Top Ten Wedding Day Tips to Minimise Stress and Get The Most Out of Your Wedding Photographer.
Updated: May 3, 2019
After 20+ years taking wedding photos I've learned a thing or two about ways for brides and grooms to keep calm and get the most out of their wedding photography time. All simple and easy tips you may not have thought about that make a huge difference to your big day.
1. Hair and makeup.
Your hair and makeup should be finished at least an hour before you intend leaving home to drive to the ceremony. So, if you intend to leave where you're getting ready at 1pm then your hair and makeup should be finished no later than 12pm. Even earlier if possible. Most hair and makeup artists who work in the wedding industry already factor this into their timing. However if your hair and makeup artist doesn't do a lot of weddings they may not take this into consideration. Don't forget you still need to get dressed, have some photos, have a drink and not have to rush or stress about running late.
2. Wedding Cars.
Make sure you have booked enough time with the cars. Often the car drivers will approach me on location to tell me we need to go as the car package is about to end. Unlike wedding photographers, car drivers don't like to finish late and this is often an issue. There is usually an option to extend the car package on the day, but this is usually way more expensive than just making sure you have enough time when you're initially booking the cars.
3. Wedding Shoes.
If you've invested in a pretty fancy pair of wedding shoes it's a great idea to buy a cheaper pair as well to wear on location. Especially if we are going to a park or somewhere you will be walking on grass or something other than solid concrete. Just make sure you have a similar size heel and save yourself the trauma of getting your expensive wedding shoes dirty. You can't see the shoes under most wedding dresses anyway.
4. Dress Getting Dirty
Keeping the dress clean for the ceremony is pretty easy. Every bride wants to make a good impression when she's coming down the aisle and guests are seeing the wedding dress for the first time. However, after the ceremony things get a little trickier. My advice is to not stress if the dress gets a little dirty. It's going to happen. The dress will get a few marks on it. Especially during the location photos. Its inevitable. All the guests will have seen it looking pristine in the church so if it get a few marks on it afterwards don't worry about it. That's what drycleaners are for.
5. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.
Not every little thing always goes exactly according to plan. Just laugh it off. Expression is crucial in wedding photography and the first place you see signs of stress is in the face. So just keep smiling through whatever small things may (or may not) go completely according to plan.
6. Allow Enough Location Time.
Particularly if you're having a late ceremony you need to allow enough time in between ceremony and reception for some location photos with the bridal party. Its usually good to allow at least an hour (although I have done it in much less). Keep in mind if you're having a winter wedding that sunset is much earlier so if you're having a late ceremony during the winter months you might want to consider doing the location photos before the ceremony. Of course this means the bride and groom seeing each other before the ceremony but not everyone puts huge emphasis on that these days.
7. Photographer and Videographer Compatibility.
Try to choose a photographer and videographer who's styles are similar. I have a list of videographers that I often refer onto clients who's style works hand in hand with mine. This will save time on location as when there is a similar thread to both styles then both can shoot at the same time. Rather than alternating the often limited shooting time between them.
8. Phones and Wallets in Pockets.
Guys just empty everything out of your pockets so they don't bulk out. It just doesn't look good when you can see phones and wallets etc so it's a good idea to just leave them in the cars. Also try to keep phones out of hands as much as possible as it really kills an otherwise great shot. Same with water bottles. Just leave everything in the cars.
9. Trying to Fit In too Many Locations.
If you don't have a lot of location time I find it best to stick with just one location. You just don't want to waste a lot of time driving from one to the other if you don't have that much time to start with. More shooting time - less driving time.
10. Wet Weather Option.
To be honest I find a lot of rainy day wedding photos nicer than dry day wedding photos. It adds an element you don't get on a sunny day. Reflective concrete, umbrellas and very even lighting. Sunny day lighting is much trickier. Especially in summer. It's a good idea to have a wet weather alternative for location photos in mind. That's something you can work out with your photographer beforehand. It will alleviate any anxiety you might have leading up to the wedding regarding wet weather.