How To Make the Most of your Wedding Day Photography

Your wedding day is just around the corner, all the details are falling into place, and you can’t wait for your Photographer to capture every moment! There are, however, a few things you can do in advance to help get the best possible wedding photos. These tips will ensure you are getting the most out of your wedding photography - from getting ready to tossing your bouquet and riding off into the sunset!
 

THE MORNING OF

Getting ready photos are a wonderful way of capturing the sweet anticipation of the day! If you are planning to have getting ready photos think ahead about location. Your photographer will be able to get beautiful pictures anywhere but some places have a much bigger “wow” factor.  Also keep in mind that natural light from a window is always more flattering than a fluorescent-lit church basement. It’s a good idea to have your assistants de-clutter the room of hairspray, stray clothing and leftover breakfast before the photographer arrives. Set out details such as the wedding dress, jewelry, shoes and anything special you would like photographed such as a family heirloom or groom’s gift so the photographer doesn't need to disturb your hair and makeup prep. 
 

LEAVE ENOUGH TIME

Have hair and makeup teams arrive extra early as this tends to compound delays more than anything else. Ask family and wedding party to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled photo time fully prepared with bouquets and boutonnieres already pinned. Make sure to talk with your Photographer about your checklist before the wedding day to ensure room on the schedule for your desired photos, with time to spare!
 

PLAN FOR DETAILS

Don't forget the details! Plan some flexibility into the timeline for your Photographer to capture all the months of hard work you put into the details and make your wedding day story complete!

Reception venue at Barns of Old Glory outside Rochester, MN by Pamela Sutton

Reception venue at Barns of Old Glory outside Rochester, MN by Pamela Sutton

ARRANGE A PRIVATE MOMENT WITH YOUR PARENTS

Once you are ready in your dress, arrange a ‘moment’ with your Dad or whoever is giving you away. This ends up being such a special time! (Of course, this can be captured with the groom’s parents, too.)  And don’t forget to include photos alone with your mom.


FIRST LOOK

Thank goodness it's no longer considered bad luck to see the groom before the ceremony! In fact, there are some pretty big advantages! First, this will probably be your only time alone to share a few private words, pray or exchange meaningful gifts. And grooms, you'll be able to see your bride without curious onlookers. Secondly, getting all of your formals done before the ceremony means the wedding party and family is still in top form and it frees everyone up to enjoy the celebration without further interruption.
 

GO UNPLUGGED

Unplugged weddings are no longer unheard of. Welcome guests to your wedding by kindly asking them to rest their cameras and put their iPhones away. This can be written on a sign entering the wedding, on your wedding program, or by having your Officiant mention your wishes. Just remember, if your Photographer delivers the proofs without the kiss photo a guest probably took it instead. There's nothing more discouraging for a wedding Photographer than to miss important moments because someone jumped up in front of them or fired their flash at the same time. Guests are usually well-meaning and don't realize what they are doing. They're excited to be there!  By gently reminding them in advance that you invited a professional it allows them to be present in the moment leaving the job to the Photographer you carefully choose and paid for.  If you're considering going unplugged, take a look at these links on the pros and cons:

Going Unplugged or Going All In : What's Best for Your Wedding Day
Ways to kindly let your guests know you're going unplugged (includes helpful templates)
 Why You May Want to Consider an Unplugged Wedding
 

HIRE A WEDDING COORDINATOR

Before you choose to save money but foregoing a wedding coordinator, consider the many benefits. A wedding coordinator ensures your day goes off without a hitch. Come wedding day your “job” is to relax and enjoy the day, not worry about the flow of events. A coordinator allows everyone to enjoy their specific role in your special day, including your Photographer, who is there to photograph your story as it happens, not to direct your day. Wedding coordinators are trained professionals who head off confusion prior to disaster. They spend all day bouncing between vendors to make sure everything happens on cue - all while giving you a chance to use the bathroom before cutting the cake. The coordinator focus’ all their energy on making sure you and your guests never noticed a single hiccup.

If a coordinator is not in your budget find an Event Guide to play the part. An Event Guide should not already be involved in the wedding party, family or other planning events but be readily available (and preferably sober) to assist throughout day. Your assistants’ should be focused on attending to you, and your dear mom... she needs a day off, too. 

Barns of Old Glory Wedding Reception

PLAN AN EVENING GETAWAY

There’s something dreamy about photos at sunset. Along with your Photographer, plan a 15 minute escape from the crowds and festivities to capture just the two of you as new husband and wife.  Ask your DJ to take over and no one will even notice you are missing!
 

RELAX

Trust your photographer. You should be enjoying your day, not worrying about your photography. Why? Your happiness naturally translates through the lens resulting in images you'll love. Presumably, you love your photographer's style and the way they captured other weddings.  So let them do that for you!  Take a deep breath in, then out... relax! Today you marry your best friend!


 

* Authored by Pamela Sutton and originally published in the 2014 Getting Married in Borderland bridal guide. Edited for personal blog publishing on January 10, 2017.