As a wedding photographer, part of my job is educating and empowering my couples to make decisions for their day that will allow them to get all of their dream photos! Because while I have photographed lots of weddings, for most of my clients, it’s their first time planning a wedding! And you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s why I put together this quick list of my top 5 tips for a photography friendly wedding day to help ensure you get the gorgeous images you’ve been dreaming of!
Tip #1 Sunset Portraits
Make sure there is at least 20-30 minutes in the wedding day timeline close to SUNSET for Bride and Groom portraits!!! Sunset is when the light in the sky is dreamy and magical. These will be the images you will SWOON over and want to hang on your walls. I promise! So even if it means sneaking out of your reception for these pictures, you will be sooo glad you did. Keep in mind that the sunset time will vary depending on the time of year! When you work with me, I will help you create a custom timeline.
Tip #2 The Veil
Bring a long, lightweight veil for portraits! If you have seen my work you know I LOVE veil toss and veil swoop images! They look oh so romantic and dreamy. A lightweight veil (without heavy beading) will really FLY! Some of my brides have two veils, one for their ceremony and one just for their portraits. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it will give you the option for epic images like this one!
Tip #3 Details
I always ask my brides to have all of their DETAILS in one place when I arrive at the wedding. This includes rings, jewelry, shoes, invitation suite, florals, veil, vow books, programs, and any other meaningful items. Having them in one place helps this part of the day go quickly and ensures that I don’t miss anything. All of your details were carefully picked out and deserved to be featured! Also, these images will look incredible in your album. I LOVE photographing details!
Tip #4 The First Look
Consider doing a First Look. This might be the MOST important tip from a photography perspective. You might be thinking… “but what about the groom-sees-bride-for-the-first-time-walking-down-the-aisle moment?!” And I get it, but hear me out. Without a first look, we have to squeeze bridal party portraits, family formals, and bride and groom portraits (each which take about 30 minutes) all in-between your ceremony and your reception. This often feels very rushed as we are trying to not keep your guests waiting too long!
My couples who have chosen to do a first look often say that they loved having that special moment, just to themselves without every single person they know watching! Having that first look means that you and your very soon to be husband get to really soak in the reality of what is happening. I have had so many grooms tell me afterwards that seeing their bride walking down the aisle was just as impactful and emotional as they dreamed it would be. And this way we have two spots in the timeline for Bride and Groom portraits (First Look and Sunset), which means you will have so many more portraits of the two of you!
Tip #5 Family Formals
Have a detailed family formals list written out! In my wedding day questionnaire, there is a section dedicated just to this. Listing out every grouping (with names!) will help keep this part of the day, which most people don’t love, efficient and painless. Here’s an example: Bride and Groom with Groom’s Parents (Steve and Shirley.) Listing their first names allows me to call them by name when it’s their turn!
You’ll also want to include any delicate family situations. Divorces, separations, or any thing else your photographer should be aware of so there aren’t any uncomfortable moments during family pictures!
I hope that my top 5 tips for a photography friendly wedding day were helpful and gave you some things to think about! In the end though, it’s YOUR day and I want you to love every minute of it. I want you to have gorgeous images (and you will!) but more than that I want you to look back on the day you married your best friend and remember all of the JOY and LOVE you felt, surrounded by the people who mean the most to you in this world. I’m cheering for you, friend!!!
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