Bridal Resources – Maximizing Your Wedding Experience: Our Best Tips for Brides

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There is so much great advice out there for brides. The internet and bridal magazines are rife with all sorts of tricks and tips for making the most of your wedding. So here’s another one to add to your binder! We’ve put together a list of suggestions that we think will help you maximize not only your wedding photography, but the entire wedding experience.  If you’re interested in learning more about our Wedding Photography services, you can download our Wedding Guide HERE – Magination Images is based out of Southern Oregon and serves brides in Oregon, Washington, California & beyond.

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1.) If at all possible, hire an event coordinator. An event coordinator can reduce so much of the stress and responsibility that comes with planning a wedding. By having an event professional making your arrangements, it really allows you to kick back and enjoy the process more.  There are many different options for coordinators, from global planners, to event organizers to day-of coordinators.  A professional coordinator is worth every penny they charge.

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2.) Consider a Bridal session. This is a session that takes place before the wedding day that focuses fully on the bride. It isn’t just an up-sell for photographers. The session provides an environment where the bride can relax and showcase her beauty, free from the obligations, stresses and chaos of her wedding day.

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3.) For best images consider your location, time of day and how lighting will impact your photography services. Images from a ceremony in full afternoon sun will differ greatly from those produced in softer light. If the ceremony is to take place in an area with dappled light (elements of strong shade mixed in with light) we recommend setting up a canopy for the bride and groom to stand under. The lighting will be even and makes for better exposures. It is important for the bride and groom to be aware of where they are standing so that mixed lighting does not effect their ceremony images. Talk to your photography professional in depth about the lighting conditions of your event. The more information they have the better that they can serve you. If astounding images are of high priority you may even consider consulting with your photographer as to the best time and location at your venue for your ceremony.

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4.) Nobody wants to “melt” while in attendance at a wedding. Yes, summer is a lovely time to get married outdoors. You have chance on your side that the weather will be great and the floral selection is at its best. But it can get rather miserable for your guests to be seated in the direct afternoon heat at a hot summer wedding. The elderly and young often are effected the most by high temperatures. As far as how extreme heat will effect your photographs; think pit-stains and shiny faces. No joke. For summer ceremonies in the afternoon heat, look for gently shaded locations. It will make for happier guests – and a happier you!!

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5.) Consider a “First Look”, and even your formal group photos, to take place before the ceremony. It’s your wedding – you want to enjoy it! By having your formal images made before your ceremony, it frees you up to enjoy the rest of the time with your guests.  Not to mention,  guests can get “antsy” with a long wait to congratulate the newlyweds.  With a First-Look, only the bride, groom and photographer are present.  A good photographer will give the couple as much privacy as possible during their special moment.  A First-Look also allows a more intimate emotional connection for the couple; they see each other for the first time without a hundred pairs of eyes on them.  They share a special moment and have more of an opportunity to emotionally express themselves & connect.  Speaking from a strictly photographic perspective, a First-Look is an unparalleled photo-op.

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6.) Hanger-time! You have the dress of your dreams and it certainly deserves to be showcased in your wedding album. Make sure to have gown-worthy hanger on hand for display in photographs. Etsy.com is a gold mine for creative, custom wedding gown hangers!

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7.) Glasses. If you wear glasses, consider going with contacts for the day of your wedding. If you feel that your glasses help define your individuality, consider wearing lensless frames. Lenses, even polarized ones, can catch a glare and distort the eyes. With posed portraiture, you wedding photographer should know how to pose and position glasses-wearing individuals to reduce this effect. However, for journalistic and candid shots the reflections can really detract from your photos.

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8.) Details – Details make a wedding: They tell a story and pull everything together. They also photograph fabulously.

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9.) Silk flowers. Silk flowers do not photograph well. Consider opting for another natural alternative to blossoms if fresh ones are not within your budget. Fruit, Candles, even tree branches, are all great budget-friendly alternatives to flowers.

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10.) On and Off-camera lighting at night will create a different type of image than that of natural light photography. If you are planning an outdoor event to run after dusk, discuss this with your photographer. The more information that they have, the best they can serve you.

