8 tips for your wedding photos
Follow this simple and complete guide to get the best photos of your wedding!
During eetings with our couples we always talk about how they are organizing their wedding. Andrea and I often find ourselves giving them advices and tips, both generic and very specific, on the many topics we deal with. Although we are pleased to give tips on issues that do not concern us strictly as professionals – but that we know deeply, thanks to our experience –, of course what we care the most is the best result for photographs and videos: we often talk about even the simplest precautions to follow in order to obtain the maximum result in every situation.
So I decided to summarize our best tips for your wedding photos by theme. Here they are divided into 8 topics!
1. Choose the right photographer for you
It may seem obvious but it can happen that, driven by the rush to find a photographer for your wedding, you move too quickly to understand that the market offers you many possibilities. And that, unfortunately, many of these are not for you, especially if you are demanding people.
So how can you be sure that you won't regret the choice?
Make sure you're dealing with a professional
Having a Studio, a well-made website, a regular VAT number is a good start. If the photographer is also a member of professional associations, it is even better. On the other hand, the presence on portals (paid or not) such as theknot.com is not a guarantee.
I know that such portals are convenient for you to reach all the suppliers from one place, but remember: some suppliers are present for a fee while others are not (like us, for example, on theknot.com). In your opinion, the portal who will privilege, regardless of the quality offered: who paid or who didn't?
Choose your photographer according to the style in which you reflect yourself
Each photographer has his own style, there is no doubt about this. But each of us can be classified on the basis of some objective characteristics related to the type of approach:
- Photojournalism or documentary photographer: suitable for those looking for spontaneous and natural photographs, in two different levels, from the most extreme that does not move any object to the one that grants a minimum of control if needed;
- Classic: for those who are always looking for a guide at all times, from the first to the last picture;
- Glamour: for those who want a photograph from a fashion magazine in every shot.
There is no right or wrong style, because each of them has pros and cons. There is just right style for you.
We want the best result for you: your photos will always be natural, even if sometimes we could give some suggestions.
Look at full photo shoots
Claim to watch multiple full photo shoots, so you can evaluate:
- if the photo quality is top-level for the entire event;
- if the editing process produces a consistent result from the first to the last photo, in different moments of the day;
- if the editing process is always the same for any wedding or if each couple has a dedicated one.
Looking for empathy
Your wedding photographer will be the person to whom you will entrust the memory of one of the most important days of your life. You can't feel uncomfortable with him. There cannot be even a single aspect that does not convince you.
In his eyes and words you must find sincere interest in you and genuine passion for his work.
Meet him, do not book the service without having done so. And most importantly, make sure that:
- he will be present on your wedding day, for the whole day;
- he will personally edit your photos;
- he will always take care of the layout of any photo book.
A plaque that we got as a gift from a married couple: "The real success of a profession is to conquer the customer by leaving an indelible trace in his heart. Thanks for participating in our dream."
2. Get ready in beautiful, bright and tidy environments
The beauty of the environments in which you will get ready are fundamental for an optimal result of the photographs. A large, bright and uncluttered room will allow you to have even larger photos. On the other hand, it may happen that, in situations that are not very beautiful from an aesthetic point of view, I am forced to take only very narrow photographs to mask disorder or unpleasant aspects in general, which would be amplified in the overall photographs.
The same professionals who will be present with you will have greater freedom of movement and will carry out their work with more peace of mind. In addition, the large spaces will allow you to welcome the people you want in environments that will continue to remain welcoming despite any crowding.
The presence of natural light in the room can be essential, especially if you are fond of spontaneous photography. If there is at least one window – and I hope so for you, otherwise choose another room – it is strongly recommended to avoid contamination of artificial light, which could lead to unpleasant results in photographs, mixing warm and cold lights. So look for environments lit just by natural light, in which the latter is sufficient for the activities related to your getting ready.
Another element that should not be underestimated is that the rooms in which you prepare yourself are fresh: here in Italy, especially in summer, temperatures can be very high. It is therefore better to prefer places with air conditioning or naturally cool due to their position or structure. Over time you will feel your heart speeding up and the emotion will grow: being in a torrid environment will not help you.
Finally, organize yourself in order to have a refreshment always ready for you and for those who will possibly spend the time with you: trust me, you will all need it.
A room decorated in a country style, perfectly consistent with the rest of the wedding.
The ideal solution: getting ready on wedding venue
There is an environment that not only allows you to solve all the problems that I have just listed but that also provides you with further advantages: your wedding venue!
Almost always the well organized wedding venues have dedicated places for the getting ready of brides and grooms. It really is the ideal solution because it has usually large rooms, suites or mini apartments. In addition you will have a series of very important advantages:
- the environments (rooms, gardens, halls, ...) that will appear in the photographs will be consistent for the entire wedding;
- if you have planned the civil ceremony in wedding venue, you are already on site and do not have to worry about further transfers;
- you can stay overnight from the day before: you will relax and you will not have to wake up early, even in the case of a ceremony in the morning;
- refreshments can be supplied by the catering / banqueting or in any case by the restaurant service that is already on site;
- even the people you want by your side will not have to transfer between different places.
