Your wedding day is the best day of your life and the start of your journey with the most important person in your world. The day will pass in a flurry of singing, dancing, embracing distant loved ones, good food, good wine, and memories that will last a lifetime.
Your wedding photographer will be the one to immortalize your special day and capture the moment you and your partner’s families become entwined. Behind every great wedding photo is a great wedding photographer, capturing all the beautiful elements of your day.
You will have already discussed what you want your photographer to capture before the special day, but what does your photographer want you to know to ensure your wedding photos are absolute perfection?!
The Magic of Detail Shots
Detail shots are essential (and one of my absolute favorite) components of your wedding album! Whether it’s your grandmother’s lace sewn into the sleeve of your gown, the fragrance you wear on your big day, or your new wedding bands, the details tell the story of your day and shouldn’t be overlooked in the photos.
The details—even the little ones—add depth and personality to your wedding album, so don’t skip this part. Spend time collecting the items you want to feature and allow ample time for these shots; they are often the ones you’ll cherish for years to come.
First Look or Aisle Reveal?
A relatively new introduction to the wedding industry and a hotly debated topic among all my couples. To first look or not to first look?! While it’s traditional for couples to see each other for the first time at the ceremony, there are many benefits to planning the first look before the wedding kicks off.
Having your first look before the wedding allows for a private reveal between you and your partner. This allows you to enjoy an intimate moment away from the crowds and pressure and allows your photographer to capture the raw and genuine emotions between you both before the whirlwind of a day. Especially if one or both of you are more reserved, the first look gives you a chance to let your guard down and let the tears really flow.
The choice between a first look and an aisle reveals is a personal decision, and there are plenty of benefits to choosing the latter. Aisle reveals have their own charm, and your loved ones will get to enjoy the moment you see each other for the first time with you.
I’m super passionate about this topic since it really does impact your timeline and the overall flow of your day. I go more in depth on all the pros and cons here: TO HAVE A FIRST LOOK OR SEE EACH OTHER AT THE CEREMONY?
My last word on the subject (for now): If you’re unsure whether you want an intimate first look or a more public aisle reveal, speak to your photographer and ask for their advice based on your wedding venue, ceremony time, and season.
Communication is Key
Your photographer is the professional behind the lens, helping you to create permanent memories of your special day, and communicating with them is essential for the best photos. Be clear about your preferences, timelines, must-have shots, and expectations before the day. Don’t be afraid to touch base with your photographer throughout the day if something changes or you want to take additional shots.
As a textbook Enneagram 6, I’m big on communicating all the potential outcomes or options related to your wedding day, whether it be scheduling, types of photos, or locations! I always listen first, and my caring, warm, and witty personality helps me deeply connect with my couples. (enneagramexplained.com’s words, not mine 😝)
Weddings rarely run on schedule, no matter how hard you plan. Godspeed to wedding planners everywhere. If you want photos of you and your partner getting ready—first look shots, candid captures at the ceremony, family photos, etc.—you will need to plan them into your day and make the time for them to happen.
Make sure your loved ones know where and when group shots are being taken so you (or your photographer) aren’t herding people around at the last moment or wasting precious time that could otherwise be spent eating, drinking, dancing, or greeting your guests.
A note about fall and winter wedding timelines…
If you’re planning a late fall or winter wedding and hoping for sunset portriats, plan on pushing up your getting-ready time. The sun sets much earlier in the winter months, so you may need to have an earlier ceremony or first look to ensure we have 1.5 hours of portrait time before the sun goes down.
Below is a great sample getting ready timeline for a winter wedding with a 4 pm ceremony (feel free to steal it!)
SAMPLE WINTER WEDDING GETTING READY TIMELINE
- 8:00 am – Beauty arrives for set-up
- 8:00 am – Bride(s), Bridesmaids, Mothers, Grandmothers arrive to the Bridal Suite
- 11:00 am – Groom(s) and Groomsmen arrive at the venue
- 11:00 am – Lindsey Ford Photography arrives
- 11:30 am – Extra blooms from florist in suite
- 12:00–12:45 pm – Detail photos (invites, rings, shoes, dress, etc.)
- 12:00 pm Videographer arrives
- 12:30 pm – Mom and maids of honors dressed by
- 12:30 pm – Guys to be dressed in everything but jacket/accessories
- 12:45–1:30 pm Getting dressed photos
- 1:30 pm – Beauty departs
- 1:30–2:20 pm – First look and couple portraits
- 2:20–3:00 pm – Wedding Party Photos
- 3:00–3:15 pm – Family photos at the ceremony site (Maybe a few more couple’s portraits before hiding away **)
- 3:15 pm – Guests arrival
- 4:00 pm – Ceremony time
Candid shots often hold more emotional weight than your posed photos from the day. And they’re just such a fun surprise when you get your gallery back! Let your photographer know if you’re hoping to capture candid moments between you, your partner, and your newly entwined families! In order to capture candid shots, you’ll need to remember to be around your partner throughout the reception so your photographer can catch the genuine laughter, stolen glances, and natural heartfelt exchanges between you both.
Whether you opt for an aisle reveal or an intimate first look, communicating with your photographer before and during your big day will capture all the details and special moments. Candid shots and special moments will make your wedding album one you’ll treasure for years to come.
If you’re looking for a wedding photographer to help you capture your special day, let’s do this!