First and Foremost
The biggest wedding tip I can offer is to allow yourself to get lost in the moment. How do you do that? Your wedding day is NOT a big photoshoot, it’s your wedding day. So outside of scheduled photo time, just enjoy your friends, family and most of all, your significant other. Forget that your photographer is there and just live in the moment. Give hugs and kisses to those who came to support you and I promise that will make for the best wedding ever. After all, laughter and tears are what make great photographs.
Embrace the Weather
Go with the flow and embrace the weather! Depending on the season your wedding date falls in, hope for sunshine but have a Plan B… just in case. And if it rains, your day is not ruined. Some of my favorite photographs happened under an umbrella, running from the limo into the church, and dancing in the rain with giant galoshes on!
Getting Ready in the Morning
Since wedding photography coverage often starts in the morning, wedding tip #3 is to consider what you’re going to wear as you get ready. Pick yourself up a nightgown, matching pajama set, button down shirt, or cute robe. Something to be comfortable in, and still look your best while getting ready- rather than last night’s wrinkly pajamas.
If spending as much time with your guests is what’s most important to you, consider a first look. A first look is the non-traditional way a couple sees each other in a private meeting before the ceremony. First looks are a great way to fully enjoy your cocktail hour and the company of your guests before the reception festivities really kick in! You’ll save a bunch of time by seeing each other early on and getting some of your couple portraits, wedding party and formal photos done before the ceremony.
Next to the reception, this is my favorite time of a wedding day (a day after session is a totally different ball game). After family formals and wedding party photos, make sure to set aside 30 minutes to an hour for photos of the two of you. I will take it from there, posing you and guiding you through the entire experience! After all, I am there to make you look your best!
An outdoor ceremony can be such a beautiful backdrop for your wedding! You can figure out the ideal start time by looking up the sunset time for your wedding day and subtracting two or three hours. This will ensure you have a great experience and can take advantage of that beautiful evening light.
Consider an unplugged ceremony if you like the idea of your friends and family being present at your wedding instead of taking it in through an LCD screen. A sea of smart phones glowing at you might be distracting as you are walking down the aisle and in your photos. For more info, check out this article on the OffBeat Bride.
Use as much lighting as possible to add visual interest to your reception! Uplighting, pin lights, spotlights, break ups, Christmas lights, dozens of candles are all great ideas! For uplighting, champagne, blue, purple, pinks and red look best, but stay away from Green! If your reception is outdoors add as much light as you can. Hang some white Christmas lights and add lots of candles to add some warmth and ambience to your outdoor wedding reception.
Family photos are an absolute necessity. No wedding collection is complete with them. The best time to take family group photos is immediately following the ceremony unless you’re having a first look. This includes the immediate family, grandparents and wedding party. Scheduling larger groups at the reception after dinner or cake cutting is a great idea. The band or DJ can easily make an announcement for everyone to gather at a certain location.
Permits and Licenses
If your wedding is in Philadelphia, New York, or any city you will need a permit for wedding photography at many locations. For a Philadelphia Wedding, you can apply for a permit for the Art Museum, Water Works, and Azalea Garden here at the Parks and Recreation Website. For Washington Square Park, First and Second Banks of the United States, Merchants Exchange and other beautiful photography locations go to the National Park Service website. If you’re in for something different, check out the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. There’s no charge for Elfreth’s Alley. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org for permission. The following locations, amongst others, do not require a permit: Broad & Market Streets with views of City Hall, Logan Circle, Rittenhouse Square, and the famous LOVE park!
These tips were created in conjunction with the incomparable wedding coordinator, Danielle Pasternak of DPNAK Weddings.