Planning a wedding can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Still, with the proper preparation, it can also be a memorable and enjoyable occasion.
If you are investing in a professional wedding photographer for your wedding in the beautiful Riviera Maya, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure your wedding photos turn out perfectly. Proper planning and allowing plenty of time to get ready are crucial for a successful wedding day.
Based on my experience as a wedding photographer in the Riviera Maya, I’ve noticed that brides often overlook specific details. However, I understand that it’s the first wedding for many of my clients, so I hope this article helps in any way to plan your photography wedding timeline and make sure everything goes smoothly.
THE BRIDE ROOM
When planning your wedding, one crucial aspect is the location for your getting-ready photos. Choosing a room with plenty of natural light and a spacious, bright area is essential. In addition, windows or a balcony can significantly improve the quality of the photos, so it’s best to use the bridal suite only if it has these characteristics.
If your room is small and your bridal party is big, consider using the spa area or garden in the hotel for your getting-ready group photos; be sure to check with your hotel if this option is available.
In addition to choosing the right location, keeping the room clean and organized is essential, with the bed made and no clutter, dirty dishes, or open luggage in sight. Have your details, such as rings, bouquet, dress, perfumes, shoes, jewelry, invitations, and other essential items, ready and in one place when the photographer arrives. Considering these factors, you can ensure that your getting-ready photos turn out beautifully and capture all of the special moments leading up to the ceremony.
Begin the day by capturing the groom as he gets ready, alone or with his friends. The photographer will take photos of the details of his preparation process, including any meaningful items or routines.
If there is still plenty of time before the ceremony starts, don’t worry about the groom’s formal attire getting wrinkled as he can change into more comfortable clothing after the photo session to relax before the ceremony. This process usually takes around 30 minutes, after which we will move on to the bride’s room.
The getting ready process in the bride’s room is an entirely different story than in the groom’s room. While the groom may have a more low-key and relaxed atmosphere, the bride’s room is often a hub of activity as the bridesmaids, mother, and other family members help the bride prepare for the big day. This is a unique and intimate moment where the photographer can capture candid shots of the bride and her loved ones preparing for the ceremony.
Here are some ideas for shots that you can get with enough time:
- Photos of the wedding invitations and other details, such as the bouquet, boutonnieres, and rings.
- Candid shots of the bridal party laughing, chatting and getting excited for the big day.
- Pictures of the bridal party getting their hair and makeup done.
- Photographs of the bride and groom’s wedding attire, including close-ups of their wedding dress, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories.
- The moment when the bride puts on her wedding dress or veil, with help from her bridesmaids or mother.
- The bride and groom practice their vows or have a private moment together before the ceremony.
- Shots of the bride and groom with their parents or family before the ceremony.
To ensure that your photographer has enough time to capture all the important moments leading up to the ceremony, ask your stylist to finish your hair and makeup at least 90 minutes before the ceremony. This way, even if someone is running late, you’ll still have plenty of time for beautiful photos of your bridal details, final makeup touch-ups, and the moment you put on your dress. It’s always better to have a bit of extra time rather than feeling rushed on your wedding day.
THE CEREMONY WEDDING PHOTOS
My first recommendation for a ceremony is to celebrate it in the late afternoon, around 4-5 PM, depending on the time of year. This is because the sun can be harsh in the middle of the day, making it difficult for people to keep their eyes open for photos. To avoid this issue, scheduling the ceremony outside the time frame between 12 PM and 3 PM is best.
Here are a few things to ensure the ceremony goes smoothly:
- Ask your guests beforehand to refrain from standing up to take photos or record videos with tablets, as this can block the photographer’s view. Instead, please encourage them to use their phones to take pictures but remind them to remain seated.
- It’s important to ask beforehand that the videographer, wedding planner, or other hotel staff avoid crossing the background as much as possible as you walk down the aisle.
- Avoid placing bags or plastic bottles near the chairs or aisle, as this can be distracting and ruin a beautiful picture.
- Remember that there is a seaweed season in the Riviera Maya, which runs from June to November, mainly during the hot months. If this is the case for your wedding, you can ask the hotel to clean the beach before the ceremony.
- It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in case of rain, as we are in the Caribbean. Make sure to discuss this with your wedding planner and have a plan in place.
Some of these recommendations might be helpful to your wedding planner so they can take care of everything, and you don’t have to worry on your big day.
GROUP AND FAMILY PHOTOS
After the ceremony, you’ll want the photographer to take group and family photos. Again, it’s helpful to have a list of your family members’ names; someone who knows everyone well could assist with this process.
For example, your list might include the following:
- The bride and groom with their parents
- The bride and groom with their siblings
- The bride and groom with their friends
Once the group photos are done, all guests can head to the cocktail hour while the photographer continues to take pictures of the bridal party and the bride and groom’s sunset photos.
RECEPTION AND PARTY
To ensure beautiful photos of the reception area decorations, it’s helpful if the wedding planner waits before allowing guests into the space so your photographer can capture the best shots. This is especially important if you have any unique design elements at the reception; capturing these memories for your album will highlight your wedding day.
One last recommendation would be to cut the cake before the party starts so we can get some beautiful photos of this particular moment. This way, you can relax and enjoy the party without worrying about your hair, makeup, or dress.
By following these recommendations, you can ensure that you have the best possible results in your wedding photography. Keep in mind that these recommendations are based on my personal experience, every wedding is different, and every photographer has their style and process.
These recommendations may only apply to some locations and are primarily based on weddings in Cancun, Tulum, or Riviera Maya. However, they will help you plan your wedding photography timeline in the Riviera Maya.
Remember, having a fantastic time on your wedding day is the most important thing.
If you find some of these recommendations practical, please let me know in the comments; I’ll be happy to read you.