Ten Things That Will Ruin Your Wedding Photography
Jen Causey-Kidder
Jen Causey-Kidder November 13, 2014

Top 10 | Things That Will Ruin Your Wedding Photography

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One of the best days you will have after your wedding, is the day that you get to see your photography. Photography is the only physical evidence you will have of your event, so it’s important to choose a photographer that you trust and admire. It’s also important to plan out the look of your event from a photography stand point. Beyond your beautiful dress and amazing decor, there are a few things that you don’t typically think about when considering your photographer capturing your day. Since we see gorgeous (and not so gorgeous) wedding photography on a daily basis we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things that are out of your photographers control, that can ruin your images in a snap.

Ten Things That Will Ruin Your Wedding Photography

The images below are NOT examples of “ruined” shots but of photography done right!

1. Bad Scheduling

There is nothing worse than rushing, especially on the morning of your wedding or through your wedding photography. Make sure to thoroughly discuss your wedding day timeline with your photographer, hair stylist/make-up artist and wedding planner to confirm that you have allotted enough time for everyone to get ready and to take all the necessary photography. This is a vital part of your day running smoothly. Make a wedding timeline and appoint a bridesmaid to make sure that the entire morning is running on time. It only happens once and you want to make sure that there is enough time for everything, especially photography.

Free wedding timeline printable

Get this FREE wedding timeline printable from our DIY tutorial here.

2. Ugly Hotel Decor

Nothing ruins getting ready shots and portraits more than ugly hotel decor and carpet. Not that there is much you can do about the carpet in your hotel room or the pattern of the bed spread, but it’s something to consider. The reason that Jose Villa and Elizabeth Messina’s getting ready and boudoir shots look so etherial is because of the venue decor. If having stunning pictures of your wedding dress hanging somewhere beautiful or your shoes on a lovely chair is what you are looking for, be specific in choosing the location where you will get ready. If all else fails you can have your photographer turn the images black and white.

Gorgeous wedding "getting ready" shot

Image from The Not Wedding Cape Cod.

3. Your Officiant

It’s your first kiss as Mr & Mrs and your officiant is photo-bombing you. No one wants this and unfortunately it happens all the time, it’s the nature of the set up. To avoid this you can have your officiant step off to the side quickly or you can have your photographer(s) shoot your “kiss” shot from a low angle or side angle, hoping to avoid the ministers head right between yours.

You may now kiss the bride

Image from bycherry photography via Something Turquoise.

4. Chords and Microphones

Chords and microphones are a very necessary part of lighting and sound for your ceremony and reception, but they can quickly ruin a shot. Some sound equipment like headset microphones for your officiant can easily be used or rented instead of floor stand microphones. You can use flower arrangements, loose flowers or greenery to cover some equipment and even a table cloth will work sometimes for chords. This is something to chat about with your wedding planner and lighting/sound specialists.

Cover your wedding microphone with flowers

Image from Colin Miller via Collin Cowie Weddings.

5. The Sun

The sun. Did you know that there are certain times of the day that are optimal for photography? The hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset are two of the best times for taking portraits. Getting married under a tree in the afternoon? Spotty light streaming through the leaves can cast horrible shadows across your faces. Full sun ceremony? Either the bride, groom or guests will have the sun in their eyes. The sun will be something that you should discuss with your photographer in depth before your event. You can even visit your venue together to experience what the sun will be like during the exact time of your event.

Bridal party in the sun wearing fun sunglasses

Image from Ashley Rae Photography via Rustic Folk Weddings.

6. Your Guests

We are huge fans of having your guests share their images of your wedding by using a hashtag, or other sharing apps, but some times guests can get in the way of your professional photographer. To avoid having your guests phones or tablets in your professional wedding images (especially during your ceremony), you can make a sign like this to discourage their use.

"Unplugged" wedding sign

Image from POPography via Project Wedding.

7. Unruly Bridal Party

It can be a very hard job for your photographer to wrangle your bridal party. Sometimes it’s as bad as herding cats. If you are worried that your bridal party might be a tad on the wild side, have a talk with them before hand about listening to your photographer. Every time someone doesn’t listen, look or smile it takes more time and effort for your photographer to get what he/she needs. You can lead by example and help your photographer get your bridal party to cooperate. If you’ve ever been in a large bridal party, you know what we mean.

Lauren Conrads Wedding Party

Image from US Weekly.

8. Tan Lines

As the bride tan lines are a huge no-no. For at least 3 months leading up to your wedding, don’t layout in a bathing suit that has a different neckline than your wedding dress – the easiest solve for this is strapless. Ask your bridesmaids to do the same, maybe even buy simple strapless bathing suits and sunscreen for them as encouragement. Extreme tan lines take away from the beauty of a portrait.

Beautiful bride and her pastel green bridesmaids

Image from Elisabeth Millay Photography via Elizabeth Ann Designs

9. Alcohol

Alcohol makes your face sloppy so take the majority of your portraits before you have too many drinks. It’s your wedding day and we know you want to celebrate but you don’t want photographic proof that you had too many cocktails. As the bride and groom, a good rule for being able to enjoy drinks throughout the day is “one drink – one water; repeat”. Also make sure to EAT. There is nothing like the feeling of being the bride or groom, it’s intoxicating enough and people will just keep handing you drinks so it can sneak up on you fast.

Chalkboard cocktail board

Image from Laura Murray Photography via Bridal Guide

10. Food + Break

Last up, feed your photographers and give them a break! It’s a very long day for them and they need nourishment to keep on going. Trust us, a photographer with a full belly and a tiny break is a happy photographer. The happier the photographer the better your images will be.

Wedding photographer working in hard

Image of Daniel Moyer Photography via DPNAK Weddings

Take some time to digest these tips, decide how they might impact your special day and do yourself a favor by discussing them with your wedding professionals!

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