3. Surround yourself with loved ones
Maybe you are among those people who want to live alone the moments of getting ready. I can understand it, it is certainly a delicate moment, during which many thoughts and memories will crowd in your mind. Everyone lives it in its own way.
But think of just one thing. That day will be unique, there will not be another one similar in your life: are you sure you do not want your dearest people close to you? I'm not talking about the small crowd that will be present from the moment of the ceremony onward, but about those very few people you feel very close to.
Their looks, their gestures, are more important than thousand words. Believe me if I tell you that you will remember those looks and gestures for years to come. It would be a shame to miss it, and miss its memory with it.When
planning your wedding always put yourself in the position of being moved: do not be afraid of it, rather take advantage of your sensitivity, heightened by the awareness of living one of the most important days of your life. Live it as intensely as possible!
Few people around you during preparation will make it even more pleasant than it is.
4. Relax, enjoy and trust the suppliers you have chosen
Among you who are reading there are grooms and brides with many different characters. There are those who are more relaxed, those who are more anxious, those who always want to have everything under control, those who are methodical, those who are less organized and so on. Obviously there are a thousand real nuances among all these stereotypes. And to each own character must also be added the deep emotion that you will experience on that day and that will inevitably affect your behavior.
Whatever happens, the important thing is never lose heart: be always yourself and try to live that day as intensely as possible. Be aware that an unexpected thing can always happen: the rain, a button that pops, the shoes of the wrong number and too tight (I swear, it really happened!) or who knows what else.
Maybe none of this will happen, but the important thing is that your mood is always positive. And remember that you have at your side a series of very valid suppliers who will be able to solve any problem that may arise: if you have chosen them wisely, you already know that for all of them it is essential that your wedding is a success and they will work together pursuing this one goal!
On the other hand, if everything is going smoothly without a hitch, do not dwell on what could go wrong checking this or that supplier: it would only be counterproductive and you would put him under pressure unnecessarily.
I know, maybe this behavior may seem strange or excessive to some of you, but I guarantee you that I speak from experience and I have seen with my own eyes situations of this type. So if even now you think you are people who will never react in a certain way, remember my words if your mood will start to change because of someone or something. You are going to live a unique day that will pass in a flash: enjoy it as much as possible, even from this moment on, while you're planning everything!
Your suppliers will take care of every detail.
5. Entrust the management of the ceremony to someone you can count on
The ceremony is the most important moment of the wedding day, even if you have already celebrated elsewhere the "real" civil ceremony and are about to celebrate a symbolic ceremony. In any case, even in that of a religious ceremony, I advise you to organize it in detail to avoid any type of problem, entrusting control to one or more people you trust blindly.
Don't be alarmed: it won't arise insurmountable problems, but realistically a series of annoying episodes for both you and the guests.
The entrance of bride and groom
So much is the desire to see the bride arrival, that guests often stay outside the church or around the venue, creating disorder right at the delicate moment when the bride is worried about doing her entrance in the best possible way.
Instead it would be perfect if they were all sit in their place from the moment of the arrival of the groom. Otherwise he would face a chaotic situation, often without knowing what to do, risking getting lost in congratulations right in the place where the bride will soon arrive, partially ruining the surprise.
If you have not a wedding planner, I therefore recommend delegating at least a couple of people to coordinate the guests in this critical moments.
In the same way, it is very likely that most of the people will take out their cell phones to take shots ot videos of the bride's entrance. I guarantee you that it is a rather inelegant behavior, especially towards the groom who will have turned this impressive series of screens towards him.
The best way to communicate to guests to avoid this unpleasant behavior is by a couple of nicely written signs, in order to make it an official and authoritative request to have an unplugged wedding.
During the ceremony
During the religious ceremony there is a kind of respect for the ceremony, the altar and the celebrant. But during the civil or symbolic rites, the guests may feel entitled to wander around the place of the ceremony, maybe looking for a nice place to take pictures from. This behavior is to be avoided because it disturbs and distracts you and other guests, increasing the chance that other people could imitate it. Above all this behavior can spoil the photographs of us professionals with too intrusive and unpleasant presences.
In this case the celebrant can help you a lot, explaining some simple rules at the beginning of the ceremony, so that there is no chance of misunderstandings by the guests.
In the case of participation of the guests during the ceremony, prepare a lineup that contains the order of the interventions. Communicate it to the interested parties a few days before the ceremony and give it to the celebrant, who will guide everything: this will not create breaks or embarrassments for people who do not know when to speak.
The speeches of your friends will surely be moving.
At the end of the ceremony
In Italy the end of the ceremony is usually celebrated with rice throwing, but obviously nothing prevents you from making alternative types of celebration (I wrote more about it here, if you fancy something special) or using confetti. In any case, it's always a good idea to have someone guiding the guests, especially if you have a civil ceremony in a wedding venue.
