Planning your wedding day is stressful. I have never been married, but I have seen friends and family members go through the planning stages; finding the perfect Vermont wedding venue, the most elegant dress, booking a catering company, tents, flowers, lights – the list goes on. Finding a photographer to document your day takes time, research, referrals and budgeting, and Vermont wedding photography packages are an investment, generally starting at $1,000 and up. Though it is our job as photographers to beautifully capture each moment of your day, there are a few tips that I would advise to brides and grooms to consider to assure that we can provide you with the best quality images possible.
Scout your location prior to the wedding. Walk around the venue and identify any special places that you love (under a tree, on a bench, by some flowers) that you think would work well for couples or family photos. As photographer, I am always keeping an eye out for the best location for shots, but it helps to have an idea of a special place that the two of you love.
Meet with your photographer ahead of time. Meet for coffee to discuss the day’s schedule and any specific requests so that they know what to expect on the day of. Give them a tour of the venue beforehand so that they have an idea of the space they are working with.
Plan your “getting ready” shots. Identify the space that you will be preparing for the event and, if possible, make sure there is natural light in the room. Wedding photographers prefer to use natural light whenever possible and flashes can be distracting. Limit the amount of people in the room with you and keep it as uncluttered as possible.
Get family group shots. The best time for family shots is following the ceremony, after you have had a change to say hello and greet your guests. As your guests begin to mingle, announce that family members should gather in a designated area for these photos. Keep in mind that your photographer does not know your family, so you may want to choose a helpful person to help gather all the necessary people.
Embrace the unexpected. I am a strong believer that candid moments are the best moments.
Allow time for couple shots. Set aside at least 30 – 40 minutes for photos of just the two of you. The best time for photographers is a few hours before sunset, as the light will be softer and will not cast harsh shadows. Enjoy these quiet moments together.
Think about the setting and the light. Is your ceremony in a dark church? If so, flash may be necessary and can often be distracting. Try to pick a venue with some nice natural light (or outdoors).
Allow your photographer to be creative. This is what we are best at! Trust your photographer to pose you and set up the composition.
Play on awkwardness. Most people don’t have their photos taken regularly, so embrace the awkwardness! Those little smiles can be the best when caught on camera.
Have fun! The day will go by in a whirl and moments may be stressful, but allow yourself to enjoy the day and let the camera naturally capture your best self. It is, after all, one of the most meaningful and special days in your life!