1. Bring a Chair

Your wedding budget may not have room for a full rental of hundreds of guest chairs. But having a few nicer chairs/stools on hand in your getting ready room or in your reception space can be a big help for your photographer on your wedding day. It's a smaller detail, but a few unique seating options can be a great addition for getting ready and group photos.

Model: Annie Lam

Venue: Bloomfield Meadows

Dress: White of Dublin

Asian woman stands behind a ghost chair holding a sola wood bouquet in a wedding dress

2. Make a Mementos Box Early

Stationery, ring photos, heirlooms, and other smaller details are easy to overlook on your wedding day. I recommend for couples to make a box/tote full of the items they would like styled and photographed with florals during the "getting ready" photos. Items can be labeled 'Deliver to: ring bearer/best man" if it is an item that will be needed in the getting ready process. The box also helps you keep copies of invitations and other items you may want to keep track of after your wedding day.

Jewelry, shoes, ties, florals, wedding invitations, marriage license, family rings, family photographs and other heirlooms are all items you may want to include. I have a supply of styling items such as silver trays, record players, velvet ring boxes, silk ribbon and other props I will have in my wedding kit if a couple has getting ready photo time allotted in their day-of schedule.

3. Locations? Make it Personal!

Your wedding is YOUR wedding. I always suggest couples think of places that are meaningful to them when they are composing their photo list. First date at the pinball parlor? Give them a call and see if they would mind you snapping a few photos in their location for the free social media shoutouts! Small businesses are often very accommodating when you let them know you would like their business to be a small part of your special day.

Think beyond those typical photo worthy landmarks and think about your own personal love story when choosing photo spots.

Superelectric Pinball Parlor, Aimee Alessi Beauty - makeup Becca Frick - styling | Models: Tasha Brandt, Danny Simpson

just married couple in front of a pinball machine at Superelectric Pinball in Cleveland

4. Family Management

Worried about family drama on your wedding day? A well crafted photo list can help you manage situations without stepping on any toes. I recommend for couples to think about family groupings for pictures and possible trouble spots in advance of the wedding. It is very easy for me to snap a photo you may not necessarily use or display if it helps to avoid any hard feelings, or keeps people from feeling left out on your day.

a row of fancy wedding shoes in blue with sparkles

5. Photo Styles Explained in a Minute

Light and Airy, Dark and Moody, Earthy and Matte....What the actual heck is up with all of these names of photo styles? These "styles" actually refer to the finishing/editing results. Light and airy emulates bright summer light no matter what time of year. Dark and Moody will often emulate a darker fall type of feel with deep shadows and rich colors and a more matte feel.

My photo style is what I describe as a vibrant, true to life and seasonal. Sometimes described as a bit more timeless and classic style. I have a light hand when I'm editing and my photos reflect the light of whatever season we are capturing your event. If you choose an engagement session at sunset in the fall your photos will have a warmer glow, some more dramatic colors and some richer tones. If you have a July wedding you will have bright light and fewer evening photos since sunset isn't until 9 p.m.

Knowing your desired style of photography is one of the first steps to choosing your ideal photographer for your wedding day.

(The photo on the left is reflective of the Shiny Penny Studios Editing Style)

6. Go Team!

Your photographer is on your team! Don't be afraid to reach out to them to talk about your photo locations or any other type of planning information and ideas you need. I have YEARS of location scouting information and sunset times ready to share with you on your planning journey. I am more than happy to talk thought all of these details with you or your wedding planner to come up with the ideal locations for your engagement and wedding photos.

couple stands in front of the Cleveland Browns Stadium

7. How Many Hours Do We Need?

Do we really need a photographer all day?

Some picture loving couples want all-day wedding coverage and ample time to capture their entire day from sunrise to the last dance. Some couples find that having a couple hours of family and ceremony photos is more than enough. All options are totally right! A two-hour elopement package may be just the right size for a backyard ceremony while 8-hours may not be enough for your large ceremony with hundreds of guests. I offer customizable packages and couples can add time, a second photographer, or an engagement session so you get exactly what you need. More hours equates to more coverage of guests, details, and candid moments while less hours means your photographer will focus on key important moments of your ceremony and couples photos.

couple stand in front of Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio

8. Tiny Items = Big Deals

Day-of Necessities, Small things that make a big difference!

Bandaids, bobby pins, Fashion Tape, glue dots, pain reliever, clear nail polish, super glue, boutonniere pins, antacids, lighter, allergy pills, granola bars, gummy bears, hair elastics, tweezers, and nail clippers.

This is my list of items I will always make sure I have stocked and packed in my day-of wedding "go" bag. Almost every wedding I use one or more of these items. One wedding last summer I found myself giving out gummy bears to a fussy flower girl, a granola bar to a fussy groomsman, hair elastics to all of the bridesmaids and the lighter to help with getting the sparklers lit for the sparkler send-off.

9. Let it Rain

Umbrellas - they can make or break your wedding photos. While you can't control the weather, you can easily invest in some decorative or classic umbrellas for you and your wedding party. I always carry two classic black umbrellas for couples to use, but you may have a bridal party to think about as well.

Makeup: Aimee Alessi Beauty

Florals: Nicole Mae Floral

Styling: Becca Frick

Umbrella: Etsy

10. Dream Venue for a Dreamy Price

Dream wedding venues can often come with dream price tags. However, most venues will offer "photography venue use" packages. A number of Cleveland area music halls, museums and gardens will allow you to take photographs at their location for an hourly use rental fee. Renting a lobby for an hour is a nominal expense that will provide an amazing photo venue at a fraction of the cost of hosting your event at that space.

couple stands in the middle of Severance Hall lobby illuminated by sunlight

Ready to learn more?

If you're on your wedding planning journey and would like information about my wedding photography packages visit my contact page.