My Top 12 Wedding Photography Tips For Brides
You’re planning your dream wedding, putting extensive thought and effort into every minor detail. Afterall, it’s going to be a day to remember for the rest of your life. But years from the wedding, all that remains are the moments, emotions and memories captured by your photo and video team.
Aside from hiring a quality photographer, there are numerous steps you can take as a bride to guarantee incredible photos. From incorporating a first look to picking that long flowy veil in the bridal shop, we’ve narrowed down the top 13 wedding photography tips you should follow as a bride.
01. Build a Mood Board
There’s a good chance you already have “mood boards” created for your dream wedding, but if you’re not familiar, a mood board is a collection of images that represent your overall vision for your wedding. This can include everything from dresses, invitations, bridal party images and venue decor, to images that you don’t like, giving your vendors a visual representation of your vision and as well as what to avoid. Pinterest is one of the easiest ways to collect and display your wedding inspiration, show your personalities (boho, modern, classic, etc), AND you can even include a brief description on each of your pins specifying why you chose them! So if you really like a specific venue, dress and decor colours, emotions and feelings in images and even the lighting (bright and sunny, warm sunset, nighttime).
02. Create a Realistic Schedule
In my experience, the backbone of a successful wedding day is a well thought-out timeline, and I have some good news… I’ve done most of the work for you with my Wedding Timeline Planner!! From start to finish and every moment in between, I’ve done my best to ensure that you can easily build out your wedding day and make sure you will have enough time to capture all of those beautiful moments and create some Epic images! This includes a suggested amount of time to capture each stage of your wedding day, along with smaller components and possible travel time which can often be overlooked! It’s also a great idea to sit down with your wedding planner to cross those t’s and dot those i’s before finalizing your timeline!
03. Allow Enough Time For Hair & Make-up
The biggest time stealer on your wedding day happens first thing in the morning during hair & makeup. The amount of time this part of the day takes will snowball and before you know it your entire wedding day schedule will be pushed back. Inevitably, your photography is the only part of your wedding day that can be adjusted to accommodate this because your ceremony and reception cannot be adjusted. It’s best to plan on having your hair and makeup done ahead of schedule (even before your bridesmaids are finished!) which will give you enough time for your portraits, detail shots, final touch-ups and those beautiful little moments with your family and closest friends.
04. Limit Your Photography Locations
To make the most of your photography time on your wedding day, it’s best to choose 2 locations maximum for your post ceremony photos. If you plan on taking family formals and bridal party images somewhere other than your ceremony or reception location, you will need to plan accordingly and give clear directions and times to avoid losing the time you’ve set aside for your couple portraits session.
05. Choosing Quality Vendors
One of the best things you can do as you plan your wedding is hire a wedding planner. Their sole focus is to bring your wedding dreams to life, simplify the planning process, assist you with your decisions and reduce the stress that often comes with all those wedding decisions! Their expertise can also help you choose reputable vendors that are very experienced with the needs of a wedding day, respectful of your timeline and will be the perfect fit for bringing your dreams to life.
06. Wear a Long Veil
There is something incredibly magical about a beautiful long veil as the finishing touch in your bridal transformation. If you’re on the fence, I’m team Long Veil all the way, and they’re responsible for some of the best pictures on your wedding day. From the gorgeous edges and folds, the way it drags behind you (I always think of the Sound of Music when Maria is walking down the aisle towards the Captain), bridal portraits of the two of you swept up inside the veil followed by a quick veil toss (see below), a long veil is a must on your wedding day to achieve these looks!
07. Fun Toss Items
Toss items are a great way to get your guests involved and create some really fun photos that capture the joy, excitement, laughter and smiles on your guests faces (check out the arm on Oma below – this definitely isn’t her first rice toss!) You can plan your toss for your ceremony or reception exit, your group photos or even during your first dance, and there are plenty of fun and unique options including flower petals, rice, biodegradable confetti and who doesn’t love bubbles!
08. Plan a First Look
The moment when you first see each other as bride and groom is the most anticipated moment of your wedding day, but who says it can only be as you’re walking down the aisle? First looks are wonderful for a few reasons:
- It gives the two of you an intimate moment by yourselves (plus your photographer) to take each other in as bride and groom, letting all your emotions show and making for some of the most cherished images on your wedding day.
- If you have a tight wedding schedule, first looks are the perfect opportunity for your couples photo session, and one of your last moments alone before you join your guests for the rest of the day!
- If you’re incredibly nervous, your first look can eliminate some of those jitters and nerves before you’re standing in front of your guests with all eyes on you!
- Avoid the awkward/spoiled moment of your overly enthusiastic aunt/uncle jumping into the aisle to take a photo of your soon-to-be-wife, blocking your much anticipated “first look”. Unless they’re hiding in the bushes, planning a first look will make sure the first time you see each other will be just the two of you.
09. Schedule A Private Moment In The Ballroom
This is the final reveal for all of your decisions leading up to your wedding day. The first moments as you walk through the doors into your reception are a perfect moment to capture your reactions as you see your dream wedding brought to life. This is also a perfect moment for the two of you having a private dance on the dance floor and to capture your reception details without any distractions or guests in the background.
10. Take Advantage of The Light – Sunset Session
There are plenty of reasons why you chose your venue, maybe it’s the lush gardens, the breathtaking vineyard, the gorgeous architecture, or the amazing view, make sure you’ve scheduled a sunset session not just for the amazing light, but to capture the beautiful features of your venue. Sunset Sessions are scheduled in the 30 – 40 minutes prior to sunset, also known as Golden Hour, when the light is beautiful, buttery and golden (it honestly feels like the warmest hug you’ve ever been given) giving these incredibly romantic tones. If you’re planning a sunset session, don’t forget to do a quick Google search to find out when the sun will set on your wedding day and remember to schedule it 30 – 40 minutes prior to sunset!
11. Take Advantage of The Dark – Nighttime Session
Nighttime Sessions are when some of the more creative shots from your wedding day are captured, and feature some fancy lighting and camera magic by your photographer. Nighttime Sessions take about 20 – 30 minutes and typically occur after dinner during your reception, but you can also save these shots for the very end of the night after all your guests have left. This is another time to take advantage of the features of your venue, whether it’s a dramatic cityscape or dark skies and bright stars don’t miss out on these romantic backgrounds.
12. Plan an Exit
This is it! You’ve made it to the end of your wedding day (and you’re still standing!) But how are you going to leave? Sparkler exits are incredibly popular because they make for great photos, but if your venue doesn’t allow sparkler exits check out these Creative Wedding Exit Sendoffs for some illuminated alternatives, or use this moment for your wedding toss! Either way your guests will be nothing but smiles as they help send you off!