After doing many weddings, and seeing many different scenarios take place, I’ve tried to comprise a list of helpful tips for the day.
OUTDOOR WEDDING CEREMONIES
1. Check to be sure you have coverage from direct sunlight. Whether by trees, tent, a gazebo or building shade. If it is a sunny day and you have no blockage from the sun, you may have squinty eyes or harsh dark shadows cutting through your face. There is only so much “filling in” shadows a flash can do. An outdoor ceremony that takes place at sunset or 1.5 hours before sunset is fine in direct sunlight. This is optimal outdoor shooting time when the light is golden.
2. Think about where you are positioning yourself for the ceremony. If your officiant is standing in front of a wall or building, and you are facing him, the photographer can not get shots of your face from the front because it is blocked by the wall. We can only get shots from behind and the sides. If you can avoid this, great...but if you can’t it’s not the end of the world. Just something to consider.
3. I recommend taking into consideration how the "wind" will effect the hairstyle you choose. Loose curls framing the face can be an issue if you're getting married outside and its windy. I learned this from my own experience as a bride. Hair slapping you across the cheeks, lips and forehead isn't that pretty in the pictures and there is only so much I can photoshop off your skin.
4. When it rains--go with it! Accessories such as fun umbrellas, rain boots or something unique can add to your rainy wedding while having your personality shine through. We have no control over weather, but we can have some control over the artistic imagery of such a day.
5. If you have pale skin, brightly colored umbrellas can reflect on your skin tone and face. This has happened in the past. It can be digitally corrected to an extent, but if you can pick an umbrella in gray, black, white or something neutral--it helps!
1. If you know you want to take group photos of certain family members and you have the ability to let them know in advance, do so. You can do it at your rehearsal dinner, or during your receiving line. Just say, “we’re doing some family photos after this and we’d like to have you in them, so can you just meet us at xyz in 10 minutes for some quick shots.” This way you don’t have to run around trying to find anyone.
2. Even if you are against posed portraits, we recommend doing a few so you can give something to your parents that is more traditional and might be something they’d enjoy. 1 hour is PLENTY of time for the entire situation to take place. It is less than an hour if there aren’t tons of family members to group.
3. If you want to have a large group shot of ALL the guests at the wedding, coordinate with the MC so they can make an announcement. This can save lots of time trying to gather up stragglers. Also, give us a heads up so we can prepare if necessary.
1. If you have the opportunity to set aside free time with your spouse directly after the ceremony...think about doing it. I went to a wedding, and instead of a receiving line, they disappeared for 10 minutes to have to themselves. They stepped away from the affair, and just looked back on what they were being a part of. It was pretty cool, and I thought to myself that I wish I had done that at my wedding. Of course, if you’re a hustle and bustle type, taking a few minutes off may stress you out too! So the choice is yours.
2. To insure we get the kiss during the ceremony hold it for a little longer than 3 seconds. You’ll totally forget this, but maybe I can subconsciously plant it in your brain by writing it down here!
3. Make sure someone knows how to bustle your dress in advance!
4. Avoid doing shots before the portrait time (or whatever you party juice may be). The situation usually becomes a bit chaotic. I actually have a small formula I will share for what usually happens: Drunken = harder to gather and get attention from = longer it will take to get the portraits done. Prone to more blinks and wine tooth. Trust me!
5. Enjoy the planning part, day dreaming about what the day will be like is half the fun.