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July 29, 2022

10 Tips for Magazine Worthy Wedding Photos

If you are looking for ethereal and timeless images, follow these 10 tips for magazine worthy wedding photos.

10 Tips for Magazine Worthy Wedding Photos | Colleen Anne Lennehan Photography
CT Fine Art Wedding Photographer | Wedding Flat Lay

“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” | OSCAR WILDE

On your wedding day, you will be both. And if you follow these 10 tips for magazine-worthy wedding photos, you will look back with no regrets. As a fine art wedding photographer, I view a scene in many ways. Where is the light? What color is that light? What is the emotion? Can anything be added or taken away to enhance it? Wedding days are enchanting. A lot of time, effort, money, and decision goes into this one day. And what, other than your sweet memories, will you have to remember it by? Ah, your photos.

Aside from your venue, and the overall design of the day, the biggest vendor you will book is your photographer. Are you moody or into the current trends? Perhaps you want someone extremely editorial? Or you insist in having 4 photographers there, not a moment to miss! Booking a photographer that aligns with your vision and values is so important. Do your research, (my favorite search method is to look through Instagram hashtags, like #CTWeddingPhotographer, #CTFineArtWeddingPhotographer, #NewportWeddingPhotographer, etc.) and trust that they will capture the day with their artistic eye.

Now, there are a few things that you can do to help curate a beautiful gallery-and they all take place before the wedding…

Ten Tips for Magazine Worthy Wedding Photos

Tip No. One

Choose a ceremony location with nice even light. Now, if you’re indoors this isn’t really in your control, but if you’re planning for an outdoor ceremony, and have control over where it’s set-up, consider taking a look at the spot during your intended start time. Is half if it in dark shade and the other is getting blasted with light? Even light is best, and the most ideal is having the sun directly behind the couple.

Tip No. Two

Colors are so incredibly important. They convey a feeling, and can alter moods. Your color scheme should reflect the two of you in some way. Don’t just pick something because that’s what you see is “in” right now. If your venue is a historic manor with manicured gardens, perhaps buttercream yellows and whites will be breath-taking. If you have a consistent color scheme, this will help your photographer prep for any detail shots (more on this later).

Tip No. Three

I could get lost inside a garden rose head. Scents can be so intoxicating and take you right back to a memory. If you’re looking for a wow-feature when it comes to flowers, consider using high-end stems in your bouquet and ceremony florals (both are photographer A LOT). Planning out show-stopping flowers, with the help of an experienced florist, will all but guarantee your photos look perfect. As an extra tip, ask your florist for a few extra flowers that the photographer can use the morning-of for flat lay photos. I recently published a blog on how to elevate your wedding flowers, which can be read here!

Tip No. Four

If you are a CAL Couple, that has either had or is planning a wedding with me, you have heard this emphasized so much. Timelines are key to a perfect day. Go over your timeline with your photographer way ahead of time, and then a few times leading up until the day. I personally make custom timelines for each couple, allowing for plenty of buffer time in between each “moment” of the day. You never want to feel rushed, and your photographer will do everything they can to make the day smooth, which in return creates more relaxed photos.

Tip No. Five

Where are you getting ready? Now, not everyone can have total control over this, but it’s still worth mentioning. If you want those bright getting ready photos with beautiful billowing light-you need to book a room that offers it. Most hotels are pretty standard, but ask if the suite provides a few more windows. I find the best lighting comes from venues deemed as mansions, manors, and any type of inn. They usually have larger windows or french doors, and bigger more romantic rooms! You can even consider an Air BNB or similar type of property that fits your style. (For those in CT, the Haley Mansion is perfection for getting ready)

10 Tips for Magazine Worthy Wedding Photos | Colleen Anne Lennehan Photography
Colleen Anne Lennehan Photography | Glen Manor House

Tip No. Six

Details. It’s all about the little details. I mentioned flat lays earlier-this is referring to those aerial shots of detail items. Your invitations, rings, flowers, heirloom items…etc. I always ask my couples to gather the following items and have them bagged or boxed for my arrival: rings (all three), jewelry, shoes, veil, heirloom items, invitation suite (multiple copies + envelopes), paper products, favors, perfume, cologne, tie, and flowers. You can ask your florist for a few stems! Having all these small items organized ahead of time will cut down on any morning-of chaos of digging in bags for each item.

Tip No. Seven

Consider the light. Your photographer will absolutely focus on this and have a game plan, but it’s helpful for the couple to be aware as well. You may love your venues lush garden for family photos, but if that garden is in direct sunlight during family photos-you might want to reconsider the location. It’s always a better option to base a spot on the light rather than the overall look. Take note of any locations at your venue that you love and provide it to your photographer. They can then decide which spot will be most flattering at different times of the day!

Tip No. Eight

Plan for golden hour or sunset portraits. Yes, you will be tired of smiling. But you will not regret stepping away for 15 minutes with your new husband or wife to soak it in. Watch the sun set on your wedding day-you will never see that again. Enjoy just the two of you, you won’t be alone much that day. Make sure to schedule this into the final timeline-even if you have to scoot from dinner or the dance floor to make it happen. You will get some of the most beautiful photos out of the entire day in those few minutes.

Tip No. Nine

Prep your body the day before. Seems easy enough, but drink plenty of water and eat a nice big dinner. In the morning, eat a real breakfast (that will sustain you until cocktail hour-most couples don’t have time to sit down for lunch), and drink even more water. Plan for this. Either order food ahead of time, or stock the getting ready rooms with enough to go around. There is nothing worse than that empty stomach feeling when you’re supposed to be full of smiles. I also suggest having Liquid IV on hand. I drink them during weddings and they truly save me, especially in the hot, hot New England summers.

Tip No. Ten

Let the moment happen. You’ve planned and prepped and taken my advice. Now, when the day comes-let it come. If things go awry, don’t fret. Your professional vendors are there to help. If a plan gets altered or you’re running late, it is perfectly fine. The best photos are of those with a blissful couple.

10 Tips for Magazine Worthy Wedding Photos | Colleen Anne Lennehan Photography | Real Wedding
Colleen Anne Lennehan Photography | Chamard Vineyards

Ultimately, the day will happen exactly as it should. But, with the help of these ten tips, you will end up with an entire gallery of magazine worthy photos. And for those needing even m o r e inspiration, check out this Pinterest board which is gushing beauty!

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