Wedding Day Tips
The more thought-out and well-planned I am for your event, the better I can focus on the job of capturing your day. I consider it part of my job to inform you of the most efficient way to get beautiful photos, with respect to the entire day. I will work with you on creating your timeline and shot list and am here to answer any questions you may have. I’ll offer suggestions on your timeline from my experience, but will leave any final decisions up to you, because, in the end, it’s your day!
When to have me start/end ~ Starting photography coverage with plenty of time before the ceremony to photograph getting-ready, take portraits, details of the ceremony site and guests arriving will help to tell the story of your day best. If you are limited in coverage time, I think it’s best to err on the side of more before coverage than reception coverage because there are only so many photos of guests dancing that you’ll want.
Getting ready ~ Leave plenty of time for this sweet part of the day – I recommend 1.5 hrs of photography coverage. Try to find a getting ready space that has great light – think lots of big windows and space to move around so you’re not cramming you and whoever is getting ready with you into a crowded hotel room. Ask your bridesmaids to do a pickup of the room 10 minutes before I arrive so that you’re not getting coffee cups and bras in the background of your photos. Add 30-40 minutes onto however long your hair and makeup people say you’ll need – this is the part of the day that always tends to go over time!
To do a first look or not ~ My answer is YES! I’m a big fan of this newer ritual for a few reasons: 1. it’s an opportunity for more photos of the two of you 2. you will be SO much calmer having seen your beloved before the ceremony (seriously, every couple I’ve had do this says every time “I’m so glad we’re doing this!”) 3. it’s a sweet, sweet moment to see each other the first time in private (and no, it will not take away from “that moment” when you’re walking down the aisle. I promise.) 4. you’ll get to do all your bridal party and immediate family photos before the ceremony. You and your people will have to be ready earlier in the day but will have more time post-ceremony to really BE at your wedding.
Group photos ~ Plan for 25 minutes for immediate family photos, 25 for bridal party and 35 for extended family. On average, it takes 2-4 minutes per group to photograph – however, it takes much more time to photograph larger groups, even if they are all present and not disappearing to the bar and the bathroom. Groups of 9 or more can be a huge time-suck so I suggest having as few of these shots as possible, and let me photograph those people more candidly. Although taking posed portraits is fun at first, in the end you will want to experience your day not just standing in front of a camera and these portraits ALWAYS take longer than you expect.
Couples’ portraits ~ The only posed portraits I feel are best not to skimp on are couples’ portraits. Ideally, I’d like to have at least 30 minutes for the two of you but, if you can spare more time, we can do a lot more and have more freedom in our locations and ideas. You won’t regret spending more time on these photos! A great option is to break up the portrait sessions into 2 smaller groups: an abbreviated session after the ceremony and then one just before sunset when the light is beautiful and glowy. This allows me to use several different locations with different lighting and also allows you to take a break from your reception to just be with each other, which couples have told me is awesome and much appreciated. Remember that the best light for taking portraits is in the later afternoon or early evening, just before sunset, so keep this in mind when planning your ceremony time. Of course, I can make due with any lighting circumstances, but pretty light is preferable!