If you are having a destination wedding, there are two things to consider. One, will you hire a local photographer in your area to travel to your wedding, or two, will you hire a photographer at your wedding destination.
In addition to the normal rate, some photographers charge a travel fee to compensate for time away from the studio and/or family, and the travel fee can vary. Because a destination wedding is not a one day affair, there are other cost to consider. For instance, roundtrip airfare, car rental (including gas and taxes), hotel accommodations (preferably where the bride will get ready), and meals.
After thinking about the fees you may acquire to hire your local photographer, you may consider hiring a photographer at the wedding destination instead. However, there are some risk to follow with that, so make sure that you do your research on your photographer and that he/she is a reputable photographer.
My favorite wedding ceremonies are outdoors. I looooove the natural light. However, sometimes as brides and photographers we face natural circumstances, like rain, that prevent us from getting what we envision. If an outdoor wedding is what your heart desires, look for venues that can provide a backup plan with lots of windows to allow the natural light in, and make sure you go visit the venue to see what the light looks like while indoors.
Sometimes by looking at a pretty website, we can’t determine if that photographer is the right match for us. There are sooooo many options to choose from and soooo many photographers with amazing talent, but how do you know which one is the right one for you.
Aside from planning your wedding and working full time, how do you find time to meet with your photographer when you don’t have it?!! Maybe a meeting is not the best option for you at the moment, so how do you know if he or she is the right match for you.
3. Twitter if they have it
Looking through social media gives you a broader perspective of what your photographer likes (pizza, cake, books are my personal favorite). If you still have questions, follow up with emails. Ask your heart away!
If you are opting out of a first look, taking a group photo of the extended family (parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, godparents) immediately following the wedding ceremony is ideal. I read this in a photographer’s blog once and have used it ever since.
1. Have a representative on each side (bride’s side and groom’s side) inform all family members to stay in their seats after the ceremony. They will ensure we keep things on time.
2. Communication! Let everyone (parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, godparents) know what you expect in advance. The more instruction you give the better. In advance, inform those you want in your formal family photos that they are to stay seated after the ceremony.
3. Organization. I’ve felt this has worked best for me. I start with the biggest group, then peel people off in layers. To avoid taking time from your bride and groom photos and of course, cocktail hour, this example is the quickest and most efficient.
Bride’s side – large group photo (this is everyone: parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, uncles, godparents)
Bride’s side – parents, step parents, grandparents, siblings
Bride’s side – parents, grandparents, siblings
Bride’s side – parents, siblings
Bride’s side – parents
Bride’s side – single photo with mom, single photo with dad
Bride’s side – siblings
This same process is repeated on the groom’s side.
4. Any other variation of photos can be taken during the reception since your photographer will follow you throughout the night. Plus, since you still have to take your bride and groom photos, you don’t want your family photos to cut into your valuable sunlight for those portraits.
If you decide that a first look is not for you, I would recommend dedicating at least 30 minutes of bride and groom photos after the ceremony. Typically, after the family formals this will work. I would highly recommend assigning someone to communicate to guest that only immediate family and the bridal party are to stay after the ceremony. Otherwise, you will have an endless line of guest waiting for photos that will take up some time away from your bride and groom photos.
On this day, the bride and groom decided to wait until after the ceremony to take photos. We quickly ran through the family formals. Afterwards, we took the bride and groom to a location away from guest, details, and things that might have distracted their attention from the gravity of the moment, while the guest enjoyed cocktail hour. Just he and his bride ready to commit to each other.
It’s a special day, and your first day as husband and wife and photos serve as great heirlooms for this day.
Photos taken as second photographer for 4 Keeps Photography
For our wedding day, we opted for a first look. For us, it was very important we dedicated enough time for our bridal and groom portraits. This all happened right before we met with our families at the venue for more family portraits. It also happened while we still had natural light available and while my makeup was still fresh.
Some advantages to having a first look.
1. If you are nervous about walking down the aisle, meeting each other before the ceremony helps you relax.
2. If you are worried about ruining your make-up, this is also a great reason to get those bride and groom photos before you start crying. When my husband and I shared our vows, I couldn’t hold my tears back.
Here’s a photo of us during our first look by 4 Keeps Photography.