How To Prepare For
Your Wedding Day
“Wedding Day Tips”
For every bride and her family the wedding day could be very stressful and sometimes full with surprises. Indeed, even following months of cautious planning, research and arrangement, things may go not as anticipated. From traffic delays, to weather changes, to vendor and venue issues, there are always things beyond our control that can or will happen. To help you prepare things you can control and what to expect from the wedding photographer during each phase of the wedding day, I have created the following list of wedding day events and the photography related information for each phase.But before I start with listing what to keep in mind and prepare for during each phase of the wedding day, here are two very important points to keep in mind to prepare for your wedding day:
First, I cannot stress enough how important is the good communication between the bride and groom and the wedding photographer prior and during the wedding day. Good communication ensures your wedding photographer is completely aware and prepared for all the events during your wedding. Go over the wedding logistics and clarify any last minute changes or details. Its important to discuss details, so that your wedding photographer and you (the couple) fully understand what to expect while working together on your wedding day.
Second, the wedding photographer will need your help to communicate to your families, friends and guests attending the wedding. You have hired a professional wedding photographer who’s job is to capture all the important moments during your wedding. Everyone is allowed to use their phones and personal digital cameras to take personal pictures but not to interfere with the photographer. It will be unfair to you and to everyone else to block or obstruct the photographer from taking the images you are paying for while your guests are snapping smartphone images of you and your groom.
So here is some useful information and tips to keep in mind for each of the wedding day stages:
1. Bride Getting Ready Photos
This is an exciting time for each bride and an excellent opportunity to capture the excitement and many details from the wedding day. The preparation usually happens at home or at the hotel room booked for the wedding. I spend an average between 1.5 hour to 2.5 hours photographing both the bride and bridesmaids getting ready for the wedding ceremony.
In the beginning as everyone is getting organized and all the wedding accessories are still available, I start with taking pictures of the wedding dress, wedding rings, shoes, veil, bouquet, jewelry and other accessories.
As soon as the bride starts getting ready and the hair and makeup artists starts to prepare her make up and hair, I take many candid (non camera aware) and creative photos of these moments.
After the bride puts on her makeup, we will document the process of the bridesmaids or mother of the bride helping the bride put on wedding dress, shoes and wedding veil.
After the bride is fully dressed, we will work with the bride alone for 5-10 minutes for bridal portrait photos. This is important to have some beautiful photos of the bride.
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: Indeed, even with the best arranging and endeavors, much of the time the cosmetics and hair readiness take longer than initially evaluated. Since this is the principal period of the wedding day, the deferral could come about into being late for the following phases of wedding day and could bring about nerve destroying devastation in the wedding plan. One way to prevent this from happening is for the bride to have a hair and makeup trial run with the hair and makeup artist before the wedding.
2. Groom Getting Ready Photos
Groom getting ready is very similar to the bride getting ready but is much simpler as usually the groom doesn’t require extensive hair and facial makeup.
The images of the groom getting ready are again details and portraits.
Details includes: groom shoes, tie, watch, cuff links, belt, tuxedo.
The portraits include: groom being helped by the best man on putting its tie and tuxedo, putting his watch, interaction between both, with the groomsmen, may be smoking cigars, etc.
The location of the groom getting ready is a different room in the same location or in close proximity to the bride getting ready location, so I usually capture the images of the groom getting ready too.
In some cases, I might have a second photographer (if such has been contracted by the couple) to capture the groom getting ready images. If there are time constraints in the schedule, I would focus first on the bride getting ready and then capture the groom preparation for no more than 15-20 minutes.
3. Wedding Ceremony Photos
Depending on ceremony location such as a church, temple, outdoors in a backyard or in a small chapel, each location has different lighting conditions and flash photography restrictions.
Some locations complicate the picture taking by restricting the photographer’s movement during the ceremony.
You can expect me to capture your ceremony from multiple angles and record the vows, the first kiss, putting the rings and the ceremony location.
It’s best that you and your groom focus on the wedding ceremony and enjoy the moment. I will be taking mostly candid photos of the bride, groom, officiant performing the ceremony and your guests.
Things to keep in mind is to slow down when kissing so I have time to capture multiple images of this moment. Also remember that when the bride, bridesmaids and groomsmen are is walking down the aisle, it looks much better on the photographs it they smile and look forward instead of at their feet or away from the camera.
4. Formal Family Photos
Many wedding clients require that the wedding photographer captures group photos of the bride and groom with their families.
These group photos are carefully posed and very formal.
The entire group is usually standing or sitting and is very camera aware (everyone looks at the camera and smiles).
I have set of formal pictures I usually take for each wedding but if the bride expects to have certain photos, a written list is the best way to ensure no pose is being missed.
I always take multiple photos to ensure everyone is looking at the camera and not blinking on the pictures.
During this stage, the wedding photographer will be focusing on posing everyone, directing and capturing the best images from the group and do not have the time to look for family members (who they are not familiar with) and bring them to the family photo location.
Therefore it is extremely important for the couple to appoint a dedicated wedding coordinator or a family member to bring and organize everyone for the formal family group photos. Having one would save everyone time and efforts, would make the entire photo session less stressful and keep the wedding day moving on schedule.
5. Reception Detail Photos
Before the wedding reception starts and guest enter the venue to get seated and dine, the wedding photographer (or an assistant/second photographer) usually get into the reception room to get pictures of decorations or the entire hall ambiance before guests enter the hall, as these are impossible to capture with everyone standing around and moving about.
These photos include the hall, wall and table decorations, the wedding cake, bride and groom table and anything into the reception hall which adds to your wedding story and anything which is worth capturing.
6. Wedding Reception Photos
The wedding reception is the last phase of the wedding day and usually the energy levels or both bride and groom, as well as their guests is running lower. There are few important events which are scheduled to happen during this phase and to be aware of as they are usually photographed.
I will set up additional lighting (as needed) to capture all the events and ensure you and your guests are well lit and the images and pleasant to look.
I hope this information is valuable for brides, grooms, their families and everyone who is involved into planning or coordinating with a wedding photographer.