Many brides think that because they have hired an expert to photograph and videotape their wedding, their part in the process of capturing their special day on film is over. While choosing a professional is the first step to ensuring you will have the visual memories you want, there are many other things a bride can and should do to make certain there are no disappointments after the wedding is over and the wedding album is assembled.

Hire videography and photography from the same company. There are many reasons why it is a good idea to choose a photographer and videography from the same studio. In addition to receiving considerable package discounts that can lead to a lower overall wedding debt and fewer contracts, utilizing professionals from the same company means that there will be better communication and improved positioning and workflow throughout the day.

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Most times, photographers and videographers who work for the same studio share a similar style and overall vision for wedding photography, and because they have worked together on many projects, will have developed a system that will minimize miscommunications, mistakes, and getting in one another’s way during the day. It will also mean that you will minimize the number of appointments you need to make and keep before and after your wedding, reducing the amount of stress in wedding planning.

Set aside enough time for hair and makeup. Most brides are more than anxious to get into their gorgeous wedding dress, but remember that the photographers are there to capture the process throughout the day and will be moving about during this time as well. If you are working with a hair and makeup artist, be sure to have them create a schedule that they, and everyone else, will follow during wedding preparations so that your photographer can anticipate what will be happening and when.

Running behind with hair and makeup at the beginning will set your whole day behind, limiting the time you have for pictures in other places and generating a great deal of confusion and anxiety. Make a plan to finish the “getting ready” process well ahead of time so that you will not be one of those brides rushing around due to unexpected delays. Photographers will usually want about an hour to get detail shots and candid moments with your family and friends, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Incorporate a first look session and a sneak away session. Although many brides remain traditional and do not choose to see their groom beforehand, photographers know that one of the most memorable moments of a wedding day is when the bride and groom see one another for the first time. First look photographs make for some of the most heartfelt and emotional photos, something you will look back on and savor for a lifetime.

In addition to the first look, the sneak away session has become increasingly popular. This session lasts no more than 20-30 minutes and is usually scheduled during the reception. The candid moments of the bride and groom, away from the flurry of activity in the reception and against the backdrop of a beautiful reception hall foyer or winding staircase can make for memorable wedding photos. If stealing away during the reception is not possible, you can also get shots at the very end of the night when the guests have all left, and when the night sky can provide a dramatic backdrop.

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Communicate expectations effectively. All brides have an idea of what photographs are “must haves.” From a special moment with your grandmother to a shot of the bride and groom with all of the nieces and nephews, brides need to let the photographer know what they want and need. Effective communication means that both you and your photographer can create a timeline for your wedding day that will organize the process throughout. From an estimated start and end time for hair and makeup to a general idea of ceremony duration and a list of all of the photo sessions you want, clear expectations and good organization will ensure that all of the moments you expect to be captured are included. Additionally, communication will allow you to decide what locations and times are best for certain poses.

Have you dealt with a particularly good photographer? What were some of the things you learned during that process? Do you have any suggestions for brides-to-be? Please leave your comments or suggestions here.

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