let's talk about lighting.
lighting is the most important aspect to a photo and thus, should be the biggest concern to the bride and groom.
unfortunately, for events, there's only so much one can do in regards to the lighting. but... if you plan ahead, then you can get the best photos on your big day!
don't get married at noon.
i know that this can be a convenient time for a ceremony, but no matter what time of year, this is the absolute worst time to take photos. the lighting is incredibly harsh and casts every sort of shadow imaginable. though a good photographer and photoshop can help get around the shadow problem to a certain extent, shadows generally make for poor pictures.
if you do have your wedding set for noon, make sure you have a lot of shade available for photos.
have a back-up plan.
even when you choose the time of your wedding (and it's not midday), i recommend doing an extra formals shoot ahead of time. i know a lot of couples are traditional in the sense of "not wanting to see the bride until she walks down the aisle", and i think that's great. but maybe consider doing some of your formals the week-of, and the photographer can snag a few precious shots of the groom's first glance at the bride in her dress. i promise... these shots will be so worth it. when you plan your formals session, you can pick a time where you can control the lighting. shooting at dusk beats shooting in the afternoon, any day, and it makes for much more elegant wedding photos! also, when you do a formals shoot ahead of the wedding, everyone will be more relaxed and look happier; though those "day of" shots are crucial and precious, the lack of wedding-day stress and time constraints make a huge difference in the outcome of the photos.
have natural light available.
the more natural light you provide your photographer in your reception hall, the easier his/her job will be! though darker reception halls can be captured with a flash and tripod, if you have the opportunity to give your photographer more natural light to work with, the classier the reception photos will be.
take a break at sunset.
there's nothing better than those romantic, sunset wedding photos. so if you can swing it, sneak away with your photographer as the sun sets to snag some lovely, silhouette-y photos. it will be a nice chance to get away from the chaos of a reception, and the photos will be stunning. guaranteed.
photo ® anna gleave photography 2011.