10 Things You Need To Know Before Your Wedding Day! - Suzanne Johnson Photography
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10 Things You Need To Know Before Your Wedding Day!

10 Things You Need To Know Before Your Wedding Day!

1. Consider making your wedding unplugged

So many times I’ve been photographing a wedding and I’ve had to dodge iPad’s and mobile phones to get the perfect shot of the bride walking down the isle or struggled to get people’s attention while someone has their camera over my shoulder distracting guests.

It’s great that everyone wants to capture your special day on their devices but it can hinder your photographer and cause real confusion as to who they should or shouldn’t be looking at. Consider asking people to put their phones away during your ceremony and formal shots. The last thing you want is wandering eyes or worse still giant iPad’s in every shot.

If you’re having different guests to your evening do you may like to consider asking people to hold off posting photos on social media of your wedding dress until the evening guests have seen you to stop people ruining the surprise.

Choose your photographer wisely, love their style and trust them to do what they do best!

2. Ditch the shot lists

Whilst having a few family formal shots written down is a great idea, handing a list of specific shots like “the kiss” and “groom’s first glance at bride” is not. When booking your wedding photographer, choose them with the confidence that they will capture all of those special moments – after all that’s what you’re paying them for! If you give your photographer a whole list of shots from Pinterest or Instagram the time they spend making sure they’ve ticked them off the list they will be missing out on the special unplanned moments that unfold in front of them.

It’s OK to show them photographs that you like the style of but asking your photographer to copy someone else’s style is a bad idea. Photographer’s need the space and freedom to be creative as moments unfold in front of them.

Choose your photographer wisely, love their style and trust them to do what they do best!

3. Keep family group shots to a minimum and make them fun!

Family and friend formal portraits take time. Time to round everyone up, time to organise everyone in a nice composition and time to get the perfect shot (there’s always that family member that can’t stop blinking or looks away just at that moment!)

Remember that group shots don’t have to be stiff and dull! Think confetti, jumping in the air and striking a pose. Choose a photographer who will make these fun for everyone: RELAXED = NATURAL SMILES.

4. Light is everything

Light can make or break your wedding photographs. When you look at a venue try to consider how bright it is and where the light source is. Flash is not permitted (usually) during wedding ceremonies so if your venue is particularly dark make sure your photographer knows about it and can work with low light. If they can’t and their shots of you and your fiance tying the knot are too dark there’s little that can be done to rectify it afterwards.

Later in the day is better for couple shots since the shadows aren’t so harsh, the light tends to have more of an orange glow too so it looks more atmospheric and romantic.

5. It’s important you click with your wedding photographer

If you get along with your photographer then you’ll be more relaxed and have fun, resulting in fabulously natural photographs. Aside from your Husband or Wife to be, your photographer will be the one that you spend the most time with on your wedding day and if you don’t get along or they make you feel uncomfortable it will be visible in your photographs for eternity.

6. Check your ceremony venue’s permission on photography before you book

Countless times I’ve met with a bride and groom for a consultation at their ceremony venue after they’ve booked it only to be told by the vicar that they don’t allow photographs during the ceremony and that I’ll have to stand at the back of the church throughout. Unfortunately the bride and groom haven’t been aware of this and are left disappointed that the key part of their wedding day cannot be captured as they wish.

Whilst one must respect the vicar’s views, if you feel really strongly about having photographs then speak with them directly and you may be able to talk them round or come to a compromise.

7. Be adventurous & use your wedding photographer’s local knowledge

Whilst the hotel or church’s grounds are beautiful, the shed round the back with peeling paint could make for a much more interesting backdrop. Don’t be afraid to go for a walk in the woods or stand with a brolly in the pouring rain! Some of the most amazing wedding photographs I’ve taken have had moody skies or at unorthodox locations.

Your photographer will have done this before and will know the local area – ask them for advice about local beauty spots or unusual places that will fit in with yours and your fiances interests.

Be different – break the mold of tradition.

Don't be afraid to go for a walk in the woods or stand with a brolly in the pouring rain!

8. Allow some time alone for couple shots

Great photos take time, make sure you schedule enough time to get your couple shots. Get advice from your photographer about how long you’ll need and where you’re going to have them. Consider going to a nearby location that is different to where your group shots will be taken, this makes them more special and gives you a chance to take some time out away from everyone else for a short while.

Allow plenty of time alone during your first dance. 3 minutes is a very short amount of time to get the perfect shot, if you cut that down to 30 seconds before inviting everyone on to the dance floor the your photographer has a very small window of opportunity. You can ask your DJ to announce everyone to join you after a certain amount of time, that way you can enjoy your first dance and leave it to them.

9. Ignore us, relax and enjoy your day!

Seriously, if you look like yourself then you’ll look your best and that means no posing, pouting or looking at the camera (unless you’re asked). Whenever I see someone looking into a camera I see them pull a face – a forced smile, a slight pout, a tilted head – all so unnatural, stiff and unflattering! The best thing you can do is to go about your wedding day as if your photographer isn’t there, that’s when the magical images will happen.

10. If you like someone’s work you can ask them to travel

It doesn’t cost as much as you might think – chances are if you’re marrying abroad you’ll be saving some money on venue hire etc so may have a little extra in the pot for your wedding photography.

Don’t know where to start looking for your wedding photographer? Then read this handy guide full of hints, tips on what to look for and the questions you should be asking.

Happy planning x