Small Wedding, Great Pictures

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Today’s guest post comes to us from Open Aperture Photography (ECB/Web).

So you’re having a small wedding instead of a huge blowout.  That makes sense for a lot of reasons.  It saves money, saves time, and saves stress.

Just because you’re having a small event doesn’t mean it’s unworthy of quality professional photography.

This could be an elopement at the courthouse with just you and your two witnesses.  It could be your immediate family in attendance on the beach.  It could also be 20 of your friends and family members  at your church.

Even though it’s tiny, you’re still going to look back on the day through your memories and your photographs.  This is one of the biggest, most important days of your life.  Have it documented the right way.

You don’t need an elaborate party to make hiring a photographer worthwhile.  In fact, doing something simple and straightforward will likely make it cheaper to hire a photographer than something elaborate.  There’s less to shoot and you’ll need the photographer for less time.

Here’s what you want from your photographer at a mini-wedding:

Shoot the Ceremony: The I-Do’s are the whole reason for the day!  It wouldn’t make a ton of sense to skip getting pictures of that part.

Shoot the Formals: Formals are the traditional smile-and-say-cheese photos standing next to parents grandparents, siblings, etc.  It’s normally an important yet irritating part of wedding day but that shouldn’t be the case for you.  Since you’ll have very few people in attendance, it’ll be easy to navigate through a few of these pictures.  In fact, it might be easy enough to get a photo of everybody in attendance.

Shoot the Couples: Couples photos are the images of you and your new spouse.  These are pictures that you’re likely to hang on the wall, put on your thank you notes, and, heck, you’ll probably use one for your Facebook profile photo for the next three years.  They’re a must.

Skip Preps and Reception: Since you’re having a small event, you probably won’t need coverage of your wedding preparations (hair/makeup/getting dressed/etc.) or your minimalist reception.  There won’t be nearly as much happening at your small wedding as there would be at another bride’s huge blowout bash.  If you’re planning on doing a few of the traditionals like first dance/garter/cake cutting, then you might want to keep your photographer around for a half hour.  That way you can have that stuff documented and get them out of the way.

The best part of this is that your photographer should be relatively inexpensive.  Since you only need about two hours of their time, it should cost a few hundred dollars instead of a few thousand dollars, even for a top quality photographer.

However, on the downside, you might have a hard time getting a photographer to commit to your wedding if you choose a prime wedding date.  (Those are Saturdays in spring, summer, and fall.)  This is their living and of course they’d rather make more money than less.  They’d probably be unwilling to commit to a mini-wedding until a month or two before your date.  (That’s what we do.)  If your event doesn’t fall on one of those prime dates, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

Now is the time.  Go search for a photographer and check their availability!

Bob Mackowski, CPP is an internationally published Certified Professional Photographer and the owner of Open Aperture Photography (ECB/Web).  He’s also the owner of East Carolina Bride.


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