We’ve all marveled at the most glorious photos wedding photographers have to offer. They paper their homepages, coat their experience pages and fill their Instagram feeds. They are the most beautiful examples of the work these talented photographers can do, and they are the images we look at when deciding whether or not to book them for our own weddings.
But sometimes when photos come back, clients end up a little disappointed that their pictures don’t have the same elegance or drama or bright airiness as the ones they “oohed” and “ahhed” over before booking.
Sure, a professional photographer will give you gorgeous photos no matter the choices you make before they arrive. But in order to get the most out of your photos and the particular style of photography you’ve chosen, there are six things you should consider in advance!
Find The Wedding Style You Love Most
Just because a photographer is talented doesn’t mean they are the right fit for YOU. Photographers have adopted and fine tuned particular styles of photography, and they are almost universally unwilling to drastically change that for a client. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to decide what wedding style you are most delighted by before you select the person who is going to preserve it all.
Consider things like light, colour, tones, and even the ratio of candid vs. posed images. Then look for a photographer who excels in the style you love. There are no right or wrong answers, but these decisions will impact so much about the feel and appearance of your wedding day, so they are important to consider.
Choose Complementary Tones And Colours
When considering bridesmaid dresses, tablecloths, bouquets and centerpieces, make sure everything helps contribute to the vision you hope to create. If you want to paint a light, airy, romantic vision on your wedding day — like the images we specialize in at Stephanie Mason Photography & Co. — using lighter tones and pastels is key. On the other hand, if you’ve chosen a high contrast photographer who specializes in that deep, moody style, darker jewel tones often contribute well to that vision.
The key is to select colours that will mix well with each other and with your photographer’s style. And if you’re not sure how to achieve that, all you have to do is ask! Something that we recommend our brides look into is creating a monochromatic palette by using multiple shades of the same colour. We also love using soft neutrals like blush, cream or gray as accents whenever possible.
Ditch The Seasonal Mentality
No white after labour day and no burnt orange ‘til October. Or something like that, anyway. Historically, we’ve had the strangest relationship with colours, allowing the seasons to dictate when particular shades are appropriate. Thank goodness we’ve moved past the calendar’s stranglehold on our closets, but when it comes to planning weddings, some brides revert back to the days of old.
Don’t shy away from colours you love just because you’re planning a November wedding! If pastel tones are your thing, they look just as beautiful in the snowy wintertime as they do in the spring. And blues look just as beautiful set against brilliant fall foliage as they do in the sunny summertime.
The key is to find the aspects of the season that go well with the colours you love and play those up. If you want a monochromatic neutral palette in the fall, use pops of mustard as an accent. If you love jewel tones but are getting married in the spring, find the lightest shade of the colour to use in bouquets, centerpieces and ribbons to brighten it up. No beautiful colour is ever out of season.
Once you’ve chosen a style you love and a colour palette to complement that style, the most important thing you can do is be consistent! If you’ve decided to pursue to light and airy look, make sure to pull from colours that match that vision for everything from you programs to your table settings. A pop of red, even for something you love, may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but bright, bold colours ALWAYS attract attention. So be attentive to any accent pieces that may draw eyes and distract from the overall scene you are crafting.
Draw Inspiration From Your Venue
Whether you are getting married in a whitewashed barn or a dramatic ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows, there is a reason you’ve selected the particular wedding venue you’ve chosen. So, when you’re making aesthetic decisions about the rest of your wedding day, draw from your venue for inspiration. Everything from the crystal chandeliers to the rich, wooden beams can be a source for ideas, so take the time to really drink in your venue.
And keep in mind, this is going to be the backdrop for your big day, so it’s best to make sure the wedding style you’re leaning toward will go well in the space you’ve chosen. Bright and airy weddings don’t exactly work inside dark, gothic cathedrals, and brilliant, white spaces don’t quite work in conjunction with a darker, moodier look. Allow your venue to be a character in your wedding day, and your photographer will thank you.
List Your Priorities Upfront
Everyone has a different dream in mind when they imagine their wedding day. For some, they are focused on flowers and centerpieces. Others are more attentive to gowns. Still others can’t wait to add the little details and special touches that make it most unique. But no matter what your priorities are, it’s best to list them out before you start the planning process. That way, the things that mean the most to you won’t get overlooked in the excitement on the way to your big day.
If you’ve always wanted to say “I do” under a lush, green arch, make sure you build your aesthetic around that important piece. If blue is your favorite color, build out a color palette that allows you to incorporate those special hues. It doesn’t matter what the important factors are, as long as you have them clearly laid out and don’t find yourself in a position where something extremely important becomes an eyesore.
If you find the idea of building a consistent wedding day style to be overwhelming or beyond what you feel comfortable doing, never be afraid to consult your wedding planner or photographer to find out how to do it well. They are invaluable resources, and they are always excited to give you a hand.
Finally, and most importantly, relax! This is your wedding day, not a styled shoot you are planning! While crafting a beautiful wedding day is important and will make for better photos, at the end of the day you are celebrating your marriage to the love of your life. So, while you’re planning a beautiful wedding day, remember that what makes it the most beautiful is the love between you and your spouse-to-be!