Big day. And the only thing you’ll have afterward, besides good memories and a spouse… 😉 are the photos. Here’s a few tips to getting the most memorable wedding photos. Things to remember, look for and do to end up with perfect wedding photographs.

  1. Develop a relationship with your photographer. The more comfortable and at ease you are with your photographer the more likely they will be able to capture the real essence of you and your day.  Spend a little extra time with them so they’re comfortable with you and vice versa. And be sure to choose a photographer you really like as a person, as well a talented one.
  2. Determine what’s important to you and your fiance. There are so many traditions to consider when planning your wedding celebration – from cake-cutting to garter  tosses, party favors, etc. The two of you need to decide which ones are which ones are really meaningful. More exclusive wedding venue? Flowers galore? Lots of guests? Drop dead gorgeous wedding dress? It all sounds good, but you get to choose what is a priority and where the focus goes. They will not only take up the the majority of the wedding budget, time and effort, but will be the backdrop to the most meaningful wedding photos. And if there’s money left over for those fabulous favors and a chocolate fountain great. But focus on the stuff you’re most excited about first and then see what else fits in. The things that were most exciting on your wedding day turn into the most awesome wedding photographs in the long run.
  3. Give time and season some thought. Plan the time and date of your wedding ceremony and reception around the type of photos you want to end up with. Natural light makes for gorgeous wedding photographs, but is not happening at a 6pm ceremony in January. So just be mindful of what you have in mind when choosing time and season for your nuptials.
  4. Consider doing First Look photos. Seeing each other before the ceremony used to be a big ‘no, no’. A First Look photo captures the look on the grooms face (or bride and groom) when he first see’s his beautiful bride. This new trend not only allows your photographer to capture what may well be some of the sweetest wedding photos of the day, but is a win/win for several reasons. Your hair and makeup are fresh! Good news there! After the initial First Look photos, have your photographer take the portrait photos of the two of you.  Having these shots done now frees you up to spend more time with your guests enjoying your party. You won’t miss an hour of your reception being carted around by a harried photographer getting all those posed shots of you two. And last but not least, you’ll be less nervous now that you’ve seen each other and spent a few quiet moments together before the day begins.
  5. Be strategic about the family photos. Make a reasonable shot list. Don’t try to get every last combination of grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. Stick to a few important shots and ask your maid of honor or another member of the wedding party to help orchestrate them on the day of your wedding.
  6. Don’t sweat the small stuff. So much will be going on on your wedding day just try to enjoy every moment. Allow your photographer to keep you on schedule to frame the shots and to know what will look best. If you’re always looking for the camera it won’t capture you quietly chatting with your new spouse or laughing with friends.
  7. Add important details to your shot list. Note whether you want your shots to be color or black-and-white. Don’t forget to mention any particular decor items you want captured.
  8. Keep your heads up and bouquets down. No looking down when you walk down the aisle! Your first inclination, as nervous as you may be, is to look down as you walk down the aisle. Keep your head up even if you’re crying your eyes out. Focus on your groom. The look on a bride before she says her vows or content look during the recessional is way better than the top of your head. And you and your bridesmaids should hold your bouquets down around your belly button – not blocking your pretty faces.
  9. Consider some fun family photos. Not just from a photojournalistic approach, but maybe even a little goofy. It’s not always necessary to have everyone poised, prim and proper in every shot. A bit of levity makes wedding memories and perusing your photos more fun.
  10. Avoid clutter. When getting ready, have your bridesmaids put all their stuff in a special area of the room. Keep all the lattes and make up bags condensed in one area so that stuff does not end up in the background of your beautiful wedding photos. And be sure to bring a nice wooden or decorative hanger for your dress shot.

Featured photo by Maria Angela Photography of Pittsburgh

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