It can be assumed that this is the first wedding you are planning (even if it’s not this list will be helpful to you!) All of that planning can be overwhelming, how are you supposed to become an expert on all things wedding?! It’s silly to think that you should, it seems to me that that would take the fun out of planning because now you feel like your in school taking Wedding Planning 101! Well that’s why this list and I are here to help you get some advice when it comes to the top things photographers wished you knew on your wedding day. The things on this list are the things us photographers LOVE when our brides and grooms do them! Not only does it help us to get the best photos of your day, but it also helps ease any day of stress for you!
1- Have your jewelry, shoes and dress and any other details laying out for your photographer
Delegate this task to the Maid of Honor. Let her know where all your details are that you will be wearing so that once the photographer is there you can keep getting ready and they with your MOHs help can gather those details and get some awesome shots of them!
2- This is a tough one but try to keep the getting ready room as clean as possible
I know this would be your last priority while you are running around getting ready for that walk down the aisle! However, keeping this little tidbit in mind can help your photographer to get great shots without having the Pepto-Bismol bottle behind a shot of you hugging your mom. I personally move around any distracting things from shots in the getting ready room already, but if our brides and grooms got a little help to clean up before the photographer gets there it’s a win-win for everyone!
3- First Look
This one is a favorite of wedding photographers, but I know that there are couples out there that want to keep things traditional and wait to see one another at the ceremony. If you are not familiar with what this is, it’s when the bride and groom see one another before the ceremony. I understand the desire for traditionalism, but if you could indulge me for a moment. The first look photos are a photog favorite because of the raw emotion that is shared just between the bride and groom in an intimate moment. This private moment (sans the photographer) between the two of you creates beautiful images that show the love and excitement between the two of you. Also if you chose to do this, I recommend it to be just for the both of you, as having family and friends watch can be to distracting to the both of you!
4- Let guests know you’d like for them to be present with you during the ceremony
I’ve seen this idea coming up more and more recently. Of course your guests want to capture their own photos during the whole day, and especially the ceremony. The only problem with that is sometimes it leaves us photographers, who are paid to be there and create gorgeous images, to compete with guests for the perfect shot! It can also lead to having guests standing right in front of the shot we are trying to take. It’s become a popular trend to have signs at ceremony asking guests to put away their cameras and be present with the couple during the ceremony. That way everyone is in the moment and is just leaves your photographer there to take the most perfect shots possible!
5- Announce after the ceremony for immediate family to stay in the ceremony location for photos
Family photos typically take place right after the ceremony and it’s very important that your immediate family members who are involved in these photos know that- and do not walk away to get a cocktail. I know that the family photos are important to my bride and grooms but I also know that no one wants it to take to long getting them since the cocktail hour is going on. Making sure your family is aware to stay at the ceremony site will help to not waste time and get everyone to the food and cocktails ASAP!
6- Have your Maid of Honor, family member or friend help out with wrangling the family for the family shots
This is helpful to your photographer if there is a family member or friend who knows the face that goes with the name on the photographers list. They can point out the people as well as be a little more direct with them than I like to be! This also helps to keep things going as quickly as possible
7- Leaving AT LEAST a ½ hour for bride and groom portraits
This of course is not always possible, because sometimes wedding are running quite a bit behind. I typically schedule an hour for bride and groom photos so even if everything is going a ½ hour behind we still have a ½ hour to shoot bride and groom photos. To me this shots are some of my favorite from the whole day and are the ones you are going to want to hang on your wall and put in your albums- so giving them the time they deserve is important!