Small & Random Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Wedding Photos
The common saying “don’t sweat the small stuff” does not apply to your wedding day or your wedding photos. I can’t express the importance of wedding details enough - even the details that are seemingly random and miniscule. It all matters. Luckily, these small mistakes are easy to fix and manage long before your wedding day and more importantly, they will allow you to breathe easier on your big day and know that everything is being captured just the way you’d like.
A messy bridal room
Starting with the very first part of the day, it’s important to keep a clean, brightly lit, organized bridal room. If this is a big concern for you, ask your bridesmaids to limit what they pack. I’ve seen some bridesmaids bring 2 or 3 big tote bags with makeup, hair products, and curling wands, etc. into the bridal room. If everyone is bringing that amount of stuff, it will add up and equal one messy, cluttered bridal room. Before the bride puts on her dress, I always ask if we can move all items to a corner of the room because it’s such an important shot. However, that still limits me in the direction I can shoot. It would be better to limit belongings from the beginning or find a closet that things can be placed in. Out of sight, out of the pictures.
Lots of empty chairs during the ceremony
Empty chairs during a ceremony look awkward - there’s no way around it. This one comes down to having accurate knowledge of RSVPs, which I know can be difficult. If less people arrive than you anticipated or if you are getting married in a church, keep everyone seated towards the front of the room so there aren’t wide gaps of empty space between people. This can be achieved by using ushers to seat your guests.
Mismatched family clothes
Be sure to inform any family members that are going to be in the formal family shots (mom, dad, grandparents, siblings) of your wedding colors so they can dress accordingly. Family photos are SO important and color coordinating helps to create a cohesive, elegant look.
The wrong hairstyle for the weather
West Texas is WINDY. We all know it. And there’s nothing worse than a bride and her bridesmaids attempting to tame their wind blown locks all day long. It slows everything down, it makes for more unusable photos, and it looks just plain bad. If your wedding is located in a place that is wide open and known to be windy, you and your bridesmaids are better off going with an updo or at least half up.
A rambunctious wedding party
I don’t expect you to leave loved ones and friends out of your wedding party because they are little bit wild. However, if you know that some of them can have unruly tendencies you should have a heart to heart with them and explain how important it is for you to come away from your wedding with great wedding photos (mostly talking to the guys, here). There is a time for fun, crazy wedding party photos but there is also a time for more formal shots. When you only have 20 minutes (or less) to get all of this in, everyone needs to be cooperative and on the same page.
I could write a whole blog about this. Oh wait, I did. You can read it here. I have literally had family members (WITH THEIR CELL PHONES!) standing right behind me taking photos during the ceremony. Have an unplugged ceremony - just do it.
Not giving your photographer enough time
This one is probably the most important of all. If I am not given enough time to get great photos, you will go home with less final images. Most photographers would agree that they need about 20 minutes each for family photos, wedding party photos, and bride and groom photos (totaling one hour after the ceremony). Bad scheduling is the #1 killer of good wedding photographs and it’s something that can easily be remedied long before your wedding day. There is nothing worse than rushing around on your wedding day but when you give your photographer enough time, you will actually be able to enjoy the moments rather than feel stressed. Bonus tip: make sure your bridesmaids know the time that they must be ready and make sure they stick to it.