Always talk to your photographer BEFORE sending out your invitations to make sure you’ve
allowed enough time for each segment of the day.
They’ve probably shot hundreds of weddings so know what time-frames will be necessary.
Planning a beach wedding or wanting sea-shore photos?
Check the Nelson tide charts
BEFORE selecting your wedding date!
Ask your photographer about doing an ‘engagement shoot’
to help you become familiar with
and comfortable in front of the camera. After all, you practice your hair and makeup,
fit your dress and rehearse that kiss. Getting camera ready is important too!
Consider the colours of your location when choosing the colours you’ll wear.
If you’re at the beach, blues will compliment your surroundings, while red will make you stand out.
On the RSVP of your invitations, put a line for a suggested song for reception.
You’ll get an idea of the sort of music your guest will enjoy, and they’ll get a thrill if they hear their choice played!
Plan to have your ceremony rehearsal AT THE SAME TIME OF DAY as your actual ceremony,
so that you can see how the sun angles will affect you, your guests and your photographer.
Make sure you are both standing in full shade or full sun, and with no broken light (such as under a tree),
for the best photos.
Did you know that makeup that photographs well is very different from your everyday makeup?
Ordinarily, we like to have a ‘healthy glow’ and so most makeup contains translucent or reflective qualities.
This will look great to the naked eye, but with camera lighting it may be unflattering, making you may look
ghostly or very shiny. Also avoid glitter, diamantes and high shine lip gloss. Go for matte!
More tips on Makeup the Camera Loves.
Get all the little details the bride will need on the morning of her wedding prep’d and ready the night before.
Take that garter out of its packet. Remove the price tag from the bottom of your shoes. Attach your heel-stoppers.
Lay out each piece of jewelry you intend to wear so that there’s no hunting for it while everyone waits.
The more organized you are, the more the morning with flow and the more shoot-time you’ll get out of your photographer.
Bugs love white lace! Spray your veil with bug spray to keep them at bay.
(But test your spray on an inconspicuous part first!)
If wearing a strapless gown, try to go bra-less for at least two hours before dressing time,
so that you’re photo-ready when your photographer arrives.
Make sure there are two clear and clutter-free spaces at the brides-house for photography.
Ask a bridesmaid to whip around with a banana-box and clear the clutter into a spare bedroom
before the photographer gets there.
Give a list of all important phone numbers to a bridesmaid or your mum in case of hic-ups on the day.
Include a cell number for your: photographer, celebrant, cake maker, caterer, drivers and band.
If you’re thinking of arriving to your wedding in a vintage car, remember that they don’t have aircon
and that opening the windows may cause havoc with your hair.
f you have a long distance to travel to a summer ceremony, you may end up arriving hot, sweaty and windswept!
Vintage cars also travel more slowly than modern cars so allow more time than usual to get to your ceremony.
Make sure your drivers know exactly where they’re going! You don’t want to get lost on your big day.
Which of your guests do you want sitting where during your ceremony.
Chances are if you ‘just leave them to sort it out’, they’ll all stand BEHIND the chairs, leaving them empty.
You could have an usher to take the arm of your parents, grandparents and other special guests,
and lead them to a seat. Or you could use ‘reserved for the mother of the bride’ cards placed on the seats.
How will the bridal party arrive to the front of the ceremony?
Will the boys just stroll in when the celebrant gives them the nod, or will they make a purposeful entrance?
And what about the girls? Will the groomsmen walk down the isle to escort them up?
Think about these details to make the ceremony even more special.
Be very mindful of exactly where you and your bridal stand if you are planning an archway for your ceremony.
Arches certainly look lovely but are tricky to photograph as they create challenging shadows, a barrier to work
around when shooting side on, and if you’re not standing exactly center, everything looks skew-iff!
I recommend placing golf tees or sticker-dots on the ground during the ceremony rehearsal, to mark each
person’s place in the line-up.
As the bride makes her way down the aisle, LOOK AT EACH OTHER!
I mean, shut everyone and everything else out, be present in this moment and truly see each other.
It sounds so simple but I have SO MANY photos of brides and grooms looking everywhere
(usually the ground) except at each other!
If ‘Uncle Bob’ does have to be there taking photos or video for you, ask him to stay on the same side
of proceedings as the official photographer, so as not to get in each other’s shots.
If your celebrant chooses to stand BEHIND you, don’t be tempted to turn yourselves to look at him/her
as they speak as you will end up turning your backs to your guests (and your photographer).
Instead, keep focused on each other.
Have you thought about how you will present your rings at your wedding ceremony?
Do they really need to be in the Pascoes box they came with?!
How about using a paua shell, Nana’s jewelry box, the family bible, or a velvet bag.
For the benefit of the photographer, have the ring bearer or celebrant pause and show the rings to your guests.
And as you place the ring, try to tilt your hands towards the photographer for a good closeup shot.
Brides, ask someone (bridesmaid, mum, sister, best-ie) to slip your bouquet from your hands
immediately after the ceremony, so that you can properly hug your guests.
During the congratulations following the ceremony, step forward to that your photographer has space
to photograph the people hugging you. And stick together – if you move off in different directions,
the photographer has to decide whether to follow the bride or the groom.
If anyone in the bridal party wears prescription glasses, ask them to have them refitted and tightened
just before the wedding. Frames that slip down can ‘cut through’ a person’s eyes and/or badly reflect light,
creating inferior images. And if anyone has ‘transitional lenses’ which go very dark on sunny days,
you might like to ask if they have a spare pair of ordinary glasses they can use for the wedding shoot.
Brides, consider packing some ‘sensible shoes’ for your photo-shoot, especially if they won’t be seen under
your gown. Managing stilettos on grass, sand or gravel is never fun, and blisters can easily spoil the mood!
Want to create a unique ‘guest book’? Buy a wooden jenga set and have guests write messages on the blocks.
If you’re having an outdoor wedding, get some GIANT jenga pieces for even more fun!
Make sure everyone can join in at toasting time by providing sparkling grape juice or other non-alcoholic drinks
for guests who don’t want to drink alcohol.
Do you struggle with the concept of providing ‘favours’ for your guests, as if a gorgeous day and scrumptious meal
was not thanks enough? Instead of trinkets that will end up in your guest’s bottom drawer, consider making a small
donation to your favourite charity. Have your MC announce this during reception and watch your guests applaud!