I’ve photographed over 3,000 weddings and I’ve learned that planning a wedding can become overwhelming for most. I’ve seen it all: from intimate weddings with 6 people to extravagant weddings with 600 people. I don’t consider myself a professional wedding planner, so I created this page from a photographer’s point of view.
Where do I begin?
The first thing I ask to the bride & groom is what is the official date? The date and season of a wedding will set the tone. A wedding on a prime Saturday will cost a top dollar at any venue, but on Friday or Sunday, the price will dwindle down.
Once the date is permanent, now the bride and groom should begin deciding on their vendors: a planner, a photographer, a live band or DJ, a florist, transportation, a hotel/accommodations, and hair and makeup.
When I find my photographer what should I ask him?
The first thing your should ask your photographer is if the date is available for them and try to learn his approach towards wedding photography. When you buy your dress you go down and try on the dress and the same applies with photography. Try it on! It is critical to have a trustworthy photographer who you are confident will capture every moment and work hard. Also, this vendor is the only vendor you are with after the event so make sure you two like each other!
How long should the photographer stay?
On average, most of the weddings I photograph are 10 or 12 hours. My style of photography is storytelling, and this is a long process to capture because I start from when the bride puts on her dress to the last dance.
What’s the first-look?
This trend is becoming more popular: it’s when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. In my opinion, this moment is when the focus is all on the groom. I will choose the best spot with the best light to capture this moment.
After you have had a moment to yourselves, we start taking bride and groom portraits, then of course we take pictures with the family and the bridal party. We tuck away the bride before guests arrive. That gives you free to relax and enjoy your wedding. Now if your ceremony and reception is all at one place I high recommend to do this. If your ceremony is in the afternoon and your reception is at night, there is no need for the first look.
Choosing to do the first-look, will enable you to enjoy your wedding a lot more because you will not miss the cocktail hour, and you won’t be in the hallway or outside taking family photos during the reception.
As a photographer for many years, a lot of my clients accept this proposal, and a lot decline, but I understand that the first-look is not for everyone. The day revolves around the bride and the groom, so they deserve to compromise on whatever makes them feel comfortable.