It’s happened. The snow is finally melting. You can go outside without looking like you’ve suited up for an arctic expedition. I think I even heard a bird chirp the other day. You know what all this means don’t you? That’s right. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No not Christmas! WEDDING SEASON!
In light of the longer light and impending flurry of tulle, I thought I’d share some wedding day tips from photographer to soon-to-be blissful couple!
Unless you’re eloping you’re probably planning on taking some family photos on your big day. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a shot or twelve of everyone together as they are all there (hopefully), everyone looks nice (hopefully), and everyone is happy (hopefully). And while you may be thinking you’ll just grab some siblings, some parents, and some grandparents all into a couple of lovely smiling pictures, this is one part of your day that can easily go off the rails. You see, large groups of people standing and smiling seems to attract other large groups of people who would also like to stand and smile and before you know it you’re an hour in, your face hurts from saying cheese, and you’re somehow taking formal portraits with your second cousin’s neighbor’s hairdresser and wondering a) will this ever end and b) who invited her anyways?
Everyone wants a shot with the bride and groom and that’s fair because, let’s face it, you’re the star of the show. Your cousin’s neighbor’s hairdresser isn’t, but she’s going to try and pop in there. As your photographer I don’t know if she’s a photo-bomber or treasured relation, so I’ll take the shot if I don’t know better. A good way to avoid this situation and get some beautiful family photos with your actual family is to make a list of all the photos you’d like in advance and give it to your photographer. That way I know how many groups we are doing, who’s important to you for these photos, and who can take a selfie at the reception. And I will stick to your list like a bug on a bumper, don’t you worry. My second tip would be to let those selected for a family photo know ahead of time so they don’t make a McDonald’s run immediately following your ceremony. Being stuck in a permanent state of statuesque smiling for what feels like years while we search for Aunt Betty probably isn’t on your list of must-have wedding experiences.
I LOVE when you bring your furry family member to share in your big day. Dogs, cats, llamas, budgies, miniature horses, full sized horses…bring them on! If they are a part of your life and you want them to share in this magical day I’m all for it. I’ll bring the pupperoni treats, hold your llama, and make best friends with your budgie. I would just recommend that you dress test them in advance. No, I’m not suggesting you have them try on your wedding gown. While that would be comical it would probably have disastrous results for both you and your dress. I mean ensure your beloved critter is not petrified of your beautiful, rustling, sweeping, billowing outfit of their nightmares. 99% of pets are completely unfazed by your attire on your big day. It’s that 1% that has me worried. The dog that thinks your train is alive and thus he must save you from it, the cat who strongly believes you have been taken over by a white demon, or the docile pony who does a shockingly good impression of a rodeo bronco when a gust of wind lifts your veil. Just saying, it’s better to find this out with a sheet in your backyard then in your Vera Wang in the middle of your ceremony.
Surprise! Your photographer was in the bathroom.
Surprises are the best. Mixing up your reception with some unexpected twists and turns for your guests, new husband, wedding party, or even for the bride and groom are a great way to put personality into your big day. If you are planning a flash mob, appearance by Beyonce, or fireworks please please let me know so I can be ready to catch that moment of “OMG I can’t believe this is happening!”. Receptions are when photographers take a 15 second bathroom break, and surprises happen in 15 seconds or less. I promise my lips are sealed, just give me the inside scoop so I can give you back that moment of amazement.
These are just a few fun tips to help make sure your big day goes off without a hitch (or angry llama)! No matter what I’m here for you to make sure you’re having the best possible day and that it shines out of each and every image in your wedding gallery. Can’t wait to see you tie the knot!
“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”
— Andy Warhol