This past spring my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. I decided it would be fun to share a few of our wedding pictures on social media in celebration. I always enjoy looking through old photos, because of the memories they help hold. Long after your wedding day is over, and the flowers have died, all you will have left are your memories, a few keepsakes and your pictures.
When I was carefully planning my wedding I had a decent sized budget, but once broken down into categories, there was only so much to spare in each category. Looking back, the one category I would spend the most in now would be the wedding photographer. I was happy with our wedding photographer, but looking back I probably would have made a few different choices. As you approach your special day, here is what I recommend to get photos that you will love.
Set Aside a Good Photography Budget
This is the most important tip I can give you. Give yourself a generous budget for photography. This will allow you to get the photographer of you dreams and a true professional. It may even allow you to get two from the same studio to come out. I lucked out that our photographer’s son worked with him and at the last minute they gave me a deal to add on the second photographer. I am so glad I did this. It allowed us to get multiple angles of the same event. You may also want to spring for a videographer.
Get a Digital Copy of Your Photos with a Release
One of the reasons that I chose our photographer was that he had a package that included a digital, edited copy of all our photos. He also gave us a release that allowed us to reuse or print our photos as we wished. Do not skip this. While our friends and family could still order pictures from the photographer’s website for a few months after our big day, the digital copies give us access to our memories for life. Most importantly, if our pictures ever were destroyed, we have them uploaded to the cloud for safe keeping.
Do Your Formal Pictures Before the Ceremony
I would encourage you to take as many of your formal group photos before the ceremony and reception as you can. I know that tradition states that the bride should not see the groom, but that is one tradition I encourage you to break. We followed this tradition and all it did was waste time we could have used at our reception visiting with guests, eating the amazing hor d’oeuvres and having fun.
Make a List of Pictures You Want
As you prepare for your special day, I highly recommend creating a list of photos that you know you want taken at your wedding. To get ideas, look through photos that your parents, siblings and friends had done at their wedding to see what you like. Pinterest is also a good source for finding photos you like. Finally, look through your wedding photographers website and see what photos of theirs that you like. Are you getting married at a special spot? Google that place and wedding and see what others before you have done.
Discuss Your Preferences With Your Photographer
Be sure you are very clear with your photographer what kind of photos you want and what kind of photos you don’t want. I know photographers are trying to be creative and use what has worked in the past, but sometimes even the best photographer’s photo ideas are downright goofy. Our wedding photographer had us pull my veil over myself and my husband for a picture. I thought it was ridiculous, but we did get a fun shot because I stuck my tongue out ridiculing the picture. Overall though, the shot was a waste in my book. If I had to do it again, I would have said as soon as he suggested it, “no, we are not doing that”. See what I mean????
Don’t Forget People
To this day I have a big regret about our wedding photos. We had two flower girls. My stepdaughter and my husband’s young cousin. I realized later that our cousin Izzy was not in many of the formal group shots. She had gone with her family to the reception and we did not get her in the photos. I feel so bad about it. I’m not sure her family even realized it happened or cared, but it has always bothered me. Make sure you have lists of people you want formal photos with and that they are all there. This would be a good task to delegate to a responsible friend or family member.
Say What You Want
Finally, on the day of your wedding do not be afraid to say what you want. If you realize there is a photo you want taken that you suddenly think would be fun to do, tell your photographer. It might be good to have a friend there who is an amateur photographer or just has a good eye for photos. They might see something from the other side that you wouldn’t think of and help you catch a moment that might otherwise be missed.
Have you had your wedding? Do you have anything to add to this list? What would you do differently?