The Truth Is In The Details
Look for a large and well-lit room to get ready in, and try to keep it as tidy as possible (assign a DSC: ‘designated stuff corner’ for everyone to put their bags and belongings in), this keeps unsightly items out of your photos. I have to add that you shouldn’t stress if things get out of hand, your photographer might just go all OCD on anything in the way.
It’s lovely to use family heirlooms and special items on your wedding day. Let your photographer know about it, to make sure you get some gorgeous pics of everything sentimental.
Get all your detail items (shoes, jewelry, perfume, shoes etc) together in one spot so they are ready for your photographer. Also, remember to get a pretty hanger for your dress, unless you want pictures of it on the plastic one you received with it.
Make sure your photographer is kept in the loop regarding everything from timeline to the family formal shot list and any restrictions regarding the ceremony or reception. Let them know which aspects or shots are most important to you on your wedding day.
Try and keep your family formal list restricted to the VIP’s in your lives and appoint an assertive friend or family member to get everyone together and make the process run as smooth as possible. This will avoid wasting time and stop Aunt Vera from taking up 15 minutes by asking for individual portraits with your 12 cousins and their various partners and children.
It’s also a great idea to you send your photographer a list of your other vendors beforehand (make-up, hair, DJ, flowers and décor etc.) so they can see if they have worked with anyone previously and can perhaps credit them later on in social media posts.
Can I Send You Some Ideas?
Pinterest is AWESOME! I have various boards myself that I use for inspiration and new ideas. But it should be just that: inspiration; and not be used as a copy and paste tool, to recreate each one to the most minute detail. Send your photographer a link to your boards so they can get an idea of what you find beautiful and what is most important to you, but trust them to do their job and create images that will land up being repinned by other brides.
To pick up where the previous point ended: trust your photographer. You picked him/her for a reason, allow them to do their job without micromanaging. Each photographer has an individual style and manner of doing things. This is the reason it is important to meet your photographer beforehand (Skype if you must), so that you can get to know one another and develop a rapport that will result in a fantastic working relationship and give you gorgeous memories to treasure.
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
If nothing else, photographers are slaves to light. The lighting of any scene lends a certain mood and feel to the final images. Although good photographers can take stunning pics in almost any condition and external light sources can sometimes not be avoided, I can promise you that you will not get those soft, dreamy and romantic images you pinned on Pinterest if you schedule your bridal session for 12pm, it’s just not going to happen. Photographers will often wax lyrical about the ‘golden hour’ and there is a very valid reason for it so try and schedule your wedding in such a way that these photos are taken later in the afternoon.
Time Is On Your Side… No, It’s Not
Your timeline needs to be realistic and make allowances for slight delays and disruptions. Keep in mind that many of your vendors work on the clock and that any extra work will most likely carry an extra charge.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that your guests might start becoming restless if everything runs waaaaay over schedule, there is nothing worse than people who are hungry and bored. Yes, it is your wedding day, but it would be a good idea to take your guests and their needs into consideration as well.
Unplug Your Ceremony
Everyone is always so excited to attend a wedding, and many of your guests will want to take their own photos, from Aunt Vera (yes, her again) with her humongous tablet, to your cousin Michael (his mom, Vera, is convinced he has an eye for photography and she still can’t understand why you didn’t just let him do your photos with his ‘mik-en-druk’ camera he got for Christmas).
I would never dream of saying you should ban all electronic devices and cameras for the entire day, but it might be a good idea to at least unplug the ceremony and then allow your guests to snap away afterwards (as long as they don’t get in the way of your photographer during the most important moments).
Planning a wedding is stressful and the amount of information you are bombarded with is staggering. The most important thing to remember is that, in essence, the day is about you and your fiancé and the promise you make to one another.
Everything is over in a flash and in the bigger scheme of things no one is going to remember that the napkins were placed incorrectly on the tables, or that the flowers were not the exact shade of pink you wanted. There comes a certain point where you have to, in the immortal words of Queen Elsa, ‘let it go’.
And have fun.
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