10 things your wedding photographer wants you to know!

 I've photographed countless wedding days and want to share with you what my couples should keep in mind when planning their wedding day! I share this with you because I realize that not everyone knows where to even begin when it comes to planning a wedding but the one thing they want to do is to plan a wedding that will stand the test of time and that will be remembered for years to come!

Wedding planning takes a lot of work, planning of every single detail and I know that so much goes into making sure every single detail is perfect! As your photographer the last thing I want you worrying about is your wedding photography- so HEY that’s where I come in. I want to make your special day stress-free! I've learned that as the wedding photographer I become more of a friend, a shoulder to lean on, the advice giver, the go-to when things just don't seem to come together as you think they should! and I'm HERE FOR IT ALL! I’ve compiled a list of 10 things you should know as you start planning and hopefully these tips will ease your mind leading up to your special day!


As soon as you book your wedding photographer you should set your date for engagement photos- You should plan on doing them at least 3-6 months before your wedding- this will give time for any prints you will need for your wedding or bridal shower. As your photographer during your engagement session is my chance to "get to know you" they are relaxed, fun and are great for both the couple and the photographer- it helps everyone feel more relaxed on wedding days and by this point the couple will know what is expected for specific poses etc... it makes wedding days feel more relaxed! by then we are like old friends!


Planning isn't just about a huge list of photos you have in mind- planning is anything that I should know that will help make your photos everything you dreamed they When I say plan I’m not just talking about a list of photos you want me to take. I’m talking about anything that I should know to help make your photos more special. The key is having a timeline of the day including when you expect me to arrive, when the cake will arrive, when will the reception area be set up, if you want to do first-look photos, any special parts of the ceremony, and any other elements I may not know about. For example- if you are wearing your grandmothers jewelry, if you plan to exchange letters, if there is a gift exchange, anything that you want photographed. Please don't assume that I will already know. I have photographed countless weddings and all are unique- I would not want to miss any moment of your day! Also, please make me aware of any friction between family that I should be aware of. (divorce situations can be tricky and I would never want to make anyone feel uncomfortable) knowing these things in advance could eliminate awkward situations. One of the MOST IMPORTANT things for you to have ready at least two weeks in advance to your wedding day is your TIMELINE- this should be emailed to your photographer in a word format so that it can be printed. Your photographer will be so grateful having this as her/his guide throughout your wedding day! Include a list of vendors so that they can be properly credited when previews are shared, include arrival times, all the little details of when you expect things to happen throughout the day- Your planner should have a copy of this as well- and if you don't have a planner be sure that your "in charge" person has a copy.


The grooms opinion matters too! I want to hear from YOU TOO! It's BOTH of your day! If the groom has specific ideas, or specific shots- I want to know about them! Often the groom is in the background during the whole wedding process and they just show up on wedding day gliding through the day waiting to be told what to do etc! and that's okay if that's what he prefers! However I can promise you that if the groom is included and knows what to expect he will feel much more relaxed! After all I want to make both of you happy on your big day!


It is always my hope that my couples have looked at my work, they know what my style is and they have a clear understanding of what they can expect! However I love it when a couple shares some favorite inspirational images that they would love for their own wedding. With that said, I also want my couples to be realistic and understand that I cannot promise an exact copy of the photo you want. Many aspects could affect the outcome- including weather, lighting, season we are in, (spring, summer, fall, winter) each season can bring a different look.. your wedding will be unique to you- and will not look just like everyone else's. AND I'm happy about that! As your photographer I will capture what I see in front of me as the day unfolds- directing my couples during their portion of the day so that we create beautiful artwork that will look beautiful hanging in your home.


It's YOUR DAY! Often couples get caught up in trying to please everyone instead of it being the other way around! after all It's YOUR DAY- and all of your family and friends are there to be a part of your special day and to do what makes you happy! Don't be afraid to speak up, make your voice heard when you want something the way YOU WANT IT Don't miss out on specific shots because you don't want to interrupt anyone- or because you think you may be a bother! Believe me the memories that I capture will be WORTH EVERY SECOND! This goes for EVERYONE! Speak up- so that you won't regret it!


No worries- Don't pay any attention that I"m in the room. I want to document you getting ready with your tribe, laughing, reminiscing. I want you to look back and see your day exactly the way it happened! Yes- if you are planning robe shots, etc.. .we will grab candid and posed of those. When you look back on your wedding day you are going to want to see it as it really was. * A quick tip for your getting ready room- Keep the clutter cleared out of the room. A clean room will make for prettier photos! After all you wouldn't want drinks,, clothes, .... etc.. clutter... in your photos. I suggest telling your wedding party, planner, mom... whoever is helping you to keep organized- let them know to move all items to a closet, a separate room etc. Having this done as quickly as possibly before we start photos with mom is very important. Same goes for the groom quarters- clear out an area so that there is no clutter.- and a VERY IMPORTANT detail that is often overlooked and that takes up a lot of time is making certain that someone is responsible for boutonnieres- many times when I go to photograph the guys they do not have them on- and typically have no clue where they are- this takes time to locate them, then getting them pinned on- if this can be done while the guys are getting dressed it will help us stay on our timeline.


I encourage you to tell your guest to leave the picture taking up to your photographer- especially for important shots like father walking you down the aisle, kiss, etc.. those moments are important and you cannot get them back! I have had several occasions where guests are leaning in front of me to snap a photo of the bride coming down- causing my focus to be off, or being in front of me all together, causing me to miss a great shot- I can usually still get a shot- however it's not the shot it could have been.


I cannot stress this enough- you will look so much more relaxed and happy on your wedding day if you just have fun, enjoy your day and try not to worry about little details! You’ve done the planning and put in the work, now is the time to live in the moment and just enjoy the day as it unfolds! At the end of the day you will be leaving as a married couple and that's truly all that matters!


I really pour myself into my work and take great pride and joy in creating special memories for my clients. When they leave me a good review or refer a friend to me, it is a wonderful feeling. So much business these days comes from reviews and word of mouth so I appreciate the vote of confidence you give me with those. It would truly mean so much to me to have your positive words!


When I’m taking that beautiful portrait of the bride sitting in the window or I capture that perfect shot of the couple sharing a quick laugh during the reception, I imagine that you will love these photos and hanging them on your walls, put them in frames on your bedside table, and have them on your desk at work. Don’t let them sit in a folder on your computer until one day it crashes and you panic- share these precious memories with your loved ones. Print them out and show them to the world as a memory of one of the happiest days of your life.


Tammy Sue