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Wedding Media - Photographers/Videographers

- How to Find a Good One
- Picture List
- Do I Need One?

- Back to the Planning Guide

How to Find a Good One
Here are some of the most classic pictures that you will want for your wedding. The best idea is to print this page out (or copy it into another program) and cross out what pictures you don't want and add anything you can think of that you would want.
Getting Ready
  • Bride's clothes hanging on the wardrobe, on the bedpost, or over a chair
  • Bridesmaids doing bride's hair and makeup
  • Bride and bridesmaids getting dressed, applying makeup
  • Mom helping bride with one last detail, such as veil
  • Full-length shot of bride in gown checking herself out in mirror
  • Detail of clothing, shoes, garter, something borrowed, something blue
  • Touching shot of bride with parent(s) and/or stepparent(s)
  • Touching shot of bride with sibling(s)
  • Bride hugging honor attendant
  • Bride with bridesmaids
  • Bride with all the women
  • Groom getting ready with Dad and pals (tying the tie is a classic)
  • Touching shot of groom with parent(s) and/or stepparent(s)
  • Touching shot of groom with sibling(s)
  • Groom with his arm affectionately around best man
  • Groom with all the groomsmen
  • Groomsmen putting on boutonnieres or bowties
  • Intimate shots of bride and groom with parents and siblings pre-ceremony
  • Dad whispering last-minute advice to groom
  • Groom ready to go
  • Bride ready to go
  • Bride and groom separately making their way to the ceremony
The Ceremony
  • Guests streaming into the site
  • Ushers escorting guests to their seats
  • Ushers escorting moms to their seats (Christian wedding)
  • Close-up of groom's adorably nervous mug waiting for his other half
  • Bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle
  • Flower girl and/or ring bearer entering
  • Honor attendant walking down the aisle
  • Grandparents walking down the aisle (Jewish wedding)
  • Wedding party waiting at the altar
  • Groom walking down the aisle
  • Bride and Dad/escort/parents (Jewish wedding) walking down the aisle
  • Close-up of bride just before she makes her entrance
  • Bride and groom at the altar
  • Altar or canopy from the back during ceremony
  • Wide shot of audience during ceremony, from bride and groom's point of view
  • Faces of bride and groom as they exchange vows
  • Close-up of bride's and groom's hands as they exchange rings
  • The kiss
  • Bride and groom proceeding up the aisle, guests' smiling faces at their sides
  • Bride and groom outside ceremony site
  • Congrats shots: bride and groom hugging, laughing, and crying with good friends and family
  • Bride and groom leaving ceremony site
  • Bride and groom in limo backseat
Before the Reception
(Note: You can also take these before the ceremony)
  • Bride and groom together
  • Bride with her happy, proud parents and/or stepparents
  • Bride with her entire immediate family
  • Groom with his happy, proud parents and/or stepparents
  • Groom with his entire immediate family
  • Bride and groom with all parents
  • Bride and groom with immediate family members from both sides
  • Bride and groom with groomsmen
  • Bride and groom with bridesmaids
  • Bride and groom with whole wedding party
The Reception
  • Shot from outside reception site (to set the tone)
  • Reception details such as place cards, guest book, centerpieces, decorations, etc.
  • Bride and groom arriving
  • Receiving-line moments
  • Bride and groom at head table
  • Parents' table
  • Guests' tables
  • Close-up of friends and family making toasts
  • Bride and groom sipping champagne
  • Bride's and groom's parents whispering to each other during dinner
  • Bride and groom chatting up the guests
  • Bride and groom's first dance
  • Parents dancing
  • Bride and Dad dancing
  • Groom and Mom dancing
  • Wedding party dancing
  • Grandparents dancing
  • Kids playing or dancing
  • Musicians or DJ doing their thing
  • Guests going nuts on the dance floor (again, slow-shutter speed could be effective)
  • Bride laughing with bridesmaids
  • Cake table
  • Bride and groom cutting the cake
  • Bride and groom feeding each other cake
  • Dessert table
  • Bouquet toss (perhaps a vertical shot from in front of the bride)
  • Tossing and catching of the garter
  • Bride and groom leaving, waving from getaway car's backseat
  • Rear of car departing
Don't forget that there is virtually no way for the photographer to remember to take all of these pictures and/or have the perfect opportunity to take them, so don't have a tantrum when you get the proofs and a couple shots are missing. Just be realistic about it and hope for the best.
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Picture List

One of the most fun parts about being a bride is being the center of attention at the bridal shower. The bridal shower is a great place to hang out with your female family and friends (as well as future family). Everyone brings a gift at this party- which makes it even more fun because you can open all the gifts in front of everyone. The party is usually held at the most two months from the wedding. This means you can have it any time between the day before and two months before the wedding.

