It's not uncommon for a happy bride-to-be to arrive at my studio for a consult with a list of questions in hand. Sometimes the list is simple and has things like, "how long does it take to receive the photos after the wedding?" Other times the list has some interesting questions that I'm sure she found by googling "what should I ask my wedding photographer?" Things like, "what type of liability insurance do you have," or "what type of lighting equipment do you carry?"
The answers to these questions rarely mean anything to the girls who ask them, but I can totally resonate with that feeling of wondering what other people might be asking.
Over the years I've noticed that there are a few questions that brides either forget to ask, simply don't think of, or sometimes feel awkward about. I've compiled my answers here as a resource for the beautiful brides in my upcoming calendar.
1. WHAT DO YOU NORMALLY EAT ON A WEDDING DAY?
Always a great question. I eat before I start shooting in the morning, sometimes find a strawberry or two during the bridal preparations, and I snack a little anytime I'm in the car between destinations, i.e. between the ceremony and the reception site. As for the dinner, I eat a regular meal just like any other wedding guest, although I eat pretty quickly between speeches to ensure that I'm available for anything photo-worthy.
2. WHERE DO YOU SIT AT THE RECEPTION?
The seating arrangements are always different. I often find my name on the seating chart at a wedding and discover that I'm sitting at a table with guests. Sometimes it's a group of seven and I'm the eighth member at the Katsoulias family table, but other times there will be a separate table for vendors. This is often the case when the couple has hired a coordinator who will be with them throughout the reception.
The coordinator and I probably know each other in some way, so it's definitely nice to sit together. That being said, it's quite normal for the coordinator and I to sit side by side at a regular table with other guests if that makes more sense for your seating plan.
3. SHOULD I SEND YOU AN INVITATION?
Short answer is YES, because I obviously love the wedding world and seeing my couples' invitations is a serious perk.
But also, many of my brides find it's easier to make a seating chart and send info to the venue about meal choices when everyone is working off the same RSVP cards. (Also, I love save the dates...especially when one of your engagement photos is on them. Just saying!)
4. CAN I PUT YOUR PHOTOS ON INSTAGRAM?
Of course! You can crop them, turn them black and white, put an instagram filter on to make yourself more tanned if that's your game...you can go absolutely wild. These photos are for you. I take them for you, simple as that. I want you to feel free to share them however you'd like and not have to worry if you're doing something wrong. Want to take screenshots of your photos on a blog post and make a Facebook album? It would not be the first time and I'm always flattered by any and all sharing. So please feel free :)
5. WHAT CAN I DO TO ENHANCE MY WEDDING PHOTOS?
I get this question quite often from brides during the planning stages. At first I didn't understand what they meant. Were they asking how to make the photos look better than what I would normally take for them? After awhile I realized they were asking about things they can include in their plans that would work well photographically. I have a few answers to this question.
Firstly, florals go a long way. They will be in almost every single shot from the wedding party, family, and bride and groom photos. They're also quite prevalent at the ceremony and as centrepieces to your reception photos while you're listening to speeches. You don't have to have an outrageous flower budget, but it's definitely an area of your spending that will make your photos look beautiful.
Secondly, backdrops make for stunning photos. Whether that means stringing something up behind you at the altar, or choosing a flattering wall in the reception venue for your head table (that's photographer lingo for "don't sit right up against the only window in the room), a backdrop is certainly something to notice while you're making plans.
Thirdly, if you dream of a shot of you walking down the aisle after the first kiss, surrounded by people smiling and celebrating, you might want to consider having an unplugged ceremony. Otherwise, the guests on the aisle will probably be holding up iPads and taking photos instead of looking at you. For an amazing walk-down-the-aisle shot, check out Michelle & Andy's wedding at Le Belvedere.
Lastly, focus more on actually enjoying your wedding day rather than creating nice photos. A photo of you spending quality time with one of your parents will be far more valuable to you than a staged shot of you pinning on a boutonniere. We have been told there are a hundred different shots we "need," and I urge you to throw that shot list out the window and opt for making real memories instead. I promise you, the photos will capture that joy in a way that you'll really treasure.
The photos in this post were styled by my dear friend, Mel, of Makin' It Lovely,
with florals by the ever so talented, Tanya, of Presh Floral.
MORE POSTS WRITTEN FOR BRIDES:
RESOURCES FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: