Photo: Aster + Olive Photography; Planning: Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design

Avoid These Mistakes for Perfect Wedding Photos

March 13, 2023
Words by Be Inspired PR
Photos courtesy of various

You’re paying for gorgeous wedding photos – so make sure you get them. Avoid these mistakes to ensure your wedding day is truly picture-perfect!

Avoid sending your photographer a shot list.

“My tip would be not to send your photographer a laundry list of poses that you want to capture on the wedding day. Instead, send some inspirational photos of the general feel you are going for – maybe three to five inspirational photos. If your photographer is focused on checking a bunch of poses off the list, they could miss opportunities to capture smaller moments with an artistic eye. Hire someone whose work you absolutely love and then trust their vision on the day of.” – Natalie Good, Creative Director, A Good Affair

Avoid wardrobe malfunctions.

“This may seem like it goes without saying, but attire that’s too big or too small can make a huge difference in the look of your wedding photos. Brides, we’d suggest prioritizing your gown fitting and alteration appointments to be sure you feel comfortable and confident in your dress on your big day. Grooms, we’ve got you covered: our innovative, online styling and fit process allow you to find the perfect suit or tuxedo, perfectly fit, from the comfort of your own home. On your big day, you should be focused on enjoying the day and not on tugging sleeves or adjusting buttons!” – Trevor Wessman-Lavelle, SVP of Marketing, Generation Tux

Avoid being unprepared.

“The best way to get the most out of your photography session is to come prepared! You’ll want to ensure that you’ve got a copy of your invitation suite for those detailed shots. Other items to consider include a pretty ring box, extra florals, and ribbon – which you can ask your florist to provide! Make sure your bridal suite is tidy and clutter-free prior to getting ready so that there are no distractions in the background.” – HoneyFitz Events

Avoid uncoordinated moments on your wedding morning.

“Create a cohesive look for your getting-ready photos! Believe it or not, it can make a huge difference in your morning photos if you have a cohesive look for everyone with coordinating pajamas, robes, or sleep shirts! It’s a small detail that can really help to make your morning photos look and feel extra chic.” – Kristy Breed & Helen Semovski, Director & Designer, Le Rose Stories

Avoid hiring a brand-new photographer you don’t know much about.

“Photography has become such an important vendor decision because there are so many options available to couples. My number one tip to ensure couples get the most out of their photography experience starts long before their wedding day. Couples should hire a photographer who they feel comfortable with, who they trust and above all, hire a photographer whose photos they love. Consider editing style (bring, dark and moody, natural) and consider their photography approach and style. If you want plentiful photos of your details, hire a photographer who photographs details. If you prioritize candid photos of your day, hire a photographer who naturally does this. And ALWAYS ask to see a full gallery prior to confirming services if this is your first experience with your photographer. You want to see what you can expect from a full gallery rather than just social media or website highlights!” – Elizabeth Lutz, Elizabeth Lutz Boutique Design & Event Planning

Avoid having your hair and makeup team leave too early.

“Our pro tip would be splurging to have an on-site hair and makeup team member stay on throughout the evening for touch-ups! As you know, you cannot predict nor control the weather on your wedding day, so may as well be prepared in the event a surprise rain storm takes over during your outdoor ceremony, leaving that mascara looking less than ideal! This way, you can make sure no matter what the day throws at you, you and your smile will be ready for your close-up!” – Lisa Nightingale, Infinite Events

Avoid tight timelines.

“If your timeline is tight, you will need to rush through photos which means fewer moments captured and higher stress for your photographer and yourselves. Your photographer should arrive 1-1.5 hours before you put your attire on and you will need at least one hour for portraits of the two of you plus another hour for family and bridal party photos. Work with your photographer to ensure that they have all of the time they need on the wedding day to be successful.” – Mandy Connor, Owner, Hummingbird Events & Design

Avoid accessory mistakes.

“This is where your photographer, wedding planner, or even your groomsmen can really come in handy. Is your boutonniere pinned to the correct side? Is your pocket square folded correctly? Little details like these are easily forgotten in the rush and excitement of the big day, but can make a big difference in your wedding photos.” – Trevor Wessman-Lavelle, SVP of Marketing, Generation Tux

Avoid going into your photos blind.

