Over the years, I have noticed a significant difference in the flow of the wedding, as well as the stress level that everyone experiences, depending on one thing – preparation. When it comes to your wedding, preparation is key and it all starts with you getting ready. When your morning is rushed or doesn’t go to plan, is spills over into the rest of the day. Below are a few helpful tips to make your day go as smoothly as possible.
1 – Clean Your Room
When I enter a room, the first thing I look at is the lighting and a potential place to display the dress. Most of the time, I can find a nice window or door to work with; however, if I have to make a bed and move clothing out of the way to get the shot, I am not spending time where the action is – mimosas being sipped, hair getting done, and laughs being shared. If the room is clean, not only will you have better photos, but more of them.
2 – Have What You Are Wearing Accessible
If the bride is getting her hair done at a salon, I like to arrive at the house approximately one hour before she does to stage shots of her dress as well as scout locations for portraits if time permits. Often times, the bride’s jewelry and shoes are scattered throughout the house of hotel room. By having the dress, shoes, and accessories located in one place, I can get the photos I need and not accidentally shoot the wrong set of shoes with your wedding dress.
3 – Rings + Flowers = More Shooting Time
This makes a huge difference! Instead of the bouquets getting delivered to the church, I always suggest they get delivered to the house or hotel along with the rings. Now, when I shoot the flowers, they are fresh and the available daylight provides a much more natural look than artificial light later on in the evening. With all of the flowers delivered to the house, I can also take bridal and bridesmaids portraits if time permits.
4 – Plan More Time Than Necessary
It is a rarity that things happen according to schedule on your wedding day. Often time, hair and make up take longer than anticipated and Aunt Suzie wants to take every formal photo after the ceremony with her point-and-shoot camera. To me, photography is the second most important part of the wedding behind the commitment you are making and the experiences of your loved ones on your day. When the schedule runs late, photography (the way you will relive and re-experience your wedding) is the first thing to get cut.
5 – Eat!
You are going to be on your feet all day and most likely will skip lunch. Be sure to take a moment and eat a healthy and filling breakfast so you don’t become light-headed later on. Pack snacks for the limo and drink water, especially if you have a summer wedding. The only time we want you to pass out is from too much dancing!
Bonus – Dance!
Speaking of dancing, dance! I have never taken a photo of people talking that has had as much excitement, energy, and story as people dancing. A year from now, you won’t remember what someone was saying in a photo (you might not even be there to hear it), but you will connect with the smiles and expression of people having fun dancing. So grab your guests, bring them on the dance floor, and kill two birds with one stone.