As wedding photographers, it's always our goal to capture all the details of your wedding day that you've put so much energy and thought into. However, even more than that, we want to capture and preserve those beautiful moments and feelings you'll experience so that through our images you can continue to feel and re-live them again and again every time you revisit them. Naturally, we want your images to reflect that and be as beautiful as possible, and through our experiences photographing weddings, we've learned some amazing tips to share with you that will help us to give you exactly what you deserve- the best quality and most gorgeous photos possible.
1. Get plenty of sleep and eat breakfast
This seems like pretty obvious advice, but it's so important! Whatever your plans may be the night before you wedding, make it clear to your family, friends, and your partner that an early (or at least decent) bed time is a must. Do something calming that you enjoy to settle any nerves before bed and then snuggle in for some good rest. You'll be thanking yourself for it the next morning (and night) when you have the energy to enjoy your day! To top it off, you'll be fresh faced in your photos (lack of sleep shows!) Also don't forget breakfast- getting hangry (or having a drop in blood sugar) is not a fun way to spend your wedding day! You'll be more present and able to enjoy your time taking photos when you're not worrying about a rumbly tummy.
2. Find the light
Natural light is always the most flattering type of light and makes for such lovely photos. When looking for a venue, keep in mind that dark windowless rooms, both for your getting ready space and your ceremony space, will drastically affect how your photos look. We always suggest searching out rooms that let in lots of natural light- you'll be much happier with your images when you take this into account! That being said- we are lighting ninjas and will always find a way to capture some lovely images no matter your choice of venue!
3. Clean Up
A room full of women all getting ready at the same time can leave your space looking like a tornado ran through it! Kindly ask your bridesmaids, or a family member, to pick up trash and tidy up a little before we get there. Your photos will have fewer distractions and look so much better! Guys, this goes for you too- throw away the solo cups (or just ditch those all together for some classier bar ware) and toss those food wrappers!
4. Hire professional hair and makeup artists
Many of us have amazing friends who are great at doing hair and/or makeup that you may be tempted to ask to do yours and your bridesmaids for your wedding. While that can be a good way to help with your budget, we really still encourage you to hire professionals for this- for multiple reasons. They have amazing training for doing exactly this, and with the combination of their skills and hi-end makeup and styling products, you can be assured that you photograph beautifully (one less thing you have to stress about!). Poorly done hair and makeup can have a HUGE effect on how you look in your photos. Another reason is that they are fast. They know what they are doing and will keep you on schedule. Also, if you don't like how your friend does your hair and makeup there can be some resentment that builds between the two of you- ain't nobody got time for that! Feel free to ask us for recommendations- we know some amazing artists!
This may be one of the biggest tips on our list. Good communication with your photographers is essential. Do you have some details you are incorporating that are important to you, such as a pocket watch your grandfather gave you, or a ring that's been passed down through your family, or maybe you even just LOVE your matching cons, or comic book inspired cufflinks? Whatever it may be, make sure you communicate that you'd like photos of those items. If we don't know about it, we won't know to photograph it! Even more importantly- if you have a guest/friend/family member that you absolutely don't want to miss a photo with, please make that clear before hand. Immediate family, friends, and members of your wedding party we will always make sure to get for you. However, if there is someone we wouldn't know is important to you- such as a college roommate, childhood friend, a great uncle who flew in from overseas- please let us know. We don't want to miss that!
Consider an unplugged wedding (or at least a cell phone/camera free ceremony!) We want to make sure we get the best photos possible for you, and we'd hate to miss something like your first kiss because a guest leaned/stood/stepped into the aisle to take a photo with their phone or tablet! This can be as easy as asking your officiant to make a "no phones/cameras" announcement at the beginning of your ceremony. It also encourages your guests to be present with you during this important moment, instead of experiencing it through the screen of their phone.
No, we mean REALLY kiss! A nice long smooch gives us the opportunity to really get a great first kiss photo for you! A quick peck on the lips can be hard to catch.
8. Just say no to disco
Colored disco lights that is (now if you boogied down to disco that'd be totally rad!) But seriously, colored disco lights never photograph well. We recommend, at the least, to turn them off for your first dances- also the cake cutting, toasts, and bouquet/garter toss (if you are having those). No one looks good with a big splotch of green or red light hitting the middle of their face!
9. Let us in on the surprise
This is another situation where communication is key! If you have any surprise dances/songs/speeches planned we should know about, give us a heads up about when they may happen so we are in a prime spot to catch them.
10. Be present
It is SO easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of the day, but really try and remind yourself to be present and in the moment. Stop and breathe, smile, and soak it in, and take some moments to yourselves. You've been planning this how long? For goodness sake, enjoy it! Don't be afraid to delegate tasks to friends or family (and of course a good wedding planner!) It will help take the stress of remembering things you need to do off your mind so that you have the ability to really relax and enjoy this day with one another. The moments of love and happiness will be enjoyed so much more, you'll remember them better through the years, and we'll be there to capture them for you.
Amy & Chuck