Right now is such an exciting time for you in your life! You are engaged and about to be married and there is no greater feeling than that at this moment. With the wedding coming up you may want everything to be perfect but you are concerned it won't be. Let me tell you, do not stress! As photographers our job is to make your day look perfect but this post should help you get everything ready before the big day to make sure it is perfect and goes smoothly!
Before the big day
Confirm the details- The earlier you can get your wedding day timeline and details to the photographer, the better. This is important because it tells us when and where all the important moments will happen so that we can be positioned for the perfect shot. Also, it helps us to be efficient with the time you have hired us for which will help keep you and the photographer less stressed.
Pay the photographer- If you have already booked your photographer I'm sure you have already gone over this but let me just tell you why it's important. On your wedding day you will be SO busy thinking of 1,000 other things that I'm sure remembering to pay a vendor will fall to the wayside. For us to ask the bride for money on the day of the wedding feels awkward and impolite. Please pay your photographer ahead of time and everyone will be happy.
Intentionally think about where you want to get ready- To capture the best photos of you and your lovely bridesmaids getting ready, make sure your suite has windows where lots of natural light can come in. The yellow lightbulbs that are in those suites are usually unattractive and make your skin look so orange and will cause the pictures to come out flat. Also, make sure this space is clutter free and organized.
Check the venue rules and restrictions- Believe it or not, some venues force your photographer to stand against the back wall during your whole ceremony. Please check with your venue ahead of time if there are any restrictions your photographer will have to follow and if so, decide whether that works for the style of photos you have in mind for your wedding.
Family photos- Before the big day, it's best to decide how you want to specifically spend the time you have between the ceremony and reception. This time is set for family photos and your bridal portraits but having this part unorganized will cause lots of stress. Know ahead of time who you want included in your photos. Do you want your immediate family, your extended family, or both? Do you want a quick picture of you and your coworkers or a group pick of your old Sorority? Let your photographer know. We understand that you may have family and friends who are going to your wedding whom you haven't seen in years and with everyone there, it's the perfect time to get a photo! When you do decide who you want your photos with, be sure to let your friends and family know ahead of time who needs to stay for the photos and who doesn't.
The Wedding Day: Getting Ready
Have your details ready- When we first arrive you are probably still in the beginning stages of getting ready. This gives us time to take photos of your details so that we're not worried that we'll miss them later and you're not bummed that we never got them when you look through the finished photos. The best way to be prepared would be to have a small bag or basket ready for us to grab with your shoes, jewelry, veil, bouquet, garter, stationary and any special items(something borrowed, something blue, special tag on your dress, etc) you want photographed. Set all of that next to your dress (and don't forget your pretty hanger) so we can grab it all and do our thing and then bring it all back!
Try eating something- When your photographer is busy and out of the room, try to eat as much as you can because you probably won't want him/her taking photos of you stuffing your face. Also, that will probably be the last time you eat something before your reception.
Clean your space- Since we will be out of the room shooting your "deets", now would be a good time to put away anything that you no longer need and designate a space for your bridesmaids to put their stuff. Brides want those beautiful "getting ready" photos but they won't look good if there's clothes and bags all over the floor, food on the counters, and water bottles all over the place. We know you have so much stuff you need for the day but maybe stash it in the bathroom or around a corner or in some cabinets otherwise, we will work around it.
Getting dressed- Before you get your beautiful dress on, make sure your bridesmaids are dressed and your mother is dressed. Trust me, it will look much better if they are already done getting ready when they help you get your dress on rather than having them help zip you up in their pajamas.
The Wedding Day: Ceremony
Take your time- I know walking and standing in front of a lot of people can be nerve-racking but take your time as much as you can. We want to make sure we get you walking up and down the aisle as well as getting both your reactions and the grooms reactions. Also, take your time kissing as man and wife. You only get to do it once in that exact moment and we want to make sure we get a good picture of it!
We want to see everything- I know you probably have 1000 things on your mind while you're up there about to marry the love of your life but try not to block the photographer or the crowd. Make sure everyone can see your unity candle/sand and your faces. You may hate crying in front of everyone but those moments make for good pictures and sweet memories for everyone else.
Smile- Make sure to smile as much as you can whether that be just a smirk or some teeth showing! You are constantly being photographed and it's impossible to photoshop a smile onto your face when editing your photos. If you don't smile it'll look like your zoning out or your not happy standing up there on your wedding day. Looks kind of awkward!
The Wedding Day: Reception
Feed your photographer- If you've read the contract I'm sure you know you have to feed your photographer so I suggest having them eat at the same time as you. This way they won't be taking photos of you chowing down your food and then once they're done they can get some shots of your reception details if they haven't done that already.
Formal send off- You may have already covered this with your photographer before the wedding but make sure to mention whether or not you're having a formal send off. If you're not having a formal send off then we will leave after we feel we have enough dancing photos because after awhile all the photos will start to look the same. Most people do have a formal send off so it's nice to know if you're using bubbles, confetti, or sparklers so we can capture the best photos possible! Also, I suggest that when you're halfway down your tunnel of family and friends sending you off, take a moment to kiss because those are always the cutest photos!
So there you have it! I hope this list is helpful and gives you some ideas to prepare for the best photos of your wedding. Comment below if you have any questions or any other ways that you have found helpful to prepare for awesome photos!