WEDDING DAY TIPS
Want the best photos possible on your wedding day? Here are some tips from personal experiences that help to make the most of your wedding day!
The getting ready portion of the day holds so much excitement. It's such a beautiful part of the day with so much energy. To get the best photos of during this time, I would recommend getting ready in a room with lots of natural window light and picking up any clutter before I get there.
If you start getting your hair and makeup done before I get there, try to sit near a window.
Hotel rooms are typically pretty dark with lots of distractions, so I would look into finding a cute AirBnb to get ready in. They're really affordable and will give you a much more open and aesthetically pleasing space.
When planning your schedule, it's important to include enough time for the "formal" photos. It's typically best to add a little bit of extra time in case things run behind (they almost always do). Photos of the two of you will typically take about 20-30 minutes, wedding party photos around 20 minutes, and family photos about 15-20 minutes.
When doing photos of the two of you, I recommend we do this alone, before the wedding party joins in. It's very hard to be yourself and feel fully connected to each other when your friends are watching you in the distance.
I know the group/family photos are very important. That being said, I tend to do them as quickly as possible, since my focus is more on real candids and the in-between moments. The "smile at the camera" photos can get very tiring for you, too, so I try to keep it short!
Also, I really recommend doing the group shots before the ceremony. I can't tell you how many times I've done family photos after the ceremony and 3-4 people can't be found because they've wandered off to cocktail hour. It doubles the amount of time to take the family photos and everyone ends up really frustrated. If everyone is there and ready to go before the ceremony, no distracting cocktails will be calling their name!
One last thing: If you would like photos at sunset (Which I definitely recommend! Super dreamy!), please include a 15-minute time block in your timeline for that.
While I totally understand wanting to see each other for the first time at the ceremony, I prefer a first look and just want to let couples in on a few of the reasons as to why I love them.
First, it calms the nerves and creates a more intimate and private time for the two of you. There's very little time during the wedding day where the two of you are alone and this can be the perfect opportunity to do that. You can share what you’re feeling, you can hug, you can actually say, “Wow, you look incredible in that dress!”– all things you can’t do when you’re at the front of the aisle with everyone watching.
Second, it makes the timeline of the day so much easier and more relaxed. There's plenty of time before the ceremony to do photos, so we're not rushing around and stressing trying to get everything in during cocktail hour. Speaking of cocktail hour, wouldn't it be nice to just relax, have a drink, and spend some time with your guests after the ceremony? It's also a great time for me to get candid photos of you interacting with your guests, which doesn't happen very often during the reception.
While I love a first look, it's your day and you should do things how you want! I fully support couples doing their own thing and making it the day you've always dreamed of!
A FEW OTHER TIPS
I absolutely love outdoor ceremonies! Except when one person's face is in super harsh light and one is in the shadows. It can be really hard to work with this kind of lighting. Outdoor ceremonies are my favorite, but if you're planning on having one, try to think about the lighting. If your ceremony is in the afternoon, try to set up the ceremony site so that the sun is behind your officiant. This will create a nice, even lighting situation.
I am totally down for DJ lighting during open dancing, it's super fun for crazy party photos. But I would recommend telling your DJ to wait until after your first dance to turn them on. The first dance is such an intimate moment and the colorful lights can really take away from that vibe.
It's ideal for me to eat dinner when the guests are eating dinner. This is so I can quickly eat and get back to taking photos. People don't like having their picture taken while they're eating anyway, so it's the perfect time for me to take a break. Most catering companies wait to serve their vendors until everyone has been served, but this often results in me doing nothing for a half hour while everyone eats, and then I finally get my food once the toasts start. Please include me as a guest, rather than a vendor, to your caterer so they know to feed me at the beginning of dinner. This way no shots will be missed!