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After attending a lot of weddings you learn a thing or two. Below are some tips that might be useful. These are written from the view as a photographer so I might not be totally biased. But hopefully some of them will be of use.
- It helps if both of you get ready in the same place but different rooms.
- If you are in a hotel room then try to pick a room with lots of natural light (big windows, high ceiling and/or natural colored walls),
- As a photographer I ideally would like 2h-2.5h hours in order to cover coverage for both parties. I tend to jump between the two rooms when I see there is a “dead time”.
- For hair/make up plan a buffer of 30 min or you start your day with “catching up” with time.
- If you have any particular details you would like photographed it helps to prepare that before my arrival.
- Brides – do not wait till the last minute to put the dress on. Put it on, get comfortable, used to walking and also have some great photos.
- From a photographer’s point of view – preparation is a great time to take pictures! I personally think you get much better pictures here than during speeches and cutting the cake. There is always a special buzz!
- Before you book the church and the priest then check if there are any restrictions from a photography perspective. I.e can I move around freely? are there moments where I cannot photograph? I am happy to work around it but it would be helpful to know what the rules are.
- When you, the bride, walks down the isle then plan that nobody is ahead of you otherwise it will be hard to get a clean photo of you.
- If you want to make a group photo with all people attending then it is usually a good idea to do that straight after the ceremony.
- Ideally plan for having the sun behind you (that way you will not squint) or that both of you are in the shadow.
- If you cannot control the time of the ceremony then plan for a location where both of you are in the same light (so not one is in the sun and the other one is in the shadow)
Cocktail Hour / Apero
- Having a small portrait session between the ceremony and Apero can be a good idea as that means you arrive last to the cocktail hour and allows the guests to be ready for your arrival. Just make sure you feed them and give them drinks.
Formal / Family Photos
- A part that is often undervalued and not planned before the wedding but very valued after the wedding.
- If you want to ensure someone is captured on a photo then this is the guaranteed place to do so.
- Write down all the groups you want and count for 2-3min per group. This way you know how long time it will take. Start with the biggest group and filter down to the smallest. It is always easier to remove people from a photo than adding someone.
- Light! That is the most important thing for a photographer. My tip is to plan in a couple of smaller sessions of 20-30min at two different times rather than a longer one. The best light is when the sun is going down (very soft light). The most normal slots to plan for a portrait session tends to be when your guests are changing location. I.e from ceremony to apero, from apero to dinner or during the dinner itself (that’s when the sun normally goes down).
- For creative portraits it requires a bit of walking on different type of terrain so perhaps bring a pair flat shoes to make it more comfortable.
- The wedding day is intense and the only time you as a couple get to be by yourself are when you are doing portraits with the photographer. Give yourself and the photographer time.
- When finding your wedding venue it is worth asking if they provide extra lighting. Creating a nice ambiance really helps for the photos as well.
- If you are looking for hotels in Switzerland then check out my overview: Wedding Hotels in Switzerland
- This is my best tip. A full day wedding takes a lot of energy so don’t forget to feed the photographer. I normally prefer to sit away from the guests but close enough so I can hear if there is anything going on.
- Ask the DJ/ band / venue if they can create some party lights. This also adds a lot to the party photos.
- For the bride. Considering bring flat shoes so you can also party without sore feet.
Finally, this might sound cliché but it is 100% true – after the wedding, when all guests have gone home, the gifts are unwrapped and the thank you cards are sent. The only tangible memories you will have of the day is your rings and your photographs/video. Therefore I strongly believe it helps a lot if you plan for the best possible photo environment – but then I am very subjective in this matter.
Hopefully this has helped a bit.