Ok.. So I haven’t actually counted how many weddings we’ve shot but we’re definitely in the HUNDREDS. I’d say we’ve learned a thing or two. The most important thing is that we want you to ENJOY your wedding. When you’re enjoying yourself you LOOK like you’re enjoying yourself and THAT makes for REALLY GREAT photos! I’ve noticed that the most stress-free and ridiculously fun weddings that we photograph all have a few things in common. So we’ve put this list together to help you think through some things.
ALRIGHT, LET’S GET STARTED!
TIP # 1 | Location, Location, Location
Trust me, I get how hard and excruciatingly painful, like paper-cut on the index finger painful, it is to plan a wedding. But, the absolute gold standard is to host your ceremony and reception at the same venue. This helps not only you, but less stress for our guests too. Now, I get it … That’s not going to happen if you are having your ceremony at your family church. I completely understand, heck, even my own wedding was at the church down the road. Simply, keep this in mind and try to keep the driving distance to a minimum. Wouldn’t you rather spend the extra time getting really creative photos taken of you instead of worrying if you’ll get stuck in traffic or make it to cocktail hour in time?
This same rule applies to getting ready. If the guys are getting 40 minutes away from the girls – it may cut into your plans.
TIP #2 | The one time to unplug
When you go to look at your photos and remember your wedding day, I don’t think one of those memories will be of guests leaning into the aisle to get the perfect shot of your dress. Or the picture of Uncle Joe putting your first kiss on Facebook Live. Unfortunately, in our social media-driven society, we are seeing this at weddings more and more often. Everyone wants to get the perfect snapshot for Instagram. Meanwhile, you already had this planned out by hiring the best photographer out there; someone who will produce quality pictures that all your guests (and you!) can share as much as they want.
To prevent the above from happening, couples simply need to make it clear that they would like for everyone to put their phones (and iPad’s – yes I am serious, this happened!) away and be present for the joyous moment that everyone came together to celebrate, it will create a much happier day and your wedding album will be free of iPhones.
Here’s a link to some great “unplugged” signs on Etsy
ETSY SIGNS – https://www.etsy.com/market/unplugged_ceremony_sign
TIP #3 | LET THERE BE LIGHT
There’s a reason you love our portfolio so much. It’s natural. Not only do you love the natural and genuine emotions, but I would guess you love it for one other reason…
The natural light.
Can we talk about that big hot fiery ball in the sky and how it does WONDERS for your photography?! When you plan a timeline with your photographer make sure it involves you going outside for some sessions. Family portraits are already so awkwardly, forced and posed… so why not make them STUNNING with natural light. Most couples just assume the stage in their horribly lit church will be a perfect location for shots with all the aunts, uncles and cousins…NEGATIVE. Think about relocating outside. At the very least plan a couple’s portrait session outside, but we recommend your first-look, your bridal party session, your couple’s portraits and your family session all be done outdoors if possible. The next best thing is close to open windows!
Now, I know what you’re thinking. We live in Chicagoland and we only see the sun 3 months out of the year and those 3 months are as unpredictable as my AT&T bill … (just me?)
Don’t worry. We are all professionals with professional equipment and we’ll bring the external lights needed to create some awesome artwork. The point is to plan as best as you can for natural light session. Check out the difference with natural light below.
TIP #4 | You do you, Imma do me
When I hand you your wedding album at the end of this whole experience, we want you to be like “YAASS!” 🙌🏼 Not just because your photographs are simply gorgeous (which they will be) but we want you to be all “WOW!” from the story it tells about your YOU-ness.
If you want to get ready at home because that’s what is meaningful to you, let’s make it happen.
If you decide to not have a creative session and go see your grandma at the nursing home instead, then let’s please make it happen!
If you and your fiance had your first date at a tiny little ice cream place and it means the world to you two, then, by all means, let’s go take some photographs there!
Many people worry about where they want to take photographs, rather than thinking of why you want to have photographs taken at a certain location. We challenge you to dig deep and together, let’s come up with a location that will tell your story perfectly.
Check out Nicole and Riley’s session that we did at their first date spot at ‘Features’ in downtown Naperville.
TIP #5 | It’s just a …
We are all familiar with Murphy’s law, “Anything that can go wrong will.” We are not saying you should live your life waiting for all the inevitable doom and gloom heading your way. We prefer to live by the quote “Let it go!” – Queen Elsa. And on your wedding day it’s a good reminder that you can’t control everything that might go wrong, so don’t let the small things ruin it. YOU are the main event and the party is not going to start without you. We like to tell our clients that we are on “Bride Central” time. We can’t tell you how many time’s we’ve said, “You’re getting married!!! This day is all about you!!!”
What time the cake arrives, your cousin who is running behind, that darn thread that just broke on your dress… all of these things will seem so large at the time, but they’re really very small. The [church/guests/officiant/band/servers/you fill in the blank] will wait for you. And we promise that it won’t matter to you later! So remember, no matter what it is, just repeat this mantra after me: “It’s just a _____. It’s not going to ruin my day!”
WE GOT YOU!
All of the tips that I’ve shared are based on the experience that we have gained from shooting hundreds of weddings.
The commitment that we give our couples is that when you choose EV Photography, you won’t have to worry about your photos. Our intentional process gets to the heart of YOU. This means you are able to be fully present and enjoy your own wedding, knowing you will have Authentic, Dynamic and Emotional images intentionally crafted by photographers rich with personality and beaming with passion.
If you’d like to talk to me more about your wedding day, or hear about some of my favorite local locations for engagement shoots, please give us a call or fire over an email. We’d love to chat!
We hope that you found our tips for having a stress free wedding day helpful!
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330 N. Wabash, Chicago, IL