While all weddings are unique, many of them share similar characteristics, especially when it comes to photos. Rituals usually take a particular amount of time and certain aspects have a tendency to go awry. Some details get way more time and attention than others. However, it’s your first time getting married, you may not have a real concept of what those things will be until you are there on the day-of running half an hour late with no idea why. Unless you have a professional wedding planner whose got your back, you simply don’t know what you don’t know what to do. So we sat down with Mahlia, owner and lead photographer from Ivory Door Studio to discuss her top tips for wedding photography and what you need to know.
Professionally Done Hair & Makeup Always Takes Longer Than Anticipated.
It’s not that professional hair and makeup is particularly time consuming, it usually takes approximately 45minutes to an hour for hair and 30 to 45 minutes for makeup depending on what you are having done, it’s just that between your sister asking you four times which pair of shoes you prefer and your mom double checking how you like your bouquet and then you having to ask your makeup artist to tone down the eye shadow a bit, lots of little interruptions can add up to being half an hour or an hour behind schedule. Mahlia, from Ivory Door Studio suggests, and we quite agree, that you cushion your start time with an additional buffer hour into your day-of schedule. The absolute worst thing that happens if you end up finishing early would be that you get to enjoy some quality time toasting your nuptials with your ladies over mimosas.
Family Portraits are Always Difficult
It’s difficult to corral a big group of people into a photo to begin with, but it is even more of a challenge when it’s your crazy family. Timing can be a challenge as well. If you plan your family photos before the ceremony, you’re going to want to get them over with as soon as possible so you can get to your wedding ceremony on time. If you do them during cocktail hour, you’re going to wish you were at cocktail hour. Trust us, these photos are important and worth the hassle. We know you hired your photographer for their gorgeous artistic vision, however, your parents and grandparents are only going to frame a few photos from your wedding, and we can all but guarantee that it’s not going to be the artistic ones of the two of you kissing at sunset. We give you permission to be a little bit grumpy during family portraits (we feel your frustration), and know that they’ll be over soon. In the end it will all be worth the hassle. Worst case, give us the signal and we will bring you a flute of champagne to ease the pain.
Your Photographer Does Not Know Who Your Great Aunt Matilda Is.
Most photographers try really hard to get to know your family during the wedding, however, unless its someone in your family portraits, or it was someone selected to do a reading or give a toast they simply do not know your Great Aunt Matilda (who practically raised you) from your Grandmother (who you've had a falling out with) from your elementary school art teacher (who your Mom made you invite). So if it’s really important that someone you love makes it into the final photo gallery, make sure to let your photographer know. Include the person on the shot list you provide to them prior to the wedding day or have someone at the wedding point out the VIPs to your photographer and their assistant. Of course, you can always grab your photographer and say, “Can you please take a photo of my Great Aunt Matilda and me?” We can assure you that Mahlia, from Ivory Door Studio's answer will always be yes, mainly because your great aunt has a real flair for style. We all just love that sequined jacket she's rockin'!
Backdrops Give You More Bang for Your Buck
If photography is one of your top priorities but you only have room in your budget for either a dramatic backdrop or lots of delicate details, always choose backdrops. They really make a statement and provide that WOW aspect to your photos. Pinterest, Instagram, and bridal magazines have done an excellent job of convincing couples that all you’ll see at a wedding are the details. While details definitely add to the overall feel, those bigger statement items like custom drapery, specialty lighting, a balloon cascade, or even a flower wall get a lot more play in your photos. Mahlia, from Ivory Door Studio suggests that if you have to choose between your beautiful and intricate details and a killer ceremony backdrop, that ceremony backdrop will get way more time and attention in your wedding photos than your gold filigree napkin rings or hand assembled programs. This is particularly true when it comes to your ceremony. Depending on the space, there aren’t a whole lot of places your photographer can go during the ceremony, so a backdrop ends up doing a lot of the work towards making your pictures really POP!
Café lighting is Magical
If your selected ceremony location is more of a simplistic canvas, or you wish to have an outdoor nighttime reception, or even if your decor budget just isn’t huge, but you really care about photography, café string lights are one of the best wedding-related investments you can make. Mahlia, from Ivory Door Studio assures us that a few strands really will go a really long way toward making your pictures look amazing, partly because they add visual interest to your photos, but also because with enough of them you can create a soft, warm, romantic feel where everything seems to glow from within.