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They say wedding photos are the most important part of your wedding, because it’s the only thing you have after the splendor of the day is over (besides a husband that is!!!) Days, weeks and decades after your wedding day, the memories will all come flooding back looking back at your pictures from your amazing day.
The first time you look through them, you might remember things you already forget happened. You’ll smile at the laughter captured during toasts, and reminisce on the perfect day that went by too fast. Hiring a photographer you not only trust and love their work, but also one who’s personalities mesh with yours is so important in making sure you love your pictures. They will do an amazing job preserving moments that turn into memories, but there are a few ways you can help set your photographer up to make their job easy to make you look straight out of a magazine on your wedding day!!!
START WITH A PHOTOGRAPHY-MINDED TIMELINE
The first and biggest way to make sure you have a ton of amazing pictures is to plan your timeline with photos in mind! Make sure to give ample time for your photographer to be able to find the best locations, time to walk to and from photo spots, and be creative! I usually recommend 45 minutes for details, 30 minutes each for bridesmaids, groomsmen and wedding party, 1 hour for bride and groom and 45 minutes for family photos as a staring place! Plus any extra time will give more time for pictures or sipping mimosas and relaxing. If something else runs late, you’ll have extra wiggle room in other parts of the day! Talk with your photographer before you print and send out your invitations so they can help you create a timeline together to fit in everything you want captured!!
DO AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION WITH YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
There are about ten thousand reasons why you should do an engagement session WITH your wedding photographer. Not just a friend with a camera, but the person you’re trusting your wedding day to. First, it gives you both a chance to get to know each other in person, and in front of the camera, which leads to an even better wedding photo experience! It allows you and your fiancee to get comfortable with being in front of the camera and it allows your photographer to get to know you and your relationship. Then when your wedding day rolls around, you already know the best ways to stand and interact together so you can get the most of photo time! The engagement session will give the three of you an amazing wedding day experience so your wedding pictures are even better than you imagined!!!
CHOOSE A GETTING READY SPACE WITH LOTS OF WINDOWS
Candid getting ready pictures and cute shots of the girls in their robes or getting hair and makeup done are such a fun way to start documenting the start of your wedding day! When you pick where you and the girls get ready, there are two big things you should look for so your pictures turn out beautiful! The first and most important is having lots of windows and natural light! Natural light is so flattering on everyone and it will be so helpful for your photographer to get great-well lit shots and it will help your makeup artist have great light so you all look flawless! The second thing to think of is having light or neutral colored walls for the space! Off whites, creams, tans, and even pale but bright walls like the one above allow more light to bounce around and help make sure your skin tones look true to life! If the room you have already chosen is dark with colored, heavy walls, try to find another room nearby you would be able to go to for pictures!!
HAVE YOUR BRIDAL DETAILS READY TO GO
The morning of the wedding is a blur of makeup, curling irons, giggles and mimosas! You picked out special pieces to wear on your wedding day – your grandmothers necklace, gorgeous heels, and of course something old, new, borrowed, and blue! Have all your pretty things that you’ll use for getting ready, including an invitation suite, perfume, veil and your wedding band set, in a cute tote bag so they don’t get lost or misplaced in all the tulle and chiffon. Consider how they all look together as well, choosing cohesive colors and styles that match the rest of your day! When your photographer arrives to start the day, you can hand them that bag and your wedding dress, and they can start photographing your details, which tell a huge part of your wedding day story!!!
WEAR A VEIL
Cathedral length, birdcage, drop, lace, ivory, there are so many styles and varieties of veils to choose from! Of course it’s totally up to your personal taste whether to wear a veil and what type! Adding a veil your stunning white gown is what completes the look and makes you look like a BRIDE!!! The longer the veil the better! Here are some examples or what you can do with long veils!
There is so much more variety and creativity that are added to your bride & groom, and bridal portraits when you wear a veil! Longer veils can be pulled over both your heads for intimate, emotional wedding portraits, or swooped toward the camera to add dimension and hide distractions in the background, or it can also blow in the wind to add movement and drama like the top image!! They are also great to have for your detail photos, and if you don’t want a veil the whole time, you can just have it for a few bridal photos and the first few couples photos and then take it off!! Its worth the investment, and also consider having one custom made for a better price!
DO A FIRST LOOK!
There are a lot of pros to doing a first look, on top of the beautiful moment when he turns and first sees you in your wedding dress! Having time for a private, special moment just you two is one of the biggest! Especially if you are a bit more of a private person, it can help take the nerves away from the pressure at the ceremony and give you sweet memories and photos to cherish later! It’s a day that’s all about your love, but you’re both constantly surrounded by other people. Often couple’s don’t get a moment alone together until they leave the reception in their getaway! Having a first look give you the ability to spend quality time together soaking up your wedding day!
First looks add so much for photos too! Not only is it another chance, on top of you walking down the aisle, for him to see you (it can be just as special and give two chances for him to get teary-eyed), they also give you freedom. Freedom to get all of your pictures, or as many of them as you want, done before the ceremony so you can attend cocktail hour! When you do a first look, you have the option to do the photos that you’re both in together before or after the ceremony, like family formals, all the wedding party, and of course your bride and groom portraits!
HAVE REAL FLOWERS FOR YOUR BOUQUETS!
Real flowers cost almost the same as fake flowers, but they look so much prettier, smell better, and photograph better! Real flowers look more luxurious and there are a ton of ways you can save them after your wedding! Saving your bouquet to dry after the wedding, and pressing a few blooms will give you a lot of options to preserve them for special uses in your new home! From pressed petal jewelry to Christmas ornaments filled with dried pieces, to wall art and shadow boxes there are endless options! Check out more articles for ideas for your wedding bouquet and Etsy has some great ways to preserve your wedding florals! You can also head to the Vendor Recommendations page for great referrals!
PLAN FOR LOTS OF PORTRAIT TIME!
On your wedding day, the pictures you get with your husband-to-be are some of the most treasured photos. Those are the ones that go on your thank you cards, that you hang on the walls of your new home, and tell the story of your love. Giving plenty of time allows you and your photographer to find the best spots for pictures, and also give time for you both to relax and be yourselves in front of the camera. Plus it gives you time for a lot of variety in your images too! I usually recommend building in at least one hour, either in one chunk of time or split up into separate parts of the day and a few different locations. Talk with your wedding photographer as you start to plan your timeline together!
DO A CEREMONY & RECEPTION EXIT
These are so much fun because you get to let loose and celebrate!! Ceremony exits are typically when you leave the church or ceremony venue, where the guests blow bubbles, wave ribboned-wands, or toss rice or confetti! You’ll have to check with your venue on rules. Rice or birdseed are traditional, but some places won’t allow it. In that case, bubbles, bells, or confetti made from leaves are great options that are friendly for the environment!!
For the ceremony exit, these are fun night shots when your guests send you off to your honeymoon, at the end of the night, or just before the photographer leaves! You can use traditionally sparklers if the venue allows it, or you can use glow sticks like Jeff & Carole did, or even cell phone flashlights!!!
At the end of t day, the best thing you can do to make sure you have magazine-worthy photos isn’t about the perfect photographer or timeline though, it’s about YOU! Be yourselves together, put some thought into how you want to look and feel in your wedding photos. Convey that to your fiancee and consider it when choosing and planning with your photographer. The more moments you share together soaking up your wedding day, whether in front of the camera or in a private moment between the two of you, make sure you give yourself the time and space to just be yourselves. Together.
whether that's capturing your memories or making sure your day runs smoothly