1.The big day is here.
You did most or all of what was discussed in my previous post (well ok, at least, you did things along those lines lol), so trust that you have made the right decision. Please resist the urge to direct or pose photos or hide from the camera. Just be.
2. Getting ready photos.
Oooh this is one of my faves - the pre ceremony time we have together :>). The hair and make up and what not, there is sooo much I can say here but I will keep it simple. Bride, as for make up (and you can let your make up artist in on this too): please don't lay it on too thick "for the photos" - you want to look like you, only enhanced and accentuated. Not saying more than that lol! Last year I had a bride who did her make up herself. I got in there ready for action and there was no make up artiste, no hair girl or nothin' like that, no frills no thrills, she said she wanted to look like herself, and who better to make her look like herself than, well herself and she looked amazingly gorge!!!
Also still on the topic, please ladies, get ready in a nice and spacious room if you want your photos to look nice. Enough said. I have traded stories with seasoned photogs who have experienced brides insisting on certain kinds of shots who did not have the right location for them (example, you want a shot by a nice well lit window but the hotel accommodations has no window - while that's a bit of an extreme, it hits the nail on the head what I'm talking about!) Also, this goes without saying but you want your photog in the room with you at all times while you are getting ready (well if she's a girl then ALL otherwise maybe a moment or two you can be excused), not to worry, she's not out to shoot you in your underwear or anything sinister like that ">); it's about the love in the room, the nerves, anticipation, the exact moment you pull the dress on and the reactions from those who love you the most... (yeah I know, it was meant to bring the sap out of you...)
3. The Ceremony and the venue of the ceremony.
Most Churches/places of worship have restrictions, please let your photog know what they are so they can set limits and expectations and be better prepared. In all of this remember, access is key. Better position, better photos. As much as possible, I try to be as unobtrusive as possible and still get my shot. It is a good idea to let your photog hang back with the bridal party till right before the bride walks down the aisle. Most of all for your ceremony, live in the moment! Take it all in and throw all your worries about time and schedules out the window for the precious moments that lay ahead (I say this at the risk of sounding all "Hallmark" and all...:))
Now this one is a "touchy feely" one for me LOL and I'll tell you why; because, I am not exactly joining the bandwagon on photogs who think the pre wedding shoot is EVERYTHING and a side of fries. For one I am not against the famed 'first look' if the couple prefers it (after all it is their day) however if it were all up to me, I would say to schedule formals AFTER the ceremony IF POSSIBLE (note the BIG IF which is to say I am flexible to accommodate the timing that suits the couple) BUT as a hopeless romantic who happens to photograph weddings, or vice versa, :) I kinda bristle at sacrificing that romantic moment of having just been joined to 'fake smile' for the camera; to me it is too important. I believe the pictures as huge as they are, are really for wedding in the final analysis, and not wedding for the pictures. But hey that's just me - I realize that logistics wise it has made sense to have a first look where the bride and groom meet for photos before the ceremony and I get that. Just that I somehow have it in my head that with good organization, it IS also feasible to shoot formals after the ceremony, where the real happiness and joy of the bride and groom will show through in the smiles!
5. Formals (again!) - how to shoot em and still make it to your cocktail hour :)
Please please designate a responsible person (your planner if you have one will be your money's worth here) to help with getting people to where they need to be for photos. Assign a family herder - family member who knows who is who should also be in the mix here to help recognize who needs to be in what shots. Tell family members to be there right after the ceremony. Family and friends all stick around for the very first set of photos so they can be released to go to the cocktail hour. DO NOT let them go to the bar right after the ceremony. You WILL lose them! :)). After the friends and family group shots are taken, (which should last all of 15 mins at the most), then that's one layer peeled off. Next is the bridal train shots, after that should come the portraits with bride and groom. Earmark at least half an hour of shots with the bride and groom alone please. This is very important and makes the difference between never having to don your wedding dress again and wanting to take more wedding photos two months later!
6. Party time!!
It's time to dance the night away with your friends and family who have come to celebrate your love! So go with the flow, it's the fun and surprises and impromptu moments of the day that makes weddings so special. Have the time of your life and count on your photog to capture the moments as much as possible! Don't worry about what's going on where in the room, just be in the moment and know that events are being duly documented. I had a couple tell me about how they were looking through their party pics and couldn't stop laughing and reminiscing and also reveling in the little bits they missed which the camera captured. That's what it is all about. So trust your photographer!
And with that, it's a wrap! So you are thinking of having your wedding this year. Hire the photographer that's right for you and you will have photos that capture the true essence and spirit of your day! Enjoy some reception tablescapes!