Dresses, suits, flowers, photography, videography, wedding venues, food, wine – the list goes on. They are all very personal choices on your wedding day, and they should reflect your personality. The wrong choices can put a damper on things. Stay strong during the planning process and don’t be too heavily influenced by some of your much-loved family members and friends.
The whole day begins with the details. This is one of the photographers’ favorite parts of the wedding day because it allows us to prepare and get our creative side warmed up for the rest of the day, also everything truly lies within the details.
If possible, collect all your details before the photographers arrive so that we don’t waste time getting everything together on the spot rather to have more time for some “getting ready” shots of you. Think about all your unique wedding details, wedding invitation, rings, paneri, flowers and jewelry are all gorgeous details that shouldn’t be forgotten and you should gather them all together. Even something that has sentimental value to you and you’d like it to have a place in your images, get that too!
HIS: Shoes, ring, ring box, bowtie or tie, tie clip, pocket square, watch, cuff links, boutonnieres, perfume, etc.
HERS: Shoes, ring(s), ring box, bracelets, earrings, necklace, hair pieces, perfume, wedding bouquet, corsages, etc.
Sometimes, depending on the theme of the wedding day, there may be some extra elements that you could include when you gather your details. For example, if you have a rustic themed wedding that consists of some wooden parts, maybe save a small piece of wood for me to use when shooting your rings and jewelry. This makes for beautiful, consistent fine art album spreads.
Try to hang your dress somewhere nice and accessible before you are ready to put it on. That way your photographer can get shots of the bridal preparations with the dress in the background as well as the dress by itself. This really helps to tell the story and gives context to the images. Consider hanging it on a pretty bridal hanger or even a personalized wooden one instead of a plastic one. Same applies for the groom’s suit/tuxedo.
This part of the day can often be tricky as the room is usually flooded with people that came to be with you from early on your wedding day and experience the whole thing by your side but really, it doesn’t have to be. Make sure the room you chose to use for your allamata has some great light sources like big windows or doors that can really lit up the room and help produce the images we are after but also is spacious enough so there’s room for the photographers to move around without stepping on your guests feet. If you have the option to do this outside on a patio or a garden, by all means go ahead! Most of the times we would opt to go for an outside allamata experience, just make sure there is shade or overcast and it’s not during the hottest day! Something to keep in mind is that we usually recommend to avoid taking pictures with your friends and family during the zomata phase while the music is still going strong, rather take the family and friends pictures right afterwards. This helps to respect the timeline of your wedding day and avoid awkward moments of where to position yourselves or weird smiles, less stress overall, but most importantly keeps you in the mood instead of pausing every 10 seconds to take a photo. Don’t worry though we will take those images right after!
When you are looking for and thinking about the place you want to get ready for your wedding day, keep an eye out for a room with at least one big window. Having more than one window is even better, but at least one allows for a lot of great natural light to spill into your room. Not only does natural light set the mood and tone for a fantastic day, but it also allows the photographer to have more control of the light and be more creative. If you love soft, bright, and beautiful photos and details, you’ll want a room with windows
This is a big deal! Having light-colored walls and clean, uncluttered rooms and backgrounds is everything! Having vibrantly colored walls, dark walls, or distracting objects on the walls will distract the viewer of your photos from what is the most important, you! We’re sure that you would rather have the attention on you, your bridesmaids and groomsmen, and the details of your day rather than have the color of the walls or objects on the walls be the attention grabbers.
Along with neutral-colored walls, be aware of any clutter in the room. That means magazines, pizza boxes, dress bags, water bottles even hanging frames on the wall that seem out of place should be placed in another room. Before we arrive, save time and get additional images by ensuring that your rooms clutter-free.
We’ve done getting ready photos in a room the size of a closet before, and it was cramped. Imagine stuffing two photographers, two cinematographers, a bride, a makeup artist, bridesmaids, and equipment into a small walk-in closet. It sounds a bit claustrophobic. When you search for the best getting ready room, keep the number of people in mind and the space that will be comfortable. Your bridesmaids, and even your closed to heart ones will thank you for it. Same applies for the groom.
Light can make or break your wedding photos, so it’s important to try to plan your wedding to give your photographer the good stuff. Late in the day is best for your wedding photos. Try not to plan your photos in the middle of the day, or early afternoon. Unless it’s overcast, you’re asking for trouble. Strong sunlight means harsh shadows and harsh shadows is usually a no-no.
Additionally, if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, consider the sun. An early ceremony in dappled light is a killer. It’s very hard to fix up a patch of shadow on your face and walking from sunlight to shadow as you walk down the aisle is a very tricky scenario for anyone to manage.
