5 tips to planning photography at your wedding, and keeping it stress-free!
Do the term stress-free and wedding planning actually go together? We think they can! Sure, planning a wedding seems like a daunting task, full of checklists and appointments that add up to a lot of stress leading up to your big day. But it doesn't have to be that way. First, take a moment to breathe and relax. After all, it's your wedding and you should be able to fully enjoy the day – stress free! Since that's easier said than done, we put together these 5 tips to planning photography at your wedding.
Tip 1 – Keep it simple.
Short and sweet is best when it comes to “shot lists.”
Instead of letting random relatives and long-lost friends take over your portraits (as much as they're trying to help), keep your photo session simple with this list. It's our go-to for group photos and portraits:
•Bride and Groom with both sets of parents
•Bride and Groom with Bride’s Parents
•Bride and Groom with Bride’s immediate family
•Bride and Groom with Groom’s immediate family
•Bride and Groom with Groom’s Parents
•Bride and Groom with entire wedding party
•Bride with bridesmaids
•Groom with groomsmen
•Bride and Groom
This is a great starting point! Just add or subtract from this list to make it a perfect fit your wedding. Remember, short and sweet is best when it comes to portraits. Your family and friends want to move on to the party as much as you do, so stick to your list. Keep moderation in mind; you probably don't need 20 different shots with the same people in different combinations.
Tip 2 – Build buffer for spontaneous shots.
Don’t over-schedule yourself; leave room for fun photos around your venues.
Want to know a secret? Portraits can be done pretty quickly! The trick is making sure everyone who needs to be in group photos is actually ready to go when it's time for portraits. This will give you and your photographer time to do some fun shots with family and friends, and will give you time to explore the the area around your venues for more interesting backdrops. Washington, DC, brides should remember that there are tons of opportunities to include urban and architectural elements. If you're having a more rustic wedding, take time to explore what's around you and include some gorgeous landscape in your photos.
Consider choosing times of day that are ideal for lighting.
Lighting makes all the difference in photographs. Amazing light, whether natural or staged, can totally transform your photos into something incredible. Photographers know this, so chat with your photographer about their lighting setups, and ask for advice about where the best spots for portraits may be, and when the best time to do portraits will be.
If you are having an evening ceremony, it may be best to do some group shots before the ceremony, so you don't run out of sunlight. Visit your venues at different times of day and see what the spaces look like. Shoot for the golden hour – that magical time when the sun is close to the horizon, either early morning or late afternoon, that creates glowing, soft light and makes everything beautiful.
Sounds funny, right? But it’s true: you’ll get better photos when you aren’t aware of the camera.
Most people tend to stiffen up in front of a camera, and it can make for awkward photos, which you especially don't want on your wedding day! Instead, just enjoy your day and trust your photographer to capture the right moments. You will get more natural looking photos if you don't ham it up for the camera with fake smiles and cheesy poses; just be yourself!
There are tons of shots you can’t plan for. In fact, those are often the most magical ones!
This may be the most important tip. Your wedding has finally arrived after months of planning, so you should be able to relax and fully enjoy your big day. You're going to get all your planned photos with family and friends, so let your photographer take the reins from there. They know the magical moments not-to-miss, and will be there to capture all the little ones in between too.
The team at Love Life Images understands how hectic wedding planning can be. That’s why we created this tip list for you. For more helpful tips, see our full guide here: How to Capture Photos You Can’t Plan for at Your Wedding