Wedding planning tips from a photographers viewpoint
1) Bridal Preparation.
S2 Images photography highly recommend choosing a pretty room to have your bridal prep done in. It makes a huge difference, creating a nicer atmosphere to the start of your day. It is something that many venues need to work on. A very important time for a bride, preparing for such a big day.
2) Personal Touch.
Always add personal touches that make your wedding less generic and more meaningful to you. These little gems make the day that much more special. Be it a bouquet handmade by your grandmother, or sending each other touching letters before seeing each other down the aisle. These finer details shine through and it means so much more when revisiting your images years down the line.
3) Time Out.
As you would schedule important moments during your day, like the first dance or cake cutting, organise time to yourselves as a couple after the ceremony. Time for you to let it sink in that you are now husband and wife. You can have fun and relax whilst having your pictures taken away from guests, getting a breather from the hussle and bussle of your day. These images are usually the most treasured, and also from experience we find couples enjoy these moments the most. Without any pressures of the day, or trying to please others, you get to be yourselves.
4) Lighting, lighting, lighting!
The more natural light the better. Many halls have dimmed lighting and no windows, which is fine for a short amount of time to get some atmosphere shots, but it can really limit detail when it comes to portraits. We can use flash, but it can never replicate the real beauty of natural light. Many storytelling photographers prefer to work with as little flash as possible, to blend in more, and to have more of a natural image.
5) Attention to Detail.
If you have a tradition where you sit on a stage in a large hall, stress to the organisers that all tables and staging must be perfectly aligned. Straight lines and lining up everything, especially if there is a pattern on the floor, makes a huge impact on the images. This is something that cannot be altered in Photoshop. When a stage or seating arrangements are not in line with a pattern on the floor, it looks messy for the wide angle shots, which is something organisers should be paying attention to. Symmetry is key to powerful composition in photography.
6) Lose the Coke Bottles!
The most off putting object in an image of a beautiful banquet hall, or a breathtaking venue, are bottles on the tables. Maybe consider having some pretty jugs or waiters serving on request / offer for your wedding. It makes a huge difference to the images of a sit down meal, even if it’s more of a casual event.
7) Keep the Kids Entertained.
There’s nothing worse than grumpy children at a wedding. Give them something fun to do. Colouring books, board games. We’ve even been to a wedding where they hired a clown and had them in a different room to the main event. This keeps the noise away during the precious moments and everyone’s happy, especially the kids.
8) Camera Wars.
If you wish to hire a videographer, we highly recommend hiring someone that the wedding photographer has worked with before. Having a videographer there can sometimes mean they get in the way of our shots and it can cause conflict on the day as we are all trying to get our jobs done to the best of our ability. It is important that we are all on the same page regarding shooting style. Some videographers insist on blasting strong lights right in a bride and grooms face, which not only changes the colour of our images, but also can make the couple more tense, not allowing you to enjoy the moment. It is especially a challenge to work alongside other photographic companies. We are husband and wife, so work well together. Add in more photographers into the mix, and they will either miss important shots or we will. There is no need to hire an additional photographer as ‘too many cooks spoil the broth.’ Below is an amusing video illustrating our point.
9) Limit Group Shots.
We highly recommend only having the most important group shots photographed. One of the biggest mistakes families make at weddings is underestimating how long it takes to get the group shots done. This often ends up sacrificing the time we need to get the most important ‘wow’ couple shots. It also sacrifices the enjoyment of the day. We often have couples, usually at traditional Asian weddings on the back-end of around 30 group shots later, looking very tired and fed-up – struggling to pay attention to having the next image taken. We would recommend having a list of the most essential group shots and giving this to a family member, who can then call out the names and make sure that these images are taken in the most efficient fashion. We also would say it would be best to get these images taken earlier on in the wedding day, as it can be tedious for everyone if left to the end.
10) Get Those ‘Wow’ Shots.
We highly recommend not only putting the time aside for the couple shoot, but also it is a good idea to have some mutual ideas for it. We would love to discuss some ideas with you prior to your big day and come up with something unique. Often props can make these shots more interesting, even for the group shots! Props like colourful balloons, or even sparklers for the evening. Ultimately it can make it more fun. Location is key, ideally with a beautiful backdrop. We recommend using a location over a studio set-up, as it can really add in the ‘wow’ factor. If the weather is good, it’s a nice idea to go out of the wedding venue, and add a different dynamic to the images. Leaving your guests for an hour or two, often in between the ceremony and the reception, allows you to have a second entrance. This refreshes the energy of the occasion.
S2 Images Ltd are husband and wife wedding photographers based near Warwick. We photograph weddings nationally, having covered areas such as Leicester, Warwickshire, the Cotswolds, Leeds and London. We can even venture worldwide should you wish. We would love to know your plans. Please get in touch via our contact page if you are interested in our services.