Wedding Photography Tips and More from Top Event Photographer Dave Robbins

Real Weddings

Top event photographer Dave Robbins shares 13 things you should know going into your own wedding so you can get amazing pictures and have the event of your dreams. Read on for his expert and enlightening tips!

The formula is simple: Love + kick-ass music = a super fun wedding.

It doesn't matter whether you hire a band or a DJ, if you get everyone dancing and if they believe in the reason you're there, it's going to be amazing.

Still, people love to be surprised and entertained.

I worked a wedding where a New Orleans-style jazz band led all the guests through the streets from the church to the reception. It was a spectacle, and everybody felt involved.

Rock a veil.

It looks cool in photos and adds a certain mystique, especially pulled in front of the bride's face.

Tell the photographer your quirks in advance.

That way, he can be mindful of them when shooting. For example: "I tend to make a strange face when I'm aware my picture is being taken" or "this side of my face is better." I can work with that.

But don't say you're not photogenic.

A happy bride is a beautiful bride, in life and in pictures. Period.

Give your photographer a heads-up about family dynamics.

Let your photographer know who doesn't get along, which sister's boyfriend might not make it long-term. I'll keep that guy on the edge of all photos and do some without him: "just family members now!" I've gotten so many requests to crop that guy out afterward.

Beware the videographer.

Some don't know how to shoot properly in low light. They'll put these huge, awful LED lights on their camera or will set up external ones, essentially killing the ambiance you've paid a lot of money to create.

You won't regret the dance lessons.

It's always endearing when the couple has their first dance and you see the groom mouthing the steps.

Say yes to the receiving line.

It can be time-consuming, but it beats having to talk to every single person later. Saying thanks into a mic doesn't cut it. You've got to shake guests' hands or hug them.

Your wedding does not have to look like a "wedding."

I just shot one with a summer-camp theme. It took place over an entire weekend at an actual kids' camp, where guests slept in cabins and did everything you would do as a camper. I photographed adults having pie-eating contests. Everyone had a blast.

Dance the hora, no matter what religion you are!

Even the most conservative guests will get into it. I've seen flying groomsmen hit the floor and incur hora-related injuries.

If you want your portrait session to be painless, don't have 14 bridesmaids.

Seriously.

On the day of, let the details go.

I've seen people freak out over things that make no difference in the long run, like the caterer using the wrong shade of beige tablecloth. Every so often I give a pep talk, take the couple aside, and tell them to take a deep breath and look at the big picture. Sometimes all they need is a little reality check to have the time of their lives.

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