My bride and grooms ask me a lot of questions. It’s normal. It’s their first wedding .. I have a wedding every weekend. So I figured I would compile a bunch of random questions that people usually ask me to help you plan your wedding better. These are questions that popped into my head as I was writing. If you have any more, let me know in the comment section below and I’ll answer you. Even if you aren’t my bride/groom. I’ll answer as accurately as possible. Know that you should also ask your photographer/planner/dj because we don’t all work the same way.
There’s 37 + here.
Worried is a strong word of course but, you get the idea. Technically you shouldn’t worry about anything. Everything WILL be fine. But…
I think you totally should. Why? Because, In my experience, this is the best part of the day. It makes for the best photos. You really get to see the anticipation of the day. Everyone is happy, fresh, excited, connected. Getting ready for what’s to come. You’ll really cherish these photos. Especially with your parents (and kids if applicable)
When I’m photographing weddings, I like to get there when you are starting your makeup. Usually 1.5 hours before the ceremony. Your hair should be done by then. While you are getting your makeup done, your bridesmaids should be getting dressed (so their makeup and hair should be done). Then, when everything (and everyone) is done, you should be getting dressed (30 min before the ceremony – minus travel)
I like to go see the groom before I go see the bride. So, that’s about 2 hours before the ceremony. Getting the groom dressed is usually pretty fast. Doesn’t usually take more than 30 minutes – this includes him hanging out with his friends and having fun with them. Don’t ever forget to add travel time from the groom and bride.
Well, that’s up to you. Do you want your mom with you in your photos while you are getting dressed? If yes, then yes.. she should be there. Preferably dressed. Unless you don’t care. your father should be there too. Ready to walk in the room when you are in your dress so that he can see you for the first time and we are there to capture his reaction. Same for groom. If you want your parents in the photos with you… then they should be there. I recommend it.
I do ALL my family photos after the ceremony in order to keep a good “flow” to the day. I don’t take photos with your parents, siblings, ushers, flower girls, before the ceremony. That time is reserved for you you relax, take it easy and get ready emotionally to get married.
The bride should have the dress, shoes, accessories, flowers, rings and a new invitation (and envelope) with her at her “getting ready” location. So that we can photograph every detail.
The groom should have his suit, shoes, cufflinks (if applicable), whisky/cigars if he likes that (hehe) and anything else that might be important to you.
Limos should arrive at least 45 minutes before you are scheduled to leave. Limousines are always arrive late (as per my experience)
Your getting location should be in a location near the ceremony so that there isn’t that much travel. Also, pick a place that has SPACE and lots of natural light (large windows) for your vendors. If we are photographing the groom and the bride, a location close by is very much recommended (idea: rent two hotel rooms)
A first look is when you get to see your groom before the ceremony. This is great because of a few things:
Professional wedding photographers can deal with any situation so I’ll say : Do whatever you want to do. If I ABSOLUTELY had to choose though, I would say outdoors. But only because sunlight (and natural light) is so much prettier than Artificial lights.
The groom should arrive at least 30-45 minutes before the ceremony start to greet people. The bride can arrive right before it starts. 10 minutes maybe. Remember, no stress. NOTHING can happen until you show up. If you are getting married in a church, Priests tend to get mad if you arrive late. Consider your travel time. Hey. I’m just being honest here.
Nah. Come on. You are all a family now. Don’t make your guests choose a side.
Unless you want photos of your ceremony with people hiding behind their phones and ipads (taking photos), you should consider asking someone to make an announcement to be respectful and put them AWAY. If you want the power to post your Own wedding photos on Facebook or Instagram… Consider asking people to not post as well.
Walk normally. Don’t do the awkward “step-stop-step”. It looks terrible in photos and video. Walk slow, SMILE and wait until the previous person is half way through the aisle before heading out. That way the photographer won’t struggle to capture you. Don’t stop for photos. Just walk.
Top of the aisle of course! Looking out and waiting for his bride. In the middle (ish). Not too far off to the side.
Ishhh. Then your photos might be grainy and … well.. terrible. Usually, ceremony spots are really dark. We NEED flash to help take awesome photos. Talk to them about it.
This is the time your photographer usually takes for photos. Use your family list here. Chances are you told the people involved that they need to stick around and wait for their turn to take their photo. Usually taken at the ceremony spot. After the family photos, you should be heading out for your wedding party and couple photos. Consider travel time.
Photographers love sunset light. It’s beautiful and golden. It’s also amazing because the sun is low and we can place you with the sun behind you. This makes all those pretty silhouetted photos. We really don’t like when the sun is super high in the sky. This causes you to have weird strong shadows on your face and you squint a lot. It’s also really hot in the summer at that time (ew sweat) So we tend to just hide in the shadows the whole time for even light. But we understand that sometimes, the ceremony times can’t really be chosen so… we deal with anytime.
