Tips And Tidbits From A Wedding Photographer

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Dear Bride,
Planning a wedding is a lot of work. Every bride wants the perfect wedding day. I had great expectations for my own wedding day. As I look back at photos of my own wedding I wonder, “why did I have my bridesmaids wear dresses that looked like airline stewardesses?” I wish Pinterest was around when I got married. Pinterest is packed with so many wonderfully creative ideas. Among the many wedding ideas are hundreds and hundreds of possible wedding poses. However, I have found few words of advice about wedding days. As a wedding photographer, I have experienced weddings on a different level…beyond being a bride. I want to share some tips and tidbits that I have found to make a wedding day more enjoyable and (almost) stress-free.

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1. First of all, designate someone at your wedding to help with the details such as directing guests, keeping to the schedule, finding a bobby pin for the maid of honor’s hair, and all those important details that keep your day running smoothly. If you can’t afford to hire a wedding coordinator, then find a friend or a family member. This person needs to know the families and be knowledgeable of your expectations for the day. You do not want to have to worry about the itinerary on your wedding day or whether the flowers were delivered or if someone is directing parking.

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2. DON’T print out and give all the wedding poses you like that you find on Pinterest to your photographer. You need to allow your photographer to be creative that day and photograph your day as it plays out. You selected your photographer(s) because you liked their work and their “eye” so allow them to do their job. It isn’t realistic to expect your photographer to recreate all the photos you found on Pinterest.

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3. Designate a family member or friend to help with the gathering of people for the family photos. It will be their job to get “Great Uncle Bill” to stick around for photos. You should not have to do this or worry about it. I suggest providing your photographer with a list of family members and the groupings. Give a copy to your designated person in addition to your photographer. Believe me, this will make the family photos go much smoother and you will know that you are getting the groupings that you desire.

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4. Allow for time after dinner for some photos with you and the groom. This has been a favorite time of mine. It allows the two of you to have a bit of time away to connect. It is a very sweet and much needed moment. I suggest allowing for 30-40 minutes. It is best to do after you finish your dinner because: 1) you are served first and will be done before everyone, 2) photographers generally (at least I don’t) photograph guests eating, and 3) everyone will still be eating. It is the perfect time to slip away for some bride and groom photos. (If after dinner doesn’t work, try to find a time when there is still light outside for this private session to happen.)

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5. If you want photos of your wedding party in various group poses, allow for ample time to do it. I have found 30 minutes isn’t enough time. When at least an hour is provided, the wedding party doesn’t feel rushed and this part of the day is quite fun. If you want the great wedding party photos, then allow for time to do them. This is especially important if you have a large wedding party.

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6. My last bit of advice to the bride is to try not to sweat the small stuff. It doesn’t matter if the candies on the tables are color coordinated with the napkins or if the butterflies were released at the exact moment you wanted or if a few guests ate the cupcakes a bit early. What matters is that you are marrying your best friend, your second half, the person who makes your heart go pitter-patter and skip a beat. So find a way to let it go and enjoy the day. Dance, laugh, and smile simply because it is a happy day. It will all fall into place. You can do things to help ensure that it goes well by simply following some of my tips and tidbits. Happy wedding planning.

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