Little Things That Make A Big Impact
When it comes to your wedding day there is nothing that will affect your pictures more than the quality of light. Natural light is by far the best quality of light. Artificial lights can look similar to the human eye, but they can vary substantially in colour, some older lights will even flicker so fast that it won’t be picked up by the human eye, but a camera will pick up on all those things. Natural light is, more often than not, a completely different colour than most artificial lights, but it is consistent. Natural light and artificial lights really don’t mix together very well. The best thing to do is, turn off all artificial lights and use rooms with windows (the bigger the better). Don’t be afraid to turn towards the light and be prepared to look freaking amazing in your pictures!
Music is amazing for putting people at ease, it can get people into the party spirit and even stir emotion at certain times. You’ll likely have music playing during your ceremony and no doubt you’ll have music at your reception, but it can really help to craft some memorable moments during your morning preparations also, make music an all-day affair. Feel free to create your own playlist before your wedding day, add songs that mean something to you and your family and you and your bridal party, maybe songs that helped make your hen party memorable or even the stag night, songs that you love, songs that you can sing along to, songs that get you in the mood and set you up for a great day ahead. If you want a ready made playlist with a mix of old and new, I’ve already taken the liberty of putting one together and you can find it on Spotify(you can listen to it free, though it helps if you have a Spotify account) here;
What do I mean by a “meaningful event”? This can be things like gift giving, confetti, sparklers, popping champagne, etc. There are many types and you can use some ingenuity to create your own. The reason they make such a big difference is because they involve others and they help build the story of a wedding day, they create emotional responses (excitement, laughter, tears) and add an overall positive energy to your day. A gift to a bridesmaid or groomsman could mean the world to them, a gesture of thanks for their years of loyalty and companionship. A handwritten letter or card to your future husband or wife, to show them how much they mean to you, your thoughts about your past and your future together and that you can’t wait to marry them. A tight cuddle with your father or mother, to show how much you appreciate all they’ve done and all they continue to do for you. Popping champagne, letting the cork fly and just having a giggle with your crew. Lighting up some sparklers with your family and friends before you hit the dance floor and just having fun with it. Every little one of these meaningful events means something, they all look amazing when photographed and they all add up to the story of your whole wedding day, so put some thought into them and make them plentiful, you’ll be glad you did!
Things will go wrong, you can plan the perfect wedding until the cows come home but it’s practically inevitable that something will go wrong, it could be something big or something small. The important thing to remember is that everything that may happen on your wedding day can be overcome. If the wedding car breaks down, it may slow you down, but it won’t stop you. If the dress is pristine white by the end of the day, then you probably had a pretty boring day, don’t spend your whole day fretting about it. Take time for yourself and your fiancé in the lead up to the wedding, try not to let the stresses of planning get the better of you, remember why you are getting married to begin with. If you feel like you have too much on your plate, don’t be afraid to delegate certain tasks. When your wedding day comes, all the planning should be done, everything should already be prepared, all that should be left for you to do is to show up and enjoy every minute of it. If your fiancé feels particularly awkward having their photo taken, try to be positive with them, help build them up and this will help them feel more comfortable on the day, it's not a one sided affair, it's a team effort! If you can keep positive about everything on your wedding day then others will feed off your positivity, you’ll help nurture a positive atmosphere and this will have a hugely positive impact on how your wedding pictures will turn out. If something does go wrong, just remember to breathe!!!
Avoid Chewing Gum
There’s a reason that photographers don’t usually tend to take photos of people while they are eating. Photographers are looking for that split second where everything in the universe falls together so perfectly that you end up with a beautiful image and unfortunately, the consistent facial contortions that come with chewing really prevent the universe from playing its part. Food is a must, you need it to survive and for energy, all very important and once you finish eating you automatically stop chewing. Chewing gum really isn’t a necessity, if you’re concerned about your teeth not being clean, consider having them whitened before your wedding and brush them and if you’re concerned about your breath then try a breath spray but, for just this one day, avoid chewing gum, when you get your pictures you’ll be glad you did.