The bridal shower is typically hosted by the maid of honor. Of course, it can also be hosted by your mom, sister, aunt, or whoever else you (or your maid of honor) would like. Generally, whoever hosts the party pays for the party. However, it is not uncommon for all of the bridesmaids to pitch in if it is going to be a particularly expensive occasion. Remember, the shower can be anything from a picnic at the park, to a day at a beauty spa, to a formal dinner at a banquet hall.

One of the best things about the bridal shower is that it typically has a theme, and hence the presents you get will have a theme. This theme will usually coordinate with wherever you decided to hold the party, and is usually associated with the brides personality and tastes. As for the gifts- it is etiquette-ly okay to describe on the invitation what the guest should bring. For example, if you were to have a garden theme, you may ask the guests to give gardening tools, seeds, or garden decorations as gifts.

Typically, you'll want to invite only those people who you are really close with (and who your fiance is really close with). If the shower is going to be a surprise, you can always consult with your maid of honor (or alternative hostess) as to who you want invited. Make sure you give them a list of addresses as well so that they don't have to track them down. Some people think it is good to send invitations to those who you know will not be able to make it (because of distance), however, it is completely up to you who to invite, and if you think those out-of-towners will feel bad getting an invitation to something they can't go to- don't send it.

Some people are starting to get into having couple showers instead of a bridal shower. This is where the fiance is invited and the guests list consists of both male and female friends and family. No matter which way you choose to do it, make sure you have fun and enjoy the attention you'll be getting!

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Do I Need One?

When you are figuring out your budget, you may realize that photography and videography account for about 12% of your overall costs. After seeing this, many brides choose to exclude videography and allocate that money to another item on the budget. Some brides even exclude a photographer on the basis that they are placing disposable cameras on each table for guests to take pictures with. This idea is not good. Here are the advantages of having a photographer or videographer (of course the disadvantage is cost).

Photographer - A wedding should not take place without a photographer. Even if it's your uncle, cousin, roommate, or someone you met off the street, you need a photographer. What about disposable cameras? This question is very common, but there are many disadvantages to disposable cameras. First of all, they are not as good quality as the pictures a photographer's camera can make. Second of all, the people taking the pictures are not as experienced as a photographer. Third of all, guests do not want to spend time taking formal (posed) pictures of you and your families.

A photographer will be able to think of great poses or locations a lot better than you or your guests could. They are also skilled at making sure a picture looks good- symmetry, all faces visible, nothing cut off, etc. Plus, many photographers will be able to offer you a basic package that may be something like: 2 hours of shooting, 1 11x14, 1 8x10, and 30 pictures in a basic album. This type of package will be sufficient for your wedding photo needs and you will get professional pictures that are professionally developed.

Videographer - You're in luck; videography is completely optional at a wedding. Since prices start somewhere upwards of $1,000, you may want to exclude this cost and spend a little extra on your pre-wedding pampering. However, you'll want to read these advantages first. The main advantage is that you are able to capture both the sight and sound (and essentially, the mood) of the wedding day. Many videographers can do special effects that will play your favorite songs during the video, have family interviews spliced in, etc. You're sure to love the video no matter what.

A videographer can often get some better shots than a photographer can because the camera is always on, so you don't have the wait for a flash, or changing a lens. Also, videographers can catch more of a candid view of your wedding. Since most photography is posed, it doesn't really show the feeling of the day. With videography, you get to see the bride's spontaneous smile, the groom leaning in for a kiss, the flower girl dancing with the ring bearer, and much more. Even if you just have Dad bring his video camera, you'll be glad you got some real action from the wedding.

So, cutting to the chase- Yes, you do need a photographer, and No, you do not need a videographer. However, both of these have great advantages, so you will want to review those before making any set-in-stone decisions.

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