Photography Coverage:

Usually starting about 15 minutes before the ceremony, giving me a chance to gather some scene-setting and arrival shots at the venue and, most importantly, your arrival.  If you have a civil marriage (often at a register office, hotel or other non-religious premises), your ceremony takes around 20-25 minutes, including the signing.  Then there’s still ample time for a confetti sequence (where allowed) and group portraits outside.

1.5 Hours Coverage:

One and a half hours allow for more time on either side of the ceremony.  It could start with your preparations (if not too far) for a few photos of you leaving, and there will be time to have extended couples shots after the ceremony.  If everything is nearby, your photographer could also document your journey, arrival, and first drinks toast at your reception venue!

2 Hours Coverage:

More time where you get ready and/or a photo shoot of yourselves before arriving at your venue.  Or a more extended couples portrait session afterwards and longer for your drinks/meal.  Or any combination of the above!


Bride's sister hugs her after wedding ceremony

Micro-weddings are full of precious moments – this is just one of them! – Wedding at Castell Coch near Cardiff.


Short Wedding at Morden Park House

Short weddings often take place in register offices and town halls.  They are usually small but light and ideal for taking stunning up-close photographs such as this one where the bride with her mother and baby daughter walk down the aisle.


The bride enters the Mayoral Room at Bristol Register Office with parents in face masks

Many couples chose short wedding coverage due to COVID-19 marriage restrictions when they were in place.  Georgia enters her ceremony at Bristol Register Office with her masked parents.


Sometimes, they plan to have a more elaborate celebration after their wedding day.

Some engaged couples need a photographer for just one hour.  Many photographers refuse to take time-limited weddings for fear of missing out on full days.  I feel that they are missing out and am very happy to take weddings of 1 hour upwards, whatever day of the week or time of the year.


Wedding confetti at short wedding outside Fitzrovia Chapel in London

The Fitzrovia Chapel is ideal for a shorter wedding.  It is one of London’s hidden gems, and they offer a 1.5-hour wedding and champagne reception package.


The bride and groom looking at each other with registrar reading at Old Marylebone Town Hall wedding in London

I love to capture shots from various positions, and intimate marriage ceremonies are ideal for this.  Couples rarely notice my presence.


Read More – Venues Ideal for Short Weddings>>

Cardiff City Hall

Stoke Newington Town Hall


Reduced Hours Wedding Speeches in Cardiff

Sometimes shorter weddings include the meal and speeches.  Some couples bring their speeches forwards to accommodate photography.  The time required for the pre-ceremony arrivals through to the speeches is around 5-6 hours.  This summer wedding was in Richmond near London.


Short Wedding Photography for Senior Couples

Other people requiring less wedding coverage may be more mature, having married before.

The day is no less important to them than the first time, which is why they want a good photographer.  They don’t need all the trimmings of a church wedding or full-day celebrations.  A register office ceremony and intimate meal with loved ones mean much more to them than a lavish ‘do’.

Often mature couples book me for only 1 hour to photograph the ceremony and a few posed shots.  They usually take place mid-week or out-of-season, so I’m pleased to cater for these minimal days if possible.


Short Wedding Ceremony at Islington Town Hall

Short weddings often mean the ability to photograph more intimate moments.  Fewer guests and the day’s relaxed nature made for some fantastic short-day wedding photography shots, such as at this ceremony at Islington Town Hall in North London.


Couple holding hands sitting across two benches with St Luke's Church in Chelsea as a backdrop

Paulina and Wojciech didn’t have their short wedding at this London church, but it was close to their register office venue and provided a lovely backdrop for some photos.


Bridal party arriving at Old Marylebone Town Hall

The bride and her entourage arrive at their short town hall wedding in Marylebone, London.  At register offices, there can be a high turnover of weddings.  Here, a previous marriage is just finishing up in the background.


Groom kisses bride's forhead under pink blossom tree in London Park

Every bride and groom wants some lovely portraits of them as a couple.  So when I’m there for a short time, I always make time for the posed photographs.


Bridesmaid with back to camera hugs elderly male relative who is smiling at the photographer

At the wedding arrivals: A precious shot of young greeting old.


Boy with finger on face looks into Lantern Room whilst masked grandparents watch on in Bristol

Coronavirus isn’t all doom and gloom and can produce some fun shots such as this in Bristol.


1 Hour Wedding Photography Coverage

So I do specialise in smaller parties that require short-day wedding photography.  The average time needed is 2-3 hours – anything 5 hours and below is considered a short or half-day.

However, I can start photography coverage from as little as 1 hour.

If you require just one-hour coverage or ceremony-only photography, don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss.

An hour may suit couples that need to book their wedding photographer at the last minute or if they are having their ceremony mid-week.  But whatever day of the week or time of year, please inquire, as I would love to help you!


Wedding Couple Kissing Outside Tom's Kitchen

At weddings as short as 2 hours, I often have the chance to visit the reception venue with the couple.  I can take portraits and natural photos of the pre-meal drinks before leaving them to enjoy the rest of the day.


Short Wedding Day FAQs

 

Q. WHAT IS SHORT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY?

A. I class a short wedding as anything from 1 hour for just the ceremony to 4 hours from the preparations to the early reception.  I generally start wedding photography coverage from 2 hours but will consider an hour.  This suits couples who only want the ceremony photographing and a few arrivals and posed shots afterwards.  Look on my page for full details of my reduced hours’ package and pricing.

 

Q. DO YOU APPROACH SHORTER WEDDINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN FULL-DAY WEDDINGS IN THE WAY THAT YOU PHOTOGRAPH THEM?

A. No, absolutely not.  I plan for both in the same way.  The key moments are the same, and it’s crucial to capture everything that goes on.  However, I’m conscious that the couple will receive fewer photos, making it all the more important to shoot as many moments and memories as I can.

 

Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT SHOOTING A SHORT WEDDING?

A.  I love so much about them.  I tend to be more involved with the couple and seem to get to know them (and the guests) better by the end of the day.  So I can focus more on the individuals present without worrying if I have taken a shot of everyone.

 

Q. DO YOU RESTRICT YOUR REDUCED HOURS WEDDING BOOKINGS DURING THE BUSY SUMMER SEASON?

A. No, not at all.  Many photographers wouldn’t take them on weekends over the summer, but I think it a shame not to.  It’s first come, first served bookings with me!

 

Q. WHAT IF WE NEED MORE TIME ON THE DAY?

A. If you decide you need longer than you’ve booked, I’ll be able to stay on.  I always liaise with couples at the end of the day to check that I’ve covered everything they need and see if they want me to stay on to photograph more.


Group portrait outside Southwark Town Hall with guests waving

A happy wedding portrait of the whole party at a short wedding in South London.  The couple only needed me for 2 hours.

Need a Wedding Photographer for 1-5 Hours?
Contact Me to Discuss Your Short Day Wedding Photography!

Email me, fill in the form below or phone 07947 613070 any time
to discuss your big small day!!

Bride Signing the Register at Fitzrovia Chapel Wedding

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Wedding Photographer in Cardiff & London

Guy Milnes Photography is based between London and Cardiff, covering South Wales, Bristol, London and the home counties.
He has been a professional photographer since 2008 and loves to capture the wedding day's atmosphere as it unfolds naturally.

 

Preferred Contact Number:
07947 613070

https://guymilnes.com/

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