Have a rain (or cold) plan. Pick a green house or indoor location to travel too if it rains. Also, consider rain boots and fun umbrellas to take some photos outdoors. Your photographer will totally go outside with you in the rain. when picking Umbrellas, avoid reds or flashy colours that might reflect coloured light into your skin. Ew.
Family portraits typically take 5 minutes per portraits. So make sure your lists isn’t TOO long. Wedding party photos take about 20 minutes (they should leave to the reception after). Couple photos (just you and your new hubby) take about 1h.
No. Only wedding party and you two should go for photos afterwards. This is to minimize the chances of people getting lost, getting additional cars etc.
It depends. I recommend a first look if your ceremony is late (around 3/4 o’clock) The reason being that time becomes really tights afterwards for photos. By having a first look before, you get to enjoy that previous time after the ceremony to hang out with friends at the cocktail hour. If you are an early ceremony (like noon or 1), you will have 3-4 hours between the ceremony and reception. That’s a LONG time. Might as well keep busy with photos. If your ceremony is early… consider giving the guests instructions afterwards so they know where to go and when.
Having enough time for family photos/portraits and giving time for the photographer to get back to the venue in order to take all your detail photos. We need about 30 minutes. If your cocktail hour is INSIDE the reception area, tell your photographer in advance. And note that it means that you won’t get that photo of your reception hall setup without people in it.
Well, ultimately… you. Weeks before your ceremony, you should have a nice chat with your DJ to see what is important to you and when he should schedule what. As a base, consider your contract with your photographer. If you have a 10hrs coverage with your photographer (and he finished at 9pm) and the MOST important things to photograph are First dance, parent dance’s and speeches, then tell your DJ that all the important things should be done before 9pm. Tell him in advance though. Don’t stress him out of the day of !! Remember that the garter usually can’t be done super early and the sweet table is 1-2 hours after the meal. The cake can totally be cut WHENEVER YOU WANT though. Just have to notify the staff.
At a table preferably. Don’t forget about us. No matter what the venue says, we also need to be inside the reception room to make sure that we don’t miss a beat. If the venue places your vendors outside the room, we’ll have no idea what’s happening and might miss surprise speeches, dances or random moments. We should also be eating at the same time as the guests. Guests don’t like to get photographed while they eat so, it’s the only time we get to eat. Please provide your vendors with a meal. We work hard on your wedding day and need fuel. We cannot survive at 100% for 10-12 hour shifts on a venue’s lunch boxes and granola bars. Use your heart. Not the advice of the Hall. They don’t understand.
I recommend doing the entrance and having a little dance party (for dancing shots) then, going right into first dance. After that, Toast. First course then, 1 or 2 speeches. After the main meal : parent dances and remaining speeches. Cut cake. Bye bye Photographer.
YES. Tell your vendors EVERYTHING so we can anticipate. EVERYTHING. Tell the DJ what time you have your photographer/Videographer scheduled until (preferably before the wedding day) and even when you go pee so we don’t run around like we lost our puppy.
Yes you can IF you REALLY want to. Here’s the only problem. It will take forever. It’s very difficult to make sure that everyone is seated when the time comes. That means that you always have to be on your toes and when the table is complete… We need to go take that photo. I recommend doing the photos alone (without you) or not at all. Your wedding day is only 1 day. Don’t pose for photos ALL DAY. Enjoy it instead. Once you are at the reception, you should be having a blasts and not have a care in the world.
Yes but, I don’t recommend it. This is because there’s SO MUCH that is going on there that we might forget. Instead, make sure that you tell all family that THEY NEED TO STAY after the ceremony for photos so you avoid missing someone.
If you want. It’s your wedding. Having a romantic slow dance is much prettier in photos though.
DOT LAZER LIGHTS and lights that have those “designs” and move across the rooms (they are IMPOSSIBLE to retouch) Random spot lights (such as on cakes and such), and smoke machines. Dry Ice machines are ok. Intelligent lighting are ok (good actually) on one side of the room (2 lights rather than 4). Uplighting on the walls are ok too. Just avoid Yellow/Green/Red lights. Those are “ew” when reflected on the skin.
I seriously don’t recommend that. A Dj/MC is who is going to make your wedding memorable. Having a Ipod there means that you will have your best man or cousin control it. What happens when they go pee though? Or they get too drunk to care? The last thing you want is a dead music moment at your wedding. It’s super awkward. Instead, trust a professional. They will keep your wedding upbeat and will change up the music based on the reaction of the crowd.
Voila! Random. Have more questions ? Comment below and I’ll add them to this list so that you know! :)))