1) Finding the right photographer
This is probably the most important decision that you will make when it comes to making sure you get great picture. Things to think about when choosing the right photographer include
*years of experience and amount of weddings and events the perspective photographer has photographed
*does their style of photography fit your particular taste
*have they photographed at the venue where you are getting married
*Does there pricing points and packaging match up with what you want to spend,
*Do they come across pushy or are they easy to talk to and deal with
2)Finding the right Venue
Finding the right venue can be a daunting task as there is so many variables to take into consideration like pricing, location, scenery of venue, just to name a few. But if photography is an important aspect for you then here is what you need to know about finding the right venue:
*Beauty of the venue- This includes things like how the venue is landscaped? Is there lots of scenic backgrounds with flowers and trees and is there any spots at the venue with ponds, etc... where it will be easy for the photographer to have lots of good spots to choose from.
*How will the venue be for lighting- This is one of the many important aspects that many people can miss the boat on because many don't understand how lighting during the day can effect the outcome of their pictures. So because of this I recommend venues that have some shade especially for the ceremony area where the wedding couple will be standing. Also having shade in other parts of the venue also allows the photographers to utilize those spots where they can photograph all the formal pictures of family and wedding party without having to worry as much about difficult lighting conditions. High noon sunlight hours can be challenging at times as it tends to cast the maximum shadows and contrast on the subjects. Although we can use our powerful flashes to minimize those harsh shadows, we as photographer and artists much prefer soft lighting to create stunning images that our clients will cherish for a lifetime.
*Is the inside of the venue also desirable for your reception?- This includes rooms with beautiful fixtures and lighting and making sure the space will be large enough as well for all your guests.
3)Getting a party planner
Party planners can be a photographer's best friend at a wedding. So here are some reasons why you should really think about passing the planning of your party to someone who does this for a living.
*Party planners will keep you on schedule throughout the day- Yes they will let you know every step of the way what is next on the schedule which will take the stress off of you and make sure that everything runs smooth.
A good party planner will also communicate with all your vendors to make sure everyone is in the loop when it comes to that schedule. As a photographer it free's me up to focus more on the photography when I know that someone else is keeping track of the schedule and is communicating with me every step of the way. They will even handle specific tasks on occasion like helping with family photo shot lists and other request shots and will help to organize groups of people for these photography shot lists.
4)Find a Good DJ/MC company
A good DJ/MC can make a break your party. I have seen my share of good and bad ones. So be sure to choose someone with the experience and personality that you know will throw a great party.
*A good MC/DJ is someone who is dynamic and high energy- Have you ever been to a wedding where the MC is monotone throughout the whole party and showing very little excitement throughout the party? Yes Ive seen this far too often and even worse I've seen DJ/MC companies who barely even talk at all and just fill the basic requirements during the party. Remember this is supposed to be a once in a lifetime party so you want someone who will bring the energy and entertainment as this is the source of many of those great photo moments. I always love a great DJ/MC because they are literally creating some of the greatest moments that I'm capturing throughout the party. If the MC stays behind his turntable the whole night without getting out on the dance floor with the guests then he is not doing his job.
*A great DJ/MC will also keep the party on schedule without having to be told. This means that he has the schedule to reference throughout the party and will make sure that he is on time with each and every aspect of the party.
*Good DJ/MC's will always let the photographer and Videographer know when they are about to do something important like the Grand Entrance and toasts and many of those other important first moments.
5)Allow more time on your wedding day
I can't make the point enough to allow yourself plenty of time for all aspects of your wedding day. Both you and your photographer don't want to be rushed and when you allow more time for both you and your photographer you will keep the day much lower stress with an easier to achieve timeline. This also means making sure you and all the wedding party and close family members arrive on time to the venue. The creative process also takes time and as your photographer we prefer to take our time getting the best photos possible while not being in too big a hurry.
6)Don't Forget to smile
Something I always start out my day telling the wedding couple and wedding party is smile and look happy. This is the best occasion in your life and we want the pictures to represent that. So always act like you are being photographed at every moment because even when we are not posing the couple or wedding party we are capturing many candids of the bride, groom, wedding party, and close family.
Plan for golden light hour pictures
Sunset hour of the day is a great opportunity for romantic wedding couples shots. Take 15 extra minutes to do these romantic style candids while the sun is setting and the lighting is at its softest while giving nice warm tones. This is an opportunity you don't want to miss so plan to take an extra 15 minutes to allow for these must have shots.