13 Wedding Photography Tips for Engaged Couples
You are planning your dream wedding. You want it to be perfect. Every aspect to be flawless. This is going to be a day to remember for the rest of your life. But years from the wedding, all that remains are the moments, emotions and memories captured by your photo and video teams.
Aside from the elegant photography and videography, there are a copious amount of steps that you can take as a bride and groom to guarantee incredible photos. From incorporating a first look to picking out the most beautiful dress or dapper tuxedo, I’ve narrowed down the top 13 best wedding photography tips you should follow as a bride and groom.
1. Create a Mood Board
To deliver the most personalized photography and videography to your vendors, it is important that they understand your personalities, wants, needs, preferences, and relationships. To help them get the best understanding of you, it is important to create a mood board. This mood board can be created on a website like Pinterest to save images that you like and don’t like. This is a great way to visually communicate with your photographer the style of photos you love for your engagement and/or wedding!
2. Hire your Photographers and Videographers from the same company or studio
Hiring your photographer and videographer from the same company is often a better choice for more reasons than not.
a. They share the same creative vision
b. Shared accountability
c. Better communication, workflow, and positioning
d. There are fewer contracts and admin for a combined Photo/Video Package
e. There will be some sort of discount by combining a package rather than having 2 separate packages
3. Schedule enough time for each section of the day
It is crucial that you create a timeline for your wedding day, something that your wedding planner or even your photographer can help you organize. There should be an estimated start and end time for hair, makeup, first look, reception, ceremony, etc. Within that timeline make sure you include all your photo sessions as well. The first look photos, couple photos, family portraits, bridal party shots, the bride and groom individual portraits, bride and groom prep, etc.
4. Minimize Your Locations
In order to maximize photo time on your wedding day, I recommend minimizing the number of photoshoot locations. You don’t want to spend more time traveling from point A to point B than actually taking pictures. Your venues should have enough locations within the grounds to have a successful portrait session, this will also help minimize your locations and maximize your photo time.
5. Hire Quality Vendors
In life, most people want quantity over quality. Well, with your wedding it is the complete opposite. Vendors can influence the flow of your day. This is why I emphasize the importance of selecting the right vendors. You wouldn’t want you a photographer with no wedding experience or a DJ that didn’t play music, would you? Then I suggest selecting quality vendors, regardless of the price, to avoid any stress that may carry over into your wedding photos.
Do your research on each vendor. Check out your venue’s preferred vendor list and most importantly, trust your gut and go with the person who you can relate to most but also has the best quality of work.
6. Plan Enough Time for Hair and Make-up
Delays with hair and makeup will completely throw off the rest of your timeline for the day. Plan to finish the process ahead of schedule. Way too often do I see brides rushing to get things done with unexpected delays. Many great hair and make-up artists will clear a schedule to follow during wedding day preparations.
Your creative team will typically ask for one hour in order to document final touch-ups, detail shots and candid moments.
7. Include Toss Items
Whether it’s in your group photos, during your prep, after the ceremony or as a grand exit, toss items bring a lot of character and fun to your photos. Confetti, flower petals, paper planes, rice, bubbles, paper, sparklers, flowers, the list is endless. You will get candid moments like no other in your photographs, just by incorporating these simple toss items
8. Wear a Long Veil
There is something about putting on a whimsy piece of fabric that makes you finally feel like a bride. A beautiful long veil makes for some of the best photographs. This is why I encourage all my brides to choose a long veil. The creativity is endless and some of the most beautiful portraits from the bride and groom session come when the veil is incorporated.
9. Incorporate a First Look Session
I cannot express this enough. A first look is so beneficial to a wedding day. This will allow for more photo time, an easy schedule of portraits and most importantly, you will get to enjoy the entirety of your cocktail hour. These will be some of the most heartfelt photos, a tradition you cannot forget on your wedding day!
10. Schedule the Couples Session During the Best Lighting
If you booked your venue because of the spectacular view of the ocean, gorgeous vines in the winery, or magnificent mountain ranges, it is essential to schedule your couples session at least 30 minutes before sunset. In the photography world, we call this Golden Hour. It is the most ideal time to capture the romanticism of the new, happily married couple.
11. Schedule Time in Your Ballroom
This is when you finally get to see the reception of your dreams and that you have been planning out for months. It is a great opportunity to capture any photographic moments in an empty ballroom before all of your guests arrive.
12. Include a Sneak Away Session
The glistening sparkle of the night time sky is most definitely something not to mess with. Schedule a time to take “night shots.” Sneak away for 10 minutes and capture some final portraits of you and your new spouse before the night is over. The night sky adds a beautiful touch of romance as well as gives your photographer a chance to let the creative juices flow one more time and get some amazing imagery.
13. Incorporate a Sparkler Send-Off
You’ve planned this elaborate grand entrance, so why not have an elaborate grand EXIT? Sparkler exits are a great way to end a day of celebrations. Not only are sparkler exits fun and exciting, but they make for some amazing photo work. We’ve seen nothing but smiles from guests as they sent off the newlyweds.