Wedding Advice: Planning images into your big day

08.01.2014

Your wedding day should be focused on the celebration of you two as a newly married couple, and your photography should supplement that joy instead of detract from it! So I wanted to share some personal advice for building photography coverage around your timeline (and not the other way around).

Not sure what that looks like? Not to worry, after photographing over 50 weddings, I have developed some pointers to help you navigate the day smoothly, and get some amazing images at the same time.

ONE: Light, Light, and did I mention my best friend – Light?

Yes, overemphasized for sure, but for good reason. As a natural light photographer, I can’t say enough how important NATURAL light is to make truly flattering and timeless images on your wedding day. The room where you’ll put on your dress, the place you’ll say those beautiful  vows, and especially the portrait location(s) – these spaces should hopefully all have some great light to work with! Flattering portraits are usually created with window light when indoors, and outdoors spaces present endless opportunities. Give me any outdoor space to work with, and you better believe you + I’ll create gorgeous + timeless images.

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TWO:   Start early and factor in some “just in case” time.

Simply put, overestimate how long everything might take. From the hair appointment to getting into the gown to traveling to the venue, timelines often get thrown for a loop when couples underestimate and don’t plan a little buffer time in between events of the wedding day. Through no fault of their own, I’ve seen this happen to lots of my couples, so my absolute biggest piece of advice is give yourself a little extra time! It will help you feel much more relaxed and mentally present on the big day. If we run early, the worst that will happen is that you might be able to actually make it to your cocktail hour! You’re probably thinking, ‘why is that bad?’ and you’re right – it’s a total bonus! So whether it means a couple minutes to collect yourself before you walk down the aisle, one more laugh with your groomsmen, or getting to visit with more guests at cocktail hour, go ahead and factor in some extra time. You can thank me later ;)

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THREE:  Personalize the day.

Brainstorm with your beloved and come up with some pieces of your personality that you’d love to incorporate into your wedding! Whether it’s old vinyl, pops of your favorite colors, your mother’s heirloom veil and jewelry, salvaged local materials, or your favorite local band playing at your reception, try to include little pieces of what makes you two unique. Celebrate important family traditions or make your own new ones! Think outside the box to bring meaningful details to the day so that guests feel closer to you just by attending the celebration. Decide what parts of the day are most meaningful to you, and enlist a planner (or family) to help you create some unique details to mark the occasion!

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FOUR:  Select only your must-have “photo-op” locations.

While it might be tempting to visit every date spot or favorite place in the area, let me tell you from experience – focus on what really matters most! I’m certainly not opposed to hitting up a spot or two for some fun and romantic imagery, but keep in mind that each extra location means more travel time and more time away from your celebration and guests… I want you to be able to soak all of that in! The day will fly by (as I’m sure you’ve heard) so let’s make the most of our portrait time, have some FUN, and get you back to your guests and celebration. It doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice some beautiful portraits, you’ll still have more than enough, I promise.

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FIVE:  Communication.

Don’t be afraid to talk things over with your photographer and planner. Not sure how much time to plan for things, or where to photograph your portraits? Just ask! Chances are that wedding artists have experience in these areas and can help you navigate the tricky parts. When in doubt, it never hurts to discuss timeline and location(s) with your photographer well ahead of time – in fact, I strongly encourage it! Even if your questions don’t necessarily relate to the timeline, you can still ask. Open communication is key, and there’s a good chance that your photographer is dying to hear more about the details about your day anyways, I know I am.

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SIX: When it comes to the weather, just relax.

Rain in the forecast? Possible sweltering temps? Instead of worrying right before your wedding, make backup plans. It never hurts to do so, and if on your wedding day it’s 75 and sunny and you don’t need to use that plan – even better. In the case that you need to, however, there will be no reason to fret because you’ll be Mrs. Awesome and save the day by keeping your guests and bridal party comfortable. Feel up for dodging a few raindrops with your new hubby? Perfect, we can have a few portraits under an umbrella! If not, that’s completely fine too, and together we’ll come up with a backup plan that you’re totally good with. Dark clouds won’t bring you down on your big day, no ma’am; they’ll simply make you happy you thought ahead.

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Have something to add to this list or anything you’d like to discuss? Feel free to email me at laurelynsavannah(at)gmail(dot)com. Now let’s get you married!!

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  1. JAMES STOKES says:

    Such a great post!