You know what’s so awesome about #MarieMedinaCouples? EVERYTHING. But especially how much they care about making my job easier on their wedding day! I mean seriously…how sweet is it that they always ask me “what can we do to help you?” on THEIR big day. Gosh, I’m girl crushing so hard on all these couples.
Anyway, it seems like every couple wants to know how they can help us photographers do our job better, so I figured I’d just put it in a blog post for all of you to see! I’ve compiled a list of the 5 things that make my life soooo much easier on wedding days AND help my couples get more, better images from the day.
1. Have your details assembled when I arrive.
The first thing I do at every wedding is photograph the details. I gather up items like the bride’s shoes, the invitation suite, all her jewelry, all three rings, perfume, one or two bouquets, the bride’s dress, and any other special little parts of the day to make sure that each thing is photographed. A lot of time and money goes into picking out all of those things and I don’t want them to get lost in the shuffle once the busier parts of the day begin! Plus, seeing all the details pulled together helps me get a better sense of the theme and aesthetic of the day.
I usually schedule at least 30 minutes for ‘Detail Photos’ on a wedding day. It helps me save time and get started a lot quicker if all the details are in one place before I arrive. Then, I can walk in, say hello, and get right to work! The more time I have to work with the details, the better those images are, and the better I am able to serve my couples as the day unfolds.
2. Tell me what to expect.
Every wedding day is different. That’s why I love my job! Each day is incredibly special, and incredibly unique. However, that’s also what’s scary about my job! I want to make sure to capture all the little (or big) special moments to help the couple relax and celebrate with their friends and family. I can make sure to be in the right place at the right time if I know what is going to happen throughout the day. A lot of this comes from the timeline I have all my #MarieMedinaCouples fill out, but a lot also comes from my brides telling me! If you’re planning a special dance with your bridesmaids or groomsmen, if you’re doing a dress change, if there will be a college mascot, if you’re dog is the ring bearer, if there will be a sword arch or some kind of salute, if the groom is arriving to the ceremony via boat…ANYTHING. It is sooooo important that I know beforehand. And I promise, I’ll keep all your secret surprises secret 🙂
3. Get your family up to speed.
This one is HUGEEE! Family formals are a very important part of the day. Family travels from literally all over the world to celebrate a wedding and a lot of times, this is the only time entire families have been in one place in years. I make sure to give families time to get good portraits during this portion of the day, but it is the part that requires the most people. I am usually organizing upwards of 50 people for family formals and I always have a set list of combinations that my couple provides before their wedding. Gathering family members for these portraits can be a huge time suck on a wedding day. Letting your family members know who is needed for family pictures after the ceremony beforehand (and reminding them at the rehearsal) can easily save 15-20 minutes. I also recommend having a point person from each side to make sure everyone is gathered. Typically, this is a sibling who is also in the wedding party.
The hour between the ceremony and reception on a wedding day is usually the busiest hour of the day. And it’s even busier if you choose not to do a First Look. (Read all about why I think a First Look is a MUST here.) Saving those 15-20 minutes during family formals can make a massive difference!
4. Include set up times on the timeline.
This one ties in with number 1 because it’s about the details! I make sure to get pictures of the ceremony and reception spaces when they are fully set up, but no guests have touched them yet. This is usually a very short window of time! On the timeline you send to your photographer, it is super helpful if you include what time the ceremony and reception spaces will be completely finished.
5. Trust me.
All my #MarieMedinaCouples do this soooooo well. I am so lucky to have the couples I do because they all trust me 100% at their engagement session and wedding day. They know that I’ve spent hours learning and educating myself about light, posing, and composition that they never second guess me…even when I ask them to do things that seem ridiculous! It makes my job a lot easier when my couples and their families trust me and my expertise, so THANK YOU to all my wonderful #MMPCouples!
Trusting your photographer is a big weight of your shoulders too because it’s one less thing for you to think about on your wedding day! Make sure you find a photographer who you know has earned that trust and will serve you and your family well.