By discussing these things with your photographer in advance, you’ll be assured that your wedding pictures will not only be beautiful, but you’ll have fun in the process. Of course, there are more than six things to discuss with your photographer, but these are a great start in getting the most of your wedding photography experience.

1. Where and when you will be getting ready.

While this portion of the day might not be 1st on your list as a photo-op, it’s essential to telling the story of your day in an album.  

bridesmaids in flannel shirts on the bedbride putting on earrings in mirror

You’ll want to make sure you have enough time for a few “getting ready” shots and the location has sufficient lighting for photos.  Your photographer will be able to help you with the lighting if there aren’t any windows.

When you discuss the wedding day time line, this is an important part of that conversation.  The cool part about these pics is that your future husband will get a glimpse of what things were like for you during this time…even if you see each other before the wedding in a first look (see number 2) there’s always the thought going through your mind, “I wonder what he’s doing right now.  Is he as nervous and excited as I am?  Is he just chilling or still trying to tie his bow tie?”

Getting ready photos aren’t just for the girls! It’s just as fun to have memories of the moments the groom enjoys with his groomsmen just before the wedding.

groomsmen playing foosball before wedding

 2. To see or not to see each other before the ceremony (First Look)

A “first look,” when the bride and groom see each other for the first time on the wedding day prior to the ceremony is a great opportunity for pictures. You can spend a few minutes sharing thoughts with each other and have the opportunity to get some photos together before the wedding.

When you see each other before the ceremony, it’s often called a “first look” and is a special, private time for you to see your future husband (and for him to see you in your dress) before the wedding.  You can spend a few minutes sharing thoughts with each other and have the opportunity to get some photos together before the wedding.

You’ll need to consider several things such as time of day (you don’t want the sun to go down before you get some great outdoor pictures) and overall schedule of the day.

First looks aren’t for everyone since some prefer the magical moment of seeing each other from either end of the aisle for the first time on the wedding day, but this is a great option from a photography standpoint and saves tons of time later when everyone wants to go party.

bride and groom seeing each other before the wedding

If you don’t want to actually see each other, you could take a few minutes to talk to each other, share a prayer or even exchange gifts while saving the aisle for the special moment of seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day.

Allen and brandy pray together before wedding

3. Decide how many group photos you want.

While they may not have the same artistic value as some of your other wedding pictures, the family group photos are an important part of your collection.

This can easily get out of hand if you don’t spend a few minutes deciding exactly who gets included in those group photos after the wedding.  Of course they’re important shots, but if you don’t limit the number of pictures, you’ll be there all day doing photos instead of celebrating with your husband and dancing the night away!

family group photos at Furman wedding in the Spring

Average time is three minutes per group shot.  Your photographer takes these photos seriously and wants to make sure they’re done RIGHT without taking too much time.

family wedding photos

4. Give your photographer a list of the other vendors involved in your wedding.

It’s important that all your vendors are able to work well together to create a beautiful atmosphere for your wedding. We even have a pre-wedding form allowing you to input all of this information in a nice organized format. Chances are your photographer has worked with all or some of these people before and has a good working relationship with them (which is great for you of course) and can make sure things run smoothly during the whole event. By making sure certain vendors are in contact with one another before your wedding, you can relax and trust that they’re all working together and aren’t in each other’s way. If you have a wedding coordinator, this part is even easier.

Thomas & Laura’s Wedding

Wedding Venue: Westin Poinsett Hotel – Poinsett Ballroom
Coordinator: Kelley Gallo
Cake: Couture Cakes
Floral: Greg Foster

View more photos from this wedding at The Westin Poinsett Hotel.

John & Tammy’s Wedding

Reception Venue: The Old Cigar Warehouse
Planning and Direction: Jennifer Dennis, Love This Little City
Floral and Design: Renee Burroughs Design
Catering: Chef 360

Catering: Chef 360

View more photos of this wedding reception at The Old Cigar Warehouse

Bradley & Rebekah’s Wedding

Ceremony Site / Reception Venue: The Bleckley Inn
Floral: Patricia Kinley Weddings
Wedding Director: Brandy Vaughn
Cake Artist: Holly’s Cakes

Cake artist: Holly’s Cakes

View more photos of this wedding at Bleckley Inn

Andrew & Clara

Reception Venue: Huguenot Loft and Certus Loft at the Peace Center
Floral: Mother of the Bride
Coordinator: Mary Hearne
Band: The Sound Committee
Catering: Table 301Huguenot Mill Loft Wedding Reception wedding band Marc Gwinn and the Sound Committee The Sound Committee Wedding Band The Sound Committee Marc Gwinn

View more photos of this wedding reception at the Huguenot Mill Loft

Craig & Aubrey

Reception Venue: Greenbrier Farms
Reception Coordinators: Emilee Payne and Amy Bishop
Dress: The Poinsett Bride
Catering: Amy Bishop, Greenbrier Farms
Band: Hot As A Pepper

View more photos from this wedding at Greenbrier Farms

Charlie & Leah

Wedding Coordinator: Jennifer Dennis – Love This Little City
Floral and Design: ModFete
Reception Venue: Larkin’s / Wyche Pavilion
Catering: Larkin’s On The River
Rentals: Professional Party Rentals
Lounge Furniture: A Darling Day
Ceremony Music and Reception Band: The Erica Berg Collective

View more photos from this wedding reception at the Wyche Pavilion

5. Make sure everyone in the bridal party has everything they need.

Planning ahead goes for your bridal party too! Put someone in charge to make sure everyone has everything they need from bouquets to bowties. Six groomsmen and one is missing a tie…this makes for a frustrating experience if it’s time to take photos! (That did NOT happen for the guys in this photo below…they were prepared!)

groom and groomsmen in sunglassesWedding photo in grassy field near Twigs Tempietto
Wedding photo in grassy field near Twigs Tempietto
View more photos from this Twigs Tempietto wedding here.

View more photos from this wedding at The Reserve at Lake Keowee

Let your photographer know if there are any family dynamics or special needs that could make someone uncomfortable if not handled properly.  The goal of any good photographer (other than creating amazing photographs of course) is to make sure everyone is having a great time and and not being put in an awkward situation.  Simply making your photographer aware of these things will prevent any unwanted disruptions.

View more photos of this wedding here.

bridesmaids under oak tree at Wildberry FarmView more photos from this Wildberry Farm wedding here.

View more photos from this Greenbrier Farms wedding here.

View more photos from this Twigs Tempietto wedding here.

View more photos from this Old Cigar Warehouse wedding here.

6. Give your photographer the inside scoop.

Let your photographer know if there are any family dynamics or special needs that could make someone uncomfortable if not handled properly.  The goal of any good photographer (other than creating amazing photographs of course) is to make sure everyone is having a great time and and not being put in an awkward situation.  Simply making your photographer aware of these things will prevent any unwanted disruptions.

Bride and groom in back of Jeep leaving Twigs Tempietto bride and groom with antique car 1950 MG Hidden Acres tress wrapped in lights for wedding photos Belfair Plantation Wedding Avenue of Oaks Sparkler exit next to Peace Center Larkins wedding silhouette of bride and groom best day ever sign

Check out some of our featured weddings.