Tip #1 Communicate with your Vendors
If I could go back and redo my wedding from six years ago, I would! As a wedding photographer of 100+ weddings now, I have seen some of the best wedding timelines, most beautiful color schemes, and all of the fun wedding day options out there. While I try to share some of what I have seen with my brides, I don't always have the opportunity to share before decisions are already made. Photographers are experts at telling you what color schemes go well with what seasons, themes, and your unique love story. DJs are experts at what formalities exist for wedding receptions and what songs will get your unique wedding guests dancing all night long. Your venue coordinators have seen all kinds of different setups at their venue. One thing that could significantly enhance your wedding day, is opening the door to your vendors to hear what they have seen work and not work. Just ask! We would love to help.
Tip #2 Choose Your Bridal Party Carefully
Smaller is better! Some of the worst experiences I have had during a wedding were due to the bridal party. Some issues I have experienced: Drinking too much, not following simple directions, sexualy harrassing vendors, and even disappearing during photos. Some tips when selecting your bridal party: (1)If possible, try to keep your bridal party family and close, long term friends only. (2)Choose friends that do not have issues with alcohol or put strict limits on how much they can drink before photos. (3)Choose people that will look for ways to help you, including throwing an insanely fun bachelor and bachelorette party! You will spend the first half of your wedding with this group, which is sometimes the most stressful and time sensitive moments. Choose a crew that will be there for you and not be a distraction. Your media team will appreciate it!
Tip #3 Hire a Videographer
While the majority of our couples hire both of us as a photographer and videographer, we still find that a lot of couples regret not having a videographer. Here is why you need to hire one: (1) Audio. You will never get the opportunity to clearly capture the audio from the day. Yes, you might have a grandma take out her phone, but the words will be muffled or inaudible. Through the professional audio you can capture the emotion from every moment. (2) Sharing with others. Very few people are going to view every photograph from your wedding, but they will watch a 6-10 minute highlight. This allows people that can't make your wedding to get a complete experience. Guest lists have become smaller and smaller and people that don't make the final 100-200 list, will be grateful that they can experience the beauty and fun without being there. (3) Music. Putting your day to music will make your wedding day seem even more epic than the actual day. Having your day artistically woven together in a short video, will allow you to show off your wedding to your friends and remember the day in the best form possible. (4) Fly on the wall. Brandon will try to stay out of the way and not be intrusive to the events of the day. Capturing candids and moments that the bride and groom are not present for, can only be captured by video. The reception entrances, guests before the ceremony, and the bride and groom getting ready, are just some of the events that couples will get to see when they hire a videographer.
Tip #4 Set Aside Time for Just the Two of You
Your day will be high energy and sometimes overwhelming. Setting aside 15-20 minutes where you can just hangout alone, or with a select group of friends, will allow you time to reset and enjoy your wedding day to its fullest. I have seen couples block off 30 minutes before the ceremony to just hangout and put on final touches. Before the grand entrance, schedule 15 minutes to hangout in a room and share letters. You can even make your couple portraits a moment to spend some alone time. Brandon loves to tell couples to go take a walk around a pond or down a path and then fly a drone to get some aerial shots. These moments will give you excellent pictures and video clips, while also giving you some alone time to enjoy your day.
Tip #5 Hire a Media Team that Has Experience Working Together
This tip doesn't mean you have to hire Brittany and Brandon, even though that's what we would prefer! But hiring vendors that have worked together is a HUGE advantage. (1) You can make sure that you are getting reputable, trustworthy people working for you. I(Brandon) have worked with other photographers and I have favorites and I have ones that I would not have wanted at my own wedding. If you get recommendations from your current photographer and videographer, they will most likely point you in the right direction. (2) We are going to get in each other's way, it's just a matter of communicating. Brittany and I communicate during wedding ceremonies with eye contact. I know when I am in her shot because I can feel her glaring at me! We have minimized this by have detailed plans before each moment and being able to predict what each other is going to do when. It also helps to know the focal length of the current camera she is using. (3) Your final product will be better! One trick that we have never revealed, is that Brittany will sometimes take screenshots from a clip that I have shot because I got a cool angle or I got a candid moment while she was in another room. Also, when I am looking for thumbnails for a video, I always choose one of her photos to make your video stand out.
I hope these tips helped gave you some ideas for your wedding day! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about photography and/or videography.