Whether it’s just you, your wedding planner, or the whole wedding party helping to plan; there are always some things that slip through the cracks. These little things can end up causing big-time sucks and throwing your big day off schedule. We have shot several weddings and want to offer a few tips to help your big day goes off smoothly.
Consider the Location of Getting Ready Photos
Most couples know they want getting-ready photos, but sometimes they need a bit more planning out than first expected. It’s ideal to find 2 spacious, well-lit rooms with plenty of natural light and windows. Some venues might have just one space. In that case, we recommend keeping the second location within 15 minutes of your venue. We all know that traffic in the Washington, DC area can be crazy. Anything over fifteen minutes, and you risk getting stuck in traffic, road delays, etc. If your venue is outdoors with no getting ready rooms, scope out local hotels or Air B&B’s with large windows, and plenty of space for your photographer and your wedding party.
Writing a Must-Have Portrait List
In all the hustle and bustle of catching up with friends and family, it’s easy to miss out on grabbing a picture with every special guest. This is why we encourage the couple to sit down and write out a short must-have photo list. If you know Grandma and Grandpa won’t stay for the whole party, take them after photos are taken with the couple’s parents. This also includes guests who have small children or aren’t staying overnight.
While wedding photographers know to get pictures with the couple, the wedding party, and other VIPs like parents, siblings, aunts, and uncles are harder to anticipate or prepare for unless they have a heads-up. Ensure you include names with this list so that you can have these portraits done during cocktail hour. This way you can party the rest of the night away, knowing you’ve got to capture your loved ones celebrating with you. Remember, keep the list short, the cocktail hour is usually shortened to keep the day on schedule. Here’s an example of a family portrait list on The Knot.
Prepping Wedding Party for Speeches
Even if you don’t think you have time for speeches, there’s nothing worse than a member of your wedding party finding out they’re talking on your big day while getting ready for the wedding. Let people know at least two weeks in advance that they might be asked to give a speech. This allows them time to prepare, so they don’t blank out once a mic is in their hands.
It’s helpful to give them a timeframe of one to two minutes. This cuts down on someone fumbling for words or going off on a tangent. Also, have no more than two to three people talk in case someone does go off-script. With a proper heads-up, the wedding party can have plenty of time to practice, and create a tender moment for everyone.
If you’re looking for experienced photographers to capture your day in DC, Maryland, Virginia or beyond, fill out our contact form. You can also learn more about us or check out our wedding experience page.