Dress & Details:
Bring a wooden or decorative hanger for your wedding gown, and have your gown hanging and ready to be photographed to save time. Rings, bouquets, shoes, jewlery, invitations/save the dates are all great to have in the room ready to be photographed as well.
Guys & Gals:
Make sure your bridesmaids and mother know they need to be dressed with hair & make-up finished by the time you are ready to put on your gown, otherwise they may not want to be in photos. Boutonnieres and bow ties can be tricky. Your florist may have a magnet option instead of the traditional pins to hold your boutonnieres in place. If you choose bow ties, have a tutorial ready. Guys, please do not have your cell phones in your front pant pocket. It will show up in photos.
Clutter can ruin a great photo. Ask your bridesmaids/groomsmen to put all their belongings in one area so they are not photographed.
Some couples send each other a love note before they see each other. It’s a wonderful way to express your feelings in a romantic keepsake, plus it creates a beautiful opportunity for us to document heartfelt emotions.
Right after you put your gown on, your hair and make-up will be fresh, and you will be looking your absolute best! This is the perfect time to have your bridal portraits taken. Make sure to schedule some time for this.
If you decide to see each other before your ceremony, a first look is a great idea. Let your bridal party and family know ahead of time if this is a moment you wish to have privately. Note to bridal party: do not upload photos to social media sites before they see each other. Many times couples inadvertently see each other online before it is time!
Fill your care pack with items you may need like bobby pins, sunscreens, mints, hair spray, stain remover, etc. If your ceremony is in the grass, you may also want to provide your bridesmaids with some heel stoppers to prevent their heels from sinking into the grass.
Knowing where the sun will be and which way you will be facing during your ceremony is important. You would hate for your guests to be squinting during the ceremony. Additionally, if you or your groom is facing the sun and the other is in the shade this can be un-photogenic. The best angle for the sun is behind the guests at about a 45 degree angle. Sunset is great also, but during the summer months it may be difficult to have a ceremony so late in the evening if you intend to have a long reception. If you do not have the option to change your ceremony time or direction you are facing, consider having a canopy to help distribute light over both of your faces evenly.
Keeping Your Guests Comfortable:
Outdoor summer weddings can be harsh for some guests. You may want to consider providing cool drinks and shade for those who need some relief. One option is offering your guests decorative umbrellas or fans. It keeps them protected from the harsh sun and shows thoughtfulness toward the comfort of your guests.
We cannot express how important it is to not only have your ceremony amplified, but to have someone who knows what they are doing handling that for you. A great DJ can provide this for you easily, and will prevent your guests from not hearing a single word during your ceremony. You don’t want audio cutting out or become distorted during your ceremony . . . hire a recommended DJ!
You hired a professional photographer, and well-meaning guests holding up cell phones & cameras in the aisle or even standing in the aisle can be distracting and ruin photos. We want to photograph their happy faces, not cell phones and cameras blocking their expressions. Prior to the ceremony, the officiant can read something similar to “Welcome, friends and family! Michelle and Jason invite you to be truly present at this special time. Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The professional photographer will capture the moment. I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology. Thank you.” If making an announcement before your ceremony seems awkward, another optiobn is to add a note on your program regarding your preference.
Walking Down the Aisle:
A photo of your bridal party with their heads down and no smiles on their faces is unfortunate and believe it or not, this does happen . . . unless, they are reminded that they are having their photos taken. Before the processional begins, they should be reminded to walk slow, keep their heads up with smiles on their faces. When reminded, bridal parties do great!
Your first kiss can be a little nerve racking. Take your time and be sure to go back for seconds to ensure we capture this special moment. At times, guests jump in the aisle to take a photo and we have had to reposition ourselves. Kisses last only seconds, so this is another great reason for an “Unplugged” wedding ceremony.
Consider having your grand entrance flow directly into your first dance. It provides a fluid and dramatic moment, plus all your guests are attentive and excited for you.
Think about where you would like your toasts to take place. Toasters are rarely photogenic in front of a podium or with their back to a wall. The middle of the dance floor or in front of the head table works well. The bride and groom can stand next to the toaster or sit amongst the guests. This way your photos will capture everyone’s response in a flattering way.
The bouquet and garter toss happen very quickly. Take your time, build the suspense and excitement! Consider doing a “fake out” where you first pretend to throw your bouquet. This is always fun and also gives us two opportunities to capture some great shots of your friends angling for your bouquet/garter.
The cake cut is usually one of the last events of the reception, and it’s a cue that it’s alright for your guests to leave soon. If you would like your guests to stay a little longer, think about cutting your cake later in the evening.
By this time, you may be ready to take your heels off and get into some dancing appropriate shoes. Offer flip-flops for your guests as well, and they will be comfortable on the dance floor along with you.
We hope you enjoyed reading these wedding day tips. If you have any additional tips, please feel free to comment below. Thank you! Rebecca