So you are getting married! You’re super excited, but also a little stressed about all the important decisions you need to make! And how do avoid a wedding disaster? You’ve never had to plan a wedding before! It’s not something you get a second go at. Here are a few tips to help guide and reassure you in your wedding planning decision making.
1. Choosing your Wedding Photographer
From who you’ve spotted on One Fab Day to who your venue is recommending there are plenty of photographers to choose from. The first important thing to remember when choosing a photographer and avoid a wedding disaster is, it’s YOU who will have these photos for the rest of your lives not anyone else. So make sure you go for someone who’s work you absolutely love, while also someone who has the right personality.
Understanding a little about “wedding photography lingo” is a good place to start when trying to avoid a wedding disaster! Thats where I can help. Here are a few basic photography styles to look out for.
This style is the most popular style of wedding photography. You will hear a lot of photographers use the words, “candid’ and ‘no posing’ when talking about this style. Basically what that means is it is the photographers aim to tell the story of the day as it happens. Documentary style focuses on capturing moments rather than poses. Essentially the photographer should capture the real emotion of what is happening during your day.
Fine art wedding photographers are actively creating art while capturing the story of your day. Every image has the potential to be a piece of art. This can mean more posing and being directed by the photographer.
Classic Photography is much more based on the photographer directing the couple throughout the day. The aim of the photographer is to capture professional portraits of you and your beloved ones. Though these portraits a lovely, the downside of this approach is that it is less spontaneous than a more photojournalistic approach.
Adventurous is more of a personality trait rather than a look. If you love to travel and explore and are looking for someone who will follow you on whatever adventure you are on, then you are best to find a photographer with that same sprit!
I have a mix of a few different approaches when it comes to a wedding day. Under it all I would definitely say I fall into the adventurous category. You want to climb a mountain?! Count me in! When it comes to style I would be mostly documentary. In the morning, during the ceremony or while you guys are dancing, you will hardly notice I’m even there. This helps me to capture more genuine moments while everyones comfortable and having fun. There are moments throughout the day where I will have a more traditional approach like with families formal photos and some nice portraits with you and your bridal party, however I tend to be super relaxed and easygoing. It’s important for me to make sure you get to enjoy the party and share your day with friend and family while also getting those all important shots. My ultimate goal is to be able to tell the story of the wedding day, allowing you to be able to make real memories, not fake them by posing!
2. Hiring Friends or Family as your Vendors
Sure, it sounds like a great idea to have your uncle Bob with a fancy camera take photos or a friend who can do makeup help get you ready. You could save some money, but this plan can go downhill very fast. Often people don’t typically have a contract when their friends are providing a service at their wedding. This means they have nothing to fall back on when the service isn’t delivered as promised. It’s also good to consider the other things a professional brings to the table to avoid a wedding disaster.
Hire a professional photographer
There is more than pointing and shooting to taking wedding photos. With my couples one of the first things I do is set out a timeline. This means on the day we all know when everything is meant to be happening. Things don’t always go to plan but my couples can rest easy knowing I have their backs making sure the groomsmen leave for the church on time, or getting people ready for the all important sparkler shot. Another important thing to remember is, you only get one shot at your wedding and it’s easy to miss things if you don’t know what you are doing. In the case of a wedding photographer, we tend to do more than anyone thinks throughout the day. Be it making sure those family formals done quick and easy or getting you ready to walk down the aisle, sometimes its nice to have someone around who’s done it before. But most of all you want to be happy looking back at you photos for years to come, not thinking of all the stuff that wasn’t captured quite right. So even if uncle Bob has a decent camera and is offering to volunteer for your wedding day, it’s best not to risk it. Stick to professionals so you can rest assured you’ll receive the service you’re paying for.
Hire a professional makeup artist
I have had brides decide to do their own makeup on their big day and this can work out great… if you know what you are doing! But for those of us who are less sure (me included) its best to leave it to the professionals. Spend a little time finding a makeup artist you can trust – doing a test run is always a good idea. Just to avoid a wedding disaster. Another thing to note when trying to avoid a wedding disaster – less is more. Lots of brides forget that your wedding is a day time thing, so heavy makeup can be a lot in daylight. You are better to go more subtle and then adding a red lip or something more dramatic in the evening. Lots of tan and two sets of thick false lashes (yes I’ve seen this) is not always great specially for your photos.
Ok so money is a toughy. You don’t want to be ripped off, but you also want the best and to avoid a wedding disaster. It’s hard to know how much “the best” costs It’s hard to quantify talent and experience. As I mentioned above your photographer does a lot more than just take photos. This is where looking for someone with experience adds value. There are a few things you can keep an eye out for when looking for photographers with experience:
As you look through photography websites, it’s important to get a real idea of what the photographer is about. If you want easygoing lighthearted photos of you and your family, this should be consistent throughout their website. If the fun natural look is present throughout their website you then know they can consistently deliver that kind of work. Each couple’s comfort levels in front of the camera is different, however a good experienced photographer should be able to put every couple at ease and get the shots they need. This is what you are paying for.
If getting behind the camera is scary to you, all the more reason to get someone you can trust. I can’t count the amount of times couple have said they dread getting in front of the camera. For this I often suggest doing a short engagement shoot, this way you get to know your photographer a little and you can calm your nerves for the real thing. Check out my Engagement Shoot Guide for everything you need to know.
At the end of all this you will be left with three things to look back on your wedding day with; your rings, your photos and each other of course. Getting your wedding photos is not like buying a TV, you wont be getting another in a few years. Some things are worth the cost, you only get one shot at it so go for who you think will work best for you!
4. Speak up!
This goes for everything really, it’s your day and you need to be heard! Make sure family and vendors know what you want, don’t be a afraid if you have a shot idea or somewhere you want to go. We want to make sure you get something special, but we can’t read your mind so tell us. Have you someone at your wedding you haven’t seen in a long time or is this the only time your college friends have all been together in years, let us know and we will make sure to get it.
In recent years people are getting braver when it comes to wedding planning. You don’t have to do what everyone has done before. Be true to yourselves! Get a clear idea of what you want and communicate it everything else will follow.
5. Don’t be afraid to be yourself
This is linked to speak up, but I think it needs its own section… be yourself! You will be looking back at your photos for years to come and will want to remember all the craic you had on you big day. To see everyone who was there and all the happy faces celebrating with you. People are always shocked at how quickly their big day goes by, so try savour the moments. Avoid a wedding disaster by not getting bogged down with the table decorations or the balloons, try remember why you are there and what it’s all about. Be open with your emotions and your joy and allow your photographer to capture those moments so you treasure them. Let go and be yourself.
One last thing…
Enjoy it! I know it’s all very overwhelming at times and it can fell like its too much to handle. But if you take anything away for this guide, it’s to have FUN! Thats what it’s all about after all. Try not let all the details get the best of you, and remember all you really need is each other and the rest will fall into place. Trust me!
So there you go! I hope these little tips helped and you will avoid wedding a disaster. If you have any questions (nothing is too small) please drop me a line, I will be happy to help. Think of me as your personal wedding guide.