As a wedding photographer for almost 10 seasons now, I have the unique opportunity to help couples plan one of the most important days of their life. Today, I’m sharing my top tips on getting the very best images as you prepare to walk down the aisle.
Timing is so important!
Making sure you have ample time for hair and make is also super important. Make sure you speak with your stylist about how much time they will need & ask your photographer how much time they like to have too! I like to have about 1.5 hours dedicated to getting ready images for the couple before a ceremony start time. If you are getting ready at a different location than your ceremony make sure you add drive time and include a few extra moments for you to relax at the ceremony so you aren’t feeling rushed at all. Also, be sure to TEXT your photographer your room number of your hotel room as soon as you check in the night before… oh and ALWAYS give your photographer the number to someone who will ANSWER THEIR PHONE that day. If I’m stuck in traffic or need to get in touch let someone else be the designated ‘stress filter‘! That goes for all of your vendors… not just the photographer.
Have Your Details Ready To Go
Set up all of your important details for your photographer right when you arrive to your location. For ladies it is your jewelry, shoes, dress, make up, invitation etc. Make sure all of these items are laid out in one spot so that when I arrive you don’t have to scramble around looking for your something blue. Also be sure to take all of the tags off of your items!
Don’t forget to take your dress out of the garment bag and remove all of the cardboard, find a high place to hang it that is out of the way. Also take the bridesmaid dresses out of their bag and hang them one location if you wish to have them photographed together as well.
Grooms don’t have as many details items but they are just as important and will help balance out your wedding album when it comes time to design your book. I like to photograph ties, belts and socks, cuff-links… watches. Anything special that you are including for your day.
My tip for guys: Arrive wearing your pants and dress shirts and let me take photos of you putting on ties, vests & coats.
Clutter, Clutter EVERYWHERE!
Holy smokes do those hotel walls close in on you with all of the garment bags and breakfast feasts! Don’t worry about the clutter too much, I am pretty good at working around it and it can even add very nicely to the story. But, I do like the to have a clean and clear space near some good light for a bride to get her dress on. So, think about keeping all those duffle bags in one corner, and garment bags hidden away in the closet.
Lighting is Everything!
Finding the most beautiful light in a space is my specialty but I would encourage you to seek out a location with ample natural lighting. It will help your make-up artist as well as offer up the best lighting for photos. I simply love the flattering light from a window and will do just about anything to get you next to one. If you have the choice to get ready in a space with window light take it.
Come on Karly… Not everyone is getting ready next to 5 foot windows!!
I live in the real world too and the people who built churches didn’t always think so much about ideal photography situations when they offer up the church playroom or basement as a getting ready space and that is OK! Don’t stress, I can make a dark basement, a crowded bathroom, or a windowless partitioned off hotel ballroom make for beautiful wedding day images too. Don’t stress… I got it covered!
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!
Remember to be there… in that moment. Take an extra moment and look at yourself in the mirror. Smile with your friends, and try to remember that even if you’re running late or things aren’t perfect that your wedding story will still be beautiful and all your’s!
Email me ASAP if you are interested in learning more about my wedding day photography packages!