A Guide to Breathtaking Wedding Portraits


March 2, 2023

When it comes to wedding days and wedding photo albums one of the most common and important parts of the album are the wedding portraits. While it can seem like a simple thing to include into your day, there’s actually quite a bit of planning that has to go into it in order to make your wedding portraits flow smoothly. It’s a lot more than just setting aside some time in your day with your photographer for portraits, even though that is a crucial part of it! If you’re starting your wedding planning process and want to make sure that your wedding portraits come out breathtaking then this is the article for you.

How to Set Yourself Up for Breathtaking Wedding Portraits

Hire a Wedding Planner or Coordinator

First things first I recommend hiring a wedding planner or coordinator for your wedding day. Not only is this a huge part in making sure your wedding day portraits go off without a hitch, it also makes the entire wedding day experience much less stressful. Remember the goal of your wedding day is to celebrate and enjoy the love you two share with one another, not stress about every little detail. You shouldn’t be spending your wedding day answering texts or phone calls, directing people on where they need to be, or running any errands. Having a wedding planner or coordinator for your day means they’ll be able to take care of all of this, and ensure your wedding day runs smoothly without you even thinking about it! If you’re looking for a wedding planner in Indianapolis, Love Light Events LLC is one of my favs.

Being relaxed during your wedding day will let you actually enjoy the day and relax enough to be present when it comes time for your wedding portraits. Wedding planners are used to fast paced environments and working with the general craziness that is a wedding day, this is their profession after all! Let them wrangle your family members and get them where they need to be so you don’t have to. And if a wedding planner or coordinator isn’t in your budget DO NOT sweat it! Your family and friends are there to support you for your big day, assign and designate some jobs to the family and friends you can trust to keep your day running smoothly. Make sure you assign tasks to the people you know can handle them, and be sure you tell them EXACTLY what you expect for your wedding so they’re up to speed.

Have an Engagement Session

Before your wedding day even happens you should schedule an engagement session with your photographer. I know what you’re thinking, how does this help make sure my wedding portraits are as beautiful as I’m envisioning? Let me explain. Your engagement session is basically a wedding practice photoshoot, just without the wedding attire. This time is used not only to capture some photos of you both at this incredible time in your life, which is hugely important, but also allows us to get to know one another as well as what it’s like to work with each other.

A lot of couples have little to no experience being in front of a camera. Every photographer is different, which means working with each of them is also different. An engagement session allows us to get to know one another, as well as laugh and have fun in front of the camera, all without the pressure that inevitably comes with a wedding day.

Even though we’re thinking of your engagement session as a kind-of warm up session for your wedding, that doesn’t mean you should take it lightly. Yes we will be having fun, getting to know one another, and finding what you’re both comfortable with, but we’ll also be capturing this crucial part in your relationship. So don’t take it lightly, dress to impress! Get your clothes dry cleaned, get your engagement ring cleared, have your makeup done, anything to make you look as good as you both feel. This session is a celebration and one of the most exciting moments leading up to your wedding day. It should feel like it!

Work With Your Photographer on a Wedding Timeline

When it comes to having fantastic wedding portraits done the first thing everyone thinks of is the wedding day timeline, and while yes this is very important there’s often things that are easy to overlook. I recommend planning your wedding timeline both with your photographer as well as your wedding planner. We are the two vendors that have experience with a full wedding day, and in turn both know what will and won’t work for a timeline. As far as the actual time goes for portraits I HIGHLY recommend going with your photographer’s recommendation as they’re the ones that will be taking the photos and will know how much time is needed for what you want.

As you plan out your timeline and your wedding portraits make sure you have a list together of the photos you need, who you’ll need to be present, and where you want them taken. It’s important that both you and your partner are present during this call so everyone is on the same page too! Once you, your photographer, and wedding planner all have a plan in place, talk with your wedding parties and family so they know the plan and can help you to make sure your wedding day runs smoothly.

Getting Ready and Hair and Makeup Order

Hair and Makeup is an essential part of looking and feeling your best on your wedding day which is crucial for looking the way you envision for your wedding portraits. One thing I always recommend when it comes time for hair and makeup though is that you avoid going first or last. Avoid going first so that your hair and makeup artists have a chance to warm up before working with you. You’ll also want to avoid going last so that there’s no crunch for time while getting ready. This also allows you to take your time and enjoy the morning getting ready with all your bridesmaids, as well as sneak in a first look with them once you’re all ready if you want!

Prep Your Getting Ready Space

As important as the posed portraits are with your soon to be spouse, your friends, and your family, some of the best portraits from your wedding day come from getting ready with your besties. Getting ready with the hype and support of your favorite people is always such a fun part of the wedding experience, and the portraits taken both prior to getting ready as well as after are often some of the favorites you’ll find in your wedding album.

With this being the case it’s important that your getting ready space is clean and orderly so that the background for these portraits is looking as good as you are. Not only is this good for your portraits, but it also makes for a better getting ready experience too! Set up a designated area for you and your bridesmaids to keep your things so that any unwanted objects are out of sight and out of mind for your photos.

Write Your Vows Ahead of Time 

While not something that will directly impact your wedding day portraits, writing your vows ahead of time will drastically reduce any stress you feel on your wedding day. No matter how you set up your wedding day and what your timeline looks like, it always feels like your wedding day FLIES by. Writing your vows beforehand not only lets you really think them through and write them more from the heart, but also allows you not to worry about them the day of. Even if you tend to procrastinate, and even feel that you perform well under that kind of pressure, trust me you should still write your vows prior to your wedding day. Making your day as low stress as possible is so important to enjoying your day, which leads to breathtaking wedding portraits.

Avoid Distractions

Last but not least, to the best of your abilities avoid distractions on your wedding day. Silence your phone or have one of your wedding party members be in charge of it. Don’t have too many people in your getting ready space. Create a playlist to listen to of all your favorite songs to get you in the right headspace for your day. Focus on enjoying yourselves and the ride that is your wedding day, and not only will you end up with incredible wedding portraits, but also a wedding day you’ll love in the moment and look back on with joy for years to come!

As you can see there’s a ton you can do to set yourself up for success in terms of having beautiful wedding portraits, and a fabulous wedding experience overall. For more wedding day tips be sure to keep an eye on my blog page, and if you’re looking for a photographer for your wedding day head to my contact page to send me an inquiry!


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