A fewWedding day tipsfrom experienced professionals

Hello and welcome to this practical guide through your wedding day! We take pride in shooting candid photos without interfering, so getting you to relax and enjoy is important to us. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t share a few tips ahead of time.

Our advice will help you get the most out of your wedding coverage. Not everything will apply to every wedding so feel free to pick and choose, it’s up to you. We based this on years of experience shooting weddings and receiving couples’ feedback afterwards.

 

wedding advice for couples

 

1. Let there be light

Great lighting is what makes a good photo amazing and natural (window) light is the best kind, so let there be light!

Open the curtains and raise the blinds on all windows to give your photos the best chance to shine. Sunny or cloudy, it doesn’t matter.

Another important consideration are the artificial lights. They tend to flicker on video and have yellow-green color casts on photos. Human eye easily compensates for this, but it looks very unnatural mixed with natural light in photos and video. If there are windows in the room, turn off all the artificial lighting to get more flattering tones.

Finally, if there’s a TV in the room, consider turning it off. It’s really distracting in the photos and especially video. Do you really want a washing detergent ad running in the background as you get ready?

let in natural light

Atmosphere created by natural light

 

2. Clear things up

There’s clutter and then there’s clutter. Before we arrive, consider clearing up anything you don’t want to see in the photos. In 20 years time, do you really want to see breakfast leftovers on the table, messy open suitcases or clothes thrown on the floor?

It doesn’t all have to be tidy and sterile. A bit of creative mess gives the place a character and tells a story of a hectic start of the day. Makeup all around the table or the stiff drink that your maid of honor brought to calm your nerves will bring back memories. So feel free to leave relevant stuff lying around!

The good kind of clutter tells a story

 

3. Clothes, suits, gowns

First thing: remove all tags and labels from all clothing and accessories, and unsew your suit pockets prior to the wedding day!

Going to get dressed and realising you need to remove tags from all the ties, suit jackets and dresses can really throw a wrench into the works at the worst possible moment — just as you need to get dressed and get out of the door to reach the ceremony venue in time, you will instead be looking for scissors, knives etc.

Grooms, learn how to tie a tie ahead of time. Make sure you’re comfortable with the knot you choose.

Wedding dress, steamed and ready to go

Iron or steam your dresses, suits and shirts before the wedding day! This takes time, especially when all the groomsmen realize their shirts are creased from packing and need ironing, and even more so since you’ll often be using a borrowed iron/steamer you’re not familiar with (and which by definition will be missing distilled water).

Yes, you want to keep your dress hidden from the groom, but you will need to keep it hidden while steaming on the wedding day as well. Doing it earlier will just make it more flexible and less stressful, and it won’t get creased on the hanger in its protective cover. Same goes for shirts and suits.

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While on this topic, please realize that a dress which touches the floor will be dirty 30 seconds after leaving the apartment/hotel. The sooner you accept this fact, sooner you’ll be able to relax and enjoy. That’s why they have dry cleaning!
And don’t worry, unless you step into a puddle of motor oil, smudges on the bottom of the dress won’t be visible to anyone else!

Shoes, shoes, shoes…

Spend enough time wearing your shoes prior to the wedding. Wear them in your room for a prolonged period, like 5-6 hours — they won’t get dirty. If you don’t want your partner to see them, wear them while (s)he’s not home. First dance is stressful enough without bloody blisters on your feet. We’ve seen this often enough that we started packing bandaids in our photo-bags!

If you have high heels, consider a more comfortable footwear for the session (and late night partying), unless high heels are essential for your look and you feel very comfortable wearing them for prolonged time (and over stairs, uneven ground etc.). Someone close to you can have something ready for you to change if/when you feel the need… Or you can simply go barefoot, as brides often do after midnight.

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We often arrive before you and your family get all dressed up. Ask your family members to wear something they’re comfortable getting photographed in. What that turns out to be is completely up to them – be it a tracksuit or a suit – but please don’t allow them to hide from the camera just because they’re not “proper” yet!

We’ve never had a bride or groom fall into this trap, but often have a mom or sister taking a long time to get ready, all the while avoiding our cameras. This results in them being recorded in almost no shots from the preparations, as we just don’t have time to chase them around in that late phase.

clothes

Georgia made sure everyone was ready for the photos

 

4. It will be hot!

At the risk of stating the obvious, Croatia is scorching hot during the summer!