The best time to start your ceremony is 2 hours before sunset. You can google what time the sun sets on your wedding day. The reason why you want to start your ceremony 2 hours before sunset, is because this gives us time to capture all formal photos. Which include the family photos, bridesmaids photos, groomsmen photos, and bride and groom photos right in time for sunset.
Once you arrive at the ceremony, make sure to not exit the vehicle before your photographer arrives as well in order to capture that beautiful shot of you emerging from the car. If someone is assisting you out of the vehicle, make sure to prep them ahead of time, so they open the door from the direction towards which it opens so that the photographer has a clear view. With that in mind, remember to avoid any wardrobe mishaps.
Please, keep your eyes up and walk slowly down the aisle. Too often, brides will look down at their feet so try and keep your head straight and your eyes up. If your guests’ attention is overwhelming, distract yourself by looking ahead at your partner. Otherwise, feel free to look around and make eye contact with your family and guests. But please, don’t look at the floor.
No matter what type of kiss you decide to go for, the one thing you want to make sure you do is hold this kiss for at least three seconds, preferably five. This way your photographer and videographer will have plenty of time to capture and frame the perfect shot. If you do not hold your kiss long enough, you risk not having the shot captured perfectly.
After the photographers are in position and your guests are preferably in two straight lines waiting for your grand exit as a married couple you will get the signal from the photographers to start walking towards them. A wedding exit can be made more memorable by including toss items for your guests. This will add an extra touch to your photos, radiating excitement and resulting in genuine smiles and laughter from you and your guests. For an eco-friendly wedding toss, use pretty dried flowers, fresh leaves, floral petals, dried lavender, bubbles, sparklers and the hall of famer, rice. Please remember to avoid any cringe or annoyed faces when you are thrown things, we know it can really be annoying getting thrown stuff in your face but take it like the champ you are, enjoy it put on a smile, it will only last for a few seconds after all and the images will look amazing – also remember to stop and kiss before reaching the photographers position, make it last, it’s worth it!
On your wedding day, kindly ask your guests to be considerate and not “jump” in front of the photographers, especially during the ceremony formal/group portraits. Often, we have to wait for the guests taking photos with their phones or tablets to finish so that we can continue documenting the day. While we understand they are eager to take photos, it is advisable for them to always keep some distance between the photographer and themselves to avoid surprises.
Also, it is advisable to let your guests know that they should not be asking your wedding photographer to snap pictures of them using their personal cameras or cellphones. Such distractions are a poor use of the time you have allocated for wedding photography service.
The classic golden hour, is one of the most noteworthy times of the day for the couple and their wedding photographer to regroup and shoot a quick session with this stunning light. This is a time for you to relax and spend some time with each other away from all that is happening on your wedding day. To take a breath, reset, and just be together as a married couple for the first time. Along with your photographer you can create those gorgeous and real moments between you both, just make sure you allocate enough time for this happen, ideally 20 to 30 minutes after the ceremony or before the party during sunset should do the trick gloriously.
This is when we’ll be shooting candid photos of the bride and groom walking in the reception. Keep in mind that after the photographers are in position and give the signal for you to enter you should do so only then, as we need time to get ready for your entrance and entering by yourselves is not advisable as it may result to missed shots. Additionally, you may want to communicate with your wedding planner or DJ to turn off any colorful or distracting lighting and to only leave on the warm, ambient lighting for the entrance, cake cutting, first dance, any special parent dances. Opt for candles, fairy lights and other warm light sources. The party lights can come on once it’s time to let loose on the dance floor!
Your first dance is one of the final highlights of the day so make sure to put some thought into the setting it is going to take place in. Look for a nice area with a beautiful background and lots of space for your guests to stand and watch. Make sure you allow yourself a bit of time alone together on the dance floor and savor it. It’s a minute or two that you should enjoy alone. If your bridal party swamp the dance floor too early, you may miss out on that one magic image that could be a treasure to you for the rest of your life. We usually recommend if there is no one in the background rather than just the background and you two on the foreground makes for so much better images instead of random people standing in the back like waiters, DJs and or guests.
To sum this whole guide up, tips and tricks or wedding hacks if you will, it’s understood that a massive amount of planning has gone into your wedding, and it is one of the most important days of your life. Everything won’t necessarily be perfect and that is OK. Once the day arrives, it’s time to let things unfold and let your bride tribe and groom gang take care of any little issues that pop up. This is your wedding day, and it will go by faster than you can imagine. Slow down, focus on each other, and take the magic in. The most important thing is that you’re standing next to your best friend and love of your life! Your photographer will capture all the monumental moments, therefore live each of these moments as fully as possible.
Your bold enjoyment and raw emotions, will make for the best images and memories to keep forever.
Take a breath, be yourself and seize the moment.