In fact, while in the case of a religious or civil ceremony the guests leave the church or the town hall and await you outside for the rice/confetti throwing, in the case of a civil ceremony in a wedding venue they do not know where to go and there is a risk that, looking forward to celebrate, they throw rice in an uncoordinated way and not all at the same time.
The celebrant can then help you again: the most effective method is that, before the ceremony ends, he explains what will happen shortly and possibly give directions on how to position themselves, so as to ensure the best scenic effect during rice throwing.
6. Let the ceremony be about you
You are planning all the details of your wedding because you want that day represents you: do not forget the ceremony!
If you are a believer and your ceremony will be celebrated in a sacred place, you certainly will have less freedom than a civil ceremony in a wedding venue. However, try to ask the celebrant if there is a possibility to personalize it with wedding vows written by you . Maybe, if you ask him in the right way, he can also consent to the participation of a limited number of friends or relatives: it is a manifestation of love towards you and all of you are doing it before the God you believe in.
If you get married in a civil ceremony, it will certainly be easier to obtain such permits. You can also customize the ceremony in many other ways:
- creating a special set up, which your guests will associate with you and your way of life;
- with an unconventional entrance, linked to your passion;
- having more than two witnesses;
- having a person close to you as officiant of the ceremony;
- performing a ritual that has a profound meaning for you (for example the rings warming ritual, the sand ritual, the red rose ritual or others that I mentioned in this other article);
- involving your dog bringing you the wedding rings;
- ending the ceremony with an alternative to rice/confetti throwing.
A ceremony in the woods, with a set up made of natural materials, can bring out the love and harmony with the nature of the couple.
7. Plan your couple portraits in advance
Plan with your photographer in advance your couple portraits. They are usually made between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. I am not talking about how you will pose, but about the choice of places where you want to be photographed. It is important to do this in advanbce for several reasons:
- on the Wedding Day the photographer will already be aware of your time availability;
- if you want to take photos in places other than the venue, you will have a list sorted by priority: you will ensure the photos in the places that are most important to you;
- it will be clear to you that you will not be able to go to many places: the times for transfers, the possible search for the parking space and the time to dedicate to the shooting must be considered.
By talking to your photographer in advance, you also have time to consider the possibility of a second photo session, before or after your wedding day.
Before the wedding you can organize what is commonly called a pre-wedding photo shoot. We prefer to call it Love Shooting, because we do it with the aim of telling your love story, which led you to the marriage. Unlike the wedding day, when times are short, in this case you have all the time you want. So you could be photographed while nurturing your passions, the activities you usually do together, places you feel yours, which could be a beach, a pub, a wood.
An alternative is having the shooting a few days after the wedding: you can use wedding dress and suit and can go to those places that, for various reasons, were not accessible on the wedding day. And, at the and of the shooting, you can Trash the Dress, if it's your thing.
Finally, don't overlook the chance of postponing the portrait session until sunset, when there is the best light for the photographs: a warm, soft and dreamy light, which will give your portraits a magical atmosphere.
Here is the magical atmosphere I was talking about.
8. Have an engaging reception
Reception is the moment when everyone, including you, will be in complete relaxation and enjoying the party and the guests. So try to make it engaging, giving importance to each phase.
Choose a not too long meal, so you can dedicate yourself to all your guests and everything you plan after it. But make sure that the set up, and the lighting in the case of a dinner, are consistent with the mood of the entire event.
The wedding cake
Maybe you are also looking for an alternative to the classic cutting cake: a Show cooking, which will see you as protagonists in the assembly of the wedding cake, will amuse and amaze your guests, who certainly do not expect to see you wearing aprons and chef's hats!
The bouquet launch
Don't wait too long to launch your bouquet: the fun is when you have a large group of girls who want to capture it and as many people interested in seeing it, all around cheering and commenting! So don't wait for older people to start leaving, but plan the launch just after cutting cake. Also, do not miss the chance to amaze guests with an unconventional launch: get a second bouquet to be launched, so that it opens in many mini-bouquets after the launch; or tie many ribbons to your bouquet, deliver the garments to the candidates and cut them one by one: the last one left tied to the bouquet will be the lucky one!
Open the dance with your first dance as newly-weds: all your guests will surely be around you, then the DJ or the band will move from the romantic song dedicated to you to the music to let loose! There is nothing more engaging for your guests than being dragged into the dances by the two of you who are already in the middle of the dance floor.
The unscheduled and the final relaxation
If you have a good following among your guests, you can make one or more games during the evening. If you have very large spaces and time to spare, I can tell you that a treasure hunt is certainly one of the most appreciated.
Finally, I recommend that you provide a corner for relaxation at the end of the party, with that bottle of Rum or Whisky you wanted so much, accompanied by a special cigar, to share with the few close friends who will stay with you to celebrate until late at night.
A little corner dedicated to relax
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