Tone Down Fake Tan & Orange Makeup
You may very well feel more confident with fake tan, and you may well look good wearing it to human eyes, to cameras on the other hand you may very well look like a member of the supporting cast from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Natural tan is very different to fake tan and natural skin colours look perfect when captured on camera. The pigment from fake tan, on the other hand, will look very orange in photos, it is one of the most difficult things to correct during the image editing process and never looks quite perfect, especially if it’s streaky or patchy in areas or doesn’t blend well with facial makeup. Photographers normally warm images up slightly during the image editing process but this isn't possible if someone in the image already looks very orange. If you feel you have to have it done, consider going at least a bit more subtle with it and definitely have it applied professionally, a poorly applied fake tan is the absolute worst case scenario for how you will look in your wedding photos.
These are the finishing touches that help make your wedding yours but be careful not to over-do them. For example, flowers along the aisle can look amazing and help to craft a certain atmosphere but if you have to turn sideways or maneuver yourself into awkward positions to walk past them then they’re really not going to add anything special to your wedding and your walk down the aisle will become more like a scene from Mission Impossible. Another example could be table centerpieces, if people need to look around them to speak to someone else at their table then they’re really not going to help create the right kind of atmosphere, they can also be obstacles for photographers trying to capture those split second reactions when the best man’s speech is on fire. Just consider the potential negatives as well as the positives before throwing wads of cash away, and if in doubt, ask your photographer. Try to have details that represent both of your personalities, go unique, really make the day yours!
When you're comfortable on your wedding day then you're more free to make the most of it. What you choose to wear will probably have the biggest impact here, so if you're picking up those shoes with the red soles(you know the ones I'm talking about) then consider wearing them around the house for an hour or two before your day to get used to them or consider getting anti blister pads, preferably something removable so your photographer can also photograph them without. When you're choosing your dress, remember, if you have to carry it around all day in your arms while wearing it then are you going to be comfortable and also are you going to be able to pull that off gracefully? Also, are you going to be able to walk down your aisle without getting stuck on all those little lanterns and flowers you wanted to have so much? There really is a lot to be said for keeping some things a little simpler. If you're getting married in Spain in July and you sweat easily then are you going to be in hospital with dehydration by 4pm? Also, don't wear grey if you sweat easily, this will soak through and change the colour to a darker grey. I'm not telling you what to do here other than to consider your comfort throughout the day.
So much can be done before your wedding day. The less business type stuff you have to do on the day the better, try get all your vendors paid so you're not worrying about carrying around envelopes with cash. Communicate with your vendors before the day, so both you and they, know what times they're expected and where. Give your vendors Eircodes so they can easily find where they're going. Tidy the rooms you'll be using for hair, makeup and getting into your dress or for the lads getting into suits and do this before the day. Delegate jobs to bridesmaids, groomsmen and family so you don't have to do it all yourself. Pack whatever you need to bring with you to your reception before the day or even ask if they can take this from you a day or two before so you don't have to bring it with you. The more you can get out of the way before the day the more freedom you'll have to actually enjoy it and the more you enjoy it the more amazing wedding photos you'll have to treasure when it's all said and done!
Wedding planning and even the preparations and mini events leading up to the wedding day can take a lot out of you. Don't be afraid to take time for yourself from time to time to clear your head and have time together as a couple away from wedding stuff too. Drink plenty water, eat healthy food, get some exercise(but don't overdo it) and chill out when you get those opportunities too. Go easy on the alcohol and the late nights, nursing a hangover on your wedding day probably won't be a whole lot of fun, Carlsberg definitely wouldn't do wedding days like that. This is most important in the couple of days before your wedding and even on your wedding morning. Your wedding will be a full day event, not a sprint but a marathon, put yourself in the best position to enjoy it and make the most of it.
Be In Love, Be Wild, Be Free
Your wedding day has arrived, all the people you care about are together in one place to celebrate it with you. You've got your professional photographer there with you to help you record all those special moments with those people, all you've got to do is live in the moment and create them. Life is short and you only get one, if you do this right you'll only have one wedding which is your own too so don't be shy about making the most of it. Hold your new wife or husbands hand, cuddle them, kiss them, tickle them, tell them why you love them, share a joke with them, hug your parents, hold them tight, think about how it feels at that time and never forget it, laugh your ass off with your friends, dance, smile, cry, wink at that old friend you haven't seen in years, don't let the day or the moments escape you, grab a hold of them and embrace them with everything you've got!!! Be in love, be wild, be free!!!