November 20, 2020
Here are my top 5 tips for a stress-free wedding and the best photographs! Your big day has arrived and you should be able to live in the moment of your wedding day and not be consumed by all the things that can go wrong. You deserve to enjoy every single moment and hopefully these tips can help relieve some stress on your wedding day!
Having the best wedding photographs happens well before your wedding day. I highly recommend doing an engagement session, as this will be the only opportunity for both you and your photographer to get to know each other while in front of the camera.
You will experience how your photographer works with you and you will get a glimpse on how your photographer will operate on your wedding day. Will your photographer have you strictly posing? Will your photographer set you at ease relieving any anxieties you may have? Will you get to be yourselves, in order to express real authentic emotions? This is the chance to get comfortable in front of the camera, so you can relax and be present in the moment on your big day!
On the other end, this is the time for your photographer to get a feel for what works and doesn’t work, in order to make any adjustments for your wedding day. Do you have a preferred side depending on how your hair is styled? Do you have special quirks that just beam pure joy and energy in your photographs? This is the time to understand you better and how to bring out all the emotions based on your values, needs, and wants. When your photographer understands this, they can help put you at ease, making your wedding day less stressful. This nicely transitions to…
This is one of, if not the most, important factors to having a stress-free wedding while getting the best wedding photographs. Your relationship with your photographer is a two-way street and you both ideally want to be a good match. Feeling comfortable with your photographer sets the stage for a comfortable experience, allowing you to express real emotions naturally and not fabricated for the sake of being photographed.
When your photographer is able to build a great relationship with you, they are able to document moments that reflect who you are as a couple to show your love, your connection, and your story. Your photographer can play a huge positive influence on your wedding, as they’re probably the one vendor hanging around with you the most, and of course you want to be surrounded with positive vibes! Again, this will help you to genuinely be yourselves throughout the day and to be present in the moment.
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There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to planning your wedding. However, the one thing you can be certain of are the ceremony and reception locations. I cannot stress enough how important it is to pick a ceremony location and reception location that are close to each other – better yet, both in a single venue! There are many things that can go wrong if these two locations are spaced too far apart. For example, what if there’s a rain or snow storm between your ceremony and reception time? Can these undesirable weather conditions delay you from getting to your reception location in time? Is there a chance that this can ruin your dress/suit? To add to this, your guests will also have to commute to the reception location!
In my chat with Amanda who is the Sales and Events Manager at Royal Ashburn Golf Club in Whitby, Ontario, one of her top 3 tips to consider when selecting your wedding venue is to choose a location that is accessible for your guests, and I couldn’t agree more. If all your guests are based in Durham Region, it is much more logical to choose a wedding location that is local and not have everyone commute into or across the city, for example.
So, the ideal situation is to find a single venue that can host both your ceremony and reception, so there are fewer moving parts. This makes everything so much more convenient and puts you at ease, not just for you and your fiancée, but also your guests! I know this isn’t practical all the time; like if you were to host your wedding ceremony at a church, then you would have to find a separate reception location.
Also, getting-ready locations! Having your getting-ready locations that are close to each other like in the same hotel building, for example, makes both you and your photographer’s lives much easier. When you are getting ready in a location that is 50 minutes away from your fiancée, this factors into your photography schedule and you may have to consider hiring a second photographer!
You can check out the list of the best wedding venues in Durham Region to get inspired by more locations to have your wedding reception and/or ceremony.
Preparing a timeline at least a couple months prior to your wedding will reduce any headaches you may have on the wedding day. Now, I know some might say the opposite, since you might feel paranoid about sticking to the schedule when your wedding day arrives, but structure is always good for the biggest day of your lives! This is a day that you don’t want to just wing.
When you can create a timeline, this gives your photographer an idea of how the day will unfold in terms of lighting. Lighting is a photographer’s best friend! It is what creates the beautiful compositions each couple desires in their wedding photographs, whether it’s natural lighting from the sun or our very own lighting equipment. Lighting is key! ?
The best lighting definitely comes form that big yellow thing in the sky. This source of light leads to the most natural and flattering photographs, whether it’s portraits of you both, family formal portraits, or candid moments throughout the day. The ideal time to have your own portraits taken would be during, you guessed it, golden hour! This is roughly about 1-2 hours before sunset when the sun is approaching the horizon, giving that beautiful, golden, soft glow. The most aesthetic photographs are captured during this time. Structuring your timeline to dedicate a section of time for your portrait session during golden hour is ideal!
Regardless of time of day and the lighting conditions, your wedding photographer should be able to adjust accordingly whether it’s making use of natural lighting outdoors and large windows for indoor celebrations or if lighting equipment is needed to get the shot that are still authentic to you!
I’ll be honest with you. Looking back at my wedding photographs, I regret not having an unplugged wedding ceremony. Our photographer took amazing photographs of my wife walking down the aisle and then BOOM! iPhone. BOOM! iPhone. BOOM! iPhone. I get it, with social media everyone wants to snap a shot to share on Facebook or Instagram.
Not only does this make your wedding photographs not as pleasing to the eye, but this is robbing your guests of being present and living in the moment, witnessing you getting married with their very own eyes and not through a digital screen. It would kind of suck to have a beautiful photograph of your first kiss ruined by bright digital screens all along the sides. The focus should be on you without any distractions by something silly as an iPhone or worse, a damn iPad!
Leave the photography to your wedding photographer – you know, the person you hired to capture quality photographs of your day that your friends and family will eventually have access to and can share all they want! Let your guests know in your wedding invitation and wedding website if you have one set up! Drive it home and they’ll get the message (hopefully)!
Wedding planning is definitely overwhelming and that is what motivated me to put this list together to help make the process a little easier for you. I hope this blog post did provide some help so you can have the best stress-free wedding and wedding photographs!
The Wedding Experience I provide my couples definitely revolves around these 5 tips. I take passion in investing into each couple’s story, to listen and understand each couple’s values, needs, and wants. This allows for a more intentional and curated approach to capture moments that are true to you, reflecting your most genuine and authentic emotions that are full of humanity. You do not need to worry about feeling awkward or uncomfortable, and you can have peace of mind knowing that you can actually be present and live in the moment on your big day. Because these are the moments and emotions you will connect with and relive when flipping through your wedding album in 10 years. You can learn more about my approach towards your wedding day here!
A Durham wedding photographer in Ontario, Canada, Brian Ly Photography captures real moments of couples showcasing their authenticity and connection. Brian Ly Photography services Durham Region and the GTA photographing weddings and engagement sessions and loves to connect with couples to capture their destination wedding anywhere around the world.