There are few things quite like the high of being newly engaged, but you’ll be hitting the ground running from the moment you agree to get married. Many brides-to-be go right into the process of thinking about every little detail for their special day. One aspect that’s definitely among the most meaningful because it involves memory-making is the wedding photography.
You and your partner will look forward to the day you receive your wedding photos, immortalized on glossy paper or in a digitized format. As such, it’s in your best interest to plan your wedding photo shoots carefully and to bring the spotlight towards some of the most special people who’ll be there: the members of your wedding party.
To help you remember your big day as vividly as possible when you and your spouse celebrate this milestone in your lives, here are some tips to ensure that your photo shoots go smoothly and produce beautiful results:
1) Formulate Your Dress Code for Your Wedding Party
The dress codes for your wedding entourage will set the tone for your photos, eliciting a particular mood and making them appear more polished and harmonious. When creating the dress code that will pop in your wedding photos, consider factors like your wedding venue or your overall wedding theme as sources of inspiration.
If you’re tying the knot in a church, ask your guests to wear formal attire that also follows your wedding’s color theme. This ensures that the solemnity of the ceremony is preserved while you still achieve a particular look and feel for the wedding celebration, especially in the photos. For a beach wedding, on the other hand, you can ask your guests to come in semiformal attire. This way, they won’t have a difficult time walking on the sand and looking relaxed and happy in the photos.
No matter what dress code you decide on, remember to include the guidelines in your invitations and send them promptly. Give an earlier heads up to the people involved in your wedding party, like your maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids, and groomsmen. This way, your VIP guests in particular will have enough time to buy tights, dresses, suits, and other fashion items that fit your dress code and that will feature in your wedding photography.
2) Hire a Professional Photographer
One of the best investments you’ll make for your wedding photography is hiring a professional photographer. A skilled photographer will know how to frame shots, adjust for lighting conditions, and capture candid moments effortlessly.
Professional photographers can also bring creativity and an artistic eye to your photos, which will come in handy when telling the stories of the most important people in your life as a couple. Find someone whose expertise makes you confident about your vision, and direct their attention towards people whose faces you look forward to seeing in your wedding photos—like your parents, siblings, best friends from college, the people who set you up, and others who comprise your wedding party.
3) Create a Schedule for Photo Taking
Time is of the essence on your wedding day, and creating a well-structured schedule for wedding party members and other guests is essential to achieving perfect photos. Allocate dedicated time slots for various photo sessions, including getting ready, group shots, photos with the couple, and candid moments. A thoughtfully crafted schedule will allow your photographer to work efficiently and ensure that everyone’s accommodated and that no essential moments are rushed or overlooked.
4) Create a Shot List
You may also want to run through a shot list with your photographer so that no essential photo is forgotten in the whirlwind of the proceedings. It will also act as your photographer’s guide for capturing key moments and the reactions of key people. Collaborate with your photographer to create a list of must-have shots for your wedding party, including shots of your groom with their best man, family portraits, and the whole entourage engaging in fun poses that call back to inside jokes.
5) Scout the Ideal Photo Locations
Your choice of photo shoot location can also impact the quality of your wedding photos greatly. You’ll definitely want to visit your wedding venue(s) in advance to identify which areas make the best photo locations, as well as book extra spaces for additional wedding entourage photo ops you’ll want to have.
Consider looking at a photo studio Los Angeles photographers would trust if your wedding’s set in LA, and ask yours to help you vet the place for a special shoot with your entourage. Your photographer can also help you visualize how your photos will turn out after each shoot based on factors like lighting and available open space.
6) Have a Backup Plan in Place
No one can predict the weather or any unforeseen circumstances that may affect your wedding photo plans. Thus, having a backup plan can save the day. Consider alternative photo locations or arrangements in case of inclement weather or unexpected challenges. If you and your wedding party are prepared, you can minimize everyone’s stress and ensure that your photo shoots run smoothly, regardless of any last-minute changes.
Enjoy the Special Moments and Special People as Captured at Your Wedding
Finally, remember to relax, be yourself, and enjoy every moment with your wedding party that will be captured through the lens of a camera. Genuine smiles, laughter, and emotions will make for the most beautiful photos. Worry only as much as you have to about setting up photo shoots with your wedding party, and let your shared happiness come through for the rest!