Your wedding day can go by so quickly. Investing in a skilled and experienced wedding photographer to capture the most precious moments of your big day is such an important choice! You’ll look back at these photos for years to come and you’ll want them to be picture perfect, so here’s a list of tips on how you can get those perfect photos!
ALL THE DEETS
Detail shots and dress shots are some of the first things your photographer will photograph. Detail shots will include accessories, invitation suites, perfumes, and florals and whatever else you choose for these special photos. Be sure to have these items ready to go for your photographer when they get there and be sure your dress is steamed too! This will make that first hour of photography a breeze and get the day started off right!
SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOT LIST!
Not THOSE kind of shots!! We haven’t even made it to ceremony yet! 😉 Write out a DETAILED photo list of all of the combinations of photos (aka the shot list) you need during your day. This is something your photographer and coordinator should ask for well before wedding day.
This includes exactly which humans (or doggos) you would like in each of these photos.
✨W E D D I N G D A Y T I P✨ : Be sure to communicate to those humans and doggos when photo times will be so they can try and be ready for them. Don’t worry, if they forget, your coordinator will hunt them down!!
GETTING READY PICS
If you’re planning on capturing these fun behind-the-scenes moments, CLEAN AS YOU GO! That way you’re not rushing to keep the area clean right before the photographer arrives. Designating some of your I Do Crew to help with this ongoing task can set you all up for some amazing candids and keep the stress from clutter at a minimum.
Now we know there are lots of opinions on this one, but our personal and professional recommendation… do it!
This is a perfect, special moment and photo opportunity with just you and your partner. It’s a moment to take a breath together before the wild, crazy day starts.
There are lots of pros to planning a First Look, and as your Wedding Day aficionados here are a few of our favorites! These all help make sure every perfect moment is captured exactly the way you want it AND help you to maximize your time with your family and friends, and maybe even get to enjoy a few of those appetizers you picked out for cocktail hour.
Any unforeseen delays (rain, traffic, mimosa explosion) will now have extra time to be sorted out instead of cramming last minute faux pas into an already very tight schedule
You get to share all those initial feelings privately
Getting all those initial feelings out ahead of time allows you to be more present during the actual ceremony
All bridal party photos can be finished before ceremony
Many of your couples portraits will be done before ceremony as well
With proper planning, even many of your family photos can sneak in before ceremony.
… basically all of the photos on your shot list except maybe some Married AF ring shots! Of course there are still some great post ceremony portraits and family photos to get, but if you only have to plan on an extra handful, then that leaves more time for you and your boo to start enjoying the evening with your family and friends!
✨W E D D I N G D A Y T I P✨: Are you planning on some show-stopper sunset photos? Without First Look shots done, portraits and family photos often will take time all the way up through the start of reception. By the time you get dinner and speeches rolling, it will be time to run back out for sunset, then run back in for first dances, and before you know it you’re more than half way through your DJ time!
The photos are worth it no matter what, but it’s always our goal to make sure our couples get everything they want with the least amount of stress. Planning a First Look helps assure this every time!
You and your coordinator should both kindly ask your officiant to move to the side during your first kiss. As cute as that awkward forehead and one eyeball can be, when it’s peaking between your pending first smooch it can be less than ideal for photos.
Many professional officiants will already have this skill practiced, but if you are having a friend or loved one deliver your vows, they will be just as excited as all your other guests to see you finally tie the knot! So a little reminder before the ceremony can always be helpful.
PUCKER UP YOUR LEEPS, LIKA DIS
Every time you kiss for a photo, hold it for three LOOOOONG Mississippi’s. This allows your photographer to get all the shots and all the angles of those kisses. (And gives you an excuse for maybe a little dip or booty grab! 😉
Here’s a list of important kiss shots:
The First Kiss
End of the Aisle Kiss
Couple Portraits Kisses
First Dance Kiss
Grand Exit Kiss
When being handed or handing off rings or bouquets, try and stay turned towards your partner at the altar. We know this one is hard to think about in the moment but trust us, it’s a helpful nugget for photos!
Ask a bridesmaid (or better yet, your coordinator!!) to be your designated dress fluffer during photo sessions so your photographer doesn’t have to go back and forth between shots. If your coordinator does this, then your bridesmaids just have to worry about being in photos. We love this part of our job so please, let us help you! Working hand in hand with your photographer is one of our favorite tasks to be sure your day is picture perfect, all day long!
Brides, your photographer will place you in a spot for group photos. STAY THERE. Let the people move around YOU. This will make navigating the movement of your dress train much easier. Your coordinator or photographer will just have to make slight adjustments to your train instead of fluffing it all the way out again.
GOLDEN HOUR SHOTS!
When writing your timeline, schedule your portraits at golden hour first and work backwards and forwards from there. If you have a first look you can squeeze in a small sunset session after ceremony and then join cocktail hour!
✨W E D D I N G D A Y T I P✨: Timeline wizardry is one of your coordinators favorite skills! You just list what is most important to you, and have your coordinator work their magic so you don’t have too.
PRIVATE RECEPTION SURPRISE!
Do a reception room reveal! It’s so fun! You get uninterrupted photos of you and all of your hard work. It’s also a special moment for you and your spouse to have a private first dance if you want private photos. These moments are truly awe-inspiring.
Communicate with your photographer about the best time to send them your inspo photos. We usually recommend 30 - 60 days before your wedding so that your photographer can start conceptualizing poses that work for you on your big day. Take a look at our Instagram (@seasyourdayevents) and use the hashtags to find photo ideas and pose inspiration! Be transparent with your photographer and let them know the vibe you’re envisioning for your photos.
During your 30-day walk through, there are a couple of things you can do to prepare for photos:
Invite your photographer! They may or may not be able to join you but it’s always a bonus if they can, especially if they have never seen the venue before. They can help scope out photo locations and help you decide what angles will be best in certain locations, which can save time later.
If your photographer can’t make it, snap some photos of places where you envision taking couples photos, bridal photos, bridal party photos, and family portraits. Send them to your photographer so that they’re aware of these locations ahead of time, and also let your coordinator know as well. Your coordinator should be assisting the photographer on getting the shot list completed, so having everyone in the know is a huge benefit.
The biggest advice we can give is being completely open with your photographer and coordinator about what you want to get out of your photos. Your coordinator can work with your photographer to make sure everything moves along smoothly, and you get every moment captured perfectly for you to look back on in years to come.
Have more questions about photos on your wedding day? Ask us in the comments!