For many brides, their wedding day will be the first time they’re in front of a professional camera. While it’s the photographer’s responsibility to make sure that he gets the best telephoto lens, make sure the settings, lighting and angles are just right, there are a few things you can do to help the process run smoothly.
Do look at real weddings from St. Louis wedding photographers (St Louis Bride magazine is a great place to see real weddings! We’ve been featured several times over the years). Staged weddings produce pretty, perfect pictures, but real weddings will give you a better idea of what you can expect, since they have, the music, food, guests and details from local vendors.
You may hear from some people “Don’t go with any St. Louis wedding photographers who quote you incredibly cheap prices.” And while ‘you get what you pay for’ can be true, its also true you can find some great deals with hungry photographers who are just starting out, or do this as a side job. And there are companies that cost a lot and aren’t a great value. So while costs will fluctuate based on location, experience and coverage, cost of service vary so much from photographer to photographers its best to decide two things, 1. how important photography is to you and 2. what your budget is, both your ideal and your maximum possible number.
Do send your photographer your Save the Date and invitation. She’ll be able to take shots of it in advance.
Don’t nix the engagement shoot. You’ll get to know the photographer, practice in front of a camera and have professional shots to display your ETRNL Rings at your wedding. Its personally one of my favorite parts of the entire engagement experience. I adore getting those first images of your new family!
Do ask your photographer to ride with you on your way to the ceremony or reception. She’ll be able to capture intimate moments away from the crowd. Getting some light hearted moments of your crew away from the guests is part of the fun and you never know what will happen!
Don’t clutter up the bridal suite. Have your bridesmaids put all of their stuff in one section of the room. If you’re going to be sipping water while you get ready, use glasses (custom is always cute!) instead of plastic water bottles. (although cute custom labels and paper straws that match your wedding colors can be cute too!) Think about how everything is going to look in photos!
Do find out if the ceremony venue places limits on your wedding photographers. Your photographer needs to know ahead of time if the priest or officiant is going to designate them to the back of the room. There are several church venues with VERY. STRICT. RULES. for photo and video. I’ve spent a wedding in a 2 ft box in the back of the church before…
Think about an unplugged wedding. Shots of your guests holding their phones will not only look less than stunning in the photos. Your family members aren’t being present in the moment if they are worried about taking photos that, in all honesty you will likely see very very few of. And while a sign is nice, its way more effective to ask the officiant to make an announcement before the ceremony begins. No one will refuse a person of the cloth. Use that to your advantage for once!
Do get extra close to your groom. Small gaps look awkward in photos. Snuggle up to make the photos look loving and intimate.
Don’t provide a super-detailed shot list. If you look at a wedding shot list (that you usually googled online) they all contain the same basic list of things. That’s because the basic skeleton of a wedding day is the same. St. Louis photographers know how to capture the core of your wedding, we know which poses and groupings you want. The core of what you want from your photographer is the moments that make your day specifically yours. So if there are special details that you have created that are unique to your wedding, by all means we want to know about them but a shot list is just a hinderance to your photographer’s creativity and ability to see your day and ironically they take a while to setup and a long list of must-haves will rush the process.
Do clarify if you want a particularly unique or meaningful shot that’s out of the ordinary. Your photographer will be happy to work with you!