Top 10 tips on how to prepare for your wedding photography and get the best photos


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We believe you deserve a day that’s perfectly you with beautiful photographs to match. Here are 10 tips that we always share with our brides. There’s a lot to think about when you are planning your wedding. These tips make a huge difference in your wedding photography experience. Below we talk about what is really worth the spend, which details really matter, and what you should avoid. In the end, your wedding photography and videography will capture it all. So let’s dive into ten tips that will make a world of difference on your wedding day!


A lot of natural light for getting ready

When you are considering where you will get ready on your wedding day, make sure it’s not only filled with some light, but tons of light! The more windows you have, and the larger the windows are, the more dreamy your getting ready photos will be. This is because light and airy photography is actually highly dependent on the use of lighter coloured backgrounds, clean uncluttered backdrops, space, and as much natural light as possible. The result is an ethereal and editorial set of photos that will feel like an absolute dream. Yes, we have and can shoot getting ready photos in darker rooms, but nothing will ever compare to larger light-filled spaces! If you don’t have easy access to a light and bright space of your own, other options include using a family member’s home, a chic bed and breakfast like this stylish and historic AirBNB in Kingsville, Ontario, or a hotel room that has a lot of natural light! If you are a wedding photographer, check out three items you need for your getting ready photos!


Breathing room in your timeline

The heart of everything we do for our couples is to help them really savour their wedding day. Building breathing room into your timeline is key to getting authentic photos filled with emotion (the photos you will treasure the most). If you are letting your timeline control you to the point where you can’t breathe or feel the feelings, that’s just not right. You deserve an experience where you can soak in all the love from each other, and all of your favourite people! When you rush your timeline, you’ll just feel AND look stressed in your photos (boo!) instead of taking in all the joy of the moments! Read about the time minimums we highly recommend for each part of your day.


Wedding stationery prints

Okay, so this is one that I’m especially passionate about! Collecting an extra copy of each and every wedding stationery print is incredibly important for your wedding day. Your wedding day stationery is actually a major part of the visual story of your day! Some examples are: your Save the Date, Invitation, RSVP Card, Envelope, Details Card, Map, Menu, Programme, and bride and groom place cards. Wedding stationery reflects the colour story and feel of your wedding, and are tangible touchpoints that bring back memories. They are also beautiful images that look editorial and are incredible in your wedding album. Want to inspire others with your wedding? These details also drastically increase your chances of getting published. Find out the other details we recommend. Here’s a list of the top 10 keepsakes to collect for your wedding day!


Sunset Photos

We love to sneak our couples out for sunset photos at golden hour! 30-45 minutes before sunset starts is when we’ll sneak you away! It typically happens while everyone is enjoying their food (don’t worry, their bellies will be so happy that they won’t even know that you are missing!). Golden light provides the most beautiful light of the day: it’s soft, golden, and dreamy. It’s also the first sunset you will experience as husband and wife!! Sunset photos means more moments and time for you two to treasure.


Dramatic tans

classic oxford county countryside wedding

We all love that gorgeous glow! But just be careful about tanning. Things to watch for are tan lines (avoid them at all cost!) and wear lots of sunscreen for the months leading up to your wedding and on your wedding day! If you are choosing to tan, also keep in mind that tans can very quickly translate to more of an orangey glow on camera. Also, if you are doing a spray tan, be sure not to shortcut the spray and get your legs, too!


Hard stop time for hair and makeup

We adore our preferred HMUA friends! They are so good because not only are they talented, but they also know how to budget their time. Wedding day schedules can go off-course sometimes (completely normal!), but there’s one time when you don’t want it to go off-course. And that’s just before you need to get to your first look and/or ceremony! If hair and make-up goes too long, you risk not having the getting ready photos you want because you’ll be rushed to get out the door! When you book your hair and makeup artist, make sure you let them know the hard stop time. The hard stop time is the timestamp of when you need to get into your dress (we usually make it 45 minutes before you need to leave for your first look/ ceremony).


Don’t forget the flowers

This totally sounds ridiculous, I know! You’ll be surprised to find out how many groomsmen and people of honour forget about their flowers, including boutonnieres and corsages. Make sure you have someone who is responsible just for the flowers so everyone gets theirs! You’ve spent the money and every little detail makes a difference. Nor sure who you should get personal flowers for? Here’s a list of all the options for personal flowers! One more detail that will make a big difference: Ask your florist to provide some clippings of greenery and florals used in your own bouquet! These extra bits and pieces will be used in styling your wedding day details and keepsakes.


Actually enjoy that first kiss!

Going back to the theme of savouring your day: make it a slow kiss at the alter! And why not go in for a second? And a final hurrah mid-way down the aisle for a show-stopper? Have fun with your first kiss and enjoy the moment when you seal your vows with each other! It’s no fun as a wedding photographer when the kiss lasts milliseconds, alter kisses are the best so allow yourself that space to be together and have fun while you’re doing it! It is, after all, your very first kiss as husband and wife ๐Ÿ™‚


The vendors that matter the most

Couple standing between two large trees outside of Windermere Manor in London Ontario

If you are engaged, you need a best friend in your corner to find out which wedding day investments have the most impact! After photographing many beautiful weddings, we’ve observed that the following vendors play the biggest role on your wedding day: photographer, DJ, HMUA, the food and venue, and definitely a wedding planner. A great hair and makeup artist can make you feel like a million dollars and the most beautiful you’ve ever felt. Great DJs know how to read a room, create the mood, and get everyone moving and in on the party! We’ve also seen beautiful but simple reception halls get transformed to such a classy vibe with jaw-dropping decor. And finally, a wedding planner can be your eyes and ears and take care of any issues without you even knowing about them (awesome!). All of these vendors play a key role in your wedding experience and also your photography!

Bonus: Want to make your wedding day a totally memorable experience for everyone there? Late-night snacks are ALWAYS a crowd-pleaser. So are photo booths that give guests photo printouts to remember the party. The most popular wedding day favour we’ve ever seen were individually packaged doughnuts. If you are considering videography, we also recommend you don’t skimp; trust us, a badly made video is not something you will want to watch throughout the years. Trying to keep on budget? Check out this fun blog with the best budget hacks from Ally lightfoot of Perfectly Designed Events.


Own being the VIP

Couple kissing shot on the stairs at Windermere Manor from above

This is our favourite tip. That’s because it brings it ALL back to the two of you and what your day is all about. Your wedding day is not the day for you to corral, coordinate, or stress. You’ve done all of the heavy lifting with your wedding planning. You’ve chosen vendors that have your back. So let your vendors and your wedding party take care of you so you can be fully present to the amazing day about to unfold!

The best is yet to come!

We are humbled and love what we do. It’s the most precious thing to capture the first day of someone’s marriage. We hope this little list of 10 tips is helpful as you plan your dream day! With much love, Dylan & Sandra

Keep reading: Should you do a first look? Here are some reasons why you might want to! A first look: How it unlocks your wedding timeline



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We're Dylan & Sandra. Married photographers, donut lovers, and obsessed with family and our squishy toddler. We're so glad you're here! Grab a drink and stay awhile for classic + joy-filled love stories in and around the GTA, London, Niagara and the best-of wedding advice!