Advice for your wedding Day- 8 ways to help your professional wedding photography run as smoothly as possible.
Being a professional wedding photographer has taught me many, many things over the years. There are things I know now which I have no idea how I managed without in the early days! Things, which I have learned through trial and error and repeat, through the hundreds of weddings I have had the honour to share.
I have had a think about what I feel are the most important and created a list for all brides. My clients have all been wonderful, beautiful people, but are only doing this once! As are all my future brides! Hopefully, these tips and tricks will come in handy when preparing for your big day!
1: Wedding photographers often act as your unofficial wedding planner
No one will know your schedule as well as your wedding photographer. We are the only ones who are there for the entirety of your day – from your preparation in the morning often until the DJs the last song that night. The best thing here is to ask questions on both sides! Share details, time, thoughts and changes as soon as possible with your photographer. Your photographer will help you create an accurate timeline for the day ensuring you have time for everything, which needs to happen. They can coordinate with venues, florists; make up artists, celebrants and other suppliers. This helps the day run smoothly. Communicate who your other suppliers are. Discuss timing for other suppliers; ask about the best colours, flowers, and hairstyles that suit your theme. Your photographer will know all this and more!
The more details we share with you about your day, the more prepared we are on the day to ensure it runs like clockwork!
2: Allow additional time
This is a big one! As a rule, weddings generally run over time at various points throughout the day. Don’t stress, it happens. If you happen to be over right for the start, this can set the tone for a rushed day all the way through. Allowing extra time for each stage gives you the security in case of a delay. And if no delay – it allows you a chance to gather yourself before the next part of the day.
Typically preparation runs over with hair and make up taking longer than expected. This is due to the excitement of the day, lots of extra things going one, the bridesmaids required to attend to things instead of finishing their make up in one session and another number of things! It is best to allow 2 hours before you leave for your ceremony where your hair and make up will be finished. You will have plenty of time then if it goes over and still dress and have your bridal portraits captured.
Another area to leave extra time is after the ceremony – a half-hour for congratulations and guest/family photos – and in location. Location is a time for your bridal party and along with the photos, you want a chance to breathe and spend some quiet time with your husband! Having an hour and a half (without travel and depending on the size of your bridal party) will give you the breather you will certainly need by then!
3: Be aware of light times
When planning your wedding, have a talk with us about timing for the best light. Eg- if you are planning a winter wedding – don’t plan a 5 pm ceremony – it will be dark before you even say your vows! You want to aim for enough time to optimize the light. If you want sunset images, you want to plan your location shots to be almost finished by sunset with only those images to take – or plan to come outside from your reception for a half hour to capture sunset images after your official entrance. If you are having an outdoor ceremony midday sun is very harsh, both in photos but also for yourselves and your guests. Have a look where the light will fall in the afternoon compared to the direction of your ceremony. At Natural Lights Photography we can advise you and work with the many different lighting conditions the day can through at us. We know whats best and how we can make your day look magic, no matter the time of day or the weather!
4: Clean and organize your preparation space
If possible, choose the largest room you have access to and de-clutter it of all the little bits and pieces. For your own sake and that of your photos, it’s best to have a nice, clean open room to work with. This room then should only contain what you need for the wedding day. Dresses, shoes, jewellery, veil, perfume, mementoes, bouquets etc. This will make getting dressed easier, the chance of miss placing anything less and provide a good space us to work in. Try to ensure everyone you want in your preparation photos is there and ready at the same time as you so they don’t miss out. We do also have a tendency to move stuff around, don’t be afraid, we will put it back. It’s our own way of being creative and working to make the space look the best for you.
5: Eliminate multiple locations for photos
Between your ceremony and reception, you only have a limited amount of time and you don’t want to spend this in the car or stuck in traffic between places! It is best to stick with two locations at most and try to keep these within a short driving distance. We will have a list of the best photo location near to your ceremony or reception location. Have a talk us about your ideas and theme and then visit the locations suggested if unsure.
6: Have a well-prepared emergency kit
Essential! Make sure to pack a small bag containing all the emergency items you may need (We will have one too, just in case). Pack things such as panadol, band-aids, bobby pins, small hair spray, deodorant, lip gloss/lipstick, make up wipes, tissues, small sewing kit, mints (not gum), a pair of flat shoes, pads/tampons, and anything else you feel you might need. It’s also a good place for phones to be kept so your bridal party are not worried about these on the day. Nominate one bridesmaid to look after this. We often help look after this to while out and about, were used to it!
7: Finalize your run sheet for your reception with your photographer
Each venue will have their preferred way of doing things, but always discuss this with your us. We like to run things to ensure the night goes as smoothly and flows from start to finish. We need to know this order to make sure we aren’t in the bathroom when the speeches are due to start! We can help with the order if you want to change things or have additional aspects to add. (On a side note here- there should be no surprise a photographer does not know about! I can promise you we will keep it a secret.
8: Relax and trust your vendors!
This is one day of your life you will never forget! All the suppliers you have chosen are professionals and operate in the wedding industry all the time. We understand the importance and the value of ensuring the day is perfect! As long as you communicate, we can work together to ensure it happens all the way through. This is what we do – so don’t worry about us and enjoy your amazing day!!
There you have it! There are hundreds of pearls of wisdom I could pass on but Im sure this is long enough for now! Rest assured I go through them all with each one of our Natural Lights brides!!! If there is anything else you can think of, I would love to hear it in the comments! Im always looking for more useful advice I can pass along to my lovely brides!!! I look forward to hearing from you soon!