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Wedding Day Advice From Photographers

It has often been said that “there is no substitute for experience”, and it is wise for couples to get planning advice from the most experienced people they can find in order to have the perfect wedding day. So, we asked our roster of professional wedding photographers (with a combined 237 years of wedding experience) what advice they would give their best friend if she was getting married. Here’s what they shared from their unique perspective as wedding photographers…

Get fitted. A properly fitted dress can make all the difference. Not only will you look great, but you’ll feel confident when you can move without worrying about a “wardrobe malfunction”.

Hire a professional make up artist. You’re spending a great deal of effort and money on your wedding day and you want to look your best in your wedding photos. A make up artist can help you do just that. Just be sure to do a trial run in advance.

Create a workable time-line and photography plan. Delays will occur on your wedding day (hair and makeup often causing the most) so creating a time-line with flexibility can help reduce the stress on your wedding day. Work with your photographer to establish a photography plan with your priority shots to make sure those are the first captured. Allow time to create additional images throughout the day.

Minimize travel time. You don’t want to spend your entire wedding day traveling between locations. Getting ready at a location close to your ceremony site and choosing a special shooting location on the way to your reception venue help you best utilize your time.

Ask parents for input. Your parents have probably been thinking of your wedding day since you were a small child. Ask them what images they want captured on your wedding day. Whether it’s a large family formal, a specific bridal portrait or a picture of special friends; getting their input in advance and sharing it with your photographer will help to capture their memories as well.

Pre-ceremony photos. Keep your dressing area as free from clutter as possible so it doesn’t appear in your getting ready photos. For the best use of your time, start the coverage with the bride and bridesmaids after hair and makeup are done, but before putting on your dress. Having the flowers, invitation and other details available allow your photographer to capture these important images, too. The same is true for the groom and groomsmen if you want to capture his getting ready moments. If you will be giving gifts to the attendants or each other, this is a good time to do so.

Consider a First-Look. More couples are choosing to meet in private before the ceremony, allowing for some beautiful and intimate photographs and videography to be captured. It can be a private event for the couple or shared with close friends and family. This time is a low pressure, yet highly emotional, way to spend a few special moments as a couple before walking down the aisle. If your wedding day timeline is tight, a first-look session can allow you to create amazing images, without sacrificing time with your guests.

Be ready. Your wedding day is a countdown clock. If you or people you want in images aren’t ready to be photographed at the designated time, you are losing great photo opportunities by the minute. Be sure to communicate with the bridal party and family members that you need their cooperation for wedding photos. Most churches allow 20-30 minutes to capture family formals. If a family member leaves the church for just a few minutes after the ceremony, will lose your chance for these family history shots.

Practice bustling. Bring a bridesmaid to your final fitting. Lacing and bustling dresses can be a difficult task. Make sure that the person bustling yours has practiced and can do so quickly.

Relax. You have planned this day for months, sometimes years. Be sure to take a few moments to relax and reflect upon how special this day really is. If you are stressing about every detail, it will show in your wedding photos.

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