It's a unique and helpful perspective to put yourself in the shoes of your client. I literally did that this April when I was the bride!
You may think I had the advantage of knowing all the secret tips and tricks to planning a wedding, but the reality is, it’s all different when it’s your wedding. Your perspective, priorities and focus are different. However I do think having a wedding has made me a better photographer!
Here are 5 key things I learned from being on the “other” side of the camera.
Hire a videographer. (Who knew?)
Hiring a great photographer was a given. Rebekah Emily Photography was hands down the best decision I made. I was SO happy with her beautiful work, attitude and calming presence throughout the day. I already knew the value of good photographer and adjusted my budget accordingly!
What I didn’t realize, is how much I would LOVE and cherish my wedding video. Many had told me their biggest regret was not having a videographer, so I went with it even though I wasn’t sure I really needed it. Aren’t great photos enough? I didn’t want a lot of cameras “at me” all day, but I found Alex from Ace19 Media and he assured me he would fade into the background. Afterwards I remarked how I barely knew he was there, in the best possible way! But seeing ourselves and so many friends and family live and in action in the video warms my heart to the core and something we will cherish and be able to show generations to come. It was worth every penny and one of my favorite things to help relive the best day ever.
You need a second photographer. Period.
If you want to capture everything, there’s just no feasible way one person can do it at a full wedding. I’ve definitely shot many wedding solo and am able to capture it all, but if a lot of photos is a priority for you, you’ll always be left wanting more! I know I wouldn’t have half the photos without Rebekah’s second shooter. For me, it was so important to see photos of all our guests (since it was hard for me to see all of them!) so while Rebekah got some great shots of them at cocktail hour, her second shooter handled our family formals. We would have missed so many great shots of family and loved ones if one person had to try and catch everything. While we still would have gotten amazing photos, this was a helpful “extra” and worth the additional cost!
The “first look” does not ruin the aisle moment
Some (okay, mostly grooms) are hesitant to do a first look – a private moment between the bride and groom where they see each other for the first time before the ceremony. There is concern that seeing the bride ahead of time will ruin the moment of her walking down the aisle. Both moments felt so different and were both filled with so much love and emotion, and neither one took away from the other. I am SO glad I had both. Based on my husband’s tears at both moments (and he’s not a crier…), I think he would agree! If you need more convincing, you can read more here!
Keep locations to a minimum
To me, it was important to not be transporting people from one location to another, so I made sure to choose a venue where everything was in one place. Trying to get everyone from a ceremony to the reception, etc takes time, money, logistics and guaranteed confusion and stress. This is not something you want on your wedding day! I loved the ease for us and our guests to only be steps away from each location. It allowed more time to spend with everyone and it already goes by so fast!
Mingle more, dance less
I love dancing. If there’s good music and a great DJ, my default location is the dance floor. So of course I was out there at my reception. But it did take me away from seeing some of my guests. The hardest part is you just wish you had more time with your guests. In retrospect, I would have saved my dancing queen moments for another day and focused on talking to more people!
That’s it! And of course, just enjoy your day! It’s wonderful and magical and after all the planning and anticipation, the photos and videos are what lasts and keeps those memories alive. I would do it again if I could (!!) but in the meantime I’ll just watch the video and look through my photos…again…and again…and again!