Let’s face it, planning a wedding is pretty stressful, especially when you’re on a budget. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a photo-worthy wedding. In fact, it’s a lot easier to achieve than it sounds. As photographers, we’ve been to countless weddings (and are also in the process of planning our very own). Although every couple is unique, the trick to plan a photo-worthy wedding requires only a few key considerations. Keep scrolling to learn all about them.
Be realistic with your timeline
One of the biggest hurdles that prevents couples from getting that photo-worthy wedding is a lack of time. It’s so important that you build out a realistic timeline in the weeks leading up to your wedding and actually execute it on the day of. Not planning for enough time can cause one activity to run into the next, creating a downward spiral for the entire day. We realize that this can be hard to achieve especially when photographers limit their coverage to just a few hours. And that’s exactly why we believe in full wedding day coverage…because we know how important it is to capture your full story.
As you work through your timeline, don’t hesitate to reach out to your photographer for feedback – that way you know how much time needs to be allotted for each activity. In general, the more time you allocate for photography, the better photos you’ll get.
Pick a naturally beautiful venue
Every photographer knows that great photos are all about location. Picking a naturally beautiful venue not only helps you save on decor costs, but it’ll help ensure your photos are flawless. When deciding on a venue, we recommend going for something that aligns with the style of your wedding. Although farmhouse weddings have been trending mad over the past few years, this rustic setting may not make the most sense for a modern bride. The opposite is also true – a boho wedding wouldn’t fit well in a traditional country club. But of course, there are no rules.
Keep in mind that the location of your wedding isn’t just about the venue itself. As photographers, we tend to spend a lot of time shooting outside in natural light too. So, think about nearby parks, architectural designs, and gardens that allow for a change of scenery. Some of our favorite wedding venues in the Charlotte and surrounding area are:
Don’t skimp on flowers
Most couples skimp on flowers on their wedding day because they’re expensive and seemingly wasteful – but flowers make a high visual impact, especially in photography. To be frank, fake flowers never photograph well and you’re better off thinking outside the box on how you can save in this department. Fortunately, investing in real flowers doesn’t require you to break your budget.
Here are some of our favorite ways to save on flowers:
• Buy them wholesale and DIY your bouquets. You can purchase flowers from your local farmer’s market, Sam’s Club, or Costco.
• Repurpose your bridesmaids’ bouquets and ceremony flowers into reception decor. They can be used to decorate the cake table or sweetheart table – and even be placed into vases as guest centerpieces.
• Opt for bigger blooms that require less stems to look full (think hydrangeas and baby’s breaths).
• Use more greenery to fill out your arrangements instead of actual flowers.
• If pricier bulbs, such as peonies, dahlias, and garden roses, are a must-have, consider using them only in the bride’s bouquet.
Pay attention to the granular details
The smallest details can take a photograph from drab to fab. Lighting is of course always priority for us. When selecting a venue and getting ready location, we love when our couples opt for a room or space with plenty of natural light and lots of windows.
Next to lighting is a clean space…. Amid the frenzy of getting ready, we know how easy it can be to forget about boxes, plastic wrap, duffel bags, and metal clothes hangers, but clutter can really break a photograph. It always helps the photographer if you have someone in your bridal party help manage and clear the clutter.
As far as decor goes, there’s more to flowers and a beautiful venue to plan a photo-worthy wedding. In fact, we find that a wedding with few flowers but real glassware, great lighting, and lots of candles can really dress up a table. Rose petals, ribbons, fairy lights, gold candle holders (or candelabras), and table runners can also do wonders.
Know where to skimp
There are areas of a wedding where you can skimp on – although we understand that this is all preference. Every bride wants to wear the wedding dress of her dreams, but if you’re ok making some sacrifices, we assure you that affordable wedding dresses can surprisingly photograph well as long as the fit is right. In this case, it could be worthwhile purchasing a dress off season (or from the sale rack), buying a used dress and getting it tailored, or renting. If you’re a bride who plans on wearing multiple outfits, you can don a designer frock without paying full price by renting from Rent The Runway.
Party favors are another one of those things that you shouldn’t be afraid to skimp on. Unless you’re spending a lot of money on something iconic, most guests won’t even notice.
When it comes to decor, don’t forget to ask friends and family for help. You never know who has random vases, chalkboards, lanterns, or candles lying around that they can lend to you. One of the ways we’re saving on decor for our wedding it by opting for cake centerpieces, which happen to be less expensive than flowers and a full-blown wedding cake.
Hire a great photographer
Finally, hiring a talented photographer can be the ultimate deal breaker in how photo-worthy your wedding actually comes out. A visionary photographer can turn the least flattering scenario into something spectacular by properly managing the light, finding unique angles, guiding you with natural poses, and framing the shot. You can learn more about our process here and here.
If photography is a priority on your wedding day, then we’re definitely the team for you. Get in touch today for a free consultation.