Photos and Words by: Shawn Taylor
"Should I make a shot list for my photographer?"
Many photographers have been to hundreds of weddings - they usually understand how a wedding day flows. From hair and make up to late night shenanigans - photographers and videographers have a front row seat to the entire day - they have seen what works and what doesn't - your photographer can usually offer great advice and will know what works well when it comes to timing and flow of the day.
There are basically only a handful of ways most wedding days flow - we can help you make sure your day flows as smoothly as possible. We see most days from start to finish - every wedding is different - but we can usually help you avoid / deal with common issues - basically most couples do this once - many of us have done this hundreds of times - we can help you make your wedding day timeline run as smoothly as possible.
You shouldn't feel any need to hand your photographer a list from a magazine or a website - ideally you want your photographer looking through their viewfinder and not at a clipboard.
Most photographers will take thousands of photos throughout the day - if you have spent money on something or taken the time to make something happen we are going to capture it - if there is something totally random it would make sense to mention or make special note but generally speaking - you shouldn't have to hand you photographer a list with like - 'Shot #132: Bride walking down aisle.' - if you feel the need to tell your photographer they need to take a photo of you walking down the aisle its probably best to consider another photographer.
There is one list I appreciate in helping make the day run more smoothly - and that is the list of the family formal groupings - by name - it allows your photographer to herd cats efficiently during family formals - it ensures that part of day runs super smoothly and that you won't miss the combinations that are most important to you and your fiancé.
A family formal shot list also helps you to mathematically figure out how much time you need for formals - 5 groupings - 15 groupings - 50 groupings - at roughly 3 minutes per grouping - these all take different amounts of time - knowing your combos ahead of time allows you to budget your time efficiently and ensure no one is left out.
"It is so important to be present. The day goes by very fast."
Take some time for just the two of you to sneak away before the end of the night.
I always take 10 minutes towards the end of the night to be alone with my couples - not only do we capture some unique after sunset images - but it also gives them a ten minute break to be alone - they are a celebrities for the day - and everyone wants their time - its important for them to take some time for themselves.
"You will never regret doing you."
Do you. Make decisions based on what you and your fiancé want - not what your great aunt says should happen. There are no rules. Well okay maybe a few - but do you.
Have someone who has been to a bunch of weddings look over your timeline - there are a few small tips and tricks that can help make your day flow smoothly.
If you hire a photographer or videographer talk to them about things - they have seen everything from prep to dance floor many many times - they know what works and pitfalls to avoid.
I can't stress being present enough - don't try to micro manage every minute of the day - come your wedding day the planning is over - let your hair and makeup team, your officiant, your photographer, your DJ and venue staff do what they do best - enjoy your day - take it in.
"You'll blink and it will be over."