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I’ve been photographing weddings for 30 years and thought I’d share 15 secrets to help you enjoy your wedding day while helping your photographer create a beautiful visual record of this special day.


Bachelor party: Have your groom hold his bachelor party several days before the wedding. We’ve seen grooms seriously hung over on their wedding day. You can’t hide a hangover look from the camera’s eye. More importantly, your groom can’t enjoy the excitement of this joyous day.

Bouquet: A long flowing bouquet is especially effective at hiding a tummy. Aim the bouquet directly at the camera during formal portraits. A simple tip, but it works.

Coordinator’s job: It’s the coordinator’s job to make sure people are ready for the formal portraits. It is not the photographer’s job to hunt for missing relatives. It delays your formal photo session if we have to search for someone.

iPhones & iPads: You’ve hired your photographer to capture the magical moment you walk down the aisle. Nothing frustrates a photographer more than to have you blocked out by your guests using their iPhones and iPads to photograph you coming down the aisle. Yes, it happens! Please ask your guests to take their “iPhotos” after the ceremony.

Mock exit: Mock exits are growing in popularity because it allows older relatives and friends to join in the excitement of the newlyweds leaving under a shower of bubbles or sparkles. Be prepared to start as soon as the coordinator says “go” to avoid having the sparklers burn out before you begin. It happens!

"Heads up”: It’s very important that you --- or the coordinator --- give us a few minutes notice of what you are about to do next… the cake cutting, the bouquet toss, the departure. We need to get into place and adjust our settings and we appreciate the extra time to get ready.

Make-up: Brides and bridesmaids who use a liquid foundation will shine when the photographer’s flash goes off: it causes foreheads and noses to shine. Use powder. Make sure your makeup artist knows to use powder on your face. Have powder available if it’s hot outside.

If you are concerned about smudging your makeup during the kiss, that can be resolved with a gentle kiss. Try practicing beforehand. Lots of fun.

Private time: Feeling stressed? Want time to collect your thoughts? Just ask your photographer to take a break. We will normally keep photographing for the entire time. That’s our job. But if you want some time to be alone… just ask.

Short breaks: Plan to take a break before and after the formal portraits. It will give both of you a chance to unwind, get something refreshing to drink, and repair any damage to your makeup. You’ll look better for your formal portraits and your reception.

Someone to help out: Your photographers will appreciate a family member of friend who knows where where find your wedding rings, shoes, bouquet, when they need to be photographed. It’s a small thing, but we don’t want to disturb you, your bridesmaids, or your family while you are getting ready.

We occasionally have guests insist we take photographs of their family while we are trying to capture a special moment with you and your new husband. Requests usually happens when guests have enjoyed a bit too much wine with dinner. Perhaps a family member can step in and explain why we need to be photographing you.

Strap marks: If you are wearing a strapless wedding gown, don’t wear a bra that morning. Those straps will leave marks for several hours and will be visible when you are facing the officiant with your back to the audience.

Umbrellas: Rain in the forecast for your wedding day? You can help minimize pictures of wet family and friends by buying umbrellas. Clear umbrellas help the light reach your face which is important for photographers. Colorful umbrellas add a splash of color to the day. As long as it’s not pouring raining, you might give it a try.

Veil: A veil flowing in the wind results in lots of fun photographs! You can twirl around or pull the veil around you for lots of motion. Peek through the veil for additional interesting photographs.

Visine: If you and your bridesmaids have been up all night having fun, a little Visine might be beneficial.

Wedding rings: Show your wedding ring in as many posed images as possible. Simply keep your left hand facing the camera: this advice is mainly for brides, but grooms should also try and show their rings.


This is your wedding; not a photo op! This day is your wedding day and not your photographer’s day. Photographers will typically ask for “just one more…” until things run late. Best to plan for how much time you will need. Be realistic. Then, shift to the next stage of your wedding day. Your family and friends have gathered to see and talk to you. Keep the formal photo sessions to a minimum (usually 3 minutes per formal grouping) and then move on. Realistic planning with your photographer and coordinator is important… but so are your family and friends. Best wishes for your special day!

Williams Photography of Fort Mill, South Carolina, LLC. in cooperation with Jennifer Brecheisen Photography provide professional photography services for weddings in the area around Charlotte, North Carolina and Rock Hill, South Carolina. We are more than happy to photograph destinations beyond this area include the region's mountains and coastal shoreline. Contact us for details.

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