Planning Tips

Planning a wedding is a complicated affair and you’ll get advice from a lot of different sources. I can offer suggestions from the perspective of wedding photography. Here are some considerations for you:

Ceremony timing

From my experience there are two time frames during a traditional wedding day when brides wish they had more time. The first is in preparation – too often the bride and bridesmaids find themselves rushed during preparation immediately before the ceremony. Sometimes hair and makeup appointments run longer than intended. Sometimes dressing takes longer than expected. You should be relaxed before the ceremony and shouldn’t be rushed. Leave lots of time!

Another time frame that always seems to be underestimated is the time immediately following the wedding ceremony. Receiving lines take longer than you might initially imagine! You will want to carefully balance the amount of time you allot for portraiture with the time you spend with your guests.

First look

A growing trend among couples is to do a “first look” before the ceremony. You share an emotional, private moment that can be captured by the photographer. Spend as much time as you’d like talking about your feelings for each other and being close well before the ceremony begins. Once the ceremony starts it will be a whirlwind as you’re whisked from place to place.

The other benefit of doing a “first look” is that you can take care of bridal, wedding party and family portraits before the ceremony. Your makeup will be fresh, you won’t be rushed and you’ll feel a lot more relaxed both during portraits and for the beginning of the ceremony.

Comfort and health

Eat a good breakfast and keep food and drink around during your wedding day. It’s a busy day! Don’t forget to eat and drink!


Black tuxedos are very traditional attire for the groom and groomsmen but often lack in detail in photographs – especially when photographed along side a white wedding dress. Consider dark gray or other non-black tuxedos. You’ll be surprised as to how nice the groom and groomsmen look in person and in photographs!

Insist that all female members of the wedding party wear makeup. This goes without saying for most ladies but some women do not regularly wear makeup. I always correct for a reasonable number of blemishes in post-processing but it’s much easier to provide an even skin tone with makeup than with editing.

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