5 Tips from Professional Wedding Photographers for Your Big Day
With the spring wedding season in full swing and the summer wedding season quickly approaching, couples across the globe are setting plans for their ‘I do’ date ahead.
In preparation for the celebratory season, custom photo products provider ifolor interviewed wedding photographers about the most shocking and hilarious encounters on the job – and what future brides and grooms can learn from these stories.
Here are five memorable stories our fly-on-the-wall photographers shared, including five key takeaways to avoid these mishaps during your wedding:
1. Don’t let guests do surprise speeches.
Surprise speeches can be a fun addition to wedding festivities, but they can also derail the wedding timeline and make many people uncomfortable.
According to wedding photographer Elizabeth Raley, that’s what happened when the bride and groom were approached during their wedding by a guest who wanted to ‘read a bible verse’ during the ceremony:
“Even one guest can cause undue amounts of stress! During a wedding we did once, a particular couple had one guest who asked if he could read a bible verse during the ceremony… The guest proceeded to read from Revelations for about 20 minutes.”
“Me (the photographer), my husband (the officiant), and the couple were left speechless and imprisoned by him monopolising the time. Their time with us was only an hour for photos and the ceremony. They were extremely angry with him, and I always use that as an example of why you should just run off and truly elope!”
Let your guests know that any speeches should be pre-planned to avoid unexpected hijinks. This will help keep the party on track and ensure there isn’t any resentment showing through the photos. After all, the wedding day should be all about the newlyweds. So, be prepared to put your foot down even when the closest family members want to steal the spotlight.
“Honestly, bridezillas aren't typically a huge problem for us – it's people's mothers,” said Elizabeth. “I always dread overbearing mums...”
2. Plan pet-sitting arrangements.
White dresses and muddy paws certainly don’t mix. If your pet will be in attendance, arrange pet-sitting plans beforehand. Consider hiring a pet sitter, asking friends or family, or dropping your pet off at a kennel. This will ensure your pets are cared for while you’re busy getting ready for the big day
Elizabeth Raley explains how dogs can easily take attention away from newlyweds and steal the spotlight in photos:
“Another couple brought six dogs as guests – that was a wild ride! I have a shot of the dogs all running towards me and another during the ceremony where they are all tangled around everything with their leads.”
3. Check for clothing tags before the wedding day.
One of the most embarrassing things that could happen on your wedding day is forgetting to remove tags from clothing that will be photographed. Nothing feels quite as horrible as getting your wedding photos back and seeing a bright white clothing tag sticking out in every photo.
Actually, there may be one thing that’s worse. Wedding photographer Elouisa Georgiou shared a nightmare story from a wedding she photographed.
“The father of the groom didn’t check his jacket for tags until the car was about to leave for the ceremony … There was a security tag completely visible on his jacket. These tags are filled with ink so that if removal is forced, the ink will spoil the item and tag the culprit. There was a lot of sweating and stress, which definitely showed in the photos.”
The lesson here should be to not only check for tags with plenty of time before the wedding photographer arrives – but also the day you purchase your outfit.
“I now tell this story in every client consultation, along with my tips for preparing for the big day. Under no circumstances should you wait until the day of the wedding to check for tags and stickers on your clothes and shoes,” said Elouisa.
4. Keep the photographer informed.
Your photographer is responsible for capturing your special day, so it is important to keep them informed of any changes to the wedding day schedule. Make sure to give your photographer a detailed timeline of the day’s events and any must-have photos you’d like taken – and a proposal shot should certainly be considered a must-have photo.
Wedding and engagement proposal photographer Kari Bjorn shared the importance of keeping your photographer in the loop, even when nerves are high:
“Recently, I had a client who wanted to propose to his girlfriend and have it captured. We had two meetings to make sure the plan was perfect… That didn’t go as planned.”
Kari said the plan involved the client taking his girlfriend on a walk to a prior-agreed upon proposal location, where Kari would be inconspicuously waiting.
“When we got to the proposal location, I was going to slow down and stop to let them pass; that was his signal to go for it. I saw them enter the bridge and gave him a little glance, and then I turned the other way and started walking away, anticipating that they would follow.”
But that didn’t go as planned, Kari said:
“About 10 seconds later, I heard the girlfriend scream ‘YES!’”
Kari said he rushed to the voice to capture as much as the moment he could. Although the couple was very excited in the moment, they won't have all the photos they had hoped for, highlighting the importance of keeping your photographer in the loop!
5. Set a drinking limit before the party begin.
It’s easy to get swept up in the festivities of the wedding day, so be sure to set a drinking limit for yourself and your guests before the party begins.
Elizabeth Raley explained some of the consequences when a drinking limit is not set or agreed upon:
“The bride and all the women arrived first at the location. Then, the groom, his groomsmen, the father-of-the-bride, and a bartender from the bar where they'd all just gotten drunk, rolled up in a taxi and were all totally wasted. The bride was so angry.”
Getting too drunk on your wedding day can lead to embarrassing behaviour, blurred memories of the day that should be cherished, and a potential lack of respect from your guests.
“I spent a lot of time photographing her alone because she was beautiful and deserved better. I would have walked if I were her,” said Elizabeth.
Say ‘I Do’ to These Wedding Photo Tips
Saying ‘I do’ to these advices from wedding photographers will help ensure your wedding day goes smoothly. After all, the photos taken on your special day will be adored for years – so be sure that they don’t include a mother-in-law in white or giant security tags!
- Let the experienced and professional photographer lead the photoshoot, as they have your best interests in mind.
- Have fun while taking the photos and let your personality show! This will make for more natural, authentic photos that you’ll treasure for years to come.
- Familiarise yourself with the poses you feel most comfortable in and practice them with your photographer before your wedding day.
- Embrace the weather. If it’s raining or snowing, try to make the most of it. Having your wedding photos taken in the rain or snow can add some beautiful and unique elements to your album.
- Schedule enough time for taking photos on your wedding day. It’s a good idea to schedule a few extra hours to make sure you have time for all the photos you want.
- Bring comfy shoes when walking to different photography locations. If you're being photographed at the beach, bring extra clothes and towels so you can go into the ocean, as those photos turn out incredibly.
- Wear the clothes that make YOU feel amazing and confident – whether it’s a princess dress, a linen suit, jeans, or a kilt, be unapologetically you!
Wedding photos are forever memorable and important as they capture a moment in time that can never be replicated. Your photos will provide a reflection of the special day as well as a lasting visual memory of the day for family and friends. By following these wedding photography tips, you can make sure you have happy memories and photos to relive for years to come.