Wedding photographer

Make wedding memories with photographs

Stunningly beautiful wedding picture of the groom dipping the bride at dusk outdoors at Potomac’s Bolger Center in Maryland.

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your entire life, and you’re going to want to be able to relive and remember it 10 days after, 10 months after, 10 years after, and when your children and grandchildren are getting married.  Yet, no matter how good your memory is, as the years pass, your recollection of this exciting and joyful period of your life will naturally fade. So as you plan your wedding day, here are 10 ideas to help you remember your wedding day.

Create Lifelong Memories With Great Wedding Photographer

Journal every part of your wedding journey

Journal every aspect of your wedding & beyond.

1. Keep a journal of the period from your engagement to your wedding day, and even of your honeymoon.  

Pick up a journal like this Bride-to-Be Book, and start recording all the big and little things you experience as you plan your wedding, including your impressions, thoughts about the significance, feelings, and of course the fun things you and your partner do to celebrate your special engagement period.

2. Choose to make wedding photography one of the highest priorities of your wedding planning.  

New York photographer Richie Schwartz wrote about his experience evacuating his home before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.  As he loaded his car, he looked around him and took stock of his neighbors.  He noticed that they all seemed to be loading the same things in their cars.  Not Xbox consoles or computers, nor pretty lamps or fancy blenders.  Instead, he found that he and his neighbors were all filling their vehicles with their wedding albums and family portraits, which they removed from their walls, frames and all.  [Read the full article here.]  

Your pictures are your memories, making photography the ultimate treasure.  No worldly possession can replace your memories, and so as each year goes by, your wedding photography becomes ever more valuable.  So as much as possible, focus on quality and service when evaluating and selecting your professional wedding photographer, because as we all know, your wedding is one event that doesn’t have a do-over.

Have guests sign old records

Turn old records into memories.

3. Collect the records of the first dance songs that your parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents danced to at their weddings.  

Put the records out at your wedding reception and allow guests to sign the records.  Then mount each record in a shadow box and hang them in your home.

Ask guests to write notes to you

Ask guests to write personal notes to you.

4. Ask wedding guests to write notes to you to be opened in future years.

Place a nicely printed card on each plate inviting your guests to write a note to you to be opened between 1 and 10 years or more in the future.  (So one table might have a 1-year note, another table has a 2-year note, etc.)  Leave pens and envelopes on the table, and have a family member or maid of honor or best man collect the sealed notes at the end of the wedding reception.  Then, on each wedding anniversary, that person delivers to you the notes for that year, which you open to relive your wedding day memories!

5. Write your own wedding vows and have them printed on cloth like a tapestry.

A number of companies, including Five Dot Design, can print your wedding vows on fabric.  Use the fabric as a backdrop at your wedding ceremony or for a photobooth at your reception.  Be sure to have your professional wedding photographer also capture some bride & groom portraits in front of it!  Then, after the wedding, hang the fabric in your home on a decorative curtain rod.

Hand wedding photography in your home

Ask your wedding photographer if they can show you different wall portrait possibilities before you place your order.

6. Hang engagement & wedding photography in your home.

Your engagement & wedding photography won’t bring back memories of your special day if all they do is sit on the hard drive of your computer.  Instead, decorate your home by hanging wall portraits from your wedding in prominent areas of your home that you spend a lot of time in, such as your family room or living room.  

Ask guests to write notes to you

Erika & Juan chose one of their favorite engagement photographs for us to print and mount as a standout. We made one side of the image white, so that guests could sign it at their wedding reception.

In addition to creating the physical artwork, some wedding photographers can drag and drop your favorite wedding photographs onto a photo of your home to help you visualize size, layout, and frame possibilities before they exist, so that you can see what you like the best prior to ordering and printing.  See more ideas for hanging photography in your home here.

Dispaly your album on your coffee table

Display your wedding album on your coffee table.

7. Place an album of your engagement photography and/or wedding photography on your coffee table.

If you have young children, you can also sit your professional photo album on a small desk easel, and place the easel and album on a chest or bookshelf.  Instead of doing a traditional album of engagement portraits, ask your professional wedding photographer about a guest sign-in album, which has extra white space so that family & friends can write their best wishes around the photographs at your wedding reception.  For your wedding album, ask your photographer to include the lyrics of your first dance song or even your vows if you wrote your own.

Use a runner from the reception on your home table

Use decor from your wedding on your table.

8. Use the table runner from your wedding reception in your dining room

Getting table runners for your wedding reception?  Don’t just rent.  Buy at least one, and keep it to adorn the dining room table or buffet in your home.

9. Use the & Sign or Block Letter of Your Name in Your First Family Portrait Session

Using an & sign or block letters of your names to decorate your sweetheart or other table at your reception?  Save the sign/letters, and with your first child, use it to decorate the nursery AND as a prop in your first family portrait session!

Pass on your wedding dress

Reimagine your wedding dress.

10. Pass On Your Wedding Dress, But Not in the Way You’re Imagining

Save your wedding dress and hire a seamstress to make a purse for your daughter or granddaughter as a gift on her wedding day.

