Our Top 5 Secrets to Looking Your Best & Having a Flawless Wedding Day
There’s nothing more beautiful than your smile on your wedding day. And nothing is more upsetting than a couple stressed on their wedding day. Stressing out does not make for good pictures.
I’m all about ease & flow. Whatever we can do to make your wedding day free of distraction, the better. We want you to enjoy yourself, be with your guests and allow the day to wash over you like a warm wave.
After photographing hundreds and hundreds of weddings of all sizes, cultures and traditions, these are my top 5 insights on how to look your absolute best and have a worry-free wedding day.
#1. Plan well – love is in the details.
Wedding planning is all about the little details. One of my first questions when we start planning with a couple is: “Have you thought about your formal family portraits?” I ask my clients to talk together about the family they want to include. Write down their names. Make a list of each grouping you want pictures with. It may be much shorter (or longer) than you thought. This list gives me a clear idea of how long I expect these photos to take, and we can be sure to plan for all of the portraits in the schedule.
Think about the more “informal groups” of friends that will be there and make a list of them if you want to. I’ll ask your sibling or best man to point them out to me during the reception. Your friends from your old neighborhood, the group from the office, your college soccer team. You get the idea.
Will you do a receiving line after your ceremony? Let’s talk about how long that will take with that many people. Might be longer than you think. Planning.
What time of day will we do the portraits? Where will the sun be? Will we have shade? Will you have grandparents or elders be a part of it? Let’s be sure they have chairs to sit in and shade if it’s hot.
How many people in your bridal party? If it’s more than 10, perhaps let’s rethink taking everyone to different locations. Moving 10 people in a bridal party to multiple locations for photos is super fun, but it eats up a lot of time. Let’s plan it out.
Then you can clearly inform your family what time they need to be ready and where they should meet! Clear communication on this is key for setting up their expectations.
#2. Do a “first look” & all the portraits before the ceremony.
You’ve probably heard this a lot, (the choice is yours and I’ve done it successfully both ways) but here are the reasons why I suggest it.
Especially if your ceremony and reception are at the same location, when we do a “first look,” we can pick a pretty spot at your venue either inside or outdoors, so it’s not just an emotional moment for you, it looks great in pictures!
We can plan it into the schedule so we have ample time to make creative portraits with the two of you, add the wedding party, and be ready for formal family portraits, too. We can take advantage of more of your venue’s scenic locations and the daytime sunlight. And after your ceremony, you get to be with your guests and enjoy cocktail hour!
#3. Hire professional hair and make-up artists.
Having an artist dedicated to making you look exactly how you want makes you feel really good. Feeling really good make for the best pictures. And professionals know how to handle the timing of a wedding day. I’ve seen photo time get cut short or eliminated because the bride had a friend do her hair and/or the wedding party. Her hair looked great, but the schedule was thrown off by 45 minutes or more. A pro knows how to deliver what you need and get the job done on time.
Bonus tip: be sure to tell your hair and make-up artists how many people to expect and please do not add other moms, friends, or flower girls last minute. This can add pressure and make things run behind, too.
#4. Book an engagement shoot with your photographer.
This gives you the opportunity to experience working together before the wedding. You’ll get a feel for how your photographer approaches giving directions, how they see the light, how their process flows, how creative they are… Having this experience builds trust and creates a comfort zone that is more important than you can imagine for looking your best. When the wedding day comes, you’ll know exactly what to expect from your photographer and you won’t worry about any surprises or discomfort.
PLUS you get amazing photos of the two of you during one of the sweetest times in your relationship – your engagement.
PLUS all of your friends and family will see the engagement photos, too, and they will be excited to be photographed at your wedding, too. I love it when I arrive at the hotel where the bride is getting ready and the bridesmaids and moms say to me: “Are you the photographer who made their AMAZING engagement photos?!” That sets us all up for success on your wedding day. Everyone will have a level of trust in the process that is so valuable.
#5. Relax, have fun and trust your photographer.
There are so many moving parts on a wedding day. Sometimes things don’t go exactly as you plan or something doesn’t live up to your expectations. Maybe it’s looking like it might rain. Your little nephew isn’t feeling well and it’s making your sister’s family run late. Uncle Johnny decided last minute to bring his new girlfriend.
If you are stressing out about the details, you’ll be able to see it in your face. You won’t be able to relax and that is not the way to look your natural best. Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. Roll with it and let the little things go.
I always tell my clients, “As long as we are having fun, we’ll be making great pictures.” Just let yourself have fun. The day goes so fast!
No matter what happens, I keep a smile on my face and tell my clients that everything is perfect. And I’m with them through the whole perfect day, making great pictures.
Want to learn more about working with us for your wedding?