Things to Avoid

Article published in Photography PR News 2.15.2012

 Being a Photographer in Tampa for over 20 years and doing over 3,600 weddings inFlorida, we have learned some little things that will help your wedding be a success and in some cases may save you money as you plan your wedding.

  1. A Unity Candle Outdoors    95% of the time when a couple attempts to light a Unity Candle outdoors, it fails.   Even with a glass vase surrounding the candle, you still have to remove the vase to light it, and it can still be tricky to light as well as keeping it lit throughout the ceremony.
    Solution: 1) Choose to light the Unity Candle indoors during the reception or 2) Do a Sand Ceremony outdoors, where you each pour  different color sand into a center vase.  The benefit to this,  is, you have a multicolored vase of sand that you’ll be able to display in your home for years to come.
  2. Aisle Runners Outdoors   The Aisle Runner causes more problems than it’s worth.   If using it on Grass, it’s a disaster as the bridesmaids walk down the aisle.   Even if used on a hard surface outside, the wind will blow it if it isn’t taped down, which can look tacky and totally defeats the purpose.  Your bridesmaids (and even you) will tend to look down at it so they don’t trip, and as a result,  negatively affects your video and pictures because instead of happy bridesmaids smiling;  you get concerned expressions, hoping not to trip.
    Solution: 1) Skip it completely or 2) use a carpeted aisle runner, unless you want to appear on America’s Funniest Videos.
  3. The Receiving Line  They tend to waste valuable time, which takes away from the limited amount of time for your pictures, which you’ll regret later.    Although the receiving line is done for the guests, it ends up putting them through the unnecessary discomfort of standing in line.  It usually works best to visit your guests during the reception (typically after dinner) to greet them while they are sitting comfortably at their tables, and allows you to prioritize the time you spend with each guest.
    Solution: Walk around to the tables after dinner; it puts you in control of who you greet and who you skip.
  4. Having the Coordinator Carry your Dress too far   Many times we are shooting you, the bride, from the holding room as you are walking hand in hand with your father.  When the coordinator is right behind you holding the dress, it can totally destroy the shot.  We want to get the whole journey of your father escorting his daughter, not just the walking down the actual aisle.  The emotion of your father being choked up before he gives you away is what we want to get which typically starts before the walk down the aisle.  These are the shots you will treasure.  It’s so much better when it’s just the 2 of you in the moment and not a 3rd party walking  and talking with you as you are walking towards the aisle. Solution: When you get to the start of the aisle have the Coordinator or Family Member wait there for you to stop for a quick second,  fluff your dress, then quickly move out of the way so the photographer can continue shooting this precious event.
  5. Worrying About the Dress  The less you worry about the dress the better your pictures will be.  I’ve seen many brides upset about a spot on her dress, and had she not made a fuss about it, no one would have ever noticed.   What is very noticeable is a worried demeanor, which negatively affects your pictures and video.  This is the day that this dress was created for, allow the dress to do its God-given function, and make you shine in the spotlight.   Your mother may be concerned about saving it to “hang it in the closet”, but this is the day we want to get creative pictures, that you will have to cherish and show people for years to come.
    Solution:  “Don’t Worry Be Happy”, ask mom would you rather have a sparkling clean dress or great creative pictures?
  6. Over-Controlling your Professionals on Your Wedding Day  Choose highly skilled wedding vendors, and make sure you communicate your wants, but resist the temptation to control every little detail.  If you have  chosen good vendors, they have probably done many weddings, and may have knowledge about certain things that you don’t.  You want to express your desired results but it usually works best if you allow the professionals to use their methods.
    Solution:  1) Pick good professionals 2) Tell them in writing your desired results 3) Let them use their methods & skills.
  7. A Small Dance Floor  People do not need a dance floor to dance.  If you can’t afford a big dance floor, then skip it.   A small dance floor can create problems with the edges, so it’s usually best to just skip the floor completely.  When you are doing group dances your movements bring you on and off a floor and can be tricky for dress shoes to navigate around the edges.
    Solution:  1) Skip the Dance Floor or 2) Rent a big dance floor.

I hope this advice helps to make your wedding day a success!