Use these 10 ideas to make a collection of family heirlooms to last the ages, as each can and should be handed down, generation after generation.  Congratulations on your engagement!

Looking for a creative way to fund your honeymoon or wedding expenses, such as a wedding photographer? Set up a Honeyfund honeymoon registry today.

Bio: Irene Abdou began to work professionally as a photographer in 2007, and today, her company, Irene Abdou Photography, LLC is a recipient of the People Love Us on Yelp award, Angie’s List Super Service Award, and two-time winner of the Bride’s Choice Awards by WeddingWire. Hundreds of her photographs have been recognized and/or published by magazines, newspapers, books, wedding blogs, and other publishers, and since her first exhibit of a single photograph in the fall of 2007, she has been juried into or invited to exhibit in numerous fine art exhibits. View her portfolio of artistic wedding photography here.

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Bring out the best in your wedding party through photos

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

After all is said and done on your wedding day, you walk away with only three things that you’ll keep forever: your spouse, your memories, and your photos. The importance of wedding photography cannot be overstated. As a nationally recognized wedding photographer, I’ve learned firsthand the things that can take wedding photography from good to great, and three ways that you can do to help.

Meet with your wedding photographer & let him know what you want

How To Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Photography

1. Meet With Your Photographer BEFORE the Wedding

I know that during the wedding-planning season you have to meet with everyone from the florist, to the baker, to the candlestick maker, and that the thought of one more meeting might put you over the edge. But let me assure you, this is the meeting will pay the largest dividends.

Here’s why: Being the focal point of every shot for an entire day can feel, well, awkward. Unless you have a background in acting or modeling, it’s completely normal to feel a little shy around the camera. The actuality is that it’s not the camera you’re apprehensive around, it’s actually the person behind the camera. That makes sense if you’ve never met the person you’re trusting to document the most important day of your life! Connecting with your photographer before the event will:

  • Break the ice: so that on the wedding day when you see your photographer for the first time you won’t have to introduce yourself, but instead will feel like you’re seeing an old friend who has come to your wedding to celebrate with you.
  • Personalize your photos: During your initial meeting, you’re helping the photographers to get to know you and your fiancé: what makes the two of you tick, what you care about, and what is most important to you about your wedding day. Your photographers love capturing love; they would not be in the business if they didn’t. By letting your photographers know you as a couple, you are enabling them to capture your love story, not just another wedding.

Your wedding photos should be an expression of you

If meeting in-person is impractical, no worries! It’s 2017, Ladies and Gentlemen. Your initial meet up is a Facetime or Skype call away.

Bonus Tip:  If possible, scheduling an engagement session, bridals, or even rehearsal dinner shoot, will allow you to really get a feel for what the experience will be like when you’re in front of the camera all day.

Good lighting needed for great B/W or color

Good light makes photos great

2. Look For Good Light

Here’s a photographic myth buster: fantastic images aren’t contingent upon equipment, or the subject, or even the photographer behind the camera; fantastic images are contingent on good light. Clearly, it’s the photographers’ job to take amazing images and find the great light to do so, but you can help by asking yourself one question: Where is the light source? As you choose your venue, where you will get ready, where you will take family photos, evaluate the quality of the light and remember these two things:

  • Window light is AMAZING! Not too bright, not too dark, just right.
  • Natural light, as in from the sun, (Halogen bulbs do not count as natural) will make everyone look gorgeous.

Bonus Tip: Be familiar with your venue before the wedding day. Keep good light in mind as you decide where to get ready, where you want to have your first look etc.

Good photo capture the mystery of your love

Great photos let your love shine through

3. Serve Honey!

Weddings are stressful for everyone. And your photographers will wear several hats on your wedding day. I do EVERYTHING I can to help make the day perfect by getting every shot, being everywhere at once, cheerleading and corralling, carrying the bouquet and my cameras; I’ve got to be fun, but also efficient, flexible, but also strict with the schedule. I do this for my brides because I genuinely want their day to be the best. With that said, my suggestion is to be nice. Say ˜thank you’ throughout the day. I guarantee that your photographers will be far more willing to stay a little longer, get that one last shot, go the extra mile editing for the couples who pour out the honey of kindness and appreciation, rather than the stinging vinegar of complaints.

Bonus Tip: Show your appreciation by referring your to friends and family!

Capture the moment through photos

Looking for a creative way to fund your honeymoon or wedding expenses, such as photography? Set up a Honeyfund honeymoon register today.

Photo credits:  Photos copyright by

Bio: Ben Hartley, the lead photographer from Style & Story Creative Team, is part of the team that prides itself on telling your story of your love through beautifully crafted wedding photos. Our goal is to let our creative vision perfectly capture your event so that your joy shines through every photo. Considering ourselves your “Memory Machine,” we strive to capture the personality of each couple in not just the usual wedding shots but the otherwise forgotten moments. After building a relationship with each of our clients, we deliver the unexpected perspectives only possible from photographers who clearly know their subjects.

For information, check our website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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