I’m sure that since announcing you’re planning a wedding, you’ve been given a lot of advice – both sought after and unsolicited. (Hopefully most of which is kind and helpful.) While every wedding is unique in its own way, after working in the industry, you begin to collect some tried and true pieces of wisdom that applies nearly universally.
Recently Vermont wedding photographer Moriah of MoHo Photos shared some of her best advice for couples getting married. I loved her perspective and wanted to share her suggestions and my reactions.
“While I’m all about capturing those candid wedding moments as they unfold,” says Moriah, “there are just some things that if I could tweak jussst a little bit, not only would the images be that much more powerful to look back on, but they would foster your connection to each other and your ability to be present that much more meaningful.”
You may read through this list and decide none of these are for you – and that’s okay! We hope that at the very least these suggestions inspire you to consider the details that matter most to you.
Hold Hands During Your Ceremony
Moriah: Anytime I’m going through images picking my favorites to edit and deliver, I always react strongest to images where people are connecting. One of the best ways I see connection happening is through physical touch. My biggest suggestion is as soon as your ceremony begins, hold your partner’s hands.
(My Take: YES! I actually included this as one of my top wedding hot takes. If you think you may forget in the moment, maybe ask your officiant to subtly clue you both to hold hands or move closer together.)
Don’t Let Guests Use Their Phones During Your Wedding
Moriah: This is probably my most controversial opinion, but I stand by it. Knowing that I don’t have to dodge cellphones getting in the way of my shot makes my job that much easier, and you’re doing your guests by upping their ability to be really present.
One recent trend I’ve seen and absolutely love is giving guests a moment to take photos of their own. You can do this by having your officiant give your guests 15-30 seconds to get up and get the shot they like right as your ceremony begins. By doing this intentionally, not only are you giving guests their moment to grab their own shots, you’re making a pretty memorable moment out of it. It’s a win-win situation!
(My Take: I totally agree with unplugged ceremonies, but think it’s so hard to manage. If a phone-free ceremony is important to you, I suggest having your officiant say something at the beginning of the ceremony, including a note in your program, and maybe also including a small sign.
I do like the idea of including an intentional moment for guests to capture photos, but I’d prefer doing this at the end of the ceremony; this could also give you an extra minute to collect yourself before heading back down the aisle!)
Have your Officiant Step Out of the Way for Your First Kiss
Moriah: This small effort makes a world of difference. Nothing makes a first kiss more weird than having someone intently staring directly behind your two heads. Another option I’ve seen is having your officiant stand in front of your guests. That way when you’re looking at your officiant, you can also see your guests, and gives me your photographer a more interesting angle for documenting the two of you as well as your guests.
(My Take: YES! Talk with them about this ahead of time so they know it’s important to you.)
Pause While Walking Down the Aisle
Moriah: This one is purely preference, but I love the unique perspective you get of you and your guests when you take a pause halfway down the aisle. You can do anything here from exchanging another smooch, celebrate with your guests, or do a little dance! Whatever you choose, take your time coming up the aisle and take it all in, you’ll be glad you did.
(My take: YES! Let this come naturally, but I loveeeee these shots – we even included a “just married” category in our Best of 2022 series!)
While there may be a lot of advice and suggestions thrown your way, it’s ultimately up to you to decide what matters most on your special day! Moriah’s suggestions offer a fresh perspective on ways to enhance the experience, and if nothing else we hope these tips inspire you to consider what matters most to you. Ultimately, focus on your priorities as a couple, and everything else will fall into place!
Looking for More Wedding Advice?
Check out our Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide. It’s like sitting down to chat with your big sister, wedding insiders, and your most organized friends – all rolled into one easy guide!