If your fiancè is anything like other grooms we’ve worked with, he will be sweating at some point (usually the moment he leaves the apartment/hotel). He needs to be wiping the sweat off him regularly as it’s something we can’t fix later. Please plan for this, whether it’s a professional wrist sweatband hidden in the pocket or plain paper tissues.

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Just as important, go easy on the alcohol! Yes, it’s your big day, but alcohol makes the heat harder to bear, sweating much worse and sometimes causes redness. We recommend drinking in the evening when it’s cooler and when the ceremony and session have passed (where we tend to shoot more close up). When the party and dancing start, no one will care anymore!

 

Light and comfortable linen suits for an Adriatic summer wedding

 

5. Makeup

Doing your makeup will take time. Often, more time than you predicted, for a variety of reasons. Don’t be the last scheduled for makeup!

Brides often ask to be the last so they have freshest makeup, but if/when things start running late, you really don’t want to be the one getting rushed and possibly late for the ceremony!

You will be wearing that makeup for 10+ hours anyway, so putting it on half an hour earlier really won’t make much difference.

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While we’re on the topic, in the days leading up to the big day, it’s recommended to get a test makeup session with the exact MUA who will be doing your makeup on the wedding day. This small investment is well worth it as it will afford you the chance to work out any kinks, make sure you’re on the same page and see how it all looks and feels in reality. It will also give you a great test run to see how long it will take and allow you to schedule for it.

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Another piece of advice – don’t use bronzer instead of blush. It just doesn’t look good in photos. It often gives you an odd skin tone which varies wildly under different lighting conditions and shows unnatural transition from your face to neck. It’s especially obvious when you’re standing next to other people with normal skin color.

 

professional makeup artist

The joy of being in professional’s hands

 

6. The Grand Entrance

We suggest not walking down the aisle immediately behind the person(s) entering ahead of you (e.g. priest or the wedding party). From our angle, they’ll completely cover you up and you’ll end up with a lot of photos where you’re kind of maybe visible a little behind them. Give person(s) in front of you at least 10m (30ft) of head start before you start walking.

In rare circumstances we might have a better vantage point, but generally we shoot from front of the venue to capture your expression as you walk down. So remember, it’s your grand entrance — make them wait a bit before graciously gliding down the aisle with all eyes on you and no one in front of you.

The same goes for the grand entrance during evening reception!

 

grand entrance to ceremony venue

The priest pretty much completely covering the bride behind him

 

7. Formals & family photos

Shooting formal photos of you with your family is a traditional part of most weddings, so here’s a few suggestions to make the most of it.

It’s a good idea to make a list of groups you want photographed, so we don’t forget anyone. It’s an even better idea to hand this list to someone who knows these people well (like one of your siblings, best man etc.). This way (s)he can help in gathering people and making sure everyone’s in the shot when they need to be, which is much more efficient than us yelling name by name instead of setting up our cameras and the group.
This will make formals very efficient, leaving more time for you to just enjoy your big day.

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We also suggest to split the list into ‘must-haves’ and ‘good-to-haves’. It can be surprisingly exhausting to just stand then smile for dozens of photos while people around you come and go and this way you have flexibility to pull the plug if you feel it’s all too much.

After all, you need to stay fresh to properly enjoy your wedding, not to mention look good for later!

Further groups are optional, but it’s best not to go overboard as some very traditional parents may insist (e.g. the couple with one mum, than the other mum, then first mum and dad, then the second, then throw in siblings, then their partners, then the same for other side… then the aunts and uncles, then add the parents again… you get the picture!).

This is utterly exhausting and time-consuming so we recommend against it. If your families are in good relations, there’s no point separating and recombining each and every person for photos. A few group shots should do.

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Final suggestion: make sure you’re looking at our camera as we shoot the formals, not the dozen phones and cameras around us. It’s a trap everyone falls into – you see your family or friends snapping a quick photo and naturally look at their phone. However, when you get your beautiful professional photos, you’ll notice you’re looking away from the camera and it will bug you. It’s not worth it!

 

 

8. Reception

If you have small children attending, keep in mind that they will often go crazy on the dancefloor… just as you’re about to have your first dance. They may get in your way, bump into your photographers/videographers and generally ruin the shots.

If it looks likely this will happen as the first dance approaches, it’s a good idea to ask their parents to keep them away for 5 minutes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do it yourselves! Ask your wedding party or siblings to talk to the parents, so you can keep politely smiling while the kids sit down for their short break.

 

party time

You don’t want kids running around right now!

We hope you found this useful and we’re excited to meet you soon! 🙂