“Planning WHERE you will take photos is key! Don’t just assume you can go into a beautiful building or outdoors at the Botanical Gardens. Many times, there is a fee associated and blocks of time need to be assigned to each group wishing to take photos so the area doesn’t get too crowded. Make sure you review the rules of the facility as well, as sometimes flowers aren’t allowed to be brought into museums and such.” – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design

Avoid dehydration.

“One of my top tips for all my brides is to make sure you’re staying hydrated through the day (and the days leading up to the wedding)! Makeup will hold on to your face much better if your skin is hydrated. Just to be safe, make sure to bring a touch-up kit of the same (or similar) items your makeup artist used. You can ask him or her for all the products used during your trial to come prepared.” – Melanie Levin, Owner of LuckEleven Events

Avoid simple time management mistakes.

“Create a list for your formal family photos. A list of all family formal photos will help tremendously with time management during the most hectic time of the wedding day. Talk this over with your photographer ahead of time and be sure to let all family members know where and when they need to arrive for these.” – Rachel, Rachel Red Photography

Avoid last-minute beauty treatments.

“Avoid self-tanner, if at all possible, for photo shoots! Most of them leave an orange color cast in the editing room. Also, any treatments like Botox, fillers, or facials should be done well in advance, not the week of the event.” – Philip Casey, Phillip Casey Photography

Avoid environmental snafus. “As you plan for your wedding day photography, keep in mind the environment you’ll be in as you make decisions regarding your hair, makeup, and fashion. For example, if you’re getting married in a beautiful seaside location that tends to be windy, think about having your hair in a style that will ensure it stays off your face if it’s breezy (like half up or a full up-do). Also, consider things like your footwear or additional outerwear you may want to have with you. If you’ll be in a grassy area, have some flats or heel covers with you to swap into so you don’t sink into the ground. Or, if you expect chilly temperatures, have a shawl, shrug or bolero jacket that you can wear to keep warm. All of these measures will help ensure you stay comfortable throughout your photo session – which is when you look your best!” – Alexandra Denniston, Owner & Lead Planner, Eventlightenment Planning

Avoid distractions on the back row of the ceremony chairs. “Before the ceremony starts, I make sure there are no purses or jackets on the back row of the ceremony chairs, on the aisle ceremony chairs, or under the seat. I also pick up any empty glassware or trash.” – Jessica Carrillo, Owner, Planner, & Designer, Art & Soul Events®

Avoid bad lighting at your venue. “Lighting is an important element that couples often do not realize the importance of until it’s too late! For couples getting married in a tent, make sure to consider the time of year and time of day you’re saying I do! Getting married in an indoor venue? Don’t hesitate to ask about the “house” lighting, as most venues will allow bringing in additional lighting from either a production or professional lighting company. Getting married in a tent? Adding a layer of overhead bistro or twinkle lights will ensure you have balanced lighting in all areas of your tent, meaning every photo your photographer snaps come out spot-on!” – Lisa Nightingale, Infinite Events

Avoid tags and stickers on items. “To ensure your wedding day photos are picture perfect, remember to take off any tags or stickers on ALL of your items. Majority of the time, your vendors will not have the time the day of the wedding to ensure this is done and also be doing other important tasks so make sure all of the elements that will a part of any decor images or detail shots they will be tag or sticker free!” – Casey Stamouli, Owner & Lead Planner, Casey & Co. Events

Avoid putting on a show. “Stay true to yourself! A great rule of thumb is to style up one level for your engagement session and up two levels for your wedding day. So, if you don’t wear makeup, for example, wear just a little for your engagement session and a little more on your wedding day. You want to look like yourself when you look back on your wedding!” – Philip Casey, Phillip Casey Photography

Avoid catering items on tables when taking tabletop detail photos. “For picture-perfect tabletop detail photos, I ask my catering teams to wait until AFTER detail photos are taken to ice & water the tables, place salt & pepper shakers, and/or place butter/rolls on the dinner tables. I adjust the table placement, so they do not block the view of the beautiful floral arrangement. When possible, I also wait until AFTER detail photos are completed to place heat lamps. The photos look so much better this way! If the timeline doesn’t allow for this additional time, I like to order the pyramid heat lamps, so they are less of an eyesore.” – Jessica Carrillo, Owner, Planner, & Designer, Art & Soul Events®

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