01. Light is your best friend!
When you decide on your venue and where you are getting ready, keep lighting in mind!! Where does the sun set? Will it set behind you or in front of you? Were you planning on getting married in the early afternoon when the sun will be high in the sky? These are all important questions to ask, and ultimately determine how your pictures will look.
Two hours before sunset is an ideal time for a ceremony, that way, we have adequate time to take formal photos (family, bridal party, as well as bride and groom portraits) afterwards. Having a first look? Schedule your ceremony one hour before sunset, because we’ll get a lot of the formal photos done beforehand! If you plan on getting married earlier in the afternoon, keep in mind that the lighting will most likely be harsh if you aren’t in a shaded area.
Another important time to keep lighting in mind on your wedding day is while you’re getting ready. I strongly recommend getting ready somewhere that there is a lot of natural light coming in from windows. I also recommend turning off any artificial lights because they give off a not-so-pretty yellow tint. Sometimes, your make-up artist and hair stylist will put on these lights so they can see better, but if possible, get ready closer to the window! I promise your getting ready pictures will come out so much better.
Bonus tip! When getting ready, I also recommend keeping things as tidy as possible, that way there isn’t too much clutter (aka undies, bras, fast food bags, water bottles, tampons, etc.) in the back of your shots.
02. They say rain is good luck on your wedding day.
While this sucks, it happens sometimes. Make sure to have a back-up plan! We will need to find locations for the formal pictures, so again, keep window light in mind if possible! Ask your venue if they have a back-up plan when there is rain. Where does the ceremony take place? The first look? Will all of the guests fit inside? Is there enough space somewhere to take family portraits? Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It’s better to be prepared then stressed on your wedding day!
03. All up in your business.
During the ceremony, I’ll be moving around quite often. I recommend making sure there is at least 6 feet between your first row of seats and where you two stand will be standing, that way I won’t be squishing in between you and your guests during the ceremony. If there isn’t a lot of room, I will pretty much just stand in between you guys and say “I told you so”.
Also keep space in mind when planning your first look (if you are). If the first look is happening in a hall way or on a staircase, make sure there is enough space for me to walk by, or enough space to see the groom’s reaction if I’m following behind the bride.
04. This is a technology free zone.
A huge thing that doesn’t look good in photos is people trying to “get the gram” in your wedding photos. I’ve heard a horror story that a photographer didn’t get the first kiss because a guest stood up in front of the photographer to take a picture with their phone. I encourage you to tell your guests to put their phones away during the ceremony. They won’t ruin a photo, plus, all the attention will be on you. Isn’t that the point, anyways?!
05. Why lipstick doesn’t always look good.
Correction: lipstick most definitely looks good on you, but not always on your groom (unless he rolls that way, then ignore this whole tip). When you two kiss, most lipsticks will transfer on to your hubby to be, and most likely, he won't be too happy about it. You guys will be kissing A LOT during pictures and all through out the wedding. If the lipstick is not a high quality stain, the lipstick will transfer onto his lips and all over his face.
6. First looks = best looks.
Again, this is just my opinion and suggestion! Some couples like to keep it traditional and I am totally okay with that! One reason I believe first looks are the best looks is because there is no pressure! You don't have a large group of people staring at you when you first see each other. This, in my opinion, makes it a lot more personal and emotional. Another reason is that we can get most of the pictures done before the ceremony which leaves you more time to mingle and enjoy cocktail hour! That also can result into a shorter cocktail hour, an earlier dinner, and (most importantly) more time to PARTY.
7. The little things are important!
Detail shots are some of my favorite shots and really help tell the story of your wedding day! If you want a picture of your dress (and maybe even your bridesmaid's dresses) hanging up and flowing in the wind, I recommend purchasing a wooden hanger or a custom wedding dress hanger (some bridal shops offer them or you can find them on Etsy)! If you want sparkling pictures of your rings sitting inside their box, I recommend purchasing nice wooden or velvet boxes. Your ring doesn't deserve those basic cardboard ones anyways! ;)
8. Hiring a day-of-coordinator is so important.
I strongly, strongly suggest hiring a day of coordinator. Simply put, this will make your day go by SO much smoother. You won't have to stress or worry about anything because they pretty much handle it all!