Stacy Smith Studios, Rhode Island's Premier Wedding Photographer Brings You: 13 Wedding Day Tips That Will Rock Your Photos!
These aren't your every day tips, folks. We know you have a lot to remember on your Big Day and we will always do our best to remind you of everything but if you take the time to read this, implement it, and tell your bridal party about it...we promise you will be much happier with your images! Yes, we are the professionals and we know what we are doing but amazing wedding photos require serious teamwork.... cooperation and communication between the shooters AND the subjects. So let's get down to the nitty gritty here so you can play a part in making your own memories as incredible as possible!
Brides, when you're getting ready have the Bridesmaids use a different space than yourself. If you're at you or your parents house, clear out a bedroom to do your pictures. Simplify it. Make it more like a hotel room. If you're in a hotel room, and you're able to get two rooms side by side, have the Bridesmaids get ready on one side so that when the photographers arrives there's not a bunch of stuff everywhere. If that's not possible, please have the Bridesmaids keep their stuff in one particular area so that we don't have to move all of it around to do the photos of the bride and the bride's accessories.
I talked about this before and I'll say it again, I can't stress enough that you should have an unplugged ceremony. This past April we photographed a wedding and Grandma stepped right in front of me while the bride was walking down the aisle to take shots with her disposable camera. It's really a bummer when this happens and can greatly take away from the professional photographs you've paid to have at your wedding. Grandma's disposable camera pictures will never compare to ours! And Aunt Sally with her iPad... She's got to go! You also don’t want a picture of your Dad walking you down the aisle and a bunch of people leaning into the aisle holding their cell phones. They will be in your pictures! If they’re not allowed to use their phones, they will stay out of the aisle and in their seats! Help your guests present during the ceremony and pay attention. Leave the picture taking to us!
Brides & Bridesmaids! Please, I beg of you, walk down the aisle slowly! No speed walking! Remember your picture is being taken the entire time so have a smile or a pleasant look on your face, keep your chin up and keep those bouquets down by your belly buttons instead of up by your boobies!
Before the big day ask your Officiant to step aside for the kiss. This is the magical moment that makes you husband and wife and I guarantee you don't want someone else's face right in between the two of yours when your lips touch! Brides also make sure you don’t block your kiss with your bouquet! We know sometimes this is hard to do in certain churches, or sometimes the officiant literally just forgets, but it NEVER hurts to ask and to remind them right before we start!
Oh and by the way, you're not kissing your grandmother here. Plant one on her like a MAN! No seriously, quick little pecks make it easier for us to miss the moment. I’m not saying you need to be inappropriate but a nice, long smooch is perfect for taking some awesome pictures! Plant one on one another and make sure you mean it! A solid three seconds will provide us with some amazing photographs!
There's no rule that states that the bride and groom have to stand stiffly facing each other during the entire ceremony. Feel free to make sweet and soft gestures toward each other. The blowing of a kiss, the reaching out and touching of one another's hands even when not prompted to do so, whispering sweet things to one another, telling a joke or just casting a little smirk or smile make your photos even more enriched and show the endearment you have toward one another. It's your big day and you can really do whatever you want, remember that!
I personally think receiving lines are a waste of time. That time could be put to better use taking formal photos. You will have a chance to go around to all the tables and greet your guests during the reception. In our past experience, time spent on a receiving line often puts us behind for the rest of the day. Not to mention that unless the weather is perfect that day, you’re either sweating your butts off (like these folks were in the two photos below), freezing your butts off or getting soaked in the rain while you stand there! NO FUN! And how many exciting photos of this can one really take? (I think you get the point!)
Do anything and everything possible to have 90 minutes for your formal photo time. We almost make it a requirement. One hour just simply isn't enough, especially with large bridal parties. If we have to walk far or move to different locations, if someone is missing, if people aren't paying attention...then we run a few minutes behind. If the event coordinator wants you lined up five or ten minutes before your introductions, then we're down to 45 minutes. We will be drill sergeants if we have to be but that can make for a stressful hour and we want you to look like you're having fun and that you're relaxed and confident in your pictures. If you set aside 90 minutes then you can have a longer cocktail hour for your guests to enjoy and we can really put the time and effort that's needed into making these photos unbelievable. Our team will move furniture, climb trees, get in the water, lay on the ground, or stand on top of a ladder if we have to to get the shot we want! GOOD PHOTOS TAKE TIME. They require preparation, an assessment of lighting, composition, positioning, , focusing, etc. Trust me :)
Ladies, you're never going to wear that wedding dress again. Be adventurous, take a risk, do something crazy & unique.....if Stacy Smith Studios is taking the pics....I can personally promise you will NOT regret it!
Go in the woods!
Climb up on that rock!
Go out to that sandbar...even if your man has to carry you!!!
We like exciting introductions! Pep talk your bridal party before the big day and tell them what you would like to see for the intros! Tell them to get creative and come up with some cool dance moves. It really makes for some amazing shots rather than just walking in and waving at the camera. And if you have to walk through a bunch of tables before getting to the dance floor, PLEASE do NOT execute these moves in between the tables. That makes it nearly impossible for us to capture it because of limited space. Wait until you get ONTO the dance floor!
We all want to stay young forever but let's face it, we're not in middle school anymore. Which means when you and your husband do your first dance we'd like to see you do it like adults. Ladies, put your left hand on the shoulder of your man and with your right hand hold his. This will also complement your arms much more than hanging both of them around his neck. If at some point you end up altering and moving into that position that is totally fine. We want you to hold one another and smile and laugh and cry, but we also want you to look your best and if your face is buried in the crook of his neck the entire time we won't be able to see much of that emotion! Likewise if your arms are both around his neck they can block your face as well. And make sure you move around the dance floor, don’t just stay in one spot the entire time!
When it's time for the speeches we always like to tell whoever is giving them to stand next to the bride and groom and talk TO them since that's who the speeches are for. Standing on the other side of the room and talking to the rest of the guests only loses the connection in the photographs since we cannot manage to get the speakers and the couple in the same frame. After you’re done with your speech, give the bride and groom a hug or handshake and then pause for a photograph. (Obviously if the DJ does not have a cordless microphone this is impossible.)
When you’re exchanging rings try to hold the ring around the edges with two fingers only and push it onto your fiance’s finger from the top down. If you cup the ring in your hand completely, we won’t be able to see it in any of the shots.
Once again we will always do our best to prompt you before each moment occurs but sometimes things don't go as planned and that doesn't happen. If you work on remembering these tips ahead of time you can be proactive in helping us do our job of delivering you the most flattering photos possible!