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11.)  Consider an unplugged ceremony. Its always a bummer to see guests in attendance watching the ceremony on the screens of their recording devices instead of being present in the moment and it also is super distracting in photos. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a well-intentioned guest to leave their seat to take photos during the ceremony.  This can result in the unseated guest blocking key shots that your hired photographer is trying to take, as well as the guest, themselves, winding up in photos that they are not supposed to be in.  Few things are more disappointing to both the bride and the photographer than having a roaming guest photo-bomb “The Kiss” or other pivotal elements of the service.  If you choose to go with an unplugged ceremony, make sure to have your DJ announce it, as well as your officiant – right before the service.

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12.) Be aware that guest flash photography can ruin the the photographs taken by your professional. Photographers manually adjust their camera settings for the available light levels of the location.  If a flash is fired in the vicinity it can flood your photographer’s camera with much more light than it is adjusted for – this results in greatly over-exposed images – sometimes far beyond recovery. Also, please help your photographer serve you best by asking guests not to direct the photographer.  You are paying for a professional; there is no need for guests to be telling your professional what poses and shots to take.

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13.) If members of your wedding party are bringing their children to your event, consider discussing with them the appointment of another adult to be in charge of the little ones. While candid moments of children at weddings can create heart-warming images, children interacting with their parents during key photography or event time can take away from the images and experience.

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14.) It is understood that choosing your bridal party can become an obligatory task. We encourage brides to forgo what other expect you to do, and surround yourself with a bridal party that is 100% supportive and encouraging.

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15.) In the event that there is a delicate situation – Family members or friends that don’t get along, “drama-queens” or contentious guests – please inform your service providers and key wedding party members. Many times, professionals can help diffuse potentially volatile situations through re-direction. It is always good to have a back-up plan in situations like these.  The best weddings are the ones where the bride is supported and uplifted by those around her.

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16.) Don’t sweat the small stuff. Nobody’s wedding goes 100% according to plan. If you run late, nobody is going to leave before you get married. Choose wedding party members and service professionals that are adaptable and quick on their feet.

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17.) Wear comfortable shoes. If you are wearing a formal gown, people will not be seeing your feet for the majority of your event.

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18.) Tan lines. In all likelihood, your wedding party has known months in advance as to the date of your wedding. Please ask your wedding party (guys included) to be thoughtful as to the time they spend in the sun prior to your big day. Farmer’s tans are hardly attractive and, with the popularity of strapless dresses, they can really be distracting in photographs. Sunburned faces and extreme “sun-glasses” tans are not something that you want in your heirloom wedding photos.  A bridal party with even skin tones goes a long way in making great images!

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19.) Make sure that your bridesmaids try on their dresses with the bras that they will be wearing the day of the wedding. Please make sure that the bra that they choose is covered entirely by their gowns. encourage them to wear their gowns and bras around their home at length and make sure that the bra stays where it is supposed to. This is good advice for the brides, as well.

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20.) Check the garment bags! When your bridal party members pick up their dresses, tuxes and suites have them check to make sure that they were given the right item!

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21.) Don’t forget your hands!  Hands are often the subject of close-up, detailed shots at a wedding.  Make sure your digits are picture-ready.  And encourage your groom to get a manicure, as well!

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22.) Put together an “event guide” and provide it to key players in your event, including service professionals and wedding party members.

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23.) Provide a contact for your service professionals; someone that can identify guests and knows the event plan well.

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24.) Inform key people of any changes you make to your plans. Again, the more informations your professionals have, the better they can serve you!

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25.) Consider a post-wedding photography session – otherwise known as a “trash the dress” session.  Before you spend copious amounts of money preserving your wedding gown, put the dress to good use with a photo session in your wedding apparel after your wedding.  These sessions allow for SO much more creative freedom, as the couple is more relaxed and not worried about getting their clothing dirty.  The resulting images can be epic.

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If you are interested in learning more about Magination Images’ Wedding Photography Services, please email us at: info@MaginationImages.com or call/text 541-973-7389 – You can learn more about us by visiting our website at http://MaginationImages.com

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