Have a great day and get wicked photos
“I’ve seen some things, man, and some stuff…”
Hopefully you get the family guy reference, yeah I do remember the most obscure references. Anyway I have been to too many weddings to count, I’ve seen some cool things that work and some things that haven’t. I am going to tell your story as is, I aim to affect my surrounds as little as possible being true to my philosophy of keeping it real. There is also the subject of how you experience your wedding day, with some small tweaks, that can be enhanced so much more.
So here are some of my tips on making both your wedding day the whimsical day you want and also can enhance your wedding photos.
When you are choosing where to get ready, avoid dark artificially lit rooms, the light is not very flattering. Natural light makes you feel good and happy enhancing the atmosphere. Have as much space as possible, it allows people to move around more and create extra elements to the story. Keep it tidy before you start allowing the hustle and bustle of the morning to create the scene naturally.
Connect your vendors/officiants
So I am a wedding vendor, providing a service. I’m not the only one with a hand in making your wedding day want you want it to be. It’s a good idea to connect relevant vendors together, especially where paths will cross. To give you an example, I always ask to be connected with a priest or vicar as the access and ability to work will vary very differently. This can be from strictly no photos at all during the service to do what I want as long as I don’t get in the way. Getting that connection means I can potentially negotiate with them and also make sure you are aware of any limitations.
Ok, I’m banging on about lighting again, but it has the biggest effect on your photos. When we photographers see a room with massive windows or garden with lots of open space, inside we are literally doing the Carlton dance from the fresh prince, i’m not even joking! If it’s dark, add light to create atmosphere.
Here we go again, any artificial light needs to be to create atmosphere. Wrap pillars in fairy lights, use up-lighters, lots of candles etc. Those little spotlights are the worst btw!
One thing I have seen that works awesomely well is to separate the speeches from the wedding breakfast. Use the speeches as the last act of the drinks reception. Just stand on a step, and project to your family and friends. Everyone can stand together and are way more relaxed, you can move around and best of all, there are way more hugs, way more! I find that there is so much more emotion and little moments this way. Then you can go eat all relaxed.
Cake is good, especially my wife’s vegan chocolate cake :-D First of all, get your cake in the middle of the dance floor to be cut, that way you gather everyone round and then keep them there to go straight into your first dance. Genius!
Your song choice is key here. We didn’t have a first dance, my dancing ability stops at mosh pit. Having a song that starts slow and then kicks in enables you to add that little extra theatre with confetti cannons or a light show or fireworks if your are outside. That moment can also be when you get everyone on the dance floor, use your bridesmaids and ushers to initiate this.
You need to think about this a lot, this can make or break the evening. This is one of my favourite parts of the day, if done right everyone will just let themselves go. It is important to have entertainment that encourages the atmosphere that match you and your guests. Think also about the lighting to create atmosphere.
Just be yourself
Probably the most important tip. Don’t feel you have to do something because someone says “well that’s what you do” If you don’t want formal shots, don’t have them. It’s your wedding at the end of the day, be true to yourself and you will have a fantastic experience.