Let’s be honest: your wedding photographer is probably one of the most expensive vendors you’ll hire for your wedding day. That said, it’s worth every penny; the images they create for you will be what you take home after you’ve said your vows. Here are 10 tips to help you maximize your wedding day coverage.
DO AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION
Hands-down, the best way to get to know your wedding photographer is to book an engagement session - often times, it’s included in your wedding package. This gives you the opportunity to meet before your wedding day and see how you work together, while providing you with some gorgeous images to use in your save-the-dates, invites, or wedding website. It’s also the ideal situation for doing a makeup trial, which will show you how your chosen look will photograph on the big day. Not sure where to do your engagement session in Halifax, Nova Scotia? View some examples here, here, and here.
ADD BUFFER TIME
It is rare that a wedding day completely sticks to the outlined schedule. Whether it’s a hair snafu or a speech that runs long, include some buffer time to make sure you aren’t rushing through the day. Don’t forget to include travel time between locations!
HAVE YOUR DETAILS READY
Do you want those beautiful, Pinterest-worthy flat lay images that are taking over the wedding industry? Save yourself the scrambling for items by keeping all of your important details close by in a box for your photographer to style when they arrive. Remember to save a copy of your invitation suite (including envelopes) so it can be included! Here are some items you should include in your box of details:
Rings and ring boxes (you can buy your own Mrs Box here)
Floral trimmings for styling (ask your florist to leave some extras for you)
Anything borrowed, blue, or old (think: pocket watches, handkerchiefs, hairpin, etc)
Menus, programs, or other decor items
Extra ribbon or fabric from your decor
DO A FIRST LOOK
If you’re having your ceremony later in the day (4PM onwards), it’s always a good idea to consider a first look. Not only can it help calm your nerves before you say “I do!”, it also allows you to schedule your bridal party, family, and bride and groom photos pre-ceremony so you can spend more time with your guests at your cocktail hour or reception.
HAVE AN UNPLUGGED CEREMONY
In today’s world, we are constantly connected by our phones - and while there are many benefits to this, they can be really distracting during your wedding ceremony. Having an unplugged ceremony gives your guests the opportunity to be present with you on your big day, and mitigates the risk that your aunt’s iPhone will get in the way of your photographer capturing you coming down the aisle. But how do you let your guests know to put their phones away? Put up a beautiful calligraphy sign by the seating and have your Justice of the Peace or minister announce it before the ceremony starts.
HAVE A PLAN B IN CASE OF RAIN
I know - it’s every couple’s worst nightmare for their special day. But it doesn’t have to ruin the party! If you’re having an outdoor wedding, bring matching umbrellas for yourself and your bridal crew, and make sure you can rent tents to cover your guests for dinner. If it’s really pouring and you need to do photos indoors, find a nearby building or structure you love the look of and let your photographer work some magic!
DESIGNATE SOMEONE TO BE THE “RUNNER”
If you’re doing your family and bridal party photos after your ceremony, it can be really difficult to stop people from running off to cocktail hour instead (especially on a hot day!). While you should absolutely remind everyone involved of the wedding day schedule, you should also give a member of your bridal party or family the task of being the “runner” - the person who ensures that everyone is present and accounted for as you work your way through your photo list. A good wedding photographer will work quickly and efficiently so that your guests can make their way back to the party!
FEED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER(S) AT THE SAME TIME AS THE HEAD TABLE
This isn’t just because we are as starving as you are by dinnertime; often, speeches can start midway through the main course, and we want to make sure we don’t miss a thing! A 20 minute food break is likely the only break your photographers will get all day, and it allows them to regroup, refuel, and stay focused. It’s also important to sit your photographers in the same room - even a back corner is okay - so that they are nearby and can capture every moment as it happens.
SKIP THE RECEIVING LINE
A traditional receiving line is one of the biggest time-sucks during a wedding, particularly if you have a lot of guests. Sneaking off right after the ceremony keeps your schedule on track and allows you to continue right into your formal photos. Once you’ve finished your formals, you’ll be free to mingle and socialize with your family and friends all night long at the reception!
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Of all the things you can do to prepare, this is the most important tip. Communication between the couple and photographer is the key to creating the images you will treasure for years to come! Start building your relationship with a phone call or meeting when booking, your engagement session, and discussions over your timeline - as photographers, we’ve seen (and photographed) it all and can offer helpful tips or ideas when it comes to planning your wedding day. We’ll be able to let you know if you’ve left enough time for family photos, what time of day is best for couple’s portraits, and whether or not those fake lashes from your make up trial are too much. We aren’t just helpful when it comes to photography; most photographers will also have recommendations for other vendors and can let you know where to find the best flowers, which rental company has that dusty rose runner you love from Pinterest, or which makeup artist’s work lasts all day long, even during summer wedding heat.
What do you think - do you have any tips for making the most of your wedding day photos? Share your ideas in the comments below!