Wedding Day Tips

{ or, ways to make sure your pictures aren't lame }

1. DRESS. If you want pictures of your dress by itself, please have all packaging and tags removed and have it placed on your preferred hanger.

2. DETAILS. Have all details set aside for us to photograph as soon as we arrive. Details include: programs, jewelry, shoes, handwritten vows, bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquet, boutonnieres, sentimental items, invitation suite (what you sent to your guests) or save the date, rings, garter, perfume that you'll be wearing. Please have someone who can guard these items and hand them to us when we arrive. These will be the first items we photograph. If you are exchanging gifts, please wait until we arrive.

Notes: We recommend stopping in and getting your ring cleaned as we'll be doing macro shots of it - lotions, fuzz, etc. can get stuck in the stone and make it look kind of ...um, gross. 

3. ROOM. Please make sure the room you are getting ready in is TIDY, especially around where your makeup/hair will be done. If possible, please do makeup next to a natural light source (window) if there is one. When we take pictures of you getting into your dress or doing final touch ups, we don't want too many distracting elements in the background, such as random clothing. This is a great MOH task!

4. MAKEUP. Tell your makeup artist not to use SPF (they should already know this if they do a lot of bridal makeup) as it causes "ghost face" and flashback. Also, do not be scared of dramatic makeup - it doesn't show up very well on camera so we need things to be a bit darker. Rock the falsies ladies!

5. TANNING + WHITENING. Please do not go tanning or spend long amounts of time in the sun (guys - no playing golf out in the full sun the day before!) for two weeks leading up to the wedding. We cannot even out a sunburn in post processing and you will inevitably look very red. We also don't want any peeling going on. We suggest spray tans that will give you great color, without the chance of redness. Teeth whitening is always a good idea, trust us!

6. BOUTONNIERES. Be sure to have a bridesmaid or family member available during prep (when we are doing the details shots) to put the boutonnieres on the groomsmen. Oftentimes, we end up delivering them and putting them on, which takes about 15 minutes, when we could be taking photos!

7. EMERGENCY KIT. I have yet to go to a wedding where they aren't scrambling for safety pins, bobby pins, or any other kind of pin! Stain removal pens are a good idea! Also, there are rarely enough pins for the boutonnieres and we don't want them falling off!

8. WATER. Bring water and snacks for after the ceremony. It is a long time from prep until dinner and especially if we are out in the sun taking pictures  - you will need water! Also, snacks will keep blood sugar up and so you are happy and alert!

9. FAMILY PHOTOS. Please be sure to please have someone in charge of wrangling family for pictures after the ceremony. This is undoubtedly the part of the day that drags out and wastes valuable time. People will want to mingle right afterward and we understand that. But there is plenty of time for that later and we have very limited time before the reception to get a lot of pictures done! Give them your list of family formals and have them gather so you don't need to worry about it! (we would do it but we don't know who anyone is, and.... awkward)

10. DJ LIGHTS. Even if you didn't purchase a lighting package, your DJ will likely bring a few lights for the dance floor. All we ask is that you make sure they do not put colored lights on you during the first dances. We prefer a white spotlight, so you don't look like Smurfs. Later on, they can do whatever they like.

11. UNPLUG YOUR CEREMONY. The best way to insure that we are able to get all the important pictures of your ceremony is to ask everyone to NOT use cell phones or cameras. Some of our couples do this via sign at the entrance, or on the program, or have an usher inform them. Be sure if you are asking them to do this that they know they'll have access to see and order all of the pictures from your wedding - they won't miss out on anything! BUT, we have had many unfortunate circumstances where someone has snuck into the aisle with a phone and blocked our shot of the bride walking down. Here's a article showing the different scenarios that can happen and how your photos can be ruined by not having an unplugged ceremony!  

12. BRIDAL TABLE LAYOUT. If you have a large bridal party, try not to set up two tiers of tables where half of you are up on a riser and the other half on the floor. What this will do is result in all of your photos having the tops of people's heads in them when we are documenting your reactions to the speeches. We recommend a U-shape with bride and groom in the middle, or a sweetheart table with the rest of the group at another table. The best place to position the people speaking is directly across from you so that you are looking straight ahead. If they are to the side, then one of you is always covering the other and also interferes with the photos.

Phew. Ok. Go take a nap.