5 Things Your Photographer Must Know About Your Wedding

Last week we looked at what brides should be asking their photographers, so this week we're turning the tables. While at their heart, most weddings are the same, each couple has their own spin on the traditions that come together and make their celebration so special. With that in mind, your photographer needs to know a few things headed into your wedding in order to provide the best coverage of this important milestone.

5. Your Wedding Timeline

A wedding timeline is often more or a wish list than a reality when it comes time for the big day. People inevitably run late, things go wrong and somehow your perfectly coordinated day becomes a careful dance of compromise, improvisation and reminding your bridesmaids that they don't need to spend an extra 30 minutes on their hair once it's set.

As a wedding photographer, your wedding timeline lets me know how much time we're going to have for certain shots and what might be the best course of action to make sure we get all the formals and detail shots.

4. Your Wedding Details

There are thousands of parts that make up a great wedding. From everything that has to happen behind the scenes to the decor at the venue, it takes a lot of time and effort to pull together all of these disparate elements into one coherent whole. As a bride, you won't get to appreciate half of it on your wedding day.

That's where your wedding photographer will step in. I want to know what pieces of your wedding are the most important to you, so I can be sure to give them special attention. It's also great if you can provide us with the names of any vendors (florists, decorators, bakers).

3. Who is the most important to you

At a wedding, you want to surround yourself with friends and family, letting the people you love share in your celebration. However, some people might be a little more beloved than others.

Typically, your wedding photographer will ask you about these people when assembling a shot list. Some are obvious (the ten girls all wearing the same red dress, the guys wearing matching tuxedos) but others might not stand out as much. Maybe there's an aunt you were really close to that you haven't seen in years, or your cousins from Singapore who have flown in just for the wedding. You might not want formal shots, but a few candids could become fond memories of people that are important to you in a variety of ways.

A word of advice, I usually ask that couples attach a member o the bridal party to me when it comes time for formals to help wrangle the necessary guests and point out particular people. While I can project my voice very well (and I've been otld I have a wonderful face for radio), your wedding doesn't need me trying to yell over a DJ to get people set up for formals.

2. Albums and Prints

Modern brides in the Bay State aren't always looking for a wedding album or large prints to display, often they want a simple DVD of their images that makes it easy to share with family and friends. This is great for candid, emotional moments and intimate portraits of life on a small screen. Crafting an album or large print requires a slightly different mentality, looking for those bigger, more dramatic moments in a wedding and pushing the envelope.

So if you have a specific kind of display in mind, let your photographer know (even if it is just a cute little scene for the Thank You cards).

1. Surprises

Soemties a wedding will throw you a curveball. Some of my favorite weddigns have had little surprise touches left by the bride or groom to bring out a laugh or a smile, or remind their partner of a special moment they shared.

These moments should not come as a surprise to your wedding photographer. Just shoot me an e-mail or call me on the phone if you odn't want to spoil the surprise for your partner. That way I can be ready for that moment when it comes.

Of course, that's not all your photogrpaher needs to know about your wedding day, but it's a great start to ensuring you get the best possible wedding coverage.

- Ryan Richardson is a Massachusetts wedding photographer