13 Wedding Photography Tips For Brides

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Despite the hours and (often) years you will put into your wedding planning, when it’s over all that remains are the moments, emotions and memories captured by your photo and video team. That’s not meant to make you sad, but to stress how important it is to hire a quality
photographer. Once you do, there are many steps you as a bride can take to help create incredible photos. Here are 13 ways to do so:

1. Create a Mood Board
A mood board is an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc., intended to evoke a particular style or concept. Photographers and videographers love when brides create mood boards because it helps us understand your personality and likes. You can create a digital mood board on a website or app like Pinterest, where you can save images that you like and don’t like. This is an easy way for you to visually communicate your style with your creative team.

2. Hire Photography and Videography from the Same Company
Selecting a photographer and videographer from the same studio is the better choice for many reasons including:
- Shared goals and accountability.
- Better communication, workflow and positioning.
- Less paper waste signing duplicate documents.
- A shared vision and style.
- Fewer meetings to attend.
- Package discounts.

3. Ensure Enough Time for Each Section of the day
A timeline for your wedding day is crucial. There should be an estimated start and end time for hair, makeup, reception setup, etc. Included in that timeline should be all your photo sessions, like bridal party photos and couple’s session. If you’re not sure how much photo time you’ll need for each part of the day click here for a detailed photo timeline.

4. Minimize locations
You can maximize photo time on your wedding day, by minimizing the number of photo shoot locations. For example, you don’t want to spend more time traveling from point A to point B than actually taking the pictures. Even if you don’t love the background options of your venue, a stellar photographer should be able to make almost any location work. It is important to trust in the creative abilities of your photographer.

5. Hire Quality Vendors
The time flow of your day will be influenced by quality vendors For example, you wouldn’t want a makeup artist showing up a half hour late, would you? That half hour would impact the rest of the day. To avoid the stress that may carry over into your wedding photos, it is so
important to select the right vendors. Also, hiring a wedding planner is a great way to make your planning process easier. A wedding
planner will allow you to enjoy your wedding day without any unnecessary distractions. If any mishaps occur, your wedding planner can handle it while you and your partner go unbothered. There are so many vendor options it may seem overwhelming. Before hiring a vendor, do your research, consult your venue’s preferred vendor list follow your instincts. Be sure to check out our favorite wedding vendors here.

6. Plan Enough Time for Hair & Makeup
As noted above, delays with hair and makeup can set the whole wedding day behind schedule. Too often we see brides rushing because of unexpected delays with hair and makeup. Experienced hair and makeup artists will create a schedule to follow during wedding
preparations. Your creative team will typically ask for one hour in order to document final touch-ups, detail shots, and candid moments with your closest friends and family. Please look at our Ideal Wedding Timeline to find out exactly how much photo time for each task – like hair and makeup - you should have set aside throughout the day.

7. Choose a Long Veil
A beautiful long veil makes for some of the best photos, this is why we encourage brides to choose a long veil on their wedding day. The wedding veil can be used in numerous ways during bridal portraits and the couples session.

8. Include Toss Items
Toss items – like confetti, flower petals, paper planes, rice, etc. – make for some great photos. Whether you incorporate toss items in your group photos, during your first dance or your grand exit, they’ll add that something extra special to your photos.

9. Have a First Look Session
Among the most memorable events of a wedding day is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time – or first look. In this moment, suddenly all the nerves and anticipation fades away and the two get the chance to enjoy one another. This special time makes for some of the most heartfelt photos and is well worth adding to your itinerary.

10. Schedule the Couples Session During the Golden Hour
If you choose your wedding venue specifically because of the spectacular natural, it’s essential to schedule your couple’s session 30 to 45 minutes before sunset. We call this the Golden Hour and the romantic natural hues make it a gorgeous time to take photos.

11. Schedule Time in Your Ballroom
Before guests enter the reception hall or ballroom take some private time with just your photographer inside. You’ll get to see the reception you’ve been dreaming about for months unblemished. This is also a great opportunity for your photographer to capture a genuine reaction, quick couple’s session and photos on the dance floor without wandering guests in the background.

12. Include a Sneak Away Session
The Sneak Away session lasts no more than a half hour and is typically scheduled during your reception and after dinner. You can also schedule these shots at the very end of the night once all the guests have departed. The beauty of twinkling stars and dark skies makes for a gorgeous photo backdrop.

13. Plan a Sparkler Exit
Close out your special day with a grand exit using sparklers. Sparklers are hand-held fireworks that burn slowly while emitting colored flames, sparks and other effects. A sparkler exit is unique, fun and makes for stunning photos. While many venues allow the sparkler exit, others may not. Good alternatives would be glow sticks, confetti, bubbles or flower petals.

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