Marten Bjork

First Wedding Shoot

A month ago, I photographed my first wedding. It was booked earlier this spring and I’ve agonized about it every day since. There’s no room for errors when it comes to weddings — you have to deliver.

I arrived the day before the ceremony, which gave me some time to check out the location and to document the preparations of the venue.

Lisa setting the table
Casually dressed Julia and Jakob kissing inside the barn the day before the wedding

On the day of the wedding, I woke up early to have breakfast before everyone else. In-between numerous cups of coffee, I double- and triple-checked my checklists for the day. Everything was in order. Finally, the other guests arrived and the work day begun. First, I spent some intense hours covering the bride’s and groom’s preparations in their respective rooms.

A man smiles and looks into the camera as he buttons his shirt
Close-up of the groom adjusting his bow tie
Julia, the bride, looks into the camera and smiles while the bridesmaids adjust her dress
A set of four rings lying on a red surface

After lunch, the wedding officially kicked off. Guests arrived and mingling begun. Photographing people at parties is an interesting challenge; you have to be likable so that people relax, but also keep a certain distance so you can get the good shots. You mingle, small talk and move on.

A wide angle shot of the guests mingling outside the red barn
Two women in the crowd smiling and talking

Then it was time for the ceremony. The dreaded once-in-a-lifetime, no-second-chances ceremony. I have to admit — I was nervous about it.

But as the band started playing and the ceremony begun, I actually felt calm. Everything was much slower and more relaxed than I had imagined. There was plenty of time to try different compositions and lenses and to double-check that the exposure was right. I even enjoyed it.

The bride and groom looking at each other while walking down to the field were the reception is about to take place
Photo of the reception. The brid and groom are standing in front of the seated guests. They are holding hands, smiling and looking at each other.
The officiant talks into her microphone. The bride and groom listens.
A woman singing into a microphone
A wide angle shot of the ceremony. Bridesmaids, groomsmen, the happy couple, the officiant and the guests are all in view. In the background, a green field.
Close up of the bride putting the ring on the groom's finger
The bride and groom kissing and embracing
The bride and groom walking out of the reception, smiling and waving

After the ceremony, a happy sigh of relief. A quick scroll through the memory cards confirmed that I had managed to get some great shots. My phone, however, quickly reminded me that it was time for portraits.

Portrait of the bride and groom holding hands
The groom kissing the bride on the cheek
Close-up of bride and groom's hands held together. The groom is making a v sign with his fingers.
The bride and groom kissing

The rest of the evening rushed by. Reception, dinner, speeches. And finally, after 12 hours of intense photography — a first dance.

The bride and groom dancing inside the the barn