I’ve been trying to keep a notebook of blog ideas…well it’s really just a section in my current “everything” notebook (where I make my to-do lists, grocery lists, random notes, etc)…lately I have been scribbling out a bunch of random tips for my “For Photographers” series and I realized that a lot of them are great tips, but couldn’t really stand alone as their own solo blog post….SO here are a few of my most random wedding day tips for you guys! These are some little tricks I’ve learned along the way…hopefully at least one of them can make your life just a little easier!
1. The bouquet/garter fakeout. I started doing this last summer! When the bride and groom go to do their respective tosses they normally look to you to make sure they’re in the right spot and they’re doing what they’re supposed to…this is the first time they’ve done this! I always tell them to fake out their guests the first time they toss! Why?? Because it’s funny! And because it gives you TWO chances to get a PERFECT shot of the toss! If your flash is doing something weird or it’s recycling slow, having them fake out the toss can save you!
2. Eat when your bride and groom eat.
I think venue coordinators and caterers hate me or think I’m awful for trying to eat before a lot of the guests have, BUT the best time for the photographers to eat is when the bride and groom are eating! I personally do not take pictures of people eating…it’s unflattering! So the best time for me to eat is when I wouldn’t be doing anything anyway! Plus I want to be wrapped up with eating (and the slideshow if I’m doing one) before the bride and groom finish so I can be ready to get whatever’s happening next! The important thing here is to educate your clients about this ahead of time. When I have my final consultation with my couple, I ask what the food situation will be and let them know that it’s best if I eat when they do…this way they can sort things out with their caterer if need be, AND they’re not like okay, what are YOU doing when I make my way to the buffet after the bridal party and main family. Education is key here! And so is being firm with venue people or caterers who might not understand why you can’t eat last. Explain to them what you have already explained to the bride and groom and more than likely they will understand. Catering managers aren’t photographers, so they don’t know how we need to do our breaks in order to do our jobs best unless we educate them in a friendly, but firm way. When I first started I was so nervous I would never say anything to the caterer or anyone else about food, I would just hope I would get served and leave it at that! That didn’t work out so well though because there were a couple weddings where I didn’t eat or they forgot to feed me and I left feeling so lightheaded on the drive home! Not good!
3. Make other vendors your allies
Other vendors can be your best friends on a wedding day if you go into it with the mindset that you’re all there for the same purpose…to serve the bride and groom. No one’s job is more important than anyone else’s. Befriend the DJ and ask them to let you know before the important things (first dance, tosses, cake cutting, etc) so you know you don’t have time for a bathroom break. Be nice to the videographer and let them get the shots they need too! Take pictures of vendors doing what they do best and offer to send them the files for free! Being a friend never hurt anyone, and in a lot of ways, it can really help you on a wedding day to be a part of a team and feel like you’re working toward the same goals instead of feeling like you’re battling against people.
4. Hydrate like crazy the day BEFORE.
Last year I had a few weddings in a row where I was just feeling super headachey and nauseated towards the middle/end of the wedding. I seriously did not know what my problem was (no, mom I’m not pregnant). I drank water on the wedding day and I made sure I ate dinner and everything…so why did I feel so close to death’s door? Eating bananas in the car on my way home helped a little bit, but I don’t really like bananas so that wasn’t a great solution. And it wasn’t preventing anything. Somewhere along the way I decided to start chugging water like a camel the day BEFORE the wedding. I don’t drink enough water when I’m working from home and I think that may be part of the problem! Pre hydrating has helped me a lot and I definitely suggest the day before your wedding you hydrate and maybe carbo load as well! Okay, the carbo loading thing is not necessary, but it’s fun:)
5. Carry cash
It almost seems silly to include this as a tip, but it is something I guarantee you no one else will include on a list wedding day tips for photographers! It’s just a practical thing I learned to do over this past year! I usually have 5 dollars or so in cash on me at all times in my Kelly Moore bag because you never know what the parking is going to be like and I hate to be bugging my bride and groom for cash to pay for my parking while they’re enjoying their wedding day. Technically my clients are responsible for parking and tolls and stuff like that, but it’s not always practical to ask them for it that day and you don’t always know where you’re going to be or where you might have to park, so for me, I try to keep some cash on me!
So, there are my five random tips! I have a few others I didn’t include here that I’m saving for a future “random tips” post (maybe I’ll share random tips for engagement sessions and workflow?) so check back another day for those!