21 March 2012

10 Wedding Planning Tips for Brides from Wedding Photographers

I collaborated with 10 very sweet and talented wedding photographers to give tips for brides from their point of view. They all came up with some great tips that I hope will help you! Enjoy :)

Damaris Mia Photography
1. First Looks are life savers! If your photographer asks you to do a first look, DO IT! It not only allows for you to have a special moment with your special someone without everyone watching you, but it lets you get a lot of your group pictures and family pictures done before hand as well...which means, more time to PAR TAY!!!! - Autumn Lee of Dash Photography

2. Tip on finding the right photographer: Read through their blog and Facebook. Take the time to get to know them on a personal level. After all... this is the ONE vendor that you will be spending the most amount of time with throughout your wedding year and wedding day! Make sure you like their style of photography. Whatever you see on their website and blog will be a direct indication of what you should expect from your own wedding. - Wendy Cunningham of Wendy C. Photography

3. Don't skip out on the engagement session! Having an engagement session is so important to getting great images. It gives you and your groom a chance to connect with your photographer, and a chance for your photographer to get to know you both so that they can provide images that are totally natural and completely your style. It is also a practice session for your wedding photos, because lets face it, it is not every day that you get in front of the camera. Lot's of couples want to skip it to try to save money, but as a photographer I can tell you that couples that get engagement photos done have better wedding photos because they feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Engagement photos are totally worth it, and a ton of fun. - Kristin Schmucker of Jeremy & Kristin

4. Having a personalized wedding is SO IMPORTANT. The days of cookie cutter weddings are LONG GONE. My husband and I used decor that we actually like in everyday life not just this uber romantic style that wouldn't be practical for our home. How often do you see brides desperately trying to sell their used decor on eBay after the wedding? Not us! It also made for some really unique photos! Thinking outside the box benefited us in 3 ways... we have awesome and personal wedding photos, we have really cool decor in our home, and we saved money! WIN WIN WIN! And coming from a wedding photographer, I know I'm more inspired on a wedding day when there are details/ideas I've never seen before. It makes me that much more excited to be experiencing the wedding day! - Sara of Sara Lucero Photography

5. When planning your budget, don't use a typical wedding resources budget calculator. *GASP* What? I know! When I did this for my wedding I realized that a standard budget calculator doesn't account for a higher value I place on something. For instance your Wedding Photography. We see brides inquiring that have $15,000 budgets for their wedding only to set aside less than $1,000 for their photographer usually resulting in booking a less experienced and many times unlicensed and uninsured photographer. But when asked how important on a scale from 1-10, they most definitely say 10! It might take a little more time, but sit down and first list the order of importance. Maybe your flowers and gown are more important than your photography? And if you are lost, consider hiring a wedding planner to help you figure it all out! Most of the time the cost of the planners expertise and experience in budgeting for weddings end up paying for itself, and you can spare the headache! -Ashley of Ashley Bee Photography

6. Hire a wedding coordinator. They will help make your wedding day run smoothly and will execute what you want your day to be while working with all your vendors. They will take care of all unexpected hiccups that usually happens and will try to keep you on track. The less stress on your wedding day means you get to enough it even more. - Hanh of Hanh Nguyen Photography

7. The Finished Look... With budgets in mind we always try to nix the things we think are least important, sometimes that being hair and make-up. Definitely opt for having someone else do your hair and make-up not only will it create a finished photo look, it will also make you feel pampered on your wedding day, and adding false eyelashes is a absolute must. Being photo ready in terms of make-up is so important. Having your hair and make-up professionally done also makes for some great "getting ready" photos. - Ali of Ali Brannan Photography

8. Put together a list of your “must have” family picture combinations for the photographer (think 3-5 groups, not 15-20). This way the photographer can be organized instead of putting you on the spot on your wedding day and have to send people to fetch other cousins who haven’t stuck around. Also be sure to write down any sticky family situations the photographer should be mindful of when putting different groups together such as divorce, etc. If you can also ask a specific family member to help organize the different groups on the day of, it will really help to have someone who actually knows each of the people attached to the names! - Emilia of Emilia Jane Photography

9. If you're on a tight budget, don't feel like you have to settle on a dress that wasn't the one of your dreams. I tried on about 10 dresses before I fell in love with one. I always make the mistake of trying on clothes before I check out the price. The dress was a originally $2700 (WAY out of my budget). Luckily the owner of the Wedding Dress Boutique offered me the sample dress off the rack. It was a size twelve so I needed to have it altered, but she sold it to me for only $700. Never be scared to ask if they sell the sample dress, it could save you a TON of money. - LeAnn of Forystek Photography

10. Work with your photographer to make your pictures even more amazing! Don't be afraid to throw out suggestions and bring in ideas. We don't bite ;) The more you contribute, the more of a personal spin your photos you will have....whether it's a sentimental prop, a killer location, or just a pose idea...we love to know what you have in mind. YOUR ideas + the photographer that matches your style and makes your heart sing = MAGIC. - Kristen of Kristen Booth Photography

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