A lot of brides always ask, “What can I do to have the best photos?” Well of course, choose a photographer that you click with and trust 100% to orchestrate your wedding day photos. But other than that, as a bride, there are things you can do personally that will not only take stress off of you, but help your photographer tremendously. So what are they?
- Details: Have all of your details ready for your photographer upon their arrival. I can’t stress how much more time consuming and stressful it is when your photographer has to hunt down rings, shoes, or even the dress. So if you know that you will not be getting ready at your venue but people will be there setting up, have someone that IS NOT a member of your bridal party drop of your dress and all other details before the photographer arrives. This includes: dress, shoes, perfume bottle, bouquet, garter, all jewelry, sentimental items (handkerchief, heirloom, etc.), veil, and an invitation suite. If I know that details are arriving early, so will I, so that that can be finished and headed straight into the getting ready photos upon the brides arrival. Which leads me to my next point…
- If you are not getting ready at your venue because of time constraints or because your H&MU artist does not or can not travel that day, than be sure to start hair and makeup one hour earlier than you think you should because in the emergency that something or someone is running behind you ave no reason to stress. Most venues only allow you a certain amount of time to be at that location. So if you can’t arrive until 3 and your ceremony is at 5:30, then your H&MU should be done in enough time for you to be sitting in the parking lot ready to walk in at 3! You might be thinking, “Baylee, thats a little extreme?” I promise that I have had multiple brides come back after their photos were running an hour behind because someone was running late or still waiting on H&MU and say, “Man, I wish we would have started H&MU a little earlier because now we don’t have enough time to get the photos I wanted.”
- LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT! What a biggie! When booking your venue look for a room with ALOT of natural light! This will be the room your your getting ready photos, window shots, and just all around a great room for photos! Secondly, if your reception is outdoors or somewhere like a barn with very low light, then make sure to string lots and lots of lights up! These are great because they are in expensive, and for those of you who are after Christmas shoppers, they are always on sale! They are also the perfect way to keep the dance floor lit and intimate at the same time (yes, it can be both!). Overall, light is so important.
- Planning ceremony time: This is another one of the bigger questions I get more frequently. What time should my ceremony be? Always, always, always google the sunset time once you pick your wedding date. I promise google knows the answer no matter how far away! lol. You want to allow atleast an hour of sunlight after your ceremony ends. So if the sunset is at 6:30pm that means the sun is gone at 6:30pm. So you will want your ceremony to end around 5:15! Which means plan on your ceremony beginning at 4:30! I know that seems a little crazy, but you honestly have the best light for your couples photos if you approach timing your ceremony like above.
- Finally, Family portraits: The most stressful but also the most important. Now, Lord knows if you have a family anything like mine it is a big one. It’s full of people of all ages, and may feel a lot like herding cattle to gather for one photo (I promise I love my family very very much! Ha!). As soon as your ceremony is over, people will be sprinting out of the door trying to greet you and tell you congratulations. Meanwhile your photographer is running around like crazy trying to hunt down Grandma Betty so that you don’t have to miss any congratulations. Now I don’t know about you, but I spend more time trying to hunt down immediate family members for photos than I do actually taking the photos. So to make this event a lot less stressful and time consuming for both you and your photographer, tell your family periodically throughout the two weeks leading up to your wedding and get on the big screen at your rehearsal dinner if you have to, to inform them that immediate family members should meet at a designated location at the venue directly after the ceremony for family pictures. I promise that you will look back in 10 years and be thankful that you went through the effort to get grandma and grandpa into the pictures.
I know this was a long read, but brides, these are some really important things that most people forget about or don’t think about doing! Below you will see some photos that are a result of some of my past brides doing the things listed above. Yes, planning a wedding can be stressful, but that is exactly why I am here to help remind you of the little things! If you are a past bride, please feel free to comment any advice you might have for brides to come!