Sure, hindsight is 20/20. But when it comes to weddings, there are plenty of people who have been there before you. Why not let others guide you away from the mistakes they made? That’s exactly what we thought. So, voila, welcome to the first installment of 20/20 Wedding.
Today, we’ll be talking about photos. My advice: do not undervalue your photos. Your wedding day is just that—a day. The photos are what you keep forever, what you use to remember the moments and what you eventually show to your grandkids (finger’s crossed).
What I’m Glad We Did: Photo Booth
When we first started planning our wedding, something I frequently said to friends, vendors and my partner alike was, “I don’t really care what happens, as long as we have a photo booth. That’s my only demand.” As it turns out, it was a good one. The booth was a giant hit with our guests and provided some of the very best pictures we got.
My advice: don’t skimp. Unless you have a very crafty, photo-savvy friend who can help you DIY one really well, rent a real booth from a company that specializes in them. The services that come with these companies (like customized designs and free digital hosting of the shots after the event) are invaluable additions. We used the Majestic Photo Booth Company.
What I’m Glad We Did: Found a Rising Star to be Our Photog
Everyone has a photographer friend, but do you really want to make that guy be your wedding photographer? We didn’t. That said, we also didn’t want to pay tons of money. Enter Craigslist.
There are tons of brilliant wedding photographers just getting started and they’re all trying to build their portfolios. We put a brief but specific ad up online and had hundreds (about 300, to be more precise) of interested photogs within a few days. We got that list down to the five we liked best, then sat down and spoke with each before making a decision. The result: we found a rising star who was still at the beginning of his career and, so, still affordable.
What I Would Have Done Differently: Table Portraits
My number one photo regret about our wedding is that we didn’t manage to get a shot of every single guest in attendance. I realized wayyyyy after the fact that this could have been accomplished easily using table portraits.
Even though I was convinced that I had come up with this concept on my own in a face palm moment a few months after the wedding, apparently table portraits are a thing that people do. It’s simple really—have your photographer go around to each table and take a shot. I REALLY wish we had thought of this and asked for it.
What I Would Have Done Differently: Leveraged Instagram
Recently, I heard a genius story of a couple who asked their guests to post to Instagram using a specific hashtag (ie. #JackandJill). All night long, people posted pictures to the app, which basically turned the tag into an Internet-age disposable camera , complete with instant gratification. Another plus: all the pictures from the guests were online and easy to grab for future albums.
This might be tricky for you, as it was for us, if your ceremony and reception are going to be held in a place where only some people get signal. Still, worth a shot. Make a hashtag and print it on your programs, then watch the fabulous shots roll in.