Today’s tips are for all of you newly engaged brides out there starting to plan for your big day. Here’s some suggestions on how to get the amazing wedding photos that you’ve been pinning on your Pinterest board since the day you met you hubby to be!
First and foremost, before I get into my suggestions I want to start with this: This is YOUR day, so the main goal is to enjoy it. This day is all about you, so decide what your priorities are and make your decisions based on the things that you have decided are most important to you. If photos are on the list of your top priorities… read on! 🙂
- Pick a photographer that suits your style, then trust them to capture your day as beautifully as they did in their portfolio that ultimately led you to hire them. I always ask my brides for a list of “must have” shots but also let them know that much of my job is to create beautiful moments from the depths of my creative brain rather than from another photographer’s page on instagram. The worst thing you can do is hire a photographer to shoot like someone else. We want to know and love learning about what types of images appeal to you, but providing an extensive list of images to copy usually never works out as well as allowing your photographer freedom to create using the tools they possess within themselves! It’s our job to capture moments as they happen, not to manufacture an image shot by another person, at a different location, with different variables involved. The last thing you want is your photographer’s head down looking at a list of shots and miss an organic moment happening right in front of them.
- Meet with your photographer before your wedding day. This can be done via zoom or in person but I think it is so necessary to talk through your goals of the day and make sure you are on the same page with the person you are trusting to capture such a big moment in your life.
- Allow enough time for your photos. I have yet to attend a wedding where everything planned beforehand went right on schedule. Plan for things to take longer than expected when it comes to hair and makeup so that you aren’t rushing to get the photos done that you have planned for before the ceremony. Create a timeline that won’t create stress if you happen to take a little longer while getting ready. You will enjoy your day so much more if you aren’t rushed through the process.
- Think about lighting when you plan your timeline. I always tell my brides to google the sunset time for their wedding day before starting to plan a timeline. Are you wanting golden hour, dreamy sunset photos? Then you need to be sure to have that hour before the sun sets open and scheduled for you to be taking photos. Us photographers are forever chasing that good light in order to give our clients the best possible images. Talk with your photographer about possible locations and times that you’d like to plan for and inquire about the possible benefits/challenges so you are making your day of decisions with forethought.
- Get engagement photos taken!! Even if you don’t want to or don’t feel they are necessary, do them anyway. Engagement photos are included in my wedding packages and they are such an important tool for me to use in order to get to know you and your significant other before your big day. This is a chance for you to start to get comfortable in front of the camera before your wedding day. I promise that you will feel less stressed about getting your photos taken after you utilize your engagement session. This is where your photographer also learns valuable information on what you are comfortable with in terms of prompts, poses, etc.
- Have a list of family groupings for formal photos & make sure those family members know when they are needed for photos. You won’t want to spend time finding uncle Joe after your ceremony, so make sure he knows that he’s needed! Also, with that said, tell your photographer about any family difficulties. It’s important to make your photographer aware of any issues or separations that could cause upset on the day. The last thing you want is for your photographer to arrange a photo of two family members together that are currently in the process of divorce and are currently not speaking to one another. It may sound obvious but things like this can easily be forgotten, we can be a helpful tool in keeping the peace as long as we know when we need to!
- Try to keep spaces clean that will be the backdrop of your photos, specifically I’m talking mostly about the room you plan to get ready in. If you make it a goal to try to keep things tidy before you start the process of getting ready, it’s much easier for a photographer to capture beautiful images of you in the moment without having to worry about moving all of your empty mimosa glasses and/or Cheetos bags that you have been snacking on. Designate a spot that you can destroy with your getting ready bags, food, drinks and other items so you don’t have to spend time cleaning anything when your photographer arrives to document your day!
- Consider banning iPhones during your ceremony. The worst thing in the world is to have someone’s iPhone block your photographers view of those special moments during your ceremony.
- Consider doing a first look. I know this one is a little controversial and in full disclosure I did not do a first look at my wedding but looking back on that day I wish I would have, and here is why. A first look is a great way to spend more time with your significant other on your wedding day. As an outsider looking in on these moments, it is such a special, intimate time for just the two of you together. You can laugh, cry, hug, kiss, share private words between the two of you and just take in the magic of the day before it even begins. Doing a first look prior to the ceremony also allows your photographer time to go ahead with photos of the full bridal party before the ceremony. This means once your ceremony is done, any more time that you have designated for photos can be spent on just the two of you. I know I chose not to have one because I thought it would take away from the special moment I had in my mind of walking down the aisle and my husband seeing me for the first time right then, but I will tell you I have never heard a couple mention that they felt like they missed out on any of that magic when doing a first look instead. Just something to think about!
- Last but not least, remember why you are there. Don’t forget to be in the moment, relax and take it all in… it will go faster than you think and you have earned the right to sit back and enjoy the beautiful day that you worked so hard to create!