Wedding season is almost upon us, and for all the brides-to-be out there, it can be a very stressful time! I remember when I got married in 2017, the last few months before the wedding were the craziest because there was soooo much to organize. From nailing down the day-of timeline to compiling information for all of my vendors, there was a lot to do. I’ve been there, and I know that it can be an overwhelming time!
You know what can make this time worse? Not knowing what information you need to give to which vendor. Yikes! And while I know most photographers out there are pretty organized and on top of things, you might find yourself wondering what information your photographer needs before the wedding day.
Your photographer is the one vendor (other than a wedding coordinator, if you’ve hired one) that is going to be with you throughout your whole wedding day. Because of this, your photographer needs a bit more information than other vendors to help your day run smoothly! To help you out, I’ve created a list of the 4 things your photographer needs one month before your wedding:
1. The Timeline
While arguably not really a list, this is the most important thing to give your photographer! You should send your photographer your finalized (or as close to finalized as possible) day-of timeline as soon as you can, but ideally no less than 2 weeks out from your wedding date. Your timeline needs to be specific, including your photographer’s exact start and finish times. If possible, you should also include what kinds of photos you hope to have done during specific time slots.
You need to be specific in your timeline because your photographer needs to ensure that they will be able to capture all the photos you want with the amount of time they have. Things like family formals, or any other large-group photos, can take a long time, and your photographer will have a good idea whether or not you’ve allotted enough time. It’s a good idea to get the timeline to your photographer as soon as you can, because then if anything needs to be adjusted you’ll have time to make those changes.
2. The VIP List
Obviously your wedding day is all about you and your partner, but there are other important people there with you on your big day! I always ask for a VIP list – this is your list of important people, including your bridal party, as well as both sets of your parents, siblings, and grandparents.
Your photographer is going to need to know the first names of the important people involved in your day – this is because it is much easier to direct people during large group photos (like family formals and bridal party photos) when the photographer knows them by name. And easier direction means you get the photos quicker, which means more time spent enjoying each other’s company!
3. Your Must-Have Shot List
Most photographers already have an idea of the typical wedding-day photos that they will plan to capture on your day – so don’t worry, you don’t need to remind your photographer to grab a picture of you and your partner cutting the cake together! It is a good idea for you to go through a typical shot list, though, and see if there are any particular photos you want your photographer to place special emphasis on – you can check out my essential wedding day shot list here.
What you want to send your photographer is this: a list of your must-have shots if they are anything out of the ordinary, and a list of particular groupings for family formals. Think about it – you know your family way better than your photographer, so you’re going to know which family groupings are most important to capture. Plus, if you compile a list for your photographer, you can spend less time figuring out who you need to gather and more time taking those photos.
4. Your Vendor List
Personally, I leave this last one as an optional list to send, but some photographers place high emphasis on it… and for good reason! There are a ton of people that work hard so that your wedding day can be as perfect as you envision it. Why wouldn’t you want to give credit to those people? If you send your vendor list to your photographer, they can share photos with your other vendors, which is a win-win for everyone.
Some vendors to include, if applicable, are: venue, wedding coordinator, bridal attire, groom attire, hair and makeup artist, florist, cake artist, caterers, event rentals, and so on!
There you have it! 4 simple lists that (hopefully!) shouldn’t take too much time to compile. And trust me, that little bit of extra effort will make your wedding day run so much smoother – which gives you more time to enjoy the magic of your day.
I hope this helped calm a little bit of the pre-wedding stress! If you have any questions for me, please leave them down below or send me an email!