It's not only a great way to practice in front of the camera, but it gives you a chance to get to know your photographer. This person will be following you around for hours on one of the most important days of your life. Feeling comfortable with them is important.
Be sure to let your photographer know any specific shot(s) you want throughout the day.
If you've seen something online, or in a magazine, that you would really love to try, let your photographer know. Just remember that lighting, location, and whether or not you are using the same photographer as in the example shot, will all make a difference in the photo. You won't get an exact replica, but you can ask for something similar.
Let your photographer know beforehand if there are specific locations you want to go to.
If you have chosen a location that isn't the same site as ceremony or reception, tell your photographer. This can potentially give your photographer a chance to scout it out beforehand. If you are not sure of a good location, ask your photographer. He/she may have shot in the same city or location before and may have some great ideas!
When choosing the spot to get ready, remember that it will be photographed.
A friend's unfinished basement/storage room may not be an ideal location for either the guys or the girls to get ready in. It may be possible to move outdoors for some pictures, but that may not be an option, so try to choose a place with decent lighting and decor.
Bring your wedding invitation on the day of the wedding.
A photograph keepsake of your invitation can be really cool. It ties in with all of the other amazing detail shots your photographer will capture for you.
Talk to your photographer about times of ceremony, reception, and when you plan on doing photos.
If you plan an outdoor midday (between 11-1) wedding, the sun will be the highest in the sky, making for some unflattering lighting. Harsh contrast and shadows, or squinty eyes are not something you want in all of your photos. The same goes for if you have planned a winter wedding and have made the picture time slot between 4-7. The sun sets much earlier in winter months, and you will not be able to get outdoor shots without the use of external lighting. Always talk to your photographer about timing!
When making a schedule for the day, be sure to leave enough time for pictures.
2-3 hours is ideal for family, bridal party, and couples shots. Of course, that is not accounting for extended travel time from ceremony to reception site if applicable. So if there is travel, take that into account when planning the schedule of the day.
Remember to schedule anything you want photographed in the time that you have booked your photographer.
When planning the schedule, remember how long you have your photographer booked for. Anything you want photographed will need to be done in this time. If you only have your photographer booked until 8pm, don't make the first dance for 9pm if it is important to you to have it captured.
Make a list of family for the family photos portion of the day.
If there is a list of groupings it makes family photos go much more smoothly. This allows for extra time for formals with you and your bride/groom and wedding party!
If you have a large family, give a little extra time to get photos of everyone.
If there are separated parents, numerous sets of grandparents, or aunts and uncles that have come a long way that you want shots with, be sure to give lots of time. The last thing you want is to have to rush through the couples time because family shots took way longer than you were thinking.
Assign someone to gather family to designated area when needed for photos.
You want the family shots to be done smoothly and quickly so that you can move on to the shots with you and your new husband/wife. Spending 10 minutes looking for grandma can put a damper on your schedule.
Do you want a shot of you and all guests together?
If you are wanting a group shot of you and all guests, it is a good idea to get the officiant to make an announcement at the end of the ceremony. They can give details on when and where to meet. Immediately after ceremony is ideal. This way everyone is aware of the plan, and time is not wasted trying to gather people together.
Make some time for sunset photos if possible.
Sunset lighting can make for some of the most beautiful pictures. If there is a possibility for bride and groom to sneak away from the reception for 10-15 minutes, do it!! it will be well worth it.
Enjoy every moment of your special day!!!
This is the most important tip! Live in the moment. Don't worry about little things that may go wrong. Trust me, it will not matter in the end.
This day is about you and the person you are marrying. Cherish it. Cherish them. Take 10 or 15 minutes to be alone if possible. Hug and kiss them as much as you can. Enjoy it all together. Savour the food. The atmosphere. The guests. Relax. this is YOUR day!