Advice for Engaged Couples | Things your wedding photographer needs to know

Well, how exciting - you're engaged with wedding plans in the works! This is going to be a great post not only for those who are looking for their wedding photographer, but also for couples with a booked photographer who they'll be working with throughout the wedding planning process and during their wedding day. Your wedding photographer is a bit of a unique vendor, since they will be in contact with you before, during, and after the wedding, so read on to learn the important info that your wedding photographer wants to know!

seattle wedding photographers

1. Your Wedding Events - Whether or not you are working with a wedding planner, your photographer will need to know your detailed timeline in order to make a plan to cover all of the day's events. Often, the timeline gets thrown off on the wedding day, but having a run down of events can help your photographer assess how much time they should spend on each section. Make sure to include travel time to additional locations. And last but not least, if there are special or surprise events happening, don't forget to mention these to your photographer so they can be prepared to capture the moment!

colorado wedding photographer.jpg

2. Budgeting time for portraits - Some couples desire a more documentary approach to their wedding day, while others want an extensive list of portraits taken with each special person and family member, but no matter where on the spectrum you fall, you will probably need to set aside at least a few minutes for some formal portraits for Grandma's wall. Couples often ask me how much time they should block out for portraits, and the answer depends on a few key things:

Family Portraits (typically 30 min - 1.5 hours)
- How large is your family?
- How many group photos do you want to take?
- Are your family members punctual/organized?
- Are there special circumstances or accessibility needs?
- Are there young children in more than one photo group?
- What is the travel time from accommodations/home to your photo location?

Bridal Party Portraits (typically 20 min - 1 hour)
- How many people are in your bridal party?
- Do your bridesmaids/groomsmen have setup duties on the wedding day?
- Are your bridesmaids/groomsmen getting dressed on site?
- What is the travel time from accommodations/home to your photo location?

Bride and Groom Portraits (typically 30 min - 1.5 hours)
- Do you want to see each other prior to the ceremony?
- Do you want privacy from your guests/family during your portrait time?
- Will you need time to freshen up, change, or reapply makeup?
- Does your portrait location include any walking, hiking, or difficult to access spots?
- Is your portrait location weather or time dependent (eg. Sunset)?

swans trail farms snohomish wedding photographer

3. Your big three wedding day priorities - This is something that I've picked up on over the years photographing so many unique weddings, every couple has different priorities and interests that your wedding photographer can use to help tell the story of your wedding day. Take some time to think about your absolute TOP 3 wedding day priorities, and tell your wedding photographer! I promise that you'll be happy you did when you get your photos back. I find that nailing those things down before the wedding gives your photographer the opportunity to really customize your day, and focus on what's important to you. For some people it's all about family, food, and the party, while for others it's the dress, the decor, and the guests.

seattle wedding photographers 0435.jpg

4. Your family history - Sometimes at a wedding, there's more to the story than meets the eye. Separated couples may not want to be placed together in family photos, a close family member may have passed away or may not be able to attend, or a physical or mental condition may prevent your photographer from being able to give a direction. We don't want to cause you any stress or sadness, or upset your family members, so it's always best to give your wedding photographer a heads up on these or any other special considerations so that we can help you navigate them on your big day.

PNW seattle engagement photographers

5. What you DON'T love - I myself love ponies, tea, and chunky knit sweaters - but I know not everyone I meet will love those things too, and that's okay! Once you've chosen your photographer, you might love 99% of what you see, but there's just that ONE thing that drives you crazy. Maybe that's wedding dresses hanging on trees (fair enough, that one's getting up there on my list too), or those cropped portraits of the bride and groom's feet. Whatever it is that you don't love about the wedding photos you've seen, TELL US, so that we don't do it at your wedding, and can spend that time on other shots you will love.