After photographing so many weddings, here are some things we photographers (and other vendors) want you to know. We say these things out of love for you, because we want you to enjoy this celebration, one you've put so much energy into planning, as much as possible.
Dear Brides and Grooms,
Please eat. Your wedding day is not the day to try to diet, and it's not the day to say "there are more important things to do." Eat before (or while) getting ready, and make sure you drink lots of water. We can guarantee that you will be hungry from nerves and adrenaline by the time you get through your ceremony. At your reception, your food will get cold because you prioritize hugging and thanking your guests. And that's okay. Get some food and fluids into your body early in the day so you feel less stressed waiting for downtime/snack time/dinner time. If you're getting hangry, tell someone! Ask one of the photographers, the wedding planner, or one of your family members for a snack. The last thing we vendors want is for you to feel hungry, tired, "all shopped out", and miserable. I can personally attest to having a small grocery of snacks in my camera bag that I am more than happy to share.
Don't lock out your knees. Locking your knees, especially during a long ceremony, is an easy way to faint. Even in the military, they tell you not to lock out your knees. Keep them bent, and even try doing mini squats when you have a chance.
Please communicate if you're feeling anxious, and delegate work to us. Even photographers are used to getting asked for help to do totally different tasks. We've been asked to find parents, de-tangle jewelry, sew clasps back together, and fix ties. Most photographers carry around an emergency kit to be able to help with this stuff. Couples: don't feel like you have to fix every little thing alone. We're here for you - we just need the signal, and we're ready for action with our Tide pens.
Have an unplugged ceremony. It's really heartbreaking for the couple, parents, and the photographers when a giant ipad screen is right in front of the couple during their vows or first kiss.
It's okay to get up and dance. All too often, we've seen brides and grooms hanging back, talking at the bar, seated with guests, or just plan avoiding the dance floor. I've had brides tell me they were self-conscious about their dance moves, were worried about their dresses getting dirty, or that their feet hurt (see #6). Dresses can get cleaned, and none of your guests are going to judge you, the centerpieces of the wedding, on your dance moves, epic or not.
Bring (and wear) comfortable shoes. Maybe this one should go first... my couples have lost countless photography, dancing, and general fun opportunities, and have elected to refrain from parts of their wedding celebration because their feet hurt. It's the 21st century - let's find some comfy shoes you can switch into between the ceremony/formal photos. Nobody's going to judge (unless it's out of jealousy!) - grab some flip flops or flats! If your shoes hurt, and all you remember is how much you wanted to sit down the whole night, you'll have missed out on wonderful memories.
Finally, take time to enjoy your big day. Don't be afraid to ask your photographers and videographers for a private moment with your wife/husband/fiance. Don't be afraid to ask your guests to let you sit down to rest and eat your dinner. Don't be afraid to get seconds of your wedding cake!
Your Photography and Vendor Team