You’re getting married. This is a wild and exciting time and it’s also a time where you need all hands-on-deck. NOW I am NOT saying that no one can plan a wedding on their own, BUT in order to get the most out of the investment, include your vendors in your planning… especially your photographers. ((( Shout-out to all my brides who basically made me an official bridesmaid, WOOT! ))) But really, something I’ve been thinking about lately is how can I prepare not just my brides, but all brides, to make things easy for their photographer which in return will result in even better photos! Not only that, I’ve been the bride and I definitely feel like if I knew then what I know now, things would have been a lot different. So here’s a list of 5 things that came off the top of my head that I’ve realized will help make things much smoother for everyone involved:
1. Gather details night before: This is the real deal, ladies and gents. The first thing we do as photographers is photograph your details once we arrive. It’s like our warm up and honestly, it’s our favorite. These little things make such a big impression on your wedding day. Your shoes, jewelry, even your perfume… you pay $$ for this stuff, get it photographed to show off. Anyways, when you gather things the night before, you are giving yourself a chance to make sure you have everything and not forget. DO NOT SEPARATE THE RINGS. This goes into this big time. Nothing breaks a heart more than when we arrive, and we just have the engagement ring. We can make it work and take some ring pics later, but not all the rings would be included in your big spread of details (unless we had time to shoot later). So night before, find your wifey-for-lifey bag and fill it with all the things. Invitation, rsvp, program, shoes, jewelry, perfume, garter, ALL THE RINGS, etc.
2. Leave time for your photographer to get reception pics without beer cans: you spend thousands of dollars on your reception. You spend hours shopping for decorations and hours setting them all up. By putting some time in your timeline for your photographer to have some solo time at the reception (even just 10 minutes makes all the difference), you’re able to get images of your hard work without all the beer cans, purses, and coats in the picture. Yeah, we could just move all that stuff, but by the time we clean off enough tables so that the Bud Light blue can doesn’t reflect in the back, we are out of time. With that, here comes a huge point:
3. Let your photographer be a part of your timeline making: This is huge. Not all photographers take the same amount of time to do photos. We just don’t. But what we all do know and do the same is where the sun is during the day each and every season. It breaks my heart when I see brides want golden glow images but have things running so late that by the ceremony is over and we are to a park, the sun is gone. HOWEVER, that’s where we come in. Once you book your venue and/or find a church… you don’t have to pick your times right off the bat. Include your photographer in this, tell them what you want, whether you’re doing a First Look or not, and they will be able to help you create a timeline that flows and involves all the light and airy moments. Again, all the pics you want on a timeline we need.
4. Unplugged weddings: Another passionate topic. Be true to this. Inform your family members at rehearsal that it’s unplugged and make your beautiful sign that you made or bought known. I’ve seen way too many flashes and camera beeps cause distractions at a wedding. It’s not cute either. The hardest thing is when you’re in a Catholic church trying to get an epic wide angle from the balcony and all that draws you in are the random phone screens that are lit like stars. Sure, stars are beautiful, but seeing two people come together to become one is SO much more beautiful and TIMELESS.
5. BREATHE!! Hahaha, easier said than done right? Sweet bride, please know that on your wedding day, all these details don’t determine your marriage or how it’s going to be. Really. A year from your wedding date, you’re not going to sit there and think about your cake or the table numbers… you’re going to look at your forever partner and realize life is beautiful. You’ll have your precious keepsakes to look back on, but really, breathe. Being 15 minutes late to the reception due to traffic or forgetting to snag lighters for your sparkler send-off… those things are so tiny compared to the greatest memory you’ll ever make with the people you love.
6. FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: Hide-the-bride time: Oh, did I say 5 earlier… make that 6. BONUS! HAHA. But hide-the-bride time is always a must. During this *typically* 30-minute break, the bride and groom can have some lunch or a snack and refuel and touch up before the big “I DO”. During this time, we don’t have to sit around, and we probably won’t. This is the “future mr. and mrs. relax, and I catch up if needed” time. Remember how I said keep the rings together but if you forget we can get it later? Well this is the time where it would probably happen so take off those earrings and shoes and let’s boogie! But really, brides and grooms, eat during this time. It will make you feel SO much better and a groom with a full, happy belly always photographs the best. And photographers, don’t stress morning of thinking you missed some stuff, use this time to catch up and go on the rest of the day knowing you slay <3
Whew. Okay, maybe I call that a rant? Per tradition: #RANTOVER. But in the end (starts singing Linkin Park “it doesn’t really matter”) jk, it does matter. These simple little things can help both sides of the wedding day go smooth and fun. It’s almost like a huge confidence boost for the photographer AND the bride. I definitely recommend putting these in play. Till next time, HAPPY WEDDINGING!