"Top 10 Things To Tell Your Wedding Photographer" | Gretchen Elaine Photography Weddings


Your wedding photographer truly becomes one of your best friends on the day of your wedding. From 7am and getting ready, to 10pm at the reception and everything in between. Your photographer is by your side through all of of the craziness of the celebration! Being a wedding photographer myself, I have developed the top ten things you should tell your photographer before your wedding day. Telling them these ten things will make the day run as seamlessly as possible and will give them a better idea of what to expect to capture your beautiful memories.


10) Listing the Names & Phone Number of Your Wedding Day Co-Workers

Throughout the day, I work closely with numerous people and vendors. The wedding coordinator / planner and DJ are the top two that I work with to figure out the schedule of events; knowing when the first dance is happening or when they will announce the cake cutting, etc. Having their name and contact information helps immensely so that I don’t have to come running to you asking questions throughout your day. Your job for the day is to enjoy all the special moments with your friends, family, and of course your significant other.


9) List of the VIP Guests

Weddings can be very crazy with a lot of people involved. Knowing who will be in the family photos and bridal party photos is essential for those portraits to go as smoothly as possible. Nothing is more embarrassing to a wedding photographer than standing up in front of a group of 30 people trying to pose and saying “hey you” instead of using names. The portraits will go a lot quicker and your guests will appreciate your photographer being able to call them by name.


8) Anyone in Need of Special Accommodations

This can include people with visual, hearing, or mobility impairment, and also less obvious challenges including a tendency to overheat quickly or problems with flash lighting, etc. Knowing about these circumstances will allow me to accommodate to everyone at your wedding. Let’s say a family member overheats quickly, I will make sure to find shady spots for photos and get them finished quickly. Or if one of your family members is in a wheel chair, I will start looking at location and ideas for posing the group and incorporating their chair. I can adapt more quickly with the more I know!


7) If There is Any Family Drama

This is extremely important because the last thing I want to have happen is to pose family or other guests together and have someone be upset. Whether your parents are separated and have trouble getting along together or your aunt doesn’t want their picture taken, I can keep a mental note and keep the groups moving quickly. I know talking about personal family drama can be uncomfortable and awkward, but talking about it before you special day will help decrease the unpleasantness later.


6) Special Cultural Traditions and/or Unique Parts in Your Ceremony

Every wedding is completely unique and beautiful because so is every couple. In some weddings, culture and traditions are a large part of the ceremony and reception. It is very helpful knowing what to expect so that I know where to be to capture those traditions as the ceremony and events go along. For instance, there are several Filipino traditions during a Catholic Mass with a rope and veil. Or in traditional African weddings, the parents of the bride and groom are announced and it is a complete party of all the guest dancing down the aisle. And even something as simple as having the ceremony spoken in another language.


5) Crazy First Dance or Other Surprises

Truth be told, photographers do not like surprises. It is very helpful to know what surprises you might have for your guests such as a crazy fun first dance with smoke, lights, the whole shebang. Knowing these details ahead of time, I can set up the proper lighting and know where I want to be located before the dance starts.


4) Any DIY Decorations and Special Touches

Let’s face it, weddings are a lot of work and can be very expensive. I know many brides and family members that love to do DIY projects and decorations to help with those challenges. Those are really important pieces from your wedding day. Not only will you remember the beautiful hand crafted decorations, but all the memories that went along to create them. I want to make sure to photograph all the important parts that make up your wedding and that includes the decorations!


3) When They Can Eat

Photographing a wedding for 8 - 10 hours a day is physically and mentally exhausting. Not only am I running around between different locations and rooms but I am also problem solving and figuring out the best lighting, posing, and going along with the schedule of events. Having time for your photographer to eat is very important to keep the energy and creative juices flowing! Generally the best time to feed your photographer is actually right in the middle of dinner while some guests are eating or waiting to be served. The reason being is that not many photos happen during dinner time. Right after guests are finishing, events such as cake cutting, toasts, dancing, etc. begin. Your photographer won’t have any time to refuel before the rest of your celebration. If your photographer has to wait until after all the guests finish, make sure to tell them so they can plan ahead of time and bring a snack.


2) What Made You Contact GEP

As a photographer, of course I would like to think my portfolio gallery is the reason clients message me or that it’s because I’m the best wedding photographer. But I want to know the truth, I get to learn what I do best as a photographer. Whether it’s because of my customer service, customized wedding collections, photography style, or another reason, I love to hear why you chose Gretchen Elaine Photography!


1) What You’re Most Worried About

As a photographer, I am first and foremost a problem solver. Even though your worries may not be photography related, I am more than happy to lend a hand in relieving some of your pre-wedding stress. I have had brides worry about timing, or insecure about their dress, and nervous for their first dance. I have come up with helpful tips to remind my couples that this is their day, the party doesn’t start until you get there so take your time and enjoy. Everyone is there the give you their love and support, everything will be magical because it is the celebration of your love.



Gretchen Elaine Photography is still booking weddings for next year, so message me for more info on our customized wedding collections and how to book your wedding with me!

The wedding featured in today’s post is from Ryan & Emma Cassell’s wedding on June 22nd, 2019.

A Special Note to Ryan & Emma:

Congratulations once again, I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet the both of you and photograph your special day. I wish you both and Jason the best of luck and hope your little family thrives and creates many more memories to come. Best of luck to you all!

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