Choosing a photographer for your wedding is a big decision. Your wedding portraits will be how you reflect on one of the most monumental days of your life! Arguably nearly as important as your wedding photographer, however, is how you plan for your portrait time. Allow me to share with you some of my favorite tips to get the BEST portraits out of your wedding day. The secret? It’s all in the timeline.
5 Tips for Your Best Wedding Portraits
and the tips explained
It’s just a day, but it’s an important one. Here is how to ensure you have the best wedding portraits.
- Schedule individual wedding portraits for after getting ready
- Share a first look together
- Avoid scheduling your ceremony at high noon
- Enjoy sunset husband and wife portraits
- Have a list for family portrait time
- Trust your photographer!
1. Schedule individual wedding portraits after getting ready
The wedding coverage you hadn’t thought about
At this point in your wedding day, hair and makeup is fresh. And so is the excitement! If you wait too late into the day, you risk not having these individual portraits at all. Or, if you do, maybe your hair is messed up or you’ve had one too many glasses of champagne. I recommend capturing individual portraits after getting ready OR after your first look. That leads me to my next point!
2. Share a First Look
The ultimate way to get the most out of your wedding portraits: share a first look
I could go on and on about the sentimental benefits of a first look. Most people who opt not to do a first look do so for the sake of tradition. The tradition behind a first look stems all the way from arranged marriages. If the couple didn’t see each other before the ceremony, then there was less risk of someone not liking what they see and running away. That’s not terribly romantic. I could literally have an entire blog post about a first look, so I will stop there.
Beyond that, sharing a first look allows for us to do incredible things in your wedding timeline that a) allow you to spend more time with your guests at your party (remember all those people that travelled to see you?) and b) have time for incredible portraits. How? Because right after your first look, you spend time on your wedding portraits! Before the ceremony has even begun, you’ve got that portrait your grandma will want to frame AND your favorite portraits for your wedding album.
3. Schedule your ceremony based on the sunset
That is, schedule it just a couple hours before sunset.
This one can be a little tricky depending on the time of year. The key for your ceremony time is that it’s not in the blazing sun at high noon in the middle of the summer. Direct sunlight can be pretty harsh, especially if for some reason it is shining directly on your faces instead of coming from behind you. To get the best out of your ceremony wedding portraits, I’d recommend having your wedding ceremony about two hours prior to sunset if you can swing it, and positioning your ceremony so the sun is behind the altar.
4. Enjoy sunset husband and wife portraits
These wedding portraits may be your favorites.
If you both have opted to share a First Look for your wedding, then just spending about twenty minutes with your photographer during golden hour can get you an even greater variety of dreamy portraits. The light at golden hour can’t be replicated at another time of day. If you opt not to do a First Look, you may want closer to 45 minutes to an hour together. By this time of night, that is time that you won’t be at your own party! However, if you shared a First Look, you can easily take just twenty minutes for those golden hour pictures, you still have maximized your time with friends and family at your wedding.
5. Make a list for family portraits
Family portraits are important, but if you don’t plan them out ahead of time, they can take up more time during your day than you would hope. If you have a set list of exactly who you plan have in your family portraits, then share it with the family and everyone can be ready.
How does this help you get the most of your wedding portraits? Well, if your family portraits take twenty to thirty minutes, then you will have time for those golden hour portraits AND be able to enjoy your own cocktail party. If family portraits take longer than planned, you may end up skipping through both.
6. Trust your photographer!
Okay, this one is just a bonus.
Whether it is a lighting situation or a timeline recommendation, trust your photographer! Now, if there are parts of your wedding day that are unique or certain events that are very important to you, definitely voice those. All we want to do is make you happy! So if you let us know what is most important to you, it can help us make the best recommendations for your wedding day timeline. I hope you found these tips for your wedding portraits helpful! And I hope you are able to get the most out of your wedding portrait time so you can maximize the time spent with your beloved friends and family on such a momentous occasion.
February 18, 2021