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Documenting Authentic Moments as a Wedding Photographer in the Twin Cities

Here are my recommendations as a Twin Cities wedding photographer on how to be present and in tune with the emotions of your wedding day!

Something every couple wants from their wedding day are photos of those emotional candid moments to be documented. You know the ones that I’m talking about. The father of the bride tearing up as he sees his daughter in her dress, the couple crying from laughing so hard at the best man’s speech, the excitement as grandma makes her way to the dance floor for a song or two. Wedding days are full of SO many fantastic moments that all deserve to be documented as they happen. This is something that is easier said than done though! As a wedding photographer in the Twin Cities something I often see is that once my camera comes out people tend to act differently, and can make documenting these moments authentically more of a challenge. 

That’s why today we’re taking a look at some of my tips for how you can be present on your wedding day, how to create a day where these moments happen naturally, and how to be in touch with the emotions of your day. All of these factors combine to create a wedding day where you can truly enjoy yourself, but also end up with authentic photos of those candid moments.

How to Create Authentic Moments in Your Wedding Day

Create a Thoughtful Timeline

The first step to creating a wedding day that facilitates authentic moments and allows you to actually enjoy yourself is creating the timeline of your day. Rather than making a timeline that checks all of the photo boxes for your wedding day, put together a timeline that is full of all the things you hope to experience on a wedding day. Want to head to a bar for a drink with your wedding parties between your ceremony and cocktail hour? Do it. Would you rather share private vows with one another so the two of you can have a moment alone? Go for it! You are free to make your wedding day what you want it to be, and by doing so you’re setting yourself up for enjoyment which means more authentic photos of your day.

Of course you want to be sure that everything you have planned into your day will fit, so be sure to check with your photographer to make sure your plans will work with the coverage you have booked. As a Twin Cities wedding photographer, I always go through my couples timeline with them to ensure that we can realistically fit everything they want to into their day.

Make Time to Spend with Your Loved Ones

So many of my couples favorite candid moments from their wedding days come from the time that they spend with their loved ones. If you think about it, when else are ALL of your favorite people going to be in one place celebrating you and the love you share as a couple? Planning time to spend with these people that mean so much to you is a fantastic way to ensure you have more candid moments from your wedding day documented. Whether you do a first look with your parents the morning of your wedding, have a private conversation with your grandma after you get ready for the day, or play lawn games with your groomsmen before getting ready.

I’ve documented so many different moments like these in my years as a Twin Cities wedding photographer, and I’m always overjoyed when my couples prioritize time in their day with the ones they love most!

Go to Cocktail Hour

Speaking of spending time with those you love on your wedding day, one great way to do so is to attend a majority of your cocktail hour. This is one of the only opportunities you will have to spend some time with your favorite people before the party really gets going. Cocktail hour is a great opportunity for candid moments as it’s one of the few moments of your day where your guests are moving around and interacting with one another. This leads to a ton of fun interactions, plus the excitement everyone is feeling immediately after your ceremony leads to some great emotions to photography!

Be Present and Don’t Worry About the Camera

Your focus on your wedding day should be enjoying the day itself, the time you have with your friends and family, and of course this love you two share that has brought this all together. You should not focus or worry about the camera. I mean this both in the sense of feeling self conscious about the camera, but also about worrying whether or not that these moments are being documented in the first place. As a Twin Cities wedding photographer I can assure you that I will be there for ALL of the special moments that happen throughout your day.  You don’t need to look around and make sure I am ready before giving your grandma a hug, or before hitting the dance floor with your bridesmaids for YOUR song. 

I will be there ready to document all of these moments and more, what I need you to do is to just focus on enjoying and being present in the moment! If you’re looking to read more about what it’s like to work with me as your photographer you should check out this article I wrote about my process, philosophy, and more.

Trust Your Vendors

This one is huge not only for your photos, but also for your overall sanity on your wedding day. Your vendor team is there to create the wedding day that you envision, but if you’re running around worrying about what they’re doing at each and every moment you’re going to end up missing the entire day you’ve worked so hard to create. Relax and let your wedding vendors take the wheel on the wedding day so you can shift your focus to your partner and all of the people there to celebrate with you. Your vendor team is the dream team you’ve chosen to help make your wedding day a reality. Let them do what they do best so that you can enjoy yourself!

Tips for Keeping Emotions High On Your Wedding Day

Weddings are by nature incredibly emotional days. From the bridesmaids being stunned with excitement seeing the bride in her dress for the first time, to the groom tearing up as he dances with his mother, there’s no shortage of emotional moments. As a Twin Cities wedding photographer who’s definitely on the more emotional side, yes I almost always tear up as the bride walks down the aisle, I want to share a few tips couples can use to keep the emotional level high throughout the wedding. This emotion I feel really allows you to be present in the moments you find yourself in, but also brings about some of the best scenarios for candid photos.

Choose the Right Music

Music acts as a catalyst for different emotions and energy levels for a LOT of people. A certain string of chords played on the piano can be all it takes to bring out those tears of joy in the right moment. With that in mind, think about how you want different points of your wedding day to feel as you plan out your timeline.

Create a playlist of you and your wedding parties’ hype songs to bring the energy up as you get ready. Choose a song for when you’re walking down the aisle that will make it feel like you and your partner are the only ones in the room. When it comes to cocktail hour you want things to be happy and casual, and when it comes time for the dance floor to open up you want a high energy song to get people on the dance floor. Your wedding day is going to feel like a movie, especially when you relive it through your photos, and every great movie needs its equally great soundtrack!

Write Personal Letters

You are going to be feeling a LOT of emotions on your wedding day, and this is a great way to share those emotions with those you care about. Whether it's a letter to your soon to be spouse, to your father, or to your future mother-in-law, writing and sharing a letter with someone you care about can create an incredible emotional moment for the day of your wedding. For some this can be the best way to share their thoughts, as it may feel daunting to say these words aloud, whether it be in front of a crowd or even in private. As a wedding photographer in the Twin Cities I love to document these moments when letters are shared and read between loved ones as it almost always leads to an incredible emotional connection between the two people involved.

Create Time with Those You Love

As I’ve mentioned before, spending time, even if it’s just a moment, alone with any of your guests, family or friends on a wedding day can really elevate the emotion you feel throughout the day. Wedding days typically feel like they fly by, no matter how many hours of the day it actually takes up. Creating space for these intimate moments allows you to really slow down and take in ALL of the emotions you’ve felt throughout the day while also sharing that moment with someone who means so much to you. It also makes for some fantastic candid photo opportunities that I love as a Twin Cities wedding photographer. That being the case though, even I try to give my couples some true alone time in these moments, and will let you two have your space after I have the photos I know you’ll love to look back on.

Include a Surprise or Two!

Everyone loves a happy surprise! Whether it’s an epic dress change, a choreographed dance between the bride and groom, or a surprise first look, moments like these are some of the most fun and exciting that you can create for your wedding day. They also bring out some of the best reactions for candid photos, as when you surprise people with excitement and happiness when they’re already happy and excited it leads to some pretty fantastic moments!

As a wedding photographer in the Twin Cities there’s nothing I love more about documenting these emotional moments in a way that's authentic to what my couples felt on the day of their wedding. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of my job, and these moments are something I want every couple to experience and also be able to relive for years to come. If you’d like to see more of my work be sure to check out my blog and Instagram, and if you’re looking to book me to document your wedding day be sure to send an inquiry through my contact page so we can start planning your wedding day together.

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