Wedding Tips Just for our Couples
Welcome to our exclusive couples page. This is a great resource for planning your wedding! We are super excited to be a part of your wedding day! Here are some specific tips we’ve gathered, some things to think about. Some wedding tips just for you.
Your engagement session:
Your engagement session is going to be a lot of fun. We’ll take pictures of you being you. We don’t typically do a lot of posing, we want you to be relaxed and have fun. We will take a lot of pictures, many up close. Here are tips on how to prepare for your photos.
Your wedding day:
We provide every couple with planning sheets. We love to get the planning sheets returned to us at least one month in advance so we can answer any questions. If you can’t find the planning sheets, no worries, we can resend it. One of the best tips we have is to ensure every vendor, coordinator, and staff knows what you want from your wedding. Communication is key.
Are you getting ready at the venue or somewhere else? Does everyone know the exact addresses they need to go to and when to go to them? Do all your vendors and wedding party have the exact address? Do you have adequate lighting where you are doing your makeup? All it takes is one late wedding party member running late to delay your prep pictures. Have all your wedding party tried on their clothes? We’ve seen tuxes with missing items, or three sets of left shoes, zippers break on dresses, dresses not fit. It’s a great idea to try everything on before the wedding day if possible.
Pictures and video are wonderful for weddings. They also show everything, sometimes very close up. Here are tips on how to prepare for your pictures/video.
We can not stress enough the purpose of a rehearsal is to rehearse. Often when wedding participants don’t practice; they get nervous on the wedding day, forget where to stand, how to stand, forget who their processional partner is, which side to walk on and other choreographic points. Certainly, everyone likes a good time, joking around is great. But we’ve noticed over the years, that when you really practice the choreography, it makes a big difference in your photos and video.
The choreography is very important: the speed at which people walk, spacing during the ceremony, how each person holds their hands/bouquet, where the singers/speakers stand and so on.
A good way to approach standing is to have plenty of space, but not too much, between the bridal couple and wedding party. Standing spaced out correctly can be the biggest challenges at rehearsals. Tape on the floor or golf tees in the ground is a good way to remind parties where to stand. If the spacing is off, you will see it in the video and pictures. Having someone take pictures of everyone during your rehearsal is also a great way to envision what your ceremony will look like. Here’s a diagram that helps with getting the best camera angles while being visually appealing.
Is your officiate coming to the rehearsal.? If not, it’s important to take some pictures of the rehearsal and send it to them. When the officiate stand on a spot at your ceremony, the bride and groom stand there with them. So if the officiate is off-center, the bride and groom will be too. And that will show up on the video or pictures. Again, we suggest tape on the floor or golf tees in the ground.
Is your officiate wearing a microphone so everyone can hear? Sometimes the venue has one for rent or your DJ can help you. When we shoot video, have our own microphones that record to our camera, but don’t amplify for everyone to hear.
Is there adequate lighting for your ceremony? We’ve shot weddings where the lights have gone out (due to weather) so if your venue is inside, make sure they have adequate stage lighting. Can you open the blinds on the windows? We’ve also been to churches where they had lights burned out in the ceiling. Bad lighting will dramatically affect your video and pictures. Here are very important tips on lighting. If your ceremony is outside, will it be the brightest part of the day, just before sundown, will it be dark outside during your ceremony? Check out our tips for outdoor weddings.
Have you decided who is coordinating your ceremony? Have they coordinated a ceremony before? Have them go over our planning sheets.
Is your officiate in charge of actually coordinating? Or are they just doing the vows? What will they actually say? We’ve seen couples get surprised by an officiate or two. Make sure you have a general idea of what they are going to say.
Everyone has cameras, cell phones, and iPads, of all types. And people like to take pictures all the time everywhere. We’ve had people block our cameras, ruin processional shots, knock us out of the way to get shots with their cell phones. Cell phones will interfere and cut out wireless audio impacting your video. The last thing you want is cell phone noises, beeps and pops during your special ceremony. People also will post pictures of your wedding before your wedding day is over. The last thing you want is a guest, invited or not, become the focus of your ceremony. So we ask that you consider going Unplugged at your wedding ceremony. It’s easier than it sounds though. Here are suggestions.
We suggest all of the following.
A sign at the door,
A note in the program,
Something written in your invitation,
An announcement beforehand by the minister or officiant.
So here is something you can copy and paste as well as have your officiant say before the ceremony starts. While you don’t want to be rude, it’s your wedding.
“Thank you for joining us for our special day. Please refrain from using any cell phone, camera, iPad during our ceremony. We have professionals to capture our day.” Again we suggest all four approaches.
It’s never rude to want your day to be about your wedding. You want your guests to enjoy your special moment with you.
Very often after a ceremony, people scatter. All it takes is one groomsman, family member to go to missing after the ceremony and it can delay your pictures/reception. Your wedding coordinator can make an announcement at your rehearsal that everyone who needs to be in pictures needs to be available at the time for pictures.
Who is in charge of your reception? Has your wedding reception schedule been sent to all vendors? Often your DJ in conjunction with your wedding coordinator is in charge of the reception flow.
Is there adequate overhead or stage lighting for your reception? Up-lighting is not adequate for pictures and/video. Without getting too technical, it’s important to have overhead or stage lighting for the important parts of your reception. Light your cake, light your dance floor, light the head table. Then you can accent it with up-lighting around the room. But if the whole room is dark, no-one sees all the work put in the decorations. Here are very important tips on lighting. We can not stress it enough, up-lighting is not adequate for photography/videography. Having a dark reception will dramatically affect your pictures/video. If you have questions about your lighting, just let us know.
Are you doing a final dance before your exit? Are you planning an exit? Just discuss your options with your DJ and coordinator and let all your vendors know the plan. That way everyone is on the same page.
We hope these thoughts help you and we look forward to being a part of your special day! If you want more tips, here’s a full list of our topical Wedding Tips