Would you believe me if I told you we did our wedding photos in an hour? Well, we did and it was awesome! I highly recommend doing it quick & concise and you’d still be surprised how many photos you end up having by the end of it all — we had more than 400!
As a person who works in a visual business, surrounded by photography on a daily basis, it was important to me to get good QUALITY photos – I’ve learned that too many can be unnecessary & overwhelming. What are you going to do with all of those photos?!
My photographer was fantastic to work with, she knew the 4 or 5 key photos that were most important to me and built her day around those. I knew I wanted:
- Family photos
- A photo of my bridesmaids and me in our St. Louis Cardinals jerseys
- Photos in front of the Gateway Arch & Old Courthouse of Mitchell & I and our wedding party
- Photos of the wedding party on the rooftop looking into Busch Stadium
- And of course some candid’s from the day’s key moments like the ceremony, cake cutting, toasts, etc.
With our ceremony at 4pm, she got there at 3pm to get the girls finishing getting ready and me getting into my dress. After our ceremony ended at 4:30pm and we had ushered out our guests, we did family photos in 20 minutes. 20! We made sure to tell our family members ahead of time that we were doing the photos immediately after the ceremony in that same space and no one should leave the area until they had their photo taken.
After that, we signed our marriage license and away we went to the park right next door to our wedding venue. We took my favorite photos of the bunch there. In 20 minutes we were able to do couple’s photos, just myself, our entire wedding party, the bridesmaids, groomsmen and my brother and me in no time.
Communicating with my photographer ahead of time that less is more and to just get the staple photos was key.
After that, we had enough time left to go up to the rooftop, grab a few more photos, a quick drink and soak in the views before heading down to the reception. That was such a fun part of the day for me because we got to catch our breath and enjoy the moment. (Make sure you stop and do that throughout your big day. Enjoy the moments!)
In the end, we got all of our family photos, formal wedding photos and had some fun in an hour and a half! Our photographer stuck around for another hour and half after the reception started to get the cake cutting, first dance photos and some fun action from the reception. It was a perfect balance and I still have more photos than I know what to do with! Not to mention all the photos people sent us that they took on their own throughout the day and into the late evening!
Personally, I believe there’s no need to pay your photographer to be there for an extended period of time – you’ll end up with way more photos than you’ll ever know what to do with and you’ll rack up a big bill. I also saved some personal moments for just us – no need for a photographer to be there with their camera in your face in those intimate moments. For example, I opted not to do a first-look. I wanted to see Mitchell for the first time that day as I walked down the aisle. We wrote letters to one-another, but read them privately – I didn’t want my photo taken in that moment. Make sure to keep little moments like that for yourself too.
I also opted not to have a videographer. For me, I do video work on a daily basis, I didn’t want to even think about something video related on my wedding day – it’s my off-day!
In the end, don’t stress! You’ll get those three or four major photos that you’ll use the most no problem!
What were your wedding photography do’s & don’ts that you learned on your big day? Comment below or reach out to me on Instagram! Leave me your questions too!