A Message From Christine Hlad:
Congratulations on your engagement! I look forward to working with you and sharing in your special day. After years of photographing weddings, I decided to compile a list of helpful tips to get through the big day stress-free and allow us to do our very best work. We will continue to add to this list as more things arise, so check back before your big day- you may see something that could be overlooked with all the planning you've been doing!
Makeup: If you get a trial run on your makeup, take some close up photos and critique the results. Many brides opt to have a friend do their makeup, but they might not be experts on good application. Foundation can be a blessing and a curse. Make sure you like how your skin looks with it applied. It can be very unflattering and aging if it isn't applied well.
Wear shoes that you love. Or your glasses. Or your favorite necklace.
You’ll feel comfortable and excited in them. The bright colored, zebra print, or red-soled shoes that you swooned over at DSW can highlight your personality, or non-traditional ties (instead of coordinating satin ones to match the bridesmaids) are unique touches to highlight your style. The unexpected makes interesting and fun photographs.
Try on different veils and do some research.
Some veils are better suited for certain dresses, hairdos and face shapes. Cathedral veils are beautiful in principal, but your maid of honor will have to constantly fuss with it at the alter. French veils exquisitely highlight the face, but may compete with your gown. Some tips are listed below:
Too much bling = not a good thing.
Rhinestones and crystals and pearls, oh my! Fall in love with one or two blingy items and stop there. Too much bedazzling takes away from your true essence, it has the effect of almost "cheapening" your look.
Don’t overdo the tanning.
Better yet-skip it. Getting too dark or “tanning bed orange” is not becoming. It actually works against your features in photos. A better choice is to use makeup instead- a little blush or bronzer swept in the right places looks much better.
Pack a pair of flip-flops or flats in the limo-and tell the bridesmaids to do the same.
Between the ceremony and reception is a good time to walk around for different picture opportunities-your wedding party will be much more relaxed and willing if they are comfortable.
Leave ample time between the ceremony and reception for photos.
Let's face it-everyone in the bridal party wants to get to the fun part-the reception. We definitely get it; it's the less stressful part for us too, where we can relax and shoot a bunch of great candids. However, don't skimp on the time here! If everything feels rushed- from the traditional, after-ceremony photos to the stuff before the reception- it will show not only in your stress level, but also in the photos. Make a solid plan with your photographer to use this time wisely and make it stress-free. This also gives us more time to be creative!
Find out the Church/Pastor's policies on ceremony photography.
Not surprisingly, every church has different rules for photographing a ceremony, so check with your officiant/father/coordinator and find out the details. Not only do different churches have different rules, but rules can vary from officiant to officiant; some will not even allow more than 2 photos to be snapped during a ceremony! Best to double check ahead of time so you know what you can expect from these photos.
Consider an "unplugged" wedding.
We understand that your folks want to capture pictures of you throughout the day, but the problems occur when your distant relative wants to hang out in the center isle of the church, snapping away- in OUR way. You are paying your photographers to capture beautiful images, so consider having your guests put their phones and cameras away, at least during the ceremony. The first kiss photo is much more beautiful without someone's arm and point-and-shoot camera in the way. Here's some ideas:
If you are having a fall or winter wedding, keep your bridal party cozy if you want outdoor photos (you will want outdoor photos!)
My guess is that 99% of bridesmaid gowns are strapless or sleeveless, so plan accordingly-shawls and cropped jackets are available in evening wear, and can even make bridesmaids gowns a bit more fashionable or interesting. Keep some alcohol in the limo to warm them up as well! When the party is freezing it shows in the photos.
Be willing to sit, stand and lay down: on outdoor steps, leaves, or in the grass. Take an umbrella and go barefoot out in the rain. Pack some boots and stand in the snow.
In many ways, we are only as good as you will allow us to be. You only have this one opportunity for amazing wedding photos. Your dress will most likely get dirty and tattered an hour later on the dance floor anyway....
Have a list of must-have family photos at the church (or other specific photos) emailed to your photographer.
We help direct those folks so you don’t have to….but make sure they know to stick around for a photo. Additionally, family photos don’t always have to be arranged on the church altar. A nice alternative is outside the church entrance. We do not need a list of every single minute by minute photo you would like throughout the day...but a few ideas that you've seen online are fine, we will try our best to make those happen.
Consider a Post-Wedding/Trash the Dress Session.
If you didn’t get off site photos during your wedding day, these are a more relaxed, fun alternative, plus you get to wear that gown one more time (it doesn’t need to be “trashed” either) possibly with different hair, shoes, or accessories. No tux needed either- white dress shirts work fine. Choose an edgy-urban, or beautiful outdoor location and these easily become a photo you blow up as a work of art for your home.
Relax and enjoy your day!
Don’t forget it’s really about you and your husband-the day goes so quickly so find joy in every little moment.