The wedding day can sometimes get extremely hectic and no matter how carefully you plan, there are always things that could have gone a little smoother. This blog post will explain what to expect from a photography standpoint and will have just a few tips for you, as well.
1. Pre-wedding Planning: For me, I like to meet and get comfortable with one another before the day actually hits us. I will typically ask you to think about special shots you know you HAVE to have and make sure you let me know prior to wedding day so I can plan and ensure I get those shots for you. This includes a list of family shots that you want to make sure you get. I also like to know the wedding day timeline at least one week prior. If you have any special events or gifts, dances, etc, let your photographer know so they can plan their moves in advance.
Another thing I personally enjoy knowing before the wedding date, is what other vendors I will have the pleasure of working with. Sometimes, especially with planners or coordinators, it is nice to discuss lighting for photography, timeline requests, and any other details of the wedding day that might allow me to better do my job!
2. Getting Ready: If you hire a photographer for the full day, they will likely be with you in the morning during hair, makeup, and to shoot those getting ready shots with the groom and his groomsmen. During this time my biggest tip to you is to be interacting with your friends and family as much as possible. Their job should be to get you talking, dancing, laughing, crying, hugging, and smiling as much as possible. This will also ensure you arent too focused on overthinking the unknown and stressing yourself out!
Having the dress and rings in the bridal suite during hair and makeup is extremely helpful so that we can grab some individual shots of those items while you're getting photo ready!
Doing a first look? Which is basically just a moment before the ceremony where the groom gets to see his stunning bride in a private setting so you can enjoy that pivotal moment of the day just the two of you. I find that this can bring so many more emotions to the table. In most cases I have seen, the couples are much more likely to show some genuine emotions when it is just them!
3. Ceremony: I typically will move around quite a bit unless there are restrictions requested by the bride and groom. This might be something you talk about with your officient as well so they are aware before the actual ceremony.
When you and your bridal party are walking down the aisle, be sure everyone is smiling! This may be something you have to coach your bridal party through ahead of time. You know they are honored to be by your side on such a special day but sometimes they just arent thinking about how they're presenting themselves while all the events are rolling!
4. Family Shots/Bridal Party Shots: Having someone who can help coordinate family during this portion of photos is extremely helpful! Family tends to get extremely sidetracked with visiting and catching up with one another and they dont realize that we are on a strict timeline. So having someone available who can easily round them up for group portraits ensures that we knock out these shots quickly and efficiently, leaving more time for bride and groom portraits!
For Bridal party portraits, It is always nice to discuss these photos before wedding day since all groups have their own unique dynamics! Some enjoy more laughable shots, some more sentimental and serious, and some enjoy a little bit of both! Knowing your groups dynamic in advance can ensure no awkward moments take place where your photographer tries to pose you in a way that just isnt working for you!
5. Bride and Groom Session! The whole reason we are there is to celebrate the love you share and make sure we capture images to suit your personalities as a couple. The absolute best way to accomplish these photos is for you to almost pretend as though your photographer isnt there. Play, cuddle, laugh, kiss, smile, look at the face of that person you chose to wake up to every day for the rest of your life and enjoy it! Your photographer should give you a place to start, move you from locaton to location, give you small direction or prompts when needed but the idea is to get the most natural and genuine form of connection between the two of you! That is where your photos will truly be unique to you.
6. Reception: Make sure when you are choosing your entrance location that there is plenty of room for you to walk in, avoiding tables and chairs, walking through too many people, or whatever obstacles may present an issue.
Always, ALWAYS do a sunset bride and groom session! It only takes about 15 minutes during the reception and the photos are always so beautiful. It gives you a moment to enjoy your first gorgeous sunset as a married couple.
Last tip! For the exit, no matter what kind of exit you choose to do, make sure you dont sprint too quickly through lineup of your friends and family, especially if you have a videographer that we will be sharing space with. Sometimes, if you rush, that shot can very difficult to capture in such low lighting (if your exit is at night).
There are so many things that go into making your wedding day perfect. These thoughts on what to expect and tips are just a few that I see myself discussing often with the couples I work with. I hope this helps! Please feel free to contact me for any questions or if you'd like to dive in further on this topic!